For the first time in this series I have a genuine disagreement with the Question of the day. I think I understand where the Question is coming from: In the Addiction Cycle you need to fight the urge to isolate yourself. In isolation we make bad choices and we allow ourselves to fall further into the Cycle; being around others is important in maintaining sobriety.
But I’ve got to say that as good as the intention behind the Question might be, I do not always want to go to a church function when I’m upset. It is tough to field the generic, “Hey, how are you?” questions from your polite church friends and acquaintances when you are mired in depression, anxiety, sadness, fear, or anger. You can give the B.S. church answer to such questions: “Oh, I’m fine, I’m fine…how are you?” Or you can be a bit more honest: “Don’t ask.”
I’ve never been good at ‘faking it’ and being in recovery has trained me to wear a mask even less often than before, so I tend to go with a less-polite, more ‘real’ answer. The problem is that your friends are nice people, and they are trying to be nice by asking you how you are doing. They have their own concerns and are generally not prepared for an honest, “I’m feeling depressed today. How are you?” This can lead to hurt feelings, awkward moments, and the chance that your friends will be less eager to ask how you are doing in the future.
So I’m not sure I agree that going to a church function is the best plan when you’re in the Addiction Cycle. Why face all those questions and be forced to choose between false politeness or honesty? If you’re comfortable facing tough questions from church friends while you are stuck in the Cycle, then go. You absolutely need to avoid isolating yourself by associating with other people.
But if you’re not ready to paste a smile on your face or have awkward conversations I suggest picking a more anonymous public space like a sports event or a park. You’ll be around other people but you will not know most of them and thus you won’t have to talk to them. You could invite a close friend to meet you to talk about the feelings you are going through.
I’m really curious what your thoughts are on this topic, so please let me know.