Ciao, from Reggello, Italy!
I have been here for seven days and it has been a wonderful experience. I am blessed to be in such a culturally rich environment full of amazing people, beautiful views and so much history. I have dreamt of this my whole life and because I believe in creating visions and asking for what I want and need, I have this opportunity.
This is the first time I have been to Europe and this is the first time I will be away from my family, home, and practice for this long.
Moreover - It is also the first time I have been away from my recovery community for an extended period. About a month before I left for Rome, I reached out to about 10 people in my circle to ask if they would be a part of my recovery support while I was away. I knew they would, but it never hurts to ask.
I specifically requested prompt – 24 to 48 hrs. – responses whenever I would reach out. I also asked some for periodic check ins.
I knew by leaving my primary support structure, I would be potentially at risk, especially since I knew my colleagues would be drinking, and I didn't want to be too vulnerable.
So, I asked for help.
Not only did I ask for help, but I asked for specific help prior to any challenges. I learned a long time ago, I must take my recovery with me.
I am living in the Tuscan hills for the next week and a half and there are zero meetings of any kind nearby. I have to take what I can from my established system and bring it with me. I have my recovery books including the Big Book, Steven C’s Amends, Apologies and the Myths of Forgiveness: a Guide to the Eight and Ninth Steps (because I am working step 8 in one of my programs), and I have access to 12 step speaker audio from online sites.
Every day I have reached out to my community, whether to ask for a prayer, show a pic I had taken, or simply say what my current struggle was and ask for support or feedback. This is essential to my sobriety and recovery.
Today, I felt particularly challenged when a colleague asked me to join her and some others outside. I had avoided them because they were drinking and I have probably told half a dozen people I don't drink. Maybe she didn't get the memo. I said, “No, I don't drink, and y'all are drinking.” She said, “That's okay, I won't judge. I drink water, too.” I told her it would be triggering for me.
She didn't get the memo and that's all right. It's not her job, but it is mine to maintain my sobriety, even in an environment where 33 out of 35 people are drinking, daily, in front of me, several times per day.
So, what did I do next? I pulled up a speaker audio, sat out on a wall overlooking the Tuscan valley and listened to the speaker. I felt so calm and relaxed. My Higher Power guided me to a place of serenity, free from distraction. It was blissful.
This entire website is about me, my therapist practice, and my journey of being a healing professional.