Updated: Sep 1, 2021
My sister is getting married tomorrow. Even though I have been preparing for this event for months, it is hugely anxiety producing. I feel nervous for some reason. I need to just focus on Laura and know that this is her weekend. It’s all about her and Brian.
Even though I have been sober for a while now and have been to plenty of social events without drinking and feel confident in my alcohol free footing these days, weddings carry a whole new set of challenges. And being around my family takes it to an entirely different level.
There is the rehearsal dinner, brunch with mimosas, the wedding, the toast, the dancing. There is just so much that makes me feel like I will want to run from it all and hide, but what I need to do is focus on myself, breath deeply and enjoy the small moments. Enjoy this weekend for my sister. Enjoy it with my husband and kids. Enjoy the fact that I will remember it all.
But then I feel angst because... My parents. It is difficult being in the same space as the both of them. And it is awkward. Sad. And strange. Uncomfortable. And I find myself feeling stuck trying to make them both happy. Who do I talk to? Who do I sit with? I don’t feel entirely myself when I am with any of these people. Which is bizarre, because they are my family. But they don’t know me.
But I’m here. And I love them dearly. I care for them each tremendously even though my sisters sometimes feel like acquaintances. My mother a distant relative. My father a long lost cousin.
But I make nice and smile.
My sister asks about my tattoo in front of my mother and tells me she genuinely loves it. I proudly tell her I got it for my 6th month of sobriety. My mother doesn’t say much to me about it. And surprisingly I don’t feel the need to turn around and run from the room during this exchange. Instead, I breath deeply and stand tall, letting my bracelets hang loosely from my wrist, exposing the scripted black letters to all of those who dare to look my way.