My first experience with telling “another person” that I had a problem with alcohol was true serenity. I wouldn’t say it was necessarily positive, because I wasn’t able to really feel positivity that day but I was able to feel relief. The person I shared a bed with now knew where “I was” and that was a great settling feeling.
The next thing I needed to do was to talk to my business partners. There never seems to be a good time to talk. We always use texting and some email but much of that goes unanswered leaving me feeling even more isolated in my business relationship. While I am not BLAMING this on my alcohol use, I do feel it is a great contributor to it. The more alone I feel, the more I want to drink and then the isolation comes and the circle goes round and round.
Out of Touch
Our office went “mostly” virtual about 3 years ago. That means no home base for Janis (me.) People always say, “Isn’t it great that you work from home” and yes sometimes it is but other times it is a struggle. It was the best thing for me to always know I had a place to belong and people to care about and to know I was working for them and we were a team. (More on this in a later post.)
But I approached each of my partners, one in person but he was going to a meeting and we had little time to talk. Later a phone conversation with him pushed me to call our other partner (I had wanted to see him face to face) but rather than one partner telling the other partner my thoughts, feelings and situation, I chose to talk to him over the phone instead of risking being “ratted out” and a lot of uncontrolled conversation between the two of them jumping to conclusions and filling in the blanks of MY LIFE. (I have known them a long time, this is what they do.)
Going to Lunch
We agreed to have lunch at a Chinese Restaurant where we have met plenty of times. Iced Tea and Ice water was the beverage and they sat across the table from me. I proceeded to tell my story. First with an apology. Yes, I fell on my sword. I had to.
They both said, “We are family, we have been through a lot. We support you.” Of course each in their own way but they both used those words in concert. But then the meeting took a turn to which I am hoping we don’t go back there again because I am not sure how I will deal with it.
I told them I realized that I was responsible for some slow business (even tho my primary function is not sales), and I was going to buckle down and get back to basics and get working.
Well they jumped on that like “flies on sh&t.” It seemed like anything that has happened bad with the company is my fault and has been my fault from the beginning (exceeds 10 years.) They individually came down hard on me, which I did expect in some ways but not in the context of projects and situations they were handling and not me.
The fact is our knowledge base is so diverse we have a tendency to “divy-up” the projects for the people that have the experience in that given area. Some times the customer is a bit unfair for all of us, sometimes our staff is unreasonable and obstinate, apparently our meeting qualified for me to be the scapegoat for everything and everything bad.
I didn’t feel like this was the time or place to stand up for myself. I also didn’t feel like I was strong enough to call them on their comments. I mean I was there to apologize and find a way to move on.
A Single Point of Purpose
That day was rough. It was Day 2. After that meeting with my partners, I took a deep breath dried a few tears (surprised I wasn’t sobbing), got into my car and looked for a meeting that night instead of heading to my favorite watering hole. Because my single point of purpose after 2 meetings that day was to stay sober.
I am surprised I did.