“I…can’t… drive………55.” Sammy Hagar
Like Sammy, I could not drive 55 in my younger days. I liked 95 or even 105 miles per hour. One night while driving at 100 plus miles per hour, I noticed the needle on my temperature gauge was pointing to the red part of the gauge. Since it was not pointing directly at the “H” yet, I thought that going fast would increase air flow and rectify the problem. This turned out to not be the case and soon my engine stopped running but not before displaying a myriad of foul sights, noises, and smells. I later learned that the engine block had cracked due to the extreme heat. As I explained about seeing the needle in the red and my rationale for speeding up, the crusty old mechanic stopped me. “Son, there is a reason there is a red zone on that gauge. Red means stop!” I had blown my engine and my way of thinking was about to cost me $1700.
Have you ever heard this? “The good thing about recovery is you get your feelings back. The bad thing about recovery is you get your feelings back.” In recovery, we need to manage our emotions. Shopping, traffic, crowds, preparations, cooking, cleaning, invitations and more can keep us in an emotional red zone. Just like the car, red means stop. More accurately, it means pause to let things cool down, to regroup, or to take care of you.
During the holiday season it is important to take time out for yourself. Some ideas include keeping up with meetings, meditation and prayer, spending time with family and friends, unplugging one afternoon to watch a movie or read a good book. Essentially, practice any healthy coping skill you have learned during times like these. As the bumper sticker says, “Take it easy.”