Working at a bar in recovery

Last year in college, I started working part-time at a restaurant. I had about $300 in my bank account by November and I needed a JOB. I always served in the summers so it was an easy choice to start serving again.

I took the summer off and then returned this December 2016, prior to my breaking point of realizing I had a serious problem with alcohol.

Most of the time, being around alcohol at work doesn’t bother me. Just like the food, it becomes a product in your mind.. Also I usually work on the dining side where most people just have 1 drink.

But things aren’t always so easy. It’s kind of like how when you’re hungry, suddenly you want to eat every single plate of food coming out of the kitchen. I find when I’ve been having a long day, or serve a customer who has more than 2 drinks, I have a hard time being around booze.

Yesterday, I worked the lunch and dinner shift. I remember it wasn’t until the end of the night, when I was feeling tired and depleted, it felt difficult to be around alcohol. I stayed a bit to eat my sandwich, drink my diet coke (to which our bartender of course told me to add rum to) and get out of there as quickly  as possible.

When I got home, I just wanted to sit down in my kitchen, eat the rest of my dinner and start to unwind. My roommate always has a drink every night, and she leaves the 60 and a shot glass in the kitchen above the dish washer. I know she’s not doing it to be mean, and normally it doesn’t bother me since I hang out in my room or in the living room mostly at night… but that night I just didn’t have it in me.

So instead of panicking, I just put the bottle out of sight in our closet and the shot glass in the dish washer. It felt like such a relief, I just couldn’t look at alcohol any more that day.

Since I’m graduating in April, I’m not planning to quit my serving job early. I tend to only work a couple of times a week, but I don’t think staying would be in the best interest for my long-term recovery if I had another year of college. It’s tough, on the upside I love the opportunity to be out and meet new people, catch up with friends and make some money.. but I know I have to put my recovery first.

I’m working a double shift on St. Patrick’s Day this year and it’s an Irish bar so we’ll be pretty busy. I plan to make sure I go to at least two meeting that week, talk to my dad that morning,  listen to a positive podcast on my drive there.

How do you prepare yourself for a drinking event like St. Patty’s?



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