I opened up my credit union account early this afternoon when I returned home after an invigorating Pickleball session to find that some toe rag had paid Neiman Marcus over $1500 from my account. I immediately called the credit union and reported the fraud. It will be reversed and hopefully the thief will be found out and prosecuted. I don’t hold out much hope though.
I don’t get much money on a monthly basis, just Social Security and 2 small annuities. I have yet to receive my $1200.00 from the government (they say they don’t recognize who I am but they will accept my tax payment… buttheads), so $1500 is a very large amount. I am thinking about what my reaction would have been 3 years ago when I was drinking and acting the fool. I have no doubt I would have been screaming about the injustice and bemoaning the fact that the $1500 was an absolute necessity to pay whatever bill that I had neglected before the theft. I would have reached for the Zinfandel or malt liquor, stomped around the house, being an intolerant beast. I also might have gone into my “I am a rock” routine, sat in front of the computer refusing to communicate. Instead, I calmly called the credit union, reported the theft, complied with their reporting requirements and completed the call. During this process I continued to pay attention to my response. I use the term response rather than reaction. A reaction is non-thinking immediate reflex to an event that leads to nothing more than more more negative emotion and, at least for me, a trip down that rabbit hole that leads to inebriation. Not good.
A response is a multistep process that begins with recognizing the event, considering whether the event is something I can control or not. If I cannot control the event then I must let it go. If I can control the event then I need to devise a plan of action. In this situation I recognized the event, realized that I had no control over the event, (I could not and cannot control what happened), I formed plan of action. I called the credit union, I checked my financial calendar to determine the upcoming monies due. Since my debit card will be cancelled, I switched accounts about to come due to another card, moved monies to the accounts about to come due.
It took about 30 minutes to complete the transactions. I am calm and at peace with the event, although I would like to see the clown in jail, I won’t ruminate about it. Most importantly, I have not considered going out to grab some alcohol beverage as I would have in the past. The thought of alcohol didn’t enter my mind until I was watching a tv program where a character went to the wet bar and poured a drink after a distressing event.
This may seem an unimportant or mild response to many but it is a major success, because every positive behavior like this one reinforces my ability to navigate the negative emotional reactions that contribute to my alcohol intake that contribute to my alcohol behavior. One more success. Today was a good day.