I don’t think I have ever participated in a dry holiday my adult life, like ever. The association with a vacation is almost always drinking - Napa Valley, All-Inclusives, Okanagan Valley, Las Vegas, Destination Weddings, Country Pubs, Sunsets, Cervecas, Stagettes. The stress of travelling, entering relaxation mode, the thought of "deserving" those drinks for working so hard over the past year - You get the idea.
When you’re just starting out down the sober road, many triggers arise that you will need to be wary of. Some examples include EVERY SOCIAL SITUATION. And of course, most any holiday/vacation. You can’t escape it I’m afraid. But you can learn to take control of it instead of letting it take control of you.
I am heading on vacation to London & Paris over the summer. Alcohol will be on the menu for most of this trip. Although I am now OK with having people drink around me, that wasn’t the case early on. As you probably are already aware from my earlier posts, I didn’t slide easily into recovery. Many of us don’t. One of the biggest issues for me trying was to find the balance of being around alcohol and not giving into the temptation. All too easily, I was sucked back into drinking by having “just one”. Hah! One bottle.
When I decided once and for all that I was going to quit drinking, I made the decision not to hide from social situations where alcohol would be present, but to put myself out to the wolves. It sucked. The first couple of weeks were killer. My mind was in overdrive, trying to trick me, egging me to again have “just one”. My friends and family were super supportive, but they didn’t live inside my head. Then, an interesting thing happened. I began to observe. People, situations. And I realized how much alcohol really affects people (some worse than others). And I started to feel less FOMO. I started to see the shift from one drink, to three, to five. I call it the “Light Switch”. It’s when people go from having fun and being tipsy, to just drunk and sloppy. It’s not pretty. And it can get pretty annoying. People start to tell you the same story over and over, words begin to slur, there’s more touching and personal space intrusion. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t happen to everyone, or all the time. And it’s certainly more present when you’re out at the bar or nightclub, but it’s an interesting thing to watch when you’re out and about. And I don’t know about you, but it just solidifies to me that I made the right the decision to quit drinking.
OK, so I totally got off track haha. My point is that I’m going to be travelling with my family, who will most certainly enjoy pints, wine, lagers & lime daily throughout our trip. What tools do I have to deal with this? I have my daily meditation, which I will continue to do throughout the trip. We also have back to back plans and a packed itinerary full of things to see & do. And I have books upon books and magazines to read if I need to politely excuse myself for some Kitty time. And of course, I always have delicious Parisian coffee to fall back on if all else fails ;) xo K