Going on vacation and not being able to drink or use is a real nightmare for someone who suffers from substance abuse. Although they may think that they will miss out on the fruity drinks at the swim up bar or other vacation attractions, playing the tape forward fails to compute in their brain.
Rather than just enjoying the activity or the enthrallment of the attraction, what happens next is unfortunate. Whether they start a fight, become obscene to others, get undressed, or get kicked out for being inebriated, getting drunk or high becomes more a liability than part of the enjoyment of the vacation. Instead of appreciating the locality of the vacation, they spend their time looking for their next high or their next drink or being hungover, which is not really fun if you have an addiction.
The good news is that you can go on vacation and stay sober when you are in sobriety. Packing up your suitcase with your clothes and your toiletries should also include packing your recovery tools when you go on your trip. There is so much to do on a trip, or even on a staycation, and you can literally do it all while enjoying yourself and your sobriety.
Enjoy the food.
Even if you are the pickiest person in the world with your choices in food, you should try some of the local foods when you travel. Most places have a cuisine that they are famous for or that the locals enjoy. The key to finding the secret menu is research. Before you embark on your travel adventure, search for the hidden treasures that are indigenous to that specific place or region. When you get to your destination, ask taxi cab drivers or people in the hotel where their favorite places are to eat, what snacks are a must, and where the desserts to die for are. The best part of enjoying the food is that you can really taste the food rather than enjoying the food due in part to having the munchies or needing to sober up. Take time to enjoy the local cuisine will give your trip a leg up.
Enjoy the sober culture.
The places you took time to visit on previous trips when you were actively using and drinking were probably to the bars and places that allowed you to drink and use drugs hassle free. Although you may have felt like you were having the time of your life because you were high or drunk, the truth is there were probably more cultural, more physical, and more diverse activities to enjoy than just sitting at, swimming up to, or dancing on the bar. Even if you are staying at a resort, they typically offer excursions and other onsite activities that do not include drinking or using. Go to a museum, attend a show, find a cooking lesson, or find the closest body of water and get wet. If you are simply looking to relax, digitally unplug and find a way to meditate in a way that you can. The sky is the limit and you should take the initiative to find out what the locals think is a must see or a must do and do those things.
Enjoy the meeting.
Even though you are on vacation, your recovery should never go on vacation. Addiction is an insidious disease that is relentless in making you miserable. You need your recovery people and tools to help you relate to your substance abuse every single day. You should keep doing the things you would normally be doing at home to the best of your ability including going to meetings. Taking time out of your trip to adjust your attitude with a 12-Step meeting will make your trip even better. Before you leave to go out of town, you can look up local meetings and directions with plans to attend to give you free insurance to stay sober on your vacation.
Enjoy the trip.
No. Not that kind of “trip”. You can enjoy the vacation that you planned without the use of drugs or alcohol. Look for the activities, restaurants, and attractions that interest you and do your best to try them out. You have a new design for living in your recovery that even includes having fun on a trip. You can totally stay sober and have a good time while making memories of a lifetime.
Take time out for yourself and take that trip you always wanted to if you can manage it. The main objective is to take your recovery with you wherever you go because whether you are taking a trip, or not taking a trip, your sobriety has to be your main priority.
Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Detox Center of Colorado offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Detox Center of Colorado fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463