When travel requires us to leave the familiar comforts of home, friends, and meetings, even briefly, it is helpful to create a recovery plan. We can often anticipate particular challenges we may face. Prepare for your trip ahead of time with your sobriety in mind. Some specific suggestions for travel include:
- Attend SAA meetings or telemeetings. To get information on either of these, contact the ISO or visit the SAA website at www.saa-recovery.org. Although SAA has no affiliation with other twelve-step fellowships, some members choose to attend open meetings of other sex-related twelve-step groups, known as “S-Fellowships,” to work the Twelve Steps. If no –S-Fellowship meetings are available, some members choose to attend other open twelve-step meetings, even if they are not sex-related.
- Decide beforehand that you will avoid parts of town or people that might threaten your sobriety.
- If television or the internet is a problem for you, request before you arrive that the television and/or the internet be removed or disconnected (Reference: Sexual Sobriety and the Internet pamphlet).
- Discuss your travel plans with your sponsor. You may also want to prearrange whatever contact you will need to support your recovery.
- Make program phone calls and/or texts. They will be even more important when you are out of town than when you are at home.
- Book-end challenging events with phone calls and/or texts.
- Before leaving, set up a daily recovery plan. This might mean making agreements about prayer, meditation, literature, or other tools of SAA.
It is better to anticipate and plan for a difficult time, and find that the commitment of staying sober is manageable, than to throw ourselves headlong into a new situation without a safety net.
On occasion, some members of SAA have cut their travel plans short because the challenge of staying sober became too difficult. Returning early is not a failure but an act of courage and self-care. Ultimately, you and your sobriety are more important than whatever you might have wanted to accomplish during your trip. Sobriety is the foundation upon which our lives are built.