Now that you have left the addiction recovery center and have begun to live and work in recovery, the next step is to prepare to travel. You may want to travel for fun or relaxation, or you may need to travel for work. Being prepared for travel while you are in recovery helps you stay in recovery when you are away from your normal comfort zone.
Planning Your Trips While in Recovery
As anyone who has suffered from an addiction knows, we do not always make the best decisions for ourselves when left with spur-of-the-moment choices. This is one of the many reasons why you need a substance abuse counselor. Many people realized when they were in rehab that these types of situations often lead to high-stress feelings, and the need to escape, or use their preferred substance, increased.
To avoid this situation, especially if you have only recently left drug rehabilitation, is planning. You may need to micro-manage your schedule and your activities when you start traveling again until you feel more comfortable.
– Look For Support Meetings Before You Arrive
One of the things you learned from your substance abuse counselor in rehab is that having a support system is very important to your recovery. This is why nearly all rehabilitation centers will have their clients start attending support meetings before leaving the program.
Check where there will be meetings held in your destination city. You are encouraged to attend a meeting as soon as possible when you arrive. This will put you back “in the groove” of attending meetings when you are away from home.
– Have “Check-Ins” Scheduled With Loved Ones
While you are away, check in with your support system at home. Even if it is just a quick call to say everything is fine. Keeping in contact with your support system back home will help you stay on track.
– Talk To The Hotel About Your Room
Are you staying in a hotel that has a stocked mini-bar? Avoid the temptation and ask that you are given a room without a mini-bar or that the mini-bar is emptied before your arrival. Don’t feel concerned about asking for this service; it is widespread. Many hotels are now doing away with the mini-bar altogether to make all of their clients feel more comfortable when they are in their rooms.
– Consider a Traveling Sober Companion
If you find that the thought of traveling is causing you a lot of anxiety, but you must travel for a family emergency or work, then consider having a sober companion travel with you. Sober companions are there as a support system and will be there for you throughout the enter travel period.
– If You Must Travel With A Co-Worker
Try to establish boundaries with your co-worker before you travel. It is not inconsiderate to ask them not to have alcohol or other substances in the room. It is also not inconsiderate for you to decline invitations to go to the hotel bar at the end of the day. Sobriety requires you to place yourself first, which should not make you feel bad.
You must try to find the things you will need to help you stay sober when you first start venturing out and traveling after rehab.
Every Sober Day Is A Successful Day
The most important thing to remember when you leave the rehabilitation center is that every sober day is a successful day. Getting through a day without having a relapse should give you pride. It is also something that should inspire you for the next day.
Living in recovery can be difficult at first. You are learning an entirely new way of life. You are giving up old habits and life choices for a new life and future. The simplest things may have to be approached differently for a while, including things like traveling.
But the best news is that every day that you remain substance-free is another day closer to being comfortable with your new life. Soon you will not have to micro-manage all areas of your life. Life will flow, and you will be functioning without having to worry about a relapse.
For now, planning and preparing, and relying heavily on your support system is the best way to achieve these goals. You will be able to travel without anxiety; you will be able to attend business events without worrying about social interactions. Every step in sobriety that you take now will bring you more happiness in the future.