Long Business Trip Planning

Old 01-15-2020, 09:42 AM
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Long Business Trip Planning

Hi everyone. 13 days sober. I have quit drinking and relapsed several times over the past 4 or so years, looking to make 2020 the year I break that cycle!

It's very early days, but it's been going pretty well so far. But the next few weeks are going to be quite a challenge, and hoping to get some tips and advice specific to the situation I'm about to find myself in.

I am a contractor, and my current contract entails me travelling around the country (UK) - leaving home on a Sunday evening, staying in a hotel for the week, before returning home again on the Friday evening. Then off to a different location again on the Sunday.

I have been doing this particular contract since last September, there's been a break of 4 weeks over Christmas, back to it next week. Contract finishes end of March.

It's a job that manages to be not very exciting, but quite stressful at the same time! Last year, my routine was: get back to the hotel around 6pm, immediately have a couple of large whiskies, go out for dinner (with wine, of course), and then return to the hotel with a bottle of wine purchased on the way back.

Obviously need a plan moving forward!

Time here on SR is going to be an essential part of that.

But after that I'm a bit lost! I have plans to read, watch a few movies, and hopefully get caught up in a good binge-watching session (I'm quite looking forward to watching Breaking Bad again, primarily because I don't remember a lot of it!).

But I'm not sure I can do that 20-25 hours a week, for 8-9 weeks. Maybe I can, but I feel I need a Plan B, or something more concrete if that makes sense.

Boredom is a major trigger for me, so this is hardly ideal at the best of times, never mind within the first 90 days! But those bills aren't going to pay themselves unfortunately...

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Old 01-15-2020, 12:37 PM
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Movie watching is a great distraction, but hardly a recovery plan.

You could try to find local AA meetings in the evening. It will help keep focus on your resolve to get and remain sober. And it might lead to following the program and finding long term sobriety.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:33 PM
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There are some things you can do that definitely help to get by AND create a better simpler future.

Make it so you can feel safe and secure. Don't have any temptations or triggers around, which can include being cautious about what you watch on telly, what you read, what you talk about etc.
In that sanctum, learn about how to relax. Relax deeply your inner core. Allow the tension to melt away. Become aware of what triggers the tension and what that feels like.

In tandem with that learn about being kind. Be kind to your self. Treat your mind and body with kindness. Also, important, practice being kind to others. Be modest and gentle when interacting with the great mass of stressed out beings that inhabit the world around you.

Practice this regularly and you'll find there is no time for boredom.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:21 AM
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That is really tough - but I wonder if you have an ambition that all that spare time could help you with. A language class? A climbing wall? Body building/fitness? Could you go exploring - museums, art galleries etc? Not easy solo I know but you can also say you have only yourself to please. Good luck.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:32 AM
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Thanks for the replies, starting to get my head around it a bit better now and feeling a little less apprehensive. But then my AV isn't talking to me today like he was yesterday...

@Bennefond, there-in lies my challenge. Those were exactly the sort of things I thought I'd be doing, but the hotels are all budget hotels and thus situated in the middle of nowhere! But you got me thinking, and in-between a bit of time on SR, a bit of reading, some meditation/self reflection, and movie here and there, I'm going to pick up an Open University course. It is indeed a great opportunity to better oneself!
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:09 PM
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Your newly liberated brain will rise to the challenge I'm sure. I did a really tough French course about six months in. Best (and hardest) thing I ever did. Hope you find something that interests you.
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:53 PM
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I'd start with looking at your usual business trip routines - identifying the trouble spots, and working out strategies to stay sober through them

this is a good link

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Old 01-16-2020, 07:06 PM
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When I was traveling for business I found that nights alone in a hotel room were very dangerous to my staying sober.

One thing I did, once I tried AA, was to go to a local meeting (they are everywhere, and a common time is 7 p.m.) in the city I was in. I would always introduce myself as a visitor, just in town a few days for business, and the group always welcomed me almost like a family member. It was great, and Iím sure that, that saved my butt a few times in my early days of sobriety.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:10 AM
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I would also second incorporating some face-to-face recovery meetings so early in your sobriety. There are quite a few different kinds, including groups, and you could try any or all of them, vary them if you prefer, depending on the location. It can actually be an interesting part of cultural exploration as well.

The other programs such as movies, learning, art etc are good and healthy activities, but doing only those will only help keep your focus on recovery if they are new activities for you and not ones you are already used to doing also in your alcoholic lifestyle. It is also quite likely that you will find them a bit boring on their own, relative to drinking. Basically, the idea would be to occupy your free time with things you enjoy but are a break from your normal routine, so that your brain will start to associate the new sober lifestyle with new activities that are rewarding and help maintain a sober discipline. SR and other online communities are great but only if it is sufficient to keep you away from drinking while you are engaging.

And if you find this traveling lifestyle challenging and too triggering, I would even consider breaking the contract or at least stopping when it ends in a few months. I know how hard that is because, in part, I also work as a freelancer, sometimes on short-term contracts, and it is usually not appealing to break/lose a good gig. But you can always look for and find new jobs but we only have one life, and if it is destroyed by drinking, no professional excitement will recover that. So many addicts only get in that mindset after losing everything and it is so much more difficult to rebuild from scratch, especially if you make your health compromised as well.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:23 AM
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I just got back from a couple of days on the road for work myself. You are right that it's a good idea to have a plan in place for any trip. Think of it this way maybe - you will very likely have a very detailed agenda for the work that you will be doing while gone, right? Then there's no reason you can't do the same for the time that you will not be working.

Think of all the new and exiciting things that there are to do in see when you are in a new place, or even a place that you have been but don't go to often. Museums, art galleries, historical sites, shopping, local natural areas, you name it. I enjoy guitars and playing them, so one of the things I always look for before I leave is a list of local guitar and/or pawn shops to go check out. You can research just about any of the places I mentioned above on the internet and find reviews.

It doesn't need to be complicated - instead of thinking about what you USED to do when you were on a buisiness trip - thing of what you are GOING to do differently instead. And write it down like an itinerary if you have to - become your own personal tour guide!
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:49 AM
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Many thanks for the support, thoughts and suggestions! Really very much appreciated as I was at a bit of a loss until now. I had a vague idea of a plan, but "vague" is just asking for trouble.

Actually starting to look forward to it! Not kidding myself it will be a walk in the park, but yeah, talk about turning a negative (stuck in a hotel room) to a positive (opportunity opportunity opportunity)!

I've got what I'm thinking of as a "dummy run" next week - just the 2 nights away. It will be a great chance to put it all in to practice in a manageable bite sized chunk.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:12 AM
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Iíve been a project contractor for 18 years. I get it I really do.

Firstly start booking accommodation out of town, get apartments with kitchens rather than rooms in hotels. You canít order alcohol in a rented apartment as easily as a hotel and they donít have a mini bar. An apartment will give you the chance to cook a healthy meal rather than get burger and chips from the room service menu.

I could go on but wonít, just want to say been where you are and if you want sobriety you will make the changes necessary regardless of how hard they are x
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