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Old 07-05-2011, 06:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I need a Plan for our Camping Trip


Here I am, having (finally) decided to quit drinking. Day 2, doing "OK" but I am very worried about something. In two weeks our family is taking our annual vacation camping trip. I love camping, we all do but from the time I was about 18 years old, I don't think I have EVER been on a camping trip where there was not alcohol. And for us, camping kind of has meant no holds barred, have a beer when you wake up kind of drinking! I really want to get through this trip without drinking but I am already talking to myself about, "well, maybe I can drink on the trip and start again when we get back"

My husband is a big drinker as well. Though I don't expect him to stop because I am, and he is supportive of my decision, should I ask him to make this trip completely alcohol free? or do I need to suck it up myself and realize that he may not stop drinking and if that's the truth I may be faced with this temptation quite a lot?

Anyone else dealing with anything similar? What did/are you doing about it?
Any plans, suggestions, advice are welcome!
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My honest advice would be 'don't go'.

I couldn't have done that. Yes, you will be faced with lots of temptations as you recover, but you can also avoid some of the big ones, if you choose.

If you do go, you can ask your husband if he would make the trip alcohol free. If he does, that would be good.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I too loved and still do love camping. Before I got sober I spent my camping trips like you described; drinking from early am to late into the nights. Packing alcohol was as important as packing a tent to sleep in. I had no idea how to camp without it.

At 3 months sober I went on an AA campout. It was strange to be camping and not drink. Fortunately I was surrounded by sober people who kept me quite busy so I did not have too much time to dwell on it. I do have to say it was a very positive experience for me. Over the years I have continued to camp, sober of course. It did take a while to find other things to fill my time with than drinking. Things I learned to do include; reading, listening to the peace and quiet, bird watching, kayaking, canoeing, crabbing, fishing, hiking, photography, etc.... I know it sounds hard right now but once I learned to replace my drinking time with more constructive things I learned that I actually enjoyed the experience of camping much more. The bonus is I can remember what I did on the trip.

I am fortunate though not to have camped in sobriety with anyone who drinks alcoholically. I do have friends we camp with who will share a bottle of wine but nothing more than that. So I really don't have any suggestions on how to deal with that. Hopefully someone will be along soon who can share their experience with that.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That is a pretty tough situation to put yourself in that early in the game. I would be completely honest with your husband and see if you can make it a no alcohol trip.
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yea, I do a lot of camping, fishing, outdoor stuff... Drinking was always a part of it. I enjoy all of my outdoor activities.... A lot.... It's at the center of my universe... Skiing in the winter, whitewater and hiking in the summer... All that....



Early on, I had to avoid that stuff... By about 6-9 months I was good to go... And now it really is not something that enters my mind... Unless I am hungry, really thirsty and someone pops open a cold one... So I eat something, root around in the cooler for a nice frosty Sprite Zero... Whatever... And it passes very quickly...

Now... Some thoughts ....

I have been camping when the primary activity was hanging around all day and drinking... Grilling and drinking... Drinking and drinking... LOL ... Even when I was active, I didn't like that so much... I want to DO something....

Hiking is a favorite... Set up camp... Make a nice meal, get up with the sun, and go climb a mountain, or find some waterfalls... Day long hikes.... Or canoe, or fish... Camping is just a way to be close to where the activity will be... It's a pleasant part of it, but only secondary... Know what I mean...

Backpacking!!! That can be even better... My sober brother (AA) and my normal friend and I camped on the side of a mountain in NY last fall and watched the sun come up over the Hudson Valley.... An experience I'll never forget.... BTW... I am almost 54 and my friend is 60... So, we are never too old.... I ran into a 72 yo woman hiking the appalachian trail in Maine carrying a 42 lb pack!!!!

Well anyway... My point is... I believe that you will be able to do great and very cool things outdoors as a sober recovered person... Think about things to do, rather than hanging out around the cooler ... Birdwatching, fishing, wildflowers, stargazing.... The options are limited only by your imagination!!!!
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks, guys for the replies so far. Anna, I have considered not going. But my kids are young and they are the ones most looking forward to it. I am sure they would appreciate a sober mom more than missing one trip, but I guess I want to find a way to do both and I don't want ruin their plans because of my problem.

Camping has changed a lot since I had kids, or my perception of myself has, and I honestly don't want them to grow up remembering that mom and dad always drank sooooo many beers when we were camping!

Nandm - I am really hoping to find out that I will love camping even more sober! All the things I remember from being a little kid who loved just being outside! Especially enjoying the peace and quiet, the fires at night, and not having to get up 6 times a night to pee because I drank all night. sigh.

I guess I am afraid my hubby will say no, I can still drink if you can't, it's my holiday too. And if he agrees but then he's miserable the whole time? Well, maybe that would show him something, too.
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh.... Nandm and I posted at the same time... He is right on the money and I cannot tell you how much I believe that what he wrote to be true....
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So, Mark75, by next summer I should be good to go, huh? I hope so. As an aside, I somehow got a kick out of your post where you mentioned your 'normal friend' I get exactly what you mean but sometimes I can convince myself that the way I (used) to drink was actually normal! how we can fool ourselves.
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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He is awesome... When I was only 4 months sober, I decided the big skiing trip with all the guys hanging out in a condo drinking and après ski and all that was not something I was ready for... So he suggested he and I go just for a weekend, stay at an inn, ski for a couple of days and he would not bring alcohol along... Wow (my wife was jealous, LOL)... He has been very supportive... And when he is drinking... 2-3 beers and bed... He actually prefers (seriously!!) ice cream... LOL
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark75 View Post
Oh.... Nandm and I posted at the same time... He is right on the money and I cannot tell you how much I believe that what he wrote to be true....
lol, thanks Mark. Only thing is I am a woman not a man...lol Easy mistake to make though with that name.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Cerberus, I agree with the suggestion that you don't go this year, but I completely understand why that's not really an option. I just returned from a camping trip with my family over the holiday weekend, and even at 45 days sober, it was pretty touch and go. First sober camping trip, ever.

There were good parts [having the energy to go hiking with the kids; not sleeping until noon; just a general feeling of really being there, in the moment] and bad parts [worst sunburn ever; tripping and falling down a hill - BOY did I feel that!], but the fact is, it's what the kids will remember. Having made the decision to stop drinking, making that decision every day is something you might find yourself needing to repeat often.

It's like a muscle you have to build up. You have nothing to lose by trying to work it.

Since camping is so physical, find things to do to keep you occupied while you're there. Exercise and physical activity are excellent for the recovering alcoholic. My husband and I divide the chores, so if he wanted to drink, he wouldn't necessarily do it around me.

I hope you have a wonderful time, and in the words of A. A. Milne, "You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Considering your kids are going I would go and keep busy. Take the kids fishing (away from the beer threat). Take them on hikes, look for nature stuff. Play in a stream -look for salamanders.
I would take davantage of heading out camping by really getting in touch with nature. It's a natural quiet setting where you can get into your own head. Bring some spiritual reading or sit on a stump and watch ants. Think about what you really want. Reflect on yourself.
It's really soon for you to be tempted so badly. Hopefully, everyone understands your situation?
My family recently had the annual family reunion. Although it wasn't possible to leave because of my new job (I live 1400 miles away) I am glad I didn't attempt to go. From the pictures I have seen everyone was holding beer. One picture, a bunch of girls were doing jello shots. I could see myself feeling 'left out' because I had to sit out of adult swim.
At 5 months sober, I just wouldn't subject myself to such an aweful temptation. Hopefully, in 2 weeks you'll feel the benefits of sobriety. It's a good thing.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I camped the same way as most. I personally would not go either. Follow the advice from the people that have some time behind them. They are our guides

Thanks to all that applies
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I spoke to my husband last night and he agreed to make the trip alcohol free. I can't tell you how much of a relief I felt about that. He's also agreed to abstain from alcohol altogether - and it was his idea, I didn't ask that he join me in trying to quit. He has about the same reasons/thoughts that I do about it at this time and I think it's the first time we've been in the same emotional place about it so I have hope.

So, hopefully we'll do well all around, and at least the temptation on the camping trip will be gone! There will be no one else with us who would be drinking. We've made plans together for fun things to do with the kids, planned a scavenger hunt and other things we can do together!

I'll let you know how it goes and thanks for all the wonderful advice and suggestions!
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Cool, that's awesome...
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Wow, that IS awesome! I'm so glad to read that.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I can only imagine how my first camping trip will be without alcohol. I am going to music festival this weekend and am very concerned with staying sober. I will have the support of my fiance, but I will still be very tempted. Let me know how your trip went
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:59 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Many music festivals will have a tent with sober people... Wharf Rats are one group, Phish has, what's their name?? Look for yellow ballons....



I'm jealous... That's not All Good is it?
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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bananarama - I totally feel for you. I was thinking about that earlier - a music festival with booze a flowin'. That would be very hard for me too I think. So tempting. I hope all goes well for you and let me know, too!

Good suggestion on the yellow balloons, Mark - I wouldn't have known that.
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