It has been such a long time since I have posted. I don’t know if that is laziness or the fact that I am out there living my soberlicious life and not obsessing over it too much. Just doing it. A lot has happened in the past few weeks. First of all, we went to Cuba. Yes, another all-inclusive. We took my in-laws, who I adore but need some assistance travelling to places that are unfamiliar. We also took our kids who are of drinking age now. It was definitely a struggle at times being the one who does not drink in such a drinking obsessed setting. I had no recovery meetings, no phone plan, and internet was not viable where we were. So my usual “action plan for vacation” was not possible. Essentially, I was absolutely cut off from all of my usual supports. I was on my own. Just me and my crazy thoughts backed up by my even crazier reactions. And no one to bounce things off of. I cannot emphasize enough how precious my group of sober friends have become to me. And to be cut off in a place far away from home, where the main focus is drinking was daunting to say the least. Sometimes I did very well (patting myself on the back) and other times even I shook my head at myself as I listened to myself reacting, reacting, reacting.
Each day at dinner in the main dining room there was a “drink of the day” – where the hell was that nice touch when I was drinking at an all-inclusive??? Never, not one time was there a “drink of the day” when I fully participating in the bar scene at various all-inclusive resorts in the past. When I would politely decline the drink of the day, the servers would act out a crying scene at their shock and dismay of my not wanting the sangria or rum punch or whatever… This went on until I finally thought, ENOUGH!!!, I am going to educate these folks on the fact that some people physically cannot drink. My plan was to tell the servers that I am in recovery and that this nightly scene makes me very uncomfortable. I would show them and there would be apologies and enlightenment on their part, perhaps a non-alcohol version of the drink of the day would be born. All roses and rainbows in my crazy-train head as I enacted how things would go. And then the moment of clarity struck. These servers are doing their job. And they are doing it very, very well. They are catering to the 99.999999% of the guests – I am the one who is somewhere she ought not to be. Rather than trying to change them, I need to never (ever, ever, ever) visit another all-inclusive resort. They are no longer set up for the type of traveller that I have *proudly* become. You know the one who wants to see and experience a different culture. The traveller who remembers every single evening of her vacation. The traveller who does not make an ass of herself at the lounge/pool/beach/show the day before and then have to face everyone at the breakfast buffet all hungover and humiliated the next morning. The traveller who does not waste a single moment of her vacation on self-inflicted illness. The servers do not need to change their actions – I need to change mine.
In many ways, it was a wonderful week. Lots of family time. And while the lack of internet posed problems for me connecting with my sober folks back home, I must admit it was AWESOME to have my kids entirely unplugged for the whole week. I came home feeling drained and in need of another vacation but I take from it the positive awareness that I am different now. I am waaaay more comfortable catering and caring for my sober life. Period. And this change is good. Next time I will go on a hiking/biking/kayaking kind of vacation where the focus is on exploring and experiencing new things. And all will be well. That is the kind of traveller I am now. When I was drinking those bloody activities got in the way of the drinking time. How very sad. So glad I am not her anymore. So glad to be home! (Ten months today – yay me!!!)