When you’re sitting in your airplane seat, and you’ve got your seatbelt fastened, it’s easy to feel that craving for an in-flight drink. And it could be so easy to say “Yes” when the flight attendant asks, “Would you like anything to drink?” Why not? Especially if you’re travelling alone? Why not just have one? The excitement of the travel, the ease of saying yes, and the fun that comes with having a drink while you fly can all make it so tempting. However, it’s important to remember that sobriety is a promise to yourself. Although it might be easy to say yes to alcohol while you travel, you’d be breaking a great promise to yourself.
Now, you might think to yourself, “Well, why does it matter? So what if I break this promise to myself. I’ll just have this one drink and I won’t have any more the rest of my travels.” If you know that voice, then you’re already aware that one drink can turn into another and then another and then another. And you know that the craving only gets bigger until you’re drunk and practically passed out on the person sitting next to you. If you’re not yet familiar with the self-talk, “Oh, I’ll just have this one,” you might soon uncover that that’s an easy way for a part of yourself to get out of the burden of sobriety.
In order to protect yourself from the fun of traveling and the temptations that it can bring up in you, do some pre-flight planning. First, decide and commit to yourself that you’re not going to drink period. You got sober for a reason and you need to stay that way – for your marriage, your kids, your career…for yourself.
Second, when the flight attendant asks for what you want to drink, have a pre-planned answer. Know what you’re going to say, whether that’s orange juice, coffee, or water. Make a decision ahead of time.
Third, if for some reason you get into a conversation with the person sitting next to you, have a prepared answer if he or she asks to buy you a drink. You might choose to be honest and say that you’re in recovery. Or you might simply say that you don’t drink and would prefer something non-alcoholic.
Lastly, when you’re walking through the airport and you’re passing the bars in the terminal, decide ahead of time that you’re going to look for the Starbucks (or another coffee joint) to have your break before you board. Or you might decide to go directly to the gate without making any stops between the security screening area and your gate.
If you’re a recovering addict, traveling can be challenging. Thanksgiving is one of the most heavily traveled holidays of the year. And if you’re one of the many travelers, have a prepared plan for staying sober to and from your destination.
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