This is a guest post from one of the guys in an SAL men’s meeting. Thanks for sharing your travel tips to help you stay sexually sober.
A couple times a year, I travel for work. This means staying in a hotel room by myself.
Before I started my recovery, this was an opportunity to indulge in my addiction.
I had plenty of free time and no accountability.
This may be a common story for other addicts.
I didn’t want every business trip to end in a relapse, so I created a plan to help me create a safe environment in my hotel room; I wanted to prepare myself for the onslaught of triggers and opportunities to fail.
This is what works for me.
These are the strict rules I follow when in hotel room by myself:
- No Computer. If I need to use the computer, go to the hotel lobby or another public area.
- No TV. If I really want to watch TV, go to the hotel lobby. When I get to my room, I unplug the TV and move the remote to a drawer away from the bed, or if one is available, lock it in the safe.
- No extra towels. This may sound weird, but for me extra towels that are replaced daily enabled me to act out. I call housekeeping and ask them to send someone to get the extra towels. I then put the do not disturb sign on the door so they don’t come and replace the towels every day.
- Use the hotel alarm clock. Set the alarm clock provided by the hotel and keep my phone away from the bed when I’m sleeping. I set a backup alarm on my phone but the distance requires me to get up to turn it off.
- Follow a routine:
- Get up at 5:30am every day
- Scripture reading
- Step Work
- Shower, get dressed
- Eat breakfast
- Daily Contact with someone from group
- Talk to my wife every night to check in.
- Go to bed as early as possible. The earlier the better.
I have also identified several vital behaviors or things I do to combat or prevent triggers.
- Focus on one day at a time.
- If I can’t sleep, write down my thoughts on a notepad. If there is something still on my mind that needs to be written in my journal, I will get dress and leave my room (see rule 1).
- If I’m still having problems with triggers or can’t sleep, I will take a walk around the hotel (this can be done inside if needed).
- When needed, reach out to wife, my sponsor, or someone else. Sometimes a simple text message is all it takes.
- Remember my default future if I act out. (Pain, frustration, madness, sadness, anger, trauma etc.)
- If possible go to a local meeting (SAL, ARP, or AA)
This works for me.
I encourage you to create your own plan, and discover what works for you.
How can this plan help you when you’re traveling?
Have you created a plan like this? If so, what’s working for you?
Thanks again for sharing your story.
* Attention: your comments will be viewed by other people in our community and potentially by the world wide web. If you'd like to remain anonymous, please only put your first name and last initial.
Your email may also pull up a picture of you depending on how you've set things up with your email provider. Unless you want to receive notifications of comments via email, you are welcome to put [email protected] Thanks for your participation in the community.