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.
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