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AA Meetings: Finding One While Traveling

Back when I first found sobriety I thought I’d never truly enjoy another vacation again. I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to fly on a plane without a drink to calm my flying nerves, lay on the beach without that drink to fully relax me, or even head off on a weekend to play in a softball tournament without having a few beers with the guys. Once again, I was going to feel like the outsider.

But far be it from me to not take time off and head to a beach resort, or a softball tournament. I wanted to change my life, and I needed to know if this wasn’t going to be part of my life any more. I’ll be honest. It was difficult at first. It seemed everyone around me was drinking, and I felt they were having a good time because of that mere fact. For example, just being around a lot of my traveling softball friends who’ve I gotten to know over many years, was tough because they drink and I only really know them from the perspective of a drunk. Although a big part of me thought they wouldn’t like me if I wasn’t drunk, but a small part was afraid I wouldn’t like them as drinkers. To be honest – it was a little of both.

At that time, I was about three months sober. I knew from past experience if I drank I wouldn’t have the same fun others were having…not even close to it. Of course it would start off with laughs and fun times, but it would quickly turn dark for me. If it wasn’t my self-esteem it would be something else. My life becomes unmanageable when I drink…period.

So, before I even went on the trip, I called the AA hotline to find out if and where the meetings were. I made a commitment to go to one the first night I got in town. I raised my hand, told fellow members where I was from, that I was newly sober, and that I was there for a softball tourney. When the meeting ended, I hung around for a bit and people reached out to me, which is great. So, with a few numbers in my pocket to call if I felt like finding another meeting, or just needed to talk, I was on my way to meet up with friends that Friday night.

Just so you know, the reason I set up the meeting BEFORE going was so that I wouldn’t have to deal with looking for one at the last minute. As it is….the trip would be stressful enough.