Being away from home used to be an excuse for being out on the town every night, waking up every morning with a huge hangover, wondering how much money i’d spent and who the hell i’d being speaking to. So I was a little apprehensive when asked to travel to Australia for a month for work. The trip comes with all the trappings, expenses paid, business class travel, a fine apartment in the City very close to work. My ego went overboard. Wow, just think of all the mischief I can get up to! No one will know what i’m doing, surely I can get away with a drink or two. It’s been a few years now since the last one, I must be able to drink sensibly now?
Thank God these were just thoughts. I spoke to my sponsor before travelling, and as usual got some grounded A.A. advise. ‘Just do what your doing now.’ he said, ‘prayers, meetings and recovery. Just because your overseas, doesn’t mean that those behaviours have to stop.’ Simple, but very effective advice. I have been here for 8 days, and at first, while walking the streets of an evening looking for an appealing restaurant to dine in, the bars looked very enticing. The laughter and camaraderie, all called to my lonely self. What does one do when alone in an unfamiliar city?
Exactly the same things as when I feel alone at home.
Prayers, ask God for some companionship, remember that He has a plan for me, I may not always be in tune with it, but is definitely there.
Phone someone, get out of self and speak to someone else.
Fellowship, get my arse to a meeting. Share with another alcoholic, the power of 2 together, the identification and the feeling I get of relief just by being in the same room as other people who get ‘it’. Whatever ‘it’ is.
Amazing how much better I feel after these very simple actions. Remembering to prayer everyday, to remain connected to God. Phoning / texting others and being connected to my fellow humans. Fellowship, getting to meetings. I was amazed at the small differences in the formats to the meetings here, and my keen alcoholic mind, certainly jumped straight into the differences. Just as it always does, I’m special and different, so focus on that, the meetings are different so focus on that. Wow! Bringing it back to reality, the ‘message’ is the same the world over. I heard hope, I heard recovery and heard about people’s battle to stay sober, one day at a time. I heard talk of helping other alcoholics, freely.
With all this now prevalent in my mind, I am able to realise just how lucky I am and feel truly grateful for this opportunity to experience another country. When I drank, these opportunities just passed me by, mainly because I was too drunk to see that they were there.
Today I will make the best of what I have, right now in this very moment. Living one day at a time.