Alcoholism and Recovery: Vacationing

Can alcoholism and recovery mix with a vacation? Are there AA meetings on-board a cruise ship or in other vacation spots?

When I got clean and sober and began alcoholism recovery, I truly believed that I would never be able to go on vacation again, or at least that I would never enjoy it. All of my past vacation, and especially cruise, experiences have been fully centered around drinking alcohol. 

However, your question comes at an interesting time. I just returned home from a cruise a couple of weeks ago, and I was able to maintain my sobriety and even have a good time!

I will be perfectly honest – it was difficult. It seemed like everyone around me was drinking alcohol and I was the only one in alcohol addiction recovery who couldn’t drink.

Simply being on the cruise ship made me think of and crave alcohol because that’s all I knew from the past. Everything I was doing on the ship, I had once done drunk on previous vacations. That being said, I knew I didn’t want to drink and that it wouldn’t truly be more fun if I did drink.

I can convince myself of anything – and yes, I sometimes convinced myself that I might be having more fun with alcohol. But I know that I cannot drink successfully or safely. When I drink, my life becomes unmanageable and I become miserable. I end up destroying myself and everyone and everything around me.

To try to help with the cravings, I did attend a few AA meetings that were on board the ship. They were very disorganized, and not many people showed up, but it was definitely better than not going to a meeting at all. Being around others in alcohol recovery made it easier and made me remember that there is an better way to live.

All cruises and cruise ships will be different as far as AA meetings go, but almost all of them do have AA meetings. Obviously, each cruise has different people on board, so it’s impossible to say if the meetings will be large or organized. However as I said before, when you're in alcoholism and recovery, any meeting is better than no meeting.

There are also meetings all around the world and in other vacation spots. All you would need to do is look them up online to check times and places. There are 12 step meetings in other countries and often, there will be English speaking meetings in non-English speaking countries.

No matter where you go, whether it’s on a cruise in the middle of the ocean or all the way across the world, you will be able to find an AA meeting or another type of 12 step meeting. Just be open minded – these meetings may not be what you are used to, but I personally believe that a meeting is a meeting. It doesn’t matter who is there, how big the meeting is, or what kind of meeting it is … being around others who are experiencing alcoholism and recovery is really helpful when you're trying to get another day clean and sober. 

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