Before being in alcoholism recovery, I really never imagined that I could, or would, go on vacation and be sober. But this especially applied to going on a cruise. I have been on many cruises and vacations throughout my life, and I don't think there has been a single sober one since I became a teenager.
My mom and I hate flying, so cruises were the perfect vacation. Unlimited, easily accessible alcohol also made it perfect. At least that's what I thought. From the moment we would board the ship until the cruise was over, I would be drinking. And it wasn't just me. It was everyone in my family who would be on vacation with us. Whether it was drinks at the sailing away party, bottles of wine with dinner, or drinks late into the night, alcohol was always around.
A few months ago, we made plans to go on a cruise again. I knew that drinking would be everywhere, but I didn't think it would be much of a problem. Since getting home from rehab in October and being in alcoholism recovery, I really haven't had many alcohol cravings. However, I also hadn’t spent a full 7 days surrounded by alcohol at all hours of the day.
The first two days were very difficult. I looked at my brother and his friends, as well as what seemed like everyone else on the boat, and saw them drinking and having a great time. Being in alcohol addiction recovery, I was a little bored, quite honestly, and wished that I could be drinking.
There were a lot of fun things to do on the boat and in the ports, but it definitely seemed like everyone else who was drinking was having a better time than I was. It's crazy if I actually think about it. I was on a boat going to the Bahamas with my husband and my family, but I still felt like my vacation was incomplete.
Luckily, I have a ton of support from my Mom and Sam; they don't drink at all either.
I was really happy to get away and be on vacation, but it really was difficult for me to be around alcohol so much now that I am in alcoholism recovery. I had fun and would definitely love to go on a vacation again, but I don't think I'll ever be going on a cruise again. It seems like every activity is completely centered around alcohol, and that is no place for a newly recovering alcoholic to be.
With the support of my family and the help of my higher power, I returned home sober. I will have 7 months clean and sober on March 12th, 2011. I am so grateful for that and so happy with my life.
I know just one drink would have messed everything up. I experienced a relapse from alcohol recovery about 7 months ago, and I can tell you without hesitation that I almost lost everything I care about, including my life.
I am thankful that today, and while on vacation, my desire to stay clean and sober is stronger than my delusional fleeting desire to drink or use drugs.