In early recovery and have to go away for conferences but don’t want to put myself in such a triggering environment. Should I go to support my career or pull out to not put myself in that situation? Anyone deal with the same and how did you do it?

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Plan, plan, plan. Plan out everything from how you’ll deal with the airport/plane to conference dinners. Have an exit strategy for every situation. If you’re in AA, have your sponsor on speed dial. If not, have some type of outside support ready to go (e.g., therapist). Check in with your support multiple times a day, not just when the going gets rough.

Find meetings where you are traveling. I’ve been to meetings all over the country because of work.

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Navigating sobriety is an exercise in utilizing every tool you have at your disposal to avoid a drink/smoke/whatever. However, most of us alcoholics and/or addicts never had any of those tools to begin with!

So, as you're planning (what can be considered your Relapse Prevention Plan) pose realistic hypothetical situations and ask yourself, do I have any tools that can get me thru this without using my substance of choice? If not, seek one out!

Some fun google searches for ya: "playing the tape forward", self care, HALT, mindfulness training (specifically "grounding").

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I can’t access your particular situation, but I usually encourage people to go to these things in early recovery. The question is really, can you attend and not get loaded? If the answer is yes, then I say move forward and be prepared to leave if you get uncomfortable. I typically try to enjoy myself the best I can, dip early, and go see the city early the next morning with a good run. Put the sobriety first and if you’re in a good place see what you can add to everyone’s experience and make the best of it.

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Thank you for this. Reading through the other posts, I do not trust myself to travel and not drink. So I think, for me, taking a leave from work to focus on sobriety, repairing relationships, and therapy is the right choice for me now. I think I need a few months of constant sobriety before even attempting to make a plan.

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Leave of absence

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Have you talked to your sponsor or others in recovery that know you and your story? You should stay out of situations that may lead you to drink. However you should also have tactics and tools to help you to be able to be places where alcohol is served without drinking.

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If you’re not ready, you should not put yourself in those situations. Always have a drink in hand like a club soda with lime. I found that still having a drink helps in hand. If you feel uncomfortable or tempted, I would have someone to call to talk you down.

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Personally, I would also say put your sobriety first as well. I had multiple experiences in early recovery going away. A number of times I was staying in casinos in Vegas for work too. Even traveling elsewhere in the country, I would find a local meeting and either Uber there or take my rental. The hardest part for me was reiterating to coworkers, vendors, customers, etc… that I don’t drink. End of the day, I got clean to live my life and grow in every way possible. Part of that was growing in my career. Traveling was one of the ways in which I did that. I just kept my phone handy and practiced what I was taught.

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