Sunday, July 30, 2017

Recovery Takes a Vacation

Well, of course recovery never really takes a vacation but recovering people do.

Going to meetings while traveling is one of the smartest things we can do. It’s not just that we stay sober or abstinent longer and better, but vacations get better the longer we are in recovery.

One advantage of vacation recovery is that we learn to stress less about the “stuff” of travel. One of the best pieces of vacation advice I ever received from a sponsor is that “The trip begins when you are packing.” I used to be so miserable all through the process of getting to the place where I was going to be having my vacation that the car ride and the airport and the hotel check-in were miserable--for me and everyone around me. I wanted to get to the vacation place because I thought that that’s when my adventure would begin.

But that’s not true. Listen to the stories people tell about their favorite trips…it always includes the taxi and the airport and the jitney and …

So, I began to shift my attitude to say to myself, “This too is part of the vacation adventure”, then it became true and I began to have more fun.  I was then able to look for the good in the delayed flight, and the funny staff, and the weird taxi driver and the odd meal.

But the other reason that vacations get better as your recovery gets longer is that those of us in 12 step programs have an amazing resource that other travelers don’t have: We have helpful contacts in every city and town in the world.

One of the best kept secrets is that people in twelve-step programs have instant travel assistance and access to great tourist advice any where we go.

Over the years I have been to meetings all over the United States and in France, Germany, Poland, Italy, England, The Czech Republic and Bermuda. I've gotten directions, restaurant advice, suggestions on local sites, invites to performances, guidance on public transportation, sometimes rides and always smiles, encouragement and patience with the language barrier.

There is something so fun and smart about asking a new twelve-step group for suggestions about where to eat, what to do, the best way to drive to the next city etc. I’ve been tipped off to bargain shopping, fabulous inexpensive restaurants, and the places to avoid. We don’t need a guidebook to tell us where the locals eat or shop—we have local “family” that we can ask. This is where AA and AAA meet up and it is such a bonus. 

When you travel with recovery you learn that twelve-step principles prevail regardless of location, politics or language.

***
Read more about long-term recovery in "Out of the Woods" published by Central Recovery Press

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Taking Recovery to Work--A Retreat for Women at The Wilson House

I'm getting ready for the November 2017 women's retreat at The Wilson House in Dorset, Vermont.
I hope you'll join me and a fabulous group of women who are serious--and seriously fun--about their recovery.

This year the retreat will be from Friday night November 10th through Noon on Sunday November 12th. The theme of the retreat is "Taking Recovery to Work" and that means we'll examine many manifestations of work: from being a "worker among workers," finding a sober career, discerning your calling, and to how to have a productive, healthy and happy retirement--and all while working the steps.

We say that "we practice recovery in all of our affairs" and that also means the parts of our life where we use our creativity and deepest selves. You may be starting a career, or discerning whether to make a change, or planning what your retirement will be like, or you may be years into retirement and you want to apply principles of recovery in a new way. How do you work your program and stay happy, joyous and free across all these stages of recovery?

This is your retreat, and you'll share it with women from across the united States who come to the birthplace of Bill Wilson for inspiration, new ideas and an invigorating investment in their recovery lives.

The retreat includes two workshop seminars each day, optional sessions on recovery yoga, writing, journaling and spiritual direction. We share meals each day--and we laugh a lot! And there is time to walk, nap, visit the nearby sites of AA history and make new friends as you rock and talk on the historic Wilson House porches.

The retreat fee is $125 per person--includes meals and all workshop supplies. Housing accommodations are separate.

To register: First, call The Wilson House to reserve your room--at the House
or nearby motels and inns. Then, email me to secure your retreat/workshop spot.

Each year, women come alone or with friends. It's a great time out for sponsor--sponsee time as well.

I look forward to seeing you November 10 to 12 at The Wilson House in East Dorset, Vermont.

Diane Cameron
DianeOCameron@gmail.com