Traveling for business - how not to break anonymity?

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Traveling for business - how not to break anonymity?

Postby hgp » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:51 pm

Hi fellow trudgers,

I'm having a dilemma I hope you can help me with. I've been sober for almost 2 years and I'm about to go on a business trip. I'm not particularly worried about my ability to stay sober, but I really would like to get to a meeting or two during my five day trip, especially since I'll be in another country and would like to experience a meeting abroad.

Here's the tricky part: I'm traveling with a colleague, and I expect that we would normally be together at the times when I have found meetings. I have not broken my anonymity to anyone at work, and I'd like to keep it that way if possible. However I'd also rather not lie, or say something vague and feel like I'm hiding something.

Do you have any advice for me? How can I let my colleague know that I need to go somewhere for an hour-plus without him? Is it better to break anonymity and just be honest, or is there a way to keep my anonymity and also my integrity?

Thanks for your input!!
H
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Re: Traveling for business - how not to break anonymity?

Postby Duke » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:17 pm

I've told a number of folks over the years that my ability to be a good traveling or seminar or etc., companion, I need a certain amount of alone time to recharge my batteries. I've never gotten an objection.
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Re: Traveling for business - how not to break anonymity?

Postby SDB » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:40 pm

Hi hgp,

I was in the same position, 18 months in I was off on a business trip with a colleague for a week. In UK (not sure where most of you guys are from I assume America from the linguistic clues) alot of rooms to rent, lodging or accommodation can be found in pubs. Quain, ideilic, picturesque pubs. There we were, staying in a pub!!! With the company picking up the tab. We were invited to "enjoy" ourselves on the company too.

No one i worked with knew of my situation or that I didn't drink anymore and like you I wanted to keep it that way. So to get to a meeting and keep it under wraps. I took shorts and trainers and went for a run. I didn't lie, I ran, I ran to a meeting and ran back again.

But if you have to lie, lie, that's my opinion. It might be wrong and deciet is exactly what you are trying to escape from, old ways and all, but if telling the truth in this situation puts your sobriety at risk or leaves you venerable at work. Lie away, it's for a good cause.

Besides my colleague was impressed that I ran for 2 hours straight! Meeting was 5 minutes down the road, 10 minutes running with several cups of tea in between. It sure looked odd turning up for a meeting as a new face in town, wearing in jogging gear!
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Re: Traveling for business - how not to break anonymity?

Postby Brock » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:55 pm

I agree that a little lie for a good cause is acceptable, but in this case maybe not necessary. The trip is five days which is not long without a meeting, presuming you are on fairly good ground with your program, and as you say the main attraction is trying a foreign meeting.

If it were me and I really wanted to try a meeting or two, I might tell my colleague just in conversation that as he probably knows I no longer drink, and that when I stopped I tried AA and the fellowship was good to me, and in gratitude I like to give back when I can, etc. etc. I did this in the past and the person I was with was most understanding, in fact his respect for me seemed to grow.

Modern folks generally respect those who seek help for problems; the stigma that might have been attached to AA and other such fellowships years ago no longer exists.
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Re: Traveling for business - how not to break anonymity?

Postby PaigeB » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:06 pm

First, you can always find us here at e-aa Forums no matter what time of the day or night! e-aa also has scheduled live chat meetings and email meetings too... Most everyone knows not to poke around another's computer or phone screen!
http://www.e-aa.org/talk.php
You can also read the Big Book or ANY of our literature via the web as well
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/aa-literature

I guess I have never had to consider outting myself to others... I used to dance on the tables at work functions, but I retired (a bit early)... still, THAT is the crowd that might just mock me over going to a meeting. These days I will tell just about anybody that shows an interest. I guess I still don't much care what people think - they are going to think anyway.

I do LOVE the jogger story!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Traveling for business - how not to break anonymity?

Postby positrac » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:46 am

For me this is really easy because I am a lone wolf and when I am required to do the buddy system I do my "required" part such as pressing the fresh and meeting stuff and possibly dinner. Right after dinner I break off and go to my room and or make a meeting as this is my time. I traveled globally at one period and so I used this tactic all the time and my co worker I traveled with actually questioned my motives. I told him that I had work I needed to accomplish and that reports didn't just write themselves and I needed to get these completed. What he didn't know is I am last minute Charlie and I get them in when I get them in and that my mental charity is paramount and nothing gets in between my sobriety.


I am graceful----well polite and I excuse myself and carry on. When I was doing some transportation work we would have these conventions and so again once my on the clock work was complete I'd stuff my neck and go to my room and decompress.

Here is another spin about being on the road with others on the job: Most of them might don the suit and tie or nice outfit and after hours it turns into a party as this is kind of expected Hollywood makes movies on these topics and so just sliding out and disappearing and turning your phone off or something that would give you privacy is on you. See they won't keep me sober; although I will if I plan my escape I can prevent situations. I did do some face time one evening as I needed to play in order to get known. My mistake was to allow a guy to have the keys and not meet him at the bar. So these are all manageable and yes you might have to lie in the morning if you left and they were miffed. So what smile and say you have a terrible migraine or something like "allergies" :roll:

Since I travel by myself these days I can afford to do as I please and honestly I am tired at the end of my day and so I eat, shower, surf and I'm out until alarm goes off. Groundhog day all over again. :wink:
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Re: Traveling for business - how not to break anonymity?

Postby hgp » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:45 am

Thanks everyone for the advice! I can definitely use a few of the suggestions. I am indeed a runner, so I love the jogging idea. And also the idea of just saying I need to "recharge my batteries" - that's entirely true, whether or not I attend a meeting, and it actually didn't even occur to me that I could just speak up for my needs. This has been very helpful in many ways, and proof to me yet again how valuable it is to share problems and solutions with other alcoholics!
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Re: Traveling for business - how not to break anonymity?

Postby PaigeB » Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:01 am

I forgot a link! You can find a meeting inside US/Canada or outside at
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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