I travel a lot, more than would like to but one thing I found when I travel, wherever I go, there I am and there it is. I take me and my character defects with me, I get hungry, not angry but lonely and definitely tired. My body doesn’t often know which time zone it is supposed to be in. Walking through airports, sometimes multiple ones per day, I feel so anonymous, literally. People blindly rush to gates, escape the boredom of waiting by immersing themselves in their devices and of course, get snookered at the bar just feet away from the gate. It would be so easy, no one knows me, no one is watching–there’s no one I know to pick me up on the other side, besides, it’s 12 hours away anyway. That voice starts to goad me, challenge me, seduce me by just one drink for “old times sake.” After more than a decade of sobriety, that voice still shows up. The warm lights, mirrored backdrop behind the bar, give it warm yellow glow. Some airports have super cool bars located at the nexus of several gates. You can order everything from an ipad at your table or the bar–more anonymity. I have to laugh at myself and the disease: “Ha, what a joke, there never was, never will be, just one.”
Luckily, AA is all over the world, and I found yet another home-away-from-home group that meets on Saturday mornings just a 15-minute walk from where I was staying in Tokyo. They were taken aback when I first walked in–but as soon as we started talking all the cultural and language obstacles fell away and I became just another human being with a drinking problem trying to connect with the fellowship that has shown me the way out. These are the times, I literally thank God, for the program. I keep podcasts, other AA homies at home, a copy of the big book on my ipad, and connections to a home-away-from-home group close at hand and trudge forth on the happy destiny, wherever on this earth that takes me. Because wherever you go, alcoholism is everywhere but so is AA.