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My Biggest Temptations 

Planes, trains and margaritas

Ask any recovering alcoholic about his "triggers" and you'll get a different answer every time. But for me, it was hardest to say goodbye to margaritas. That sugary, bittersweet flavor, the burst of salt along the rim, the knowledge that what you're drinking contains tequila — right there you've got the outsized taste to tingle a heavy drinker's benumbed taste buds, along with a potent alcohol to mask whatever pain you're trying to suppress. For me, going out to bars or nightclubs isn't a problem — when I was at my worst, I was drinking Mr. Boston vodka straight from the bottle in my locked bedroom. It's places and situations where I used to drink alone — in airports, on trains, on my couch — that initially posed the greatest relapse potential for me. When I first got sober, I was so worried I'd fall off the wagon while on an airplane, the scene of many a blackout, that I once flustered a flight attendant by handing her a note as soon as I sat down asking her to ignore me if I tried to order a drink.

Wheatley is a CL staff writer and recovering alcoholic who, as of this writing, hasn't had a drink in three years, nine months, nine days and 17 hours.

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