RE 226: Americans Drank Less Alcohol in 2018

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Tim, with 2 days of sobriety, shares his story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about 2 articles that discuss alcohol use.  Links for these articles can be found following the show notes.

The first article, published on May 7, 2019 in USA Today, says that alcohol use is soaring worldwide, with the average adult now consuming about 1.7 gallons of pure alcohol per year.  Just in the past 27 years the total volume of alcohol that people consumed globally increased by 70%.  Even though on a global level alcohol consumption is increasing, if you are listening to this podcast you have made it further than 95% of people out there.  You are starting to make changes.

On the brighter side, an article published on January 17, 2018 in Bloomberg, reported that Americans drank less alcohol in 2018, for the third straight year.  Total cases of beer, wine and spirits consumed in the US dropped by .8% in 2018.  This was the third straight year that there had been a decline in consumption.  So globally people are consuming more alcohol, but in the United States consumption is declining.

There’s a new term called ‘sobor curious’, which includes a large population that doesn’t necessarily have an issue with alcohol, but are waking up and are recognizing that maybe messages that big alcohol is telling us aren’t panning out to be true in real life.

 

SHOW NOTES

[12:30] Tim, with a sobriety date of May 13, 2019, has 2 days sober.  After having this interview scheduled for about a week Tim emailed Paul to let him know that he had drank.  He felt like he might not be the ideal candidate to be on the podcast.  After reading the email, Paul let Tim know that he is exactly who he wants to have on the podcast.

[15:10] Paul introduces Tim. 

Tim is 36 years old and was born, and raised, in Boston Massachusetts.  He came from an Italian family that was in the construction industry.  In middle and high school, he developed a real passion for music.  He dedicated himself to hours and hours of voice, guitar and piano lessons, which led him into a career in ministry as a worship leader.  Tim got married at 19 and is still married to the same woman, they are about to celebrate 17 years and have 3 children.  His career in ministry is in the past and he is working as a project manager for a company that installs high end woodworking beams and bookshelves.

[16:45] Give us a little background about your drinking.   

Tim started drinking at 15 and the first night he drank he got alcohol poisoning.  He spent that first night in the shower throwing up and blacking out.  He says he was never able to drink casually.  Getting married at the age of 19, to a woman that is a couple years older than him, meant that he had someone that could buy alcohol for him.  In his early 20s he was drinking about a 6-pack a day.

At the age of 25 Tim attended his first AA meeting, just to see.  By this time, he was drinking 8-10 beers a day.  After listening to someone’s story at that meeting, he decided that he was not an alcoholic.  Tim says he went to a few more AA meetings throughout his 20s, but he continued to drink and started to mix it up with hard alcohol and found his favorite drink, Captain and Coke.

As he moved through his 30’s, Tim and his wife started to have pretty regular arguments about his drinking.  Tim says he was looking for his wife to put her foot down and give him an ultimatum, but that wasn’t happening.  He tried to moderate, and that didn’t work.  He had some periods, 3 – 6 months, when he did not drink, but once he would consume alcohol again it would take about a week and he would be right back to daily drinking.

[21:30] In regards to those times of abstinence, what was it that brought you back to drinking?

Tim would tell himself that because he just went 3, or 6, months without drinking, that he must have control over it.  The thought of having a glass of wine with his wife, while they watch the sunset, would just seem nice.  That first drink always took him back to where he left off, in a matter of weeks.

In his 30s Tim started hiding alcohol and lying about how much he was drinking.  He was always calculating how he was going to get that buzz.

[23:46] Did you have a rock bottom moment when you knew you had a problem?

Tim had joked about being a black out drinker in his 20s, but it wasn’t until his 30’s that he discovered he was really blacking out.  He would drink and come to and realize that he had driven or would come to and not know where he was or who he was with.  When he was blacking out on a regular basis, he knew he had a problem.

[25:20] What happens next? 

When Tim was 30, he had gotten a job offer from a huge church down in Atlanta.  It was like his life’s dream, so they moved down to Atlanta.  For the next 6 years Tim found himself counseling people about their drug and alcohol problems, while his drinking continued.

When Tim was 34, he went to a psychiatrist who put him on Adderall, he then was mixing alcohol and Adderall.  He became addicted to the Adderall.

[30:10] Recently you had 7 months sober and then relapsed 22 days ago, tell me about that.          

During those 7 months Tim was still taking Adderall and was smoking a THC vape pen.  Although he was not drinking during that time he was still dealing with depression and all that comes with being an addict.

25 days ago, he relapsed, drank a lot, and crashed his truck.  It was then that he went back to AA, got a sponsor, and was ready to take it seriously.

2 weeks ago, Tim’s father, who also struggled with alcoholism, but never admitted it, committed suicide.  Shortly after this Tim went to a bar, had 3 beers, left and called his sponsor.

[37:30] You are on day 2, how are you feeling?

Tim says he feels great.  He has energy in the morning and is getting up early to pray.  He has been able to be honest with his boss, which has saved him from losing his job.  He explained to his boss that he could not stay late after work because he is now going to AA, and his boss has been very supportive.

[41:00] Do you know why you drank?

Tim says alcohol helped him feel his emotions, it allowed him to cry.  He wanted to ‘feel’ and alcohol did that for him.

[43:50] What are you going to do when a craving hits?

Tim starts each morning in prayer or meditation.  He sets his day up and prepares for the cravings that he knows he will have.  He also has multiple sponsors and a network of people that he can contact when one is not available.  He listens to podcasts and also has people checking in on him.       

 [45:21] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

2 years ago, I made a big scene at a restaurant and embarrassed my wife and my friends.  I stacked a bunch of dishes and smashed them on the table, I drank way too much and had to get thrown out.

  1. When was your ah ha moment?

It was something I heard on your podcast, someone said, “life isn’t happening to you, it’s happening for you”.  That concept was so incredibly mind-blowing to me.

  1. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

To continue on knowing that if I am isolated, which is my nature, I will not succeed at this.

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Paul I’m not saying this to blow any smoke, but I listen to multiple podcasts, and for some reason yours has been my number 1.

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have received?

Stop feeling so fucking sorry for yourself.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Don’t wait.  Not one more drink, it’s always one more drink, one more day…do it right this second because life it worth it.

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if…

In the middle of the night, drunk, you are seeing fireworks in your rearview mirror only to discover you have driven the wheel off of your truck and the brake caliper and axel are scraping and shooting sparks 15 feet into the air.

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Alcohol Use is Rising Around the World

 Americans Drank Less Alcohol in 2018

 

BetterHelp 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR.

 

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! – Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 225: Why I Drank After 2.5 Years Alcohol Free

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Nick, with 101 days of sobriety, shares his story.

Paul is asking the listeners what they want to hear on the podcast.  Do you want more interviews with industry professionals, such as recovery coaches, authors, and wellness leaders?  Or do you like the podcast just the way it is with Paul interviewing sobriety badasses?  Leave a review on iTunes and let Paul know!

On today’s podcast Paul shares that he was recently interviewed on a podcast called, Self Made and Sober by the host Andrew Lassise.  Andrew asked Paul what was the difference between his first 2 ½ years of sobriety and from September 7, 2014 on.  According to Paul, that was a fantastic question with an easy answer.

The first 2 ½ years of sobriety was from January 1, 2010 through August 2012.  On 1/1/10 Paul made a declaration to go 30 days without alcohol.  When day 30 hit Paul was at a crossroads.  He had started to lose weight, feel good, his face was less puffy, life just got better.  So, he decided to go another month.  Going into month 3 the pink cloud showed up.  But during this 2 ½ years he had a mindset of lack.  A mindset that he was missing something, couldn’t do something.  And as with anything, when we approach a goal with a mindset of lack, with a mindset that we will be missing something, it is not going to last.  After 2 ½ years Paul went to his first AA meeting and walked away thinking “I got this.”.   2 days later he drank, picking up right where he had left off.  Those first 2 ½ years were based on willpower, which does not work.

On September 7, 2014 something felt different.  He knew that he had to quit drinking.  But his mindset was different.  Paul wasn’t looking at giving up alcohol as a sacrifice, but rather that space was being created, and things (alcohol) were being cleared, for better things to come.  This time he wasn’t doing it out of fear, he was doing it because there was a light at the end of the tunnel, an opportunity.  That opportunity shows up every day.  Instead of having a mindset of lack Paul now has a mindset of opportunity.

SHOW NOTES 

[18:40] Paul introduces Nick. 

Nick is 29 years old and has been sobor since January 25, 2019.  He says that that biggest lesson he has learned in recovery so far is personal acceptance.  Nick is from Saginaw, MI.  He says he is figuring out what he likes to do for fun, that right now everything is fun whereas when he was drinking nothing was fun.  He enjoys being around people, disk golf, hiking, and meditation.  He is divorced, a result of his addiction, but close to his family who live is Saginaw as well.  For work Nick is about to start a new position with an organization called Families Against Narcotics.

[22:40] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

Nick started drinking and using at the age of 14.  From the first time he drank nick knew he wasn’t like other people.  He realized he didn’t have an off switch.  He says there was no slow progression in to alcoholism, that he was an addict the first time he took a drink.  Throughout college he was binge drinking up to 5 nights a week, but that didn’t seem like a problem to Nick because that was what everyone else was doing.  In 2012 his drinking and drugging amplified.  But he was still doing well in school, still holding a job, still doing everything that looked normal on the outside.

[25:43] Sounds like there was some cognitive dissonance, tell us what that was like, how did that feel?

Nick said he felt powerless.  He felt out of control and the only way he felt better was more drinking.  There was a lot of rationalizing and minimalizing.  In July of 2014 Nick went into rehab for the first time.  In September 2014 his wife kicked him out.  He moved back home and was doing drugs and drinking every day.  On December 6, 2014 Nick overdosed.  That put him in the hospital for about 2 weeks, and they weren’t even sure he was going to make it.  He then went back to rehab and says that’s when there was a shift in his mindset.  He finally accepted that he wasn’t in control and that his life was unmanageable.  He entered into a 3-month inpatient rehab; the same one his brother was at.

[28:18] What did it feel like when you had that mind shift?

Nick said it was a huge relief, that it felt like he could let go and let God take over.

[31:15] Tell us what it was like being in rehab with your brother. 

They were both there for 3 months but they kept them apart for the first month.  After that they started to have some overlap with their programs.  Nick said he had the mind shift but that his brother did not.  On the plane ride home from rehab his brother purchased a beer.  This made Nick angry and he told his brother that.  His brother minimalized it.

[33:30] Take us from getting out of rehab in the beginning of 2015 to your sobriety date the beginning of 2019.        

Nick has been active in recovery since getting out of rehab.  He has had slip ups and relapses, never with the hard drugs, just with alcohol.  The last time he drank was January 24, 2019.

[37:10] Talk to us about some of these slip ups.         

It got to the point that drinking wasn’t fun anymore.  Every time he would drink there was a lesson he would learn.  The biggest lesson he learned from the slip ups was that alcohol was going to hold him back, just like the drugs would, and that he needed to be totally sobor to reach his fullest potential.

[40:35] Tell us more about the moment when you told your friends you were no longer drinking, and how it was after that. 

The first few weeks his friends went out of their way to make him comfortable.  What he had expected, that there would be problem or a change, was not the case at all.  His friends stopped drinking around him at first, and things got easier fairly quickly.

[42:30] Why do you think you drank and used?      

He thinks it was because he had a false narrative of who he really was.  Alcohol helped numb it and made it easier to swallow that he wasn’t living his purpose.  He also had a lot of emotional trauma growing up and he thinks that played a part.

[45:15] In the past 101 days have you experienced cravings and what tools have you used to get past them?

For Nick a craving is just a thought and it is all about changing that thought process.  The cravings have been a lot milder than they were with the drugs.  When he has a craving now, and is alone, he yells ‘STOP’, if he is with someone he thinks ‘STOP’ in his head.

[47:50] Tell us more about the Open Discussion, OD Movement, website. 

After his grandmother’s passing in 2018 Nick wanted to do something to proactively try and address addiction.  So, he created the Open Discussion Movement website, https://odmovement.com/   The OD Movement’s mission is to change the dialogue around addiction.  You can find the OD Movement podcast by searching for it on most podcast platforms.

[56:00] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

Driving drunk and wrecking my car and waking up in the psyche ward.

  1. When was your oh shit moment?

When I woke up in the ICU after my overdose in 2014.

  1. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

My plan is to continue building the OD Movement and just continue doing the next right thing.

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

The Meeting Finder app on my phone, I love that I can go to a meeting at any time.

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have received?

You’re exactly where you need to be.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

It gets better.  You have no idea how great life can be until you live a life free from the clutches of drugs and alcohol.

  1. You might be an alcoholic if…

You wake up in the hospital and say, “man I shouldn’t have done that last night.”.

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Green Chef

For a total of $75 off, that’s $25 off each of your first 3 boxes, go to www.greenchef.us/elevator75

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! – Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 224: Which Wolf Will You Feed?

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Gerald, with a sobriety date of November 16, 2015, shares his story.

Registration for the RE Asia Adventure is now open!  You can register and get more information about this event here

On a recent Café’ RE webinar, our host Odette, who is a sobriety warrior, brought a fantastic topic to the webinar.  The Cherokee parable titled Two Wolves.  It is about an old Cherokee teaching his grandson about life.  He tells the grandson that he has a fight going on inside him between two wolves.  One is evil, the other is good.

The grandson thought for a moment and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”  The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”

This same fight is going on inside all of us.  But we should refrain from labeling our wolves ‘evil’ and ‘good’, because they are both equally important.  We tend to feed our ‘evil’ wolf more, because it’s source of energy doesn’t require much action.  When this wolf gets thirsty, we feed it alcohol.  The ‘good’ wolf takes more effort and energy to feed, it craves sobriety.

Because both wolves are equally important, we cannot ignore the ‘evil’ one, we must acknowledge it and that will keep it happy.  When we ignore one, we become unbalanced.

SHOW NOTES

[13:00] Paul introduces Gerald. 

Gerald is 50 years old and lives in Boulder, CO with his family.  He was born and raised in Connecticut, where he went to a private school and private college.  Skiing and biking are Gerald’s passions.

[15:50] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

Gerald started drinking when he was in high school.  Through high school and college his drinking was only an occasional/weekend thing.  After moving to Boulder, he cut back on his drinking because he was staying active biking and training for triathlons.

At the age of 30 he decided he wanted to go to culinary school and stopped exercising and started eating, and his drinking picked up.  He gained 40 pounds.  In 2011 he decided he wanted to lose the weight, so he got back on his bike, cut back on his drinking, and in 8 months lost the 40 he had gained.

When he was 43 Gerald lost his job and the decrease in income forced him and his family to move in with his in-laws.  While he appreciated what his in-laws were doing for him and his family, he says it really started to take its toll on him and the way he felt as a man.  This is when his drinking really started to progress.

[19:11] What happened after that?

In April of 2015 he lost another job.  The pattern was starting to solidify.  This was also when he really started to get into personal development.

[20:20] Did you start to see the role that alcohol was playing in your life? 

Gerald said only looking backwards.  He didn’t see it at the time.  He thought he drank the same as all his friends, and that nobody ever pulled him aside or suggested he had a drinking problem.  He did stop drinking for 3 weeks and nobody seemed to notice, so he went back to his normal and kept on drinking.

[21:55] What happened on November 16, 2015?         

Gerald was on his way home from his job at a brewery and was invited to a going away party for someone from work.  After grabbing alcohol from work, and drinking even more from the party, he got behind the wheel, took a turn and hit the curb hard enough to employ his side airbag…right in front of a cop.  He got a DUI.

[23:00] Was this your rock bottom moment?       

Gerald says it was the moment that he knew he had to change something.  He got kicked out of his in-law’s house that night and lost his job a few days later.  He found himself starting at ground zero again.

[28:45] What was day 1 like? 

On day 1 Gerald kept an appointment with his blog coach, which he had made prior to his DUI.  He says that appointment was transformational.  It helped him begin to understand that he had a different purpose.  Instead of doing what he just wanted to do he was trying to create something of value.  Providing more value to people made the biggest difference in his life.

[30:56] Walk us through that first week, that first month.    

Connection with his family made the biggest difference, and understanding that he was moving away from something while moving towards something else.  Instead of trying to avoid drinking he started looking forward to other things like creating content and spending time with his kids.

**Gerald wrote a book titled, My Morning Practice: How to Put Down the Bottle, Escape Mediocrity, and Master Your Morning Mindset** 

[35:15] Talk to us about how changing one little habit in the morning can make a tremendous change in your life. 

Gerald starting noticing that most of the most successful people on the planet all had a morning routine.  A lot of those routines included exercise.  Gerald decided to write 10 ideas down every morning.  About a month later he heard about a bike challenge so he adding biking to his mornings.  He continued to add things to his routine.  This routine gave Gerald the time and the space to really think about what is important to him.

[40:00] Walk us through a good morning routine for listeners that are new in sobriety. 

First thing is to cut back time from what you are doing in the evening, less TV for example, so you can get to bed a little earlier and wake up a little earlier.  Then take it a bite sized piece at a time, adding only one thing at a time and being consistent with that one thing before adding more.

[47:08] What have you learned about yourself in sobriety?

He’s learned that he has a growth mindset and if there’s a skill out there that he wants to learn he can accomplish it.

[48:00] Where can we find you and your book?

You can find his book on Amazon right here.  You can find Gerald himself through his email, gerald@geraldrhodes.com , or his website,  https://www.geraldrhodes.com/ .

[48:30] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

My son’ 8th birthday, my ex-wife and I got into this huge fight, it was a mess and it was all because I was drunk.

  1. When was your ah-ha moment?

I was watching a video by Bob Proctor and the message he gave led to my big ah-ha moment.

  1. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

My morning practice, it has served me very well.

  1. Apart from your morning routine, what’s your favorite resource in recovery?

A book by Gary John Bishop called Unfu*k Yourself and listening to books on Audible.

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have received?

That I am a miracle.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Take a few minutes every day to do something that you love and to think about what’s most important to you.

  1. You might be an alcoholic if…

You take home white wine spritzers in a to go cup.

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Betterhelp 
Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. For (podcast name) listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR.

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! – Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 223: Let Authenticity Replace Positivity

Play

Alex, with 63 days of sobriety, shares his story.

On today’s podcast Paul talks about what researchers, that studied the drinking habits of people that work with the public, discovered.  They found that employees that forced themselves to smile and be happy around customers were more at risk to heavier drinking after work.  Because of this, employers may want to rethink their ‘service with a smile’ policies.

Employees that work with the public may be using a lot of self-control, so later these employees may not have enough self-control to regulate how much they drink.  Faking, or suppressing emotions, is called surface acting, which is also linked with drinking after work.  Overall it was found that employees that interacted with the public drank more after work than those who did not.

Try not to suppress your emotions.  Emotions are just that, emotions.  They are not good or bad.  It’s okay to be authentic in the work place.  The best way to be authentic is with eye contact.  Authenticity replaces positivity.

SHOW NOTES

[13:45] Paul introduces Alex. 

Alex is 34 years old.  He lives in Sandy, UT, where he was born and raised.  He is married and has a 3-year-old son.  He works in information technology and is a captain in the Army National Guard.  For fun Alex likes anything outdoors.  He enjoys skiing, camping, glamping and also plays the guitar and drums.

[16:20] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

Alex joined the military and started drinking at age 21.  He describes his drinking as like a frog in a slow boil.  Around age 30 drinking really started to affect his health.  His hangovers were getting worse.  He was having unexplained pains where his liver was located and experiencing a shortness of breath.

[20:45] What was your anxiety like?

He was worried about things a normal person wouldn’t be worried about.  In October 2017 he went to his doctor and was finally honest about his anxiety and depression…but not with his drinking. In January of 2018 he decided to do a dry January so hit the booze hard leading up to it.

[25:45] What was it like on January 1st

At day 15 Alex found the podcast and started binge listening to it.  He realized he was like the people on the podcast, that he was an alcoholic.  At day 32, after making it through ‘dry January’ he drank.  That started a 2-week bender.

[30:56] During that 2-week bender did you try to stop?        

He got a case of the ‘fuck-its’ and that 2-week bender was just everyday hammering the alcohol.  He then just realized that he wasn’t being the person he wanted to be.

[32:40] Talk to us about after you had that moment of clarity.       

The most important thing for Alex was being very honest with himself about the fact he is an alcoholic and needs to stay away from alcohol.  He made an appointment with his doctor and told him about his drinking.  His doctor referred him to therapy.

[37:37] How are you going to get day 64?

He says he needs to keep busy.  He goes to a climbing gym.  He drinks sparkling water if he feels like he needs something in his hand.

[39:42] What have you learned about yourself during this alcohol-free journey? 

He’s returning to who he wants to be.  Most importantly he’s learned how to be honest with himself.

[44:00] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

All the times I made my wife feel like shit.

  1. Do you remember a specific ‘oh-shit’ moment?

A year after my son was born, I was having suicidal thoughts.

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Definitely this podcast.

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you’ve ever received?

To think about the positives instead of the negatives.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Know that you are lying to yourself and start being honest with yourself.

  1. You might be an alcoholic if…

You count the half 16oz. flat warm 9% beer from the night before as inventory for tonight’s alcohol intake.

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Thank you to today’s sponsor Betterhelp 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. For (podcast name) listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR.

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! – Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 222: The 20/40/40 Rule

Play

Ryan, with 90 days of sobriety, shares his story.

On today’s podcast Paul talks about the 3 major players when it comes to sobriety.  The players are; the mind, the body, and the breath.  Paul likes to call this the 20/40/40 rule, because that is how we should allocate the importance to these 3 major players.

The mind (20%) should be used as a radar to scan the body, do not try and use the mind to solve addiction.  The body (40%) never lies, it is your unconscious mind.  The breath (40%) is like your fighter jet.  Once your mind has located where on your body your energetic mass has accumulated get in your fighter jet (the breath) and start building circuits in this area.

 

SHOW NOTES

[12:15] Paul introduces Ryan. 

 Ryan lives in Sacramento, Ca.  He works in sales for a large software company.  He is 35 years old and got married last year.  For fun Ryan likes anything outdoors.  He enjoys snowboarding, hiking, running, and he is currently training for a half marathon.  Ryan says he is an extrovert and gets a lot of energy hanging out and talking with people and friends.

[14:20] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

Ryan had his first drink at 14 years old.  Throughout high school he played a lot of sports and only drank on the weekends.  His drinking ramped up in college.  He joined a fraternity and was always the guy that you could count on to do crazy things.  Looking back, he can see that his drinking ramped up in college and it never stopped once he was out of college.

Even though he would go periods when drinking didn’t seem to be a problem, he would then be back to blacking out again and drinking like he was in college.

[16:30] When did you start to realize that alcohol was a problem?

Ryan says that is tricky, because even though he would wake up and not remember things from the night before his friends were doing the same thing, and they’d be making jokes about it.

But when he was 21, he woke in the hospital and they told him he had a .39 blood alcohol level (BAC).  Someone had called an ambulance.  He says that that was probably not the only time his BAC had been that high.  He felt the problem was the fact that he was blacking out, and that is what he tried to address, which is why he continued to drink for the next 10-15 years.

[18:25] In your 20s was there a specific moment that you tried to take action in regards to your drinking?

Ryan says no.  He felt he was in his 20s and he was having fun.  He was still functioning and finding success in his career.  He did try putting some rules on his drinking but says he never really wanted to stop drinking during his 20s, he just wanted to stop blacking out.

[19:30] When did you realize that to stop blacking out wasn’t an option, but that you had to address the alcohol.        

Ryan says he doesn’t really feel he ever had quitting on the table until 90 days ago.  He took breaks, but never with the intention of quitting.  Even after being diagnosed with type I diabetes at the age of 29 he didn’t think he should stop drinking, instead his thoughts were, “will I be able to drink again?”.

[23:20] What happened 90 days ago?     

More than anything Ryan says he was just sick and tired of being sick and tired.  He also says his wife played a big role in it.  After a work trip to Vegas and blacking out, losing his phone and credit card, and his wife not being able to get a hold of him he realized just how scared she was when he got home.  Scared that something really bad could have happened to him.   He knew then he had to stop drinking.

[28:15] What was the first week, the first month, after Vegas like?

He felt empowered and knew he was going to do it.  He wasn’t sure how he was going to do it, was definitely scared, but knew he was going to do it.  First and foremost, his wife said that she would quit with him.  He started reading books about alcohol/alcoholism.  He started looking at all the opportunities that giving up alcohol would bring.

[33:07] What are some of the big things you’ve learned in the last 90 days without alcohol? 

He’s learned to be more present and more mindful.

[36:20] Do you know why you drank?

He feels it had to do with his ego and a sense of identification.  Growing up he identified himself as an athlete, in college he could no longer truly do that.  College was the first time he was away from his twin brother so he was building his own identity.  He became the fun, social, crazy guy and he thinks that was his why.

[39:00] What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

Ryan doesn’t have a bucket list, or a list of things he wants to get done.  He is just taking action in the moment when he wants to do something.

[39:38] Is there anything you would have done differently while getting sober?

He would have done it sooner.

[39:46] What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve encountered in the last 90 days? 

He says it’s been the anxiety leading up to, and before, telling people about his sobriety.

[41:30] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

There’s no worst, there’s just lots of really bad memories.  From being in the drunk tank, to the hospital, to passing out in random places.

  1. Do you remember a specific ‘oh-shit’ moment?

When I went to the hospital my senior year with that .39 BAC.

  1. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

I don’t have a true plan; I think that’s part of the plan.  It’s not that I’m focused on just being sober.  I’m focused on being the best version of myself and that just happens to include sobriety.

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Honestly, this podcast and my wife.

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t let the past dictate your future.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Stop worrying about if you’re an alcoholic or not, who cares about the labels?  Ask yourself, does drinking cause you problems in any part of your life?  And if so, then it’s a problem and you can fix that problem by not drinking.

  1. You might be an alcoholic if…

You refuse to listen to someone’s story about sobriety because you don’t actually want to stop drinking alcohol, you just want all the problems from drinking alcohol to magically go away.

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