RE 191: Sobriety Gets Easier and Easier and Ends in Life

Play

Kelly, with 8 days since her last drink, shares her story…

“Addiction gets harder and harder and ends in death. Sobriety is hard work too. But it gets easier and easier and ends in life.” – Andy Ziegler

In this passage to sobriety, expectations do not always line up with reality.  In reality, it takes years for an addiction to take hold.  The healing process takes equally as long.  The negative thinking and behavioral patterns didn’t set in overnight, and won’t be lifted overnight.  It’s like turning a battleship.  We let go and reprogram gradually, a little bit each day, and that happens by making daily decisions that lead us down the road of self-love and health.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[07:03] Paul Introduces Kelly.

 

In Fort Myers, Florida, 32 years old, sober for 8 days.  Happily divorced.  She is a mother, has a 4-year-old daughter.  She is learning who she is as a sober woman and mother.

 

[9:06] What lead to your decision to do the interview?

She wanted to keep trying different things until she found something that worked.  She wanted to step out of her comfort zone, not feel ashamed, and not keep it from people.  She wanted to share her story.  She wanted to face her fear of vulnerability.  She’s nervous, but ok.

 

[11:32] Give us some background about your drinking.

Her issues with addiction started quite some time ago.  She started as a smoker at 15.  Her first drink at 21.  She dabbled in some other drugs.  She was in a toxic relationship and she started to drink more to cope.  She went on antidepressants.  They got married and they started to do other drugs as well.  They started doing heroin daily.  She stopped two years ago.  She got divorced and moved out.  She moved into her own place.  She started to feel lonely and began to drink more.  She switched to liquor.  She drank a lot during hurricane Irma.  She would tuck her daughter in and wouldn’t remember.  She gained about 35 pounds.  She almost got evicted from her apartment because she used some of the money for alcohol.  She found herself hiding in her bathroom doing shots one night.  She was ashamed of her behavior.  She realized that she and her daughter deserved better and she got clean for almost a month.  On the 23rd day, she thought she would reward her sobriety with a drink then found herself back in the grips of alcohol.

 

[21:50] Did you attempt to moderate?

She did.  She tried to limit her drinking to Friday happy hours.  When she tried to stop and moderate, she realized that it was difficult.  She realized she was craving alcohol.

 

[23:38] Have you explored the deeper causes of your drinking?

She had a crutch in life.  Some sort of substance has helped her get through the difficult parts of her life.  She thinks her life hasn’t even been that terrible.  She’s been relying on substances.  Her deeper issues are struggling to be a single mom, dealing with stress.  She is trying to get to the root now and to find healthy ways to deal with life.  Deep breathing helps.  She listens to audiobooks and podcasts.  Previous attempts at sobriety felt like giving something up and this time feels different.  She isn’t going to “white knuckle” it.  She realized that she doesn’t need it.

 

[28:17] How have you gotten through the tough times without alcohol?

She talks about it.  She reaches out before she reaches for the bottle.  She just has to tell someone how she’s feeling.  She’s used a 20 minute timer.  Just take a minute, be present, breathe, set a timer, listen to 5 minutes of something else.  Just stop the impulse.  Easier said than done, but trying to turn off the quick impulsive thinking that has led to trouble in the past.

 

[30:24] Walk us through a day in your recovery.

She wakes up early.  She is trying to not put too many expectations on too early.  She’d like to start meditating or doing tai chi in the living room.  She listens to a podcast on the way to work.  She does about 10 minutes of reflective meditation and keeping a journal.  She goes to weekly meetings on Wednesdays.  She will exercise on her lunch breaks.

 

[33:03] What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

She wants to get to 30 days.  She feels like one month is a good marker.  She wants to lose some weight, and be there more for her daughter.  She would like to be able to attend happy hour and be okay with not drinking.  She looks forward to waking up and getting through the day before with no crutch.

 

[35:49] What would you consider your rock bottom moment?

She’s never been arrested, and she hid it well.  The night where she hid in the bathtub and drank shot after shot.  She felt taken over.   

[36:30] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What’s the best advice you have ever received regarding sobriety?

    One day at a time.  Just worry about the now.
     

  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    The night when she could not remember putting her daughter to bed and she woke up on the couch.

  3. What are your thoughts on relapse?

    Forgive yourself.  It’s a normal part of recovery.

  4. What’s your proudest moment in sobriety?

    Making it a full week without drinking.

  5. What’s your favorite resource in sobriety?

    Cafe RE!
     

  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    Today is the best day not to drink.  Don’t wait, don’t put it off, just begin.  It’s a journey.

  7. You might be an alcoholic if

    You’re pounding shots alone in the bathroom before company comes over because you’re scared of them seeing you drink.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

This Naked Mind – A book by Annie Grace

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

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

RE 190: Is Any Amount of Alcohol Healthy?

Play

Jamie, with 93 days since her last drink, shares her story…

“No amount of alcohol is safe for your overall health.”

“Alcohol was the leading risk factor for disease and premature death in men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 worldwide in 2016, accounting for nearly one in 10 deaths, according to the study…”

A recent article released by CNN presents scientific studies that show the negative effects of alcohol consumption on one’s overall health.. delivering an opinion contrary to the largely pro-alcohol messages one typically finds in mainstream media.

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:15] Paul Introduces Jamie.

Jamie is 39, from Alberta, Canada, and has been sober for 93 days.  She works in the school system and teaches fitness.  She is single, with two boys and dogs and cats.

 

[10:51] Give is a bit of background on your drinking.

She started drinking when she was 12 years old.  She wanted to fit in with the bad kids.  Once she became old enough she drank much more.  She got married and had a child.  She lost her husband in a car accident, and her drinking increased.  During her idle time she would drink heavily.  She met someone who drank like she did.  Her social circles also drank heavily.  When she had large stretches of idle time she would drink a lot.  One particular summer was extra heavy.

 

[16:55] Did you experience a rock bottom moment?

Her social circle was large, so there was always someone to drink with if she needed a new drinking buddy.  She kept saying yes to drinks with people.  She would get wasted 3, 4, 5 days in a row.  She began to track her drinking on her calendar.  She realized she was only drinking and recovering.  She tried to join a fitness program but only lasted two weeks.  She got another two weeks free and she drank the whole time.  She tried dry January but only lasted 23 days.  She began to moderate by saying no beer.  She booked a vacation, and got blackout drunk the first night.  She drank the entire trip and cried the whole way home.  She tried the fitness program again.  She tried dry January, in which she tried to quit smoking, drinking, and begin a healthy diet at the same time.  She began bullet journaling.  She went to see Tony Robbins.  She created a program to keep herself in check, then she would binge on the weekends.  She had a horrific morning after a night of binge drinking.  She met a sober mom, and immediately didn’t want to hang out with her.  She called her and she recommended a counselor.  She went to see an addiction counselor.  She didn’t want to stop drinking.  He mentioned the word “alcoholic” and she denied it.  She went to her first meeting and she had a breakthrough.

 

[33:25] How did you quit?

She went to her first meeting, and it was full of influential AA people.  Lots of milestones, and she figured out she belonged there.  She experienced a myriad of emotions.  She knew that her life was going to change forever.

 

[34:58] What happened after that meeting?

She was embarrassed about going to the meeting.  She realized her girlfriend was an addiction counselor.  She found the strength to go.  She discovered she was battling a brain disorder and that it wasn’t her fault.  She still battled the stigma of being labeled an alcoholic.

 

[39:27] Did you have cravings?

She was ready.  She finally wanted to be good to herself.  She was done hurting other people, and herself.  She wanted to be there for her children, but she wasn’t really there for herself.  She knew that if she didn’t deal with it, she would have been dead within 5 years.

 

[42:28] What’s working for you?  How are you staying sober?

She listens to the podcast.  She is now choosing to user her free time to work on herself.  She’s established her community.  She has a big list of phone numbers for support.  She’s told all of her friends.  She can call her sponsor about anything.  She leans on her sponsor quite a bit.  She didn’t give herself a choice.  She “gave it all away”.  It’s been working wonders.

 

[45:45] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    The anxiety the morning after, or waking up in the middle of the night in a panic.  Not being comfortable in her own skin.  Setting herself back.

  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    When her friends asked her to go out and she needed to drink a case of beer.  She lied to her friends.

  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    To be kind to herself.  To remember how far she’s come.  To stay connected.  To develop her relationship with her higher power.  To work her program wholly.

  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    That it isn’t a moral defect.  It’s not her fault.  To get out of her head.  To eat the ice cream, it’s ok.

  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    Sobriety is awesome.  You’re not missing out on anything.  You’re gaining!  The sponsor, the accountability, the community has been number 1.

  7. You might be an alcoholic if…

    “…if you bring six pack when you walk your dog.  Every time he pees, you have a drink.”

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Support for today’s episode is brought to you by RXBAR. Visit Rxbar.com/elevator/ and enter the promo code elevator at checkout for 25% off your first order.

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

 

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

 

RE 189: Happiness is Right Around the Corner, and Then the Next Corner.

Play

Sarah, with 162 days since her last drink, shares her story…

“When this happens, then I’ll be okay.”

You may already be living the live you have been dreaming about.  Try not to fall into trap of “when this happens, I’ll be okay.”

“When I get another month of sobriety”, or “when I move to another town”, or “when I get the right X” are all common examples of not living in the present moment.  Stop for a moment, take stock in the good things you have around you and try your best to find the magic and happiness you seek in the moment you’re in, right now.

Once you bounce back from the effects of alcohol, you might just notice that you already have enough.

SHOW NOTES

[7:50] Paul Introduces Sarah.

Sarah has been sober for 162 days.  Sarah is from England.  She is divorced, with two kids.  She is still figuring out what she does for fun.  She loves camping, nature, the outdoors.  She has a sober boyfriend.  She recently quit her job in retail management and is now running her own little cleaning business.

[11:15] Give us a little background about your drinking.

She didn’t realize she had a problem until recently.  She grew up in a drinking family.  She feels that people who don’t drink are a bit of an outcast.  Her drinking got out of control as an expat.  She lived in a dry state in India, and drinking became something she could obsess over even more.  She had her two children and quit for those pregnancies.  Straight after they were born she returned to the wine.  It escalated slowly and she was blind to how dangerous it had become.  She was having 5 glasses of wine most evenings.  She bought into the “mommy needs wine” culture.  She looked at it as a daily reward.  There were several red flags over the past few years.

[15:50] What were the red flags that popped up?

She was suffering from bad anxiety.  At the time she didn’t realize it was from her drinking.  None of her doctors would diagnose her with anxiety, despite her asking them to.  One doctor probed into her drinking and figured out it that her drinking was the root of her anxiety.  The idea of stopping drinking was crazy to her at the time.  She received a solution to her problem but it wasn’t the solution she wanted at the time.

[18:05] Had the idea of stopping drinking ever cross your mind?

No, but it planted a seed in her brain that started to grow.  It took her two years to get the point of stopping.  Before that she was having a whole bottle of wine every single night.  She knew there was a problem but deep down she didn’t know what she could do about it.

[20:42] Was there a specific time where you knew what to do but couldn’t do it?

Many times.  She felt like she was stuck down a hole and someone had removed the ladder.  She had these feelings daily.  She was feeling physical symptoms of drinking in excess.  She knew it was inevitable that she had to stop.

[22:45] How did you break the cycle?

She just decided to quit drinking.  She had been listening to recovery podcasts for a few weeks and she just knew she had to do it.  She knew the path was only going to lead to everything she cared about getting hurt.  She became very stubborn.  She hadn’t told anyone about it and it felt empowering.  It keeps getting better and better as time goes on.

[24:17] What were you thinking when you had that moment of clarity?

She had more of a feeling.  She had a lot of self-loathing and low self-esteem.  She realized that she was worth it.  She began to talk back to the internal dialogue trying to keep her in the same place.  She’s been enjoying the community in Café RE.

[26:21] Did you experience any cravings?

Yes.  It was a roller coaster at first.  She threw herself into the internet group and began talking to people.  She began to learn and research.  She began to invest in her own self growth.  It felt good and she started to get excited for the next chapter of her life.  She found the idea of rewiring her brain and making it more able to resist alcohol quite attractive.  She began to focus on self-care.  She went to bed earlier.  She bought some nice deserts.  She watched movies with the kids.  She was gentle with herself.  It does get easier.

[29:30] Tell us about Sarah 2.0.

She wants to work in recovery.  She wants to live the life and help other people to live it as well.  She is in the early stages so she’s being careful.  She thinks she has found a new purpose.

[31:30] What does it mean to you to get out of your own head?

Calming down her mind and understanding that she is not her thoughts.  She just steps back for a minute and observes.  She’s making better decisions.  Life makes more sense.  She has a clearer understanding of what is important.  She can’t wait to learn more.  You have everything you need.  If you stop and just be in the moment everything else just falls away.  She stops her brain from spinning out to negative thoughts and stories.  She has learned to recognize the addictive voice.

[36:00] Do you feel like an outcast now that you don’t drink?

She hasn’t told everyone yet.  She just has lime and soda or non-alcoholic beer and no one has asked her about it.  No one cares.  She people that care are close to you and they know you have a problem anyway and they’re going to be relieved that you stopped drinking.

[37:40] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? 

    A fancy ball she attended with her boyfriend.  She blacked out and went missing.  They found her curled up in a ball in the corner and she has no recollection.

 

  1. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? 

    When her boss told her she could smell wine on her at 9am.. the second time.

  2. What’s your plan moving forward?Keep doing what I’m doing.  Gratitude.  To remind herself that her life is great.
  3. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? 

    One day at a time.  It’s easy to overthink.

  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? 

    Make it your priority.  Do whatever it takes to get sober.  Decide, stick to it, and be stubborn.  Make it the core of who you are.  Take care of yourself.  Have some cake. 

  6. You might be an alcoholic if.. 

    “…You examine and study everyone else’s drinking habits to get a better perspective on your own… and that includes looking in the fridges and their cupboards to see how much wine they’ve got.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Support for this podcast episode is brought to you by Zip Recruiter and right now, my listeners can try Zip Recruiter for free.

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

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

RE 188: The Only Line We Cross That We Can’t Come Back From

Play

Tamara, with 88 days since her last drink, shares her story…

“There is only one line we can cross that we can’t come back from”

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255

SHOW NOTES

[4:20] Paul Introduces Tamara, and she recaps her experience with relapse and suicidal thoughts.

Tamara had a relapse after 48 days of sobriety.  She just moved to a new apartment.  She started the day running errands, then had a conversation with her sponsor.  She was alone, felt lonely and bought vodka.  She started to drink by herself.  She felt guilty because she is aware of the support structures that are in place, but she still witnessed herself resorting to alcohol to try to soothe her emotional pain.  She thought she had exhausted all of her options.  She began to have suicidal thoughts.  She recorded a goodbye message to her family.  She cut her wrist and sent the message.  Her parents received it and tracked her down.  They got in tough with her roommate.  Her roommate and her mother stopped her bleeding.  She went to the ER, and a mental hospital.  She realized she didn’t want to die, and that she had to change something.  She found a treatment center.  She stayed there for 4 weeks.  Reliving it, she is reminded that she isn’t broken.  She realizes how powerful alcohol is and it will take you if you let it.  She didn’t know what she was living for.  In the treatment center, she worked through her life experience.  She didn’t consider herself a trauma victim, but then realized that she had just been ignoring some things from her past.  Her pride crumbled.  She was able to see just how loved she was.  She was able to see the role of God in her life.  She finally saw her love and worth.  She felt like she came out of hiding.  She doesn’t have to hide parts of herself that she struggles with.  There are people in her life that accept her exactly as she is.  She had to rebuild her self-image and identity.  She wants to come out of her shell and live her life out in the open.  She didn’t know who she was anymore.  The emotional rawness from her experience enabled her to open.  She realized that she is not the orchestrator of everything in her life and that there are parts of her life that she can not control.  She began to focus on the present moment and not worry beyond that.

[29:45] Talk to us about the letter you received from your employer right before you left.

She had been feeling a bit out of place at her job.  She took on and internalized expectations and pressure.  She was open to changing everything else but she wanted to try and apply herself at her job.  She received a package from her employer, and it turned out to be a letter of termination.  She felt hurt.  She cried but realized that she had to rebuild completely from scratch and feels like it was a gift from god.

[36:30] Tell us about what you found that can never be taken away.

She realized that no matter what is happening around her, it doesn’t have to wreck her world internally.  She’s still standing, and losing her job is now empowering.  She has an opportunity to rebuild her life in a way that is more authentic and meaningful to her.  She wants to do the next right thing.  She built her life around things that are true to her.  She realized that she’s had it the entire time.  She realized that she’s been loved the entire time.  She feels God’s love now.  She believes that we all have a purpose.  She saw something in the people around her and she felt like she didn’t have it, or couldn’t grab it.  After treatment, she feels more in touch with it.

[39:19] Am I right in saying that you had a full spiritual awakening?

Yes.  Giving herself and life over to God has been the most liberating experience.  She has faith that after the first step, the next step will present itself.

[40:53] Does one have to be religious to be spiritual?

Not at all.  It’s all about one’s own personal relationship with God.  Previously she felt that God’s love was punitive and based on how good or bad she had been. She was trying to achieve her way into earning love.  Religion is an outward expression of the internal spiritual relationship.  Religion is a practice.  She loves encouraging people, cooking for people, and sharing what she’s been through.  What’s changed is her feeling of spirituality.

[44:00] What advice would you have for someone that’s struggling?

It starts with openness.  She thought she was open, but she was frustrated.  Look at the people in your life who have something that you think you want or need.  Be open to hearing what they’re doing and what they’ve been through.  Humble yourself enough to be open to the idea that things are bigger than you.  Be open to exploring those ideas.  We’re all bonded by the desire to be loved.  Tunnel vision leads to the path of pain in addiction.  Open your mind to the fact that you may not see the whole picture.  It’s not your fault if you can’t, but at least be open to the possibility of more.

[46:44] With 88 days in sobriety, what’s next for you?

She has no idea what’s next and that’s ok.  She has some short term plans.  She will continue to embrace her spirituality and be excited about her future.

[47:25] Is there anything else you’d like to add?

She believes that people are the best thing about God’s creation.  If you are struggling, reach out to people.  Some not conversations may not take you to anywhere but listen to people.  Ask the meaningful questions and don’t fear judgement. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

RE 187: The Most Important Journey You’ll Ever Take

Play

John, with over 1 year since his last drink, shares his story…

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice –

though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –

determined to save
the only life you could save.

By Mary Oliver

SHOW NOTES

[8:45] Paul Introduces Randy.

Paul is a musician from Helena, Montana.  He’s been sober for over 1 year.  He’s 41 years old.   He’s married with two sons.  For fun, he likes to turn his obsessive side toward healthy activities.  He’s exploring moderation.  He stopped drinking after a horrible hangover.  He tried to have a beer after some after about 6 months of sobriety.  He realized that everything kicked back in.  He got sober with willpower but realized that he can’t stay sober with willpower.

[17:09] At what point did you realize that you had a problem with drinking?

He has alcoholism in his family.  When he started to perform in bands at 19, he refused to drink.  When he moved to Montana, he discovered craft beer and the surrounding culture encouraged him to drink.  In 2011 he quit drinking for 14 months.  He considers himself an extrovert and gets charged up by talking to people.  He realized that his drinking was an extension of his lack of emotional intelligence.  He got tired of playing “hide the bottle”.  He began to go to bed drunk every night.  Hid digestion was a mess.

[25:13] What did you find was at the root of your decision to quit?

His body hurt.  He was sick and tired of sick and tired.  Telling people that he was sober was strange because he had histories with his bandmates.  He changed his internal dialogue to harness his stubbornness, so he could use it to stay sober.

[28:07] Tell us more about the moment where you felt the weight drop off your shoulders.

He felt like he was coming to terms with the loneliness in his own heart.  He began to explore the religious side of his life.  He addressed his conflicted religious beliefs, and once he felt better about it he found the strength to quit drinking.  He thinks addicts share the bond of the unquenchable thirst.  We’re always trying to overdo it.

[33:00] Tell us more about not wanting to drink but wanting to be drunk.

As soon as the alcohol hits the brain, it kickstarts a physiological craving that can be shut off only by the removal of alcohol from the system.  He realized that a lot of the bad behavior in his life was dictated by his addiction.  He wants to meet the emotional needs of others.  He wants people to know that they’re not alone.  He believes there is freedom in commitment, but it has to be all in.

[39:06] How do you plan on addressing the excess?

He is in the process of addiction whack-a-mole.  He switched to Adderall.  To counter it, he’s now taking cannabis.  He is dealing with the shame of wanting a buzz.  Alcohol works until it doesn’t.  He quit Adderall.  He keeps looking for the next magic pill.

[45:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? 

    Arguing with his wife in the car.  They weren’t married yet and she asked him about his drinking.  He made his wife cry and felt terrible.

  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?The recovery elevator podcast.  Also, his sober friends.  “Connection is the opposite of addiction.”
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? 

    Use the obsessive part of addiction as a superpower.  Apply your obsession to something positive.

  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? 

    Ask for help.  If it needs to be private, that’s ok.  Ask people to help you stay sober.  Don’t be afraid.

  7. You might be an alcoholic if… 

    “…you play hide the bottle.  If you’re drinking privately, it isn’t normal.  Lots of people do it, but you can be free from that if you choose to be.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

RE 186: Alcohol Gives us the Wings to Fly, Then Takes Away the Sky

Play

Angie, with 146 days since her last drink, shares her story…

“Alcohol gave me the wings to fly, then took away the sky”

SHOW NOTES

[5:30] Paul Introduces Angie.

Angie is 36 years old, lives in Atlanta, GA. She has been sober for 146 days and is the proud owner of 2 dogs. She loves live music, the theater and the movies. She enjoys cooking. She now enjoys her own company.

[7:06] Give us some background about your drinking habits.

She never drank in high school or college. She started when she was in her early 20’s. Drinking gave her confidence. After a divorce in 2012, she attempted suicide and her drinking also ramped up. She was having between 6-10 drinks a night. She felt like she was barely surviving. Her move to Atlanta did not cure her drinking, but it helped her to realize she had a problem.

[10:25] Did you ever have a rock bottom moment?

She was sick and tired of being sick and tired. She never really wanted to stop, but she had a rock bottom moment when she drank before work. She was blacked out drunk and spoke with two of her bosses. She realized that she didn’t have it under control. She would attempt sobriety and then crash into relapse. She associated alcohol with love. She wrote a goodbye letter to alcohol.

[16:05] What did it feel like to formally say goodbye to alcohol?

She felt empowered. She spent a lot of time wishing things in her life would be different. She realized that she had all the tools she needed within her. Her life got a lot easier. She changed her relationship with her internal dialogue.

[18:15] How did you quit?

She wanted to change but wasn’t really searching for community. She struggled with sobriety on her own. She relapsed and thought it was the end of the world. She finally realized that she can’t do it alone she began to connect with people. She went to AA. She went to Smart Recovery. She organized a sober meetup. Letting people in to help her has been her 146 days.

[21:16] Talk to us about why you were unable to attend the Dallas meetup.

She relapsed right before and felt like she couldn’t go. She felt like she wasn’t worth it. She kept drinking for two more months.

[23:02] Talk to us about your relationship to self-loathing.

She has often struggled with self-loathing. She has always felt like she wasn’t good enough. She experienced a lot of self-hatred after relapse. She realized she wasn’t going to change or grow. She realized drinking was a symptom. She drank because she hated herself. She realized that she had to love herself in that moment. She had a new story to write which looked nothing like her past. She has started to meditate. She decided she needed to go to therapy and talk it out with people. She wanted the outside voices.

[27:31] Walk us through a day in your recovery. What tools are you using?

She meditates first thing in the morning. She focuses on taking care of her dogs. She journals and tries to take it one day at a time. She breaks it down further to one thing at a time. Her life feels a lot slower and more peaceful.

[30:10] What’s your proudest moment in sobriety?

She went to see a musical recently and didn’t drink. She turned down a drink after a friend pressured her. She went to the bathroom, struggled, cried, but ended up texting her other sober friend to get through it.

[31:25] What are your thoughts on relapse?

Anything we do in life, we fail at. Success is built on failure. Failure aka relapse is a part of life. The less you beat yourself up, the better you’ll be.

[32:54] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Her failed suicide attempt. She found out her husband was cheating on her and she tried to take her life.

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Going to her part time job completely drunk with no memory of the conversation.

What’s your plan moving forward?

Taking it one day at a time. Try to not isolate herself. Maintain sober relationships

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Café RE.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

I’m worth it. It’s worth it to do hard things and she’s worth it being sober.

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Just give it a shot. Give it 90 days and see how you feel. If the idea of 90 days feels overwhelming, that’s just another reason to give it a try. Don’t listen to the shitty voice in your head. Reach out to a community. People understand what you’re going through.

You might be an alcoholic if…

“You’re an avid Office fan, but you have to skip the episode with the intervention because it hits too close to home.”

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Elevator 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

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

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