Sharing Shame, YIKES!

Sharing Shame, YIKES!

Today’s blog entry is from Dustin Wade, who has been a member of Café RE since March 2021.  Dustin has been alcohol free since January 30, 2020.  He is very active within his Café RE UP group and on our community chats.  

Towards the end my drinking progressed to the point that I started drinking as soon as I woke up.  I knew this was taking me down a dark path. 

 

This behavior started when I was newly divorced, single and could do whatever I wanted.  Why not start drinking first thing in the morning?  Fast forward, now in a relationship (with my now new bride!) I would have an hour or two to sneak some in before she woke up, and the sneaky behavior began! 

 

My drinking continued at work, filling various water bottles with wine, beer, and vodka to drink in my office.  Going out to lunch, and sitting at the bar to drink more.  I would keep the buzz going until I went home.  Then I would try and hide the fact that I had been drinking all day.  Oh, then there were days I would lie about working late and hit the bar again on the way home.    

 

My car got towed one time and I lied about having to ‘work even later’ so I could get it out of the impound lot.  With the drinking all day, that meant I did a lot drinking while driving, and never thought twice about it!  While at the same time judging others who did it too. 

 

Day after day, the shame ran deep.  

 

Shame kept me drinking for far too long, and my drinking routine caused some significant weight gain.  It embarrassed me.  I was always the skinny kid growing up, so I felt like everyone was judging me.  Growing up my family didn’t open up and talk about our struggles.  This contributed to me letting the shame of drinking build up inside.  Eventually, all the lying and drinking all day caught up with me and I had to face the music.  When my fiancé found some hidden alcohol I had to share what had been building up inside for so long.  Unable to hide behind a lie, I had to tell her how much I was drinking.  Finally talking about this big secret I’d kept for so long I felt some burden being lifted. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do! 

 

I had always known that day was going to come.  Part of me wanted it to happen this way, and part of me wanted to go out with a big rock bottom.  A few days later, I stepped into an IOP (intensive outpatient program) and shared my shame of abusing alcohol with total strangers.  Once I did it was like something reached into me and lifted this huge burden buried deep inside.  I wept.  It was so emotional hearing the words that I had a problem with alcohol come out of my mouth. 

I quickly learned how powerful sharing shame could be.

 

Sharing shame can come in many forms, and you may want to know who your audience is before sharing.  It might be with loved ones, close friends, AA meetings, your sponsor, therapists, rehab programs or publicly, like on the RE Podcast.  It might be a post in a private Café RE group or a share on a Café RE chat.

A big share for me was doing the Café RE member spotlight, where I shared my story with the group. 

 

Along the way, I was listening to other shares, and with everyone, there was something that resonated with me, and comforting to know I wasn’t alone.  For this reason, I continue to share, because you never know who may need to hear what you have to say.  What I realize now, is that I have shared shame is safe places, and I knew the audience.  I think this is important to note.

        

There is a lot out there on sharing shame.  Here is an excerpt from psyche.co website about sharing shame: ‘Sharing about our shame can help us realize that others will accept us despite self-perceived flaws. Further, sharing often provides a space where others open up and actually relate to our experiences, which decreases the sense of aloneness and can increase our trust in opening up to others.’ 

This last part of the quote really hits home, the decrease in a sense of aloneness has been huge for me, and bright spot in my recovery.  Likewise, my increased trust in opening up to others has allowed me grow and learn.  There was certainly no growth when I just bottled things up inside, with no outlet other than drinking.  

I will leave you with this quote by author Ann Voskamp, ‘Shame dies when stories are told in safe places.’

Have you shared your shame?

 

 

       

        

 

Alcohol, the real reason I lost my nursing license.

Alcohol, the real reason I lost my nursing license.

Today’s blog entry is from Paulette Vantrease, who has been a member of Café RE since July 2023.  Paulette has been alcohol free since March 22, 2023 and is active within her Café RE OG community.  

“I blamed covid for leaving nursing, but alcohol addiction forced me when I lost my license.”

I stood on a stage about to give a speech to a few hundred festival attendees, I hated speaking in front of a crowd; I still do. But the topic was about something I knew personally, and I had lived it for many months. I felt a sense of comfort and pride in what I was going to say. Writing the speech and practicing it out loud was cathartic. I hoped I could sincerely convey all the emotions I felt up to and on that day. My head was clear, my heart full, and I was sober for several weeks that day.

On September 11, 2021 I was asked by an acquaintance to speak at a festival.  Asked to speak about my experience as a nurse in the emergency department during the pandemic. The worst of covid had passed by then though fear and caution remained throughout our community and much of the country. My focus was on what I saw and lived through in the ER, dealing with non-believers (including a few of my own siblings back home), and the raw emotions felt during and still to that day whenever I thought of those difficult shifts in the hospital.

 

What I omitted in that speech was my struggle with alcohol throughout the entire span of the pandemic.

 

As ER nurses…

 

As ER nurses we deal with people every shift who are at their very worst: mildly or critically ill or injured, in psychiatric crisis, actively dying, and just about everything else you can imagine. We are hardcore adrenaline junkies who thrive on the chaos the department gives us. We willingly work in an environment no one wants to be, most certainly the patients.

The article “Alcoholism and Medical Professionals” states that 10-12% of healthcare professionals will develop a substance abuse disorder during their careers, including 1 in 5 nurses. It also states that the numbers are likely even higher due to vast underreporting. Drinking is the norm after a shift, most certainly after a particularly difficult one. Us night shift workers would often leave the hospital in the morning to go have “breakfast” at a local restaurant that served alcohol after 8:00 am. Food was often only an option.

To say alcoholism is rampant among healthcare workers, especially those in critical care areas, is an understatement. Alcohol is an easy outlet to numb the mind and body after desperately trying to save a young car crash victim only to watch him ultimately slip through your fingers. For me personally, drinking became my daily therapy session.

 

My first successful attempt at sobriety began in late May 2018.

I had been drinking daily and much to my shame and guilt even before work to feel somewhat normal. As William Porter describes in his book “Alcohol Explained,” our brains are essentially hijacked by alcohol and eventually we need to drink in order to simply function normally. It had got to the point where unless I drank my anxiety was unmanageable.  I would begin to withdraw from the effects of alcohol. And eventually withdraw I did. Hard.

As a nurse I took care of detoxing patients and knew all too well how dangerous it could be. So, on a trip out of town with a dear friend that May afternoon the symptoms began on the car ride and though I was completely in denial, I could not get to a hospital fast enough. It scared me shitless. In the ER as my blood pressure read 200s over 100s and my heart rate 180+, I admitted to the doctor that I had been on a very long bender and stopped cold turkey a few days prior. When he ordered 2 mg of Ativan, I believe the relief on my face was visible to everyone in the room, and as it entered my veins the calming effect was almost immediate.

I could not deny any longer what was happening.

The phrase “scared straight” entered my mind and stayed there for a very long time. Looking back on and remembering the physical symptoms of withdrawal kept me sober for over 20 months. In the hospital I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, had a cardiac catheterization, and put on a regimen of medications for my heart, blood pressure, and lingering withdrawal symptoms. I entered an outpatient program and went to my very first AA meeting. One would think that all of this would have kept me sober for the rest of my life. But sheer determination without any plan in place only lasts so long.

Complacency in sobriety is like a bomb waiting to go off, and mine was ticking away the hours. For months I had been planning a dream vacation to Hawaii.   I was set to go in early 2020. By then I had stopped going to AA blaming it on work constraints and subconsciously knew that I would drink there. The memory of detoxing had faded and the trip of a lifetime by myself was meant to be epic. The relapse there was epic as well. Queue explosion.

When I returned from Hawaii covid had begun to make waves as an up-and-coming new deadly virus. I had reached out to an old AA friend and somehow got back on track into sobriety. It didn’t last long. Covid hit with full force along with my drinking. I had countless attempts at sobriety throughout the pandemic however I simply could not sustain any stretches for long. It was a very dark time period for so many people including those of us trying to get and stay sober. Looking back, it is a blur of dying patients, daily chaos, uncertainty, and alcohol to numb it all.

In the summer of 2021 I was introduced to an online community called, “The Luckiest Club”.  By then I had given up on AA but knew I needed something, anything to help me get sober. The spiral down to daily drinking had its grasp on me and I was completely powerless. TLC was like a breath of fresh air for me. I had heard of different types of recovery programs such as SMART recovery, Sober Sis, Recovery Dharma, and the like. But this was unique, and I immediately fell in love with the forum. I attended the online zoom meetings, joined subgroups that interested me and began to raise my hand and speak in meetings, which I never did in AA. I was sober again and felt incredible.

During the speech I gave that September day in 2021 all the emotions and memories of covid came crashing back. A state politician was there listening to me and stopped me as I was leaving to thank me for my service. He said you could hear a pin drop while I was on the stage which at a music festival was quite the feat. Several other attendees thanked me, shook my hand, and even hugged me. In hindsight I knew I should have reached out to someone, anyone from TLC or AA or my friend who drove me to the hospital back in 2018. Instead, I ended up at the liquor store. I got obliterated at home. The old wounds were ripped open, raw, and I wanted to eliminate the pain. STAT.

The rest of 2021 and 2022 was a continuous cycle of drinking.  I was depressed.  My drinking made my depression worse.  I tried numerous times to quit and even had a few stretches of sobriety interspersed. By then I had lost my nursing job and my license due to alcohol and was floundering with what to do with my life. In spite of admitted to a psychiatric hospital a couple of times for suicidal ideation the drink had me in its grasp. If there was a rock bottom, I think I hit it more than once.

I took my last drink on March 22, 2023.  The same day, I was admitted to the psychiatric hospital.   I didn’t have a job.  I was living with my son drinking away the days, foolishly thinking I was cleverly hiding it from the world. Upon my release I rejoined TLC, attended as many meetings there as I could, and immersed myself in reading and re-reading books such as “Quit Like a Woman” by Holly Whitaker, “Alcohol Explained” by William Porter,This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace and several others. I recently began listening to podcasts and joined Recovery Elevator as well. I now listen to several a day. Paul Churchill’s interviews on the Recovery Elevator Podcast are my new daily therapy. I place more tools in my sobriety toolbox as I discover them.  

Today, October 15, 2023, I am 207 days sober, and it is the longest stretch since 2020. I have found community and fellowship in TLC and Café RE. I have reached out to other members and met them in person. We text or talk on the phone, or message each other on the forum. I have a therapist who specializes in addiction who helps to guide me along in this journey.  What the future holds or if I will remain sober, I do not know.  I am unsure if I will, or even can, return to nursing.  As cliché as it sounds, I take one day at a time. Everything feels right though, as if the universe finally put everything in place, and it feels amazing. It IS amazing.

Peace, Love, & Joy

Paulette

 

What is Sober?

What is Sober?

 

What is sober?  What is sobriety?  Can we define this? Let’s try!

 

Sober.  First off this word can be exchanged with AF, Alcohol-free, whatever. But what is sober?

 

When we say sober, at least for this blog, we are referring to alcohol.

 

(That’s the drink that put Paul behind the mic 🎙).

 

This topic, especially in the rooms of AA and 12 step programs, can be somewhat divisive.  👊🏼👊🏼  But…the truth of the matter is, it really shouldn’t be.  I think we’ll find out that arguing over what sober IS, and ISN’T, is a silly and almost harmful endeavor. 

 

In fact there are even nicknames for what type of sober you are. 🙃

Our recommendation is don’t get too attached to any idea of what sober looks like, because at the end of the day, it’s not really about the substances, behaviors or actions…

 

it’s the freedom that you have from them. 🦅

 

Do your absolute best not judge others for their definition of sober because as we’ll find out, it’s not as black and white as you think. 

 

Quick side note about judgements 👉🏼 When you judge others you judge yourself (thank you boomerang 🪃 effect), and create separation.

 

In terms of sobriety, Paul has heard some silly stories about people being told they aren’t sober because they drink kombucha, they drink NA beers, or they had beer battered fish and chips for lunch. True story.  Never-mind mind the fact a ripe banana 🍌 has the same amount of alcohol as kombucha and a hamburger bun has nearly triple that.  Are you not sober if you eat a banana or a hamburger or chicken sandwich? 

 

When Paul first quit drinking and began going to AA he thought it was no alcohol, no drugs, no substances, no pills, no prescriptions, no mind altering substances, no MDMA, no mushrooms, the list can go on and on…  

 

But, welcome to the real world, where there are approximately 50 shades of gray, and just as many shades of ‘sober’.   

 

Here are some statements Paul has heard from sober people.
  • “I’m sober, and I drink Kombucha.”
  • “I’m sober, and I drink NA Beers.”
  • “I’m sober, and I eat dishes that are prepared with some form of alcohol.”
  • “I’m sober, and I smoke cigarettes.”
  • “I’m sober, and I use chewing tobacco.”
  • “I’m sober, and I drink 1-10 cups of coffee a day.”  
  • “I’m sober, and take ADHD meds.” 
  • “I’m sober, and take antidepressants.”
  • “I’m sober, and I use cannabis.”  (This has been coined California Sober.)
  • “I’m sober, and I take benzos for my anxiety and sleep.”   
  • “I’m sober, and take opiates for chronic pain.”
  • “I’m sober, and I take sleep meds.” 
  • “I’m sober, and I pull out my eyebrows, I itch, pick and pull.”
  • “I’m sober, and I use plant medicine.”  (Ayahuasca, psilocybin, ketamine, MDMA)
  • “I’m sober, and I have to sexually relieve myself constantly.”
  • “I’m sober, and I eat a fuck ton of ice cream.”
  • “I’m sober, and I love to shop.”
  • “I’m sober and I leave this planet while doing Breathwork or Tai Chi.”

 

Paul has even heard people say, I’m sober, but…they have a couple drinks a year, month, or even in a given week.

 

As you can see, defining sobriety is a fool’s errand. We can’t do it, and we shouldn’t do it. In fact it’s dangerous to do so. If we did, we’d separate, isolate and disconnect ourselves even more.

 

We’re also ignoring the environment we have to live in. We unnecessarily beat ourselves up for not hitting our internal definition of sober. In a meeting one time Paul heard a guy say that he wasn’t sober because he was taking sleep meds. It was consuming him. We, of course, don’t exactly know what his relationship with the meds was like…if he was taking them ‘as prescribed’…but sleep is fucking important. Paul had to take AF Sleep-Eze, and Tylenol PM’s for probably 4-6 months when he first quit drinking. If you don’t get good sleep, the foundation of your sobriety is compromised.  

 

Okay, so those are some Newtonian ways to define sobriety. Those are more about staying away from something, or coming at it from a lens of sacrifice.

 

Here are some better ways. 🙌🏼
  • Sobriety is freedom.
  • Sobriety is everything.
  • Sobriety is living authentically.
  • Sobriety is not being a slave to a substance, behavior or action. 
  • Sobriety is you living your life how you want to live.
  • Sobriety is living with a connected head and heart.
  • Sobriety is being able to recognize beauty, art, and appreciate sunsets.
  • Sobriety is a different vibration.
  • Sobriety is hope.
  • Sobriety is you taking off the chains.
  • Sobriety is you…meeting you.
  • Sobriety is a manageable life.
  • Sobriety is “downgrading additions.” Sarah Hepola – Blackout 

 

If you remove alcohol and aren’t ready to say goodbye to everything else, go slow, take your time, and listen to your body. There is no right or wrong way to do this, and there is no generally accepted definition of sobriety. 

 

So then what?  Do we have to accept them all?  Well, just like it’s a good idea to accept all skin colors, it’s the same with defining sobriety. What really matters here is the person is trying to make a change.  Even if the change is a mental thought form swirling in the brain, it still is something that exists.

 

We’re going to make this simple, at Recovery Elevator, we accept all versions of sober. We accept all versions of you. 

 

***Taken from Recovery Elevator Podcast, episode 380, host Paul Churchill*** 

 

 

Staying Grounded in Recovery

Staying Grounded in Recovery

What do you do when you get a craving?  When you’re in that moment and your next move may decide whether you pick up a bottle, or not.  And how do you feel when you’re in that moment?  

 

For example…I feel anxious, I feel panicky and I feel nervous.  

 

In a recent therapy session I shared with my therapist that since my recent relapse I have been noticing I am having more frequent moments of feeling anxious and feeling cravings come up.  I don’t know if these feelings are really more frequent or if I am just paying closer attention now…but regardless, the feelings are there either way.  (Side note – Back to 72 days alcohol free as of this writing!),

 

She asked me what I do when these feelings come up?   Did I know what grounding was, did I use any grounding techniques or grounding exercises when I was “in” those moments?

 

I know what being grounded is…I was grounded a lot while growing up. 😆  And I’ve heard the term grounding used with earthing…walking around outside barefoot, which I also do a lot of.  But she was talking about something else.  

 

She gave me some grounding techniques that I had never heard of…that I could do anywhere, at any time.  I’ve used these…and I have found them helpful.  They help me turn my attention away from my anxious mind and off the craving…help me refocus on the present moment.  And help me move into the next hour sober.  I’m going to share some of them with you and maybe you will find them helpful as well.  🤟🏼

 

The 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique (or the 5 Senses Technique)

 

Our physical body is how we interface with the rest of reality, the five senses like tethers anchoring us to the moment.

 

  • Look For 5 Things You Can See: Look for the small details, the wood grain on the desk in front of you, the pattern in the ceiling.  Become aware of the glossy green of the plant in the corner. Take your time to really look and acknowledge what you see.  Maybe look for something that you may not have noticed before.
  • Become Aware Of 4 Things You Can Touch/Feel: The clothing on your body, your cotton shirt against your neck. The warmth of the sun on your skin.  The wind blowing through your hair.  The chair you are sitting on.  It may help to vocalize these…”I feel the wind blowing through my hair, I feel the warmth of the sun on my face.”
  • Acknowledge 3 Things You Can Hear: Pay special attention to the sounds your mind has tuned out.  Don’t judge, just hear. The distant traffic. The ticking of the clock.  The roosters outside. (I’m in Hawaii as I write this, there are a lot of roosters outside. 🐓)  The voices in the next room. 
  • Notice 2 Things You Can Smell: Try to notice smells in the air around you, like an air freshener or freshly mowed grass.  If at first you don’t feel like you can smell anything, simply try to sense the subtle fragrance of the air around you, or of your own skin.
  • Become Aware Of 1 Thing You Can Taste: I suggest carrying snacks for this step…because, snacks…duh.  Pop one in your mouth and focus your attention closely on the flavors.  

Repeat, repeat…as many times as needed.  🙌🏼

 

 

Another grounding technique she shared with me was like playing a game of “categories” with yourself.  

Pick a category (types of dogs, fruits and veggies, cereals, jazz musicians, animals, famous people, cars, TV shows, writers, sports, songs, cities, etc.) and name as many items in the category that you can think of.  For a variation name the items alphabetically or try to name an item in the category that begins with each letter of the alphabet.   This can also be a great game to keep kids preoccupied in the car!  

For some more grounding techniques Paul shared some of his here.

Like I said in the beginning…I had a recent relapse.  Weirdly I feel alright about that.  I have found these quick and easy grounding techniques to be very helpful for me at this stage of my journey.  I hope that they may help you too.  

If you have any that you use and would share, please drop them in the comments! 

Until next time, be well.  

Kerri Mac 🤟 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Things I Don’t Miss About Drinking

7 Things I Don’t Miss About Drinking

There was a time that I was afraid to stop drinking. I was afraid that I would fail. I was scared about removing something from my life that had been a part of my life for over 30 years. 

 

I thought drinking made me fun…so by quitting I would be boring. I would lose friends.  Which in hindsight was crazy thinking since I drank at home, alone, for the last 15 or so years.  I didn’t have friends…drinking friends or not.  Sounds like the opposite of fun to me now.  

 

In the beginning the thought that I would have to be ‘in recovery’ for the rest of my life was depressing and overwhelming.  Was I always going to have to work so hard?  Was whether or not I was drinking going to be my only real story?  I now see recovery as a gift.  

 

I am truly grateful for my recovery and being in recovery.  I can now take a step back and list off things that without my recovery I wouldn’t have.  Things I’ve gained.  Things I’ve regained.  

 

I can also step back and remind myself of the things I don’t miss about drinking.  Here’s a few of them.  

 

1️⃣  The hangovers.  The bloody hangovers.  This is probably the main thing we can all relate to and the first thing that comes to mind when someone asks you what you don’t miss about drinking.  Peeling your eyelids open, the pounding headache, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, shakes, lack of energy.  There was a time that was my everyday routine.   I would either sleep the day away, finally starting to feel human again later in the afternoon…when I would start drinking again.  Or I would have a couple shots early in the morning to help get me through the day.  My motivation and productivity was at zero.  I don’t miss the hangovers.  

2️⃣  The blackouts.   Waking up and checking my phone in fear…when I could find my phone.  Who did I talk to?  What did I say and do?  Not having a conversation the next day because I very well already had the conversation the night before and don’t remember.  Playing detective the next day.  I was a blackout drinker from day 1.  I don’t miss blacking out.  

 

3️⃣  The anxiety, the shame and regret.   3:00 am was the worst.  I would get up and drink…if I could find the bottle I hid…just so I could fall back asleep.  I never really   thought I had anxiety until I stopped drinking and it went away.  I don’t miss not sleeping properly, I have never experienced sleep like I have since I quit drinking alcohol, it really is incredible.  I don’t miss the anxiety, the shame and regret.

 

4️⃣  Apologizing…over and over…again and again.  It’s true that action speaks louder than words.  But I truly was sorry that I drank, again.  I truly was sorry that I said I wouldn’t, but I did.  I don’t miss sounding like a broken record with the apologies.  

5️⃣  Always thinking about alcohol.  I don’t miss thinking about alcohol all the time.  Have I got enough? Should I go and get some more? What if it runs out?  Is it too early in the morning to go buy more?  The mental energy spent when drinking is exhausting.  I don’t miss always thinking about alcohol.  

 

6️⃣  The harm to my health and physical appearance.  My skin looked like shat.  I had bags under my eyes.  I looked years older.  I ate junk food in excess.  I had high blood pressure.  I couldn’t sleep.  I had no energy.   When you’re actively drinking you don’t necessarily realize the toll it’s taking on your body, or you just don’t care. But when you remove alcohol, it becomes pretty obvious how it was affecting you physically.  I don’t miss harming my health and good looks.  😉

 

7️⃣  Disappointing the people I love, disappointing myself.  Not to say that after ditching the booze I never disappointed the people I love or myself again.  Because that is just not true.  I am human after all.  But I can say I stopped the groundhog days of doing it.  And once I was able to let go of the shame I was able to believe that I am not a failure because of my failures.  And I was able to start rebuilding relationships…the most important one being the one with myself.  I don’t miss repeatedly letting those I love down.   

 

There’s more I could add…but I’ll stop there.  I feel the longer I am in recovery the longer my list will get.  Some days it is easy.  Other days I have to use more of my tools.  It’s not saying no to alcohol, it’s saying yes to a better life.  And there are wonderful things on the other side…you just have to trust yourself you CAN get there.

But it really is worth it.

Until next time, be well.

Kerri Mac 🤟🏼

“Sober” VS “In Recovery”

“Sober” VS “In Recovery”

“I’m sober.”  
“I’m in recovery.”

 

Two statements that very often get interchanged.  If you think they mean the same thing, think again.  There is a distinct difference.  Being sober is very different from being in recovery.  You can be one or the other…or you can be both.  

 

Choose both.  

 

What Is Sobriety?

When you have eliminated alcohol from your life you are deemed “sober,” and although sobriety is part of recovery, sobriety alone is often a temporary and fragile state.  Think of the terms “white knuckling it” and “dry drunk”.  

White knuckling your sobriety means you are trying to manage your addiction without help. You are using your will power or trying to fix yourself with your mind. 

A “dry drunk” is someone who is sober but is struggling with the emotional and psychological issues that led them to have a problem with alcohol in the first place.

Just because you no longer live under the influence of alcohol it doesn’t mean that other unhealthy aspects of your life have changed. For example, you may still have poor or damaged relationships, behavioral health issues, mental health issues, or emotional issues that need to be addressed. 

Sobriety is considered to be the natural state of a human being at birth. A person in a state of sobriety is considered sober.

 

What Is Recovery?

There is no “standard” definition of “recovery” in the addiction community, and part of the reason why is because everyone’s recovery journey is unique. 🙌🏼

According to SAMHSA, recovery is “a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.”

A person in recovery is continually making an effort to work through the issues that caused the alcohol abuse to occur in the first place. 

In recovery is a powerful period because beyond everything else, it signifies that you know you have a problem and you are trying to fix it.  Recovery allows you to make positive changes and deeply examine your feelings, beliefs and behaviors.   Recovery does not mean you fix your issues right away. It means you recognize something is wrong, which is the first step and a critical part of getting help.  

People in recovery have the greatest chance of maintaining long-term sobriety. Better yet, they have the opportunity to live a happy and productive life that is free from addiction.

I love this list that Odette shared on the podcast, episode 316…titled the same as this blog…”Sober” VS “In Recovery”.  

When you are in Recovery, you:
  • Feel a kinship to those who are also in Recovery. (SO true!)
  • Make decisions based on how it could impact your Recovery. (“My recovery must come first so that everything I love in life does not have to come last.”)
  • Adjust friendships and relationships based on how they could affect Recovery. (BOUNDARIES!!) 
  • Never let down your guard. (I don’t got this!) 

So, can you be sober and not be in recovery?  Absolutely!  And although you can achieve a state of sobriety with simply abstaining from alcohol, with time, you will come to find that the life you want comes not just from being sober but from entering into the recovery mindset. 🧠

And you know what the cool thing is?  You don’t have to be an alcoholic to live in this mindset. 🤯 The mindset that allows you to grow and develop your self awareness, the mindset that allows you to see beyond the surface and question many things in life like relationships and boundaries. That mindset is for everyone.  

Once I got past the early days of sobriety I started thinking of my sobriety journey as my recovery journey.  I realized that it was about SO much more than just ditching the booze.  That the recovery process is one of ongoing healing and that there is no part of my life that my recovery doesn’t touch.  

I also learned that it is rarely accomplished alone.   I wanted to be around others ‘in recovery’.  Not just because they were sober and could relate to that part of my life.  But because they want to grow, want to learn, want to be better.  

Transitioning from sobriety to recovery takes both commitment and action.

If you are a grey area drinker or someone who doesn’t even know if they belong here because you are not alcoholic enough…I hope you know that recovery is for EVERYBODY

E V E R Y B O D Y.

You have your seat at this table, no matter what.

Until next time, be well.

Kerri Mac 🤟🏼

 

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