Dan, with 27 years since his last drink, shares his story……
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Getting sober can be confusing. 14 medical schools only offer 1 class on addiction so it is no wonder doctors do not always “get it.” Just how do we navigate sobriety? Since alcohol is legal and we are bombarded by an estimated 50 alcohol related ads a day, the path is not always clear. We often think we are cured after having some consecutive days of sobriety but achieving emotional sobriety is where the real work happens.
The main point to remember is that recovery can take different paths. What works for one may not work for another. Since this disease tells us that we do not have a disease, we have to be ever mindful of that inner voice and realize that we do not have to have all of the answers. Help is available, but you have to ask.
[9:27] Paul Introduces Dan
Dan – I have been sober for 27 years and am from New Hampshire. I am a professional skier, film producer and love most things outdoors.
[12:06] When did you realize that you had a problem?
Dan – I was always a partier. During high school, I was a daily pot smoker and weekend binge drinker. I always wanted to be around people who were drinking. I had this mental obsession with booze and drinking was a part of my life.
[15:23] Did your drinking progress faster as you continued using?
Dan – I was introduced to cocaine in the 8th grade. My tolerance progressed and drinking and driving was just normal for me.
[17:11] Were you always chasing those euphoric feelings?
Dan – I was always chasing the rush of the party. We would throw huge parties any time that we could.
[18:00] Did you have a rock bottom?
Dan – We got kicked off of a booze cruise after only 45 minutes. I told everyone I was going to stop using but instead I hid it. One of my friend’s mothers was in AA and she could tell that I was not comfortable in my own skin. I went to a meeting and first learned of the term “stinkin thinkin”
[22:35] What finally worked?
Dan – I was involved in a tragic storm accident in Russia that resulting in people losing their lives. There was a lot of fallout from this accident. Anger built up within me and soon I started drinking and using again. I reached out to my friend’s mother and she got me into an outpatient center. I also got into therapy and started going to more meetings. I traveled for my job and got sober going to meetings all over the world.
[29:18] What is your day like?
Dan – I am involved in a large sober community. My Catholic faith continues to grow stronger and helps me every day. I go to 2-4 meetings a month and like to read spiritual readings.
[31:14] What do you value most in recovery?
Dan – my relationships with God, family and friends
[32:00] What advice would you give to someone who is resistant to AA because of God?
Dan – you can attend AA without believing in God. The more you attend the meetings, a light will begin to shine. You will start to find peace and contentment within the AA program. It is a program built on faith and love.
[34:06] Rapid Fire Round
- What was your worst memory from drinking? totaling my mother’s car on Mother’s Day
- What’s your plan moving forward? living a full life and not tying myself down with negativity
- What’s your favorite resource in recovery? people
- What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? alcohol is a time bomb just waiting to go off
- You might be an alcoholic if…….every time you are in trouble, you’ve been drinking
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”