Paul, with 28 days since his last drink, shares his story…
The article mentioned in the episode introduction: Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God
[10:57] Paul Introduces… Paul.
Paul is from St. Paul, Minnessota. He’s 67 years old, retired. He is married with 2 kids, and 2 grandchildren. He hosts an internet radio show. He enjoys cooking and films.
[13:18] Describe your drinking history.
In his 20s, he feels that he was a normal drinker. Sometimes to excess with a bad hangover, but usually a moderate amount. During his first marriage, his wife didn’t drink as much. He started to experiment with stronger mixed drinks. His second wife died of breast cancer, and he was a caretaker for her. He used drinking to deal with the pain. He married again a third time and didn’t feel compelled to drink too much. It started to creep back in. His office culture encouraged drinking after work. He gradually switched from beer to whiskey. He tried to moderate but not drinking during the day. He began concealing his drinking from his wife. He’s tried to quit a few times in the past few years. His habits got progressively worse.
[19:10] What was different about this last attempt to quit?
After a doctor’s appointment, he was shocked at his high blood pressure. He kept drinking. He started to suffer from diabetes. His doctor said it was okay to drink a little bit each day. He used that as an excuse to ramp back up. He had quit before with determination, but this time it felt different. He is exploring the painful periods of his past, and trying to find out the connection to his drinking. He thinks it has something to do with being verbally abused as a child. The alcohol has helped him relax. He thinks his anxiety is wearing off gradually.
[28:00] Describe your present relationship with anxiety.
He feels as if something bad is going to happen, irrationally. He feels an unease, an inability to relax. A few months ago, he was going to go on a trip to Ireland. He had a lot of anxiety about the trip and it worried him. He just started drinking again to manage the anxiety.
[32:10] How did you achieve 28 days this time around?
He did some research. He found an article by Roger Ebert about his struggle. He did more research and found Cafe RE. He’s learning new ways to deal with his emotions that don’t involve drinking.
[34:53] What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?
He would like to travel. He wants to learn how to ride horses. He wants to take some guitar lessons. He wants to put more work into his radio show. He plays vintage and eclectic music.
[38:32] Rapid Fire Round
- What was your worst memory from drinking?He was surprised to have blackouts. He found it unsettling and scary.
- Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? His wife mentioned something he said and he didn’t remember saying it.
- What’s your plan moving forward?
He wants to follow up with smart recovery and AA. He will continue to journal. Continue to engage with Cafe RE.
- What’s your favorite resource in recovery?
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?“Today is the best day to quit.”
- What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?Share it with someone. Make yourself accountable. He shared with his wife and his kids and it’s made a difference. Be kind to yourself. Don’t believe what other people tell you about yourself unless it’s good.
- You might be an alcoholic if…“..if you’re researching whether or not you’re and alcoholic.”
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!”