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.
[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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- What’s your favorite resource in recovery?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
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“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”