Kellie, with 2 months year since her last drink, shares her story…
[11:00] Paul Introduces Kellie.
Kellie has been sober for 28 days. She’s 43 years old, married with two children. She’s a real estate broker that enjoys puzzles, reading, cooking, running and hiking, and her animals. She tried alcohol for the first time around 10 years old. She dabbled in different drugs in her teens. She drank through her 20’s. She had her son at 26. She cleaned up her act and became a stay at home mother. In her late 30’s she had weight loss surgery. She was in the hospital and something happened to her brother. She bought a bottle of wine. Her drinking gradually escalated after that.
[16:48] Would you say you had an issue with food prior to the surgery?
Absolutely. She ate mostly healthy food but she would eat large quantities. Her drinking began to affect her son. She tried to moderate her drinking but it didn’t last very long. She finally went to an outpatient treatment for 3 and a half weeks. She was one of the only people there voluntarily and she didn’t like most of the people there. She was focusing on the negative. They would focus on the alcoholism in her family.
[22:30] Tell us about the transfer addiction.
They are checking to see if you will switch to a different addiction rather than food. She feels that she has an addictive personality. She would run even if she was experiencing pain or other issues.
[28:00] Tell us more about the outpatient program.
Her drinking got progressively worse. She realized that she had to get it under control for her son and family. She was afraid of what her alcoholism would be like once she had an empty home. She experienced aversion therapy. She was slightly sedated, and they interview you. Because of the drugs she had to answer honestly. She did the electro shock therapy as well. They condition you to experience negative feelings from interacting with alcohol. It successfully eliminated the cravings. She was skeptical but now she thinks about it as a miracle.
[33:22] It sounds like they are trying to punish or shame the alcohol out of people. Is that right?
Even though the treatments were extreme, it was a positive environment over all. People were there because they wanted to be. The nurses and doctors were there to help you get and stay sober. They don’t focus on you being an alcoholic. They focus on you being sober.
[35:08] What’s the “why” behind your addictive behavior?
She knew why she was drinking. Substance abuse runs in her family. She and her siblings were abused mentally and verbally. The food became a coping mechanism. When it stopped working, the booze became a problem. She always knew why she drank. She attends meetings to take care of herself. The depression and anxiety is her why. Now she’s focusing on the why. The aversion therapy makes you not want to drink, but it’s still the same in that it only takes 1 drink to get back to where she was.
[40:09] What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?
Just to do the next right thing. Take care of herself. She’s focusing on what she needs in the moment. Getting up in the morning and doing the things that she knows will keep her sober. She is trying to be more aware. She sees her self-talk and is trying to keep it in check. She combats the negative thoughts with positive affirmations.
[42:38] What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?
She wants to run another marathon. She wants to be sober for her son. She is trying not to think too far ahead.
[43:16] What have you learned about yourself in sobriety?
It is possible for her to be sober. She was always worried that she would be an addict for life because she had seen it manifest in different family members. She now focuses on the important things in her life. She realizes that alcohol isn’t the most important thing in her life.
[44:04] Rapid Fire Round
- What was your worst memory from drinking? Blacking out. Her husband left to go get take-out. While he was out she passed out and her son found her on the floor.
- Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Making her a co-conspirator in her drinking. The two of them had to work together to hide her drinking from her son.
- What’s your plan moving forward?
- What’s your favorite resource in recovery?
The people in the recovery community. She met many kinds of addicts in recovery and she relies on them to help her stay sober.
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Tell other people about recovery. You have to do it in your way and do what works for you. AA wasn’t for her and she’s glad she tried Shick Shadel.
- What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Do the next right thing. Just think about right now.
- You might be an alcoholic if… “… if you go on vacation with your kid and you spend the entire time drinking instead of spending time with your child.”
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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