Mina, with a sobriety date of May 30, 2017, shares his story.
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Paul discusses the most controversial word he has encountered in AA. The word is recovered, as in your addiction to alcohol is behind you. Although recovered is mentioned in the books of AA, after Paul said the word in an AA meeting, he noticed a shift in the energy in the room. Ty (who has been editing the podcasts for over 150 episodes straight…Thank you Ty!), found the word recovered mentioned over 20 times in The Big Book and the Twelve and Twelve.
So why is the word recovered so controversial? Is recovered even such a thing?
[10:30] Paul Introduces Mina.
Mina with a sobriety date of May 30, 2017, is 37 years old and is from Stockholm, Sweden. He is single and has no children. He is a software engineer. For fun Mina likes to read, visit museums and exhibitions, and spend time in libraries.
[12:20] Give us a little background about your drinking.
Mina had his first real drink at the age of 17, it was his first high school party and the first time he blacked out. From 17 to 25 he was drinking hard. He was drinking on his own, drinking Friday to Monday. During those years he didn’t really mix drinks, he would have a couple beers and go straight to vodka or tequila. After a couple years it was just bottles of vodka or tequila, and he was drinking alone. After a humiliating experience in 2003 he tried to regulate his drinking for the next 3 years, which did not go well.
In 2007 he decided to move back to South Africa, where his parents were living. Before leaving his friends threw him a going away party, which ended with Mina waking up in a hospital emergency room and not knowing how he got there. For the first time he realized he had a drinking problem. The next 11 years he says he was a textbook dry drunk.
On May 29, 2017 Mina had his last drink. The following day he walked into an AA meeting, was done fighting, and introduced himself as an alcoholic.
[28:22] How did it feel when you said you were an alcoholic?
The word itself wasn’t that difficult. But saying it in front of a group of people, who then clapped, gave him a sense of relief and he started crying.
[32:45] You mentioned that you had the shakes for two weeks after your last day of drinking, what is your take on that?
He says he doesn’t even remember those first two weeks. He knows he called his AA sponsor a couple times, he took a couple days off work, and that he was doing things to take care of himself.
[35:20] What kept you going during those first two miserable weeks?
He knew he was going to die if he drank again.
[36:30] What are some of the lessons you learned in the first 30 to 60 days?
In the first 30 days he had to learn how to be honest about everything. In the first 60 days he had to learn how to trust other people. Both of these were incredibly hard to do.
[39:48] Share with me how important it is to bring other people on in your recovery.
Mina started telling his closest friends during the time he started to do his amends (AA step 9). Most of his friends were in shock because he was so good a lying that they had no idea he had a drinking problem. The friendships became closer after he told them.
[41:30] Why do you think you drank?
There are several reasons. He drank to feel normal and it helped him to socialize. When he drank alone drinking was the elixir for everything that was wrong. He drank because he wanted to die.
[43:50] Is there anything you would have done differently when getting sober?
Mina says he would have listened to his sponsor regarding dating.
[46:00] Rapid Fire Round
- What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?
More spirituality, more service, and working on myself in terms of projects I never did because I was drunk.
- What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?
The practice of meditation I one. Music is another resource. The third resource is to really work on some deeper issues.
- In regards to sobriety, what is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Do you want to be right, or do you want to be at peace?
- What parting piece of guidance do you want to give to listeners?
Choose yourself today.
- You might be an alcoholic if…
You wake up in your own piss and shit after a hard night drinking.
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