Brad, with a sobriety date of August 31, 2018, shares his story.
Paul talks about the ‘now’ and ways we can ground ourselves while we find ourselves taking this thing one day at a time. At some period in our journey we will find ourselves logging our days in our tracker like it ‘ain’t no thing’. Then there are other days when we wake up and keeping the mind in check can be a constant struggle. Paul shares some of his own favorite personal techniques that he uses to ground himself.
- Acknowledge what is really happening.
- Think in terms of “we” rather than “I”
- Take your shoes off and walk barefooted outside.
- You are nature…take time to go out in your natural setting, nature.
- Slow down.
- Do not multitask
- Pay close attention to the body
- Go from saying, “I can get through this’, to saying, “I AM getting through this”.
- Go with the gut.
- Last one is I tell myself “Dude, Paul…this isn’t you!”
If you have a grounding technique that you use, that isn’t listed here, email it to Paul and put “Grounding Techniques” in the subject line.
[12:10] Paul introduces Brad
Brad is 31 years old and is from Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a traveling salesperson and sells health care products to providers. He is married and has a daughter. For fun he likes to golf and recently has joined a kick boxing gym.
[14:15] Give us a little background about your drinking.
Brad was a good kid all through high school. At 17 he had a job as a barback where he learned a lot about alcohol. He was pretty much alcohol free all through college. When he was 20 years old he went to England and that is when he started to drink, not having too many sober days while there.
Later, at 21 years old, he is back in the states working as a resident assistant and is spending as much time as he can at the bar. Later he moved back home into his parent’s basement and was sneaking off to the bars, rather than spending time with them, as much as he could. This is where he met his wife.
They got married and, on their honeymoon, because he had had so much to drink, he almost drowned himself. He continued to drink the duration of the honeymoon. Fast forward to his wife being pregnant with their daughter, a lot of changes taking place in their relationship and he is no longer the focus of it.
After his daughter was born, he was laid off from his job. He spent a lot of his nights, while helping care for his daughter, drinking heavily. In January of 2018 his grandfather committed suicide. Brad found another job and then there was a spiral from June to August, 2018. August 31, 2018, he got pulled over for drunk driving. He hit his bottom in a jail cell. The next day his dad took him to his first AA meeting. After appearing in front of a judge he his charges where dropped.
[19:40] Talk to us about a couple moments where the writing was on the wall (before your sobriety date).
He missed a flight home because he was drinking in the airport bar. Spending too much time drinking after golf.
[23:15] Did you ever try and quit before your sobriety date?
He tried to moderate, but never felt that the problem was great enough to quit.
[26:25] Walk us through the 3 options you gave yourself after your DUI.
Laying on the cot in jail, after just calling his wife who was driving all over Fort Wayne looking for him, he realized he had 3 options. He could run, he could figure out his life was meaningless, or he could get help. So he picked getting help. Getting to a meeting the next day and, if his wife didn’t divorce him, he could live in his parent’s guest bedroom until they figure it out. For 2 months after that he was going to AA meetings every day, making living amends to his wife every day, and going to work. On day 4 he found the Recovery Elevator podcast.
[31:25] Talk to us about burning the ships with your mom, dad, and wife.
His wife was pissed, his parents were in shock. He told them how he missed flights because of drinking, and how he needed to have a drink to help him sleep. His parents were in tears, but supportive. His wife told him that if he ever drank again, she was taking their daughter and would be gone.
[33:37] How did it feel when you let your parents and your wife know what’s going on with you?
A small weight was lifted, but there was an extreme sense of guilt. It felt freeing but he also knew he had a lot of work to do.
[34:45] Talk to us how the charges were dropped and then the bomb you got about the charges on January 31, 2019.
He appeared in court, expecting the worst, and was told ‘case dismissed’. That was not one of the options he was prepared for. His attorney told him to go live his life. His new life was to not touch alcohol, continue with his sobriety and his meetings, and that’s what he did. Sometime later he got a call from a friend, who is an attorney, that infored him that his case was back up. His case had been refiled. He was booked, back in and out of jail, sober this time. He was ready to accept responsibility. He called his employer and told them that he may need something to ‘blow into’ so he can drive. He realized that he may lose his job over this. He was fighting and was doing it sober.
[39:26] I feel like this is going to be a good thing for you Brad, how do feel about it?
Brad agrees. It has made him live day to day. It has made him mad at alcohol. He has stopped focusing on himself and more on his wife. It has helped him get through his 4th and 5th step.
[41:45] How did you get and stay sober?
He did a lot of candy eating. He did his best at doing the 90 AA meetings in 90 days. He tried not to put any pressure on his wife to forgive him. He tried to show what he wanted through his actions and not his words. He goes to a therapist/marriage counselor.
[43:47] What do you feel you were using alcohol to cover up?
He says he’s awkward and that there was some abuse growing up. Possibly some depression. Mostly it was just to find connections with other people.
[47:50] Rapid Fire Round
- When was your ah-ha moment?
When I was in an airport boozing with a pilot.
- What have you learned about yourself on this journey?
That it is OK to ask for help and OK to be vulnerable.
- What is you plan in sobriety moving forward?
I want to be a resource to help people.
- In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Stop kicking your own butt.
- What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?
Never be afraid to reach out, you are never alone.
- You might be an alcoholic if…
If you switch from Maker’s Mark to vodka on the back nine because you think you play better with vodka in your system than whiskey.
Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019
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