Gerald, with a sobriety date of November 16, 2015, shares his story.
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On a recent Café’ RE webinar, our host Odette, who is a sobriety warrior, brought a fantastic topic to the webinar. The Cherokee parable titled Two Wolves. It is about an old Cherokee teaching his grandson about life. He tells the grandson that he has a fight going on inside him between two wolves. One is evil, the other is good.
The grandson thought for a moment and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”
This same fight is going on inside all of us. But we should refrain from labeling our wolves ‘evil’ and ‘good’, because they are both equally important. We tend to feed our ‘evil’ wolf more, because it’s source of energy doesn’t require much action. When this wolf gets thirsty, we feed it alcohol. The ‘good’ wolf takes more effort and energy to feed, it craves sobriety.
Because both wolves are equally important, we cannot ignore the ‘evil’ one, we must acknowledge it and that will keep it happy. When we ignore one, we become unbalanced.
[13:00] Paul introduces Gerald.
Gerald is 50 years old and lives in Boulder, CO with his family. He was born and raised in Connecticut, where he went to a private school and private college. Skiing and biking are Gerald’s passions.
[15:50] Give us a little background about your drinking.
Gerald started drinking when he was in high school. Through high school and college his drinking was only an occasional/weekend thing. After moving to Boulder, he cut back on his drinking because he was staying active biking and training for triathlons.
At the age of 30 he decided he wanted to go to culinary school and stopped exercising and started eating, and his drinking picked up. He gained 40 pounds. In 2011 he decided he wanted to lose the weight, so he got back on his bike, cut back on his drinking, and in 8 months lost the 40 he had gained.
When he was 43 Gerald lost his job and the decrease in income forced him and his family to move in with his in-laws. While he appreciated what his in-laws were doing for him and his family, he says it really started to take its toll on him and the way he felt as a man. This is when his drinking really started to progress.
[19:11] What happened after that?
In April of 2015 he lost another job. The pattern was starting to solidify. This was also when he really started to get into personal development.
[20:20] Did you start to see the role that alcohol was playing in your life?
Gerald said only looking backwards. He didn’t see it at the time. He thought he drank the same as all his friends, and that nobody ever pulled him aside or suggested he had a drinking problem. He did stop drinking for 3 weeks and nobody seemed to notice, so he went back to his normal and kept on drinking.
[21:55] What happened on November 16, 2015?
Gerald was on his way home from his job at a brewery and was invited to a going away party for someone from work. After grabbing alcohol from work, and drinking even more from the party, he got behind the wheel, took a turn and hit the curb hard enough to employ his side airbag…right in front of a cop. He got a DUI.
[23:00] Was this your rock bottom moment?
Gerald says it was the moment that he knew he had to change something. He got kicked out of his in-law’s house that night and lost his job a few days later. He found himself starting at ground zero again.
[28:45] What was day 1 like?
On day 1 Gerald kept an appointment with his blog coach, which he had made prior to his DUI. He says that appointment was transformational. It helped him begin to understand that he had a different purpose. Instead of doing what he just wanted to do he was trying to create something of value. Providing more value to people made the biggest difference in his life.
[30:56] Walk us through that first week, that first month.
Connection with his family made the biggest difference, and understanding that he was moving away from something while moving towards something else. Instead of trying to avoid drinking he started looking forward to other things like creating content and spending time with his kids.
**Gerald wrote a book titled, My Morning Practice: How to Put Down the Bottle, Escape Mediocrity, and Master Your Morning Mindset**
[35:15] Talk to us about how changing one little habit in the morning can make a tremendous change in your life.
Gerald starting noticing that most of the most successful people on the planet all had a morning routine. A lot of those routines included exercise. Gerald decided to write 10 ideas down every morning. About a month later he heard about a bike challenge so he adding biking to his mornings. He continued to add things to his routine. This routine gave Gerald the time and the space to really think about what is important to him.
[40:00] Walk us through a good morning routine for listeners that are new in sobriety.
First thing is to cut back time from what you are doing in the evening, less TV for example, so you can get to bed a little earlier and wake up a little earlier. Then take it a bite sized piece at a time, adding only one thing at a time and being consistent with that one thing before adding more.
[47:08] What have you learned about yourself in sobriety?
He’s learned that he has a growth mindset and if there’s a skill out there that he wants to learn he can accomplish it.
[48:00] Where can we find you and your book?
[48:30] Rapid Fire Round
- Worst memory from drinking?
My son’ 8th birthday, my ex-wife and I got into this huge fight, it was a mess and it was all because I was drunk.
- When was your ah-ha moment?
I was watching a video by Bob Proctor and the message he gave led to my big ah-ha moment.
- What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?
My morning practice, it has served me very well.
- Apart from your morning routine, what’s your favorite resource in recovery?
A book by Gary John Bishop called Unfu*k Yourself and listening to books on Audible.
- In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have received?
That I am a miracle.
- What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?
Take a few minutes every day to do something that you love and to think about what’s most important to you.
- You might be an alcoholic if…
You take home white wine spritzers in a to go cup.
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