Chris, with a sobriety date of February 12, 2019, shares his story.
On today’s episode Paul shares 8 strategies that you can implement when you are going through hard times.
- Everything can, and will, change.
- You’ve overcome challenges before.
- Recognize this life situation as a learning experience, AKA an opportunity.
- You may not be getting what you want, but you are getting what you need.
- Lighten up, do not take yourself to seriously.
- You can self-medicate with kindness to yourself.
- Don’t make it worse by taking on other people’s tough times.
- There is always something to be happy for.
[13:40] Paul introduces Chris.
Chris has been sober since February 12, 2019 and is 35 years old. He is a technology trainer for a finance company. He is divorced and has three boys, ages 15, 10 and 7. For fun Chris likes to sing and play guitar in a band, he also does improv and stand up comedy. Since getting sober he is exercising a lot.
[14:20] When did you start drinking?
He had his first drink, tequila he had stole from his parents, at the age of 11. He was in an AOL chat room at the time and he says it gave him liquid courage to chat freely, and he was hooked.
[16:20] Give us a more background about your drinking.
Chris’s drinking didn’t really get going until his sophomore year of high school. It ramped up quickly and he was experiencing black outs by his junior year. Chris also got his 1st, of 3, DUIs his junior year of high school. He started losing friends and girlfriends because of his drinking and by his senior year he was trying to get sober. He started college after high school and got his 2nd DUI at 19 years old. His first son was also born when Chris was 19. For the majority of his 20’s he replaced his drinking with marijuana. He married the mother of his son and they had two more. In 2013 they got divorced. Chris’s pot smoking was a big part of why they got divorced. After his divorce he went back to drinking. Within a month, at the age of 29, Chris got his 3rd DUI.
[25:58] Was there some sobriety time between 2013 and February 2019?
He had some forced sobriety time due to being on probation from his 3rd DUI. When all his legal issues were over in 2015, he went back to smoking pot and drinking, and he added taking Adderall into the mix. On February 11th he went to a family member and told them that he was taking Adderall and not as prescribed. He wanted help. The first 3 days of his sobriety he stayed with family. He also called the doctor that prescribed the Adderall and “burnt the ships”.
[33:55] What was your first month off the substances like?
It took him a few days to get his sleep schedule back to normal, but Chris says he had so much fun that the first weekend he spent with his boys off of all substances. He started to flip things around and instead of looking at sobriety as missing out on something he started looking at it as what he was gaining. He was choosing to be happy, and he was.
[40:10] What are some of the tools you’ve used these last 4 months?
He listens to recovery podcasts, like Recovery Elevator and Recovery Happy Hour. The online support group and forum is always there. Chris also reads a lot of self-help books.
[43:00] What advice would you give to your younger self?
He would tell himself to love himself more and that he is worth more than he thinks, but he also feels like he needed to go through all the things he went though to get to where he is now.
[44:45] Do you know why you were using substances?
Chris says that his internal self didn’t feel good enough, and to hide those feelings he used.
[45:50] What have you learned about yourself, along the way, that stands out?
Chris leaned that he can change, that he is capable of positive change.
[47:00] Rapid Fire Round
- Worst memory from drinking?
Getting so drunk at a neighbor’s house that his kids had to go home to their mother’s house and having to call the next morning, realizing his drinking was affecting his kids.
- What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?
To keep moving and not get comfortable.
- What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?
If you think you have an issue then you probably do, try quitting for 30 days. You can do it.
- You might be an alcoholic if…
You’re listening to this podcast. Also, if you’re shopping for fancy craft beer and you have to look at the alcohol by volume percentage of each beer, before you buy it. And if you don’t find the alcohol by volume you break out your phone and google it, because anything under 5% would not be worth the can allowance.
Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019
Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020
You can find more information about these events here
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR.
Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free
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“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”