Odette, took her last drink on December 17, 2018. This is her story.
On today’s episode Paul talks about control and how it relates to the level of an addiction. The more our drinking gets out of control the more we try and control our external environments. This is the main driver why control is such an important concept to deepen with so we can become aware of the level of control we placing on the external environment.
We are left with 2 choices. Option 1 is to do nothing, and that is not what this podcast is about. That leaves us with option 2. Get ready to saddle up. Once an addiction is been acknowledged it can no longer be ignored, and it cannot be addressed without making major life changes. Changes like a new self-image, your perception, a new consciousness, your ideas and beliefs, your entire life’s foundations. That’s a lot of change, and as humans we resist change.
[8:10] Paul introduces Odette.
Paul first chatted with Odette on episode 128, which came out on July 31st 2017, when she had 1 week of sobriety, he encourages you to go back and listen to that episode. Today, Odette hit a big milestone…she has 6 months of sobriety.
Odette is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, but has been living in San Diego for almost 10 years. She is married and a mom to 2 toddlers, Max and Sienna. She works fulltime at WeWork. Odette loves bowling for fun, says it’s probably her favorite thing, and she will fight anyone who says that it’s not a sport. She also loves to try new teas and lately you will find her doing puzzles.
[11:50] Give us a background on your drinking.
Odette says she’s been in the recovery world for a decade. Her dad is a recovering alcoholic and he’s about to hit his 10 year, so she was first exposed to recovery through him. She likes to say that his addiction has become the biggest gift, not just to herself, but to her entire family. Odette also developed an eating disorder, which she says is her first addiction, if it has to be labeled. Odette says that although she’s been in the recovery world for a while, in terms of drinking, she thinks she falls into the ‘gray area drinker’ category. She doesn’t have a catastrophic story to tell in terms of her relationship with alcohol.
Because of this it’s been a real journey for Odette to figure out if she really belonged here or if she didn’t belong here, if she really had a problem with drinking. What really changed things for Odette was something that she keeps telling people. You don’t have to have a serious drinking problem to have a problem with drinking, and she definitely knew that she had a problem with drinking.
[16:05] In regards to alcohol and your eating disorder, what is your thoughts on addiction whack-a-mole?
Odette thinks addiction whack-a-mole is a thing and that it is really important that we become ambassadors of being graceful to ourselves. The addictions become more manageable now, not because it’s easier, but because there’s this sense of awareness. Odette says she still sometimes eats when she’s not hungry, and that things that are part of her eating disorder chapter still come up, but she is aware of it now. She realizes that she just didn’t want to feel the feelings, so she ate.
[21:43] Talk to us about the time between when you were first on the podcast until now?
Odette struggled a lot, because, she says she is a binary person, and is like a lot of others in recovery who are in that gray area. And not just with drinking but the gray area of life. She loves fitting in boxes and labeling herself, and that is something that she really been trying to detach from these last 6 months. She stopped questioning where she belonged and if she belonged and started asking herself different questions, like how she was feeling when she drank or if she was trying to cope with something. She had to get a little creative with her questions because she was getting the same results when asking the same old questions.
[26:55] Talk to us about the unknown and how you leaned into it.
The unknown is very scary for Odette. She knew, as she was stacking days this third time around, that fear was going to creep up on her. So she grounded herself with people who have really good messages around fear because she didn’t expect that fear to go away. She learned to develop a different relationship with her fear.
[34:33] Let’s talk about the concept of internal vs. external, where do you feel you are?
Odette feels like it’s shifting, and that she is discovering a lot of things. She also believes a lot of it is linked to her eating disorder because she did not have a connection with her body was feeling at all. Odette has been focusing on the internal and the physical.
[36:40] Share with us how fun it is to meet up at our retreats, like our one coming up in Bozeman next month.
Odette says she stopped calling them retreats and has started calling them “sober camp”, because they are just that much fun. Bozeman will be Odette’s 3rd retreat and says that they are such amazing fuel and that the connections and friendships she has made are now like family.
[37:50] Talk to us about a time, in the last 6 months, that it got tough and you overcame it without alcohol?
The last 3-4 months have been extremely challenging for Odette. As all the layers are coming off Odette says it feels very raw and at times very heartbreaking. She has done a lot of reconciling the last 5 months with decisions from the past. She says she is not living in the past, but reconciling with what has brought her to where she is right now.
[42:30] Talk to us about the emotion, Joy, and when it first showed up for you.
Odette used to have so many highs and so many lows it was though she was on a roller coaster. Nowadays she aims for contentment. She lets things pass her by and finds joy in the smallest things. She finds herself getting teary eyed just looking at her daughter or while listening to a song while driving. For Odette joy is found in the simple things and the quietness.
[47:05] What themes are you exploring right now in your recovery?
Intention is a big one, and not being tied to an outcome. Odette feels like she was tied to external outcomes in the beginning and she is distancing herself from that now. Also, she says she is learning to let go of control.
[51:00] Walk us through a day in your recovery.
Odette is an early riser and wakes up between 4:30-5:00 AM. Exercise is one of her biggest tools in her tool belt so she tries to get in some sort of it first thing in the morning. She does daily reading each morning and spends some quality time with her family. She goes to work, listens to a podcast or Marco Polo’s with someone, and spends her lunch outside because nature is another big tool in her tool belt. After work she is busy being mom, making dinner and lunches. She has a BBT rule…bed by ten. Her weekends are slower and way less structured.
[55:44] Rapid Fire Round
- In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have ever received?
You can’t do this alone…but you have to be your own cheerleader.
- What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?
Trust your gut.
- You might be an alcoholic if…
You burn all the ships and you still drink.
Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019
Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020
You can find more information about these events here
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