Daz took his last drink on November 5, 2018. This is his story.
This coming January Recovery Elevator is going to Thailand and Cambodia for 12 days. Space is limited. You can find more information about this event here
On today’s episode Paul discuses the double negative, not failing. If you find yourself struggling to say no, to picking up a drink, you are not failing. If you are not failing you are succeeding, accomplishing, flourishing, overcoming, conquering, thriving, winning, realizing your goal to become alcohol free.
Think about an accomplishment in your life that you are proud of. Did that come without a struggle? Most likely it did. That struggle did not represent failure. Growth is a big part of that struggle.
[10:30] Paul introduces Daz.
Daz is 43 years old, has been married for 5 years, and has 2 beautiful little girls. He is from Vancouver Island and has lived in Vancouver for the last 17 years. For fun Daz plays guitar, writes and records a lot of music, and his latest addiction is knowledge in recovery.
[13:31] Give us a background on your drinking.
When Daz was 13 he had his first drink, and first drunk. At the age of 15 he was introduced to smoking pot which very quickly became a daily thing. An honor roll student until his senior year of high school, when other drugs were introduced, and things really started to nosedive.
Daz didn’t start drinking regularly until he was 19. It then quickly became a daily thing, helping him come out of his shell and be more social. It became a staple that stuck with him through his 20s.
Daz hit his rock bottom on April 20, 2005. He had gone through a really dysfunctional relationship and his life had completely veered off the path that he had expected. He was ready to throw in the towel on life. Daz called his parents at 2AM and told them he didn’t know what to do, that he thought he wanted to just go and finish it off. His parents got him to come home and that was his first attempt to get sober. It lasted a couple weeks, through the Christmas holidays, and he attended his first AA meetings while there.
When he got back to Vancouver things went back to the way they had been for about another year. He was struggling to get by, working in bars and drinking on the job. Found himself in legal trouble and soon couldn’t pay his rent. Daz says he was one step away from living on the street.
[19:00] That was early 2007, bridge the gap for us.
Daz entered a 2-month treatment center and says that was the beginning of him starting to stand up and dust himself off. It gave him time to think about what he was going to do with his life. He worked in the fitness industry for a couple years.
He started to slide back into drinking but had enough of a foundation at this time, and had left some of the other drugs behind, that things were starting to get on the right path.
He moved from the fitness industry into the software business and started performing music in the evenings. This gave him something to be excited about and even though he was still drinking he now felt he had a purpose.
Daz met his wife 7 years ago, 1.5 years later they had their first baby, and 2-3 years ago he went to the doctor and was told he had a fatty liver.
[21:55] What happened next?
He now has his 2nd baby and a fatty liver. His doctor told him if he didn’t stop drinking, he would be dead in 10 years. That was the motivation Daz needed. He had gone through the 12 steps of AA while in the treatment center but just never felt like that was for him. What he found was something called, Neuro Recover, which is an IV treatment where the person is hooked up to an IV for 8 hours a day, for 10 days. He says he soon realized that being sober is not just about not drinking, it’s about rebuilding your body.
After a few months Daz went back ‘out’. When he was ready to try again, he came with more of a plan and was going to include community. He did the IV treatment for 3 days.
On day 5 he was having back and leg pain, anxiety, and feeling frustrated. Daz says he was almost ready to go get alcohol. Instead of going to the store for alcohol he recalled reading that L-glutamine can help with alcohol cravings. Having some in his cupboard he drank some and says that instantly the craving was gone. Daz started attending SMART Recovery soon after.
[32:32] What are your qualms about AA?
Daz says his biggest qualm is the powerless aspect. He feels to overcome addiction you need to be empowered.
[39:16] What would you say to someone looking to get sober, that has tried AA, and is looking for something else?
Daz would suggest the SMART Recovery community, RE Café’ Facebook groups, L-glutamine. He would tell them to stay connected with people, and that diet is important.
[44:14] What are your thoughts on relapse?
Daz says he doesn’t think relapse is a bad thing, that it is just part of the process. He says people shouldn’t be too negative about it as long as you are continuing on and learning to understand yourself, the body, and how it works.
[47:41] Where does spirituality come into play on this journey?
Daz is not a religious person, per-se, but he thinks it’s really important for people to stop and look inward, and turn other things off.
[48:50] Rapid Fire Round
- Worst memory from drinking?
Driving down the road and not being able to keep his hands on the steering wheel because he was shaking so badly.
- What is your plan moving forward?
My plan moving forward is to finish my website that I have been working on, like I said, it’s EmpoweredNotPowerless.com. Continue going to SMART meetings and I have some people that I am close to and to just continue to help each other. To continue to lead by example.
- What is your favorite resource?
Get yourself some glutamine, don’t leave out the supplementation part of recovery. You’ve been killing yourself for years and your body needs to heal itself. I would also shout out Omar Pinto and the SHAIR podcast. Another book I would recommend is Addicted to the Monkey Mind.
- What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?
When it feels like it’s impossible, it’s not.
- You might have a drinking problem if…
You need to pull over on the side of the road because you can’t control your shaking.
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