Gracie took her last drink on September 29, 2018. This is her story.
On today’s episode Paul talks about connection. Human connection is an innate need to create a social bond with others.
For those that found a temporary connection with alcohol and are now trying to ditch the booze now find them facing disconnection head on. You are listening to the inner voice that isn’t craving alcohol, but is craving connection.
How to connect…ask for connection every single morning. Aim for 50% to be external connections, and the other 50% internal. If a connection is built within, we can go through difficult times in life and still feel that warmth. If you address the internal connection the external connection solves itself.
[14:25] Paul introduces Gracie.
Gracie grew up in the Midwest and is currently living in Chicago. She is 32 years old and is a nurse. Gracie loves camping, backpacking, traveling abroad doing medical trips, and has recently gotten into rock and minerals. She lives with her boyfriend, who is 4 years sober.
[22:55] Give us a background on your drinking.
Gracie didn’t start drinking until she was 19 years old and off at college. Her drinking didn’t get bad until age 21/22 when she was in the Peace Corp and was partying hard with the other volunteers. In her mid-twenties she was binge drinking on the weekends and coming home and drinking by herself. She was experiencing a lot of loneliness and anxiety at the time, so would drink. By Gracie’s late 20s she was drinking most nights and having blackouts.
Gracie says she had a lot of ‘soft bottoms’ and it wasn’t until she was about 28 years old that it occurred to her that she needed to stop drinking. It was at this time that Gracie was starting to read self-help books and was interested in spiritual growth. As she started getting into medication retreats and plant medicine, she says she kept getting the message, from her heart, that her drinking was holding her back.
[37:45] How did it feel when you started to feel your feelings?
Gracie says she was afraid in the beginning, that she was even afraid to feel a feeling coming on. She says meditation helped her let the feelings come and pass. Gracie says it took months for her to learn to trust that a feeling wouldn’t swallow her whole.
[41:45] Was there a rock bottom before you quit drinking?
Gracie says there was a lot of heartbreaking moments. She was functioning but her relationships were suffering. She says there was this constant low-grade feeling of disfunction.
[44:50] Share with us how you did it.
Podcasts and books were a big part of her getting sober. For maintenance she uses her sobriety tracker on her phone. She is running a lot and taking her health more seriously.
[46:55] Do you have an in-person community that you meet up with?
Gracie says she does not, but that she thinks that may be what is next. Meetings have never been part of her journey but she says that may be her next step.
[48:12] What was the response when you posted on social media?
Gracie says the response was so supportive and it proved to be a very good thing for her.
[50:25] Rapid Fire Round
- What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?
I guess when I first heard, “stop obsessing about the word alcoholic and just look at what drinking is doing in your life.”.
- What is a gift sobriety has given you?
So much energy.
- What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?
I love gingerale and I love this Jamaican drink called Ting.
- What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?
I’m starting some trainings and certifications to become a flight nurse.
- And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?
Feel your feelings and love yourself. Make sobriety the most important thing in your life.
- You might have a drinking problem if…
You are an avid camper and want to achieve the perfect amount of hydration with drunkenness so you mix vodka with flavored Smart Water and just end up making a total ass of yourself.
Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020
You can find more information about this event here
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free
Sober Selfies! – Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Recovery Elevator – We took the elevator down; we have to take the stairs back up.
We can do this.”