Wendall took his last drink on June 13, 2019. This is his story.
On today’s episode Paul talks about the 5 responses you get when you tell people you don’t drink. He also discusses what you do when you accidently post on social media that you no longer drink.
The 5 responses:
70% of the time you hear total support, “Wow that’s so cool, because I want you to be the best version of you.”
20% of the time the response will be that the person you told has a family member or close friend that has also quit drinking alcohol.
5% of the time you will get bombarded with questions as to why you don’t drink.
4% of the time they will be supportive but will no longer be a part of your life, drinking was the reason they were.
1% of the time they will not be supportive of your decision to ditch the booze.
[22:30] Paul introduces Wendall.
Wendall lives in Toronto Ontario, Canada. He is 42 years old and is a director, producer, and cinematographer of documentaries. Wendall is married and has a 6-year-old son. For fun Wendall enjoys getting out in nature.
[23:35] Give us a background on your drinking.
Wendall says he didn’t really start drinking until he was in university, about 1996. Up until his late 30’s he was mostly a social drinker. Things shifted then. He was working a lot, traveling a lot, was stressed. Drinking became habitual at this time; it was both a reward and a stress reliever. With added responsibilities, came anxiety. Drinking then became a coping mechanism. In 2018 Wendall realized that all the rules of moderation he had tried to put in place weren’t working.
About 6 months ago binge drinking really started to rear its ugly head. He finally decided he couldn’t drink anymore.
[34:00] How did it feel after you set the bottle down?
It felt like every new beginning comes from some others beginnings end.
[35:25] What was it like living life without alcohol the first few days and weeks?
Because his drinking was habitual Wendall realized he would have to create new habits. He started listening to recovery podcasts. His first 30 days was done pretty much in solitude. Instead of having his normal evening drinks he would listen to a podcast and read a few chapters.
[39:20] How long did it take for the new habits to take hold?
Wendall says it only took about 14 days because he wanted it so badly.
[43:00] Have you told your film crew or others in your industry?
Wendall has told his film crew as the situation came up, he simply tells them he just doesn’t drink.
[48:24] This project, Sober House, showed up on your plate when you were also exploring a life without alcohol?
Wendall says it showed up in and around the time he was having some internal conflict with his drinking. Listening to the kids in this film talk about how much alcohol has impacted their lives was like the hammer hitting the nail square on the head.
[51:52] How can the listeners find out more information about this project?
They can go to www.soberhouse.ca , they can follow us on Instagram and Twitter at soberhousefilm.
[53:27] Rapid Fire Round
- What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?
Moments with my son are way better without a hangover.
- What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?
While filming in the Yukon and coming out of the tent in the morning, mist rising off the lake, the sun streaming down and the mountain revealing itself.
- What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?
Does ice cream count?
- What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?
I really dialed back into my love of reading. The Recovery Elevator podcast, I binged that pretty hard the first 30 days, same with Recovery Happy Hour.
- What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?
To really have great experiences with my family.
- And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?
I have 2, the first one is to listen to your body. The second one is listen to your body.
- You might need to ditch the booze if…
If you know where every liquor store is in every major airport in your country.
Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020
You can find more information about this event here
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Sober House film
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“Recovery Elevator – It All Starts From the Inside Out. We can do this.”