Torey took his last drink on October 9, 2017. This is his story.
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On today’s episode Paul talks about what happens when a loved one quits drinking. First off, relationships are tricky even when not exposed to addiction turmoil.
It is important to remember that both parties need healing. Here is some advice for the problem drinker in the relationship; remember communication is key and ask for help. Here is some advice for the normal drinker in the relationship; first off, you can’t change the problem drinker, make sure you protect yourself and your energies, set boundaries.
[13:30] Paul introduces Torey.
Torey is 47 years old and lives in Bainbridge, WA and has 2 kids. He has been married since 2000. For fun Torey like fabricating and has been spending time finishing a lot of projects. He enjoys spending time with his family and going to school functions.
[18:00] Give us a background on your drinking.
Torey grew up in a small Wisconsin town and in high school drank on the weekends because that’s what kids did. After high school Torey continued binge drinking during his Coast Guard years. After the Coast Guard, Torey went to work in the maritime field and his drinking continued.
Through the mid-nineties to 2010 the daily drinking continued and progressed.
[22:40] What happened when you realized there wasn’t another kind of alcohol to switch to, to feel better?
Torey says his drinking was starting to be noticed and talked about. He realized that his kids had probably never seen him without a drink in his hands. When he started to hide his alcohol, he realized he might have a problem. He tried to moderate, which never worked. In 2015 things really ramped up. Torey was depressed, waking up so hungover that he was calling in sick, avoiding things at work, and the connection with his family was dwindling.
[25:40] When you realized you weren’t going to be able to make yourself stop did you seek outside sources?
Torey says he knew he couldn’t fix things himself and that he needed to start listening to people around him. On October 9, 2017, Torey’s wife made an appointment for them to see a counselor that knew about addiction.
[28:20] Talk to us about that day.
Torey says he knew where he could get the outside support, that he knew about AA, but didn’t go to a meeting for a couple days. He started listening to podcasts. He read Annie Grace’s book, This Naked Mind, and said that’s where it all came together for him.
[32:30] When did you reach the moment when you thought, “I might be able to do this.”?
Torey says it was around day 14, he was out of town for work and looking for an AA meeting. The feeling that he had something in common with the 8-10 people at the meeting made it all click.
[35:50] What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced and resources you’ve implemented along your journey?
Torey said his first hurdle was avoiding people that he worked with that still drank heavily, and when he couldn’t avoid them, he had a plan in place. He made sure he had things to do in the evening. He found an AA home group and was going weekly. When he would have a craving, he would follow the drink, knowing that it would never end with just that one drink.
[44:48] How did it feel when you reached the conclusion that alcohol no longer defines you?
Torey says he felt like he could be himself again. He feels like he can be his true self.
[47:35] Rapid Fire Round
- What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?
When after having a panic attack he had to be honest with the doctor about how much he drank.
- What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?
Anytime I can go on vacation with the family.
- What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?
Definitely LaCroix, but I’ll drink any sparkling water.
- What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?
Café RE, this group has been awesome, the AA community where I live, and reading more and more.
- What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?
Finishing some major yard art I have started.
- And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?
Dig deep. If you are thinking you might have a problem, you probably do. Listen to those around you, ask for guidance and help.
You might need to ditch the booze if…
A friend had given me a bottle of vodka with a bunch of peppercorns in it, and it was the last alcohol in the house and it wasn’t going to go down the drain.
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