Lisa took her last drink on December 16, 2017.  This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about moderate drinking, and whether or not it works.  For almost everyone, when we first decide to quit drinking, we try to moderate.  The question isn’t, can I still have alcohol in my life, but…do I want to be a moderate version of my authentic self?

Are there success stories of moderate drinking?  Sure.  But they don’t work out in the long run.


[18:30] Paul introduces Lisa. 


Lisa is from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She is 40 years old and has 2 kids, a 21-year-old and 18-year-old.  Lisa has been a single mom for 13 years.   She is a RN and does patient care part time and education full time.  For fun Lisa loves going to the gym, and when the weather is nice, she likes to hike.


[22:00] Give us a background on your drinking.


Lisa started drinking at the age of 14.  She wasn’t a huge drinker, but whenever she could drink, she did, and she always wanted to get wasted.  At 27 she was newly divorced with 2 kids, and had come out of a very unhealthy relationship.  Sad and depressed she moved in with her parents and that’s when her drinking ramped up.


Fast forward to 2017, at 37 years old, her son has left for college and she is feeling a little empty nest syndrome, is sad, is drinking and blacking out every weekend.  Her last month of drinking she was drinking and driving, hanging out with people she wouldn’t normally hang out with, drawing lines in the sand and quickly going over them.


On December 17, 2017, she was up north with her twin sister, was nursing a really bad hangover, and says she looked at her sister and said she was done.


Within the following week Lisa had called a girlfriend who took her to 3 AA meetings by the end of that week.


[28:38] Was there a moment of clarity?


Lisa says yes.  She went up north with her sister to see a Christmas light show, still extremely hungover and getting sick during the ride, and as she got out of the car and saw the convention center, she just knew she was done.  Within an hour of saying she was done drinking Lisa says her spirit felt lighter.


[32:35] What roll has your sister played on this journey?


Lisa says her sister has played a vital role, and that her sister herself is 1 year sober.  At 3 months sober Lisa, sitting in her closet crying, called her sister who gave her the advice she needed to hear…to not “go back out” (drink).


[36:30] Talk to us about how you did it, what’s working for you?


Lisa works a 12-step program and has a sponsor.  She says that really early on she would look for ladies at meetings that had smiles on their faces.  If she was asked to do something, she did it, she volunteered at a lot of events.  Lisa loves bringing meetings into a detox.  She also surrounds herself with friends that don’t drink.


[45:45] What did you expect sobriety to feel like, and what does it actually feel like?


Lisa says she didn’t expect life to be like it is.  She expected her life at 2 years sobriety to be top notch.  She catches herself being resentful that she doesn’t have all that she expected would come with 2 years sobriety, but when she focuses on all she does have and all that God has given her, her life looks a lot prettier.



[52:30] Rapid Fire Round


  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?


When I saw the look in my daughter’s eyes when she thought I was drinking again. (Lisa was drinking a mocktail.)


  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?


Club soda with cranberry and a splash of lime.



  1. What are some of your favorite resources?


The Recovery Elevator podcast, the RE Facebook group, making connections with people in Minnesota, AA and I sponsor a couple women.


  1. And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?


Don’t take yourself so damn seriously.


You might need to ditch the booze if…


“If you are talking to the bartender, who you know is sober, about how much you want to quit drinking, at bar closing while intoxicated.”

Upcoming Events and Retreats.

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Resources mentioned in this episode:



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