Kirby took her last drink March 25, 2018. This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul shares more stories from listeners, and Café RE members, sharing their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic. We’d love to hear how you are doing through this as well. Email your story to

Paul shares the details about his free guided meditation. To find those meditations, go here.


[16:41] Paul introduces Kirby.  


Kirby is 30 years old and lives in Charleston, SC. She is single and lives with 2 other family members and her 3 cats. For fun Kirby likes to try new things, even things she thinks she won’t be interested in. Spending time outside brings her joy. Her favorite alcohol free concert was Ryan Caraveo.


[19:40] Give us a background on your drinking.


Kirby thinks her first drink was around the age, of 13. She doesn’t exactly remember, but has been able to piece it together through asking friends. Her first black out happened at the age of 16, which she considers the starting point of drinking. At 19 she began working at a sports bar which allowed her to keep drinking, even under age. When she turned 21, she posted to Facebook that she wanted to hit “burned out liquor head status” and drank for the next 30 days straight.


[21:38] What happened after those 30 days? Did you have withdrawal symptoms or return to normal drinking or did signs of addiction show at this time?


Kirby said she doesn’t really remember because drinking at that level, the memories are really fuzzy. But she believes she went back to normal drinking for her, which was only on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturday and sometimes Sundays. Kirby and her friends said that shots “don’t count.” So while she was drinking 5-6 beers, she was also having 5-6 shots.

At the age of 26 was when the drinking took a turn. Kirby got out of a relationship and started to burn the candle at both ends. Drinking 8 -10 beers a night, matching that with shots. Here is when she figured out that if she didn’t do shots, she wouldn’t black out, meaning she wasn’t drunk.


[24:04] Was blacking out just to go away and not feel / be empty for a while?


Kirby said definitely, and that also part of the fun was piecing back together the night before. Sitting with friends and putting the night back together based on who remembers what.

At this time she also began to put rules into place for her drinking because she knew that once she started she wasn’t going to stop drinking.


[27:20] When was the first time you said Uh-oh about your drinking?


Kirby said that the first time she felt something was wrong with her drinking was when she woke up in October 2017 with 13 broken bones in her wrist and had to have surgery. To this day she has no recollection of how this happened.


[33:22] What happened on March 25, 2018?  


Kirby says the process started 4 days before that. She began searching for recovery options. The next day while she was drinking, “Sober Kirby” showed up in the middle of a blackout and declared to her family that she needed to stop drinking and start going to AA meetings. The next day her family told her the story back to her.


[40:55] What were the responses when you started burning the ships?


Kirby said that a lot of people believed it was a phase, but she kept the forward momentum to hold onto sobriety.


[46:34] Talk to us about the difficult time you had at the Recovery Elevator Live event in Nashville.


Kirby said she made the goal to travel every month the year of 2019. Not having anything planned for February, she joined Café RE and pulled the trigger and bought the Nashville ticket. She considered turning around even on her drive to TN. At the event, she has an awakening that hurt people, hurt people and this gave her a moment of clarity: everyone has pain. Kirby opened up and found compassion in other people.


[54:56] What is an excuse you used to tell yourself as to why you couldn’t quit drinking?


Kirby said because she wouldn’t be fun anymore, she wouldn’t have friends anymore.


[55:20] Rapid Fire Round


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

Realizing I didn’t have to drink anymore vs I couldn’t drink anymore.


  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?

Watching the sunrise over the mountains on her 30th birthday


  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Black coffee or blackberry Bubly or Firebrew.


  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Café RE Facebook group, Recovery Elevator podcast, Recovery Happy Hour Podcast, speaking/connecting with other sober people.


  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

Traveling to all 50 states, she has 8 left!


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

Why not start today?


You might need to ditch the booze if…


If you get a new chat system at work and you can add your own emojis and you add a carbomb and a bud light lime logo as your first emojis.



Upcoming Events and Retreats.

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about our event here.


The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!


Resources mentioned in this episode:


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