Hannah took her last drink on April 16, 2020. With 45 days sober (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).
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Odette opens talking about the upcoming long weekend, which is the 4th of July. She asks “how can we leverage the current state of the world / the current pandemic and our desire to not drink this upcoming holiday weekend?” A celebration that is centered around food and also drinking, what does this mean for our own choices. There is an assumed permission slip that allows you to start drinking at whatever time you want. Given the state of the world and smaller gatherings happening, it might prove to be easier to not drink.
Here’s a list of how to not drink this weekend
- Bring your own drinks, make it special!
- Tell someone you don’t want to drink. It’s ok to ask for help
- Let yourself have fun.
- Have one goal for the day- Don’t drink.
- Leave if you’re uncomfortable.
[9:00] Odette introduces Hannah.
Hannah lives in Las Vegas. She is 30 years old. She has worked in the medical field in the past but will begin teaching soon. For fun recently she’s been doing puzzles. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and working out.
[12:33] How have you been feeling in these early days?
Hannah said she previously had some time away from alcohol under her belt but had started drinking again. So, she was prepared for stopping again. This time it was emotional, but no physical withdrawal symptoms. She feels good and is looking forward to this path.
[14:12] What happened that made you decide to drink again?
Hannah said in January 2019 she tried to do dry January again, but only made it about 15 days. She restarted February 1st and this lasted for her until almost September. While she was for a time able to moderate her drinking, once quarantine began the drinking became a daily thing and she was feeling pretty awful, mentally, and physically.
[16:02] What started you on this path to wanting to live AF? What’s your drinking background?
Hannah said she took her first drink around 14 or 15. When she was 17, she lost her mother to addiction and alcohol became her outlet to escape. She had a year of partying harder than any teenager should have. Two weeks after she turned 18, she found out she was pregnant and sobered up, promising her child a better life. She did eventually return to alcohol. While she was succeeding on the outside, she was drinking a lot. Around 25 years old she was experiencing high anxiety and was noticing how alcohol wasn’t serving her.
[20:38] Did you have a rock bottom moment or what pushed you to take action?
Hannah said there wasn’t a true rock bottom moment, but there were a lot of moments that weren’t the smartest: falling, driving drunk, drunk injuries. It was just the understanding that alcohol was what was causing her to feel bad all the time. The shame spiral was real.
The end of 2018 was a heavy drinking period for Hannah and she did 15 days of dry January 2019 but drank. And in February 2019 was her first attempt at living AF.
[28:07] Does your son notice the difference in you drinking vs not drinking?
Hannah said he hasn’t ever said anything directly, but she knows he noticed when she was drinking in the past. As he gets older she wants to share more with him about her stopping drinking.
[30:26] Walk us through a day in your life now. What’s in your recovery toolbox?
Hannah said that she tries to wake up and get a workout in before work. Waking up early and doing something for herself helps make her day better. This also helps her identify her emotions for the day. After work she and her boyfriend will cook, listen to audiobooks, keeping herself busy is important.
[32:28] Has it been easy having an honest conversation with your boyfriend about your drinking? (Her boyfriend still drinks)
Hannah said it’s been difficult; she was emotional in the beginning when she first stopped drinking and had to watch him drink a beer or two. He however has been very supportive. He checks in with her and is often the sober person with her. They no longer keep alcohol in the house.
[34:59] What’s your favorite NA drink?
Pamplemousse La Croix.
[35:25] What have you learned about yourself in this journey?
Hannah said over the years she has developed some coping mechanisms, but there’s still more work to be done. She wants to work on being more open and honest with those close to her. Expressing her feelings honestly and talk and not keep it all inside will be helpful.
[36:20] What gets you excited in life right now?
Hannah said that being there for her son as he gets older. Also, a new career in teaching is exciting. Being fully present.
[38:05] Did you get any pushback from friends when you decided to stop drinking?
Hannah said when she first went AF in 2019, a few friends gave her pushback about it. But this time around she’s trying to being more honest with friends. In the moment there are always people who question why she’s not drinking.
[39:22] If you could talk to Day 1 Hannah, what would you say to her?
Just wait it out. Life is so much better without alcohol.
[40:00] Rapid Fire Round
- What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?
How quickly I can progress without alcohol.
- What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?
Being in the moment and not being hungover.
- What are some of your favorite resources?
Recovery Elevator podcast, Café RE, talking to more people who don’t drink, Sober Happy Hour, Quit Lit,
- What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?
If you think you have a drinking problem, you probably do. Only you can decide that.
You may need to ditch the booze if…
If you go to the store, buy a bottle of wine, pour ½ down the drain so you won’t drink it all, drink that and then return to the store to get another bottle of wine.
Odette’s challenge this week:
Take a picture of your 4th of July contribution. Share on Instagram and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five!
Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:
- Ditching the Booze – The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
- You can find more information about our events
Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to –firstname.lastname@example.org
“Recovery Elevator – Stay cool, stay weird, stay safe and stay healthy- we love you guys,”