Heidi took her last drink on May 20, 2020. With 19 days (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).
Odette opens today welcoming normal drinkers. It has come to her attention that there are some listeners that are tuning in for educational purposes as a loved one has a problem with alcohol. Question for you normal drinkers: would you be interested in a Café RE group focused on you? Email Odette if you’re interested.
One of the most important books in Odette’s life is The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. It was referred to her when her father first went into rehab. Each day is a new passage to read and often she is overcome with the meaning and finds herself wanting to share the meditation for the day with others. While she’s not going to read from this book today, Odette is sharing with you all….
Storytime with Odette!
[8:13] Odette introduces Heidi.
Heidi is 28 years old and originally from San Diego, but she’s lived all over. Right now she’s in Orange County, CA with her new husband. She works in career services with a focus on health and behavioral sciences. She’s an adjunct teacher and a CrossFit coach and group fitness leader. Heidi loves the outdoors and seeing live music, plays, and time with family and friends.
[14:05] Can you give listeners a background on your drinking?
Heidi’s first time really drinking was around the age of 16 / her junior year of high school. At the same time, she was a good student and took her studying and athletics very seriously. She only drank on weekends. In college she continued to be a good student and athlete while drinking, so she never felt that what she was doing should be questioned. At the end of her college career, she mentioned to a coach that she felt she might have a drinking problem. This coach dismissed her concerns because she “doing fine.”
[19:20] When you expressed concerns to your coach and he was dismissive, did you doubt him a little?
Heidi said internally she knew that her drinking was a problem, but at the same time, he gave her a free pass to keep drinking.
[17:16] Walk us through the last year or so of your drinking and what led up to your sober date?
Heidi grew up with obsessive-compulsive tendencies, specifically manifesting in self-harm. When alcohol became an option, it quieted the self-harm aspect. Once Heidi moved back to the West Coast and started working full time, she fell into a routine of grabbing some alcohol on the way home from work. A few glasses of wine became a bottle of wine became a few bottles of wine, then turned to liquor. She started a new job and it turned out to be miserable, so drinking in the evenings was what got her through the days. She and her husband were true drinking partners, so they fed off each other as well.
Last summer she noticed relationships with family members and her husband began to crumble and then she began to take a serious look at her drinking.
One of the changes she made was signing up for the Recovery Elevator Ditch the Booze course. The accountability provided was what she needed.
[33:49] Tell us about your experience with the Ditching The Booze course and the extra level of accountability.
Heidi craves connection and doesn’t find it overwhelming. Some people in her group check-in daily, some every few days, but the common denominator is everyone has the same struggle. So, everyone already understands. At a moment’s notice, she can give support and get support from the community.
[38:17] How has your family dynamic changed in these last 20 days?
Heidi said that due to the current pandemic there have been fewer social pressures to go out. At home, with her husband, there has been greater levels of connection. She did have a fear that all they had was drinking and that was why they were together. They began to open up and have new and genuine conversations about themselves. She’s having more moments of pure enjoyment with her husband.
[43:43] What possibilities have you excited right now?
Heidi said the increase in liveliness is exciting. She feels like a school kid again and full of hope. Being able to wake up early and coach at her gym without being still drunk or hungover. Being present with her husband and family member. Heidi is also seeing a new resurgence in her artistic side.
[42:20] Rapid Fire Round
- If you could talk to Day 1 Heidi, what would you tell her?
You can do things that you don’t think are possible right now but stick with it. You can sit with the uncomfortable feelings of a craving.
- What are some of your favorite resources in sobriety?
Café RE, This Naked Mind by Annie Grace, Alcohol is SH!T by Paul Churchill
- What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?
You already know what that life is like, so why not just try.
You may need to ditch the booze if…
You pride yourself on your Christmas shopping by doing it all in one night with a few bottles of wine and then figure out what you bought when it arrives on your doorstep.
Odette’s challenge this week:
Take time this week to notice what you’ve been putting under the category of problems in your mind. Think about those problems and try to reframe. Can you see some opportunities coming out of them? Let yourself feel hopeful about the possibility that problems bring with them. They are there you just have to look at things differently. Remember that you are not alone and that together is always better.
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 –email@example.com
“Recovery Elevator – This isn’t a no to alcohol, but a yes to a better life – I love you guys.”