Alan took his last drink December 23, 2019. With almost 6 months (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF).
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Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding the Better You.
The New York Times article “Should We Be Drinking Less?” is from July 10th, 2020. It’s the stark contrast to articles which tout having 1-2 glasses of wine has healthy benefits or how rose will help you through motherhood. The idea that moderate drinking is acceptable actually keeps people drinking because it’s seen as ok in the eyes of society.
There is a shift that is happening and people are questioning the narrative of what’s acceptable when drinking.
[7:47] Odette introduces Alan.
Alan lives outside Atlanta and is 49 years old. His last drink was the day before Christmas Eve 2019. He drank everything and was blackout drunk that night. His 15 year old daughter had been at a friend’s house and came home to find her father passed out in a chair with a spilled glass of wine. The next morning knowing his daughter had seen that changed the course of his life. He didn’t want to live that way any longer.
Alan’s daughter mentioned above is actually one of triplets. He has three 15 year old children and has been married to his wife for almost 18 years. He’s in software sales and is trying to figure out what he likes to do for fun now that he’s sober. He enjoys health and fitness and has a Peloton.
[18:37] Walk me through your drinking career.
Alan said that he began drinking in high school and it started out normal, transitioned into college and that drinking atmosphere. College for him was one big party. He continued the pace of college drinking afterwards. He worked for a year in Aspen and drank 7 days a week. He returned to Atlanta, while his drinking slowed, he was always concerned about where the next drink was coming from and this is when his drinking became abnormal. Alan believes he was covering up fear with his drinking. Fear of fitting in, fear of getting a good job, fear of making enough money, fear of meeting the right girl, fear of getting a big title. The fear was gone when he drank.
[27:15] Tell me about joining Café RE and how was that first month?
Alan said Café RE was the springboard to connection. He didn’t realize the connection was so powerful with other people looking to live the same life. After feeling like he had been driving in foggy conditions for 10 years, the fog cleared and he was able to see finally.
[33:36] What works for you when you have a craving?
Alan said he has learned a ton of tools in Café RE. The biggest one is from Paul’s book, Alcohol is SH!T, which says to “play the tape forward”. While he can romanticize the drink on his porch, Alan can also now see where that one drink will lead. He’s seen the movie, he knows the ending and it’s not good!
[36:11] How has your family dynamic changed?
Alan said about 3 months in his wife looked at him and told him he was like a new person. He is present now. While he’s always been a father who was physically there, he always existed in the fog. He told his daughter that he was getting help for his drinking and that’s a huge accountability step for him, one he can never go back on.
[41:00] What have you discovered about yourself?
Alan said he’s learned he can juggle a lot of things in life. He has the ability to handle what life throws at him.
[42:51] If you could talk to day 1 Alan, what would you say?
Connect with likeminded individuals as soon as possible. Do not attempt to do this alone.
[43:20] Had you tried to stop drinking previously?
Alan said he probably tried about 4 times seriously. But never had connection, resources, understanding or community. He always went at it alone and would call himself a Dry Drunk.
[44:52] Rapid Fire Round
- What do you bring to a BYO party?
Bubly, 1 can of Monster Energy drink
- What is a drinking myth you’ve seen debunked?
Myth: You can’t have fun without drinking.
Truth: You can have SO much fun without drinking (and the next day!)
- Do you celebrate milestones?
Yes, but the journey is never ending.
- What are some words of wisdom you can share with listeners?
If you are thinking about this path, I promise you life is better without the booze. The fog will lift!
You may have to say adios to alcohol…
if you’re at the airport bar and the gate is right across from you, but you intentionally miss your flight so you can keep drinking.
Odette’s challenge this week:
Share the NY Times article with someone you know. Plant the seed of living a life away from alcohol.
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