Rob took his last drink June 5, 2019. With over one year away from alcohol (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF).
Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding the Better You…..
When we say no to alcohol, we are saying yes to a better life. Once the alcohol is left behind some people pick back up old hobbies, others go off to do things they thought they would never do. Give yourself some grace when you quit, and you are trying to figure out what you like to do now. Go for it, the possibilities are endless.
Is how we are choosing to spend our time after quitting drinking bringing us peace? It becomes our responsibility to protect our peace and also seek peace.
[6:22] Odette introduces Rob.
Rob is 55 and lives in Littleton, CO. He has been married to his wife for 30 years, they have 2 grown boys. Rob likes adventure sports, specifically motorbike adventuring. He also enjoys hiking, being outdoors. He very much loves what Colorado has to offer.
[9:34] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking?
Rob said he moved from rural Indiana in 1978 to Denver, CO and that’s when alcohol became a big part of his life. Stemming from his desire to fit into a new school as a kid, he began drinking. He also took a job at a warehouse where the older employees found it funny to corrupt the 15 year old preachers kid. His parents found out and they put a stop to it. He began leading a dual life, the adrenaline seeker mountain climber motorcycle rider vs going to church 5 times a week.
On November 11, 2012 his close friend Ted passes away from cancer. Rob didn’t know how to handle those feelings and after this he began drinking at home. By the end he was blacking out 3-5 nights a week.
[17:02] Did you ever think to yourself “I might have a drinking problem?”
Rob said he didn’t even have that thought. The mentality around the group he was in was “work hard, play hard”.
[17:32] After Ted passed, were you conscious of the fact that you were using alcohol to hide the pain?
Rob said that never occurred to him until he was in recovery.
[19:12] Tell me about after your wife left?
Rob said he gained enough clarity that night to realize the choice was alcohol or his marriage. He chose to fight for his marriage and that night was his last drink.
That next morning on his drive to work, rather than listening to his usual drive music, he listened to a podcast about recovery. That night he found an AA meeting as well.
[25:15] Tell me about the resentment you had and when you felt the shift.
Rob said it was a progression for him. He didn’t really find a home until he found Café RE in September 2019. He felt the connections become real.
[28:26] Tell me about those first few months after you quit.
Rob said at 4 months he had done a lot of the brain work. He was trying to connect to his emotions and doing real work on himself. Then in October 2019, a driver ran a red light and collided with the side of his car going 55 MPH. He suffered a traumatic brain injury. While physically ok, he had to/has to work hard to get back to himself and heal himself, again.
[35:00] Do you still get cravings and how do you handle them?
Rob said he does still get cravings. And when he does, he goes into his sobriety toolbox. The first thing he does is wait 20 minutes and then he has to figure out why the craving happened. If that doesn’t work he page 84’s his sponsor. This means: working the steps in your everyday life.
[39:16] Do you ever get push back from people when you tell them you don’t drink?
Rob said no one gives him push back.
[40:33] Rapid Fire Round
- What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?
That first night at AA, I’m ok and I’m not alone.
- If you could talk to day 1 Rob, what would you say?
10 deep breaths and give yourself a big hug.
- What are you excited about right now?
Butt Burner Gold which is 1500 miles in 24 hours on a motorcycle.
- What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are thinking about ditching the booze?
Stick around. Do the work. It’s worth it. One day you will wake up and see that it’s all worth it, you have this nice little life now.
You may have to say adios to booze…
If you got kicked out of public school for drinking and your parents put you into a parochial school and you show up to bible study drunk.
Odette’s challenge this week:
Close your eyes for a few minutes and think about the things that bring you peace. Drop them down and keep them close. Get in the habit of looking for this peaceful feeling.
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