Desi took her last drink July 21, 2018. With just over 2 years away from alcohol, (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol free (AF).

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Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding your Better You…..

Hard days happen for everyone and don’t believe that highlight reel you see on Instagram! Odette calls these “dip days”. It’s ok to not thrive every single day, it’s ok to let feelings pass, it’s ok to be honest and you are not alone. 2020 is here to remind us we are stronger than we think and also what grief feels like.

Odette wants to share her tools for what helps her during these dip days.

  1. Eat
  2. Drink lots of water
  3. Meditate
  4. Laugh
  5. Remind yourself daily that you are not your productivity levels.
  6. Take your medications (if you are on any!)

[7:34] Odette introduces Desi.

Desi is 30 years old and lives in Michigan. She is finished up her Master’s in social work at University of Michigan (go blue!). In her spare time, she coaches high school lacrosse which is a huge passion of hers.

[12:38] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking?

Desi said her journey started at the age of 7 with an eating disorder after being sexually abused. At the age of 14 a cousin passed away and that was a big turning point for her. Her family didn’t talk about emotions. And around this time, she started drinking as well. Her first drink wasn’t normal, and it flipped a switch: she wanted more. In college she made friends with a group of people who “didn’t make wise decisions” so neither did she. Life was very hard for Desi during this. In college she met another woman, Vera, who became her sister and she credits Vera with saving her life. In 2009 she began to have chest pains, which was always diagnosed as “anxiety”, but Desi knew it wasn’t. In 2012 her sister Lauren got her into a treatment center for her eating disorder. In her second time in ED rehab she tried to get sober. However, Desi considered herself a dry drunk. November 2014 she began drinking again.

[34:04] When you came out of treatment were you frustrated that you also had to remove alcohol?

Desi said she didn’t even think she had a problem with alcohol at first. She knew her eating disorder was killing her and that was her focus. She held onto all the other toxic things so she could cope. Desi was scared if she didn’t have other things to help her get through life.

[39:41] Tell me about the first couple months of your sobriety.

Desi said she worked a program with AA. She had severe withdrawal symptoms, but she was able to talk about it in AA. There was nothing left to hide, and Desi was very honest in her shares. She reflected back on what made her want to quit drinking in the first place. Staying connected and finding community was what helped.

[44:09] Did your anxiety get better?

Desi said yes. While she’s a naturally anxious person, her anxiety has leveled. She was able to get off medication. Where her anxiety used to sit is no longer there. She experiences anxiety just like other people do, because that’s life.

[46:28] Tell me about sharing openly.

Desi said she needed to be able to share, she looks at it as a duty. Her sharing helps other people. She tells her story for those close to her that passed away and weren’t able to tell theirs.

[50:50] Rapid Fire Round

  1. If you could talk to day 1 Desi, what would you say?

Hold, have hope, let people help you, and listen to others.

  1. What are you excited about right now?

An internship at UofM.

  1. What’s your go to response when someone offers you a drink?

No, I’m good.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners that are thinking about ditching the booze?

If you can think of best case scenario for your life, just know that without alcohol it’s 100% possible.

You may have to say adios to booze…

If you sneak out, get drunk, come back home, fall down the stairs, break your leg running to the bathroom to throw up.

Odette’s challenge this week:

Reach you, Odette is here for you.

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