Dusty took his last drink September 21, 2015. With exactly 5 years away from alcohol, (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF).
Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding Your Better You…..by Paul Churchill
How to get your 300 Power Stance:
Grab a stick and stand in front of a mirror, put on some good music, bend the knees and ankles. Get low and grip the stick (or rake or broom). Become one with the stick. Look yourself in the eyes (in the mirror) and say, “I’m here, right now, what do you got?”, repeat, louder. Repeat and get lower. Find your stance. Focus on your connection to the earth. Pull up a painful moment from the past and change the script. Bring up the unfinish emotion and feel it. Remind yourself you are safe.
[16:00] Paul introduces Dusty.
Dusty is from Bozeman, MT. He’s a finance director for a local non-profit and just got engaged yesterday! For fun he likes to play rec sports. He goes hunting, camping, hiking and fishing in the beautiful weather he has in Bozeman.
[20:50] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking?
Dusty said the day before his last drink was spent watching sports and he blacked out around 9:30pm. The next day his friend was leaving for an around-the-world trip and he went to her leaving drinks. The bartender that night came up to him and explained that if they were working that night Dusty would have been kicked out for his behavior the night before. Another friend of his, he had kicked in the backside and when he saw her, he saw fear in her eyes when she looked at him. He paid his tab and left the bar. Never touched alcohol again. His losing control was a big motivator for him to stay sober.
[25:34] When did you find community?
Dusty said he’s been very lucky to have known Paul Churchill for a while before he quit. Paul was the first person he told he quit drinking and knew that community would be there for him. At the time Recovery Elevator was just getting started and Dusty participated. He was surprised how easy it was for him to share his story.
[30:11] How have the years changed for you?
Dusty said the 1st year was exactly that, just getting through the 1st year without a drink. In year 2 the real healing began. In 2019 was when he realized alcohol was the symptom, not the problem. He grew up with a verbally abusive father and being scared as a child, his option was to freeze and stay quiet. Coming into year 5 he’s begun therapy to understand the deep stuff that is why he reached for alcohol.
[37:17] What was on your heart yesterday?
Dusty said yesterday reflecting on the timeline of his life and his drinking was a lot for him. There was anger and sadness about the pain he experienced growing up. He was dwelling a little on the negative and he was able to purge it and get it out.
[43:51] How has the relationship with yourself changed over the last 5 years?
Dusty said he loves himself a lot more and continues to work on that. He has more confidence. Loving himself better lets him love the world better as well. Dusty now gives himself grace and is no longer his own worst critic. His physical appearance and health overall has changed drastically for the better.
[46:27] When the shame and guilt from your initial motivator decreased, what filled its place as a new motivator?
Dusty said his pink cloud lasted for years. He could see how much better his life was from walking away from alcohol. Nothing in his life got worse, everything got better. So, the idea of taking one drink he knew would make his life worse again.
[48:55] Do you still get cravings?
Dusty said no, not anymore. Very few moments have made him want to have a drink.
[49:38] What do you do now when life throws you a curveball?
Dusty said exercise works for him. He goes for a run and gets in the zone. He will also try to sit with the emotions and see where it’s coming from. He’s lucky to have close friends and family and he can talk to them.
[54:05] Rapid Fire Round
- If you could talk to day 1 Dusty, what would you say?
Dusty, sit with the shame for a while, but don’t dwell on it forever. Use it for fuel. Enjoy the ride, all the ups and downs.
- What has recovery made possible for you?
He is more of a leader now.
- What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Ben & Jerry’s AmeriCone Dream or Cherry Garcia
- What book are you reading right now?
He’s reading a book about crows and ravens.
You may have to say adios to booze…
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