Jamie took her last drink April 16, 2019. With 485 days away from alcohol, (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol free (AF).

Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding Your Better You

She is currently re-reading The Compound Effect. The general idea is that baby steps add up into large rewards. Change is hard. Gaining momentum on a decision is hard. This applies to our alcohol-free journey: turning down drinks, one at a time. Once we reframe the idea of this being a sacrifice and think of it as an opportunity instead, the trajectory changes. We must think of all the things we can add into our lives without alcohol. Odette makes a list of the things she has room for in her life now. Why don’t you make one too?

[7:00] Odette introduces Jamie

Jamie is 35 years old and lives on Long Island, NY. Her immediate family lives close and she lives with her 2 black cats. Jamie is a social worker. For fun she likes to run, go kayaking, reading, cooking and hanging out with friends. Being in nature is the best, it’s where she finds her higher power.

[9:57] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking?

Jamie said she started drinking at the end of high school. In college her drinking seemed normal. She found there were hills and valleys with her drinking. When Jamie lost her mother at the age of 22 she remembers she was in a club in Greece and she identifies the synergy with that happening. The last 3-4 years her drinking escalated. She was blacking out and making poor choices. Looking back she can see the pattern of co-dependency.

[12:57] Did you notice after your mother passed that you used alcohol to deal with your grief?

Jamie said at first, she was so busy taking care of her father and making sure he was ok that alcohol was a secondary thought. But once she had some time away and time with her own feelings, she could see she was using alcohol the same as her mother, to numb down any emotions.

[18:05] Tell me about the first couple weeks of your journey?

Jamie said this was really the first time she honestly tried to get stop drinking. She had been living on the river of denial before this. Growing up her family didn’t express feelings, they drank or got angry. So, the first few weeks were new. She started a 12-step program and therapy. Jamie only knew 2 sober people at the time and she spoke to them a lot.

[23:49] What did you do initially when you had a craving?

Jamie said she didn’t really have a craving for the drink, but it was an emotional craving instead. She used a new found self-awareness to explore the feelings. She would pause and ask herself some questions about why she was feeling that way.

[28:18] After making the decision to not drinking, did you talk to your friends and family about it?

Jamie said she told people very quickly. She said the safe sentence “I’m not drinking right now”. After about a month, she started to see how this could be a lifestyle for her. 5-6 months in she began to share very openly on social media.

[30:48] What’s been the hardest part of this journey for you?

Jamie said feeling her feelings and not fighting them. Allowing the feelings to just be there. 

[34:27] What’s your morning routine?

Wakes up at 6am, feeds cats, reads and then moves her body. For the last 81 days (at the time of recording) Jamie has been running every morning. New Fashioned Sobriety and their Zero Proof Run Club hosted and a streaker challenge that she completed. Initially it was 41 days, which she completed. And now her pledge to herself is to move her body daily. She also makes sure to meditate daily.

[37:01] Did you used to have a witching hour?

Jamie said right after work, 5-7pm when before she would be at happy hour and now she fills the time with new routines. A fun mocktail, some tea, go for a walk, walk with a friend. 

 [40:13] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What are you excited about right now?

Have her first sober healthy relationship.

  1. What books are you reading right now?

Good Morning, Destroyer of Men’s Souls: A Memoir of Women, Addiction, and Love

  1. What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had in this journey?

I can do almost anything sober that I did drunk.

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

Jamie you are a warrior, you are a force you have no idea what this is going to bring you. You can be a light for other people.

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Anything with chocolate or peanut butter in it and even together!

  1. What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?

Café RE, Podcasts- Recovery Elevator, Recovery Happy Hour, Seltzer Squad, yoga, walking, running, kayaking and This Naked Mind and Sober Curious.

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

You are a brave, gentle soul and I applaud you. I wish you so much fun on your journey. It’s about taking that pain and making it fun. Tell somebody.

You may have to say adios to booze…

You drank so much while living in your parents basement and you couldn’t make it upstairs to the bathroom, so you throw up in the washing machine. 

Odette’s weekly challenge:

Think about your AF journey. How much have you been trying to hold onto things you think this journey will take from you? Is that realistic? Make a shift, start thinking about what you want to set out of this. About what you want to add to your life? Open your eyes, beauty is all around us. Choose you, stay sober, you’re also subscribing to abundance. 

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