Gregg took his last drink 26 years ago (November 6th, 1994). This is his story of living alcohol free (AF).
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Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding Your Better You
It’s been a little bit of time since the 1st of the year. Those resolutions we all made might now be changing from determination and drive and into a place of the unknown. If you’ve stuck with your resolution, you are far enough in that you can’t see where you started but the end isn’t in focus yet. Not knowing how the outcome will play out can be scary. When we ask “what is going to happen?” it blocks our ability to function today and in the now. Things will work out, if we let them.
[7:52] Odette introduces Gregg.
Gregg lives in Los Angeles. He is married and has two amazing daughters. For a living he is a recovery coach and also owns a few sober living facilities. He is an advisor in many startups as well. For fun he likes to body surf, skateboard and eats ice cream (mint chocolate chip!).
[12:20] Can you give listeners some background on your story?
Gregg’s father was killed in a drunk driving accident when he was 4 years old. From a young age he understood the power of alcohol. Being raised by a single mother he always felt different. He grew up as a bully because he was scared and sensitive. Around 12/13 he discovered pot and alcohol. That “medicine” took away his shame and pain. As an adult he started with a pattern of drinking, leading to cocaine, leading to pot, leading to bad decisions. Between 22 and 25 he was arrested 8 times. He got into the drug trade and while it provided a “nice life” there was overwhelming amounts of shame regarding his life choices, and he was eventually arrested with 50 lbs of pot. The judge gave him another chance, but he was arrested again 18 days later. In the cell the next morning he heard a voice that said, “call your mother”. She told him to go to church and while there he went to confession. Unbeknownst to Gregg, the priest he gave confession to was his step fathers first sponsor in AA. He went to AA that evening.
[24:39] How were those 90 meetings in 90 days for you?
Gregg said he was accountable because he had a court card. At first he was just looking to “get the heat off”. Around day 30 the pink cloud appeared, and he felt clear headed and healthy. He found connection with some people in AA. The boxing lessons also helped his life balance. When he got sober in 1994, there were not a lot of people in their 20s doing the same thing. He lost a lot of friendships in the process.
[30:47] What bigger motivations did you have to stay the course?
Gregg said he had a good work ethic overall. So he had the desire to succeed. He chose to put what would be been drinking time into his passion. He would write scripts rather than going out. It was 8 extra hours a week he put towards something he loved, which helped him to change the mindset around his life. He never would have had the career he had if he didn’t put that time towards his passion.
[36:02] How have you transformed and processed the pain you had in your early years?
Gregg said he had done step 4 through 4 times. Someone in a meeting saw that he was blocked and told him to unpack the “backpack of shame”. Through this process he was able to explore other things he had left off his previous step work. Gregg uncovered, discovered and discarded, which allowed him to fully open and find relief.
“Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can change” – Oprah
[41:21] Do you still get any cravings?
Gregg said the obsessions to drink and use has left him, the obsession to obsess has not. If he doesn’t do the work on other obsessions, they will ruin his life just like drugs and alcohol did. He will go back to step 1 and apply it to whatever obsession is holding him at that time.
[43:00] What are you excited about right now?
Gregg said he really likes connection and he’s excited about recovery. Finding other connections through recovery. He’s excited to come out of covid and what that might look like. He’s excited about his podcast “The Recovery Playbook” Find it here on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
[48:00] Rapid Fire Round
- What would you say to your younger self?
Drugs and alcohol are a waste of time. Time is the most precious commodity we have.
- What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint chocolate chip
- What book are you reading right now?
Epic which is about how we are all connected through our stories. Everyone has a story.
- What parting piece of guidance would you give to listeners thinking about ditching the booze?
Remain willing to be willing.
You may have to say adios to booze if…
because you will die. Tomorrow or 20 years from now. The disease of alcoholism is undefeated.
Odette’s weekly challenge:
Stay grounded in the present moment. Some of her favorite ways to stay grouned are:
Going for a walk
Walking barefoot on the grass
Blasting music and dancing
Touching whatever surface she’s sitting on
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