Episode 324 – I guess it’s my pride. It’s ego which is not a good thing. It’s almost a year and I realized, OMG, it’s the best year of my life.
Bobbie took her last drink on December 16, 2019. She is from upstate New York. This is her journey of living alcohol free (AF).
Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message.
Odette was inspired by Brian who hosted one of the Café RE chats. Evolution of sobriety isn’t always linear or a straight shot. We assume it will be an upgrade. However, sobriety can be messy. You can feel stuck and get into victim mentality.
Odette compared sobriety to a puzzle. Sometimes it can feel like we are going backwards. When looking at the puzzle, we grab different pieces. Sometimes the piece doesn’t fit, but we make a mental note and later in the journey, the puzzle piece fits. Traveling backwards is common because the tool or lesson may have not made sense at the time, but it does later in the journey.
Everything has a purpose and it’s there for a reason. We don’t always see the bigger picture. We need to accept that unlike a puzzle …. the journey never ends. There is no destination, it’s about the journey. It’s not about being (un)loveable, morality, making mistakes, it’s about discovering our wholeness.
We don’t quit quitting. It’s about resilience.
[11:59] Odette introduces Bobbie
Bobbie took her last drink on December 16, 2019 She lives in snowy upstate New York. She has family in Connecticut. She has two business that she launched in 2020. She loves volleyball, reading, puzzles, Zumba and is learning how to adjust the fun in our new environment.
[13:54] Tell us about your history with drinking?
Bobbie started drinking at 15. She remembers the first time she got caught for drinking. Her biological father was an alcoholic. She knew she shouldn’t drink because she didn’t want to be like her father.
Growing up, Bobbie spent a lot of time with people in recovery because there was a lot of addiction in her family. She went to Al-Ateen and many AA picnics. She believes that she developed an addiction to gambling because she was trying to avoid an addiction to drinking. She resented having to go to these events because it wasn’t her problem. Now her view has evolved. She didn’t embrace anything 12-step until 2017.
[17:32] What was your trajectory of drinking vs. gambling?
Bobbie said she was a truck driver in her early twenties. She didn’t party when she was driving. She drank to excess on the weekends which she felt was normal because everyone was doing it. In her thirties she drank with her husband (he was the DD). She was gambling in the background, but her drinking was a problem. In 2017 she went to rehab and focused on gambling first.
She went to rehab on her own accord. She had an executive level job, but all her perceived obstacles were removed. She owed it to herself to address her addictions. She was getting in trouble at work events.
[21:06] How long were you at the rehab center?
Bobbie said she was in rehab for 28 days. Rehab left quite an impression. She was in the gambling wing. Her freedom was removed because she couldn’t even choose when to take a shower. It felt like a cross between summer camp and jail. She knew she needed to focus on herself and didn’t want to ever lose her freedom again.
[23:51] How did you handle being in the gambling wing versus the drug and alcohol wing of rehab?
Bobbie said that they were not allowed to interact with people in the drug and alcohol wing. Everything was separate.
Before entering rehab, Bobbie interviewed for a job. She left rehab at 28 days (vs 30) and went to after care. She was called out frequently for drinking. The aftercare team didn’t hold back. In 2019 Bobbie decided not to use alcohol as a coping mechanism. She discovered Café RE in 2018 and knew she needed to focus on her drinking.
Bobbie was frustrated that alcohol was a problem when she was doing all the work for her gambling addiction. She broke up with a guy and was drunk texting her ex and recognized her texts were mean and venomous. Having another personality was a rock-bottom moment.
Bobbie signed up for the Recovery Elevator Asia trip. She knew she needed to be sober for 30 days and joined the trip with a little over 30 days of sobriety. She was following the rules versus deciding not to drink. When she returned from Asia, she learned that her biological father and grandmother had passed away within a week of each other. She hosted her father’s funeral the day before the world shut down because of COVID. She was at a bar when she got a text about her father’s death. She knew she had to decide how to cope with overwhelming emotions. She was afraid to drink because she was concerned, she wouldn’t stop.
A friend she met on the Asia trip inspired her to achieve a year of sobriety. She realized it was the best year of her life because she started a podcast, opened a second company and was so much more productive without drinking.
Bobbie recognizes her journey is different than many others in Café RE because she wasn’t as intentional about not drinking as many others, it happened almost as a side-effect of her gambling addiction.
[35:47] What made you decide to take the Café RE trip?
Bobbie said she knew she needed the trip to quit drinking. A friend helped her pay for the trip. When she left rehab, she didn’t make the decision to quit drinking. The sober trip helped her explore her curiosity about sobriety and laid the foundation for the tools she needed to explore sobriety.
Bobbie said she was mesmerized by the RE community and by Paul Churchill. Paul inspired her to start her gambling podcast and was her first guest.
[41:55] What do you do now when you have a craving or a trigger?
Bobbie said everything has happened for a reason. She believes she can overcome anything. In a few situations (golf, road trips, etc.) she has urges, but now she has a conversation with herself that people can love and accept her without alcohol. She focuses on what she has learned along the way. She doesn’t want to return to a destructive life. She hasn’t committed to quit drinking forever. She is focused on her goals and sees alcohol as an obstacle to her achieving those goals. She has gratitude for her drinking career because it withheld some of her opportunities in corporate America. She is now helping others with addiction. She feels like she won.
[45:52] What other tools are helpful for you?
Bobbie is active in Gambling Anonymous (GA). She meditates and does a daily reflection every day. She likes Recovery Dharma through Café RE. She has integrated self-care into her everyday life.
Bobbie wasn’t sure what she was supposed to feel and began to understand that resentment over her father helped her move from resentment to neutral and she is working on forgiveness.
The value of community and accountability have been helpful. Her obligation and accountability to others has helped her push through difficult moments. She tries to practice what she preaches in her podcast.
[51:02] Rapid Fire Round
- What would you say to your younger self?
It’s all going to be fine. It all has purpose and will take you where you are meant to be.
- What has recovery made possible for you?
Everything – from relationships, work, business, transparency, vulnerability – everything.
- What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
All of them.
- What advice would you give to listeners who are thinking about ditching the booze?
It’s so worth it. It may not feel like it in the moment, but stick with it, it’s so worth it.
You may have to say Adios to booze if …
Your friends are surprised there is coffee in your cup instead of Long Island iced tea.
Odette challenges us to think about one of the puzzle pieces in your sobriety journey that didn’t make sense recently that now makes sense. Share what you have learned with a friend.
You are not alone, together is always better! Odette believes in you!
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