Episode 373– Control and Connection


Today we have Chris. She is 46, from Baltimore, and took her last drink on August 28, 2016.


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Highlights from Paul


Paul thanks all the guests who have shared their stories to help us on the path toward sobriety. Paul wants to hear about your favorite episode or the value bombs that resonated with you. Please include the episode number if possible. Contact Paul at: info@recoveryelevator.com.


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How are you reconciling the elements of control in your life? Paul talks about our struggles with control at the macro and micro levels. Is the opposite of control connection? We have never been more disconnected.


Paul’s homework for listeners is to invite a friend out to coffee instead of placing your mental energies on trying to control things. Go on a walk with your dog in Nature. Learn to play the ukulele with us, go on a meditation retreat, join Café RE, call your mom, volunteer at a soup kitchen, write a letter to someone in jail. All our lives depend on this, and we all have to do our part, which I know we can and know we will.


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[10:16] Sherrie lives in Baltimore and has two adult children. She is a massage therapist and teaches movement. She is a competitive Irish dancer; she loves paddle boarding and hiking.


Alcoholism was a big part of Chris’ family. There was a lot of shame, and she steered clear of alcohol. She was the designated driver for her friends in high school. After she was married, she started drinking, and it rapidly progressed into a problem. After losing a pregnancy, she had a white light moment, and she went down a very dark hole. Alcohol became her coping mechanism to turn off the pain. She began losing clients and students and realized it was time to stop.


Physical pain and discomfort were warning signs for Chris that she wasn’t headed in a good direction. Her husband never thought her drinking was a problem. Moderation was his preferred choice. He didn’t think she needed to quit altogether, even when she asked for help. Waking up in a blur became commonplace. Chris started listening to recovery podcasts, and fear became the impetus to get her to quit drinking.


Chris’ clients started to notice a difference in her when she quit drinking. They asked, what’s different? She began her sober journey alone and listened to sobriety podcasts, including Recovery Elevator. She kept it quiet, even from her partner.   Chris attended a Recovery Elevator retreat and realized she was a dry drunk. Community became part of her recovery, and she credits Paul’s work for expanding her view of a sober life.


Lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, became critical to Chris’ recovery. As she continued to get better, her husband got worse and tried to sabotage her efforts. Chris relies on community and meditative movement to maintain her sobriety.


Talking openly about alcohol use with her daughters has been crucial to Chris. They have open discussions about alcohol, marijuana, and other addictive substances. She reminds her daughters that she doesn’t drink and why and is very open about the predisposition for addiction in their family. Chris appreciates the power and control that have returned to her in a life without alcohol.


Odette’s Summary


[48:12] “The crap does not mean you are broken; it means you have room to grow.”  Odette encourages us to look at the opportunities to learn, change our perceptions and live a different life. You are not alone – together is always better.


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