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Episode 376 – You can be right, or you can have peace – Part 2
Today we have Ronda. She is 56, from New Orleans, and sober for 2.5 years.
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Highlights from Paul
We are all human, with faulty machines in the dome. It’s okay to be right or want to be right, especially in the moment. Sobriety teaches us that we must choose peace. We don’t have to choose peace immediately, but eventually, we must, or we develop resentments. Resentments, for many of us, can kill us. Why? Resentments separate us. Disconnect us. And what’s the opposite of addiction—connection.
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[10:23] Ronda and Odette discussed the sobriety journey and celebrating the decision to quit vs. the date of your last drink. Ronda is from New Orleans and recently moved to Colorado. She has three grown children, and she is an anesthesiologist. She loves sailing, hiking, and traveling.
Ronda’s first addiction was an eating disorder. She coped with stress and shame with food. She recovered from the eating disorder at age 30, and alcohol became a problem. She got a DWI in her mid-forties. Ronda said she ignored all the signs. She didn’t want to have a drinking problem. The culture in New Orleans portrays day drinking and excessive drinking as the norm, so it made denial easier.
Ronda was more of a binge drinker than a daily drinker. Her kids started noticing her drinking. Her middle daughter was vocal about her concerns early on. So, Ronda began to hide her drinking. Ronda and the kids evacuated to Phoenix during Hurricane Katrina. Her problem with drinking started then, and it took her ten years to get help.
After getting a DUI, Ronda had to go through a program to align with the recommendations of the medical board. Even her colleagues said, “it could have been me.”
When visiting her daughter in sober living, Ronda got sloshed at the airport and faced her daughter’s disappointment when she landed. When her daughter stopped protecting Ronda, it was another AHA moment that she had a problem. After her daughter went to rehab, Ronda started moderating when her kids were with her.
There are multiple ways to get sober, and Ronda tried everything and found a mix of programs that worked. Ronda leveraged AA, The Tempest Sobriety School (run by Holly Whittaker), Recovery Elevator, and Café RE in early recovery. With a heavy emphasis on self-care, Ronda was able to find her true soul, her wounded inner child, and the ego that were all within herself. Learning to take care of herself allowed Ronda to stack days and helped her to deal with shame. Plant-based medicine was a pivotal moment in her recovery journey.
Ronda was molested as a young child, and it was one of many childhood traumas that contributed to her addiction. Shortly after confronting her abuser, she took her last drink. It was a burden off her shoulders that she didn’t have to hide anymore.
Joy has permeated Ronda’s life. She has learned new skills, confronted her past, and found many ways to have fun, including mediation, music, dancing, nature, bubble baths, community, and board games (particularly Bananagrams). Morning routines are critical to Ronda’s sobriety routine. She removed herself from social media other than her recovery groups.
Odette talks about shame, day counts, and restarting. Committing to sobriety should add value, not shame, to your recovery. It’s not about the date. It’s about staying on the journey. Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.
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