Episode 383  – Clearing space

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Today we have Phillip. He is 46 and took his last drink on February 28, 2019.


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Highlights from Paul


It’s hard to visualize a sober life when you are still drinking because your body is using every drop of energy to get rid of the poison that is alcohol from your body. Paul suggests once you ditch the booze, sit back and be the observer to watch your life unfold and resist the urge to control everything. In his eighth year of sobriety, Paul bought a home in Costa Rica, a longtime dream. After quitting, his life became a blank canvas, and now he is exploring his love for nature in his new home – which would not have been possible if he was still drinking. Paul feels connected to his inner child and is grateful for his life today.


In chapter 4, Paul wants to showcase listeners’ talents. Feel free to send an edited MP3 file in under 3 minutes to info@recoveryelevator.com, and you may hear yourself on the podcast.


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[12:55]  Phillip lives in Minneapolis, lives with his partner, has no kids, and works as an attorney. He is a marathon runner. Phillip started drinking in college. As life unfolded, he noticed drinking was part of all his life activities, from work to time with friends. He realized he drank every day, even the night before running a marathon.


In 2017, he started to question if he had a problem. The thought of quitting drinking felt like quitting fun. In 2018, Philip decided to explore his relationship with alcohol as his New Year’s resolution. He quit for four months with few problems. He kept a diary that tracked his cravings and triggers. He drank during a vacation which ended his streak. He found several reasons to start and stop. By the end of 2018, he returned to daily drinking and stopped keeping his diary, and brandy was his drink of choice. He noticed he was gaining weight, and his depression was worsening. He realized that moderation was a challenge. Choosing to drink or not drink daily was exhausting and caused decision fatigue. Phillip’s sleep was terrible; one day, he found himself drinking at 3 AM so he could sleep … two hours before a run. It occurred to him that he was now drinking in the morning.


As he reflected on his behavior, he saw three paths:  continue drinking, moderate, or abstain altogether. He concluded that quitting was the past of least resistance because moderation involved constant decision fatigue. He joined the “no matter what” club. He got sober, learning how to get through the moments. He kept a spreadsheet that became a diary of his cravings. He tracked his cravings to he could identify trends. His most challenging moments came later in sobriety. Three months in, Memorial Day weekend was a huge struggle. Podcasts are a huge part of Phillip’s recovery. He joined Café RE and began to connect with people. Many say you are the average of your top 5 people, and surrounding himself with non-drinkers has brought his life to a better level. He now enjoys a runner’s high when he runs, which he never experienced when drinking.   Phillip believes sobriety can be for everybody.


Paul’s Summary


Keep track of how much energy your addiction takes. Write it down. Never take yourself too seriously. I love you guys!


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