Episode 389 – Journal Speak
Today we have Christy. She is 42, from Denmark, and has been sober since April 5, 2022.
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Highlights from Paul
Paul talks about “journal speak,” an informal, off-the-cuff style of journaling. The point is to get unprocessed, uncomfortable emotions out of you. It makes you feel less alone and more connected to yourself. This is a significant component connecting with the raw, unheard, vulnerable, pissed-off version of you. When you feel a craving coming on, this is one of the best times to do this because a part of you is screaming to be heard. Paul suggests starting with 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night. Make it informal, with no spelling or grammar check, and toss or burn it when you finish. Generally, you will find that you feel better and have cleared your mind.
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[10:58] Christy has been sober for eighty days. She lives in Denmark, is from North Carolina, and is an agile coach in IT. She is married with two children,
Christy describes herself as a boring child who didn’t get into trouble. She was active in sports and music. Alcohol was always present in her life. She remembers the DARE program in high school and decided to avoid drugs and alcohol. She met her husband and married young. Christy drank socially, but there were no red flags.
In 2004, her father was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was age 47. Christy knew she needed to be strong. He passed in 2007. Unaware of how to process the grief, Christy pushed through, went through some counseling, and had a baby. After giving birth, she experienced anxiety and high blood pressure. She spiraled downward. Alcohol was a great way to shut down her brain. She gave birth to her second son and immediately returned to drinking and felt okay because the Mommy wine culture made it alright.
When moving to Denmark, she knew she needed to address her drinking because she had started sneaking alcohol. The geographic solution didn’t work. The trauma of her Dad’s death brought on emotions Christy could not process. She began taking days off and going to the liquor store early while her husband was at work and her kids were in school. Her drinking progressed, and she could secretly consume a whole bottle of wine. Her panic attacks got worse, and she didn’t realize it was the progression of her drinking that was causing the panic attacks.
Christy told her doctor about her problem. She started listening to recovery podcasts and saw a new counselor to deal with her grief and health anxiety. Her self-talk was, “don’t think, drink.” The anxiety was debilitating. She was depressed and had the shakes and the shame of uncontrollable drinking.
COVID and having the kids home 24/7 was challenging. When she got to the point where her children had to put her to bed, she knew she had hit rock bottom. Her marriage was in jeopardy.
Christy enjoys Café RE and often hosts some of the chats. She attends AA and Smart Recovery as well. She has learned it is okay to be vulnerable and not strong. Leaning on her husband is okay. She no longer has to be “the rock.” Her anxiety has improved, and her counseling is helping. Her greatest joy is that her son says he has his mom back.
Paul talks about the anxiety that came with trying to fix his printer. He loves that he has learned to let emotions flow through him. Paul believes in all the listeners.
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