Episode 391 – What do you Want?
Today we have Polly. She is 50, from Minnesota, and has been sober since December 23, 2021.
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Highlights from Paul
Paul shares that he created the podcast to create a new level of accountability for himself when he quit drinking. He is grateful for his listeners and proud of how the podcast has evolved since the first recording. Paul would like to hear more from listeners about what they want to hear during the intro portion of the podcast.
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[10:09] Polly has been sober for six months. She is a high school English teacher, has two daughters, and has been married for 24 years. She enjoys animals, running, the outdoors, camping, and family adventures.
Polly’s parents drank, but not to excess. Turning 21 was a right of passage, and Polly waited to drink until then. In college, Polly partied, partially as an act of rebellion. After graduating, drinking was a weekend social thing but not an issue. Polly’s husband was not a daily drinker, which was initially a red flag. There was drinking everywhere, from sporting events to book clubs to unwinding from work.
As time progressed, Polly started hiding how much she drank from her husband. She slowly started gaining weight, and drinking/eating/negative emotions became a spiral for Polly.
Polly’s husband asked her to get treatment and told her she was on the verge of losing her family, friends, and job. She was in treatment over the Christmas holiday. She was violently ill during detox, and the detox nurse told her never to forget how sick she was. She appreciated how much people embraced her during treatment. She vowed to herself that she would give back and described treatment as the best experience of her life.
After leaving treatment, Polly leveraged the tools she learned in treatment and recognized that cravings are temporary. Alcohol still calls to her at six months sober, but she works on it daily. Her husband quit drinking a week before Polly went into treatment, which made her home more supportive. Polly is outspoken about her cravings and regularly asks for help. She attends AA meetings; she has a sober community and is transparent about her addiction with those close to her. She talks to her daughters regularly about her addiction. Polly hopes her experience ends her family’s addiction cycle so her daughters never have to choose treatment. Polly describes sobriety as the most challenging thing she has ever done, but she is also proud of her success. She carries some shame for what she put her family through while drinking.
Paul believes adding joy, fun, and creativity to your life helps you to maintain sobriety and live a life you don’t need to escape. Paul reminds listeners not to take themselves too seriously, to find joy, and don’t let healing be painful.
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