Episode 394  – Fixin’ to Grow


Today we have Kristie.   She is 47, from Michigan, and has been sober since May 2020.


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Highlights from Kris


Return to school is here and is the catalyst for conversations about expectations. Growing up, the letter on the report card was the measure of success. Kris has begun to consider praising the work instead of the result.


Neuroscientists have identified two different mindsets:  the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. A fixed mindset looks at intelligence as static. The effort is pointless – you’ve got it, or you don’t. It’s all about the result. The growth mindset is more about a learning goal. The effort is seen as a path to mastery.


What is your goal in recovery? Language matters. Think about the metrics. If you are fixed on being alcohol-free and have a slip, you might feel like a failure. Embrace the growth in yourself and let that be enough.


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[11:29]  Kristie has been surise for two years. The word sober doesn’t resonate with Kristy. She wants to be fun and exciting and enjoy every moment. Kristie believes that language creates our reality. Through journaling, she came up with the word surise – it brings her energy, light, and love. Kristie believes surise is yours – the opportunity to be your authentic self.


Kristie is from West Michigan and is an academic advisor. She is married and has two daughters. She loves traveling, the beach, the woods, nature, and connecting with people.


Growing up, her parents rarely drank, but they did smoke. After her parents’ divorce, she assumed much responsibility for her younger brothers. She was the conduit between her parents. She was involved in theater, student government, and dancing.


Kristie went to college and was ready to rescind the role of the responsible oldest child. Earning a degree was essential to Kristie. She went to school and partied and enjoyed drinking and being social. She adopted the work hard, play hard mentality and always drank to get a buzz. She put herself into some risky situations and was raped. Alcohol helped numb the pain, and she learned to carry on.


Kristie met her husband in college, and drinking was part of their relationship. Drinking was a coping mechanism for the stress of parenting. Over the years, her drinking progressed from beer to wine to vodka.   After her father died, Kristie’s drinking became very dark. Drinking was a reward, a way to avoid loneliness, and it served many purposes.


Several years ago, Kristie’s husband announced that he was planning to quit drinking.   He did, and she couldn’t follow suit. After her father-in-law died, they were both drinking again and went backward. Kristie read “This Naked Mind” and listened to Annie Grace’s podcast. Paul Churchill was Annie’s guest, and something clicked for Kristie. She could hear herself in other people’s stories. She joined Café RE in 2020 and went to her first women’s AA meeting. She quit drinking for several months and returned to drinking when the pandemic began. In May of ’20, she found a small group of RE members all over the US, and they held each other accountable.


Kris’s Summary


Look at your mindset. Ask yourself without judgment, are you holding on to absolutes? What is your measure of success? Do you find joy in the results or the process? Wherever you are is okay. Show yourself grace. Change the narrative. Surrender to the process. Let go of old ideas.


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