Episode 408 – Focus on the Good


Today we have Bret, 42, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and he took his last drink on September 17th, 2022.


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Highlights from Paul:


Paul urges us to focus on the good.  There is plenty of bad news out there but ruminating on issues that don’t directly affect us can be detrimental.  While suffering is part of the human condition, there is always something to be thankful for.  He says that it is on the super challenging days where our recovery work is so important.


Like Odette said in the newsletter recently – “watch our thoughts – if a thought isn’t inline with your new alcohol-free life – let it go”.


Author Jay Shetty in his book Think Like a Monk classifies thoughts as a seed or a weed.  If it’s a weed, let it go, if it’s a seed, water it and let it grow.


Manifestation is the mind’s version of The Golden Rule, which is when you treat others with respect, you will gain respect back.  With your mind it’s the same thing.  If you work towards focusing on the good, then eventually your outer reality will match up.


Paul’s take on “character defects” is that we should be aware and make intentions to correct them, but to not get stuck ruminating on them.  If we focus on our weaknesses, it is hard to let our positive personality traits thrive.


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[10:51]  Kris introduces Bret


Bret is at 66 days sober and feeling cautiously optimistic.


He’s 42 years old, he was raised in Utah but lives in Fort Lauderdale now.  He has been with his partner for 17 years, and they have two dogs and a cat.  He likes to cook, garden and is a property appraiser.


Bret’s parents divorced when he was very young, and he watched his older siblings stress their mom out with their drinking and swore he would never do it.

Growing up gay was a struggle but when he went to college he started going to bars and found his community and felt like he belonged.  He was able to drink and successfully go to school and work.  His drinking was on par with everyone else, so he didn’t feel he had a problem.


He moved to Fort Lauderdale in his 20’s and found community in the bar scene.  The party never ended which normalized his drinking for him.  He was still able to work and function fine and never had any major consequences as he was away from family and only interacted with people that drank like he did.


His drinking started to slow down in his 30’s.  They went out less and drank more at home while being caretakers for his mother-in-law.


Bret was the bartender for he and his partner and gradually started drinking earlier and the pours would get heavier.  He tried to moderate and create rules, but he would always break them and eventually started hiding the bottles.


COVID and a lot of external factors led to Bret trying to cope with alcohol.  It was when his husband confronted him about his hidden bottles that he finally felt relief – he feels he wouldn’t have been able to admit he had a problem had it not been for that.  He went to his doctor, and they mentioned an IOP program that Bret got into as soon as he could.


Through his IOP and joining Café RE he feels he is starting to figure out what led him down the path to addiction.  He enjoys attending RE courses and chats and plans to attend the IOP after care to help continue his progress.



Book mentioned by Kris Tribe by Sebastian Junger


[48:33]  Kris’ summary:


A common theme in recovery is loneliness. We felt loneliness while we were drinking, and we also tend to feel alone in recovery.  Finding people and community that understands is so important, especially with the holidays coming up




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