Episode 409 – The Cost of Inauthenticity


Today we have Jeremiah, he’s 35 from Denver, CO and took his last drink on April 27, 2022.


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Highlights from Paul:


Being inauthentic creates a lot of pain which many of us have tried to address it by using alcohol.  We often choose survival over authenticity by putting our basic needs over expressing or being ourselves.  Sometimes we have to be inauthentic to fit in.


Dr. Gabor Mate’s book “The Myth of Normal” says “the perceived need to be what the world demands becomes entangled with our sense of who we are and how to seek love. Inauthenticity is thereafter misidentified with survival because the two were synonymous during the formative years.”


It has been studied that being inauthentic can lead to physical disease.  And Dr. Sarno has concluded that back pain is not structural but represents repressed emotions, mostly rage.


How can we be authentic?  It is a practice and a balance. There are two sides to the coin:  saying no to BS and doing more of what you enjoy.  Paul challenges us to ask ourselves where we are not being authentic?  What BS are we putting up with?


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[9:28]  Paul introduces Jeremiah:


Jeremiah took his last drink on April 27, 2022.  He grew up in Wisconsin but currently lives in Denver, CO.  He’s 35, single and has two dogs and loves all varieties of outdoor sports.


Jeremiah didn’t drink in high school but started drinking when he went to college.  He was able to do well in school and work and went out a few nights a week drinking like a “normal” college student.  After graduating he moved out of state, got married and says his drinking was drastically reduced. Even throughout other life changes including a divorce his drinking wasn’t out of control.  After getting a DUI he was ordered to take classes that he didn’t feel that he needed and was able to quit drinking for over a year with relative ease.


He initially saw the pandemic as an opportunity to focus on healthy and productive endeavors. He soon started to feel very isolated, and depression and anxiety started to set in.  His doctor put him on an antidepressant and Xanax which he started to abuse and mixing with alcohol.  He attended an IOP for Xanax with no intention of quitting drinking initially.  After a big relapse he realized he was no longer in control of his drinking and decided to go to inpatient rehab.


He wishes he had gone into rehab sooner where he finally felt relief and realized that he needed to make some changes. He made the decision to quit his job and moved back to Denver where he took some time off and started doing things that he used to enjoy.  He feels that his hobbies are just as important to his recovery as the community that he has found in AA and Café RE. He has found that through his hobbies and mindfulness he is better at living in the moment.  He looks forward to the future and plans to do more hiking, travelling and hopefully one day have a family.


[48:25] Paul’s summary:


Gen Z and many others are waking up to the fact that alcohol is shit.  Just like Big Tobacco had their moment with catchy icons helping us believe that smoking was cool and good for us until people started dying, Big Alcohol has also spun a similar story – that it is good for our health and social life. But we are waking up and just like domestic tobacco sales went to shit, I imagine the same is already in motion for Big Alcohol.



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