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Episode 417 – The Best and Worst Place to be With a Drinking Problem
Today we have Jenny, she is 36 from Hudson, WI and took her last drink on 2/16/2020.
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[02:45] Intro Summary:
When Paul describes the best and worst places to be with a drinking problem, they both look a lot alike.
That realization that alcohol no longer serves us, but we can’t imagine life without it can be a scary place to be. Alcohol has us right where it wants us. It may feel like part of you is dying, that feeling is grief.
But on the flip side, when we realize that alcohol no longer serves us, we can see that as an invitation to live the life we were meant to live. We are at the tipping point about to embark upon the greatest journey in our life.
We are all right where we need to be. Life will keep giving us the same lesson until we are ready to learn or make a change. By making that first jump into the unknown, you give others courage to do the same.
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[10:15] Paul introduces Jenny:
Jenny is 36 and lives in the small town of Hudson WI. She is married and they have one son together. She works in education and enjoys the outdoors – camping, backpacking, she also enjoys gardening, yoga and in recovery she learned that she likes to read.
Jenny’s drinking started when she was just 11 years old. A traumatic event that she didn’t share with anyone had her feeling alone and out of place. Jenny realized she loved drinking right from the start. She grew up aspiring to be the bad girl with the tough persona because it helped her put up a guard to protect herself. She enjoyed drinking and was willing to try any other drugs.
When she was 20 her and her boyfriend moved to Montana. She thought she could escape her issues, but that didn’t work. Her addictions got worse and while she would quit some things, the alcohol remained which helped her believe that she didn’t have a problem because drinking was socially acceptable.
At age 30, she lost a pregnancy and her drinking evolved from drinking for fun to being self-destructive. She later got pregnant again and her son was born 18 months later. She still struggled to quit drinking during pregnancy and since her doctor told her it was ok, she saw that as a green light to keep drinking.
When their son was 7 weeks old, they moved back home from Montana to their hometown to be close to family. In debt, postpartum with no job, the lived in her in-law’s basement and her drinking got really bad. No one called her out because drinking was all part of the culture.
Her turning point was after Super Bowl Sunday when she had crippling anxiety the day after and ended up staying in bed for two days with very dark thoughts. There is a history of suicide in her family and that is what stopped her from that path.
She says she was sober from alcohol for the first 14 months but doesn’t feel like she was in recovery. She ended up going to AA in April of 2021 and hasn’t looked back.
To her, there is a big difference between being sober and being in recovery. She is doing things that she likes to do instead of just not drinking. She feels like every day is a victory and she counts every day as it helps motivate her. At first, she had a hard time letting go of the old persona, but now she has let go of that and has redefined who she is. She loves mornings now and is doing well in her job. She also loves yoga and attends AA meetings frequently as well as other online community events.
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We can do this.
Is Jenny willing to give her Instagram/contact info. I don’t often hear my story but I heard a lot of my story in Jenny’s share. I am a 33 year old mom with two young kids and I would love to reach out to Jenny to thank her.
Natalie, I just emailed Jenny and gave her your email address. She may reach out in the near future. Thank you for listening!