Episode 420 – The Most Prolific Trap


Today we have Matthew. He is 49 from Phoenix, AZ, and has been a sober rock star since 12/15/2006.


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[03:00] Highlights from Paul:


As humans, we are prone to the trap that things will be better, or we will feel better after x, y or z happens. If we are constantly attaching happiness to accomplishments, checklists, or sobriety clocks, then eventually this surface level happiness fades and doesn’t last nearly as long. Diffusing this trap is our most important task as a species at the moment. To find inner peace regardless of what is going on outside.


The first thing we can do to confront the trap is recognize it and then try to find happiness in the present moment while working towards the goal in mind. This is being okay with being okay or being okay even if you feel like dog crap. You are not doing sobriety, or anything wrong, if you have a bad day or 50.


To be fair, we do feel better when we make positive change in our lives, but it’s the balance we are going for. And not to place 100% of happiness to a future date, which is never guaranteed.


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[11:37] Kris introduces Matthew:


Matthew has just past 16 years of sobriety. He is married and they have two teenage sons. He spent many years as a radio and TV personality all over the country, but recently left the business to do podcasts, motivational speaking and is the head coach of a local high school hockey team. He enjoys doing this as well as taking advantage of the hiking opportunities near where he lives in Phoenix, AZ.


Matthew was first exposed to alcohol at a very young age when his dad would share sips of beer with him. He grew up in a family where drinking was a part of the landscape at all gatherings of any kind.


He didn’t really drink a whole lot until he was in his late teens. Later in his twenties, Matthew’s career found him doing a lot of appearances where he was expected to be the life of the party and ensure that everyone present was having a good time. This involved large bar tabs and many after parties that he occasionally had too much and couldn’t function well for his job the next day.



His drinking increased a lot after his father died. He was attending therapy to deal with the great loss and how it happened. He ended up leaving his family and traveled around the country with his career eventually meeting his wife. Things were going well and then there were major changes at work which ended up with him being unemployed while his wife was pregnant. He says that he spent a lot of time drinking at that point.


The moved again shortly after that and it was after a work Christmas party that Matthew found his rock bottom moment. That night he didn’t want the party to end but was unable to find an open bar. He ended up buying some wine and walking home. It was a three mile walk in the snow to his house. His wife and son were both crying when he got home and he just went to his room and passed out. When he woke up, he wrote a letter to his wife and son saying that he will never have another drink.


When he decided to quit, he knew he couldn’t do it by himself. He went to therapy to help him uncover the “why”. He told everyone that he was not going to be able to attend any alcoholic events for a while. Learning why he was drinking was the most important piece. He believes in living a life that he doesn’t want to escape from.


[01:02:15] Kris’ summary:


Kris reflects on the power of connection with people that you can let your guard down with. It’s important to feel seen and community is a great way to do that.



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