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Episode 421 – Keep It Simple
Today we have Stephanie. She is 44 from Georgetown, MA and took her last drink on September 6, 2020.
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[2:49] Highlights from Paul:
In an age where almost everything plugs in, we as human beings do not. Often when we are feeling upset or triggered, one (or more than one) aspect of H.A.L.T is at play. Try and ask yourself if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired.
Paul gives us a lot of suggestions of simple ways to address these feelings and asks the listener – how do you keep it simple? Let us know on Monday’s post on Instagram in the comment area!
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[10:42] Paul introduces Stephanie:
Stephanie took her last drink on September 6th, 2020. She is 44 years old, lives in Georgetown, Massachusetts. She is married and has two boys, ages 7 and 9, and two dogs. She enjoys walking and running and loves all things sci-fi.
She first started drinking when she was 15 with an 18 year old boyfriend. She was socially anxious, and drinking helped with that. There were very few consequences and she says it was at least once a weekend she drank, but never drank at home and wasn’t exposed to alcohol at home. She did well in school and followed the rules at home.
She drank in college and went out with her friends typically Thursday through Saturday but did well in school during the week. She was able to dodge some consequences, but the behavior continued. The drinking gradually began happening more frequently especially after she started dating someone and they spent a lot of time going out and drinking together.
She ended up getting married and they moved to Arizona. Their relationship was surrounded by alcohol, and it started to become obvious that they couldn’t take nights off and that was an issue. They split up and she moved back home to Boston. While she was excited for the next chapter of her life, she ended up starting to drink alone which was a red flag to her. She met her husband and they had a lot of fun together, even though they drank. Nothing serious happened, but she still felt that she was drinking too much. She was able to quit while she was pregnant and realized during the second pregnancy that she was wanting it to hurry up so she could start drinking again. Shortly after that she moved from bottles of wine to boxes.
Around the beginning of the pandemic, she told her husband that she was going to quit, but she wasn’t able to. She started hiding mini bottles and realized she started drinking earlier and earlier in the day. She was starting to have physical pains and was saddened by what she saw in the mirror. She was feeling more and more disconnected and realized that she wanted to change this so she could connect and be more present with her children.
Due to the pain, she was having, Stephanie decided to make an appointment with her doctor and got some alarming results. She decided to come clean with her husband and let him know what’s been going on and that she was ready to quit drinking. He was very supportive which she wasn’t expecting.
Stephanie realized that she had to do things differently. Moderation had never worked in the past, so she knew that wasn’t an option this time. Three big things she did were she told the truth about her addiction, found a community whose language she really resonated with, and ensured she consistently had an hour to herself where she would listen to podcasts and walk. She is looking forward to doing some international travel sober, which she hasn’t done before, and she is excited to continue being a more present parent and partner.
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You can do this
I love you guys
My name is Bob Lo Bue. I am the author and director of the Visions theatre play on Addiction and Recovery that has reached more than 40,000 people in the hearts of treatment centers, shelters, prisons and communities with the message of Hope and Recovery from substance abuse. Over 500 anonymous volunteers (no last names) have joined us; few actors here. Those recovering from substances using the medium of theatre to convey recovery.
Visions Recovery Inc is our not for profit organization. We are based in New Jersey and have silently reached as far west as Texas since 1991 with the Visions Play. We are a mobile troupe, turning treatment centers into theatrical arenas with event lighting, audio and staging. The play has a musical score. After each and every performance we go into the audiences and meet with our peers and ask them to join us, An opportunity to give back for so many. A healing both for cast and audience members. We are recipients of a Presidential Points of Light Award from Washington DC for our community service and volunteerism and the State of New Jersey Governor’s Volunteer Award Winners in the Arts and Humanities. As powerful is addiction, there is something even more powerful and that is Recovery.
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Hello Bob, that sounds like an incredible project. Perhaps our paths will cross in the future! Thanks for your support