Episode 422 – The Pursuit of Happiness


Today we have Susannah. She is 42 from Hampshire, England, and took her last drink on 4/29/2022.


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[03:09] Highlights from Paul:


Paul shares a blog post created by Odette regarding happiness in sobriety. He also shares his thoughts that sobriety does not equal happiness or solve all of our problems, but it does give us the chance to build a life where happiness knocks on the door more frequently. The school of sobriety is going to teach you the most important lessons of life. Love and acceptance. It will keep teaching you these lessons until you have accepted, that’s the lesson to learn.


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[10:40] Kris introduces Susannah:


Susannah is about to celebrate 10 months of sobriety. She lives in the south of England; she is married, and they have three boys and two dogs. She works in luxury concierge. In her free time, she enjoys walking and is looking forward to expanding her garden this year.


Susannah grew up as the youngest of 3 kids. Her parents drank socially but she was never exposed to any kind of alcohol abuse. When she was young, she was sent to boarding school. She was exposed to alcohol when she was around 13 but had no interest in it, in fact she was very against drinking at that time. It wasn’t until she was 16 that she started socially drinking at pubs with friends, but it wasn’t an issue she feels.


Her mother died suddenly when Susannah was 22.  Her and her mother were very close, so she was feeling quite isolated and alone after this loss. A few years later Susannah was in Thailand when the tsunami hit. These events had her questioning “why me?” and she thinks that they contributed to some of her attention seeking behavior and participation in toxic relationships. She doesn’t feel that she was using drinking to cope at this point in time but was not dealing with the traumas very well.


When she was in her early thirties, she got pregnant. She found pregnancy to be very difficult for her but didn’t have trouble quitting drinking during these times. She had several medical issues happen which caused her first child to be born early which was scary for her.


After her second child her drinking started to increase. The drinking events coming more and more frequently whether they were over bad things or celebratory things.


Susannah says she was able to stop drinking for periods of time but never with the goal of quitting completely. She tried to seek help but was told she should try medication or taking vitamins. Since she functioned well on the outside no one believed she had a problem. She kept trying to moderate, but it never worked.


After a terrible hangover that had her sick at an event in her village the next day she decided to go to AA. She met the woman who is now her sponsor at that first meeting and with a hug from her, she finally felt the relief that she was in the right place.


After about four or five months of sobriety, she feels things has shifted. She has learned so much about herself and has start dealing with all of her traumas. She is better as a wife and mother and feels she performs better at work.


[01:02:31] Kris’ Outro:


The beauty of recovery are the chances that keep showing up to put the healing we have done to good work.  What’s happened in your life that you wouldn’t have expected if you were still drinking?


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