Episode 427 – But a Symptom


Today we have Ian, he is 24, from Baltimore, MD and he has been alcohol free since December 26, 2022.


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[02:15] Thoughts from Paul:


If alcohol isn’t the primary problem, and it’s a symptom of something else, what does that mean, and what course of action do we take? None of us are able to correct the unrest in our lives when alcohol is present. That’s why moderate drinking for the problematic drinker doesn’t work either.


For Paul, after he ditched the booze, he recognized that his nervous system needed healing and found that nature was a great help with addressing that. Everyone is different and their sources of unrest that need addressing will be different but first, the alcohol needs to go and then the healing can begin. We get one life, and your addiction is about to springboard you towards your authentic self – if you are willing. You may be asking yourself “am I willing?”…If you are listening to this podcast, the answer is yes.


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[10:47] Paul introduces Ian:


Ian took his last drink on Christmas Day of 2022. He lives in Baltimore and is a recent college grad. In his free time, he fosters senior dogs and plays music. He finds taking care of animals at the end of their lives to be very rewarding and helpful in his recovery.


Ian wasn’t exposed to alcohol until he was in college. He was in his junior year when he started drinking and smoking pot. He had roommates that were drinking like he was at parties and on the weekends, but Ian was starting to be sneaky and would purchase his own alcohol separate from the alcohol that was present in the house and didn’t want anyone to know how much he was actually drinking. The blackouts started becoming more and more frequent.


When he was 20, he started planning his entire days around drinking and smoking. Work and school became minor activities and drinking was priority. Throughout all of this Ian was still successful so he didn’t see his drinking as a problem.


Early 2020 Ian experienced withdrawal for the first time and it scared him. He initially didn’t realize what it was and was scared he was going to die. For the first time, he acknowledged his drinking had become an issue.


After several trips to the ER, he ended up speaking with a peer counselor who helped him get involved with an Intensive Outpatient Program. Ian was able to get sober for two months but was ashamed of what he was doing and ended up leaving. He relapsed and had a bad Christmas with his family. He has learned that it is more embarrassing to have a drinking problem than it is to work on getting sober.


Ian says being transparent with people was the game changer for him. Letting everyone know that he is sober helps him stay accountable.


Being a young person in sobriety can feel a little lonely Ian says. Our culture normalizes drinking in our twenties and it’s hard to connect with others in recovery because most people are older. In spite of the feelings of missing out or “why me” thinking, Ian knows that this is the right choice for him.


Ian is looking forward to achieving newfound career goals, being a better dog dad and someday having a family. He is excited to fully find his confidence and be the best version of himself he can possibly be.


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