Episode 428 – Do I have a Drinking Problem?


Today we have Lauren, she is 54 from Rochester NY, and took her last drink on November 19, 2022.


Shout out to Ty with 15 YEARS alcohol free!  Thank you for all you do for RE!


Shout out to Bradley from south Denver with 3 days alcohol free!  Great job!


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[03:23] Intro summary:


In the past Paul has talked about the worst  place a person can be with a drinking problem is in limbo (episode 417). But how do we find out if we actually have a problem so we can get out of that space?


There is a test listed in the DSM-5 to determine if we have a drinking problem or not. There are 11 questions, and you must meet two of them within the past 12 months to have what is called Alcohol Use Disorder. It’s not hard to determine if you have a drinking problem based on that test.


But at the end of the day, it can be as simple as if you question if you have a drinking problem, you just answered your own question.


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[12:36] Kris introduces Lauren:


Lauren has been sober almost 4 months at the time of recording. She lives in Rochester New York, she is married, has two adult children, one granddaughter, has pets and owns her own business helping the elderly. She enjoys time outside, crafting (currently diamond painting), reading and learning new things.


Lauren was always fascinated with alcohol, but it wasn’t prevalent in her immediate family. When she was 16, she was able to purchase alcohol for her and her friends. She had a lot of fun and thought it was cool. She chose the college based on their drinking culture; she drank heavily but still did well in school. After college she got married, had two kids and a successful job. She drank the same as other parents around her, so she felt that was normal. She was able to abstain when she had her children and feels her drinking was more or less recreational for a long time.




Over the years Lauren hadn’t really tried to quit drinking. She would make a halfhearted attempt at Dry January, but it didn’t last. She didn’t think it had anything to do with being addicted. She feels that everyone else saw signs that her drinking was a problem, but she wasn’t aware of it.


After going on a very long-awaited vacation in 2022, Lauren says she had a hard time coming back to regular life and the stressors were magnified. Soon after, she drunkenly alienated a friend on Facebook, and it really impacted her when the friendship ended. She started drinking to escape everything that was bothering her. Lauren had a scare during her third blackout in eight days and decided to go to the doctor where she told them everything. She was sent to an outpatient program to start the next day.


She has found a lot of tools and inspiration through the outpatient program. Lauren says AA didn’t resonate with her, but she does do SMART recovery online which she enjoys. Connecting with others has been a great resource for Lauren as well. She views her drinking and recovery as just part of her, she doesn’t feel it defines her. Lauren recognizes that she is happier and communicate better with her husband. Her family is relieved and proud of her for going into recovery.


[57:20] Outro:


Spring is here! And with seasonal changes come new challenges. Kris feels that it is a chance for him to make sure he has his accountability in place and has a plan when it comes to spring and more outdoor events. Don’t stress about upcoming events, simply be aware of what is out there. Set yourself up to enjoy the weather and reach your alcohol-free goals.


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