Episode 433 – The Comfort Crisis
Today we have Daniel, he is 43 from Orange County, he took his last drink on December 31st, 2014.
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[01:42] Thoughts from Paul:
The discomforts of quitting drinking will make you a stronger person down the road. And not far down the road.
Although humans are hardwired to seek comfort, it’s not necessarily good for us. Many anthropologists have speculated that we were happier thousands of years ago. Our needs were simpler and easier to satisfy. We were naturally mindful, living in the moment. In addition, our ancestors usually found themselves in tight communities of around 150 people, where everyone shared the burden of survival. There was a deeper sense of belonging.
The rates of mental health, addiction, inflammations, cancers, are sky rocketing, and the author of the book says the reason for this is because we are living progressively sheltered, sterile, temperature controlled, over-fed, under challenged, safety netted lives.
Key takeaway? Get uncomfortable. It’s good for you. And spending significant time in nature will make you happier.
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[09:01] Paul introduces Daniel:
Daniel had his last drink on New Year’s Eve of 2014. He lives in Southern California; he’s married with three children. He owns a few businesses and works in education. For fun Daniel likes to play tennis, work in his yard and enjoys Wim Hof breathwork. Daniel enjoys getting out of his comfort zone and trying new things frequently.
At age 16 Daniel had his first drink and instantly felt the pull. He didn’t start using it habitually until he was in college, and it helped with his social anxiety and gave him confidence. He says the red flags came early and often but he didn’t have a classic rock bottom moment. He feels he was very high functioning – did well in school and had a job. His drinking didn’t change after he left college. He began questioning his drinking about four years prior to quitting because he had learned he and his wife were about to have a child.
For a long time, Daniel was unwilling to give up drinking and he would have times of attempting moderation and then abandoning that to hiding bottles of alcohol throughout his house before going back to moderation again. He thought having a child would help him make changes, but it did not.
Good things were happening with Daniels home life and career, but the drinking was still there. He was having issues with anxiety and depression that he attempted to treat but the alcohol negated his efforts.
Daniel’s quit date wasn’t planned as he was still in denial about how serious his drinking had become. The day after his last drink he had some hallucinations that scared him.
He finally met with a doctor and decided to lay it all out and asked for help. He initially thought it would be only for 30 days, but he ended up going for another month and so on.
Daniel still had a lot of shame surrounding his initial recovery and was isolated for about six months. He says that he found a lot of peace getting away from all the anxiety and started feeling more comfortable about his choice to get sober. He recently started using Tik-Tok and started a podcast which he has found very cathartic for his recovery.
Daniel’s favorite resources in recovery: Calm app, Wim Hof app, Tik-Tok
Daniel’s parting piece of guidance: Be less concerned about HOW people recover and more concerned THAT people recover.
Daniel’s podcast – Sobriety Uncensored
[42:25] Closing thoughts:
In our Café RE chats we start with an Icebreaker Question. I asked the group “when you’re stressed or triggered what helps you?” The most common answer was “get outside”.
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I love you guys.
It all starts from the inside out.
We can do this.