Episode 434 – Don’t Lose Yourself in It


Today we have Gary, he is 44, from Toledo, OH and took his last drink on January 30, 2023


Exact Nature: https://exactnature.com/RE20


[01:42] Thoughts from Paul:


Today we are going to cover one of Paul’s favorite tools and practice.  But before we cover it, he asks us who is our go to person that we look to when life starts to veer into the ditch? Who has already provided guidance or a teaching on what to do in the situation you find yourself in?


For Paul, it is Eckhart Tolle. His books The Power of Now and A New Earth were recommended to him at just the right time.


The tool and concept Paul wants to cover is a line he discovered in A New Earth that says, “don’t lose yourself in it”. This refers to the thinking mind, or the ego.


Another book The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer shares the concept that you are not the thoughts in your mind, but you are the one who experiences them.


The point is don’t lose yourself in the incessant stream of thoughts coming from the thinking mind. Make a point each day to STOP what you are doing and take a deep breath. This practice doesn’t have to take long, but there may not be enough consciousness at first to split from the thoughts in the head. The point is to create as many daily gaps in your thinking as possible.


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[09:25] Kris introduces Gary:


Gary took his last drink on January 31st, 2023. He is 44 and lives in Toledo, OH. Professionally Gary is a medical assistant for primarily homebound patients. He enjoys reading, has recently started fishing and likes to try new things in sobriety.


Gary’s first experience with alcohol was in his early teen years. He and his cousin crashed a wedding with an open bar where they served him beer. He thought it was disgusting but kept drinking and blacked out the first time. Gary didn’t drink in high school. He graduated and met his future wife who was going to the army. He joined as well and was in Germany when he started drinking regularly. Drinking helped with his insecurities, and he was always searching for validation. After his wife cheated on him, life was tough for Gary. He started drinking heavily to deal with the pain surrounding the changes in his life.

Gary didn’t have a lot of consequences from his drinking. When he got out of the army and came home, he found another relationship and they had a daughter together. He was able to cut back on his drinking and started putting parameters around what and when he would drink. He found moderation exhausting.


Gary’s dad started having health issues, developed a rare form of cancer and passed within a year of diagnosis. His drinking ramped back up as he dealt with the grief. Gary’s drinking ended up contributing to the loss of a job. He tried his best to continue to be a good father but struggled with being emotionally present for his daughter.


After losing his job Gary found himself going into inpatient treatment, which is where his journey began. He had some stints of extended sobriety. He started going to AA meetings but had a hard time being social at first. He discovered podcasts which were helpful for him; he found listening to them was giving him strength. He was able to experience periods of sobriety but felt that his addiction was still sabotaging him at that time.


Gary had several instances of his drinking sending him into the hospital. He feels like this was his rock bottom. He realized he needed to be honest with himself and was able to stay sober for over two years. He started getting involved with the RE community which was very helpful for him. Changes in routine found Gary learning to love himself.


Gary’s favorite tools – recovery books, podcasts, Café RE, therapy, and Antibuse.


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