Episode 434 – Season 5 – What We Believe In
Today we have Alex, he is 35, from Lincoln, NE and took his last drink on January 20, 2023
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[03:35] Highlights from Paul:
Welcome to Season 5! Episode 1 of this podcast dropped on February 25th, 2015. Paul recalls the date and how he felt. He was worried he was going to crash and burn. But 10,000,000 downloads later, he still hasn’t had a drink and the podcast is still going.
Paul discusses the plan for Season 5, what RE’s concepts and values are, the podcast schedule and more.
Mission Statement of Recovery Elevator is as follows:
“We offer hope through community and connection. Partnering sobriety seeking individuals with other likeminded people!”
Six themes Paul and Kris will be focusing on this season:
- Recovery Elevator is inclusive
- There is no right or wrong way to do this
- Don’t just quit drinking
- We cannot fight an addiction
- We must pass along what we’ve learned to others
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[10:49] Paul introduces Alex:
Alex is 35 and lives in Lincoln, NE. He is married with three kids. He stays busy with his family, enjoys landscaping at their new home and works in the financial industry.
Alex first tried alcohol in his senior year of high school. He initially did not drink with his friends, but eventually gave it a try. He started going to parties and enjoyed the assistance alcohol gave him socially. He didn’t drink very regularly but when he did drink, he drank heavily. He did have a close call when getting pulled over once, but the officer called his parents instead of charging him with driving under the influence.
Alex joined a fraternity in college and says his drinking escalated at that point but was not out of control. He was still able to do well academically. After college he moved to Chicago, and he used drinking as a way to make friends. He was attending grad school and was drinking heavily but still highly functional.
He first started questioning his drinking when his brother was going through some issues with substance abuse. He says he was blacking out at least twice a week but wasn’t sure if he had a problem. This is when Alex first tried moderation that he says worked for a while, but the rules became softer over time.
The first time Alex recognized that his drinking might be an issue was when his wife went into labor with their second child, and he had been drinking so he was unable to drive her to the hospital. Over time he realized that he was not fully present for his children, and he didn’t time to pass and realize that he had drank their childhood away.
After Alex had around 50 days of sobriety and went back to drinking, he realized how much better he felt sober and realized that is what he wanted. That paired with wanting to be a better parent helped him focus on trying sobriety again.
Alex took his first step by going to an online AA meeting just to listen. It was there that he realized that seeking sobriety wasn’t something to be afraid of. He drank that night but burned the ships with his family telling them that his life of sobriety would be starting the next day.
The first few days found Alex excited for sobriety. Within a short period of time, he found his sleep improving, started getting compliments at work, and was generally feeling better. Since quitting drinking Alex feels that his emotions have leveled out and life is no longer on “hard mode”.
Alex’s favorite resources in recovery: quit lit, Reddit, realizing that he is not alone.
Alex’s parting piece of guidance: if you’re not successful the first time, you are definitely going to learn on each attempt of sobriety so keep at it.
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Go big, because eventually we all go home.
I love you guys.