Episode 439 – Developing a Spiritual Practice


Today we have Liz, she’s 38 from LaVale, MD and took her last drink on December 31st, 2022.


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Athletic Greens


[02:22] Highlights from Paul:


This is not a religious podcast. Paul feels that religion and spirituality are not two sides of the same coin.


When we drink alcohol, spiritually, our electrical current to the universe is severed. In fact, in many cultures, the name alcohol literally means, soul sucking spirit. Then mentally, the chemical alcohol turns our brains into tepid soup. After that, we have the physical component – pancreatitis and liver failure come to mind.


What is spirituality? What is a spiritual practice? We are connecting with the self. We are connecting within. You become more ocean and less wave. In short, spirituality is connection with the self, which then leads to a connection with nature, the universe, a higher power, and some may call it God. Why do we drink? Why did we drink? To get this sense of connection.


Paul shares many examples of spiritual practices and reminds us that we don’t have to wait for the normal order of healing in order to implement some these. We can start right now.


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[11:03] Paul introduces Liz:


Liz is from a small-town Maryland. She is married with two kids; she is a registered nurse and attending school as she is working toward her master’s degree. She enjoys spending time outdoors: kayaking, hiking, camping, being a soccer mom.


Liz grew up in a tightknit family and was the youngest of three sisters. She first tried alcohol with a cousin when she was in 6th grade. She didn’t really enjoy it and thought it tasted terrible. She wasn’t a big drinker in high school, just the occasional party.


She drank like everyone else during college and worked in the service industry. It was normal for her to be the last person drinking at parties, but she worked and went to school with little issue.



Liz’s drinking escalated when she began nursing school. She was already married with two kids and struggled balancing it all. She used alcohol as a stress reliever. Her first job after graduating was in the ICU working night shifts. She would drink after her shifts and tried to hide the amount of drinking from her husband. She still didn’t feel she had a problem. Liz says her moderation attempts found her feeling more stressed and caused mood swings.


Liz went to inpatient rehab and was able to stay sober for six months. She started attending AA and using the tools she learned in rehab. Her relapse happened on a soccer trip after another parent called her out for not drinking which triggered her. She now feels that her lack of planning or having a network contributed to the relapse as well. She lost control of her drinking. Over the next few years, she spent a lot of time in treatment and trying to figure out what was causing the issues and what needed to change.


Liz got a sponsor with AA and started the steps right away after her last drink. She sometimes gets cravings but plays the tape forward. She knows that if she drinks, she will not be able to be there for any of her family if they need her. Liz made a post on Facebook about her recovery and received a lot of love and many messages from people regarding their own struggles. Liz says that she feels so much freedom now that she is alcohol free and has found her higher power.


Liz’s favorite resources in recovery: AA, recovery podcasts


Liz’s parting piece of guidance: don’t ever give up, no matter what happens you can wake up the next day and keep going.


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