Episode 441 – Connection With a Molecule


Today we have Shane, he is 39 from Birmingham, AL and took his last drink on December 25th, 2021.


[00:58] Highlights from Paul:


Many of us share the same response to our first drink. It’s a firework show internally that connects the missing dots. We finally feel connected. Alcohol becomes our best friend.


Now do not beat yourself up if you find yourself in a tightly intertwined relationship with alcohol. Humans are pack animals and need connection to survive. We need partnership. As addiction guru Dr. Gabor Mate would say, congratulations, you found alcohol, you found a way to survive. Yes, there is the disease model, but there’s also the unease model. A deep unrest or lack of connection with others and ourselves.


How do we fix this? Like we learned in last week’s episode, it’s robust social connections that fix this. Some of us have difficulty making deep connections with other human beings but connection with nonhuman souls can help us quit drinking too. Animals help us release oxytocin and serotonin; they help our nervous systems relax. Studies show plants and trees can do the same thing.


To summarize, we connected with a molecule. Which ended up being the most dangerous and addictive molecule thus far recorded, and there is plenty of data to back that up. So, what’s next? Start building connections with other people, places, and things, like your life depends on it. Because it does.


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[08:12] Paul introduces Shane:


Shane is 39 years old, currently lives outside of Birmingham, AL. He is married with two children. He works in the heavy truck parts industry. He has been playing guitar since he was 15.


Shane had no interest in drinking prior to trying it on a beach trip with friends when he was 20. Shane was surround by alcohol while working as a musician and in the service industry. He found that alcohol made it easier for him to talk to and socialize with people. He first recognized that he might have a problem when he realized he was starting to rely on alcohol to alleviate any stress he was having. He met his wife while they were working on a music album together.


Shane started having increasing anxiety and his drinking issues were becoming more apparent to those around him. He was given an ultimatum by his wife to quit drinking. He was able to quit drinking for about five years.


Shane’s father passed away and he ended up taking over the business abruptly. At this point he had already relapsed and would have a series of stops and starts utilizing different programs, but nothing ever stuck. Shortly after his daughter was born Shane made his most recent attempt at recovery after some conversations with his wife. He started attending AA three times a week and this was the first time that he admitted to himself that he could not control this. Shane says he felt huge relief when he realized that.


Shane says that within the first six months of sobriety his sleep improved, he was able to do more by not planning his life around alcohol. Exercise has been very helpful to Shane as well. He is open with friends and family around his recovery and has no issues being around alcohol. Shane feels the next step for him is leaning into the service aspect of recovery.


Shane’s favorite resources in recovery: RE podcast, AA, SMART Recovery


Shane’s parting piece of guidance: “just stop drinking”


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It all starts from the inside out.

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