Episode 442 – Time to Breathe
Today we have Jeff, he is 35 from Salt Lake City, UT and had his last drink on April 6th, 2023.
Shout out to the Café RE chat hosts. Thank you for continuing to hold space for our community and for creating an environment where we can come together and heal.
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[03:46] Highlights from Kris:
Kris finds sober anniversaries a good opportunity to reflect on where he was and where he is today. He asks himself questions such as “What have I gone through? How have I been able to meet the challenges placed in front of me? Am I moving in the direction I want to in my life?”
In active addiction Kris was not able to show love to himself. He knew that the things he was doing were hurting other people and himself. He knew his wife, kids, parents, and friends all loved him, but he couldn’t let the love in. He was stuck in the loop of “I’m not enough, I’ve screwed up too much, I deserve to feel this way.”
If you’re listening, and you’re there today, know that you are not alone. Many of us have been there and know how hard it is.
We don’t have to be perfect RE… that’s never going to happen. All we have to be is willing. We have to be willing to be honest with where we are today. Without judgement, where are things in our life right now? What is the next right thing to step into our new future? Where can we find support? Don’t worry about trying to resolve every issue in your life all at once. Just take little bites.
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[09:40] Kris introduces Jeff:
At the time of recording, Jeff is celebrating 90 days of sobriety and plans to celebrate with cacao. He is 35 and lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and two dogs. For fun Jeff enjoys mountain biking, skiing, running, and music is a big part of his life.
Growing up, alcohol was always present at celebrations hosted by his parents and their friends. It was normal for him to see people drink to excess. Jeff’s first drink was when he was 16 with some friends and stolen rum. Early on he recognized that his drinking was different than other people’s. On the outside, he was successful at school but was suffering from depression that alcohol helped him escape from.
After high school Jeff went to the east coast to play hockey for two years. This required a lot of discipline, so Jeff’s drinking was limited to one day each week. He never moderated and usually ended up blacking out.
When Jeff turned 20, he started college where he played hockey and studied engineering. During his freshman year he got a bad concussion and struggled a lot with the side effects afterwards. He initially used drinking to self-medicate the side effects but drinking started to become the answer to everything.
After college Jeff moved back to Alaska for a job. He had his own place with two roommates who he frequently drank with late into the night. He was able to keep up with work and other activities so in spite of some health consequences, he didn’t feel he had a problem.
Jeff started questioning his drinking after he caught himself drinking and driving frequently. He found Allen Carr’s book and was able to stop drinking for 11 days. Since then, he has been in the cycle of quitting and then starting back with different lengths of time between drinks.
Therapy has been helpful for Jeff over the last three years and his wife has been very supportive. Connection has become very important to him.
Jeff’s plan in recovery moving forward: moving forward with integrity and owning who he is.
Jeff’s parting piece(s) of guidance: it’s ok if you think this is hard because it is hard. Even just listening to this podcast is a huge win. Recovery is not a straight line.
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You’re the only one that can do this, but you don’t have to do it alone.
I love you guys.