Episode 447 – Can You Be Addicted to Alcohol and Not Be An Alcoholic?


Today we have Stephanie. She is 35 from and took her last drink on December 31st, 2022.


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[02:43] Highlights from Paul:


Paul and Kris are going to be doing a ten-part intro series where we answer questions from listeners.  If you have a question that you’d like us to answer on the air, send them to info@recoveryelevator.com.


Paul shares one of his biggest regrets since starting the podcast and also answers the first question from Brady in South Denver. He asked, “can you be addicted to alcohol and not be an alcoholic?”


Paul begins his answer with “The Answer is yes. And no. And a little bit of yes, and little bit of No. Welcome to a world full of paradoxes.”


Next week we will hear Kris answer the next question: “How do I learn to let go of things and stop trying to control?”.


Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator – 10% off your first month. #sponsored


[09:23]: Paul introduces Stephanie:


Stephanie is 35 and she is from Connecticut, currently living in Washington State. She works as an accountant and as a server at a restaurant. She has one son and a dog. Stephanie enjoys reading both for fun and for a podcast she has: So, What Are You Reading?, and she has recently picked up paddleboarding.


Stephanie had her first drink when she was 16 and had a bad experience and said she wasn’t going to do it again. She drank very sporadically until she moved to Washington with her son’s father. After they broke up, she moved into an apartment on her own and felt like alcohol was her only friend. She progressed from wine to harder alcohol over time and began to try and put parameters on her drinking.

After a while, Stephanie realized that drinking wasn’t what she was supposed to be doing. She started recognizing that she wasn’t present for her son. Her anxiety was terrible, and she had issues with remembering things from the night before which made it worse. But Stephanie says she enjoyed the chaos that came with the drinking escapades, even though it was making her life harder than it needed to be. She got to the point that she didn’t want to do anything.


When Stephanie’s current boyfriend did a Dry January in 2021, Stephanie joined him but says she white knuckled through it and drank as soon as February 1st came. That was when she started questioning what the point of drinking was. She had some very negative events in her last year of drinking to the point that on January 1st, 2023, she decided enough was enough.


During the first 30 days she binged on podcasts and YouTube videos. She started journalling, doing puzzles and playing board games with her son. Stephanie has been able to get into grad school, is able to plan vacations and try a lot of new things. Reading, exercise, and time outdoors have become very important to Stephanie.


Stephanie’s favorite resources: The Sober Café (Facebook group), Recovery Elevator and other recovery podcasts,


Stephanie’s parting piece of guidance: if alcohol is impacting you in a negative way just take it out for 100 days.


[49:27] Closing thoughts:


If you’re not ready to quit drinking, none of the information we covered today is going to land, if you are ready, it doesn’t matter what we cover. Focus on the similarities and not the differences.


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All is fine, and all will be well.




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