Episode 457 – What if I Can’t Quit Drinking?
Today we have Ryan. He’s 33 years old from Orange County, NY and took his last drink on September 24th, 2023.
Happy Thanksgiving to all the listeners in the USA! Be sure to take some time this week and let the universe know what you are thankful for and remember a drink won’t make your holiday any better.
[02:42] Highlights from Paul:
It’s the last Q&A episode and today’s question is from Darren in Tampa Bay who asks, “What if I can’t quit drinking?”
Paul shares that he could have asked this same question not that long ago and his message to Darren and others that maybe feeling this way is to keep moving forward, don’t quit quitting, keep using the mind to build, to visualize your alcohol-free life. Accept it all, embrace the journey, and you will come out the other side.
Paul rephrases the question to ask, “what if I can’t quit drinking today?” and shares some thoughts and strategies to implement which include:
- It isn’t quitting for a lifetime, it’s only for today and it gets easier.
- Don’t beat yourself up. People with drinking problems drink but on the flip side people with drinking problems quit every day.
- Stick to the plan of seeking sobriety. “What you seek is seeking you”.
- For many, it is a journey, and it takes time for things to get into sync. You don’t need to rush the process.
Thank you, listeners, for all the questions!
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[10:44] Paul introduces Ryan:
Ryan is on day 5 at the time of this recording. He is 33 years old and is engaged and has two stepchildren. He is a drummer and loves playing metal music and enjoys watching horror movies.
Ryan’s relationship with alcohol didn’t begin until he was in his 20’s. His drinking was mostly a few beers sporadically, but he quickly graduated to straight liquor. He started drinking regularly when he was about 23 to cope with stress and depression using alcohol as an escape. It was putting a strain on his relationship at the time, and she
Ryan feels he was functional and kept his problem hidden well. There were no rock bottoms for him yet, he was just drowning his feelings and didn’t feel a reason to stop. The industry he worked in found he and his coworkers drinking together after work frequently.
Some severe pain in Ryan’s hips and legs found him seeking medical attention. He went to a doctor who he has known for years, and they discovered that Ryan had AVN. This is a condition that doesn’t happen to people in their 20’s so Ryan shared his drinking habits with the doctor who connected the dots quickly.
Ryan was able to quit drinking for two years with the help of Campral while he was in recovery from hip replacement surgery. He reflects this was a very positive time in his life. Even after he relapsed, there have been times of abstinence with the assistance of naltrexone but feels he wasn’t working on the underlying issues that caused him to want to drink.
Ryan has been trying to figure out his “why”. His depression plays a role in it, he says, but it feels complex. He knows that all alcohol is causing several health issues, but he is working on harm reduction and learning more about what alcohol does to us. Ryan has the support of his fiancé, his friends and family and utilizes his music to help him cope now.
Ryan’s parting piece of guidance: if you think drinking is a problem for you, quitting can be done, it’s not easy but it is simple. Incorporate medications, therapy and a support network.
Go big, because eventually we all go home.
I love you guys.