Episode 459 – Let’s Smile
Today we have Spencer. He’s 44 years old from Minneapolis, MN and took his last drink on September 23rd, 2023.
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[02:04] Highlights from Paul:
Start your day with a smile. It doesn’t matter if the smile is fake or real. The body doesn’t know the difference and the nervous system always responds positively with a smile.
Smiling increases mood-enhancing hormones. Smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin, while decreasing stress-enhancing hormones, including cortisol, and adrenaline. It also reduces overall blood pressure.
Another reason to smile is that research shows that smiles are contagious. Most people will find a way to reciprocate in a friendly manner. Smiling is a way to be of service because it makes other people’s days better.
Spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has said “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
Start your day with a 30 -second smile. And not for just one day or two,
but rock that smile every morning for the rest of this year and hopefully beyond. And don’t forget to keep that smile going throughout the day.
Paul shares some dad jokes to help get us started.
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[08:04] Paul introduces Spencer:
Spencer grew up in Minneapolis area. He is married with two kids. He enjoys playing blues and rock on his guitar and spending time on the river with his family. Spencer has been an electrician for 23 years.
Spencer says that alcohol was a big part of his family’s life while he was growing up. Both of his parents drank, and every event was centered around alcohol. Spencer didn’t try alcohol until he was around 15. He had a friend who’s parent worked nights, so their house became a party house and drinking happened frequently.
Spencer got married young and they both drank heavily. They had a daughter together and eventually they ended up getting a divorce. At the time Spencer blamed a lot of the issues on his ex. Once she moved out Spencer had some friends move in and says the drinking became daily and he was losing jobs. He eventually started having financial issues and lost his house.
It was shortly after he started dating a woman that didn’t drink like him that he realized that drinking might be a problem for him. He didn’t really make any changes until the birth of his son when he began to try moderating and added rules around his drinking.
Things were going well for Spencer and then he got a call from his son’s mother that she was a heroin addict. He ended up having to get custody of him and knew he had to stop drinking for his son. He was able to quit for a while but gradually let drinking slip back in.
Spencer was able to quit for a few years and started recognizing how big of an issue alcohol had been for him. He knew he wanted to quit but wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to do it.
New activities have replaced drinking for Spencer. He is working on his relationships with his kids and has been talking to them about alcohol and the issues within the family. Spencer is open about his sobriety with others. He listens to a lot of podcasts about addiction and enjoys online AA meetings and has plans to do the steps. Spencer knows how important connection will be going forward.
Spencer’s parting piece of guidance: If you think you have a problem, find someone that’s sober to talk about it, listen to podcasts, get connected.
Remember Rule 22, keep those smiles going. Lighten up.
I love you guys.