Episode 467 – A Good Cry
Today we have Andrea. She is 47 years old and lives in Phoenix, AZ. She took her last drink on November 9th, 2021.
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[02:12] Thoughts from Paul:
Paul shares a quote with us that says, “decide what life you want to live and say no to everything else”. This same quote can be applied to your thoughts.
What comes to mind after reading this quote is the word “purge”. Saying no and letting go of things that don’t fit the life we want to live isn’t easy, but it is healthy and so is crying.
Emotional tears have many health benefits. They contain stress hormones and other toxins. Researchers have theorized that crying flushes these toxins out of your system.
A good cry also activates the parasympathetic nervous system which sends signals of calm and restoration to the body. In addition to this, crying dulls pain and releases oxytocin and endorphins. It is a way for the body to find a new emotional balance. A much better way than using alcohol.
If you’re finding emotions hard to deal with in sobriety then give the body permission to purge them out in the form of tears. Go ahead and lean into the millions of years of universal intelligence the body possesses and have a good cry.
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[09:28] Paul introduces Andrea:
Andrea is 47 years old and lives near Phoenix. She has four children, two grandchildren and a Great Pyrenees. She works with people with substance abuse disorders and is working on a master’s in social work. For fun she enjoys jogging, hiking, DIY projects and documentaries.
Andrea and her family moved around a lot when she was going up which made it hard for her to keep friends. She had her first drink shortly after she discovered that her father was cheating on her mother. She felt the calming effects the first time and drank every change she could get during her teens.
Andrea started bartending when she was 19. This found her drinking a lot after work which was creating some issues in her marriage. She was able to abstain from alcohol during all of her pregnancies but would drink as soon as she could after.
The alcohol was creating issues in the marriage and when Andrea was 22, she went to rehab but didn’t stay quit after leaving. A few years later she lost her mother to cancer and Andrea says that’s the first time she drank to numb pain rather than just a socialization tool.
The first consequence Andrea had was losing her nursing license after an arrest. When they were about to extend her probationary period where she could not drink without hiding it, she decided she didn’t want to do it and turned in her license. Her heavy drinking would continue throughout her 20’s and 30’s.
After her divorce when she was 41, Andrea did start exploring whether or not she had a drinking problem. She was beginning to see the consequences to her health and was realizing she didn’t want this to be her legacy. She was gradually able to stack days together and eventually reached 90 days where she kept on going. The first year found Andrea continuing to read quit lit, listen to podcasts and attend a few AA meetings.
Her decision to work on her relationships after year one was cut short when she lost a daughter to a drunk driving accident. Instantly she reached out to some sober friends to help her keep from drinking. Andrea feels that her sobriety has been a gift throughout this and helped her be there for her other children and grandchildren.
Andrea has been attending AA, going to school, and making new friends in social situations she would have avoided in the past. Giving back is important to Andrea as she pursues her master’s in social work.
Andrea’s favorite sobriety resources: podcasts, quit lit, The Phoenix
Andrea’s parting piece of guidance: the sooner you ditch the booze, the sooner you can start living.
Go big, because eventually we’ll all go home.
I love you guys.