Erik, with 67 days since his last drink, shares his story….
What exactly is alcohol and how is it created? According to the book, Beyond the Influence, by Katherine Ketcham, the basic ingredient of alcohol is yeast. Let’s just call it what it is; yeast dung to be exact. The yeast eventually dies off during the fermenting process leaving alcohol in its’ basic form, which is ethanol. That’s right folks! We have been consuming the same ingredient that is used in lacquer and dyes. Once we drink, the alcohol quickly passes through our cell membranes and enters the blood stream. Depending on our age, gender, or whether or not we have eaten, etc., alcohol affects us all differently. Beyond just the physically changes, alcohol also affects our emotional state. It has been known to exacerbate anxiety, stress and fatigue by triggering the body to release adrenaline artificially. No wonder those hang overs are so awful!
[ 10:44 ] Paul Introduces Erik and asks when was his last drink?
Erik – 67 days ago and it feels good on most days
[ 11:13 ] Erik tell us a little about himself.
Erik – I am 31 years old and currently live in Dallas. I play and teach music and also enjoy cooking and exercise.
[ 13:42 ] When did you realize you had a problem with drinking?
Erik – After graduating from college, consequences started happening. I had crashed a few cars and received a few DWI’s.
[ 15:11 ] Did you ever try to implement rules in order to moderate your drinking?
Erik – I was not real great at even putting rules into place. But I had an interlock (breathalyzer) put on my car and would try to moderate so that I could still start the car. One time I blew over the limit 3 times. I was more of a binge drinker. Once I started, I could not stop drinking.
[ 17:24 ] After your probation ended, you started drinking again. What happened?
Erik – When you are on probation, I think mentally you are just waiting for the time to be over. Once it is over, you can drink again. I continued to drink for 2-3 years without suffering any real consequences.
[ 19:00 ] Did your drinking progress or remain the same?
Erik – It progressed and I started driving when I shouldn’t be again. I also started experiencing episodes of anger and rage, which was completely uncharacteristic of me.
[ 20:45 ] Erik shares a recent story of a wedding he attended.
Erik – I was running late for a wedding in which I was a groomsman. My mind made this a much bigger deal than it actually was so when I finally arrived, I headed straight to the bar. I stumbled to the service and was late for the photo shoot. I continued to drink and my mood kept deteriorating. After the wedding was over, I went to the after party and eventually blacked out. When I came to, I was in the middle of a brawl with a friend. I was very disappointed in myself and was worried that I had destroyed some friendships.
[ 27:45 ] How did you get to 67 days without drinking?
Erik – I had worked the AA program many years ago and basically got re-plugged in. I reached out to some previous people that I knew in the program, started going to meetings and got a sponsor.
[ 31:00 ] Paul and Erik discuss the gift of desperation
Erik – My last drinking memory was that wedding I attended. I am not sure if I can fix the damage that I did to some of those relationships. I do not want that last memory to define me.
[ 32:00 ] What is your plan moving forward?
Erik – I will continue to work my program, meditate and go to meetings. I would also like to start my own life now, by moving out of my parent’s house and getting back on track.
[ 33:33 ] Rapid Fire Round
****Congratulations to our very own Brandy for reaching 1 year of sobriety****
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Books – Beyond the Influence by Katherine Ketcham and Living Sober by AA
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