Amelia, with 79 days since her last drink, shares her story……
According to the HBO documentary, Risky Drinking, 70% of people drink. Most drinkers fall within the following spectrum: no risk, low risk, mid risk, moderate risk, severe and death. The documentary chronicles 4 people in different stages of alcoholism. If you are drinking to fix the problem that drinking has caused, you may need to watch this program and see where you fall on the spectrum.
[ 10:39 ] Paul Introduces Amelia who’s last drink was on 10/10/16.
[ 11:12 ] Have you had any close calls since you stopped drinking?
Amelia – Not really, although I was pretty irritable during Christmas time. Instead of drinking, I just went to bed.
[ 11:48 ] Tell us a little about yourself.
Amelia – I was born and raised in San Francisco. I am a social worker and work with children in the foster care system. I love to watch baseball games and travel.
[ 13:19 ] When did you realize that you had a problem with alcohol?
Amelia – I started noticing I had a problem approximately 10 years ago, but I was always able to justify my behavior. 79 days ago, I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired!
[ 14:32 ] Did you ever put rules into place to try and moderate your drinking?
Amelia – I would try to drink only at night and on the weekends. After a hard days’ work, I felt like I deserved it. I had not had any bad consequences yet so this helped justify my drinking. Soon I implemented the “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” mentality.
[ 15:56 ] Did you have a bottom?
Amelia – I was kicked out of the Peace Corp for drinking too much. It was Independence Day in the Caribbean and after drinking all day, I decided that I wanted to go home. I ended up walking 7 miles in the rain back to my apartment with a co-worker. I would also not report to the Peace Corp my location at all times and this was a requirement.
[ 18:42 ] How did you get to 79 days without alcohol?
Amelia – I had a phone call with my parents to wish them a Happy Anniversary. I did not remember the phone call at all the following morning. It was a total blackout. I had asked myself, “Do I really want to be this person?” I called a friend who I trusted and they encouraged me to go to an AA meeting. I felt accountable.
[ 20:21 ] Tell us more about this accountability piece?
Amelia – I had spoken to this same friend about my concerns with alcohol about a year before. I also spoke to my mother. She informed me that she had attended an Al-Anon meeting 1 year ago as well because she too was concerned with my drinking.
[ 22:53 ] What was it like having repeated bottoms?
Amelia – I never thought they were real or deep bottoms. I did not have consequences or anything taken away from me because of my drinking yet.
[ 24:40 ] What do you think would happen if you drink again?
Amelia – It would be just a matter of time before something really bad happened.
[ 26:00 ] What is your plan going forward?
Amelia – So far AA has been working. If I think about drinking, I just follow the drunk all of the way to the end. I am attending the RE Retreat in Montana so that will hold myself accountable. Soon, I would like to start working the steps.
[ 30:12 ] What have you learned most about yourself?
Amelia – that I can be happy and have a better life without drinking.
[ 31:00 ] What advice would you give your younger self?
Amelia – to look at your bottoms and see them for what they really are. I would also listen more to my mother when she told me how alcoholism runs in our family.
[ 33:00 ] Rapid Fire Round
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