Michael, with 32 years since his last drink, shares his story.
In a recent CNN interview with Jeremy Broderick, he talks about how the GOP replacement plan for Obamacare makes things worse for the addict. Many treatment plans were covered under Medicaid as well as the Affordable Care Act. Trump-care isn’t what is seems to be and pushes more for accessibility instead of universal coverage. In the meantime, 200 people die a day while the government sorts this out. It is estimated that for every $1.00 spent on treatment, $4.00 is saved on healthcare and for every $1.00 spent on education/prevention, $50.00 is saved on healthcare.
[8:18] Paul Introduces Michael
Michael – I am 60 years old with 32 years of sobriety. I have 2 twin sons and I run health and wellness websites. I like to walk, hike and meet like-minded people.
[10:48] When did you realize that you had a problem?
Michael – it was long before I was 28 years old. I started drinking alcoholically at age 14. I was in an accident and arrested for DUI at the age of 19. My drinking slowed down a little when my uncle died but I picked up smoking weed instead. Cocaine was finally my downfall. I was starting to spend hours in blackouts and was continuously apologizing for things that I had done.
[13:14] What were your drinking habits like?
Michael – During nights’ outs, I could drink 20 bottles of beer. We would go out to the bars starting at midnight and drink until 7am.
[14:08] Did you ever put any rules into place to control your drinking?
Michael – I couldn’t start drinking early in the day because I would keep going. I intentionally started drinking later in the day so that I had a chance to make it home safely.
[15:23] What drug do you think led you to cocaine? Pot or alcohol?
Michael – It was probably the pot. I needed it when I first woke up in the morning just to be able to get to work.
[16:04] How did you do it?
Michael – I started going to meetings and was completely overwhelmed by the love of the community. They enveloped me with their hugs and love. Our motto was hugs, not drugs. I went to 1 sober party after another. There wasn’t any time to do drugs. I learned to be careful who I surrounded myself with. Build your community of sober friends. Community is everything to me. I never feel alone when I surround myself with people who are moving in the same direction. There is no addiction sigma within these sober communities.
[22:29] Did you start with NA or AA?
Michael – I started with NA and we were a small group. We were sponsoring 5-10 people at a time. I received some advice that I should try an AA meeting in order to see what longer term sobriety was. My first AA meeting had some old timers who basically told me to, “sit down and shut up.” They taught us what real time recovery was.
[25:35] What is your advice for finding real recovery?
Michael – You’ve got to tap in to your resources. There are many milestones that are going to happen to you in recovery. Your world can still fall apart at any time. You will always have to deal with emotional experiences.
[27:27] What advice would you give to your younger self?
Michael – When we are drinking, we tend to gravitate towards other drinkers. Most of the rest of the population does not drink like we do. It is OK to be with these normal/non-drinkers. There is an entire world full of incredible people who do not care whether you drink or not.
[30:00] Tell us your thoughts regarding sugar addiction.
Michael – I think that sugar is the real gateway drug. It is so subtle that you do not realize it is even happening. Sugar is a powerful psychoactive drug. You can become physically and mentally addicted to sugar. We crave it when we need a mental break. When we eat sugar, we temporarily feel better about ourselves.
[35:40] What is viral recovery.com?
Michael – It is my website where I advocate to change the stigma of addiction with healthcare. I post what others are doing (such as Paul!) to change the attitudes surrounding addiction.
[36:51] Rapid Fire Round
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free
Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to firstname.lastname@example.org
www.facingaddiction.org – to sign the petition
“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”