Laura, with 41 days since her last drink, shares her story…….
Do you ever feel duped by alcohol? Throughout high school, we were all told to “just say no” to drugs but not much was ever said about alcohol. The reality is that only 1 in 10 people with an alcohol problem get treatment. The research shows that the number 1 most addictive drug is alcohol. It kills more people than all other drugs combined.
In 2015, Paul started the RE podcast just to stay accountable for himself. Now, the podcast has gotten so popular because so many people are still struggling. Even though addiction is a chronic disease of the brain, the stigma attached keeps people from getting the help that they need. The challenge for all of us in recovery is to be open about out alcohol use, and get it out in the open.
[13:29] Paul Introduces Laura.
Laura – I am 40 years old and have not had a drink in 41 days. I am married with 2 boys and I live in Michigan. I am a special education teacher and enjoy most outdoor activities.
[16:41] When did you realize that you had a problem?
Laura – I had been drinking pretty heavily since my 20’s. Last summer when I wanted to stop, I could not. During a routine physical, I mentioned to my Dr. that I had some liver issues and that perhaps I should go to rehab. He advised against it stating that there were only drug abusers in there. He suggested I see their social worker but she wouldn’t see me because I was still drinking. I felt like I was going around and around. I even tried Harm reduction which did not work.
[19:46] When you stopped drinking did your health problems go away?
Laura – not entirely but they have gotten better. I exercise more since I am not drinking and that makes me feel better. My rheumatoid arthritis is still there. I thought that once I quit drinking, I would be pain free but that was not the case. After 40 days of not drinking, I am starting to feel some relief from pain. I have started reading “The All Day Energy Diet.”
[23:14] Paul and Laura discuss the Harm Reduction Plan.
Laura – you are supposed to moderate and keep track of how many drinks you have each day. It wasn’t working for me. I found it difficult remaining in contact with the other people in the group. School started and things got crazy so I started drinking again every night. I wanted to stop but just didn’t want to put the work in to do it.
[25:25] How did that feel when you wanted to stop but just wasn’t ready?
Laura – I could get a few days of sobriety under my belt but would always drink on that 3rd day. I was a responsible drinker and would get everything done in my household by 8pm so that I could start drinking.
[30:00] So how did you get 41 days of sobriety?
Laura – I kept myself very busy or would go for a walk just to keep my mind off of it. Every morning I try to exercise and it feels great to not have the guilt about drinking the night before. After work if I get cravings, I will drink a cup of coffee. I also enjoy reading sobriety books and once the summer starts, I would like to check out some AA and SMART meetings.
[32:14] Do you have anything on your sobriety bucket list?
Laura – I would like to run a 5K, travel, and spend more quality time with my children.
[32:59] What advice would you give to your younger sense?
Laura – Stop drinking when you are young. Drinking is not realistic. It is OK to experience your emotions. Do not be afraid to feel them.
[33:03] What are your thoughts on relapse?
Laura – The thought of relapse scares me. I do not want to lose control like that again.
[35:00] Rapid Fire Round
Interesting fact – India has passed a law that establishments that serve liquor cannot be close to federal highways. They have 400 traffic fatalities a day and a big portion of these are due to alcohol. You might be an alcoholic if you remove federal highway signs and replace them with city signs, so that your business is not affected by this new law.
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
Check out the new Recovery Elevator sobriety tracker
AALRM – run for recovery. The link is at recoveryelevator.com/run. Enter the promo code recoveryelevator to receive a discount
Book – The All Day Energy Diet by Yuri Elkaim
“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”