"Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon."
This phrase is commonly heard in 12 step meetings. When it comes to recovery, a half-hearted attempt could have disasterous results. Recovery can be confusing. Half measures might yield mediocre results in other areas of life, but due to the nature of the beast, unfortunatly the truth is that alcoholism can not be defeated while alchol is still being consumed, and thus requires one to quit drinking completely in order to successfully move forward without alcohol.
While this is true in the long run, most of us use half measures at the beginning to try and control our drinking. This is normal and, though half measures in regard to quitting drinking leads to relapse, it may also lead one to the conclusion that they have to quit completely. Sometimes the wrong train will take you to the right destination.
Zoey, with 7 months since her last drink, shares her story.
[9:15] Paul Introduces Zoey. How long have you been sober? Who are you? What do you do for fun?
Over 7 months sober. June 1, 2017 sobriety date. Married. Louisville, KY. 23yo. Works at a freight facility. Still learning what she likes to do for fun. Has 2 dogs. Likes music, reading, cooking.
[9:40] What spurred you into sobriety?
Had a car accident while under the influence that she didn't remember.
[12:00] Did you ever put any rules in place to try and control your drinking?
Yes. Switching types of drinks. Switched from beer to liquor to lower the quantity of drinks she consumed thinking she wouldn't be viewed as an alcoholic. She would also force herself to run a mile for each drink she consumed.
[13:25] Before your accident, were there signs that you were drinking too much?
Many. Husband was afraid to be around her while she drank. Also, she would jokingly mention that she was an alcholic in conversation, surprising herself.
[14:45] Was this your first attempt to quit drinking after the accident?
Yes. She had a meltdown and wound up in a psychiatric hospital, was diagnosed and medicated. She tried to stop because of her medication, but she couldn't last more than 5 days. She also lied to doctors about her drinking.
[17:45] What's it like getting sober at your young age?
Different than others. To her, age didn't matter. She believes she has hurt enough people and has felt enough pain for anyone at any age. Her friends still drink so she had to remove herself from her social connections.
[19:55] How did you determine which friendships to keep and which to end?
She looked at the things they did together, whether or not there was any real connection beyond alcohol. It wasn't difficult because the stakes were high. If she couldn't get sober, her life wouldn't move forward in a healthy way.
[22:28] How did you get sober? Did you go to a clinic?
Both inpatient and outpatient. On her 1st day of sobriety, she checked into a detox program for 6 days. After, she attented a 5 week intensive outpatient program. This was during the first month or so of sobriety.
[23:45] What is outpatient treatment like?
Very beneficial. She says she wasn't an easy patient. The program involved a lot of conversation and teaching, helping the patient decide what is best for the patient.
[24:37] What is your point of view on the disease concept?
She finds it helpful to know that she have a disease that can be treated. It is the answer she has been searching for. Not all decisions about health come from a doctor, one can decide for oneself. Also she isn't alone.
[26:30] What does your recovery portfolio look like now? A day in the life.
Coffee in the morning, then playing with dogs, followed by prayers and meditations. Meditation helps a lot. AA meetings at least every other night. Reach out to support group when she needs help, which is often.
[27:35] How is it important to stay connected?
Incredibly important. There is also pain in sobriety, but more support from a community. Sobriety is only the beginning. Someone can give advice while dealing with problems.
[28:45] How did you deal with your grandmother's passing while sober?
It was difficult. She noticed she was more present with family. She reminded herself that relapse wasn't an option. She didn't want to disappoint her family. "I've got to stay sober so I can handle this and be there for the people that need me." The stakes were high, as she was feeling suicidal. Meetings helped. Reading helped.
[31:50] How have your coping skills improved over the past months?
I no longer jump to conclusions, then run to alcohol. I take a moment to think about and assess each situation when it arises.
[33:15] Have you experienced cravings in your sobriety? If yes, what do you do when they come?
I haven't really had physical cravings. Mental? Yes. She is using the tools that she has been given to stay sober. The challenge for her is mental.
[34:30] Rapid Fire Round
One night became suicidal. Chased husband around with a knife.
When husband said he was afraid to be around me while I was drinking.
Continue doing what works. Stay in touch with other people and myself. Don't give in and hit the F-it button.
The Big Book from AA.
Whenever times get hard, you can either a) hit the F-it button, b) fight what you're going through head on.
Go with your gut. If you think it's time to quit it is. "You can put your shovel down whenever you want. You don't have to keep digging your hole deeper."
you have a very hard time choosing between a happy and sober life or a painfully alcoholic death.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Retreat in Machu Picchu - Retreat of a lifetime coming up in October. 17 people have signed up so far.
Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free
Sobriety Tracker iTunes
Sobriety Traker Android
Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to email@example.com
“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”