Jason, with 178 days since his last drink, shares his story...
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier
“It’s difficult to believe in yourself because the idea of self is an artificial construction. You are, in fact, part of the glorious oneness of the universe. Everything beautiful in the world is within you.” – Russell Brand
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” – Zen proverb
“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” – Agnes Repplier
“If things go wrong, don’t go with them.” – Roger Babson
“Recovery is not for people who need it, but for people who want it” – Anonymous
“When the past calls, let it go to voicemail. Believe me, it has nothing new to say.” – Unknown
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard
“If you can quit for a day, you can quit for a lifetime.” – Benjamin Alire Sáenz
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” – Rosa Parks
“When was the last time you woke up and wished you’d had just one more drink the night before? I have never regretted not drinking. Say this to yourself, and you’ll get through anything.” – Meredith Bell
“The Pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow” – Anonymous
“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost
“Your heart is leading you in the right direction. Quiet the mind and follow. “ – Paul Churchill
“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth
“Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it.” – J. Petit Senn
“Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.” – Bernard Williams
“What is addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.” – Alice Miller
[11:50] Paul Introduces Jason.
Jason is 46-year-old social worker from Connecticut He's married with two children. He likes the outdoors, soccer, kayaking, fishing,and hiking.
[14:00] Give listeners an idea of your drinking background.
He started drinking in high school. It escalated when he went into the navy. After the navy, his drinking settled into a regular pattern which slowly escalated as well. In mid 30's his drinking started to feel like it was getting to be a problem. He had a previous 5 year period of sobriety. He was trying to be health conscious. He has heart disease in his family. He tried to stay on top of it. Around 38, his physical wasn't so great. He was referred to a cardiologist. He thought cutting alcohol out would improve his health. He stopped on NYE of 2010. He felt a lot better so he kept going. He did not work a program. He was hung up on the stigma of being an alcoholic. He thought that after 5 years he didn't have a problem, and he was feeling healthy and he thought that maybe he could be a normal drinker again. After relapse, he kept it under control for a while, but shortly thereafter it started escalating again quickly and he began to fall back into the same patterns. He had a difficult summer, drinking most days, and he realized that he was a better person during his stint in sobriety and decided to go back to being sober.
[27:38] Did you find it difficult to stop the second time?
He could see how bad it would get if he didn't stop. He was hiding drinks, and every week seemed to get worse. He knew he was worse than he had been previously. He thought that his previous bout of sobriety meant he could do it again. He just had to get back to sobriety. He feels our society surrounds you with pro-drinking messages.
[32:07] How were you able to quit this time around?
The first few weeks were difficult, more difficult than he remembered from before. This time it felt more ingrained into his routine, making it more difficult. This time he is consuming more sobriety media and it helps him keep his mind right.
[34:00] Do you think you are addressing more dimensions of sobriety this time?
Last time he was too focused on the physical part. This time he's addressing the mental and spiritual sides of his life. He's building a meditation practice and doing yoga. He he has more tools this time than before. He's trying not to think about the time line as much. He's trying to stay in the present and focus on what's right in front of him.
[36:37] What's something that you've learned about yourself in sobriety?
Honest really helps. Also, there's nothing to be ashamed of. Dependence happens to some people quicker than others, but it's nothing to be ashamed of. He's taking things more gradually and slowly.
[37:22] Have you experienced any cravings?
Definitely, in the first few months. He just tries to ride it out. They're only about 20 minutes long. He tries to distract himself realizing that they will pass.
[38:56] If you could go back and change anything about your getting sober, what would it be?
He thinks he could have talked to and with more people.
[39:20] What's on your bucket list in sobriety?
He wants to travel more, and spend more time with his kids.
[40:00] Rapid Fire Round
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”