Angie, with 146 days since her last drink, shares her story…
“Alcohol gave me the wings to fly, then took away the sky”
[5:30] Paul Introduces Angie.
Angie is 36 years old, lives in Atlanta, GA. She has been sober for 146 days and is the proud owner of 2 dogs. She loves live music, the theater and the movies. She enjoys cooking. She now enjoys her own company.
[7:06] Give us some background about your drinking habits.
She never drank in high school or college. She started when she was in her early 20’s. Drinking gave her confidence. After a divorce in 2012, she attempted suicide and her drinking also ramped up. She was having between 6-10 drinks a night. She felt like she was barely surviving. Her move to Atlanta did not cure her drinking, but it helped her to realize she had a problem.
[10:25] Did you ever have a rock bottom moment?
She was sick and tired of being sick and tired. She never really wanted to stop, but she had a rock bottom moment when she drank before work. She was blacked out drunk and spoke with two of her bosses. She realized that she didn’t have it under control. She would attempt sobriety and then crash into relapse. She associated alcohol with love. She wrote a goodbye letter to alcohol.
[16:05] What did it feel like to formally say goodbye to alcohol?
She felt empowered. She spent a lot of time wishing things in her life would be different. She realized that she had all the tools she needed within her. Her life got a lot easier. She changed her relationship with her internal dialogue.
[18:15] How did you quit?
She wanted to change but wasn’t really searching for community. She struggled with sobriety on her own. She relapsed and thought it was the end of the world. She finally realized that she can’t do it alone she began to connect with people. She went to AA. She went to Smart Recovery. She organized a sober meetup. Letting people in to help her has been her 146 days.
[21:16] Talk to us about why you were unable to attend the Dallas meetup.
She relapsed right before and felt like she couldn’t go. She felt like she wasn’t worth it. She kept drinking for two more months.
[23:02] Talk to us about your relationship to self-loathing.
She has often struggled with self-loathing. She has always felt like she wasn’t good enough. She experienced a lot of self-hatred after relapse. She realized she wasn’t going to change or grow. She realized drinking was a symptom. She drank because she hated herself. She realized that she had to love herself in that moment. She had a new story to write which looked nothing like her past. She has started to meditate. She decided she needed to go to therapy and talk it out with people. She wanted the outside voices.
[27:31] Walk us through a day in your recovery. What tools are you using?
She meditates first thing in the morning. She focuses on taking care of her dogs. She journals and tries to take it one day at a time. She breaks it down further to one thing at a time. Her life feels a lot slower and more peaceful.
[30:10] What’s your proudest moment in sobriety?
She went to see a musical recently and didn’t drink. She turned down a drink after a friend pressured her. She went to the bathroom, struggled, cried, but ended up texting her other sober friend to get through it.
[31:25] What are your thoughts on relapse?
Anything we do in life, we fail at. Success is built on failure. Failure aka relapse is a part of life. The less you beat yourself up, the better you’ll be.
[32:54] 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!”