Sarah took her last drink on June 13, 2019. This is her story.
Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book! Pick up your copy on Amazon September 7, 2019!
On today’s episode Paul talks about how there is always a ‘plan B’. Plan A…aka the way we want life to work out, the way we hoped things were going to work, actually work out 0% of the time. Everyone has these hiccups.
The fact that you are listening to this podcast means you are already into plan B. Most people that have a goal to move into an alcohol-free life have a plan A, which looks something like this…quit drinking and never look back. It doesn’t matter how many plans you have because we now have hundreds of plans to chose from.
You don’t have to go out looking for your plan, schedule some down time and let the plan come to you.
[8:33] Paul introduces Sarah.
Sarah is 44 years old and is from Vancouver, WA. She is engaged to be married and has no kids. Sarah is a chiropractor. For fun Sarah loves anything that has to do with health, she loves to exercise and go on long walks with her fiancé.
[10:00] Give us a background on your drinking.
Sarah had her first drink when she was 12 years old. She didn’t drink heavily from that point on but her drinking really escalated when she started working in the restaurant business while attending the University of Texas. She was 22 years old at this time. At the age of 17 Sarah got a DWUI.
From the age of 22 her drinking got worse. When she was 30 years old, she found herself calling in sick to work because she was hungover.
[12:00] So you decided to have a change of location and profession?
Sarah says it was one of the best decisions she made, but that looking back it was her thinking that she needed to get out of her current environment. She started chiropractic school and took her drinking right along with her.
Her drinking continued to escalate and she ended up missing a really significant clinical entrance exam. She drank too much the night before and slept through it. She wasn’t allowed to take a makeup exam and had to wait to take the exam. This is when she first tried AA.
[13:15] What were your initial thoughts about AA?
Initially it was awesome. Sarah still has some really great feelings about AA. She says she’ll never forget when she walked into her very first meeting and a man telling her she never had to drink again. Sarah says that was a lightbulb moment for her.
[14:00] Bring us up to speed from 32 years old to 44.
Sarah had on and off sobriety attempts during that time, ranging from 6 months to 2 years. And she says that, of course, her life always got better.
She was questioning if she was an alcoholic because she could stop at a couple drinks, sometimes. But she realized that her drinking always had consequences. She decided, along with her fiancé, to quit drinking.
[16:40] What do you think you started back up after your 6 mo., 9 mo., 2 years?
Sarah felt like she would hit a wall, that she couldn’t label herself a full-blown alcoholic so she would find herself going back out. She would always end up back at the same place, lack of motivation, sick, tired, depressed, and a chaotic life.
[18:40] What effect has not drinking had?
By day 3 Sarah noticed she was sleeping better. She enjoys her work and being with patients. She has her motivation back. She isn’t waking up with guilt and shame anymore.
[22:00] What are some of the obstacles that you have overcome in the last 41 days?
Sarah says that around day 13 and a couple weeks ago she was hitting a wall emotionally.
[25:17] How has it been to have a fiancé as an accountability partner?
Sarah says it’s been really amazing. She had to tell him a number of times that drinking was a problem for her, and when things got really bad, he finally got it. He was willing to go on the journey with her. It wasn’t just ‘her’ drinking, it was ‘their’ drinking.
[28:00] What have been the challenges to do this with a significant other?
Sarah says the first challenge was that she wanted to make sure he wasn’t stopping to drink just for her. She says she needs the support but that she didn’t want to feel responsible for that decision. The challenge was making sure that they both had their own ‘whys’.
[29:00] What is something you didn’t think you’d have to work on?
Sarah thought that the problem her and her fiancé had with communicating would go away and she learned that they still needed to work on those skills.
[29:40] Have you explored why you drank?
Sarah says she drank because she wanted to feel included and connected to other people. She says she also drank because it got her attention.
[30:30] What is something memorable that you have been able to do in a life without alcohol?
She has noticed that she is way more invested in her life and in her chiropractor practice. She cares about her patients.
[32:20] What’s your plan moving forward?
To continue on this journey. Sarah also says her love for reading has returned.
[33:30] Rapid Fire Round
All of a sudden, I’m noticing the world around me.
This time, no. It has all gotten me here.
Lately my fiancé and I have been making virgin Bloody Mary’s.
As of now it is Café RE. It really is a safe environment for me to connect with people.
We want to travel to Germany. I have never really wanted to travel and now I do.
The biggest thing I was afraid of was that I was going to miss out on something, and none of that is true.
You wake up somewhere that you never would have been if sober.
Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020
You can find more information about this event here
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”