Carrie took her last drink April 7, 2020. With 7 days of sobriety (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).
On today’s episode Paul discusses the idea that you don’t have to quit drinking in order to quit drinking and what that means to different people and himself. When you give yourself permission to be happy in the now, the need to drink goes away. By not delaying happiness in life, an alcohol-free life emerges. If you have more questions about this, please email Paul directly here.
Are you looking to explore deeper your decision to live alcohol free and are already a Café RE member? If so, sign up for the six week course starting May 19th entitled: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee.
Paul shares the details about his free guided meditation. To find those meditations, go here.
[12:30] Paul introduces Carrie.
She is 42 years old, lives in Centralia, MO. She is a single mom of 2 boys. She sells cars for a living. Carries likes to read, spend time at baseballs games, spend time with her kids, to bike and be outdoors. She is looking forward to rediscovering new way to spend her time.
[16:29] Give us a background on your drinking
Carrie took her first drink at the age of 13 and was in treatment for alcohol twice before she was 18 years old. From the age of 18 to 27, she gathered 9 years of sobriety. After that time, she wanted to reach out and connect with other young people and thought she could pick up and drink without consequence. In 2015 after her son was born, was when she noticed her drinking was becoming unmanageable. She said her drinking got “way worse”, to the point of drinking in the mornings.
[23:43] Talk to us about the last two years of your drinking.
Carrie said she has always tried to moderate her drinking, but it was never possible. In March of 2020 her boss called her into his office and asked if she had a problem with alcohol, which she replied “no.” However a week later she walked back into his office and said she does have a problem and she wants help. While she did lose her job, she freed herself of the secret.
[27:38] Is something different this time around?
Carrie stated that yes, this time feels different. After getting through the withdrawals and praying that she wouldn’t die, she realized that this time around was the worst withdrawal she had experienced. She decided this was the last time she would ever go through this. Using those physical symptoms to propel herself forward.
[32:54] What are you struggling with most right now?
Carries says that seclusion is the hardest. She only interacts with her children and isn’t able to spend time with friends and family. She misses her church and the ability to worship with other people in the same room. She finds video meet ups helpful, but just not the same thing.
[35:25] What are some concepts/mantras you are putting in place to help you continue past these 7 days?
Carrie says that she keeps telling herself she is stronger than alcohol and she wants to be free from alcohol. Repeating that to herself over and over.
[41:07] What’s on your bucket list for this AF life?
She is looking forward to interacting with her children again. She is also looking forward to traveling again.
[43:17] Do you think you’ll be sober in 30 days?
Carrie: “Yes I do.”
[46:28] What advice would you give to your younger self?
Carrie doesn’t think that her younger self would have listened to any advice. Carrie of today would simply say “It’s going to be a rough road, but it will be ok in the end.”
[48:01] Rapid Fire Round
When she lost her job due to alcohol, that she needs to quit drinking.
Easter with her kids. She was able to hide eggs and baskets again.
Recovery Elevator podcast, AA meetings, reading about addiction.
You are stronger than alcohol and if you surrender to the addiction to alcohol, you can get past this.
You might need to ditch the booze if...
Your 18 year old comes into the closet you are hiding in and takes the bottle of vodka and dumps is down the drain.
Paul shares a poem written by a listener:
“12 Steps to Addiction”
A long time ago, I met a friend.
Oh, it was a god send.
Streams of blood turn into a rushing river,
Shaking loose an ancient rigidity.
Like a hot fired fever.
Cracking a cast of insecurity.
Oh paint my vision in saturated tones,
Warm my blood, loosen my bones.
Tell me stories that aren’t true,
The biggest lie you told,
Is that the only truth is you.
I’m tightly steered
by your white knuckled grip.
“I will make it better” it whispers in sips.
I buy another round of your intention.
To cure a mental infection,
Septic fears of imperfection,
Im being taught to say goodbye,
To friends I used to see.
These people surrounding you, you say,
“They are not like you, and not like me.
They are empty vessels floating by.”
Because I no longer float,
My mind runs until it can fly.
I keep running running running,
But now I can’t catch up, and I can’t escape.
I’m talking, I’m laughing,
Sounds from my mind unheard,
Like a cold air’s breath, they dissipate.
I am alone.
You implanted these thoughts,
Rewired my synaptic circuits,
Into a million tiny knots.
I need you to keep making this true.
And when I wake up at four,
I need more.
I ignore the conscious mind,
breathing notes of despair,
In my ear and around my neck.
I’m unaware of the gun to my head,
And all the ways I’ve been mislead.
While I drink your poison,
It is me that you usurp.
I joyfully bask in your calm, dimming light,
Until I’m met with a darkness.
Thoughts reduced to a dizzying fog,
Words falling into meaningless,
Oh, I want more of this story you sold.
But you no longer talk.
Your skeleton sits with me in silence,
As I desperately chew on your bones.
Your eyes are barren stones.
I will use them to build a memorial,
To every drop of poison I tasted.
All the valuable time I wasted.
A long time ago, I met a friend.
It was a godsend.
I was introduced to my vulnerability,
Reduced to an insanity,
Succumbed to this power,
Quietly, stealing my vitality.
Who will make me climb a mountain,
To find my own cure.
A challenge I didn’t expect to endure,
To ensure that I don’t lose breath,
Running towards my destruction,
Towards a construct, an embodiment,
Of everyone else’s description,
Of who I should have been.
Ultimately I’ve become lonely.
Constructed a fraudulent personality,
Succumbed to a common abnormality,
I carry this world uninspired.
This void you left,
Is making me so,
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In today’s episode Paul introduces listeners to a new company called Monument, an online treatment platform for those looking to change their relationship with alcohol.
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