Sara took her last drink on December 02, 2018. With 18 months sober (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).
Odette opens today talking about re-writing memos. Take a look at the memos you write to yourself every day. Those memos we repeat to ourselves as fact. There are thousands of stories we have written as memos in our lives. Odette encourages us to take out a sharpie and re-write the memo. Change your mind, change your opinion.
[6:24] Odette introduces Sara.
Sara lives just outside Minneapolis, MN. She is 37 years old, married, and has one daughter. They just adopted a puppy. She works in communications and for fun she likes to go for hikes and walks with friends, hang out with her daughter and eat her husband’s food (he’s a great cook!).
[12:58] Can you give listeners a background on your drinking?
Sara said she didn’t drink in High School. She went to a party school for college and started to binge drink on weekends. When she first started drinking, she liked the permission that alcohol gave her to be extroverted. Towards the end of her 20s the binge drinking tapered off, but that was when she began daily drinking, first a couple of glasses of wine on the weekend, soon became 7 days a week. While she quit when pregnant with her daughter, she did feel deprived. And once her daughter was born the daily drinking quickly resumed. The anxiety resumed in full force and because Sara didn’t feel like she had a problem with a capital P, this was all normal.
December 2, 2018, Sara found a book by Annie Grace and went from never considering quitting, to leaving alcohol behind all in the same day.
[20:16] How was it early in your journey?
Sara said at first she cried once the decision was made. She allowed herself to grieve the loss while at the same time being excited. The first 1-3 days she practiced going into social situations, being right before the holidays she had lots of opportunities to practice. Sara always had a treat for herself to keep the feelings of deprivation at bay.
[30:43] How was the dynamic with your husband? Did you burn the ships immediately?
Sara said she told her husband right away. She thinks he didn’t believe her at first, she wouldn’t have believed herself at first either! However, he was supportive of her decision. Sara experienced some guilt when she stopped drinking because she felt like she was taking away something from him that was an activity they enjoyed together. They had to work to find new things to connect over.
[35:04] What’s in your recovery toolbelt these days?
Social connection is the #1 action item in her toolbelt. Sara said that she walks with her friends, she needs face to face meetups. Sobriety podcasts are 2nd. They keep her motivation up. And 3rd is “No treat is off-limits.” Sara knows that she has to protect her sobriety at all costs. She also uses meditation to monitor and identify uncomfortable feelings inside.
[40:37] If you could talk to Day 1 Sara, what would you say to her?
This is going to teach you more about yourself than you ever thought you could learn. It will be worth the challenges.
[40:00] Rapid Fire Round
The awkwardness you feel at the beginning of any social gathering will be gone in 15 minutes whether or not you drink.
Remembering Christmas Eve and making memories with their friends and the kids.
The upcoming summer in Minnesota. Casual family time.
Don’t cut out alcohol without adding in other things you’re excited about.
You may need to ditch the booze if...
If you download a habit tracking app to make sure you’re sticking to your allotted amount of alcohol per day. And when it tells you that you’re over, you just delete the app instead of questioning the habit.
Odette’s challenge this week:
Write down 10 negative memos that come to mind. Don’t think about them too much, just write them down. Then re-frame and re-write them and keep them close. Read them often and remind yourself of your power. Share on Instagram and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five! Or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
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