Episode 331 – we hear from Laura!
Community is so important. It is so important to connect with ourselves, our source energy, or other people. All those things get disconnected with addiction. Reconnecting with the world is an important part of recovery.
On today’s podcast we have Laura who is from Austin, TX and took her last drink on September 16, 2019. This is her journey of living live alcohol free (AF).
Paul gave many stats about how a podcast survives in a pandemic. Paul also learned so much from listening to Odette take the from seat on the podcast. His discoveries among many include:
[16:04] Odette welcomes Laura
Laura’s last drink was September 16, 2019. Laura feels great and has ups and downs and is present and grateful. She lives in Austin, Texas where she owns a spa and does bodywork and energy work. She is working with Supernatural Recovery. She is a single mom to an 8-year-old daughter and loves meditation and yoga.
[17:40] Tell us about your path with drinking
Laura grew up in an alcohol abusive family. She started smoking pot and LSD at 14. She didn’t want to drink because of her parent’s drinking. She was raped at 16 and started drinking to overcome her panic attacks.
She was imprisoned, tortured, and sexually abused for two years. She escaped from her abuser at 18, went to college and her PTSD symptoms became really apparent. She was hospitalized until she could become mentally stable. She continued drinking for 20 years. She was often functioning and often not, it swung back and forth. She didn’t have any rock bottom moments, she lived in rock bottom for several years. After several false starts she was able to stop drinking in 2019.
[20:57] What was your inner dialogue when you started using alcohol?
Laura realized if she was drunk enough, she didn’t have a panic attack. She was doing things that weren’t healthy, but it was how she survived. She is also in recovery for an eating disorder. As part of that journey, she realizes she developed a lot of maladaptive coping mechanism that were survival instincts to help her disassociate.
[23:27] How was sharing your abuse with the world?
Laura said she didn’t share very much. She minimized her early trauma. Integrating her alcohol recovery with heavy trauma therapy has helped her and as her sobriety time increases, more memories surface surfaced. The heavy trauma therapy helped her understand why it was so difficult for her to get sober. Her trauma and alcoholism to hand in hand.
[25:29] Have recurring memories of trauma been a trigger for you?
Laura said sobriety has been an awakening process. She has discovered some radical truths and uncovering new information about her trauma and her family of origin. Her therapist has helped her reconcile those awakenings.
[26:35] How did you approach your healing journey?
Laura wrote a book about her journey which is part of Supernatural Recovery. There are four cornerstones including: caring for your physical body (nutrition, hydration, exercise), trauma relief (body work, energy work, plant medicine, acupuncture), calming your nervous system (finding new ways to handle your body when her nervous system was activated), forgiveness and self-compassion which been the part of it. She is learning how to enjoy her life and avoid negative relationship patterns.
[29:20] How did you discover these alternative tools?
Laura said because of her body work practice, she is connected to many resources in the Austin recovery community. She learned to release trauma and find new ways to live her life.
[31:14] How was early sobriety for you?
Laura said she did not have a pink cloud. She cried all day every day for the first 90 days. Hiking daily, getting outside and the Recovery Elevator podcast were very helpful so she could be vulnerable and honest. At about 90 days, yoga helped her to feel better. When she began working with a somatic process, it helped her to become stronger and more committed. The book, The Energy Codes was helpful and has become a cornerstone of her program.
[34:53] Tell me about the relationship between your alcohol recovery and your eating disorder?
Laura said she played addiction whack a mole for some time. Healing isn’t linear and learning to avoid self-abuse has ups and downs.
[37:20] What role does community have in your healing?
Laura said community is so important. Reconnecting with your source energy, people, and the world when you are recovering is important. She dipped her toes in AA and the 12 Steps, and found it wasn’t for her. The Austin based yoga recovery community has yoga and meditation classes that have been instrumental to her recovery. Café RE was important to her in the early days.
[38:55] Do you still go to therapy?
Laura said yes! She began therapy before she got sober. Her therapist specializes in empaths and highly sensitives. When Laura wanted to stop drinking, worked for a year and a half. She had several false starts, and her therapist helped her get to the other side. Her therapist has inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in counseling.
[40:42] What has recovery made possible for you?
Laura said what she is building with Supernatural Recovery and writing a book that is about to get published. Education is a part of her journey. She has a better handle on her emotional reactions. Service is also gift in her recovery.
[42:30] Do you still get cravings?
Laura said yes and she currently uses fancy olives. In her early days she would take a shot of apple cider vinegar. Calming her body and spending time in nature help. The disease is to disconnect, and the medicine is to stay present. Breathwork also helps. Yoga has helped her train her mind to be her friend.
[44:45] What reactions from others have you experienced since you quit drinking?
Laura said people in her life were relieved, happy, and proud. She has lost some friends along the way because she wasn’t a happy, fun drinker. Sometimes people can’t come with you on any awakening journey. At the end of the day, you must choose yourself. Letting go with gratitude helps avoid bad blood.
[46:58] Have you been able to identify any triggers?
Laura said her triggers are emotional, worrying about her daughter and getting hungry. When she thinks she might want a drink, she now can recognize the trigger, let go of the thought and solve it with self-care. Her daughter is learning to use those tools as well.
[49:14] What does a day in your life look like?
Laura said after dropping her daughter at school, she runs or walks, takes clients, yoga, works on her website or editing her book. On the weekends she spends time outside and hikes with friends.
Teaching her daughter about self-care and handling your emotions is important. Her recovery has made her strong and help others heal.
[53:57] When does your book come out?
It is slated to be published through the Balboa press within the next 4-5 months. She is excited share the broad menu of recovery with others.
[55:15] Rapid Fire Round
It’s going to be okay. You are an incredible, strong person. You are going to get through this and help others.
Supernatural Recovery, Café RE, and yoga.
Her skin, her eyes are brighter and that increases her confidence.
Have compassion for yourself. The healing journey is not linear. If you are trying and you haven’t made it yet, realize the more you beat yourself up, the harder it gets.
You might need to say Adios to booze if …
When a bottle is half empty and you go to the store because you are worried about running out.
Odette says a heartfelt thank you to those that help with the podcast, the listeners and to Paul for giving her the opportunity to be your host.
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