Today we have Cordell. He is 38, from North Dakota, and took his last drink on December 6, 2017.
Highlights from Odette
Odette has some helpful hints to contribute to Paul’s Holiday Survival Guide. Odette suggests 1) have a fun escape plan, 2) offer to do the dishes, 3) dig into your arsenal of why’s.
Beyond tips, Odette suggests really focusing on effective communications. Set expectations in advance, particularly with those closest to you so they understand you are committed to staying sober, even if it means leaving early. You don’t have to burn the ships either, you can reference plans early the next day. Odette says having a puppy is a great reason to leave a party early.
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[6:05] Cordell took his last drink December 6, 2017. He is 38 and has a wife and 3 kids. He spends lots of time chasing kids and he works in a coal mine. Sobriety is the best choice he ever made.
Cordell was raised in a Christian family with lots of family gatherings in a small town with lots of alcohol. Taking a sip of his parents’ drink was common. In high school, alcohol was a given, part of the norm. Cordell didn’t drink to have fun; he drank to get wasted. He started working as a welder and drinking was part of the routine.
At 22 he decided he needed help. He smoked pot and took other drugs, and it had a spiraling effect. He went to a 30-day Intensive Outpatient program. He was sober for almost a year and decided he had it under control. He would drink 1-2 beers at a party and “drink responsibly”.
At 24, his girlfriend was pregnant. He wasn’t ready to be a father and his drinking really took off. He lost his job, his friends, his car and was at rock bottom. He met his son for the first time when he was 3 months old. Meeting his son encouraged him to clean up his act a bit. He quit taking drugs but continued to drink. He moved in with his girlfriend, got a job and maintained as a functioning alcoholic. His daughter was born two years later. Almost immediately after his daughter was born, his girlfriend was pregnant again.
Cordell was often put in jail for fighting with his girlfriend. He eventually got a job at the coal mine. He and his girlfriend got married. His drinking slowed, but extra income became an opportunity to start taking drugs again. He was fired after a random drug screen. His drinking and using escalated and his wife kicked him out. He moved in with a buddy who was also drinking and drugging.
Ultimately, he went to rehab. The withdrawal was hell, but he found new tools to have fun, and started to surround himself with healthy people. Now he coaches wrestling, volleyball and is actively engaged with his kids. He talks to his sponsor daily and he has learned how to apologize.
Kris reminds us our path isn’t linear. He speaks about binging on feelings and emotions. He is physically and emotionally exhausted. Kris encourages us to shift our thinking an reframe recovery as a gift. We learn how to feel and sit with our feelings, know they aren’t permanent and move forward. Stick with it!
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Holiday 2021 AF Survival Guide
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