Episode 384 - The path of least resistance
Today we have Matt. He is 40, from Edmonton, Canada, and took his last drink on April 8, 2019.
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Highlights from Paul
Sobriety is the path of least resistance. Moderation was miserable, and drinking is killing me. Paul describes his own experiences with moderation and points out that with moderation, you continue to have decision fatigue and only moderately heal. Moderation is often a step along the journey toward ditching the booze.
The path of least resistance means – you won't get a DUI or be sent home from work because you smell like booze. Your sleep improves, your liver health improves along with your connections and relationships, and you enjoy more fun (and skittles).
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[13:06] Matt has been sober for three years. He is a recovery coach, engaged, and enjoys music, nature, hiking, camping, and his dogs. He is learning about sound therapy and how music can influence your mindset.
Matt came from a family of heavy drinkers. He remembers listening to the excitement of the adults' conversations while drinking when he was young. He was often given sips of beer if it felt exciting. As a teenager, music became a way to express himself. The rock and roll lifestyle complimented the music, which included booze. Drinking helped Matt to overcome his shyness and awkwardness.
His early 20s presented the perfect storm of opportunities to drink excessively. He went from a happy-go-lucky drunk to having a chip on his shoulder. He began to recognize his drinking habits were changing. A breakup with his girlfriend sent him into a tailspin of depression, and his drinking escalated. External pressure to quit drinking led to rebellion, and Matt learned that change had to come from within. Matt was hospitalized with acute pancreatitis after a drinking binge. He continued to drink and had another health incident. He took some time off work and launched it with a bender, then turned to a friend to bring him to an AA meeting. His first meeting was a profound emotional/spiritual shift that led him to over three years of sobriety.
Matt's firsts during his first year of sobriety was difficult and rewarding. It was his first opportunity as an adult to experience life without alcohol. Self-help books, podcasts, and a growth mindset helped him embrace sobriety. He was quiet about his sobriety. At a friend's wedding, he had a shot of tequila, and the wave of the high hit him quickly. He had a creative outburst and wrote ten songs. He convinced himself that the drinks enabled his creativity. He repackaged all his views of alcohol to return to drinking moderately. The moderation bargaining started, and at one point, he heard a voice telling him, if you keep doing this, it will kill you. Matt continued drinking. After a sloppy party weekend, Matt realized it was time to stop while driving to his dad's celebration of life. He decided to stop the cycle as a tribute to his father.
Matt recently made a plant-based medicine retreat. His healing journey continues, and the sense of peace has returned. He is focused on a growth mindset and allowing the journey to happen because life is not a to-do list.
Matt’s podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/beyond-recovery/id1618862620
Embracing summer plans as a sober person is new for many of us. Give yourself grace. Create accountability, set boundaries, try new things, create new habits, and remember it's okay to go slow.
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