Episode 385 - You’re Free
Today we have Steve. He is 34, from Boston, MA, and took his last drink on February 18, 2021.
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Highlights from Paul
An elementary view of freedom is free will or doing what you want. A more rewarding form of freedom includes commitments, discipline, and boundaries for extended periods. Freedom also includes sleep, routine, forgiveness, being present, being of service, overcoming fear, and adding value. Freedom gives you choices; the most important choice is to be your authentic self.
[8:40] Steve has been sober for over a year. Steve’s parents were born in El Salvatore, and Steve is first generation American. In college, he stumbled upon neuroscience. He enjoys running, boxing and music. A classmate passed, and the grief and mystery around his death felt impossible to process at the time. Alcohol put noise cancellation on his thoughts, his anxiety, and the reality of death. Steve never grieved. Over the years, his drinking progressed from weekends to weekdays to whenever he wasn’t working. He learned quickly he couldn’t have 1-2 drinks. Moderation didn’t work. Last year on his birthday, he drank to excess in front of his parents, siblings, and partner. He resolved you quit drinking. You get to keep everything else or give up everything and keep drinking.
Steve attempted moderation. Eventually, he went to therapy to learn how to navigate his feelings, anxiety, and urge to drink. He realized he had a family history of alcohol abuse and anxiety. On a particularly bad day, his friends expressed concern and suggested some things to explore. After his first Café Re meeting, Steve felt more comfortable with his thoughts; that was his Day 1. The RE community gave Steve the push he needed. Listening to others, he felt accepted, nourished, and supported. He described never feeling more human and letting vulnerability take center stage. Day count fell aside, and it became “no matter what.”
Steve’s non-negotiables started with not letting alcohol influence his work. Now it’s about being present and letting life happen.
Declare freedom over alcohol. Never quit quitting.
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