Episode 386 - The One Mistake People Make When Quitting Drinking
Today we have Shad. He is 46, from Indiana, and took his last drink on March 19, 2021.
Café RE Open House Chat: July 16, 2016, at 12 ET.
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Highlights from Paul
Don’t quit drinking without learning coping strategies, understanding why you drink in the first place, and get some tools for your recovery toolbox. Don’t sell yourself short on how rich your life can be without alcohol. Say yes, to as many recovery opportunities as you can. Books, podcasts, quit lit, retreats, spiritual teachers, music, chats, meetings. Some of it is work. These investments of time into yourself will pay HUGE in the future. A whole new world awaits you after the bottle.
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[10:50] Shad has been sober for 433 days. He is married with five children, three grandchildren, and three dogs. He loves skateboarding, archery, trail running, and anything outside. He describes nature as his church, particularly above the timberline.
Shad experienced severe child abuse in early childhood and was from a family with a history of addiction to drugs and alcohol. His grandfather was a friend, a father figure, and a heavy drinker. Shad created chaos with alcohol. After his divorce, he doubled down on alcohol; then, he tried to drink himself to death after his grandfather passed. Shad lost his brother to a drug overdose.
Consequences were minimal for Shad. His first wake-up call was waking up to an empty gallon bottle of whiskey. A year later, running inspired him. He started running longer distances. The stride, footfalls, and measured breathing were meditative for Shad. He still had not dealt with his emotions. He stopped drinking in 2014, ate clean, started ultra-running, and completed a 100-mile run. His ego kicked in, and he drank again because he thought he could handle it now. He got drunk on the eve of his wedding and again on his wedding day. Shad didn’t believe he had a drinking problem; he thought he had a depression problem. Running replaced alcohol for those 2.5 years. After his honeymoon, he tried several attempts at moderation. It worked until it didn’t, then he went downhill fast.
Shad describes himself as addicted to everything – he can’t have just one. Gradually his drinking progressed. His middle son developed a drinking problem observing his Dad. The guilt of his son’s drinking drove him to drink more. Covid became another excuse to isolate and drink. After a night of extreme drinking, he told his wife he tried to kill himself with bourbon. She agreed to get him some help. Shad began reaching out. He found a community that didn’t judge him but supported him. A friend introduced him to a group called, Punks in Recovery. Shad embraces many avenues of sobriety, including AA and ACA, and he is open to whatever works.
Kris talks about reflecting on his goals and tools and evaluating what works and doesn’t. He encourages listeners to look without judgment at what went well and what could have gone better. Shame doesn’t have a place in recovery. Leverage gratitude and do the next right thing. Growth takes time. Let it do its job.
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