Episode 395 - Can you have fun without alcohol?
Today we have Jim. He is 50, from New York, and has been sober since June 19, 2022.
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Highlights from Paul
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Yes! You can have fun without alcohol. Paul just finished hosting the Bozeman retreat, and it was FUN. One of the highlights was an ecstatic dance party. Imagine 60ish sober people dancing on a basketball court in the afternoon. There was also a silent dance party on the last night. Paul loved watching and participating in pure joy and fun.
Sober fun is a learned skill, but it’s worth it. You learn to have fun without an external substance. Life is like a movie. Consider yourself the director. You can guide or nudge it any way you want. Leave room for other actors in your life and let them act their way. It makes the experience rich. If you are not having fun, check your inner narrative. At times we let external rules guide us when we have fun. Forget those rules and have fun now.
Stay tuned to the end for a poem written by one of our listeners, and today’s outro music was written and performed by Michael P, a member of Café RE.
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[10:02] Jim has been sober for two weeks. He had almost two years and drank, and now he is back on track. He’s had 699 sober days in the last 700. Jim is married with two kids and loves reading on his front porch.
Jim attributes his recent field research to not using his tools.
Growing up, Jim drank in high school with his buddies. The quest for beer was their primary goal. College was more of the same. After college, it didn’t feel as good. Drinking is part of his work culture and was celebrated. His first attempt at sobriety was at age 25. He stayed sober for three months, then returned to drinking. It was part of his job, his social circles, and his life always included drinking. Alcohol pushed back his fears.
In his early 40s, he started to realize he had a problem but didn’t know how to go about quitting. He didn’t love AA. By 45, he knew his drinking had become unsustainable. Drinking was like a low-grade hum that perpetually played for him. He began drinking alone at home, where nobody would bother him, and he could drink like he wanted.
Gradually he began exploring sobriety. He would accumulate a few months and do more field research. He read “This Naked Mind.” When the pandemic hit, he decided to make more efforts to maintain sobriety. He joined Café RE in July of 2020, which was his turning point. Earlier this year, he started traveling more for work. He now realizes he stopped using his tools, including Café RE. He only drank for one day. It was scary; he was a wreck and knew he couldn’t do this anymore.
Jim writes every day. It helps him get the thoughts out of his head and on paper.
[49:33] Paul’s Summary
Paul reads a poem, “Connection,” by Kelley A, Café RE Go Group.
[51:05] Outro Music, The Light Inside, by Michael P.
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We are the only ones who can do this, but we don’t have to do it alone.
I love you guys.