Melissa, with 1 month of sobriety, shares her story...
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….
Many of us believe that we cannot quit drinking. “I am the life of the party, that’s just who I am!” (I bet the crowd around us would beg to differ but that’s besides’ the point.) Life will not be fun if I do not drink. Yeah right- blackouts, hangovers, depression, and anxiety; now that is fun. Paul reviews the time in his life when he owned a bar in Spain. You heard correctly. Paul C = Bar Owner. Seems like an entire lifetime ago. Listed below are the pros and cons of that time period in Spain:
Pro’s - I didn’t die, it accelerated me towards my bottom, I learned to play some fancy Flamenco guitar chords
Con’s – Ambien and booze are not a good combo, missed out on many opportunities/road trips with the senoritas, playing football after being awake for 30 hours straight (the next Peyton Manning? I think not), blackouts, blackouts, and more blackouts, DUI, re-introducing myself to a previous hookup (ouch!), contemplating a 5th floor sky dive
[ 8:38 ] Paul Introduces Melissa. How long have you been sober?
Melissa – 30 days. Melissa explains her background. She is a bartender, married, with 4 children. During her free time, she likes to go to the gym.
Paul asks Melissa what it is like being a bartender. Melissa has been in “The Industry” all of her life (Industry = restaurant, club or bar scene). She felt that bartending would be the way to go early on because of her love of drinking and it seemed fun. Melissa’s family are serious drinkers so she grew up in that environment. She thought normal drinking was boring. Melissa states that when you are in “The Industry” you tend to share similar stories of drinking and it justifies your own behavior.
[ 13:54 ] What is it like bartending with 30 days of sobriety?
Melissa – It’s been easier since I left Las Vegas and now live in Pennsylvania. The environment is also easier. I work in a fine dining establishment instead of a Las Vegas casino. I am used to going through shifts without drinking but would always drink after my shift ended. One of my go to drinks was a kids’ cup filled with ice and straight vodka. Five minutes from home, I would down it.
[ 17:54 ] Staying sober is easy when drunk people are idiots
Paul and Melissa swap stories about working in the industry surrounded by drunk people. Do your local DJ a favor and do not request any more Michael Jackson songs!
[ 18:47 ] What was your bottom?
Melissa – I was attending a birthday party and had brought my 14 year old daughter and her friend. We were staying at a hotel so there were no limits. My daughter and her friend had to come get me from the bar downstairs. She video-taped me while feeding me chicken nuggets. I was a mess and my daughter thought it was hysterical. I didn’t want her thinking that that situation was OK. Our family culture was turning into a dangerous life.
[ 23:55 ] Paul and Melissa discuss the tragic death of her sister
Melissa – she was drinking and driving and attempted to go around the car in front of her. Her car was hit. The accident caused her to break her neck. She was only 21 years old when she was killed. My sister’s story, however, did not stop me from continuing to drink.
Paul – we have all had plenty of “You would have thought (…insert tragic event here…) moments that should have stopped us from drinking. Fear can get you sober but it cannot keep you sober.
Melissa reviews her history of trying AA and remaining alcohol free for 2 years. During that time she picked up a pill addiction. After 2 years she was drinking and taking pills. She weaned herself off of the pills and suffered heavy withdrawal systems. She did not think she was an alcoholic because she was able to stop while pregnant with all of her children. Once the children were born, however, the pressure of motherhood soon had her reaching for the wine bottle.
[ 32:48 ] How have you made it to 30 days?
Melissa – RE podcast, constantly reminding myself of my worst drunk moments and comradery with other recovering alcoholics.
[ 42:35 ] Rapid Fire Round
[ 41:00 ] Paul ends the show discussing 3 main themes
Man in the Mirror – drinking causes us to not want to see ourselves in the mirror. What often reflects back is shame and disgust
False Dreams – drinking brings about the notion of false dreams. The actions needed to make these dreams come true are taken away by booze
Geographical Changes – Paul sells his bar in Spain and moves back to the states, eventually ending up in beautiful Bozeman MT. Recovery is an opportunity to change the course of our lives. It’s time to change everything in order to get there.
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