Steph, with 6 months since her last drink, shares her story
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It is often said that our HP will not give us more than we can handle. For the last 8-10 months, Paul has been suffering from depression. Around this time, he received a link from his brother about the black dog aka depression (www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc
). God shout out? The video basically describes how depression creeps up on you whenever it wants to. It is very exhausting trying to keep the symptoms of depression hidden from others. Depression is like losing all of the joy in your life. Your addiction can start talking to you and may say that 1 drink may help. But this is only temporary. Drinking will not help!
[9:00] Paul Introduces Steph.
Steph – I am 6 months sober and feeling great! I am 46 years old, married and have 2 daughters. I currently live in Canada and enjoy cooking and gardening.
[9:25] When did you first realize that you had a problem?
Steph – I have known that I had a drinking problem for the last 25 years. I would drink and drive, blackout, etc. and went to a few AA meetings in my early 20’s. I was sober for 3 years. I do not think that I was ready to give it up entirely yet and started drinking again. My drinking started out slow but steadily got worse. I worked in bars and surrounded myself with other drinkers. After I had my children, I tried to moderate but would still drink to get through the stress of parenting.
[15:53] What was it like to start drinking again after taking some time off?
Steph – After my pregnancies, my drinking very rapidly increased. I reached a point where I was physically addicted and had to drink to keep the symptoms of withdrawal away. If I did not drink, I would get severe anxiety.
[18:35] Did you have a rock bottom moment?
Steph – I tried to quit cold turkey and ended up in the hospital. My children saw me being put into an ambulance. 1 week later, I was drinking again. I felt like I had severely damaged my brain chemistry with all of the alcohol and I could not sleep without sleeping pills. I eventually felt suicidal.
[20:45] How did you get sober 6 months ago?
Steph – I had to start tapering off because I was so physically addicted. My husband helped me by locking up all of the alcohol and only giving me limited amounts each day. I slowly decreased the amount of vodka over 10-12 days. I really wanted to get sober so I did not drive to any liquor stores myself.
[27:22 ] What did you do after those 10-12 days went by?
Steph – I took Kevin O’Hara’s “How to Quit Drinking” course. I would also start my day with recovery books and podcasts. I also got very involved with an on-line community.
[29:00] How has your physical and emotional state evolved since quitting drinking?
Steph – I was on an emotional rollercoaster in the beginning. Now, I have learned to respond rather than react to things.
[29:41] Paul and Steph talk about her U-Tube videos and blog.
Steph – my blog can be found at https://bestirredblog.wordpress.com
. Another friend in recovery and I started doing video blogs which can be found on U-Tube, called The Way Back. I also do group skypes with other people in recovery.
[31:20] What have you learned the most?
Steph – I am a lot stronger than I thought.
[31:45] What is on your bucket list in sobriety?
Steph – I would like to help other people get sober.
[32:37] Rapid Fire Round
- What was your worst memory from drinking? all of the non-memories
- Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? when I tried to stop drinking and couldn’t
- What’s your plan moving forward? helping others
- What’s your favorite resource in recovery? A Facebook group called “Onwards and Upwards”
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? get out of your comfort zone
- What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? put the same amount of time and energy into your recovery, that you put into your drinking
- If you decide to start a family with hope that it will help you moderate your drinking, you just might be an alcoholic.
Resources mentioned in this episode: Recovery Elevator Retreat Connect with Cafe RE
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“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”