Episode 326 – playing forward and playing it present -- if I drink again, why would I want to go down that path?
Erik took his last drink on March 9, 2019. He is from upstate New York. This is his journey of living alcohol free (AF).
This quarter’s Recovery Elevator donation went to “The Phoenix.”
Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message.
Odette is training for a marathon. She reached out to her fitness coach Paul from RecoveryFit1 to get some guidance on training, cross-training, etc. She has noticed the training for the race is re-training her brain, rewriting her story and building her confidence. Crossing the finish line of a marathon is scary for Odette. During her childhood, she participated in the rally portion of the mini-Olympics. She fell and as a result her team was in last place. From then on, she told herself she was not a runner.
Odette recognizes we often get stuck in our stories because those stories are all we know. We need to believe we can do things differently. She is using visualization techniques to overcome her old stories. What stories are we telling ourselves about our alcohol-free journey? Are those stories holding you back or keeping you stuck? How can you re-write your story?
[8:53] Odette introduces Erik
Erik took his last drink on March 9, 2019. His journey includes ups, downs, and stability. He grew up in upstate New York and lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, He is 42, single and living it up in the sunshine state. Erik loves binge watching TV (COVID), meet-up.com, brunch, dinner, event planning, relaxing and baths.
[11:23] Tell us about your history with drinking?
Erik took his first drink at junior prom and found his dad’s secret stash of Manhattan’s. He didn’t drink much until college. He remembers the Bridge Street Run and he got completely wasted and was on camera when the local news covered the event. His drinking progressed from there. He moved to Los Angeles and in 2010 he got his first DUI. He knew his drinking was a problem and he started looking at his drinking more closely.
His DUI stemmed from a party that included friends from college. At 3 AM, he remembers driving home and avoiding someone on the side of the road. He passed an accident and almost ran over the cops. His recollection was foggy because he was so intoxicated. He exited the freeway on Hollywood Blvd., was arrested and the cops took him back to the scene of the accident so he could see where he almost ran the cops over.
His friends came to pick him up and told him, ‘It’s ok, it happens to everyone’.
[17:55] What happened after the DUI?
Eric looks at his drinking career through the lens of his DUI’s because he’s had three in ten years. He went to AA after the first DUI. He took one of the quizzes about problem drinking. His gut knew he had a problem, but he ignored it and went along with his friends who said it was not a big deal.
He moved to Florida and picked up where he left off. His 2nd DUI was in 2013. He remembers going out, ripping his jeans from dancing and drove from West Palm Beach to Ft. Lauderdale. He was driving 80 MPH in a 35 MPH zone. He blew a .15 and went to court.
Five years later he got his third DUI.
[21:16] What was your drinking like between the DUI’s?
After the first DUI, it scratched the surface of concern, but he kept drinking. Erik describes himself as a celebratory binge drinker.
He went to AA for four months without drinking and believed moderating would work for him. He was able to moderate successfully until the shut off valve in his brain didn’t shut off.
In 2018, Erik got his third DUI. He had a breathalyzer in his vehicle and was still positive (for alcohol) the next day. Erik took a cab to work. Erik never wants to be like that again.
[27:39] What other elements of your life (at the time) could be attributed to alcohol?
Erik said from 2016-2018 he was a mess. He was on anti-depressants and drinking and the combination and progression were not good. Erik knew peer pressure was a big deal for him. He learned to distance himself from people who drink. He acknowledges his choices and recognizes he needs to say no to others in an
[30:02] Did you have a rock bottom when you had your last drink?
Erik said the weekend after his third DUI he was drinking, and he drove a friend to the airport at 5 am. He went to AA for six months. He chaired meetings, read the books. His attorney helped him to stay out of jail by wearing an ankle monitor. He was unable to get into treatment because he already had six months of sobriety. Erik had to hack the system to get treatment. He got really drunk to make sure he could get into treatment vs. jail.
[37:54] How was your life after treatment?
Erik described treatment being a gift. There were some downsides, including losing his privacy. When he left rehab, he was required to wear an ankle monitor. He had a falling out with his sponsor. He made a choice to drink to stay out of jail. He became forthcoming with his therapist and social worker. AA was a blessing for him. He found Recovery Elevator during COVID, and he sees many similarities to AA.
Some days are hard and other days are beautiful. Sobriety is work. It’s a daily chore, but it’s so worth it for him. It works if you work it and work it because you are worth it!
Erik thirsts for Recovery Elevator to become bigger. He loves the meet ups and the chats, and it has been great for him.
[46:39] How do you relate to alcohol now?
Erik said his ankle monitor came in handy. It helped him through several situations including a funeral, a long layover at an airport. Erik knows he can have fun without alcohol, and he can be in public spaces without drinking. He is learning about who he is and who he wants to be. Time heals all wounds, and you get more comfortable with sobriety with time.
Playing it forward and playing it present helps him stay sober.
[51:01] Rapid Fire Round
It has allowed me to get to know myself and look inside and see who I want to be as a human being and how I want to interact with the universe.
No, thank you.
I have more patience and I’m more in the moment. You experience sunrises and sunsets differently. Florida is beautiful year around and he loves being in the moment.
Stick with it. Listen to your gut. We’ve all had plenty of day 1’s. Don’t minimize your sobriety. Be thankful for what you have and keep coming back.
You may have to say Adios to booze if …
You have to check your car for damage after a night of drinking or can’t remember where your car is.
One of our team members, Alan Copeland is going to share about Café RE. Check out Alan’s episode 287. Alan has been with Café RE since January 1, 2020. He helps onboard new members. Café RE includes:
Alan believes RE can help you overcome loneliness. You quickly understand there are like-minded people who are here to support you. Lifelong friendships are built in Café RE. We focus on the similarities. We don’t follow a specific program we are open to multiple options for recovery. The light will always be on for you here at Café RE.
Remember that you are not alone and together is always better. We can rewrite our stories.
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