Episode 330– You change and grow and evolve and that’s a good thing.
You get better, wiser, stronger and make better decisions. You can’t be afraid of that.
Tricia took her last drink on November 14, 2016. She is from Dallas and is 40 years old. This is her journey of living alcohol free (AF).
Today’s episode will be a bit different. Tricia chatted with Paul previously on episodes 100 and 212. We will focus on life beyond the bottle and what happens after you have some sober time under your belt.
Today is the final episode of Season 2. Season 3 of the Recovery Elevator podcast begins June 21st. We are focused on having fun, staying authentic, spicy chili mango, ice cream and helping others along the way.
Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message.
Odette has encountered many people who feel stuck. They are struggling with letting go of booze. It’s hard to let go of alcohol in a society that encourages drinking. It is normal and part of cognitive dissonance. You can step out of that societal pressure that encourages alcohol consumption. It’s when we resist that it feels the hardest. Choosing to see this journey as an opportunity instead of a sacrifice helps is the first step to breaking free. Choosing to see we are the lucky ones.
Alcohol makes false promises. When we engage differently with the world, we learn we are detaching from booze and the matrix. We must be part of society, but we have power to choose and create new experiences. We outgrow our old selves and fitting in with others.
Remember you have the power to break free from the matrix. You have the power to heal, make new friends, make different decisions, and focus on a better life. Lean into new beginnings. You matter! You can find peace in your decision to stop drinking.
[10:28] Odette welcomes Tricia
Tricia took her last drink on November 14, 2016. She describes herself as a high functioning drinker. Her family had addiction issues. Tricia talked about being co-dependent and she was a perfectionist and over achiever. Success validated her. She worked in a service industry and as a chef. She worked hard and drank hard. She was protective of her drinking because she didn’t want anyone to know about her drinking. She was obsessed with making it look like everything was fine. She was a blackout drinker. She was scared about that progression. She was unable to quit for more than a month at a time. She got divorced and used alcohol to cope and avoid her feelings. Her anxiety peaked and her drinking became out of control. One Monday she went through three days of withdrawal after a weekend of binge drinking. She reminds everyone not to quit cold turkey if they are physically addicted because it can be life-threatening. She started listening to podcasts, Recovery Elevator and heard stories that sounded like her. She began looking for resources and she went to an AA meeting. She worked the steps, got a sponsor, and went to therapy. Not all of them stuck, but she liked being able to do it her way. Tricia has found freedom in recovery.
[20:10] Is it easy to forget how bad your problem was? How do you make yourself remember?
Tricia said she forgets, but not in a way that makes her want to drink. She knows it was terrible and doesn’t want to go back. The freshness of early sobriety, her first 90 days are hard to remember. Recovery is a big part of her life which makes it easier to remember.
[23:19] What are some of your later lessons of sobriety?
Tricia said people pleasing and inner child work are old habits to break. Initially your focus is not drinking. In time you find new things to work on and it never gets old. People pleasing is a tough one to overcome. Separating herself from her feelings was huge. Alcohol was 20% of her issue, the other issues emerge as you gain sobriety.
[26:25] What is your currency now?
Tricia said joy and peace. At night, if she is sleeping easy and she isn’t ruminating, she knows she is doing something right. Breathwork and meditation help. Her focus was on achievement and what she could earn. When she finds joy in things and what makes her happy, she is at peace. You make choices about how you live life, and it brings you freedom. Stopping and being mindful of what she is thinking is the work. Small, steady work on your thoughts is important.
[30:50] How do you protect your energy?
Tricia said identifying energy sucks are critical. She is mindful of her reactions to things. Identifying ‘her part’ is important. Identifying what she can control helps. There are days when she didn’t sleep well or didn’t eat and she doesn’t do as good a job as she would like, but she gets an opportunity to try again the next day. Tricia recognizes she will disappoint herself and others. She does the best she can and embraces her humanity. We are all doing the best we can, and listening is important. Getting counsel from people who know you well is helpful. She likes to remember that not everyone is thinking about you. Tricia says, find your team – people who know your story. Don’t live someone else’s life. Think about yourself the way your dog loves you!
[41:15] How do you manage your relationship with anxiety?
Tricia said she has struggled with anxiety since age 7. She had physical panic attacks at age 20. Medication has helped, but she didn’t have any tools. Anxiety can be progressive. She was blocking out days at a time because of anxiety, not alcohol. Now she lives with anxiety and pretends it’s a roommate. She knows how to keep it in check. Giving up alcohol is the best thing you can do. Tricia focuses on trying to prevent anxiety and meditation, exercise, journaling, a therapist are great tools. Routine is important including good sleep.
[45:32] How is being tuned into your body helpful?
Tricia said, the body keeps the score. It holds onto trauma, memories, etc. Through breathwork, she is learning to connect to her body. It checks her into her body, and she can feel when she is getting triggered, stressed, or tired. Expressing uncomfortable emotions is so important, otherwise it shows up as anxiety or a drinking problem.
Book Reference: The Body Keeps the Score
[50:12] Rapid Fire Round
How fun it is.
Tricia can’t eat ice cream, but she loves peach pie.
Meeting myself and who I really am.
Ask questions about your relationship with alcohol. Push back. If you drink, you will miss out. Holding on to booze keeps you missing out.
Odette challenges us to take out our journal and write out what the most beautiful and authentic version of your life looks life. If the unknown is hard to process, give your brain some direction. Write it down, fill in those fear gaps with hope. Feel free to email me at [email protected]
You took the elevator down; you must take the stairs back up.
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