Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Interviews.
Leslie SHARES her 16 months of sobriety by telling us about getting sober DURING the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020. She explains that she believes she may have already been an alcoholic long before alcohol ever touched her lips. She has always been a seeker and that seeking is the reason she found alcohol and fell in love with it. Alcohol was fun and magical for many years until it turned on her and almost destroyed her. Leslie lived a double life for a long time and food was her first addiction, a few years later alcohol and drugs took on a larger roll in her life. Leslie survived a physical assault by an acquaintance that scared her and only increased her alcohol and drug use. Leslie realized she may have a problem with alcohol when she entered law school. As her drinking escalated Leslie was confronted by her younger brother who suggested Alcoholics Anonymous. As the pandemic raged and the world began to shut down, so did she. Her use of alcohol, food, and drugs went off the charts. She reached out for help and found it via her family and her Higher Power. Please listen to this story of healing and redemption and how being a sober mom is one of the biggest rewards she has been blessed with since getting sober.
Casey SHARES his 31 years of sobriety with us and shows it is possible to get sober as a teenager and stay sober. He began to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes early in life by modeling the behavior of adults that were close to him. He was lonely as a child due to his parents working long hours. Left to his own devices he began to allow his drinking to take on a larger roll in his life. The Alcohol was working for him at this point until things began to get out of control during his high school days. Phone calls home from school to report bad behavior, sleeping in his car sometimes, automobile crashes, and a general disintegration of his morals and behavior all led to him having to go to an AA meeting to GET THE HEAT OFF. Caseys sobriety date is 2 weeks after his first AA meeting. He was super uncomfortable during his first few AA meetings and had a few beers before he would attend those first few recovery meetings. He was very disappointed to find out that God was involved in this recovery plan. One of my favorite moments of this episode is when Casey said “it was not possible for me to love God as much as I loved drugs and alcohol so I did not love God anymore.” That is hitting bottom for real. His journey from that thought to where he is today is a miracle. We also talked about his love for young people in recovery and the importance of recovery based conferences and making new sober friends. We talk about how young people may not stay sober long term at first but while they are here they can gain a base knowledge about the AA recovery program and come back later in life when they hit another bottom. We talk about sponsorship and address the idea that “boys should sponsor boys and girls should sponsor girls”. We talk about relocating to another city or stare during long term sobriety and how drifting away from the AA program can be dangerous. Humility is a focal point of Caseys program and his step work. He explains that one way to think about how to define Humility is to “come back to god.” He points out that Humility is the foundation of all 12 steps and something we must develop to become truly happy. The 10th and 11th steps are covered in great detail and we explore the massive importance of quiet time in the morning “upon awakening”. This is a huge 3+ hour episode. I would love for you to listen to all of it please. I know it is a huge time commitment and I value your time and attention. This episode is packed with solid information from beginning to end. It's all good, so please invest in yourself and digest this whole episode, even thought it may take you few sessions to hear it all. You will be enriched, I promises. Stay blessed my Sober Friends.
Jennifer SHARES her life story with us as explore what long term sobriety looks like. We explore her drinking career and pin point the time she began to drink against her will. We cover dating in AA and how that worked out for her. Jennifer talked about how she has grown closer to her God via the growth opportunities of living life on life terms. We explore the dangers of sponsoring yourself and why that’s not a good idea. God continues to meet her where she is on a daily basis and gives her the power to move forward and help others. Connection to others is a key component to her sobriety and how she stays close to her higher power. I know this is large episode, please listen to the whole thing even though it may take you several sitting to make it happen. It is packed with solid information that will enlighten you.
Will SHARES his sober journey with us and how it all began while he was in treatment and he said to a counselor "I need help, I cannot live this alcoholic life anymore". His total surrender unlocked the willingness to follow his treatment teams advice to work the 12 steps and move to a sober living house in Atlanta, Georgia. Will developed rules for himself in early sobriety like never being alone in a car at night. His biggest fear was relapse because he knew to use again was death. Will realized that he did not need to have a full working knowledge of the AA program for it to work. Will turned his will and life over to the program and his treatment team during the first year of his sobriety and the blessing from the decision are still manifesting in his life today. At one point during our talk Will remarked that our addictions steel us from ourselves and that it is sobriety and God that can restore that broken connection. If we do the work and remove the things that block us off from the sunlight of the spirit then we can return to true freedom and peace of mind.
Krista SHARES her 25 years of sobriety and takes us on a journey though her life story. We learn about the early years of her drinking and how she could feel the fear leaving her body as she drank. The alcohol was a great comfort to her during the early years of her addiction. She remembers being able to breath, relax, and deal with life for the first time as she got drunk. Her drinking history was full of things that damaged her life and relationships towards the end of her active addiction. She talks about wanting to control everything and everyone. AA taught her to be sober and spiritual and Al-anon taught her how to be happy. During the early days of her recovery she asked a bunch of old-timers how she was going to stay sober for the upcoming weekend. They told her to pray. Krista said, “That will never work”. But she tried it anyway and she has been on a spiritual quest ever since. Krista placed herself in the middle of AA and has never left. Her sponsor has helped her recover in every area of her life and as Krista works with her sponsees she is able to stay focused and sharp in her program. She explains how her sponsor delivers feedback and perspective with the scalpel of truth and the antiseptic of love. She has allowed others to get to know her in the program which has helped release her shame of the things she did while drunk. When Krista is working with a new girl she allows herself to become a vessel or open channel for her Higher Powers love and forgiveness. Because when the love comes through you and flows into another person you get to experience it first, and that is the magic of AA. All you get is all you give, so give it all you got!
Chico West SHARES his 32 years of sobriety and explains how he was raised in a family where alcohol was part of the fabric of his life as a young person. The death of his father and aunt in separate alcohol related automobile accidents created fear and anger in him as a young boy. Chico started to drink regularly soon after his fathers accident and it helped ease the pain and sadness. Chico began to act like a wild child when he drank during the teen years of his life. His alcoholism escalated quickly and blackouts soon became a problem. After he assaulted a peace officer in Texas he knew it was time to ask for help, he was scared. Chico ended up at a treatment center called Sierra Tucson and then was transferred to a sober living facility in Atlanta, GA. This were he was introduced to twelve step AA recovery and began his journey to long term sobriety. Chico grew up with a strong belief in God, but he did not believe that he would be forgiven for his sins. As he gained traction in recovery and learned about forgiveness via the AA program his understanding of the Bible opened up in a whole new way and his life took off in a positive direction. Mr West has owned sober living houses, Drug and Alcohol treatment centers and provided assistance to facilitate interventions on loved ones. Addiction counselor Chico and his wife Shannon host a podcast called FILTER OPTIONAL that lends their years of experience to offer a unique perspective from both the filter (Shannon) and the no filter (Chico). Mr West no longer lives on the corer of fear and insecurity, he has indeed changed locations to the corner of Hope and Serenity.