55 min

”My Unfurling” with Lisa Bennett Tribe Sober - inspiring an alcohol free life!

    • Health & Fitness

 
My guest this week is author Lisa Bennett.  After a career in marketing she ditched the booze in her early 50’s, left her job and wrote a book about the joys of sobriety.  Her book is called “My Unfurling” and emphasises how many aspects of our lives will change when we stop using alcohol to numb our feelings and our dreams.
Lisa lives in Maryland with her husband, her mom, two cats and a dog.  She enjoys paddleboarding, yoga and dancing in the kitchen!
In this Episode
Lisa started drinking in her teens and says that her first 6 years of drinking created deep pathways in her brain.
The heady combination of being away from home and having access to cheap alcohol together with the fact that she was a bit shy meant drinking was a great way to connect and fit in with the other students.
On reflection Lisa realises she could have done so much better at college if she hadn’t been partying so much!
After college she went to live in the heart of New York City where the party continued! So easy to go out drinking and pour herself into a cab to get home.
So she left NY at the age of 29 with a very well established drinking habit – 3 or 4 nights out a week was the norm and like many of us Lisa discovered she had no “off” switch
She ended up in an AA meeting as research for a work related project – that experience simply confirmed to her that she was “not an alcoholic” as she didn’t relate to the people there – so she had a drink on the way home to celebrate!
This also happened to me and with hindsight we agreed that we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves with the hard core alcoholics in AA – we should be comparing ourselves with the best version of ourselves that we could be – quite simply alcohol will prevent us from reaching our potential in life
Going back to Lisa she of course tried to moderate – and set and broke “the rules” many times
We talked about “rock bottom” and how crazy it is to wait for “rock bottom” – the trick is to get off that slippery slope the moment you realise you are on it!
We talked about wake up calls – as she reached her 40’s Lisa found she could no longer predict the effect that a few drinks was going to have on her – I also experienced that and now realise that it’s a real warning sign of dependence
She explained how a relatively modest amount of alcohol had led her to a blackout which ended in her throwing charcoal up to her bedroom window to wake up her husband in the early hours – as she puts in “she will never forget the disappointed look on her husband’s face as he came downstairs to let her in!”
We talked of the difficulty of being a woman who drinks – we mustn’t “get drunk” because that’s not cool but if we don’t drink we are no fun!
In fact Lisa’s husband told her that he didn’t think she had to give up drinking completely – this was a few months into sobriety so Lisa was able to remind him of all the things she had started doing that she never would have done had she still been drinking
This attitude of well meaning friends and relatives is another reason why we need a sober community – they will just tell us to “cut down” – not realising that we’ve crossed the line into dependence and cutting down is not an option.
Go to tribesober.com and hit “join our tribe” if you need a community who understands what its like to have tried (and failed) to cut down over and over
One day Lisa very wisely realised that she was getting no “joy” from her drinking anymore – and that it was taking too much away from her
For most of us it actually takes a period of sobriety before we recognise that we gain so much more than we lose when we ditch the booze – so well done to Lisa for having that insight when she was still drinking!
Lisa’s turning point was reading an essay by Laura McCowen called “Am I an Alcoholic” –  https://www.lauramckowen.com/blog/am-i-an-alcoholic
We are great fans of Laura here at T

 
My guest this week is author Lisa Bennett.  After a career in marketing she ditched the booze in her early 50’s, left her job and wrote a book about the joys of sobriety.  Her book is called “My Unfurling” and emphasises how many aspects of our lives will change when we stop using alcohol to numb our feelings and our dreams.
Lisa lives in Maryland with her husband, her mom, two cats and a dog.  She enjoys paddleboarding, yoga and dancing in the kitchen!
In this Episode
Lisa started drinking in her teens and says that her first 6 years of drinking created deep pathways in her brain.
The heady combination of being away from home and having access to cheap alcohol together with the fact that she was a bit shy meant drinking was a great way to connect and fit in with the other students.
On reflection Lisa realises she could have done so much better at college if she hadn’t been partying so much!
After college she went to live in the heart of New York City where the party continued! So easy to go out drinking and pour herself into a cab to get home.
So she left NY at the age of 29 with a very well established drinking habit – 3 or 4 nights out a week was the norm and like many of us Lisa discovered she had no “off” switch
She ended up in an AA meeting as research for a work related project – that experience simply confirmed to her that she was “not an alcoholic” as she didn’t relate to the people there – so she had a drink on the way home to celebrate!
This also happened to me and with hindsight we agreed that we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves with the hard core alcoholics in AA – we should be comparing ourselves with the best version of ourselves that we could be – quite simply alcohol will prevent us from reaching our potential in life
Going back to Lisa she of course tried to moderate – and set and broke “the rules” many times
We talked about “rock bottom” and how crazy it is to wait for “rock bottom” – the trick is to get off that slippery slope the moment you realise you are on it!
We talked about wake up calls – as she reached her 40’s Lisa found she could no longer predict the effect that a few drinks was going to have on her – I also experienced that and now realise that it’s a real warning sign of dependence
She explained how a relatively modest amount of alcohol had led her to a blackout which ended in her throwing charcoal up to her bedroom window to wake up her husband in the early hours – as she puts in “she will never forget the disappointed look on her husband’s face as he came downstairs to let her in!”
We talked of the difficulty of being a woman who drinks – we mustn’t “get drunk” because that’s not cool but if we don’t drink we are no fun!
In fact Lisa’s husband told her that he didn’t think she had to give up drinking completely – this was a few months into sobriety so Lisa was able to remind him of all the things she had started doing that she never would have done had she still been drinking
This attitude of well meaning friends and relatives is another reason why we need a sober community – they will just tell us to “cut down” – not realising that we’ve crossed the line into dependence and cutting down is not an option.
Go to tribesober.com and hit “join our tribe” if you need a community who understands what its like to have tried (and failed) to cut down over and over
One day Lisa very wisely realised that she was getting no “joy” from her drinking anymore – and that it was taking too much away from her
For most of us it actually takes a period of sobriety before we recognise that we gain so much more than we lose when we ditch the booze – so well done to Lisa for having that insight when she was still drinking!
Lisa’s turning point was reading an essay by Laura McCowen called “Am I an Alcoholic” –  https://www.lauramckowen.com/blog/am-i-an-alcoholic
We are great fans of Laura here at T

55 min

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