Forgive Yourself
Play • 38 min

Do you think back on some of the crazy things you did while drinking and feel overwhelmed with guilt and embarrassment?

Feelings are overwhelming. Especially when you don’t know how to cope with them.

Every feeling serves a purpose and one of the greatest gifts of recovery is learning to recognize feelings, NOT panic, and use them as an opportunity to improve.

Feeling bad about things you’ve done in your past gives you ammunition to punish yourself and that’s a dangerous trap. Look at feelings as feedback. See yourself taking in the feeling, seeing what you need to work on, and moving forward from there.

You can’t evolve and grow without discomfort and mistakes. That’s how we learn!

Focus your energy on who you want to be in your future instead of what you did in the past. You can’t change the past, it’s over, it’s done. And you full power of who you become from this day forward.

Through January 23, 2020 sign up for Sober Society Membership

6 Week Signature Coaching Program info

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Recovery Elevator
Recovery Elevator
Paul Churchill
RE 315: Change and Compassion
– I can’t even imagine picking up a drink to solve something anymore. It doesn’t even cross my mind. Kate took her last drink on August 11, 2018. She is 42 and lives in New Jersey. This is her story of living alcohol-free (AF). Today’s sponsor is Better Help. Visit and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message Odette has been thinking about the process of change. When she is having a down day, she wonders, am I doing recovery right? Am I making progress? Is the work worth it? It’s muddy and contradictory, particularly with our labeling minds. We think bad days mean we are doing something wrong, and negative emotions are guides in the wrong direction. On hard days, Odette uses more tools, which probably means she is making more progress. Holly Whittaker posted on her Instagram page a sketch that highlights the Hourglass of Change. It shows there is a range of emotions from start to goal. Odette thinks we need to learn to appreciate the hourglass of change, label-less, and accept more. Negative emotions have a place in our chapter of change. When Odette looks for peace instead of euphoria and moves gently with her feelings, she remembers compassion is critical. We need to have compassion for ourselves and others. Let us remember that we are all on the same path, wanting to connect with others and feel like we belong. If sobriety is kicking you in the butt right now, don’t be so hard on yourself. Take it as a sign of progress. You are on the right track. You are right where you are supposed to be. [7:30] Odette introduces Kate Kate took her last drink on August 11, 2018. She is 42, lives in New Jersey, and works for Recovery Elevator. Kate said she was born and raised in New Jersey. She, her husband Jay, and their cats keep life interesting. Kate works in the art world. She is crafty and knits, sews, and cross stitches. She loves to exercise and get outside. [8:54] Give listeners some background on your history with drinking Kate said she took her first drink at 14. She was severely inebriated and blacked out. The only other time she drank in high school, she blacked out. Kate went to college in Pennsylvania, and drinking was part of the culture. She was in a sorority, and everyone drank on the weekends. Her drinking seemed normal and what everyone was doing. After college, she started to notice some demons. Kate recalled in early childhood being asked to sit on the choir director’s lap at church and kiss him. She was taught to respect her elders. Looking back, she realizes her life then took an awkward turn. She developed an eating disorder. When she started drinking, the eating disorder went away. In college, she became the ultimate party girl. She worked in galleries and auction houses, and drinking was encouraged. She moved to the UK in 2007 and was there for four years. She contrasted the drinking culture in the UK versus New York. Kate knew she had found her people. Her drinking ramped up. After her divorce, she would drink to obliteration with vodka. She learned geographic changes don’t work. [12:51] Odette asked what was going on in her brain about her drinking. Kate said she knew from her first drink that she shouldn’t drink. Alcoholism runs in her family. Her father has five years of sobriety. Every day was a struggle to continue keeping up appearances and be a high-functioning professional while drinking copious amounts of alcohol at night. 14:10 Did you talk to anyone about your eating disorder, drinking, or what happened during your childhood? Kate said she was raised in a family where appearance meant everything. It went to the extreme that she and her siblings were wearing matching outfits for every holiday. Kate believes the 3 of them were struggling with who they are. Kate told her mother about the choir director, and she didn’t believe her. Her friend’s mother found out about what was happening and sat down with Kate and talked it through. The kissing stopped, but she had to stay in the choir and see him weekly. At 14, the choir director turned it back on her in front of the entire chorus. She was embarrassed as a teenager. As an adult, she is mortified that it was allowed to happen. [16:37] Tell me more about what happened when you were in the UK? Kate said she moved back to the US because she was engaged to another man. When she lived in the UK, she was sexually assaulted by someone she was dating. This became a turning point. Within six months, she fled back to New York and got a job at a gallery. She then met another man who was a master manipulator, and they would drink a lot together. During Hurricane Sandy, they were stuck together. She tried to break up with him, and he would manipulate his way back. Kate’s drinking escalated due to the confusion associated with the manipulation. [18:21] Did you notice you were drinking more? Was your tolerance increasing? Kate said yes. A bottle of wine an evening was a standard routine. After a friend’s 40th birthday, she was so drunk it required two people to get her into her home. At 5 AM the next morning, she was passed out on the floor of her apartment, fully clothed, and she had urinated on herself. That was her first attempt to quit drinking, and it lasted about 90 days. When she went back to drinking, it progressed to 2-3 handles of vodka a week. She was working remotely most of the time, which masked much of her drinking. Her company is versed in recovery, and they encourage recovery. [20:29] Did your drinking effect your relationship? How did that change when you quit drinking? Kate said her husband is a heavy drinker as well, and they fueled each other as drinking partners. As her recovery has evolved, it has put some strain on her marriage. Kate and Jay didn’t discuss their drinking because they both had a problem. They are trying to rediscover who they are as a couple and learn to communicate. Kate said her husband is a rough and tumble guy who has lived a hard life, which puts him in a gender norm that he doesn’t talk about his feelings. Now that she is sober, Kate talks about all of her feelings. She has sought out other friends to express her feelings, and she wishes she and her husband could speak more openly. They have never talked about why she stopped drinking. Jay hasn’t seen all of the new dimensions of Kate that have evolved due to her sobriety. [24:37] Tell me a little bit more about what happened after those 90 days? Kate said start, restart, try again. She never moderated. It was black and white; there was no in-between. She walked into her first AA meeting at 24 years old but didn’t want to admit she had a drinking problem. From 2017 to 2018, Kate knew if she had continued drinking, it would kill her. She had many day one’s – she couldn’t put together stretches of time. [26:40] What happened in August? Kate said in July of 2018, she was sick and tired of being sick and tired. After forty “day one’s,” she put her wine down before her friend’s baby shower and said, we’re done. She googled recovery podcasts and found Recovery Elevator episode 2. She clicked play and connected with Paul’s sober date. It was the first time she heard similarities about how she drank and how other people spoke about their drinking. In August 2018, she signed up for Café RE. She discovered a community that was pursuing the same goal. The encouragement from like-minded people made a difference. Kate did an Instagram live with Heather of Ditch the Drink, and it was so beautiful for Kate to see her recovery friends and her “regular” friends together. [32:01] Do you still get cravings? Kate said she does not get cravings. She likes inclusion to have an AF drink in her hand b…
47 min
The Addicted Mind Podcast
The Addicted Mind Podcast
Duane Osterlind, LMFT
119: Killer Graces with Steve Melen
When we go through extreme pain, it’s easy to feel like we’re all alone. We doubt that anybody has felt the level of pain that we are currently experiencing. Life begins to feel hopeless and we start believing that there is just no reason to carry on. However, there is always some good ahead. Think of the countless stories of those who have survived unimaginable circumstances and lived to tell about it. If we will just do what we can at the moment, taking as few steps as we can muster, and keep our eyes locked on the amazing things to come, we, too, can endure any trial. Today I am speaking with Steve Melen, the author of Killing Graces. Steve carries a resiliency and a hope for getting through the hard stuff in life that is inspiring. During our conversation, we discuss his journey through stomach cancer, addiction, and survival. Steve is an amazing example of someone who has gone through extreme struggle and pain and made it out to the other side. His story is both riveting and hopeful, so tune in to hear it all for yourself. *In this episode, you will hear:* * The story of how Steve found out he had stomach cancer and how he endured all of his treatments. * How he got addicted to opiates. * When he first realized he had a real problem with opiate addiction. * How he began to get off of the pain meds. * How being a father gave him the strength to push through withdrawal. * His attempts at getting back to a sense of normalcy. * The emotional pain he was holding inside and how he worked through it. * The patterns of numbing he fell into. * How therapy helped him finally heal. * Where the idea for Killer Graces came from. * How he came up with that title for his book. *Key Quotes:* [09:16] - “Everyone... thought the worst was going to happen and so they weren’t going to stop me from numbing my pain.” [13:21] - “So, I left the hospital and said, ‘Now I'm just going to… fight this. I'm going to go through this battle of detox and I'm going to take it on. And I did and I didn't realize how hard it was. It was the hardest thing I've ever done.’” [16:55] - “If I didn't have her I don't know where I would have gone. I would have probably found some other purpose. But at that point… that’s what I had. I needed… not… to have her be 15, 14 years old like she is now and be like, ‘Oh, I don't really remember,’ or just look at pictures of me. I did not want that to be the case.” [17:23] “When you're in all of that pain, just focus on that: this is where I am going, this is what I am doing, this is how I'm going to go.” [17:35] “The focus has to go off of yourself.” [30:07] “I hope no one goes through this. But we all have family, children, parents, relatives going through these things. And it's going to be hard. Something's going to be hard for you at some point.” [32:51] “You just said, ‘I'll just do the next step. I'll just do the next thing in front of me. I'll just keep doing it, one little thing at a time.’ And really, that's all you need to do and you'll get there.” [35:49] “Have faith in yourself that you can do more than you think you can… face it and do what is suggested and what you feel is right... Try to make progress, as little as the progress can be. *Subscribe and Review* Have you subscribed to our podcast? We’d love for you to subscribe if you haven’t yet. We’d love it even more if you could drop a review or 5-star rating over on Apple Podcasts ( ). Simply select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” then a quick line with your favorite part of the episode. It only takes a second and it helps spread the word about the podcast. If you really enjoyed this episode, we’ve created a PDF that has all of the key information for you from the episode. Just go to the episode page at ( ) to download it. *Supporting Resources:* Steve’s website: Killer Graces : ( ) * Episode Credits* If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment. He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, coaches, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world. Find out more at ( )
39 min
Sober Curious
Sober Curious
Ruby Warrington
Sobriety + Solidarity with Clementine Morrigan and Jay
My guests this week are Clementine Morrigan and Jay, co-hosts of the F***ing Cancelled podcast – which examines the phenomenon of cancel culture through the lens of 12-step recovery and trauma-informed reparative justice. This is the last show of the current season + it’s safe to say I’ve been feeling quite nervous about airing it!! After all, criticizing cancel culture, or even siding with other people who do, is a sure-fire way to get cancelled. But what I value about Clementine and Jay’s approach, is what they bring to it from their 12-step work – which puts a big emphasis on “keeping your side of the street clean.” This means living in integrity, taking responsibility for any past actions that may have caused harm and making the necessary amends. Which is the goal of many a cancellation, but this often gets lost in the fear-based feeding frenzies that we see erupting online - where the erasure of a specific individual can become a placeholder for the sustained and sensitive work of looking at why certain attitudes and behaviors persists and how this can be addressed at a systemic level. _In the episode we discuss:_ -The contrast between culture of shame and blame in some online social justice movements and the reparative amends-making of the 12-step program. -Living in fear of being “found-out” for past bad behavior. -How getting sober helps us live in integrity – and be the moral judge of our own behavior. -What they term “the nexus” – and how it has enabled the rise of cancel culture. -The addictive nature of social media and online mob mentality – and what makes us susceptible to this. -Why yelling at each other on the internet is not how we enact social change in the real world. -Why cancel culture mimics the dynamics of an abusive relationship. -How to build nervous system resilience so that we can engage in the difficult conversations that are necessary for progress. -Why our political work should not be part of our personal brand – something we use to get more follows and likes (and sponsorship dollars). -Why cancel culture is an outlet for an overwhelming sense of injustice, betrayal, and powerlessness about the state of the wider world. -Why it’s impossible to change what somebody thinks by coercion – and how to model the change we want to see. -The parallels between getting sober and opting out of cancel culture. _Listen to the F***ing Cancelled podcast on iTunes and Spotify, subscribe on __Patreon__, and follow __@clementinemorrigan__ on Instagram. You can also learn more about Clementine and her writing __HERE__._ _Big thanks to Three Spirit for partnering on this episode. Order online at __www.threespiritdrinks.com__ and use the code SOBERCURIOUS to get 15% off._
1 hr 19 min
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