Since coming out with my sobriety a few weeks ago to my entire social circle, some very gracious people have commended me for my willpower and strength, while others have commented that I make quitting drinking look easy. I sincerely appreciate all of the kind words and I’m fully embracing the world of sobriety, but it isn’t always all pretty Instagram photos and rainbows. Everyone’s experience is different, but one thing that remains consistent amongst us problem drinkers is that quitting is hard.
I’m now 53 days sober and while it has slowly grown easier, it remains the most difficult task I’ve ever taken on. There is an obsession that happens when you stop drinking, a relentless one. For me, early on it was every day, sometimes every single moment, that I was thinking about wanting a drink. Thinking about the taste, the feel of it in my mouth, the warmth of it in my belly. Fighting desperately to not walk across the room and pour myself a glass of wine or whiskey. Plain and simple obsessing. Then, there is the obsessing about ‘not’ drinking. Every conversation I have, every place I go, everything I do whether out or at home, I am thinking about avoiding alcohol. Not to mention the monumental amount of time spent reading sobriety books, blogs, articles and twitter feeds. While these obsessions seem to finally be relaxing their grips, most days I am still caught somewhere in between them.
I’ve learned that the mind can be a cruel trickster and can very easily convince someone to go back to making poor choices. The amount of justifying ‘just one taste’ that goes on in my head sometimes is almost laughable, but it’s also quite nauseating. This is the voice of addiction talking and to quiet this voice, support has been essential. Many people ask if I’m going to AA. While the answer is currently no, it also isn’t something that I’ve completely taken off the table and I’ll share more on my thoughts about that another time. Besides the incredible support of my husband, you know that obsessing I mentioned above? The time spent on recovery blogs and social media has led me to a number of resources and a rather impressive connection with folks also in the midst of recovery. We touch base daily, whether things are going well or in moments of temptation. The amount of support available online is remarkable and I am grateful to live in a time where the access to this is literally right at my fingertips.
There has been another important avenue that has proven to be a brilliant source of support for me that I’ve touched on in the blog before, and that is the world of podcasts. I’ve shared some of my favorites in a post here before, but none of it came close to what I’m about to share today. Below, I’ve listed my top five that have been my go-to, not just after I decided to get sober, but even when I was only trying to moderate. The strength and honesty behind the people sharing their stories here is powerful and there is no question that every one of these voices has played a key part in my recovery. While meetings and steps may work best for some, for the time being, this is a big part of what is working for me.
My Top Five Recovery Podcasts
The Bubble Hour: Hosted by Jean M, a sober woman dedicated to breaking down the walls of stigma and denial surrounding the disease of alcoholism. This is the granddaddy of them all – Jean is someone I have great admiration and respect for. Her guests and interviews are powerful and relevant, and the sound of her voice makes you feel like you are long-time friends.
Your Kick Ass Life – Recovery Series: Andrea Owen is a life coach, who also happens to be in recovery. When I first stumbled across her, she was a guest on The Bubble Hour (above), and I knew this woman was someone I wanted to hear more from. In fact, her story is what inspired me to draw the line in the sand that sparked my sobriety. Her podcasts covers a wide range of topics, but she has offered this Recovery series over the past two years where she shares real stories from people with very different rock bottoms.
The Unruffled Podcast: A weekly show hosted by Sondra Primeaux and Tammi Salas that explores all topics related to creativity in recovery. When an addiction is removed, there is a void that is left and this show digs into all of the ways to fill that void.
ODAAT Chat: Inspiring stories of overcoming addiction – recovery and fellowship, one day at a time.
HOME Podcast: Although this one recently came to an end, episodes are still available. Laura McKowen and Holly Whitaker take up the big questions of life through the lens of addiction recovery.