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Ordinary People. Ordinary Things. with Melissa Radke

Nov 12, 2019

Over a year ago, a woman came up to me at an event and hugged my neck and shared that she'd been sober for x amount of time.  She was glowing. Her face was beaming. I assumed, that's what happens when someone beats addiction, but that wasn't it. It was just her. She was beautiful. The reason I'm talking about this is because, sometimes, we associate alcoholism with Otis Campbell from The Andy Griffith Show.

Then we moved onto the Norm from Cheers stereotype, with a sloppy disheveled character. Then along came Homer Simpson. Do you see a pattern here?  We never associated alcoholism with well put together women. There are wonderful teachers who go home and drink until they pass out. There are also stay at home moms who are so sick or bored that they drink all day. I didn't know that there were pastor's wives, ER nurses, and yoga instructors that were alcoholics. But now I know, because I've met you.

Every example I'm thinking of has been gorgeous, well-dressed, and smart as a whip. Not one of them looked like Homer Simpson. They could in fact be you or me. My guest today is that very woman who first came up and hugged my neck. She has since become a very precious friend of mine. I am so lucky to have ever met her at an event. I'm not sharing her name today. 

She’s an active participant in Alcoholics Anonymous. She’s requested that I don't share her name. It's hard for me, because I want you to see her and meet her. But in this episode you get to learn and grow from her story. To listen to her is to love her. Trust me. The goal for today's show is that one person will hear her story and will take the first step to finding the help they need.

Show Notes:

  • [04:53] This is my guest’s first podcast.
  • [05:35] She's a recovering addict, who's very involved in AA and believes in the anonymous part. 
  • [06:01] She has a supportive husband who she's been with for 38 years. He was her high school sweetheart. She has two adult daughters and a four-year-old grandson.
  • [06:46] She's a recovering alcoholic who has had seven years of continuous sobriety.
  • [06:59] For her, drinking was a social thing. She could drink and enjoy drinking and was able to stop. When she went back to work, she felt like she deserved a drink after work.
  • [07:37] Eventually, the drinking became a physiological habit. Her body became addicted to alcohol.
  • [07:53] She feels fortunate to say she's a recovering alcoholic and gets to live her life again. At one point, she got to the point where she was just existing.
  • [08:48] Our families also have their recovery.
  • [09:39] Being sober, allowed her the opportunity to become a better listener.
  • [10:41] When her mom was diagnosed with cancer, she had an aha moment and realized she had a big problem. 
  • [12:52] Her family were not alcoholics, but they were codependent.
  • [13:47] She also felt very alone.
  • [15:09] She now thinks of alcohol as a cleaning product that is a poison to her body. She hated herself for drinking wine and taking sleeping pills. 
  • [16:23] When she drinks alcohol, she has a physiological craving for more.
  • [19:53] Listen and silence have the same letters, they're just rearranged. When she decided to get sober, she went to AA.
  • [20:20] Being Sober is the first step. Being in recovery is the second step. Learning to live again is the third step.
  • [21:08] Day treatment didn't quite work, so she went to residential treatment. After several cries, she felt lighter like an empty vessel.
  • [22:29] She was then given the tools to be successful.
  • [25:09] She does the right thing each day. She now has an opportunity to live. 
  • [26:02] She is now an AA sponsor. The meetings are for her, but she does take other people and help others. 
  • [27:46] You have a spiritual sponsor and a service sponsor. 
  • [29:21] Children of addicts also need to seek treatment. The alcoholic can change the entire dynamic of the whole family like a chime in a wind chime. 
  • [31:35] If you think you can do this on your own, why haven't you done it already?
  • [35:32] Go to meal is chicken cordon bleu with mashed potatoes and asparagus.
  • [36:13] Friendship means the world. Our anonymous guest may or may not look like a young Debbie Reynolds.

Thanks for joining us on Ordinary People Ordinary Things. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review. Just like your mother taught you.

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