Three Years, No Beers: How My Brother Stays Alcohol Free

Episode 170 June 19, 2024 01:04:54
Three Years, No Beers: How My Brother Stays Alcohol Free
Alcohol Tipping Point
Three Years, No Beers: How My Brother Stays Alcohol Free

Jun 19 2024 | 01:04:54

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Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

My brother, Chris Shipley, returns to the podcast to talk about being alcohol free for over three years. I love these special episodes with my brother, who has been one of my biggest supporters over the years. I’m incredibly proud of him for choosing to change his relationship with alcohol and striving to live a better life. He is an amazing husband, dad, brother, and son. I find these conversations so meaningful, and I think you will enjoy hearing from him as well. 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:02] Speaker A: Welcome to the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. I'm your host, Deb Maisner. I'm a registered nurse, health coach, and alcohol free badass. I have found that there's more than one way to address drinking. If you've ever asked yourself if drinking is taking more than it's giving, or if you found that you're drinking more than usual, you may have reached your own alcohol tipping point. The alcohol tipping point is a podcast for you to find tips, tools, and thoughts to change your drinking. Whether you're ready to quit forever or a week, this is the place for you. You are not stuck, and you can change. Let's get started. Welcome back and thank you for listening to this very special episode of the how call Tipping Point podcast. Very special because I have my brother on the show again, and I was just reflecting after we got done recording our episode that I feel so grateful that we have these conversations to look back on one day, you know, when we're in our seventies or our eighties, and maybe our kids will want to watch them, watch them, listen to them. It's just, it's very special and meaningful to have this kind of conversation with my brother. And I'm so grateful for him and so very proud of him for changing his drinking, for just wanting to live a better life, for being the man that he is, the wonderful husband, dad, brother, son. And I think that you will enjoy hearing from him as well. And I want to thank you for listening to the alcohol Tipping Point podcast, which has been on the air for over three years now. And I want to invite you to the next alcoholiday, which is the dry month that I run every month. I've been running alcoholidays every month since July of 2021. Wow. This will be my third year of running alcoholidays, and it's dry July. What a great time to take a break from drinking. I want to invite you to the next alcoholiday. You can go to alcoholtippingpoint.com alcoholiday. As a podcast listener, you always get 20% off by using the code love love. And if you happen to have done one before or email me, because I love to help support you. And I have a super big discount for alumni of alcoholidays. I think that it takes a while to unwind this habit, and I just want to keep offering these alcoholidays as long as people are finding them useful. I want to keep having this kind of space for you to practice not drinking. I want it to be in a non judgmental, shame free space where you get some tools resources and some compassion as you are making this big change in your life. Whether you're just doing a dry July or you know that you're done with alcohol, but you're having some difficulty breaking up with it, and maybe you are already done with drinking, but you're looking for a little more support, and so then the alcohol a day can be for you as well. Anyway, I will definitely link that to the show notes. And again, you can go to my website, alcoholtippingpoint.com alcoholiday. I would love to see you and help support you in dry July. In the meantime, listen to this special episode with my brother. Well, Chris, welcome back to the podcast. You're my first three, Peter, the first person who's come on three times. Did you know that? [00:03:55] Speaker B: I did not, actually, no. I knew this was my third time, but I didn't realize this is the first guest that you have. Me being the third time. [00:04:07] Speaker A: Yes. Awesome. Yeah. So you're back on, so we could talk about you celebrating three years alcohol free, which actually was in April. And when I listened to your first podcast episode, it was. I think we decided on four. 4. April 4. But it's interesting because you just. You don't even have a date in mind, do you? [00:04:34] Speaker B: I don't. I don't even wear a watch. I mean, Calendar. I'm aware of deadlines, but good golly, the small. Yeah, I. It was around Easter, and of course, Easter is on the moon, so it changes. And so I just say, yeah. You know, I just kind of. Do I measure by taxi seasons? [00:04:57] Speaker A: Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Well, I just want to, like, congratulate you and high five you on three years, because I think that's awesome, and I'm so proud of you for that. [00:05:07] Speaker B: Thank you. It's good that we can celebrate each other. [00:05:12] Speaker A: Oh, I know. I know. Totally. Well, I had come up with some questions, and I know you had some stuff you wanted to talk about, and I guess we'll just start there. So, for people who aren't familiar with Chris, I would just go back and listen to the last two episodes he was on because he came on when he first quit drinking, and that was episode 59. And I'll put a link in the show notes. And then he came on last year talking about what he learned from two years of not drinking. And now here we are on three years. Let's. Let me ask you some things more related to, like, just speed. Three years alcohol free. Three plus years alcohol free. Okay, so what now? What keeps you sober? What keeps you non drinking? [00:06:07] Speaker B: I think it's that. I think that it's. It's. It's the. It's also the. The stick and the carrot. The stick being like, I know, going back to drinking, where that leads to, I do not want to go there just being disheveled. And I could see that being the downhill thrill in a hurry. And then the carrot, it's. Man, I'm looking forward to more of those. Just those. Those every days and just having those euphoric moments. But. [00:06:40] Speaker A: And you. I think that I always find your journey interesting because you pretty much did it on your own. You didn't. Well, I guess you did the alcohol experiment, and then you talked with me, but you never did, like, a group or a quote unquote program or, like, you've kind of been doing it on your own and not necessarily having other people to talk to about being alcohol free. Would you agree with that? [00:07:15] Speaker B: Yeah, I did it. But I think what really helped, too, is I had some. I had some really good counseling before that, and that. And it was. It was mere. Look, we went in because the marriage was just. Listen, done right. And that counseling, it wasn't even about marriage counseling. It was just like, hey, you. We need to get you healthy. And so it was that type of counseling and that background that I had, I would not have been. So when I said I did it on my own, there was. There was some support there that happened, you know, a couple years before. Years before. [00:07:59] Speaker A: Yeah. And then you were able to talk to your wife, Heather, and talk to me, at least. But did. But did you have, like, do you even have other people, like, where you live, that are non drinkers or been through this kind of experience? [00:08:18] Speaker B: No. What influences? I did have occasionally, you know, I would hear somebody that I admire and say, like, oh, I don't drink. I was like, oh, I didn't know that. Okay. Like a fella hat. The fella, you know, he has a little. He's just on social media a little bit. Just lives up kind of our area of operation here. He lives up north. North. So he lives northeast Washington. And just like, hey, I don't drink anymore. I was like, oh, I even wrote him, was like, hey, thanks for saying that. That helped me. I didn't. You know, I. It's. It was. It was hard for me to realize that there's other people that didn't drink that had really adventurous, like, exciting lives. So I would occasionally hear some of those. So that. That influenced me. And a big part, too, Debbie, was having you being a year ahead of me. And I was like, like, oh, it's like the four minute mile, right? It's like, for you. You broke the four minute mile for me. And I was like, I can just draft right behind her. This is perfect. Yeah. Again, where I was by myself, but not by myself. [00:09:31] Speaker A: Yeah. Thank you for saying that. And I think sometimes it just takes one other person that gets it and gets you and what you're going through, you know, like, it's that cold drink of water in hell, right. It's just having that connection, but I just find it. I'm just. Because I'm so much in this world, and I think that doing this podcast, running these groups, like, that keeps me sober. And sometimes I wonder, gosh, if I didn't have all of this that I created, would I still be sober? But then I look at you. That's why I. Looking at other people who kind of do it in a different way. Like, you're just rocking it. It's just part of who you are now, and it's not, like, a huge deal. [00:10:28] Speaker B: Yeah. I don't wake up every day going like, I don't drink. This is great. It's just, you know, occasionally I do have those moments, but it's becoming less and less part of who I am. [00:10:39] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:10:40] Speaker B: Had a gal on a podcast, you know, she said, like, well, how do you explain it to people? It's like, well, I used to drink. I enjoyed it. Then it became unhealthy, and now I don't drink, and I'm. I feel much better. Okay. [00:10:52] Speaker A: Yeah. And it's just, like, no big deal. [00:10:55] Speaker B: Right? [00:10:56] Speaker A: I mean, it's a big deal, but it's not a big deal. It's just so interesting. Well, what. What? Do you still feel the benefits of being alcohol free? Like, what are the good bits still about it? [00:11:12] Speaker B: Oh, yeah, I. Quite often. And sometimes it's just a small thing. Sometimes it's just waking up without a hangover. Sometimes it's just going out and just having clarity to do stuff, and also just the freedom. It's like, oh, I used to be so. Alcohol used to be such a part of, like, all my activities and how I planned them, what I would do, and now they're not there. I was like, oh, I'm so glad I'm not drinking, or I'll see something, like, on tv or, like, no other drinking. I was like, I'm glad that's not me. [00:11:48] Speaker A: Yeah. Just those little things and the freedom. [00:11:52] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:11:54] Speaker A: What do you think? Like, with the relationships of people you have in your life, like, would you say which ones have changed the most? [00:12:08] Speaker B: I don't have a lot of relationships in my life, but let's see the main ones. I have wife and daughter Heather and Jessa. It's just. It's nice to be able to be so authentic. It's like, when I'm here, I'm very present. So being authentically present, there's something there. It's like my dogs even know it. They don't know if I'm alcohol free. But, I mean, the presence part, like, if I'm looking at my phone while I'm getting ready to throw the ball for hildebrand, she kind of knows I'm not paying attention to her. I was like, I know, I know. I'm just putting on some music real quick here, little girl. And then, you know, and then when I put it in my pocket and I'm just listening to the tunes, and then she sees me seeing her, and then she just goes crazy. She's super into it. And then. So I think that, for me, is like, when I actually look into my wife's eyes, I give Jessa a hug. Like I really am there versus that. I don't know. You know, when you drink, you kind of get that buzz. You know, the buzz, and then you're like, oh, hey, everybody. You know, it's kind of like, now that you're sober or you see that in with somebody else, you're like, all right. It does nothing for me. It's like, all right, well, I guys, I guess loose. Okay. You know? [00:13:34] Speaker A: Yeah. I feel like your and my relationship has gotten better. Like, we have more deep conversations. [00:13:44] Speaker B: Oh, that's right. We do call each other. Yeah, because I'll hear an interesting conversation that you will have, and I call you up, like, hey, I was just listening to you. [00:13:57] Speaker A: It's sweet. [00:13:58] Speaker B: I'm kind of trippy to hear you do an interview and then call. Call you. Yeah, and you got some deep ones, man. Especially, like, when it comes to, like, the eating, you know, you got into that one. And food, parenting, being loved, you know, I mean, those are the issues. You. Now that we're kind of scratching different services, I want to keep going on your questions. It's not get too derailed here, but there's stuff like that within me that still. It's like, oh, yeah, we'll just come up out of the blue. It's like, I totally forgot about that or being a kid and just like, oh, yeah, I remember making that vow or that judgment, and now that that bound judgment that I made as a kid. You forgot that you made it. But how that operates, still operates in your life, you know? [00:14:49] Speaker A: Mm hmm. Do you think there's any relationships that have not grown that you thought maybe would have or. [00:15:02] Speaker B: Oh, interesting. I thought it's like, I thought this would be a little bit better. Let's think about that. I don't know, maybe. Maybe with dad. Because dad and I used to drink together a lot. And I remember that being a red flag. One time we came out of a bar, just a dive bar. [00:15:23] Speaker A: McClary's. [00:15:25] Speaker B: Yeah. Just a piece of shit bar. Like, they try to build a fence. It's like, what is this? I remember there's a really old guy that came in there. Anyway, just. I don't want to get side set for this story, but that is one I remember when I stopped drinking, I would still continue to have a relationship with. We do. I mean, we still talk, but it's not. It's not as. The frequency is a lot less. And part of it is because when I would drink, I would call him. When he would drink, he would call me. And now in the afternoon, I don't call because I'm just like, okay, hope you're drinking. And there's just a different dab. If I come on in the morning before he goes to the gym or right after the gym, I. It's kind of like the bandwidth to get dad is perfect. And then we show how much we care for each other by how we're taking care of our stuff. [00:16:23] Speaker A: Yeah, I gotta say, it's been interesting because, yeah, dad became my drinking, but. Well, it was like the way to connect with him, but since he's been sick and I guess you haven't really experienced this, but. Well, our dad went into the hospital for pneumonia and had a GI bleed that wasn't necessarily related to the pneumonia. He ended up having 16 bleeding ulcers, related more to ibuprofen and nsaids, but also probably related to drinking. And now he can't drink. Did you know that, that there's a no alcohol? [00:17:10] Speaker B: Oh, really? So interesting to see how that. Because he's. That'll be interesting. [00:17:18] Speaker A: Yeah. Because he's a pub regular. But what's been interesting is I've probably been closer to him in these last couple weeks than these then since I quit drinking. Yeah, that has been my most difficult. Not difficult relationship, but kind of disappointing relationship. But I think now that he's not drinking and I've been helping him and connecting in a different way, like, it's been better. Yeah, yeah, he's doing better. He really is. So that's good. And, yeah, I've been bringing him different Na beers. He's been researching them, and so that's kind of been a nice way to bond with dad, because the other way to bond with him was with regular beers. Right. So now I'm trying to introduce him into the Na world. [00:18:16] Speaker B: Oh, I know. I'm. Yeah. To hang out with dad. The reason that I did a lot of the stuff that I did do younger was just to hang out with dad, you know, and that involved drinking. [00:18:31] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:18:32] Speaker B: I enjoyed. I mean, I really enjoyed it. That was a red flag. When I came out of that bar out of McCleary's, a dive bar, I just. I stopped and I just looked at him. I was like, dad, I really like drinking with you. And I was like, oh, God, this is. Am I going to be like that old guy that came in there? [00:18:53] Speaker A: Oh, you know, that was still drinking and spending their time in a pub. Yeah, yeah, the dive bar. Yeah. [00:19:04] Speaker B: You know, what are the questions have we got? [00:19:09] Speaker A: Okay. [00:19:11] Speaker B: I'm just. I can feel myself getting side dragged in a hurry. Let's. [00:19:13] Speaker A: Oh, I know. [00:19:15] Speaker B: I like these. Yeah. [00:19:17] Speaker A: What's. What's your routine? Routine? Like, now versus the early days. So when you first quit drinking and you're kind of talking about this, like, the journaling and the just focusing, like, what. What was it like in the early days? And do you have a routine now? [00:19:33] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. In that earlier days, it was much more focused, which, again, think we. I like. It's nice to have a folks where you don't have to worry about anything else. I did enjoy that. It was very regimented. I had one focus that day, do not drink pretty easy, and it allowed me to do a lot of stuff. It's like, I was at the gyms. Like, I should probably be at work. I have my own practice. Like, I had my own hours, and I work, and I don't have to punch a clock, which is nice, but it also means you're always working. So I'm not working. You're like, oh, should I really be working? But it gave me that, like, that's okay. What you're doing, this is the most important thing to be doing. It might be like sitting in the saunas, like, no, man, you need this time to get clear and remember why you are doing this. That's the part and the kind of routine that I had, that I really enjoyed, and now I. Now I'm a little more loosey goosey with my routine, and I still get up in the morning, spend time with Heather, then head off to work. But it's gotten to be where it's just, I'm just now a little more automatic pilot, and that's where I want to turn back, to be more intentional about what I'm doing. [00:20:56] Speaker A: Yeah, that makes sense. I think. I think what was is nice about those first days, first weeks, months, year. Like you said, like, your main focus is being alcohol free. Just don't drink. And in a way, it's a gift for everything else because then it's like, oh, that's enough. Like, isn't that a relief to be like, it's enough you don't drink today? That's enough? [00:21:27] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:21:28] Speaker A: Yeah. Like that. That's just like a relief. It's like pride. There's some pride mixed in there. And then relief, like, you did a good job today, like, you stayed alcohol free. You're fucking awesome. And that just felt good. And that felt enough. And then as you get here you are three years, I'm four and a half. Then it becomes, because it's now part of who you are. Then you're kind of back into that. What is enough right now? What is, you know, what does my day look like right now? What can I be proud of right now? That kind of thing. [00:22:07] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly. I mean, you don't want to just be in Egypt making bricks, right, for the pharaoh. You want to be doing something meaningful. And that is really difficult, you know, and thinking clear and saying, you know, actually knowing what you want. And to put that into really clear language is not easy. You think that it would be, right? It's like, well, what do you want? Just tell me and I'll do it for you. Or you do two little kids, like, well, what do you want? What will make you happy? Whatever it is, I'll do it for you. It's like, that is so difficult. It's so difficult. Me and Heather the other day had to craft an email to tell, tell somebody about carpooling with Jessa. And, you know, she's driving. Anyway, we know what we wanted, but it still took me and Heather, two highly functioning adults, healthy, talking with somebody who we have a great relationship with, to communicate what we really wanted and not, like, soft pedal it round the edges off of it, but just be very clear. It's so hard to do to tell ourselves the truth and to actually know ourselves well enough to know what we want it, what's good for us. It's like, what I was talking about, like, with dad. Like, there's so many things I did with dad now that I'm like, it's just not who I am. I'm not. I'm not not a guy that drinks. That was a big thing. I'm not really even into hunting anymore. I haven't done it for years and years and years. I thought I should get back into doing that. It's like, I don't want to. I was like, it's like, oh, I don't have to. Yeah, I can just go hiking. [00:24:03] Speaker A: And I think a lot of those are external things, and, yes, that's true. So much of the things we do externally are kind of to prove our worthiness just for being on the planet. And so I try to go back again and again to, like, I don't need to prove myself. I am enough. I am worthy. I don't need to have all these titles or have something to show for my day or have, you know, like, it can be enough just to go on a walk. Like, I don't even have to have a productive hobby. We were talking about, like, our hobbies, or, what are you doing with your time? And especially since so many, you know, when you give up drinking, you have a lot more time. But a lot of hobbies are so externally outcome based. It's like, oh, I need to show something for all this time that I have. Oh, here's a book that I wrote. Like, isn't it enough to just read a book or go on a walk? Like, you don't have to run a marathon to show, like, oh, here's what I've been doing. See, I did this race. It's just coming back again and again to that. Like, it's okay to just be. And I think you were alluding that before, like, just being is enough. [00:25:23] Speaker B: Yeah. That's, like, the most important thing. You know, like, entering into, like, the rest. The work is finished. Right. [00:25:30] Speaker A: Let me ask you this, because this comes up a lot for people. Like, and before we talked about, like, when do you stop thinking about drinking or whatever? And so this question is, when was your last craving for a training? [00:25:45] Speaker B: Probably a couple days ago. [00:25:47] Speaker A: Yeah, tell us about it. [00:25:49] Speaker B: I get it, man. Was I working outside? It's usually a paired association. [00:25:56] Speaker A: Uh huh. [00:25:57] Speaker B: Doing work and just kind of like. Like, you know what to go over. Right. Great. Right now. And sometimes I'll be watching a tv show, or they'll be having a beard. I'll even tell Heather's, like, I usually don't get a crave. And I see that it's like, yeah, that looks nice. And for to me, it. It's. If something needed to be done, I couldn't drink, so I had to get the work done before I could drink, you know? So if I do a task outside and get something done, I'm like, all right. I feel like this would be a great time to drink right now. You know? I mean, nothing's better for me than if I was to go out and just cut up a bunch of firewood, be done, have a beer. Just cruising down an old dirt road, you got that smell of saw gas and exhaust and cut wood and pine, and your hands are all, you know, you're just sweaty mess, and just. Oh, and you got that cold beer just cruising down the road. That. That is a big craving. So something that gets close to that association, working here around the house where I'm working on something outside, and I get all done, it's like, this would be a great time. [00:27:16] Speaker A: And what do you do? Like, how do you get over that craving? Like, what then? What happens now? [00:27:22] Speaker B: I've had this practice happen so much. I know it. I almost, like. Like, I almost kind of shake hands with it. I almost, like, tangled with. I almost, like, wrestle with it. It's like, you want to go, let's do it. And I just kind of feel it kind of getting in there. I feel it's hooks in me, and I'm just like. Like, I'm just drawing you in, and then, boom, I got you an armbar. You're going down. And. And sometimes I'll have another drink with it with, like, a kombucha. I don't do the alcohol free beer anymore because it's too close. I mean, that's just, you know, it's just, for me, it's too close. But Kombucha is not too close. And I waited out. I waited out, and then that feeling just kind of taps out, and I was like, okay, I beat you again. You couldn't get. You couldn't get me. Okay, all right. I'll just try it next time. I'm not saying I welcome that because I don't. I don't. I don't purposely tempt myself. But when it does come, quitting is a skill. And now that I've done it enough, I'm really much more skilled at it. So I look at it. When it comes my way, it's like, okay, here's another opportunity to wrestle with it and win. And then when it goes away, you're like, I knew it. I. I have so much confidence now that it'll pass because it's always happened, but in those earlier times, you're like, it'll never pass. It'll never go away, you know? And it's not about willpower. It's just you. You're almost powerless. But now, as you experience that skill, it's almost second nature to sit with that feeling a little bit and also ask, like, why is this coming on? You know? And a lot of times, just because I'm missing something, it's like, I miss those good days. I miss those good memories, you know, or what have you. It's a good topper. It gives that extra little. I'm already feeling good, and it's like, you want to feel even better. [00:29:36] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:29:37] Speaker B: Hitter in there. That's a little kick. [00:29:40] Speaker A: Yeah. Yeah. I think that that is so true. It's a skill to sit with any emotion. Well, especially the negative, quote unquote negative emotions. That is a skill. And then that knowledge that this, too, shall pass. No, feeling is final. And you've learned, and it's a learning thing. That's why I think of, like, alcohol, and you learn to drink, and you learn to be alcohol free. [00:30:10] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:30:11] Speaker A: And that's a process. What about with, like, stress or other things you used to drink at? How do you handle when you have stress in your life now or you're at work or the anxiety? How do you handle those kinds of. [00:30:30] Speaker B: Yeah, I still get stress, and sometimes it's stress over the smallest thing. And I realized, like, that's okay. That doesn't mean you're weak. That just means that's just how your body. Your body is. This is how your body is reacting to this. And sometimes it's just a little trigger, you know? Sometimes when you jump across a little curb or a spring, I've used this example a lot. And you sprain your ankle. You know, like, I wasn't doing anything major. I just sprained my ankle. I wasn't even, like, trying to do anything. I've done it a thousand times. Sometimes that will happen with. With stress in my world, doing taxes or whatever, what have you. It's like, all of a sudden, it's like, whoa, why am I feeling this? And I realize a lot of times that feeling that I get is tied back to some agreement that I made when I was a kid, you know, I remember dad telling me, he's like, you can make one mistake, and it'll ruin your life, you know? Anyway, so getting away from the. What caused the stress. But the one thing that really helps me deal with the stress is that I realize happens to everybody. It still happens to me. And it's not because I'm a failure, I'm weak, or I'm in over my head, over my skis, you know, doing something wrong here, but it is a signal. So I look at that signal and I kind of ask myself, okay, why did this come up? Okay. You know, I may think upon that, maybe drop something down about that. All right. Now, that had a physical response to my body there. I can almost feel it going down my arms. I need to get. I need to get that out of me. And the way that I get that out of me is just by. I need to exercise, right? [00:32:24] Speaker A: Yeah. Like, you need to move your body. [00:32:27] Speaker B: I need to get up. I need to move my body, you know? And for me, that helps clear out a lot of. A lot of that junk. It's just. Okay, here's what happened. It left a physical mark on you. You did a little thinking on it, like, why did this happen? Then you took care of it, and then now you're good. [00:32:52] Speaker A: Yeah. Yeah. I think that getting out of your head and into your body is so helpful. Whatever that looks like in even. Maybe it's just shaking it off. Maybe it's cold water on your face if you don't have time to do like a walk or whatever, or jumping jacks or whatever. Yeah. And I think the other thing, too is just like, keeping. I heard this analogy from a mindfulness instructor, and it was that we are always going to have stress. Stress is just life. Right? And so you think of yourself being out in the water, and the water is stress. And so if you can keep your water level, your stress level down at a manageable place, then when those waves come, they're not going to take you out. Like you said, those little things that you do over and over again, sometimes they take you out. And so if your stress level has gotten to a point where you're up to your chin, maybe you're dog paddling, just surviving. A little wave comes and it's going to take you out. So it's doing like those proactive. [00:34:05] Speaker B: That's right. [00:34:05] Speaker A: Preventative things to keep the stress. Keep the water level down. [00:34:10] Speaker B: Gosh, I know. Like even a teaspoon of water, salt water up your nose. Yeah, dude, that'll tear you up. [00:34:18] Speaker A: Right. But that might go back to the, like the having a routine, regularly exercising, doing mindfulness, having someone to talk to, connections, creativity, whatever that looks like, just to keep the water level at a manageable level. [00:34:39] Speaker B: Yeah. And something that helps me, too. It's like when I work, so, like, you know, a lot of times the stuff is associated with work. I take due care in everything that I do. That way, if something does happen down the road, there's going to be a certain level of error. You're going to have a non zero error rate, you're going to make a mistake. But then I feel like, okay, if something comes up and I catch a mistake or the client catches a mistake or something happens, it's like, oh, that wasn't because I was just screwing off, pencil whipping stuff or just lying to myself about what I'm doing. That's just natural that's going to happen. And then you just, you know what you do? You just fix it. [00:35:21] Speaker A: Yeah. And you learn from it. [00:35:23] Speaker B: Exactly. Yeah, I've done that. I mean, so many. I mean, sometimes they're big mistakes, sometimes they're small. I mean, it's just, you know, this is just the world we live in. And then. Telling yourself the truth. [00:35:35] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:35:36] Speaker B: Really good at telling yourself the truth. I know. A couple more. I looked at them over. [00:35:42] Speaker A: Okay. What are you most proud of in the last three years? [00:35:48] Speaker B: That one coming up. Most proud of in the last three years. [00:35:51] Speaker A: Or maybe some of what you're most proud of. [00:35:57] Speaker B: You know, I was going to say I think it's going to be just the consistency, but then there's that part we have to tell ourselves the truth. I haven't been that consistent here, especially towards the end, but always leaning. But I've always got the leaning. I'm leaning into doing better. And I've really. That's probably what I'm most proud of. It's like, I'm just, I'm still leaning in to do better. I'm still leaning in to do more. I'm still leaning in to improve my surroundings. I'm still leaning in to get my practice running better. I'm still leaning in to wanting to learn new stuff. I'm still leaning in to improving versus like, okay, whatever. Apathy will just destroy you, man. You'll rust out before you wear out. Right. And so I've been really doing that on purpose, that lean. So it's kind of like, okay, I've got a good lean. [00:37:04] Speaker A: Oh, I love that. That actually kind of reminds me of, there's a Brene Brown quote about, like, wholehearted living and walking. I gotta find that, oh, it's the whole hearted living. So she says, wholehearted living is not like, trying to reach a destination, it's like walking toward a star in the sky. We never really arrive, but we certainly know that we're heading in the right direction. Yeah, that's leaning in. Well, do you have questions for me besides, what's for dinner? [00:37:51] Speaker B: Oh, I did put that in my thing. Hey, what's for dinner? I was like, like, how much of our life is focused on that? It's like, what are we eating today? You know, we were talking before we hit record here, and one of the things that I wrote down in preparation for our meeting was on this little whiteboard that I got here in the office, and it was, nothing you will ever do will be as meaningful as quoting alcohol. And sometimes we don't say those words specifically, but when you hear people talk about their sobriety, their journey, it's often couched in those terms. It can be because it is a big deal. And it's like, this is a major milestone in my life. It was a turning point in my life. I think what I started to do is that I started saying, like, that was a high point in my life. I'm not sure what else is going to come after that. And you look back on it, you're like, okay. And then you're left with another year. You're like, okay, but I'm still. That's not that far behind. You start getting year three, and you're like, I still have more to do. And I'm still a little bit. I'm still a little bit. I have issues. I need therapy, man. I still need to work on myself. I I've got issues, but I have a lot more clarity. I was curious about your response to that statement that you go through a sober high point in your life and you look back on it. Do you measure that as the highest point in your life? Should we even do that? Should we rank our experiences? [00:39:52] Speaker A: I think that's so interesting. So was nothing you will ever do will be as meaningful as quitting alcohol. Mm hmm. And I think that I would take off the nothing you will ever do. I think I kind of rephrase it differently, as in, quitting alcohol is one of the most meaningful things I've ever done, but not nothing, you know? But I get what you're saying. Like, it's kind of like ba and aa before alcohol and after alcohol. And it is kind of this measurement line in your life. Like, wow, my life before I quit drinking and my life after I quit drinking. But I don't know that it's like a mountain. You got to. And now it's all downhill from here. [00:40:47] Speaker B: Yeah. And I think what happens, you know, what prompted that was I was listening to a fellow talk about those who get out of the military and do go on and do really good, you know, have a business, do leadership, and they use their experiences that they learned while in the military, you know, going forward. And I guess there's some of the community that would say, like, hey, you, you really, you kind of sold out. You really shouldn't be doing that. And they kind of beat each other up. And, you know, I. It's not my world, so I wasn't aware that this was happening. But the fella, Chad, who was talking, he goes, when you're in the military, he goes, they will often tell you that this is the most important thing that you're going to do, is what you do here in the military. Nothing will compare to this. And, you know, it's something that, you know, that's just the, that's just the message that they got. And I think that I was also telling myself that message, especially in year one, there is nothing more important than I need to do right now than to focus on me becoming alcohol free. Okay? So we rung that bell, and now we get past that, and then you're right. I think we do need to change that mindset and how we looked at that and what we told ourselves, that was the most important thing that you could have done right then at that time. But now, going forward, there's other things to work on within you and your being, and that's what you need to work on is now you are being. Living, experiencing life. I had a little bit of a follow up with that, and I thought, you know what? For me, I'm really trying to take stock in that. Every day is special. Every day is a real world operation. You can live or die this day. You know, there's not. I mean, I. As soon as I said that, I was like, yeah, but, mom, some of these days just suck. True. I was wondering how you would respond to that. [00:43:10] Speaker A: I. Yeah, well, thank you for talking about the messaging. And I think what a lot of people, some people feel like the messaging is, and I'm probably guilty of this with my own messaging. Like, if once you remove alcohol, everything in your life will get better and easier and brighter. And some people don't have that experience because you're like, you're still. Life is life, right? And you still are in the same job, the same family, the same relationships. And so for some people, they remove alcohol and they're like, wow, I don't feel amazing. I don't feel like what other people are talking about. Not everyone has the same experience once they remove alcohol. And so I think what, what you're saying, too, is, okay, the messaging, and then now you've reached moved the alcohol, but there's still stuff to work on. I mean, earlier you said you have issues. What are your issues? What do you mean by that? [00:44:17] Speaker B: My issues? Well, I've got a list, sister. Okay. I think it's so easy for, I have a propensity to want to focus on something, you know, and sometimes it could be super ridiculous. I remember I was going to buy a toothbrush, a sonic toothbrush. And I went so deep into the research on it, I was even interviewing people in the office. How do you brush your teeth? Do you have a sonic toothbrush? What do you think of it? Do you regret buying it? And then, you know, we still work together. We started our careers together, and we still work together. And he still brings that up and he goes, Chris, I still remember the toothbrush. You literally interviewed me about a toothbrush. So it's easy for me to get off task and focus on something that's trivial and not important, but it's a way to, that I procrastinate and that I'm using procrastination to sidestep inner anxiety. I would imagine that's, that's what's going on. And then I'll tell myself, this is actually really important. And so what I've been focusing on lately is all, doom scroll. I was like, did Russia? Are we, are we in nuclear war yet? Because if we are, then the hell with this paperwork. You know, I'm stepping away from it. I don't need to plan. I don't need to do be future oriented. And what else will I do? Oh, and then I'll tell myself, if I'm scrolling on Facebook marketplace, it's like, it's important for me to know what prices are out there for snowblowers in old pickup trucks. It's really important. Or Heather was in, in here, in the office, and she goes, you know, all the research that you do looking at old pickups and motorcycles, you could put that effort into, like, looking for a place that we could go hiking. I was like, damn, woman. That's. You're right. I'm spending a lot of time doing this. It's difficult for me to honestly answer the question of why. And I think that I'm also having a hard problem. I thought I would be able to think clear once I removed the alcohol. And what I've noticed is that my internal measures, my diagnostic measures, like, my internal levels, my bubbles, they're now operating. Okay. I don't have to worry about them being clouded by alcohol. It's like, no, if you're feeling anxiety, it's not from the alcohol, because you don't have alcohol in your life. It's because you're dealing with other things internally, within yourself. So if you're off balance, there is a reason, and now you really need to look at why that reason exists, and you need to deal with it. And I keep putting that off, and that's what I really want to go forward and work on is delving deeper into those deeper wells that are in myself and digging those out and getting that fresh flow going again. That's what I'm. That's what I'm going forward. [00:48:07] Speaker A: Yeah. And what are you. How do you go about that? What are you gonna do? [00:48:13] Speaker B: Oh, I'm glad you asked. I figured it all out. [00:48:17] Speaker A: Awesome. Let's hear it. [00:48:19] Speaker B: I'm just kidding. I was told. I was telling Heather, I was like, you know, I had them when I was doing really good. It's because I was getting up and I was using my little panda planner, planning my day, using my journal. And then I would put a little. I'd work on, like, a memory verse, a little scripture, being kind of focused. And Heather's like, chris, it's not about systems. Those things are good. But what? There's something you. There's something else going on within you, and you need to go talk. You need to go figure this out. You need to talk with somebody. I need therapy. And so what I think what I need to do is really work with another. We need people. We can't do this all by. We cannot do life all by ourselves. But in a way, it's all up to us. So I'm really looking forward to that. Next step is like, okay, I need to go out and get some. You know, for some people, some counts. I don't know what's going to look like, but really, I need help focusing my gaze. We all want to focus on something. And then for me, you know, I have that kind of spiritual background, my belief structure. And so for me, the most important thing that I really need to focus on is that. That spiritual aspect of my life. And that means I just need to look. You know, this sounds so cliche. I need to look to my lord and savior. [00:49:57] Speaker A: Well, that's important to you. [00:50:00] Speaker B: That's important to me. And some people, like, I don't want to do that. And like, that, that's okay. You don't have to. And that's going to be up to you. And I get it where people would kick at that, especially people who have had bad experiences with quote unquote, religion. But, you know, for me, that is, that's a guy. You gotta, you're gonna focus on something in life, whether you're, you're, you're a believer, you know, in the, in the Trinity or you're not. You're going to, you, you are built to focus on something that. What are you going to focus on? And that's what I need help with. [00:50:43] Speaker A: Well, this, you know, some of what you're saying kind of makes sense to me because you kind of, you alluded to the living life, like, you know, one, you didn't say one day at a time, but not knowing what the future holds, being uncertain. And then when you had the goal, like, you were really attached to the outcome and a goal and something measurable. And now that you've done that something, it's kind of, and I think that's why having specific goals is so helpful for people. And now you're just kind of out there in the ethereum, you know, just kind of floating around and trying to find something to anchor yourself to as you move forward, as you're, like, uncovering, like, oh, okay, what are my feelings, really? Maybe I really do have anxiety. It's not just related to the alcohol. I removed that. Maybe it's something else. And, you know, what do I want my life to look like? What do I want to learn more about? And for you, it's like, spirituality and the role of, of God and Jesus in your life. [00:51:58] Speaker B: Yeah. That and, uh. Really appreciating even the small things in life. [00:52:09] Speaker A: Absolutely. Yeah. [00:52:11] Speaker B: You know, we're, we've had some deferred maintenance on the house and in the yard and whatnot. And part of it's just like, ugh, just want to do this. This is a pain. But there's another part of me, it's kind of like, you know, it's kind of nice putting my hands to some work and seeing something out there. I think that's also why it's so important for us to be involved in something meaningful with our hands. It even could be creative writing. I guess the creative process, and for me, the creative process involves my hands. For others out there, you might want to paint, write something. And I think that is evidence of, you manifesting something, and if it's really great, it can transcend. And I think that's what makes really, really good art. When you look at something and you're like, why am I staring at this painting for, like, an hour? And I think it's because there is something done with such meaning and feeling and craftsmanship by another human being that you can look at it, appreciate in it. There's something that happens that is with good art that transcends you. You're almost communicating with that person on a spiritual level. And I think that's what happens as a shortcut when we use alcohol and other chemicals and drugs. You've ever heard that? That, like, people who are, like, tripping out on. On drugs, I never did hard drugs, but that you are experiencing something with everybody else that has done that drug, that there's some sort. That's. That's what I've heard it. And I thought that makes. That somewhat makes sense to me. And I think when I was drinking, I almost had, like, that feeling, like, hey, man, are you feeling this, too? Yeah. And there's some sort of a connectiveness there. [00:54:24] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:54:26] Speaker B: That is within us. And I think the meaningful way to get there is through, like, doing meaningful work. And that meaningful work could also be creative artwork that's not wasted. [00:54:44] Speaker A: Yeah, that's interesting. I think it's interesting what you're talking about, too. Like, the whole interconnectedness and whatnot. I sometimes think of us. This is just an aside, but, like, having these network. You know how, like, mushrooms have networks in the earth and they're all connected to each other, I think. [00:55:08] Speaker B: Oh, yeah. The secret life of trees, man. [00:55:10] Speaker A: Right. All the roots and the. Yeah, yeah. [00:55:14] Speaker B: But they deal with the fungus also that's in there. [00:55:17] Speaker A: Yeah. It's amazing. [00:55:19] Speaker B: Okay, what about you? Do you still plan on going forward with your coaching that you're doing here, helping others? We talked a little bit about this the other day. You got daughters? They're getting close. One's really close to graduating. So three years out to having no more high schoolers. [00:55:43] Speaker A: Three years. Wow. [00:55:45] Speaker B: Your youngest, what grade is she in? 10th. [00:55:48] Speaker A: She's. She'll be in 10th grade. So she's going to be 15. She'll be a sophomore. Mirabelle will be a senior. So I would say, like, my focus is really in these next three years to really be present, be there for them, help them, get them launched out of the nest, and then, like, alcohol tipping point. This brings me so much meaning. And I think sometimes when I'm like, well, maybe I'm done talking about drinking, which is true freedom, right? Where it's like, gosh, I don't, like, think about this. I don't. It's just part of who I am. I'm just a non drinker, and it's not as big of a deal as it was in the beginning. And sometimes I think, well, maybe. Maybe I'm done talking about drinking. Maybe I'll hang up my hat. I feel like I've helped some people, and that feels really good and going back to, and that's enough. But then I still have people who reach out and they need help, and I will keep doing it until people stop needing help. And as long as people are out there and needing help, I want to be able to help them. [00:57:12] Speaker B: Yeah. So you're not going to be retiring anytime soon? [00:57:18] Speaker A: Such like a great gig. And it's. I'm getting to where I'm enjoying more, like the freedom that I have. At first, I felt really untethered without my nine to five job, quote unquote. I mean, I'm still working very part time as a nurse for the health screenings and lab review and whatnot. But this, this is good for me right now and for the kids situation and being home, but being flexible. So it's great. And it's still providing meaning, I hope. Like, if it's not anymore, then I'll know, like, okay, it's time to move on. But hopefully it's helping people. But let me end on where I just always love to hear from you what you would say to someone who's listening to this. And they're like, wow, three years. Chris did it. Deb did it. Maybe I can do it. Maybe they're listening and. And they're struggling. What would you say? [00:58:27] Speaker B: Hey, man, struggles real, and we've been through it and, yeah, that. That you can do it. You can. I'm telling you that you can. And it may not look. It won't look, it's not going to look like your journey. Exactly. It won't look exactly like mine. You're not going to be, you know, hey, if you can just sit in the sun and get sober, I mean, that's great. I'm happy for you. There was a lot of other things went along with that, too, you know, and you're worth it. That's. That's the other thing, is that you're worth it, you know? I think that was something that really helped me, too. Is it? When I heard somebody say, hey, you cannot get solo for anybody else as important as your family is and all that, it. You can't. You cannot do that. It has to be for you and you alone and. And that you are, it is just really tuck in under that. That you really are worth it. Yeah. [00:59:22] Speaker A: Yeah. And I just echo what you said and remind people that you're not alone, that there are people out here doing this either beside you or with you. And if you need help to reach out and know that there's so many ways to change your drinking and thank God for that, and it's just becoming more and more normalized that people are just giving up alcohol because. [00:59:49] Speaker B: Yeah. And you can have a lot of day ones, right. I hear a lot of frustration. People like, oh, I'm at another day one again. It's like, hey, man, quitting is a skill. [01:00:01] Speaker A: Absolutely. It's the keep going, keep learning and persevering on that. [01:00:06] Speaker B: Yeah. Heck yeah. [01:00:07] Speaker A: Yeah. And don't you think you needed all those kind of day ones and breaks to get to where you are now? [01:00:15] Speaker B: Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. I mean. Yeah. I mean, I think I told that the first episode doing that, like, a 30 day challenge was a big deal, and then I ended up in the hospital anyway, but, yeah, those. Those haha. Moments of, like, whoa. When you're trying to quit, you're like, I didn't realize how deep this went because there's a lot of us that are kind of like us, right, of high functioning. We drink, my parents that drink, our friends drink, we always drink. It's just. It's just what we do. We don't really think we drink a lot, but actually, we kind of do. And you just don't know how deep that alcohol has gotten into you in everything that you do, how you think, your subroutines, your heart, not just your physical heart here I'm talking. But just like, your deep, spiritual, emotional heart. It's. It had that slow seep down, down. And then. So when you start that journey, you're like, hey, this will be great. Kind of like the Lord of the Rings journey. Like, okay, here we go. And then you're in the mines of turn. You know, you're like, like, oh, my God, one of the mines here. And there's demons down here. And it's deeper this way deeper than I thought. Like, way deeper, man. It's like, yeah, there's some gnarly down there, dude, but you clean that out. And you're also like, there's hidden wells in here that you just trust me. There's buried. People say buried treasure. I was like, okay. But to me, uncovering wells resonates with me much more. There's deep water in there that you can get to, and then you kind of start having those little epiphanies like, okay. [01:02:16] Speaker A: Yeah, I love it. I love it. I love you. [01:02:19] Speaker B: I love you, man. And your hair. Your glasses seem to you with your. [01:02:26] Speaker A: Headband and your hair. [01:02:28] Speaker B: Oh, that's why I'm growing my hair out. People ask me how long you're going to grow your hair out? And I was like, you ever heard of Jesus? Okay. I don't proselytize that. I mean, people talk to me and ask me about spiritual stuff. I'll talk to them, but it's not like my, you know. Yeah. Vacuum their floors just to get in a conversation with them about Jesus. But when they do talk about my hair, it's like, because I'm a CPA. [01:02:57] Speaker A: Yeah, but you're a private CPA. You can do whatever you want. [01:03:01] Speaker B: Yeah, I don't even have a 1099. I got my own. I mean, I have a. You know, I have an 1120s k one, buddy. [01:03:09] Speaker A: Okay, you have to send me a picture. [01:03:13] Speaker B: I'll send you a picture. Yeah, it's getting. It's getting there, man. [01:03:16] Speaker A: I need a picture for my. [01:03:18] Speaker B: Heather wanted me to grow it out so I can have long hair to bring it all into one big ponytail. [01:03:23] Speaker A: Can I say it's a little karate kid? A little eighties? [01:03:29] Speaker B: Oh, yeah, I'm 100% to the eighties. Right. [01:03:32] Speaker A: Okay. You have to send me a picture with your hair. [01:03:36] Speaker B: Okay, I'll do it. [01:03:40] Speaker A: And the headband, maybe in the headband. [01:03:42] Speaker B: Yeah. [01:03:42] Speaker A: What's going on? The COVID art. What's going on? Your next album. [01:03:48] Speaker B: Cover on album. [01:03:54] Speaker A: Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you. I love that we do this and connect and can keep it up every year. Keep on going, brother. [01:04:05] Speaker B: Brother. Yeah, you, too, sister. Yeah. [01:04:09] Speaker A: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. Please share and review the show so you can help other people, too. I want you to know I'm always here for you, so please reach out and talk to me on Instagram at alcoholtippingpoint. And check out my website, alcoholtippingpoint.com, for free resources and help. No matter where you are on your drinking journey, I want to encourage you to just keep practicing. Keep going. I promise you are not alone and you are worth it. Every day you practice not drinking is a day you can learn from. I hope you can use these tips we talked about for the rest of your week. And until then talk to you next time.

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