What My Brother Learned from Two Years of Not Drinking

Episode 122 July 19, 2023 00:45:27
What My Brother Learned from Two Years of Not Drinking
Alcohol Tipping Point
What My Brother Learned from Two Years of Not Drinking

Jul 19 2023 | 00:45:27

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Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

In this special episode of Alcohol Tipping Point, I talk to my brother Chris, who is celebrating his two-year anniversary of quitting drinking. We discussed how his second year was different from his first, how he coped with cravings and challenges, and how he rediscovered his true self without alcohol. We also share some stories and insights from our journey of getting out of the matrix of drinking culture. 

We chat about: 

Listen to Chris’s one year anniversary episode 59: Alcohol Tipping Point: My Brother Shares How He Quit Drinking on Apple Podcasts  

 

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Episode Transcript

Chris pod 2 Hello, and thank you for listening to this special episode of Alcohol Tipping Point with my brother. My brother Chris is back on the show. He was here in May of 2022, episode 59, sharing. And celebrating his one year alcohol free year anniversary, and I got to spend time with him recently for my niece's graduation. He came into town into Boise, Idaho, where I live, and we were celebrating his two year alcohol free anniversary. So I wanted to record an episode with him while he was here and just. Have a conversation about how did year two go? What was it like? How was it different? And what, what has life been like so far? And so I was really grateful to have him here to do that in the studio. That was back in May. And now I'm finally getting this out to you all to celebrate my brother Chris. And I also just wanted to add, , It was funny cuz when we were celebrating my niece's graduation, there's different parties and drinking and whatnot. I remember one of our family members just looking at us both like, so you both don't drink, huh? Interesting. And Chris and I just kinda looked at each other and chuckled and then said something like, yeah, we got out of the matrix. Cuz it does feel like getting out of the matrix, getting out of the drinking culture, waking up to reality when you remove alcohol. Anyhoo, I just wanted to share that and I wanted to share this conversation with my brother, who means so much to me. He's been so supportive on my journey. We, we've been supporting each other for years now, so I hope you enjoy its. Okay. I'm gonna start recording. Welcome back Chris. I am so glad you're here. We're doing this in person. So Chris is back, my brother Chris, and we are celebrating two years alcohol free. Two years. Yeah. So I just wanted to take time to like record and catch up on how life is going for you. What has been like these last couple years, especially this last year of not drinking and what you see going forward. In your journey, your alcohol-free journey? Mm-hmm. Well, there was a big difference between year one and year two. I would say the biggest difference is year one was pretty on task. Every day was a choice not to drink, so effortless effort was more effort. And then as year two was coming by, I was like, oh, this is becoming a little easier. And I was able to focus more on really just, just who I am for, not Chris Sober, but just, Hey, this is who I am. These are things I want to do, and so more focusing on who I really am versus focusing on just sober Chris. Yeah, I think that's such a good point cuz I feel like that first year is so day to day, especially like the first, first couple weeks, the first couple months. Like it's really, I. It can be moment to moment, day by day, and then you start to get momentum, and then you start not seeing, you know, not thinking about it so much. Mm-hmm. And then you stop counting days. It's, it's almost like when you have a newborn where you're like counting the first days, you're measuring like your newborn by months, you know, like. Oh my baby's 18 months or whatever. Mm-hmm. And I feel like with sobriety or, or just not drinking, it's, it's kind of the same thing. And it is sort of like a rebirth of yourself too. It is. And you know, we bring this up and I was thinking about this just the other day, was. Looking back, I do kind of miss some of those sessions that I had, some of those struggle sessions that I had just going to the gym going like, man, this is, this is I, I am feeling it. And so I don't remember last time we talked much about it, but I did a lot of time just in the sauna, just quiet, sauna time, just going deep. And I have not been doing that deep work as much as I have done in the past. And I do miss. Those struggle sessions. Oh yeah. So tell me more about, so you mean like when you were like, I really wanna drink, but I'm not gonna drink so I'm gonna go do this that, yep. Mm-hmm. It's kind of like really developing that reason why, like, Hey, this is, why are you making this choice? Choice was because this is, this is who I am. I really wanted to be who I really am, and who I really am is not Chris that just sits at a bar and drinks. Or brings beer at home, mows the lawn and drinks. You know, the real Chris is like, I like to, I like to read, I want to get back into riding motorcycles, being outdoors more. I'm, you know, building my business. Just physical, working out, having like real, real training versus just working out. And I've noticed that I've kind of let myself get away with, okay, now I'm not drinking. Oh yeah. So it's like, like, okay, so I'm, I've been in this little bit of a pause, like I've kind of been in my little rowboat and I've been going up the current pretty steadily, and now I've put those ORs in the boat and I've, I've looked around and I'm like, okay, this is, I'm at a much better spot now. There's some quiet, there's some introspection, but also I know it's like, you know what? We need to do another session. We do, we need to, we need to put the or back into the water here. You know, there's more to do. I really do believe that we are much more, well, we're much more capable than we probably think that we are. And I also think that we're much more human than we really are. We're really pretty deep, and every time you go deep there, there's a whole nother layer. I like your analogy cuz it does make me think like those beginning stages of not drinking are like going through the rapids and it's kind of exciting, for lack of a better word. It kind of is. It's challenging. Mm-hmm. Like you said. Yeah. And then you get through that and there is kind of this calm and it's like, what? What's next? Mm-hmm. Yeah. It's not next. Like, like, oh geez, this is disappointing. But it's like, like, alright, deep breath here. Okay. More work and I'm ready for it. And I do, I know what it is. I, I, I really don't. Yeah. Which is pretty exciting too. And it's like, like, what is this next stage gonna look like? Yeah. So if you say like, year two of not drinking is like the rapids, or No, that'd be year one. Year one. Yeah. Year one is rapids, year two is. We've kind of, we've slowed down a little bit here. I mean, it doesn't happen just like right on that day. Like, oh, click. Yeah, yeah, done. But it's definitely kind of woo, slowed down. And now your three is, and now your three. I'm like, like, like, okay. Now when we put these or back in the water here, we're really, you know, you've learned a lot more about who you are and there's still a lot of uncertainty out there, which I'm really comfortable. I'm more, I shouldn't say I'm really comfortable with it, but I'm more comfortable with it. And, Hmm. It's like more purposeful. Yeah. Okay. So we were at a commencement, so we were just down here for our niece's graduation from V S U. And at commencement, it just kind of, you know, okay. Kind of reflected on my own life and these kids and what they got going for them too. And a lot of people say, oh, I just want them to be happy. And I was like, eh, geez. I don't know if I want to just be happy. And no commencement person said that, by the way, but it's just a trope that gets thrown out there. So I thought about it. I thought, you know what I'm really wishing for to be meaningful. I really hope that these kids have meaningful lives. You're gonna have struggle, you're gonna have ups and you're gonna have downs. Some of you out there, you're just gonna get flat out, just punched right in the nose. Everybody, like Mike Tyson says, everybody has a plan till they get punched in the face, and sometime life will do that to you. And it's boy looking back, those times where I have been punched just squarely in the face, it has, it has made a meaningful life. To struggle through that. And I'd hate for now just to be coasting, so, yeah, no, I, I get what you're saying because it's it, and I think this is what makes you so reflective at these different milestones. Mm-hmm. Like two years, not drinking, having gone through a struggle now in the midst of it at the time, it's painful just like that. Right. Punch in the face is painful. Sure, yeah. But then you realize like, oh my God, like I've learned so much and I've grown so much. Mm-hmm. And that has been worth it. Yeah. And so then it makes you more confident and more like you're actively seeking ways to grow and put yourself out there and maybe even fail in a different way. Yeah. But, but at least you're like trying. Yeah. So I figure I've got, so I've got kinda like milestone date coming up on my own. So I'm 49 going, I'm 50. That's how the math works for everybody. Right. But I figured like, okay, you know, looking back, I wish I would've taken more risks when I was younger. Oh. And did more. Yeah. It's kinda like, eh, I kind of took the Safeway out on some areas. Like I just need a job. Like that's pretty steady. Right. You know? And now I'm thinking like, oh, you know what? I can do that now. I can take a lot of risks. Now, I don't have a big horizon ahead of me, but I figure I got another solid 25 years. I mean, there's a lot of things that could go wrong. Health could, you know, just a myriad of life could be thrown in my way, but I'm putting down like, Hey, I've got 25 years where I'm really gonna go after it. So now I really want to now take some pretty big risks. Like what? I don't know. I'm not gonna like leave my wife and have a midlife crisis. Not that kind of risky step or go Skype. You are turning 50. You know what, you know, I, it feels like, okay, not drinking, getting sober. Uhhuh is like the new midlife, crisis turnaround, boom. I'm all about it. Work around in a healthy way. Yeah. Yeah. I not like physical stuff, like, okay, I do want to get more physical. When I say physical, I do want to get, you know, continue to be better in shape. And do more stuff outdoor. I do enjoy getting the outdoors, those kind of challenges. I don't need to be cold. Okay. I don't need to sleep in the mud. Are you not into the whole ice bath thing? I'm not against it. I'm just talking about just like going out and like people like, do I need to run an Ironman? No, I don't. Those kind of things I, I really don't need to do, but I want to get back into. Traveling again, and I want to get back into being involved in people's lives again. So remember after college I was a missionary for a year. Yeah. I was very impactful. And now I've got, I've got a career where I'm able to kind of have that on step where I can take some time away from it. And I really want to, and, and I'm, I'm team, me and my wife are, looks like. Thicker than thieves now. And so she's actually, she's more, she's more woo weirder than I am in, in some ways and in a lot of ways. Yeah. But we're looking at doing some, let's just be real, like, Hey man, sky's the limit on what we can do. So how do I get from where I'm at from here to there? A hundred percent don't know. But one thing that I do want to do is get back into journaling, which I used to do a lot more of. And so when I say I kind of put the oars back in the boat, that's one thing that I put back in the boat. Mm. Is the ORs. Yeah. So that was something you car, you know, from the early days of not drinking, like you're like, that was a good tool. I would go back to that. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Hon. Definitely. I'm curious what what do you call yourself? Cause if, if someone, if you're talking to someone new and you're like, are you just like, I don't drink or I'm sober, or, mm. It's not my lead off. Like if I go somewhere, Okay, so we had at taxi season, got over, we all met up at a little brewery. It was actually a pretty big space. It was probably a pretty big brewery. And you know, I was like, Hey, do you have any non alcohol or drinks? I'm just the guy that's not drinking. Yeah, it's, there was like, oh, you know what? I don't have to tell the whole story cuz guess what? They don't care. Yeah, I think, I mean, the lady coming in with Yeah, taking my order. She's not like, really? Could you just tell me I need to, I mean, gimme a breakdown of your life. Why are you not drinking? Well, I think that's such a good point. Like we don't have to call ourselves anything. We can just say I don't drink. Right. Period. Yeah, exactly. And, and it doesn't have to come with a label or mean anything. Right? Yeah. If somebody, if I wanted to be by known by anything, I'd like to be known by like, Hey, that guy, like I met with him. He's actually a real person. You can actually really talk to him. He's a CPA that you can actually talk to. Yeah. Are those rare? Not always. They're a little bit, I mean, a lot of CPA it can be because it's a profession where you kind of burn yourself out in during tax season. And then a lot of people like, ah, I'm gonna go and on to make partner and you know, I don't wanna work all these hours, have my health just, just disappear. But when I'm not, At the office. I'll go on vacation on those vacations. I'm going to just drink. Well, you had also said before you were really kind of grinding it out work-wise, and drinking was kind of like your escape, and then you had a health scare, and that was one of the turning points to get you to quit drinking. Can you, is that true? Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yes and no. And here's why. It's yes and no. Yes, it was a health scare. So my small intestine very at the top just kind of collapsed on itself and they had to go in and take out all of my intestines. And the surgeon, thankfully didn't have to cut it. He just massaged it open. And so it's like, ooh. Now we're, now we're flowing. So, but just a totally freak thing. Just out of the blue. Yeah. Can we pass on here? Of course. Okay. Yeah. Out of the fucking blue. Yeah. Anyway, but so yeah, just out of the blue, it just happened and I was like, oh man. And I remember I was like just puking all the time and green bile was coming up and I was like, oh, I shouldn't have ate that cookie. It had green frosting on it, and my wife is like, you're going to the emergency care right now. That is not from a cookie. How long have you been sick? Like for days? It's, I was weighing like 180 and I think after I got done with that, I was one 50, so I lost like 30 pounds. And when I was recouping afterwards, one of my first thoughts was, I wonder I could start drinking again. Mm-hmm. And it kind of, I kind of had a real red flag. I kind of make a little check in there. I was like, dude, well what, like, I don't know, man. That might not be the healthiest thing. And then, so after that health scare started my own, I'll just, I'll, I'll speed this up. After the Health Scare went out and thought, and, and my friend Ben, who's we've worked together we started our careers together. Our daughters are the same age. He's been through, he's had his battles. I've had mine. We, we still kept in touch. You had to come over here with me and, and start your own c p a practice with our group. So I was like, why the hell not? Because you know what? I could be dead tomorrow. What am, what am I going to do? Jess is in school, and do I really wanna look back after three or four or five years and go like, oh, I just stayed safe with this W two job that I really don't like. Or am I gonna just gonna go out there and just, just boom, I'll just, I'll just, I'll make it happen. If it doesn't happen, I can always just get another job. So that was a big turning point. And then when I got healthy, got my own career going, that's when the drinking really started to ratchet up cuz it was such a reward work. Reward Reward was the drinking. Mm-hmm. And there was no governor on this cuz I am my own boss. Like who are you accountable in the morning to, oh it's me. It's like, hey, how you doing? Winking the gun. And then I always thought, okay, if I can still like go to the gym, do 2 25. I'll be okay. Yeah, and then it just, I, we covered it a little bit in our other episode that we had, but I was like, this, this isn't why I started. My business is not, so I could drink more, but guess what is happening? All I'm doing is drinking more. Mm. You know, good things were happening. But also, guess who was riding along with me? I had this shotgun relationship with me called, called, just called beer, you know, alcohol. Yeah, my gosh. And then you got yourself cleaned up. I got my shit together. Got it together. Yeah. And then Annie Grace, yep. Yep. Started listening to her and then just, just, we've said it before. I'll say it again. When you're ready, you'll hear it. You have teachers all around you, so you'll know, like when you're ready. It's like, oh. There it is. You'll recognize it. Yeah. So when the teacher is ready, the master will appear. I'm just telling you, when you're ready to turn the corner, just, you'll just start picking up on this stuff. And I just started pitches. Ooh, there's a little gym there. There's another one. Oh, I needed to hear that other podcast I was listening to. I was like, I didn't, you were a, you're like an MMA fighter and you were afraid No way. I was like, oh, I'm afraid too. Oh yeah. I do remember you saying that. There were a lot of. Of guys well known public figures. Yeah. Men that you looked up to and they didn't drink. Mm-hmm. And I started recognizing that. Yeah. And I was like, oh, hey, you're not drinking. Okay. You know, before I wouldn't even just like, okay, you don't drink. Okay. And just, just walk on by. But now I'm like, oh, you don't drink or you don't drink anymore and I really look up to you. I don't have to drink. Yeah. I think you're seeing there, there are more and more thought leaders mm-hmm. And leaders in general that don't drink. Yeah. So I'm curious about like when your last craving was and what you did. Mm. To manage it cause cravings, I mean, they don't go away, still get them. Definitely don't think about drinking as much, but I'm, I'm coming from this world where I do talk about it all the time and Yeah, at this podcast and run drag groups and so you're in a totally different world, a CPA world. You don't do any quote unquote program or groups? No. Probably you and I are the, I may be the only person you really talk about it with. Yeah, I talk about it with you. I mentioned it. Me and Heather talk about it a little bit. Yeah, you're right. You know. Yeah. But we talk, but I mean, man, our conversations are, they're wild. Good. They're pretty wild. Yeah. But you know, in a small part about it is drinking. Last time I had a craving, oh, probably after tax season, you know? Cause I was like, all right, I finished tax season and it was a really good tax season for me and. Health wise too. I mean, I still kept to the gym and I realized I only have so many hours in my eyes. Oh yeah. To stare at the screen, then I get eye fatigue. And I was also really good about not comparing myself to others. I was like, Hey, this is my programming. Stick to it. So I did a lot better job at planning sticking to it. Ah, okay. So, so anyway, I made a plan. I stuck to it. Did it. So now reward is cap reward. Yep. And that reward. Oh man. And the weather is turning. Yeah. You know, and I was like, oh man, this is like, I could go for some beer. I could like, I don't know, a hundred of them. Yeah. And, and then I thought, so a hundred of them like, can't do it. And so I started walking the amount back and I was like, what if I had just won? I was just like yeah. You know, the one that, that's just a downhill thrill for me. It would just, no, I just, and it's just, it's no really longer on my programming. So remember we talked about the Oh shit bar. Oh, tell. That is such a good example. So tell me about the Oh shit. Handle the, oh shit handle, right. Okay. So for me, and what is it? Okay. So for me, if I eat something, I just don't want to drink. Even when I really like drinking. If I already ate a big meal, I'm just not gonna drink. Same. Yeah. I'd be like, Ugh, darn it. I guess someone have to wait this one out. And I was like, all right. Maybe if I don't eat breakfast the next day and really stretch it out, man, I can have a great one tomorrow. So for me early on was like, Hey, Mr. You just want to go out and get yourself a hamburger and a french fries, green light, go for it. Boom. That's your out. It's like, okay, that's, boom. I'm, I'm doing that. I'm touching that button. I'm ringing. That's my belt ring. It's not like, Hey, you're quitting. It's like, no, I got a, I, I'm pre-emp emptying a plant. Is it the most healthy plan in the world? No, but it's one that was going to work in front of me and I thought, oh, you know what? And then when I'm done with this set, I'll have a different escape plan. Yeah. But it won't ha it won't have to be necessarily related to food or, you know, we can start, we can start modulating and, and correcting these things. Yeah, so, and for those that are listening and don't know what an oh shit handle is. Mm-hmm. Maybe it's a, oh, don't not even answer that. Maybe it's an Idaho thing. You would have it in your car, it's on your Jeeps, and basically you're the passenger and it's, it's little rocky, or you're just getting scared. You just grab onto the, oh shit. Oh no. Yes. And I just loved how you said like I just had to find another Oh shit handle, like something to turn to, to hang onto. Yeah. When I was like really riding. Mm-hmm. A craving or that rough period. Yeah. And for you, a lot of the times it was just related to food or like, Hey, you can go to McDonald's or Arby's, wherever. Right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember that. Even as a kid, I would. Just love to eat a little Hamburg. I wouldn't even eat the french fries. I would, I mean, I would, but I wasn't, that's not why I was there. I was like, oh man, this is my favorite part of the day. This is so fantastic. Happened. Like what? Once a year that we got to go out to eat. So, how often do you think about drinking? This comes up a lot. People are like, when am I gonna stop thinking about drinking? Ooh, when am I gonna stop thinking about drinking? Okay, so, hmm, hmm. Maybe we can parse this one out a little bit. So I, I do think about it. There's two ways to think about it. I think about it like, Ugh, God, I'm still fighting this dragon. Right? This thing's still kind of tailing me. I'm looking over my shoulder. There's that kind of thinking, that one, not so much. Really only when those set waves come in and they're not as high and they're not as often, but wow. Boy, when I think about drinking, just in the who I am, context Man, it's not, not nearly as much. I, it's, it's, it, it's usually in the context of I used to do that. Now what am I going to do? Mm-hmm. I'm replacing it with what now? I'm replacing it with what really like, like I, what really I am here to do. Like, what's the most important thing that I can do that would be the most difficult for anybody else to do. That is what I am a mean. To do a lot of to-dos in there, but Well, when do you think that obsessive kind of monkey on your back went away for you in your experience? Hmm. I would say all the way up to that year. It was after that year, cuz I think that year for me was such a big demarcation line. It was Easter to Easter. Yeah. It was all the way up until the Easter time. I've got some bells going on. Church. Yeah. It's my cellular device. Oh, okay. Yeah. Wait, so the year marked a real turning point sheet. Mm-hmm. Like, like okay. That was a real marker I felt. Yeah. Like an Excel, like whew. I did a year. Mm-hmm. Right. I've been through all the seasons, all the holidays, all the birthdays. Like a year. Exactly. Yeah. And I had tough moments. And even coming down here down to Boise, you know, cause like I miss, dude, I still miss drinking with my dad. I miss drinking with our dad too. Yeah. I'm not gonna lie. Yeah. It's like, yeah. Yeah. I kind of miss that, but. Yeah. What do you think keeps you alcohol free? Mm, it's, I think it's that vision of, of me. Being me. There's a little bit of narcissism in there, but it's not narcissism that we're, I'm looking out to be me to, to flex on other people. Like, Hey, I wanna show up. I got a reunion coming up, like I'm not like, Hey, I'm gonna show up there. I'll clean cut and sober flex on you guys. I got my shit together. It's, that's the furthest from my why. My why is because I think, well, a big part of it is just my faith, you know? And I think, I think I, I think I'm here to do good. Mm. And I get a lot outta that. That's part of the meaningful part of it. You know, I'm not here to build a big retirement. I'm not a 401K builder. Mm-hmm. Yeah. I cash mine all out. Well, I'm not here to give financial advice because I do things a little bit differently. It's it all, it's all working out for me. But why do I keep doing what I'm doing? Staying sober? Yeah. Oh, okay. Yep. Just for that, that meaningful, that meaningful part. It's just, it's just I can't, I can't not do it. Yeah. There, there's an exercise in one of the smart recovery Exercises is called like a hierarchy of values, Uhhuh, I think that's the name of it, but has people list their top values. Mm-hmm. And it, it's usually like family, love, faith. Mm-hmm. And, and the whole point of the exercise is to go, where does drinking fall on this list of values? Right. Okay. It's not even in your list of top values. No, it's crowded out. It's, it does not fit. And yeah, but for so long you have put it up there. Yeah. You've been living that way. Yeah. The interloper was there in the room. Yeah. And then once you remove it mm-hmm. It's like, well that's not living by my values. If you went back to drinking, like what would happen to your business and your relationship mm-hmm. With your wife and Yeah. Your daughter and all of that. Yeah, so I think, you know, where I am at is that I have done a better job at casting a vision of who I am out there, my, the future me, and it's like, well man, I really want that. I really want that. Mm-hmm. And it's like, like, so when you say like, why are you doing this? It's like, like, I can't, I can't not. Like that. Wanting is just, it's just, it is just, it is there. It's in my bone. It's like one of those old time prophets right outta the Bible. It's just like my bones are burning with this message that's in me. I have to say this. Mm-hmm. So for me it's like, like I kind of have to act this way and good go and small. I am not perfect. Do I fail at making this mission? Accomplished quite often actually. You know, it's like, Ooh, I'm a little off, so I kind of correct. Oh, here we go. I'm doing better. Ooh. You know? So please don't think like, Hey, I know a guy. He's got it all figured out. Have you met Chris? He's got, you know, his, he's got it all. It's got a shit figured out. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Not me. Well, I think that's something that you mentioned when we were talking with our sister earlier today is like you've become, More comfortable with uncertainty and fear. Yeah. Mm-hmm. And part of it is because, you know, being really that sickness, that health issue that just struck me just out of the blue, really changed me. Huh. You know, and it's just kinda like, you know, out of the blue, like you could have a stroke today. I mean, I'm not, you know, I'm going to wish anybody ill will on you, but you really don't know. You really don't have to. Tomorrow is not promised to you. Yeah. Yeah. It really isn't. God forbid something happens to a loved one. That's my biggest fear if something happens to one of my loved ones. Yeah. You know, my daughter my dog. That's, I would put my dog up there with loved ones, man, John Wick. I get it. But you know, sometimes you just get attached. I'm like, man, I am really much more attached. I am much, I am more emotional attached to stuff now that I have ever been. Now that you're sober or, yes. Oh, well, in, in a healthy way. I mean, it's, it's gone healthy. I've, I've gone to a place where like, feelings didn't matter, just boo that wall of ice. Do you think because you were like numbing out your feelings and now you have to feel everything or like, what, what do you mean by that? Mm boy. Am I more emotionally invested? I'm just more just in touch with feelings because I'm just, I'm just just, that's who we're an emotional creature. We're emo Yeah. We're just, we're built that way. And any time that you are truncating an emotion is alright. Hey man, the truth is gonna come out. Some there is going to be, that will have an effect on you. And what blew me away in some of my early counseling is when I was told like, Hey, do you know your feelings are a hundred percent right? Like what? Like that feeling that you have, that's a real feeling. Oh, okay. I mean, you may misinterpret it or misplace it or just have a wildly wrong reason of why you're feeling this way, but if you're feeling anger, 100% that is associated with something. It didn't, it, your, your body did not just make that up. Mm-hmm. Where back in some very religious programming would say, like, faith is not a feeling, so your feelings do not count. Oh, that faith, that's interesting. Yeah. Faith is really, dude, I believe in faith, but, and also you can, you can get these things ass backwards. Right. Yeah. And one of the ways that religion gets it backwards is through that programming. I'm like, oh, hey, there's no room for feelings here cuz faith is not a feeling that's interest. You don't need that. Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. And I was like, oh, really? So anyway, that programming really left me broken. Yeah. So you had to like, kind of relearn a lot and, and just like legit fill your feelings. Yeah. Oh yeah. And I remember the first time I started opening up, I was at a, somebody was retiring from my old firm, and I was like, I'm just, I'm just crying. I was like, what is going on? This is not the appropriate response. This is too much. And so my feelings of empathy was going way too high, and my feelings of, of anger was also, I was like, why am I so angry? Wait, was this, were you, was this your first year getting sober? No, this wasn't my first year getting sober. This was just getting healthy because it was just so general broke in general. Cause my, it, I was broken, my marriage was broken. It was like we needed some real counseling. Got it. Religious counseling, which just led to more brokenness. But the, the, like the real counseling, it just cracked open my, it it, it cracked me open. Yeah. It broke me in a good way. And when I learned that feelings are always, always right, I was like, there you go. You know? I heard there was an old, there's an old manual from World War ii and they talked about feelings and they, you would, I was like, oh, I wonder where they're gonna go with this. They did not talk about truncating those feelings and shutting them down. They talked about acknowledging, this is World War ii. Hmm. Army Manual. Those feelings are useful. You need to understand where they're coming from and why and use them. There was only one that they had on there that was like, you have to take care of this immediately, and that was hate. You can have anger. They made a difference between hate and anger. You cannot deal. You cannot handle hate. You cannot have hate. Interesting. You need to deal with that right away. I, I just think this like emotional health and wellbeing. It's, it's so huge. Especially, you know, when you do, when you start to change your relationship with drinking, when you start to feel all your feelings mm-hmm. Like all of them. Right. And like you said, they all are important. They all are messengers and, and don't like, try to tamp them down. Truncate them, like allow them. Mm-hmm. Because no feeling is final. No, it's, it's, it's your, oh my gosh, what were we talking about the other day? Doesn't it always come back to this? Oh, identity. Yeah. Right. And in who you are and a big part. And a big part of who you are. You got your physical, your spiritual, you know, your mind, your body in a big part of who you are is your feelings. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And it's important to talk about your feelings. Yeah. Thank you for bringing that up. So much a year. But you know, a real man is like a war, like a warrior. I don't know. It's kinda like a warrior poet. I mean real. So we're the X Generation, right? Gen X, yep. Right. And then so we also, great documentary. You haven't seen that out there. Bigger fa, what is it? Bigger, faster, stronger By Chris. Oh, what's his last name? Chris. Then essentially he's talking about the steroid jour. This is primarily for men. The move is that we grew up with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I mean, it was very, the, the masculinity that was presented to us during the eighties. Was pretty shallow. Well, yeah, it was Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yeah. You know, just think of him as your archetype. Okay. In Predator. In Commando. And you know, he pretty much nailed it though in Conan, the Barbarian. Nothing wrong with that movie, but but the whole toxic masculinity and. All of that. Mm-hmm. That goes along with it. Yeah. And just even also just how they had their relationship with their women. Mm-hmm. You know, I wanna dominate my women. Yeah. I thought, I think I didn't pick that up. Yeah. Because I was just, I was just like, I'm just so scared of all that. So domination on my side of the ledger, that was not happening, but was it promoted to the movies? Yes. Yeah. I think we're getting sidetracked, but 100% Bring us back. Wait, what are we, we're talking about the car over here. Yeah. We're talking about us feelings being a person. What is driving you now? You're doing the work, you're cooking. I did wanna bring up about something you had said today also besides like being okay with uncertainty. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Like being comfortable with it. Yeah. You had mentioned that. You were okay. Like, I'm gonna work till I can't work anymore. Yeah. Till I'm dead. Well, yeah. Why not? Yeah. And feeling like okay with it and it, it brought something up with me and with, with our sister. Mm-hmm. Because, So many people are just striving to be happy when they get to the next thing. So like, when I graduate, then I'll be happy, then I can rest. Sure. When I get married, when I have kids, when then I'll be happy. Then till the next thing. And then like, you know, with Becky, it's like, well, when I retire then I'll rest. Then I can be happy, then I can spend money. And you're, you seem to be more, like, right now I'm gonna be happy because I have, because you've said like, I'm not waiting to retire. Cause I'm not even putting that on my radar because I'm okay and I accept that I'm gonna be working till I'm dead and I want to, so it's, it's like you're not waiting for the next thing. To rest or be happier, feel okay. Right. And I'm not saying that I don't have savings or I'm not planning on investing. No, I know. So let's not get it twisted. But you know, but I am not, there's so many people, especially, especially if you in the world, if you're a W2 employee, I'm telling you what you're gonna get. Just this is the mantra, best in your 401k and work really hard for us, and then you're gonna retire. And so it's like, oh, okay, cool. I wanna do that. I'm a cpa. Do you know how many clients I have or that's worked out for them? I don't have any. Well, I just, I'm not perfect. I'm not a perfect sample size of everybody that I got here. Yeah. But I'm telling you, you're going to wanna have more in your life than just being a W two employee and just doing your 401k. And then you're gonna retire when you're 65 and you're gonna have this mountain of money St. I'm just telling you statistically, like, look, there's a difference between being a person and then talking about a population. I'm talking about a population now that population. It, it, it's, it's not gonna happen. And I don't want somebody to be a wage slave for their life, and then now I'm going to be happy. It's like you are here to live every day. You know? Am I gonna work as many hours as I work now as I, as I progressed and age? No. But thankfully I'm in a profession where I can kind of, I can, I can change the dial up and down. Yeah. Yeah. You know, so that's, so when I say I'm wanna work, I'm not a brick layer. True. So people wanna know, like, how's he gonna work when he's 75? Well, you know, I'm not laying brick. So if you're out there and you're a laborer, you know, yeah, you may, you may have to change what you're doing and just think about like, okay, well maybe I want to own a business, do something on the side, have rentals, something. I would have that kind of Okay. But I think if you put out there, cuz 60 fives comes pretty quick. Well, I think what's interesting is a lot of people do get to that retirement. Mm-hmm. And then they're not happy. Yeah. And then maybe they decide like, or they find themselves drinking more than they used to. Yeah. And then they decide like, I don't really need to unwind this habit. Yeah. And then all the other stuff that comes along with it. Mm-hmm. So I, I guess that's kind of a multi-layer thing, but I, the main thing that sticks out to me, With that statement besides the financial aspect of it. Okay. Yeah. Fair enough. It's just like how, how can you be comfortable now and be okay now with what you have? Yeah. Because the future isn't guaranteed, right? Yeah. You know, so I'll tell you I'm not total hands off the ship. I do have a budget. I do give. Yeah. I think that helps a lot. I talk with my li we're on board on this. Yeah. Together. And also, I'm just telling you, I just, and you know, part of it's just me. It's just like, I'm comfortable with like, you know what, tomorrow they could just, I don't know what's gonna, I could get wiped out tomorrow, but now I feel like, like, okay, you know what? I'll just rebuild again. I really, I, I'm really more optimistic than I have ever been. The world is going crazy. I'm still very optimistic. Mm-hmm. Yeah. . Let's bring it back to drinking and your journey. Okay. Yeah. Well, what advice do you have to someone who's listening and they're struggling with their drinking and they're struggling with their drinking? Here you are two years. You have perspective. I will say that you can do it. You can do it. You might have told yourself that you can't do it. This is too hard. I'm trying to think about kind of like self-taught that you get when you were struggling. This isn't for me. Why do other people get to have successes? And I don't. You can. You can. You can be successful. And also I tried a lot and failed a lot in quitting. Quitting is a skill. You have to try over and over again. When I quit Copenhagen, I had to try over and over and over again. I still crave Copenhagen. Yeah. As much. That's the true. Yeah, of course it is. Yeah. Yeah. So if you're out there struggling, I'm here to tell you that you can do it. You are important. You matter. It's important for you to do it. And if you say, oh, nobody's gonna care if I drink or don't drink, bollocks. Ock. We are all so interconnected to each other. It matters to you. And it, ma I'm telling you, there's people around you. It'll ma, it'll matter to them too. That's awesome. Thank you. Thank you. And congratulations. I'm so proud of you. I'm proud of you. Like having you along for this journey and yeah, just going for the ride together. Yeah. So thank you, Arah. Thank you.

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