Rigor Boredis: Staying Sober When You Are At Home Alone With “NOTHING” to Do

 

sober

 

Rigor Boredis:

Staying Sober When You Are At Home Alone With “NOTHING” to Do

7-22-2020 by Chris Cobb

 

Let’s start this off with some excuses I, and probably you have used in the past to say “Fuck This” and drink again. “I’m lonely.”, “Everyone hates me. What’s the point?”, “I’m pissed, might as well get drunk.”., or “I’m BORED” … As alcoholics, we use any excuse we can find if we don’t truly want recovery. Sober and miserable much? I’ve been there too. I had nearly two years of sobriety back in 2016, but I still hated my life. I had a job, a car, my license back for the umpteenth time, but I didn’t have what it took to fill that God-sized hole in my chest, the inevitable void we all fall into when our pink cloud runs out of fluff. I’ve always been told if I want to ride on a pink cloud I better bring a pink parachute so I don’t shatter when I hit rock bottom again. Even this time around, I have over 2 years of sobriety, and yes, have still hit highs and lows, an emotional roller-coaster of wants, needs, disappointments, wins, failures, dreams and hopelessness. I have managed thus far, however, to keep my head on straight when I hit my lows, knowing that the only way things can get better is if I make them better. So here are a couple of those methods to my madness, or should I say solutions?

 

1 – Remember where you came from.

Beginning at childhood and ending at “suck it up, buttercup”. Poverty, abuse, guns, drugs, homelessness, you name it. I grew up around it, I grew into it. I once thought I was destined to be an outlaw. But I’m no badass by any means except for my smarts on computers. So past environment vs. character attributes, this is where we have to make a solid decision. Sick of the shit you grew up and into, well stop it. You’re the only one that can. I could go on and on about the bed I had to sleep in at 12 years old that was meant for a toddler, my legs dangling off the end, as I’m eating the two meatballs on a bun left in the fridge for the next couple days, which I’d eventually have to poop out with no luxury of toilet paper, but that was 22 years ago. How on Earth could I allow something like that to affect my work ethic, my physical and mental well-being today? Well believe it or not, things like that ruled my adult life, because I allowed them to. Until I learned to walk it off and get what I want by working hard for it, I was moving nowhere but down. Now that I’ve broken through the surface and leveled up in my life, I still need to remember these things, but without resentment and anger. I need to include the things I PUT MYSELF THROUGH as a result, and remember what I was putting in my body (booze, drugs) when I was destroying myself in the past. I need to keep a history of these things so that history doesn’t repeat itself. You look at the good, the bad, and the ugly, and remember where you came from, where you’ve gone, and never go back to the bad. Pretty simple, yet so difficult just to WANT to do what it takes at first, right? Well suck it up. Get up, dust off, and RUN for your goals. No one will do it for you. Besides, there is always SOMETHING to do…

 

2 – No one is going to save you but you.

As mentioned above, no one is going to do things for you, you have to do the footwork in order to give yourself a snowball’s chance in Hell at a better life. You, like me, have likely lied around, felt sorry for yourself, and wished everything would get better, but refused to get up and take action immediately. Instead, we have procrastinated, put things off, told ourselves we’d “do it later”. Fuck that, it’ll never get done. Get up NOW, live in the NOW, and FOCUS on what you need, what you want, and the difference in priority between the two. Accept what you can’t change and move onto the things you CAN change, for the better. Two sayings to keep in mind:

1” “You can wish in one hand, shit in the other and see which one fills up faster.”, and

2: “When the going gets tough, the tough get kicking ass.”

I like ‘2’ much better.

 

3 – Drop the Ego.

Remember me mentioning that I was homeless at one point? Well who cares right? People everywhere have been in far worse situations than I have, so who am I to cry about it to anyone? I can’t sit in a meeting and try to tell everyone my story is far worse and more difficult to shake off then all of theirs. Ego will tell you that you are either better or worse, or better off, or worse off than others, that your pain is greater, you have a stronger headache than they, or even that you don’t need to work steps or go to meetings because you can stay sober with sheer willpower – whatever. Stop thinking you’re unique because if you don’t focus on what you need to do in order to make YOU better than the OLD you, then your “uniqueness” will become terminal. Take your own inventory, leave others to their own.

 

4 – Sink or Swim.

After all is said and done: where will you stand? At the bottom, at the top? It’s ALL up to YOU! Learn to swim. Dive into any and all positive opportunities that the Universe gifts you. Life is too short to stand in the swamp waiting for the beach to slide underneath your feet. You want the beach, get to the damn beach by moving around, through and over anything that attempts to stand in your way. Remember: Everything you want in life is on the other side of fear. Imagine all your fears as bricks to a wall, and on the other side of that wall are your dreams. Burn that wall down with the fire inside you. You want it, go get it.

 

Need a jump start to success?  A Recovery Coach could be just what you need to get motivated and moving in the right direction!  Give the elite team at The Addictions Coach a call at 1.800.706.0318 ext 1.  We can help find the right coach for you! 

He dumped me, how can I stay sober?

How to stay sober when your partner leaves you

Bummer Summer:

Staying Sober Through a Breakup by Chris Cobb

So it’s Summer. You’ve been sober for some time by now. You’ve worked through the steps and finally found “the one”. You know, the other person you met and somehow ended up drawing infinity symbols on each other together while eating pizza and Netflixing. You even made if past the honeymoon phase, the first 3 months. Maybe you even had the awesome opportunity to quarantine together! Say this is true, and you didn’t give or get the needed space for healthy boundaries to take hold. Perhaps you argued a bit, maybe said some things you didn’t mean. Oops. A few months go by and those infinity symbols look like Neanderthal cave paintings, you’ve been dumped. Yet again.

We all know what happens when something we were so “happy” about, even if it was toxic to us and the other person, such as a relationship, ends abruptly. We, especially as alcoholics who have not dealt with life in such an adult manner before sobriety, will usually feel sorry for ourselves. We will be angry, fearful, hopeless, and feel like everything was ripped away suddenly. And we will say “why the fuck should I stay sober if I can have him/her”. Well, I’ll tell you why. For yourself. Here are a few reasons I have found to stay sober for ME, instead of relying on others’ company or companionship in order for ME to have a better life in recovery.

 

Reason #1: It Doesn’t Take Two to Tango.

I’m sure you’ve heard the opposite. But think about it: everything we thought we knew, we have had to surrender and try completely new ideas in order to have a better life for ourselves. It literally doesn’t take a significant other in order for us to keep our job, our car, our house, our sanity, our serenity, or even our sobriety. It is ALL up to YOU. So this is where we have to suck it up, stop making excuses, and stop dwelling right away. Life is too short for useless, counter-productive grief. Get up, dust off, move forward, level up. Failures, including failed relationships, are LEARNING EXPERIENCES. Use them wisely.

 

Reason #2: We Didn’t Make it This Far To Fall on Our Face.

If your experience in sobriety is anything like mine at all, I was not in a relationship at the beginning of my journey. In fact, I had lost a relationship and fell down pretty far before I sobered up. So I was nearly 2 years into my sobriety before I found me a “keeper”. I had worked the steps with a sponsor and had become a sponsor myself. I was building a life and the beginnings of a career. So why in the hell would I give up what I have worked so hard for just because someone came along then left? Face it. People come and go. But we don’t have to lose ourselves just because we lost someone else in any manner. We didn’t start a new life to throw it away. We can keep going without this other person, just like they will continue to keep moving without us. No pity parties. Just PROGRESS.

 

Reason #3: We are Better off Than We Were.

So, before I was sober, I was completely hopeless and miserable. I blamed everyone else for my problems when I was the problem in the first place. Not even alcohol was the main issue. I WAS. When I figured out how to live life without alcohol, I started to open my eyes to all the things I knew how to do, my character assets, my best attributes, and skills. Things that no one could take from me but ME. Being that my life was already improving before I found a relationship, I have now, with that relationship ending, a better start than I had before the relationship anyhow. I don’t have to drink, I don’t have to lose my job, my friends, my family’s respect, I don’t have to sit in jail this time. No, instead, I have a job and all the things I have gained through my recovery from alcoholism, still. I don’t have to start from scratch again.

 

In Closing:

Even if the relationship was something that motivated me to stay on track for some time, maybe I should consider the fact that this was the purpose of it entirely. I believe everything happens for a reason, you meet no one by mistake. You get back what you put in. So if I’m able to take this relationship AND the breakup as a positive event in my life, I can use this whole thing as an opportunity to start a new, more powerful chapter in my life. Sounds better than crying yourself to sleep and not wanting to do a damn thing about your life, huh?

How do I stay sober when I got dumped? Before you drink, think about how you got here. Drinking won’t fix the breakup and the pain will still be there when you sober up so it is not worth it.  Phone a friend hit a meeting or play the tape before you pick up that drug or alcohol.

Why does alcohol relax me? Stress impacts your cortisol and increases your insulin response. Alcohol is sugar-based and when you drink it you feel calm and centered, as the alcohol enters your bloodstream.   Your cares melt away as the alcohol takes over and you feel great for a short while.

How long does it take to heal after a breakup? Everyone is different, but you ill go through the 5 stages of grief by Kubler -Ross. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. each person travels through them at a different rate of speed and you can repeat one if you are not fully through it. Once you hit acceptance you have healed and can move on.

Is staying sober hard? Yes and no. If you have the right help and tea, around you, delete toxic people, and practice a good solid recovery plan you can do it. The key is to hire great professionals and follow their advice. Meetings and a sponsor are great but you need a solid recovery plan.

 

Is COVID-19 causing you to hate your neighbor

 

IS COVID-19 causing you to stress out, hate your neighbor, and get drunk? Pretty much….

The Covid-19 “pandemic” is a conversation piece, to say the least. Everyone has an opinion and, furthermore, everyone seems to have it figured out. But no matter what side of the fence you fall on with Covid-19, there is one thing for sure. Covid-19 and the coronavirus is causing major hate, aggression, and hostility amongst those that seem to find themselves debating everything from the falsifying of death records to the actual danger that this virus brings to our cities, states and countries all over the world.

 

So why is coronavirus such a touchy subject? Why do people feel the need to express so much hate and anger when they discuss or debate this issue? I have a few opinions as to why this is happening if you would like to take a few moments with me to look into this issue. I’m going to give you four good reasons why the topic of COVID-19 has the potential to breed so much anger and hate.

 

1) FEAR– The fear of the unknown can cause us to “be on edge” while discussing the coronavirus. We do not have a vaccine for COVID-19 and the fear of sickness and death can cause major anxiety. This anxiety can come across as anger and hate while trying to debate the issue.

 

2) DISTRUST– not trusting the facts and the source of the facts can keep us “on edge” and angry while trying to sort out the facts of this disease in our heads. There are so many new stories coming out of death certs being falsified to show COVID as the cause of death when it wasn’t. Positivity rates are being “padded” to create the illusion of much worse situation than it really might be. We can find ourselves frustrated and angry over not being able to trust the facts we are being given. One media outlet reports something and 10 minutes later another outlet reports the opposite. It’s frustrating and overwhelming.

 

3) EGO– Some of us let our egos dictate the fact that we need to be right about Covid-19 at all costs. No matter if you are factual or not. This grandiose attitude can cause one to be extremely aggressive and hateful while trying to be correct at all costs.

 

4) IGNORANCE– now, this word can be extremely misleading. Some people associate the word ignorance with “stupidity”. Not in this case. Ignorance, when it comes to Covid-19 means that one does not have all the correct information or facts before he or she voices n opinion. This can breed frustration, anger, and hate as the person is completely blinded with their opinion without collecting all the facts.

 

So if you look closely at these four traits that can be responsible for bringing anger and hate into a debate or conversation about Covid-19 you will see that they are extremely similar to the same traits that contribute to our continued addiction. Recovering addicts must really watch and honestly evaluate their daily fear, distrust, ego, and ignorance if they want to remain clean and sober. These four stumbling blocks can take us down the dark and deadly road of relapse if we aren’t careful and vigilant in our addiction and recovery.

We here at The Addictions Coach specialize in all aspects of addiction and sobriety. We have the industry’s top nationally certified professional recovery coaches to help all recovering addicts get back on track and stay on track. Our highly skilled professional recovery coaches bring the rehab to you instead of you putting your entire life on hold to check into a traditional rehab setting that, to be honest, just doesn’t work. Please head over to our website at https://theaddictionscoach.com to get all the info on hiring one of the industry’s best professional recovery coaches. You can also call us around the clock at 1-800-706-0318 to hire your sober coach today! Don’t wait until it’s too late. CONTACT US NOW!

Is COVID-19 making people anxious? Yes. Talk of a pandemic and virus that you can not see and that might kill you is causing levels of anxiety to rise. Mental health therapists are reporting a rise in treating anxiety and anxiety disorders.

Why is COVID-19 making people angry?  Feeling helpless and watching your fellow humans not mask up in a time of pandemic can be frustrating. Places are closed, pools, activities, and events are canceled and stress is at an all-time high.  Anger and aggression are common emotions when we are restricted for months at a time and instructed to report others for not wearing masks, not social distancing, not operating business as recommended, etc.

Is COVID-19 causing addiction to increase? Yes. The opposite of addiction is interaction and human connection. Without daily connection and being locked in the house there is no social activity so people are turning to drugs and alcohol to mask the boredom and pass the time.  We are seeing a 30% increase in alcohol consumption according to the CDC.

Can I see my therapist during COVID-19? Currently face to face appointments are discouraged due to the spread of the virus and Telehealth has been the most approved form of therapy. Some therapists are offering in-person appointments with face masks and shields only.

 

 

Serenity in Sobriety

 

Serenity in Sobriety

Into Recovery:

So you’re sober now. Big deal, right? I’ve been sober a few times, and relapsed a few times myself. And I’m not sure if it was the addictive mindset of mine back then, or if it was because I simply got bored, became miserable. You know how they say you can have fun without drinking? I’ve heard it hundreds of times, but just couldn’t understand how, because I never tried to apply the principles to my life needed to live a happy, fun life in sobriety, until I found my first real routine…

 

A Job couldn’t keep me sober:

I stopped drinking back in August, 2015 the first time. That lasted for nearly 2 years. In fact, I was in a sober living facility for that amount of time. I stayed because the CEO had hired me as executive assistant. But I was also miserable, wallowing in self pity the entire time. As soon as I left for another job and moved out, I was drinking again a few days later, for 9 months straight. Every single day, because I quickly found myself at the point of no return, where drinking wasn’t even to have fun, but was to keep from feeling deathly ill. When I was arrested, yet again, in May 2018 for public intoxication, I decided to put myself in yet another recovery home. This time was different…

 

Replacing Bad Habits with Healthy Ones:

First things first, unlike the old facility, I was required to find a sponsor and work the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous with said sponsor. My sponsor happened to be a member of the local gym, and basically told me if I didn’t go with him that I was a loser, in a somewhat joking but still serious manner. So I went. Then I went again, and again. I became a member, and this was my everyday routine: Gym, step work, 7 pm meeting (at least 5 a week). See before, I isolated myself. I didn’t exercise, I stayed in my room with no lights, no TV, just residing in the most dangerous place of all: my own mind. This time, I had to force myself to do things I didn’t want to do, because I needed them. With so many things that I was required to do every single day, I became used to it. I enjoyed it, I felt better than ever; mentally, physically, spiritually…

 

Second Nature:

            So you’ve worked a recovery program and had a routine for some time now. You know the lingo, you feel the burn, and the relief every day. Maybe you even meditate like I do. But now it’s time to move out of the recovery home. What do I do now? Well first of all, don’t make the mistake of saying F*** your program. You feel better because you were required to do these new things you do. But can you keep it up on your own? Some do, some don’t.  The best advice from experience that I can give, is to keep in touch with your support group. Keep “going to the gym”, or whatever your routine entails. Don’t isolate. They say that good is the enemy of the best. If you half-ass things, you get half-assed results. If you stop doing what was once required, eventually, you could lose what you’ve acquired through your recovery. So let those things become second nature to you: like you don’t even have to think much about them to do, or while doing them; Autopilot.

–Chris Cobb

 

The team at The Addictions Coach is here to help!  Create lasting change and enjoy long-term sobriety.  Lead the life you deserve! 

Connect with us at 1.800.706.0318 ext 1 

 

 

 

Heroin or Hellcat?

Heroin or Hellcat?

Hellcat

So recently I bought a Hellcat. Yes, the 707 Horsepower Dodge Challenger with the cat on the side. You now, the kind you crank up and it purrs like a kitten, that one. The one that every 21-year-old guy wants to race up the highway at 3 am doing 190 and not get arrested, that one.

It is bright green with the big black hood and the 707 on the side. The Hellcat even has red eyes.

So why is this important? Well, the money my husband spent on heroin, we redirected to buy a Hellcat. See, my husband had a $120 a day habit. A day, not a week, not month, A DAY.

A FUCKING $120 a day habit.

$120 a day X 365 days is $43,800 a year. A full-time job and pay.

That is almost the price of a Hellcat. Well, a used Hellcat, a limited-edition, 2015 Hellcat.

So, when the option is heroin or Hellcat, I chose the Hellcat. I know an addict is an addict and will always have addictive tendencies. I would rather see him racing up 95 than snorting heroin laced with fentanyl and overdosing, like he did 3 times. I would rather see him get a speeding ticket than have to pick him up at the ER again wondering if he was going to die next time. I would rather have a huge 707 HP monster in my driveway than wonder if he nodded out and got the BMW stolen again.

See, I prefer the Hellcat to the Heroin addiction. As a spouse of a recovering addict, it is hard to watch your loved one battle addiction and fail. You are there hoping they make it out alive, praying, wishing, hoping and when they do, you celebrate the wins.

How do you get your loved one to that point? Well after I wrote, I married a Junkie, and lived the nightmare, I can help you. As I was building my private practice of helping people conquer their addictions, my husband had found his. I helped him navigate the way out and have fun doing it.

Sober is fun.

Hellcats are fun

Heroin is not fun

How can I help you? I offer many ways to help you get your Hellcat and release your Heroin. My specialty is my sober on demand service where I bring the addiction treatment concept to your doorstep.

  Addiction is NOT your problem; it is your solution to a problem.

 

From our Sober on Demand Program:

Our unique one on one custom concierge coaching approach is what we are highly sought out and known for. Dr. Cali Estes oversees all aspects of the Action Plan protocols and will make sure your experience is comfortable, enlightening, and productive in the time you spend with her and her team. The program can be from 3 to 10 days plus, and consists of a mobile lifestyle enrichment program that covers substance use and substance misuse, triggers, coping skills, passion and purpose in life, relationship goals, career goals, and learning how to live a happy and productive life.  This concept is proprietary and completely tailored to your unique and individual needs. 100% private, 100% Confidential. We get results and have an A list of satisfied clients. If traditional addiction treatment centers did NOT work for you, this program is completely different. No groups, no 30 day required stays, we meet you exactly where you are. We can come to your home, hotel, tour bus, etc and help you get through life and tackle the stressors and issues that hold you back from your full potential. and Dr. Cali Estes and her team are prepared to provide and an additional sober companion or sober coach for 30 days to 6 months post-Sober on Demand Experience.

Read more here and let me help you get that HELLCAT.

Message In A Bottle

 

Message in a Bottle

6/25/2020 by Chris Cobb

coaching

You ever wish you could go back in time with the knowledge and wisdom you have now, to change your path? To manipulate choices and events to twist yourself into a better version of you? Well, I have wished this very thing many times before. The reality is, you cannot change the past. It is no longer in existence. But what if you could somehow tell the younger, innocent version of yourself what to do, what not to do, and of the consequences of the lifestyle your not so innocent self has chosen… What if you could write your past self a letter? What would this letter read?

This is actually a tough one for me. Even though I have had a fairly tough ride from childhood to where I am today, I feel as though all the difficult trials have made me the person I am today. I don’t really know if I’d want to change that: but then again, I have been a pretty rotten human being in the past, while in my active alcoholism. From DWI to battery charges, to being homeless in big, unfamiliar cities, having my jaw shattered in an altercation gone horribly wrong, and driving drunk with my own son in my car… Those things, I certainly would have never known if I’d never taken that first drink.

 So yeah, maybe I would go back and grab myself by the arms and say “listen up!” The first thing I would tell myself would be not to drink alcohol, obviously. I would talk about all the things I have lost, or given away as a result of my poor life choices. My own business, houses, cars, relationships, friends, respect… I’ve had people tell me they hate me over the person I had become. I’ve been arrested 12 times, under the influence of alcohol. I slept under bridges, on bus stop benches, in bushes and abandoned buildings. I’ve come close to the brink of death multiple times, some of those times being an attempt by my own hand.

Even without drinking, I’ve done and said things I wish I hadn’t; pain that could have been easily avoided by the biting of my tongue. Now that I know how to handle situations in a proper manner: if I had known how to all along, how different would life be for me today? Would I be grateful for the small things? Would I be battling depression and anxiety? Where would I live? Would I have a squeaky clean record, a million dollar home and a Lambo? Who knows. I guess realistically if I am finally proud of who I have eventually become, and happy with the direction my life is now heading, the most important thing to tell myself would be “Keep your mouth shut, your head up, and your hands to yourself, no matter what. What anyone thinks of you is not your business, just keep your side of the street clean and keep moving FORWARD. No matter how discouraged you may feel, don’t ever stop working towards your goals.”

Overall, life can be quite unpredictable, and regardless of our past, it’s never too late for change. The best advice I can give, just keep doing the next right thing.

How do you keep it in place? You hire a coach of course! We at The Addictions Coach offer recovery coaching, life coaching, food addiction coaching and even intense alternatives to treatment.  Learn more here or call 1.800.706.0318 ext 1

 

What do you think when you hear the word “Addict” or “Alcoholic”?

 

addict

What do you think when you hear the word “Addict” or “Alcoholic”? Do you think up words such as “Drunk”? Or “Junkie”? Or even “Homeless, Lower Class, or Bad upbringing? Well I’m here to tell you this: Alcoholism and Drug Addiction affect ALL social classes, ALL races, ALL walks of life.

Millionaire Benjamin Chen is living proof that no one is invincible to the consequences of this disease known as addiction. Mr. Chen destroyed his $750,000 Porsche Mirage GT supercar while driving high on drugs through the abandoned streets of downtown Manhattan, New York on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, smashing into a van of bystanders and hitting multiple parked cars. He tried to drive away, but luckily didn’t make it very far. All this, under the influence of drugs. I’m sure that even if you haven’t destroyed a three-quarter million dollar car, if you are suffering or have suffered addiction, or know someone who has: You or someone you know has lost things in their life due to their addiction or alcoholism.

I personally have never had much, but have managed to lose everything that I did have while in my active alcoholism. Several arrests, loss of jobs, vehicles, relationships, a house, and more. I have been in multiple recovery / sober living facilities, drug and alcohol classes, anger management, jail, and so on. I am lucky not to be a statistic at this point. More than 67,300 Americans died from drug-involved overdose in 2018, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids. Not to mention over 80,000 alcohol-related deaths each year in the U.S. “Regular” people like you and me, homeless populations, even celebrities and CEOs. So whatever walk of life you live, if you’ve hit rock bottom before, you should know there are solutions. What I want to mention today is Sober on Demand: A New Alternative in Alcohol Addiction Recovery.

Sober on Demand is a unique 3-10+ day program. The duration of the program itself depends on the client’s needs and what we find during our discovery session. Our Sober on Demand program is where we here at The Addictions Coach bring the treatment to you. We would send in our best addiction recovery professionals to present you with our program and the alternatives, if you choose not to participate. After agreeing to start your new sober lifestyle we start with a discovery session to learn about you individually, so that we can pair you with the perfect sober coach. The coach then personalizes a program that gives the individual the best chance for success.You can find more information and get started HERE.  or call the elite team at 1.800.706.0318 ext 1

 

 

 

 

Interview with a Millionaire

Interview With A Millionaire: Meet The CEO Of The Addictions Academy & The Addictions Coach – Dr. Cali Estes

Ever wonder what it is like to work with millionaire clients?  Where does the inspiration come from to help people with addiction issues?  What happens when clients are hard to work with? read more below on our sober on-demand service and concierge medicine service where we bring the rehab concept to the client.

https://www.starcentralmagazine.com/entrepreneurship/2020/06/10/cali-este/

Cocktails and Curfew: Relapsing on alcohol in the pandemic

Cocktails and Curfew: relapsing on alcohol in the pandemic

3 Things That Could Lead an Alcoholic into Relapse During the Pandemic / Lockdown

6/4/2020 by Chris Cobb

I’m sure you have seen someplace or another that many people in recovery are relapsing as stay at home orders have been put in place across the country. If you have a support group, a sponsor, and attend meetings, you have probably heard that the only thing that can cause you to relapse is you. This is true, you are your ultimate decision-maker. But we also need support, we need human contact, and we need to be heard, and to listen to someone else. There are many factors, especially for those new to sobriety that can throw us off our square, and the negative mindset we have had most of our lives starts sneaking in on us. Here are three of those factors that I, myself have personally dealt with during this hard time, and how I have been coping. I hope this can help at least one person out there.

#1: Isolation – Isolation can take a huge toll on our minds, on our emotions. When we have already dealt with a great change in our lives, especially, such as beginning our sobriety journey and staying away from people, places, and things that are toxic to us. Then we get into meetings, find a sponsor, and meet a multitude of people who we find are so much like ourselves, where we fit in. Now we suddenly find ourselves unable to meet our own expectations of a routine we have found to finally work for us. Whether it be a recovery program, working out at the gym, or even our job. The best thing I have found that I can do is to keep in contact with my circle of support, whether it be via phone call, text, social media messaging, email, etc… It’s something to get used to, but the support is there. Even if I can’t attend my meetings in person, I have managed to find online AA meetings via zoom and skype. This surprisingly helped me more than I expected it to. Just being heard, and hearing others’ struggles and solutions, having someone to talk to has given me a feeling of stability, that no matter what, there are others that are always willing to help me out when I am down. Even reading or thinking to myself things I have learned throughout my recovery have somewhat kept me in check when I need it the most. If you are reading this, you have a way to find support if you do not already have it. Get in touch with someone who you can talk to about solutions to your everyday problems. Go outside and do some yard work, or just to get some fresh air. Do not isolate yourself in your room. Isolation has personally been very bad for my mental well-being, as with others, I’m certain. This is why we have to take action and stay out of the dark corners of our minds, the loneliness or anxieties that have led us to seemingly “lose” purpose and drink in the past.  

#2: Problems with Relationships – This is another big one for many, including myself. I am currently in the longest-lasting relationship I have been in with someone since the first time I took a liking to sobriety, back in 2015. It is still difficult for many of us to deal with relationships, no matter how happy we are with this other person. Many have worked through a 12-Step program, learned to make amends, take self-inventory, and admit when we are wrong. Some couples are either out of work due to this pandemic, or both working from home. This can weigh heavily on relationships when it feels like there is no space to even begin to miss one another’s company. It can cause arguments, resentments, and ultimately destroy a relationship. This is where our circle of support can also help. When two people are upset with one another, there sometimes is a lack of communication because both parties feel attacked by the other. If we have a meeting, or a sponsor we can talk it out with, however, someone who is not there to judge, but to listen, and help point us in the right direction towards a solution of some kind, it can help us have some bit of serenity and peace of mind. We sometimes begin to forget what we have become grateful for once we have it. Accountability partners outside can be of great help to keep us in check. We have to remember, we must accept things we cannot change, so we must find a way to give our partners space, privacy, and support, rather than more stress than they already have on their plate. We must be selfless, and remember where our negative thinking and actions have landed us so many times in the past. AA is the only thing that has helped me become the person I am today, and the only reason a relationship that could last is even possible. So personally, getting back in touch with my fellows in recovery is the best help I can advise for myself, and anyone else that is struggling to keep peace of mind and stay sober when dealing with issues whether they are brought on by someone else, or in my case, myself. Just remember. It’s not about you. You’re not the only one struggling. 

#3: Fear of The Unknown – One of the biggest character defects I have always lived with is insecurity, fear. Whether it be work or financial, relationships, or any other what-ifs… In a time like this, it is a true test of our willpower and personal stability. We may fear that we will either lose our jobs, or we already have been laid off, and fear that our job may not come back. We also tend to feed off of the information we see on television, even misinformation, or fear-mongering we stumble upon throughout social media. We can feel hopeless as if we are going to lose our homes, our relationships due to financial and stressful situations. We can even fear going back into a meeting once the ‘lockdown’ is over with. I remember the feeling I had in my very first meeting, and actually have this uneasy feeling myself about walking back in the doors after a good amount of time.  The best thing we can do in this situation is to focus on plausible solutions, rather than focusing on our problems. If we only think negatively, only think about what is going wrong, we are not finding a way for it to get better. Most problems don’t go away on their own, without action. When we don’t know what the future holds for us, in ANY situation, we must take life one day at a time. We seek to support, someone to talk to, or even support our friends, or significant others, ask them what we can do to help make their day an okay or even great one. Again, we become selfless, rather than self-centered. I have found that thinking of others more than myself has led to better results in the majority of times. I am struggling with this like anyone else who is remotely similar to me. If you really look back at times things have been made worse when you tried doing things your own way, you can put it in perspective. Think of how the other person may see this situation by imagining that you are them, and they are you. We cannot allow fear to overtake our lives. Insecurities most of the time are without any true evidence that our fearful, negative thoughts could come true unless we make them. I have been told many times that everything you want in life is on the other side of fear. This makes perfect sense, seeing how I have always missed out on opportunities for a happy life and mental well-being, simply because I was so afraid of what could happen, that I acted in illogical ways and ended up losing those things I wanted so badly. Just remember this – F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real. Learn to accept everything for how it is, rather than attempting to manipulate the world to work the way you want it to. Go with the flow and see where it takes you, cease fighting everything and everyone. Most of this for me is still very difficult to follow, but I have found it to work more often than not. Practicing principles of this nature can go a long way. 

In closing, I hope this can be helpful to an extent of any degree. We are all in this together, so hang tight.  

Will isolation increase mental health issues? Yes. Human connection, outdoors, exercise, and health-related activities reduce mental illness. During the lockdown, suicide has increased and so has the need for depression and anxiety medications, which are in short supply.

Has COVID-19 led to increased drinking? According to the CDC, alcohol drinking is up 55% from before the lockdown and shelter in place measures started since liquor stores were kept own as an essential business during the pandemic.  They predict that increased drinking and the need for addiction treatment will only increase as we open the country back up.

Does isolation cause alcoholism? It may not cause it, but it will play a major part in the consumption process. The opposite of addiction is connection and when you are not connected, sad, depressed, and lonely you drink. Alcohol causes the CNS system to suppress even more causing more depression and causing more drinking.

Will drinking destroy my relationship? Excessive drinking will destroy your relationships and ultimately your life if you can not get it under control. You can get a DUI, kill someone, or yourself if you are not careful and you can ruin your career as well.

Need help? The Addictions Coach and Dr. Cali Estes can help you. Call today. 1.800.706.0318 ext 2

Alcohol worked for me…..Until It Didn’t

Alcohol Worked For Me… Until It Didn’t

6/3/2020 by Chris Cobb

 

“If I knew then what I know now” is an understatement. If I had known the consequences of my unfortunate actions over the years before I took that first drink, my life would be completely different. I was 13 years old the first time I became drunk. And somehow, I was able to down a 12 pack of beer. I was blackout drunk. It was an acquired taste, but it didn’t take long before I started sneaking alcohol more often than not. I started to notice something. The anxiety I felt around other people, the fear of judgement, self consciousness, all went away when I was drinking. I was able to hang with the big dogs, the ‘cool kids’. I was eventually one of the high school kids going to frat parties. Whoever got the most hammered was the topic of the week, and I was in the spotlight more than a couple times. I was cool.

Alcohol worked for me….until it didn’t….

Fast forward, I’m 20 years old, my first arrest. I was driving 90 in a 30mph zone, residential area. I somehow wind up in the middle of the street, handcuffed, surrounded by 5 police vehicles, my car half-way on the street, the front half on the sidewalk. Operating While Intoxicated, endangering a person (I had tried to run over a pedestrian for shouting at me). I got a slap on the wrist, community service and 90 days suspension on my license. 6 months later, I’m arrested again, this time charged with minor consumption, public intoxication, and resisting law enforcement. See, when I was sober, I was timid, quiet. When I was drunk, I was “confident”, I thought I was invincible, that I could fight. More community service, drug and alcohol classes. I had no desire to quit drinking. 

Alcohol worked for me….until it didn’t….

So I’m 20, it’s 2006, and my girlfriend at this time leaves for a rehab in Florida. Me being the superhero I think I am, fly to Florida shortly after. My suspicions quickly turned to reality. She did not really have a friend who would let me crash at their place. In fact, she had run from rehab, been to jail, and now in a women’s halfway house in Tampa. I’m homeless. So the first thing to do, get a job. Two days later I’m at the top of my game with an $8 an hour job in Tampa where an efficiency apartment would have cost me a $2400 deposit. So I play it smart. I get food stamps. Here I am. Homeless, $8 an hour, and food stamps. I sleep under highways, on bus stop benches, sometimes pass out drunk on the bus, other times in an abandoned building or alleyway. Either way, I’ve “got this”. 3 months later I go to work, drunk off my ass, just to get my $240 paycheck and buy a greyhound bus ticket to what better place to be an actor than Hollywood, California. 

Alcohol worked for me….until it didn’t….

Needless to say: I did not get an actor role of any kind. I didn’t even get an audition. They don’t feed me in California like they did in Florida. But I had a whopping $120 for food (I mean alcohol). Friendly people in California, they bought me quite a few drinks. Fast forward. After about 9 months of homelessness, I decide I need to go back to Indiana to drink, L.A. is too dangerous. 

Alcohol worked for me….until it didn’t….

Now we’re in 2009, back in Indiana. The reasons for drinking have moved from feeling cool and getting along with groups of people, to feeling better than sober reality seemed to allow.  I’m drinking alone most of the time, mad at the world for all my problems. Staying with my step dad, drinking with him, fighting with him when doing so. My pregnant girlfriend leaves me, so I get another one, one who likes to drink. This was one who also had nearly the same anger issues as me. 2009 became my first arrest for domestic battery. I found no blame in myself, it was her, and it was the alcohol. So this time around, I take anger management classes, more community service, more drug and alcohol classes. This time, the only desire I finally had to quit, was the fear of going back to jail. It wasn’t enough. I hadn’t lost enough yet. 

Alcohol worked for me….until it didn’t….

I have broken up with the girlfriend, and decided to work things out with the mother of my unborn child. February 11th, 2010. My son is born, shortly after, lifelined to a children’s hospital almost 2 hours away. Soon to find out, he has a life threatening heart disease where only one side of his heart has developed. He has his first open heart surgery at one week old. We live in the hospital for a good 2 months, no drinking of course. We finally were able to take him home in April. I didn’t drink for another whopping 30 days. Next thing I know, I’m back to a 30-pack of cheap beer every night, plus whatever bottle of whiskey or vodka is handy. By January of 2011, I’m back in jail for another domestic battery, against the mother of my child. I was completely unaware what had happened, I didn’t even know I was in the drunk tank until I opened my eyes. When I asked what I did, all I could make is foxhole prayers that I get out of this mess yet again. I only spent about 30 days behind bars before I could bond out for $2500. My conditions were of course, community service, and this time, Batterer’s Intervention classes. My son had undergone his third, and hopefully final open heart surgery at this point. Still, no desire to drink for the right reasons.

Alcohol worked for me….until it didn’t….

My son’s mother gets back with me, she was quite naive, so was I. Besides, I had take classes, I told her I would quit drinking so that it doesn’t happen again. I go another 30 days or so before I present the idea of each of us having a glass of wine with our nice dinner date. So we do so. Everything goes great, so 2 days later, I bring home a box of cheap wine, it’s not booze, ye know, it’s wine. Half my share of the box later, I decide I am doing fine, that I can drink without getting violent. I do actually. I have my own “business” running. I’m building and repairing computers, and working from home programming and designing mobile games and apps, because I’m so smart and all. Well, I’m not violent anymore, but also not too friendly with employers when I’m drinking. Which at this point, I was able to drink at work, since work was home. 

Alcohol worked for me….until it didn’t….

Fast forward to August of 2015. My step-uncle dies of a heart attack, I start getting angry at the world again. Here I am in jail again, for battery. This time, she doesn’t get back with me. I am court ordered to 90 days in a sober living environment. I end up staying for 2 years, because they had given me a job and this time, I wanted to quit drinking. I had given everything that I cared about away. My house, car, son’s mother, time with my son, respect from my family, friends, I had nothing but a laptop and a bag of clothes. But this time, I COULD do it for myself right? 

Alcohol worked for me….until it didn’t….

2 years later, I am running this sober living facility. The director had left, the board decided to appoint me, the director’s executive assistant, as new director. This lasted a good 6 months before I left for a higher paying job as I.T. administrator at a medical products store. I didn’t know much about the 12 steps or sponsorship, I didn’t need them. 2 weeks into the new job, I feel like with 2 years of sobriety and over a decade of lessons learned, I can be a normal drinker, just like my co-workers sitting around the same table as me at a local pub and grill. 

Alcohol worked for me….until it didn’t….

2 weeks into the new job, I’m sicker than ever. I had no idea this was a progressive illness, mental or physical; Whatever it may be. Finally, after about a year, I get arrested for public intox, disorderly conduct, and lose my I.T. job. So into another sober living facility I go, this time without court order, on my own. I am finally sick and tired of losing, and of having to start from scratch. Again, with a bag of clothes and a laptop, I begin to rebuild my life. This time with a program, and with good reason. My sobriety date is May 20th, 2018, and 2 years later, I no longer have the desire to destroy my life with that first drink, with the notion that I can ever control my drinking. 

Alcohol never worked for me…..

What will you do for your sobriety? Will you get help?

The Addictions Coach staff is waiting to help you.