I recorded this episode on September 27th, 2021. That day is of significance because it was my 10-year anniversary of sobriety. There’s a part of me that thinks, “I can't believe I've survived this long without drinking.” And another part of me that says, “Well, yes, it does feel like 10 years.”

10 years of clarity.
10 years of wisdom.
10 years of groundedness and feeling anchored in who I am. 

So, I wanted to take this opportunity to share my recovery and sobriety story with you. While I’ve shared my story before, it’s now many years out; therefore, I'll probably tell it a little bit differently than I did when I was a year out, which was the first time I talked about it publicly.

If you don't have a problem with alcohol maybe you have a loved one who does or maybe you are struggling with something else. I believe we all are recovering from something. Recovery is a lifelong journey. I hope you find some insight, clarity, support, or wisdom from this episode.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Read Make Some Noise? Don't forget to leave a review!
My 1-year sobriety episode
My relapse story episode
Facing Love Addiction by Pia Mellody

Right-click to download the .mp3



[00:00:00] Life is hard. It's hard. It hurts all the time. It does. And I'm not going to tell anybody that it doesn't life is also so full of joy, so full of joy and laughter and love and live, love, laugh oh, the live long day. It truly is. And I have recovery to thank for that for allowing me to find myself when I was so incredibly lost for so long.

[00:00:34] You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 409.

[00:00:45] Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools, and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host Andrea Owen, global speaker entrepreneur life coach since 2007 and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries each week. I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience, and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.

Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad that you are here and I am speaking to you today. I'm recording this on September 27th, 2021 and that means that today is my 10 year anniversary or birthday, sometimes it's referred to, of sobriety. I have not had a drink of alcohol or taken any drugs. That really wasn't my, that wasn't my, um, my poison, as they say, but I've been sober for 10 years and it's, it's one of those sort of surreal moments where part of me is like, I cannot believe that it's been 10 years from that. I can't believe I've survived this long without drinking. And another part of me is like, yeah, it does feel like 10 years. It feels like 10 years of clarity. It feels like 10 years of wisdom and groundedness and feeling anchored in who I am. And so I wanted to take this opportunity and use this podcast episode to solo show to tell you my story again, because I think that this many years out, I'll probably tell it a little bit differently than I did when I told my story when I was a year out, which I can link to that episode in the show notes.And I guess the best place to start is from the beginning.

But wait, before I do that, I wanted to just do one quick announcement and that's, if you are reading or have read, Make Some Noise, my latest book, I would be so honored and grateful, incredibly grateful. If you could leave a review, if you purchased it on Amazon, that's the best place to do it. It's always guaranteed that they'll put it up because it's a verified purchase or same thing on Audible. It makes a huge difference, uh, for, you know, when people are searching for self-help books that are in that genre, that my book will come up. And also when people are considering buying it, I read reviews. I, especially on books, really on anything, especially on books, Amazon and audible, or really anywhere you bought it. I know it doesn't, it doesn't have to be just those two places or if you have a Goodreads account, I know that that those matter a lot over there. So I appreciate. So much. All right, let's start at the beginning.

[00:03:47] I always like to tell this story and preface it with giving you a little bit more history on to how I ended up being an active, I identify as, as an alcoholic. I really identify as an addict because it sort of encompasses the behaviors that I was doing long before my drinking quantity really picked up steam and over the last year and a half, as I've told you on the show, I hired a, a new therapist in, it was like the spring of 2020, and we walked through a lot of my core wounding, which we all have though. And, uh, you know, some argue that there's five of them. Some are you that there's six and you can Google it with the five, six, however many core wounds that pretty much all humans have. And my biggest one is abandonment. And I know that it stemmed from my relationship with my father. And we were really close growing up when I was a little girl. And then when I hit puberty, things started to shift and he started to shift away from me mostly emotionally and just our relationship changed and we weren't as close anymore.

[00:05:04] And so I decided, okay, well then I'll just hang out with my friends and boys and all of that. And of course it wasn't until much later that I realized what an enormous hurt that was for me growing up and not understanding it. And it being totally subconscious, but still it affected me greatly. And how that manifested was co-dependence.  And oh man, it started in my late teens and just raged through my twenties. And co-dependence, uh, you know, I, I highly encourage you to look at a couple of different books, Melody Beattie’s Codependent No More is sort of, you know, the go-to for co-dependence as well as Pai Mellody’s Facing Codependence will tell you exactly what the symptoms are and I think that a lot of people are at least somewhat codependent. If you read all the symptoms, many of them are, you know, they're on a spectrum and people identify to these symptoms at least to some extent, but when co-dependence becomes a problem is when the symptoms are severe and they affect your life. And they very much did that for.

So the way that my co-dependence showed up was I was incredibly controlling, especially in the relationship that I was in. I was in a relationship from the time I was 17 until I was 31 with the same guy. And he was an avoidant. That was his attachment style. And I was anxious. So we went around in circles for years and years and years, me trying to change him, to fix him, to fix us, to control him, to get him to behave and he essentially ran away from me. And the cycle was after a certain amount of years, I would get fed up. I would finally have enough and I would leave. And he would freak out and beg for me to come back to him and do, go to these extraordinary lengths to have me come back. And I would. And this happened over the course of 13 years until it finally ended.

And also struggled immensely with love addition in my twenties and in and out of an eating disorder. And so the long and short of it is that my behaviors were desperately trying to make sense of my life. I was trying to get my needs met. I was trying to just cope with the pain and the hurt of life. Cause I had no other ways of coping. I didn't know what it was like to actually be truly vulnerable with someone. I didn't know what it was like to have true intimacy and connection and trust in a relationship. I said I wanted all of those things, but I was equally terrified of them and was constantly chasing them and running away with running away from them at the same time.

[00:08:11] So, um, you know, all stemming from that abandonment wound, I can laugh now about it, but I certainly couldn't then. And also in my experience, my go-to that stemmed from the hurt was anger. I was mad. A lot of the time, a lot of the time. And it was the very first place I went to um, during conflict, I would get angry and mean, and, um, just, it was, it was bad news. It was bad news bears. And so the reason that I identify with being an addict is because I chose, I sought out and chose any behavior, any coping mechanism that allowed me to run away from my life to run away from my feelings and none of them were healthy. None of them were healthy behaviors or coping mechanisms. I didn't have any other tools. I did not grow up going to therapy. I did not, you know, we didn't talk about personal growth or any of that. It was not a thing. And so I just did what was modeled for me and it was modeled for me was that we don't talk about hard things. And so. I was always the child who felt and knew things were going on, but didn't have any language to put around it. And also knew explicitly that we did not talk about these things. We just didn't. And so it was very confusing. It was super confusing as a child and a young adult. And I would often overshare with people in an attempt to. Talk about things and didn't have the, the right words or the right communication skills.

[00:10:12] And it would always just end up being a big mess. And then I would get angry and mean, and it was. It was unhealthy and dysfunctional, incredibly dysfunctional. So what ended up happening is, you know, many of, you know, I was, I was married before to that, you know, the man that I just said I was in the relationship with for a long time. Uh, we were talking about conceiving our first child, and we'd been married for two years at that point, we'd been together for 13. He had an affair with her neighbor who lived across the street and got her pregnant. And by the way, he got her pregnant on purpose. Uh, they, he had also been lying to her and, um, told her that we were going through a divorce and that I was crazy and she should not come and talk to me because she had wanted to come and talk to me and say like, why do you still live here going through a divorce? Um, so he warned her and said, don't go talk to Andrea. He didn't want her to come talk to me, obviously, because I would have said, we're not going through a divorce. He hasn't told me he wants a divorce. So in order to keep her around and convince her that, you know, he really did want to be with she wanted to have a baby and so he got her pregnant. Um, and then that's when everything fell apart. And so, I immediately started dating. Well, three months after I found out that he'd been having an affair, I started dating someone who my, I fell in love with, or at least thought I had fallen in love with him.

[00:11:44] And he had terminal cancer, which was awful. I took care of him over many months while he was sick. And then he was well, and then he would lose a lot of weight and then he would be healthy again, it was this roller coaster. And then I was also uh, very much isolating myself from my friends because I was kind of had this weird gut feeling about the relationship and was just in this functional depression, deep depression, about my entire life, about my relationships, about who I was, everything.

[00:12:18] It was extraordinarily lost point of my life. And then I found out that he had a drug problem that he was addicted to painkillers and that we were going down to Mexico to actually get that instead of the cancer medication that he told me about. And then I confronted him about that. He admitted it and he was seeking out help and he got clean for several weeks and things were looking up. He was on the upswing, I thought, okay, we can do this. People get sober all the time. And so he relapsed. And the week that I've found out that he had relapsed, I also found out that I was pregnant and within a couple of days of that, I found out that he had lied to me the entire time about having cancer. And it was all a con to cover up his drug addiction. And so I had a choice to make. I had to decide whether or not I was going to just leave and have this baby on my own, or if I was going to give him another chance. And so long story short, he did end up going to an inpatient treatment center for his addiction and it was in another state.

[00:13:46] And, um, you know, I, again, I thought people, people turn their lives around. We hear stories of redemption all the time. You know, people who are addicts go and get sober. I mean, my dad got sober. My dad got sober on his first try and had 20 something years of, of sobriety before he passed away. So I knew that it was. And I was willing to give him another chance really only because we were having a child together. Had I not been pregnant, I probably wouldn't have stayed. Who knows. I was in such a low place. I might have stayed, can't say for sure, but for sure, I wanted to give him another chance because we were having a baby together.

[00:14:28] So he went away to rehab. And about three weeks in maybe four weeks, I was invited to go to the rehab center to have family week with him. And that was, because I didn't realize it at the time, but families are invited to do group therapy, you know, with the person, with the patient that's there and it’s obviously in service of the patient, but as we know, addiction is a family issue and it was also in service of the people closest to the addict. And so it was the first time that I had ever really bared my soul and especially in front of other people like that. In a group setting and we were in a group of about, I think it was, it was my boyfriend and three or four other patients there and their families. And it was usually just like a spouse. And there was one guy there, like his parents were there and there was one lady who she didn't have any of her family there. So it was kind of a mix. And it was the first time I had heard about love addiction. And actually it was the, the rehab center was created by Pai Mellody, the woman who, who wrote the co-dependence book, I just talked about.

[00:15:51] And she also wrote Facing Love Additiction, which changed my life. And it was the first time I'd really understood what co-dependence looks like because I was looking at it in the mirror and it was incredibly helpful. It was incredibly helpful for me to go there and hear, what these behaviors looked like and, you know, understand how symptomatic I was with those behaviors and, and how they can really affect your life and the lives of other people that, that you're in relationship with and with, as a codependent in a, in a love addict.

[00:16:30] So it was, it was humbling. It was incredibly humbling. It was so helpful. I bought some books at the bookstore and I went on my merry way. I went home and I had a feeling, something was going on. I had that intuition. Um, and then when I got home, I found out that my boyfriend had been having a relationship with another addict there. And she was also in our group in our little therapy group. So that's when my life fell apart. That's truly when the bottom fell out and I had a bit of an out-of-body experience, um, yeah. I mean, I wrote about it and Make Some Noise where I just was. I think I wrote about it in Make Some Noise, maybe I'm getting it confused with a different book or a book that a memoir that I'm writing, but it was, it was truly, truly my rock bottom moment.

[00:17:22] People ask me in interviews, like tell us about your rock bottom in your drinking career. And I'm like, it happened a few years before that actually my rock bottom, but it was awful. It was, um, It was the absolute worst. And I remember laying on the floor in my bedroom thinking like, how did I get here? Like I was 31. Um, all my friends were having seemingly normal life. Most of them were married. Some of them were having babies. Actually, most of them were having babies. And there, I was like, feeling like just such a loser. Like how did I get here? I knew I had so much potential. I really did. I, I've always been an optimist and just the consummate cheerleader and hype woman. And there, I was like laying on the floor, pregnant with this guy's baby, who clearly didn't give a shit about me and wanting to be with people, with men, whom I had to beg to love me. That I felt like crumbs were enough. How did I get here? How did I get there? And, it was then, not in that exact moment, but in the days that followed, I decided to change my life and I didn't know how I was going to do it. I didn't know what was next, but I knew I had to take some action because the common denominator and everything that was happening was me. And again, not to put all the blame on me, but I had tolerated things that my intuition was telling me. Uh, he's not a good guy. Uh, you should probably break up with him. Uh, this relationship doesn't have a future. And, uh, I had ignored all of that. I had ignored that because I wanted to believe the men that I was with. I wanted to believe the things that they were telling me, because I didn't want to be left.

[00:19:34] I didn't want to be rejected. I didn't want to be abandoned. I was trying to get my needs met. I was trying to fill that abandonment wound and always through men. And it wasn't working. So obviously me and the fake cancer guy broke up and I thought, okay, I'm going to have this baby on my own. And there's millions and millions and millions of single mothers who have done this before me. I am resourceful. I can figure this out. And that's when it started. I started to change my life. I started reading books. I started, I went back to therapy. I was in support groups. I was in 12 step programs. I really threw myself into it. And that's also when I started, I signed up for The Coaches Training Institute and, um, during, you know, the many, many months that follow that's when I met Jason and it was, um, it was an interesting few years.

[00:20:38] And so let's see, that was in like the beginning of 2007. And then the following year later that later the following year I got married and then things were really looking up. Things were really great. I was finally in a relationship where I felt like I really could trust someone who this person was also willing to grow with me and I had so much hope. Like, okay, I can become a better human and I have this partner. Um, and, and at the end of the day, you know, Jason and I have had this conversation, like I probably should have been single for longer, but alas I didn't know how. And so I sort of dragged him through all of my, my recovery and, and I, I think it's, by some miracle that we ended up working out and being as, as healthy and mature as we are now, but it was 2010, the end of 2010 when I started to get the tap on my shoulder about my drinking and by tap on my shoulder, it was my intuition saying normal people probably don't think about drinking as much as I do. And also remembering that my dad was an addict. A functional alcoholic.

[00:22:10] And I knew what that meant, even though I didn't want to know what it meant, because if I knew what it meant, that means I could recognize it in my own behavior. And I also, you know, just to tell you kind of what, what it looked like. I was well, the first time it was a big red flag, I drank an entire bottle of wine by myself on like a Tuesday started drinking, probably like five and had, I dunno, four and a half glasses of wine. Isn't that pretty much like what a bottle is all by myself. And it was no big deal. It was really not a big deal. I wasn't drunk and that was, that was the first red flag. And then Jason had shoulder surgery and he got a prescription of Vicodin and ae have like a basket we've always had like one or two baskets in the kitchen that it's like a catch all for junk and he would keep his bottle of Vicodin in the basket, in the kitchen. And my husband, God bless him, is the type of person who will take all medication as prescribed and actually doesn't take a lot of it. He doesn't like the way narcotics make him feel. And I'm like, what like how? What is that? Like? What is that like to know? Like that to not be drawn to that. So one day I'm like, oh, I'm going to take a Vicodin. I maybe I had had a headache or something like, that's how I justified it the first time. Or maybe not. I can't remember. But I took a Vicodin and then had a couple glasses of wine and that was super fun. Keep in mind. I had two babies at home that I was responsible for.

[00:23:54] Andm I remember it was my birthday and we were, we had like a little neighborhood pool and jacuzzi, and we went out there and I was sitting on the edge of the jacuzzi with my feet in. I had my clothes on, but I just, you know, I had shorts on and Sydney was in my lap. You know, just hanging out. It's my birthday, I had this very heavy buzz from the Vicodin and probably a couple of beers or glasses of wine. And I remember thinking I could drop her easily into the jacuzzi and she was maybe like six months old at the time and seven months old. And I remember thinking like this isn't, this isn't what responsible mothers do you know? This isn't what present healthy, grounded mothers do. And you know, like, I'll say this. Like I don't judge people who especially like, have some drinks on your birthday a hundred percent, but the reason I don't, I had those thoughts is a couple of things. I knew that it was a bigger problem than just getting marginally drunk on my birthday. It was a bigger problem than that. And also I was hiding it. I was taking prescription medication that was not prescribed to me and not telling anybody. I should have handed the baby over to my husband and said, can you hold her? I'm pretty buzzed and it's probably not a good idea that I have her here in the jacuzzi.

[00:25:37] That's why. I was, um, nervous about my own behaviors. So once, and then another time I was found myself pouring, um, some Merlot into an empty bottle of Diet Coke to go pull my kids around the cul-de-sac and the wagon, because I was just bored. And it was just so much more fun to do it buzzed. I would, I remember one-time hearing Jason pull into the garage. He was coming home from work and I. I had a bottle of Chardonnay and I was chugging it from the bottle and then put the cork back on and put it in the fridge. You have to act like I hadn't been drinking. And he usually came home around 5. 4:30 or 5. Those were the red flags. Those were the red flags.

[00:26:27] And. I think that that was the end of 2010 and then early 2011, February 6th, to be exact, my dear friend, Anne Maria, uh, had a birthday party slash Superbowl party at her house. And I got just hammered. I just got annihilated and, I just, you know, like my kids were so little and I just, I just knew it wasn't okay. And called my friend Courtney and told her, I think I have a problem and I don't know what to do. And so she invited me to try sobriety for 30 days and just see what happens. And I lasted six days and white knuckled it the whole time and hated every minute. And drank on the sixth day. And that's when I knew I really did have a problem and needed to get sober, like abstain from alcohol.

[00:27:21] And I was so mad. I thought, you mean to tell me that after everything I have been through, I was very much playing the victim of my own life to myself. You mean to tell me after everything I had been through, after all the shit I've had to deal with, after all the pain and agony and heartbreak that I can't even drink?

[00:27:46] Like here I am. I've committed myself to one, man. Can't run around like crazy hooking up with random dudes. Like I used to, to try to ease the pain. I can't do that. I can't try to control everyone's life. I can't even drink. I love drinking. I was, I was a fun drunk until I wasn't. But for the most part, but to 95% of the time, it was funny. Um, just the life of the party, but I wasn't going to parties. That's the thing. I was just home. I was home drinking by myself, irresponsibly with two babies. It was slowly, slowly killing me. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually, all the ways. It was slowly killing me. And I knew it. I knew it. And I also knew that if I kept up this pace, if I kept going in this direction, it was just, there was no doubt about it there was a guarantee that it was going to end in disaster and I didn't know what that meant. It was like, oh, pick one. On the wheel of fortune, you are either going to blow up your marriage by a variety of ways, you are going to destroy the career that you're trying to build, you're going to hurt your children or yourself either physically, mentally, emotionally, some, some way, or blow up your whole life.

[00:29:25] All of those things. I mean, those were basically my choices. And I didn't like any of those. I also really didn't like the option of getting sober. I felt like there had to be another option. There had to be another option. Can I just moderate? Can I just cut back? I tried that. I tried that many times and it worked for like two days and it just kept being the same thing over and over again. I would try and I would fail. I would try and I would say. And I knew, I knew in my heart of hearts that I needed to get sober. And so I did it and I got sober, I think May 11th was my first sobriety date in 2011 and I was sober for four or five months. And I'll, I'll skip the story of when I drank vanilla extract and what was the other thing? NyQuil. That story's in there it's in there a couple of different places. We'll, we'll grab the link to that and put it in the show notes, if you want to listen to my, to my relapse story. But that when that happened, it was, it was truly the evidence that I needed. That I absolutely positively had a problem with alcohol. Like I could not be in a relationship with alcohol at all. I needed to totally, totally and completely abstain. My brain does not function well with moderation. There's a, there's a saying there's a lot of sayings in the rooms of recovery. And one of them, you know, we, we think if five is, if one is good, then five is better.

[00:31:07] I absolutely still have to be careful with like medications and things like that. And sweaters, you know, like I like this one thing, let's do it 1000 degrees higher than, than we need.

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You know, what's also interesting is, is so recently I was diagnosed with impulse control disorder and it's fascinating when you read the symptoms and I was reading them, I was like, oh my God, this is, this is why I make bad decisions. My guess is a lot of people with addiction challenges probably have some impulse control disorder in there. It makes so much sense. You know, people who are, who are, who don't identify and can't understand why addicts and alcoholics behave the way that they do. You know, they say things like, why don't, why do you pick it up in the first place if you know that you shouldn't, if you know that it's bad for you or why do you continue. The way I explained it as well, because we think we're okay. We think we're like everyone else. For a long time, like, that's the thought process. Like it's not it's I don't have a problem. Like it's not that big of a deal. You're the one with a problem who thinks I have a problem. And then when we do finally realize that we have a problem, but we continue to do it. A few different things are going on. You know, we, we might think that we can moderate. Sometimes we just don't care that we have a problem. Like we'd rather just self-destruct. That's kind of the point for many of us. And sometimes we just don't think, we just don't think. And it's really hard to explain unless you have been through it. And this is what I try to explain to people, especially the people closest to me who don't understand. I kind of don't want you to ever understand, because if you truly do, then you are an addict.

[00:35:00] I, I think you can only get it if you have a brain like that, and we are wired differently, we are wired differently and, uh, it can be used for really great things. Like some of the most creative, interesting, brilliant people I know, struggle with addiction. And it's, you know, it's just my thing. It's just my thing. So I got sober September 27th, 2011. September 26th was the very last time I ever drank. And I was miserable that day and I hated myself and I thought, is this just going to be my life, like stopping and starting or just drinking. And I decided the next day no. No. I truly, I cannot do this anymore. If I want all the things that I want. And I know I'm capable of, I want a successful career. If I want a successful, healthy, mature, functional marriage. If I want to be a great mom, if I want to have these great relationships with my kids and my friends, I cannot drink. I can't. And 10 years later, I know that that is still very true. It's still very true.

I'm going to tell you a quick story about, I can't remember if I told this on the show or not. Probably, I don't know. It's been some time during COVID maybe a year ago, there's a documentary. I cannot remember. It was, I think it was a documentary series about all these different topics and one of them was about Ayahuasca. About people that, you know, go on these Ayahuasca trips and anyway, it was about that. And so I remember thinking, watching this with my husband, I was like, I want to do that. And it, and it wasn't that I initially said that I wanted to do Ayahuasca. I initially said, like, I want to have this spiritual, cause this is all like internal I'm thinking, okay. I'm like, I want to have this spiritual experiencel ike these people are having, they're talking about healing, their trauma, and they saw God and they saw their life purpose and like all these amazing things, right? These amazing they're having this amazing, incredible experience. And I want that too. I want that too.

[00:37:38] Okay. So then, and this is all within like a couple of minutes, you know, and I'm like, I grabbed my phone and I'm looking it up, like, where can you go do this Ayahuasca I'll ask a thing. And then the thought comes in of like, okay, you know, this is like doing drugs, right? Like the voice of reason came in and was like, honey, You know, this is like, you can't tell anyone, you can't like go on the podcast and like, talk about it in your Instagram stories. That’s just using drugs. That’s using. And then I was very disappointed when I had that feeling. So I went to a recovery meeting and told the story and you know, what's funny is there was some people in the recovery meeting who very much could relate and were like, yeah, this is… And one person said something really interesting. And she said, we know when we're using. We know. And I think the good news for me was that I, I knew very quickly what was happening. My damn intuition tapped me on the shoulder. And I'm lucky in that way, I think. Where for some people, they would have ignored it or not heard it and gone and done the Ayahuasca and, and, you know, maybe who knows maybe had a spiritual experience or whatever, but the, the very, very scary thing is that I knew immediately, like I would have to keep it secret, you know, like I wouldn't be able to tell anyone what I was going to do.

[00:39:07] Like that's, that is a major red flag right there. So anyway, um, I want to shift gears cause I've been talking for a long time. About how my life looks different now that I'm, I'm 10 years out and I'm excited for the next 10 years of what it's going to be like on my 20 year sober-versary. And maybe I'll, I'll do like a few. FAQ's the question I get sometimes is do you ever miss drinking? Um, the answer is sometimes. And it, you know, if you ask like 10 different addicts the same question, you'll probably get 10 different answers, um, minus sometimes. And I'll tell you what it is that I miss. I think I miss the, the socializing because I'm such an extrovert. And when people tell you that nothing changes when you get sober in terms of like socializing and parties, they're lying. It changes. It is not the same being at a party when everyone is drinking and you're not. It's not the same, at least in my experience, it is not the same. And, I find it not as fun. I find it not as fun to be around drunk people when you are not drunk.

[00:40:28] Um, so my social life has changed. I, I don't think that it's gotten worse by any stretch at all. I would much rather, I would much rather have the life that I have now as a sober human then go to drinking parties so I can be drunk. I would never trade that ever for a billion dollars. I would never trade it. And that's, that's one thing just that's that's one FAQ. Do I miss it. I miss that a little bit. Um, I don't miss the alcohol itself, even though I, there was like, you know, a couple of particular wines and, um, and beers that I really liked. I don't, I don't really miss it. I love lime flavor Topo Chico, and that satisfies it for me. Cause I used to drink a lot of Corona. But now when I look at all of the, when I kind of walked by the booze section of the grocery stores and look at, um, or, or see stuff on social media, like all the wine that, that are in like juice, boxes and cans now that didn't exist. At least it wasn't mainstream before 2011, all of the different flavors. Like I am scared for myself. Like I would have been a wreck. I would've been a wreck because of the. All of the choices and just, oh my gosh. I can't even imagine how much I would be drinking on a daily basis right now. Had I continued down the path that I was going.

People often ask me, you know what, it's what it's like to be sober. It is quite incredible. I'll tell you what to never have a hangover. Sometimes I'm reminded of them when I get sick. When I got my second COVID vaccine or no, I got the Johnson Johnson when I was just the one. And I woke up the next morning and had a headache that felt like a hangover. And that was the first thing I thought of, was holy shit I do not miss this. And so that's amazing to not have that anymore. Never having to worry if I'm to buzzed to drive. Not even a thought at all. Always having sober conversations with my husband. And sober sex is kind of amazing too, I will say that he was the first one I'd ever been with completely sober. And it's, it was a little nerve wracking at first. I was like, really? I'm never going to do that again, but it's amazing. And just our relationship overall has been incredible as it's progressed. And we've both grown. We found our wedding video the other day on an external hard drive. And we were, we were watching it and getting all choked up about our vows and just how much we've grown as a couple kind of forgot. The kind of conversations that we have now, the kind of disagreements that we have now.

[00:43:37] That's the thing that I think has changed the most because when we started out even were first married and like, we just didn't have the hard conversations based on our coping mechanisms. If you're familiar with John Gottman and his four, um, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, Jason was a stone waller and I liked to use contempt and criticism. Those were mine. And that will send you to divorce court real quick. We both have learned so much from that and don't do that anymore. We're very quick to take ownership for our shit and take responsibility and apologize to the other person and just like walk through things so much with so much more grace and composure and love than we ever did before.

[00:44:44] And I don't think I would've ever been able to do that had I kept drinking. I can guarantee that I wouldn't, would not have had that kind of maturity and clarity and groundnut groundedness and who, who I was. I clung to insecurity before I dealt with it by drinking. And so, and that's when kind of again, FAQ.

[00:45:05] Asnd I think that the last thing that I want to say is when I talk about recovery and sobriety, I always say those are two very different things. Anyone, anyone can get sober, but do they actually recover? And I believe that we're all recovering from something, whether you have aroblem with your relationship with alcohol or not. I know people listening to this don't have a problem with alcohol, but many times we struggle with something else. Again, one of those, one of those core woundings from our childhood crops up in places or if you have trauma or if you struggle with food or money or internet usage or whatever it is. And sometimes it doesn't even require sobriety, but I think that we all are recovering from something.

[00:46:02] And I think it's a lifelong journey. I don't, even 10 years out. I don't think that I'm recovered. I think I have come so far where I am confident that I will not fall back on all behaviors. I can't guarantee that. I might. Um, but I'm also confident that I could come back from it, if I make a bad decision that I'm resilient enough where I can come back from it.

[00:46:32] Like, that's the difference of. Now of who I was before, before I didn't, I didn't have the confidence that I could come back from hard things. So I avoided them. I didn't trust myself enough to be able to walk into grief or trauma or hard conversations with my partner or my best friends. I didn't, I didn't trust that I had the tools to do that in the first place. Or to walk through it and have resilience around it. I was too scared. I was too scared to trust anyone. I was too scared to be intimate and truly connect with someone, although I was desperate for all of it. So it was a very conflicting place to be. And that's what I thank recovery for that. I now have the confidence to come back when I have. Eaten shit and fallen on my face, whether it's professionally or with a friend of mine or with my husband or one of my kids. Life is hard. It's hard. It hurts all the time. It does. And I'm not going to tell anybody that it doesn't life is also so full of joy. So full of joy and laughter and love and live, love, laugh day. It truly is. And I have recovery to thank for that for allowing me to find myself when I was so incredibly lost for so long. Thanks for listening everyone. I cannot believe I've been talking for 46 minutes. I appreciate you sticking with me. I didn't have notes prepared for this. So I sort of took the long way. I really wanted it to, to come from my heart. And whoever was meant to hear this, I see you. You are precious and phenomenal, and I love you. And I wish nothing but resilience, and love, and recovery, and beauty in your life. And remember everyone, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye everybody.

[00:49:21] Hey everyone. Thanks again for listening to the show. And just a quick reminder that if your company needs a speaker or a trainer, I might be the right person for you. I speak and do keynotes on confidence and resilience for mixed audiences, as well as do trainings on the daring way, which is the methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. So if you think it might be a good fit. Hit me up at support@andreaowen.com or head over to m speaking page AndreaOwen.com/speaking.