In this week’s podcast, I had the privilege to interview Louise from the blog “A hangover free life”. She spoke about going from drinking irregularly to going on big blown-up drinking episodes where she ended up doing something embarrassing she’d regret.
It wasn’t the horrendous bottom she’d heard others going through but she’d seen what her family’s drinking had done in the past and she didn’t want her own children to witness that.
After getting absolutely hammered at a family BBQ and her children seeing her crawling up the stairs in a drunken state she decided the next morning that enough is enough and that things had to change.
She spoke about recovery being a personal journey and the importance of not comparing ourselves to others as this can work as an excuse not to seek help when we need it. If it’s a problem for you then it’s a problem.
We also spoke about how to gain the awareness of knowing when to quit and how long this took for Louise.
”I knew that my alcohol was a problem which was why I wouldn’t discuss it in therapyLouise Rowlinson
Her childhood was traumatic and chaotic. Witnessing substance abuse and domestic violence between her parents wasn’t a safe place to grow up in.
She was discussing all of this with her therapist but somehow admitting that she had an alcohol problem was something else entirely. If she didn’t bring it up in the therapeutic space it didn’t really exist. What mental threads are you scared to pull on?
Louise spoke about her experience in therapy and how it helped her overcome depression, grief, trauma and eventually helped her in her addiction.
”Give me a reason and I’ll drinkLouise Rowlinson
Every emotion was a reason to drink. If she felt happy she would drink, if she felt sad or angry she would drink. She had seen her parents do the same and it came easy for her.
”I had no idea about emotionsLouise Rowlinson
She mentioned the old saying that our emotional maturity is stuck at the age where we start using. When she got sober she was in her mid-forties with an emotional maturity of a fifteen-year-old. Her first year sober was an emotional rollercoaster. It was as all emotions needed to come out in order to heal.
”Getting sober was hard work but it was the best decision I’ve ever madeLouise Rowlinson
Waking up without a hangover and learning to deal with her emotions in a healthy, productive way was worth the while.
Alan Carr got her started on her recovery but she emphasised that the timing was right for her to quit. With a background as a nurse, she was very aware of the psychological and physiological withdrawal switch that kicks in in addiction, very often without warning. The time the addiction goes from that of psychological withdrawals to intense physical withdrawals where one would need medical help to detox.
”Sobriety delivers everything alcohol promisedLouise Rowlinson
She stumbled across various blogs on addiction and after six weeks sober she decided to start her own blog to help her stay on track in her recovery.
She recommends the following quotes and to read various blog posts online. If AA or Smart Recovery meetings work for you then that would be a good idea too.
The most important in her opinion is to find something that works for you.
”If you need booze or drugs to enjoy your life at the fullest, then you’re doing it wrong.Robin Williams