“Being a grateful alcoholic means no living in the wreckage of my past,” says Maria R. as she looks back on six years of sobriety. Maria did not start drinking problematically until her 40s, but once addiction took hold of her life it dragged her to a bottom that would not be easily escaped.
A must-listen episode for anyone struggling to understand chronic relapse.
Erica C. Barnett had her first sip of alcohol when she was thirteen, and she quickly developed a taste for drinking to oblivion with her friends. In her late twenties, her addiction became inescapable. Volatile relationships, blackouts, and unsuccessful stints in detox defined her life.
By the time she was in her late thirties, Erica Barnett had run the gauntlet of alcoholism. She had recovered and relapsed time and again, but after each new program or detox center would find herself far from rehabilitated. “Rock bottom,” Barnett writes, “is a lie.” It is always possible, she learned, to go lower than your lowest point. She found that the terms other alcoholics used to describe the trajectory of their addiction–“rock bottom” and “moment of clarity”–and the mottos touted by Alcoholics Anonymous, such as “let go and let God” and “you’re only as sick as your secrets”–didn’t correspond to her experience and could actually be detrimental.
With remarkably brave and vulnerable writing, Barnett expands on her personal story to confront the dire state of addiction in America, the rise of alcoholism in American women in the last century, and the lack of rehabilitation options available to addicts. At a time when opioid addiction is a national epidemic and one in twelve Americans suffers from alcohol abuse disorder, Quitter is essential reading for our age and an ultimately hopeful story of Barnett’s own hard-fought path to sobriety.
Wanja Joy believed in hard work and good behaviour. She had strict rules for her daughters, a career she loved, and thought she was doing everything right. But one day she felt a desire to escape rising within her, and she answered it by allowing her daughters a rare morning of cartoons and cereals as she added wine to her orange juice. It seemed to come out of nowhere, this desire for alcohol, but it helped.
In time, Wanja learned that the need to escape was stemming from the pain of past events, long buried and disregarded.
Today, Wanja lives her life in connection with herself and her gifts. She has faced the trumas of her past and helps others do the same. Learn more abot Wanja Joy on her website https://www.actionsinrecovery.com/air
George Marriner Maull is a conductor, violist, television host and music educator with over 50 years of experience as a professional classical musician. He has conducted at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and venues in Europe and has recorded for the Naxos label leading the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Founder and Artistic Director of The Discovery Orchestra, a nonprofit music education organization, Maull has devoted his career to making classical music accessible. He has helped millions of individuals around the world develop the active listening skills to deeply connect with music and become “virtuoso listeners.”
Maestro Maull reflects on the ways in recovery has changed his life. With over 36 years of sobriety, Maull continues to maintain an active program of recovery and exlain why this is important to him.
Her mother died of alcoholism when she was six and left behind seven children some of whom later lost their lives to substance abuse. The impression her mother left in her life inspired Lucy to reach out to women who suffer from addiction and women with children. She desired to help bridge the gap from troubled lives and help women become independent and self-sufficient. Today, her dream has become a reality with Mary Hall Freedom House (MHFH), named in memory of her mother. Through a community of sisterhood, Lucy coaches women to free themselves from the past and live every day for the future. Over 10,000 women and children have achieved recovery through Mary Hall Freedom House since founded in 1996; by empowering them to end the cycle of generational addiction, poverty and homelessness.
(affiliate links for Hope Dealer by Lucy Hall and documentary Hope Village)
The Sober Lush authors Amanda Eyre Ward and Jardine Libaire share their personal stories of recovery and explain how their friendship unfolded into a writing partnership. The Sober Lush is not your average recovery memoir, but a collection of essays and reflections on how life’s beauty and decadence can be heightened by sobriety.
Affiliate links for resources discussed in this episode:
Margaret shares her story as part of her double celebration: 50 years old and 1000 days sober!
As a kid who felt awkward but just wanted to fit in and be liked, Margaret lost herself into the expectations of others, choosing a career she wasn’t passionate about and allowing her own wishes to fade into the background in an effort to stay agreeable. When she discovered wine, it seemed like a solution to her discomfort. As her pattern with alcohol became problematic, she had to overhaul her thinking completely.
Kara epitomized the image of a good girl. She was brought up in a deeply religious family, followed the rules, and helped to care for her younger siblings. She did not drink alcohol until her 21st birthday, and even then it was an innocent experience. After she was married and became a mother, she discovered that a bit of wine helped her get through hard days with little ones and things quickly unravelled.