12oz of Sobriety

Triggers, Cravings, and Summertime Fun-Part 1

June 21, 2022 Pat, Robbie, and Carson Season 1 Episode 4
12oz of Sobriety
Triggers, Cravings, and Summertime Fun-Part 1
Show Notes Transcript

Summer is here which means you can find yourself in a variety of triggering situations. Cravings seem to be more prevalent in the summer months and we speculate on why that is. Carson just got back from a trip and Pat is about to take one, so we talk about ways to navigate those trips while maintaining sobriety. 

*This is episode one of a two-part episode. 

. Go to welcome to episode four, the 12 ounces of sobriety podcast.

I'm pat sharp here with my wonderful co-host Robbie and Carson. . 

Welcome guys. Welcome, uh, recording this on a Monday, , lots  of talk about today. Um, a lot of different things kind of going on this weekend, this past weekend. Noticed, , some triggers that were going on some cravings, not only with me, um, but within our circle, , our, our close community of sober people that the three of us interact with are we're all probably between 60 and 150 days of sobriety.

With some of our group texts we have going on there, there was, there was a lot of texts flying around, um, where people were, were having cravings, , asking for advice, asking for prayers to help get through them. So figure today, we're gonna talk about that and see if we kind of figure out why that's going on.

, I think I have an idea of why, and, and possibly some solutions and some coping tools to go with that also wanna follow up, , with Carson as he just got back from a trip this weekend in the mountains, 

We'll talk about that. I have a trip coming up where I'm flying up to New Hampshire in two days from now, , doing five days up there for a friend's wedding we'll inch. Chat about that and just kinda get into some real talk about how we're feeling right now. I'm,  , at 102 days sober. Carson you're 71 70 days today.

Awesome. Robbie you're what, 1 34, close to one 40, maybe like 1 36 or something. 1 36. Okay. So kind of hopefully talking about some relevant stuff to our listeners because.  I think I kind of have a, a reason or know why all of a sudden in our close circle, as people are talking about cravings and triggers, and I'll discuss that a little bit as well.

And so, but to kick things off Carson, how was the trip up to the mountains, man? I know you're excited looking forward to it. Did you have any trouble with any triggers or everything? Good to go? Yeah, absolutely. First I'd like to start and congratulate you. For your a hundred days, another trip, triple digits.

It's a huge milestone. Yeah. Triple digits on Saturday was pretty awesome. Very proud of you. I know that that feels good. And it was a, it wasn't easy to get there, but you did it. So we're all very proud of you

. So we went over to, as pat said to Asheville, uh, and we had a house, it was actually just outside of Asheville, about 45 minutes to an hour in Western, uh, North Carolina got us a little mountain house. We had 12 of us going to celebrate one of my best friends. 30th birthday had an absolute blast, but going into that trip, historically speaking, that is my time to shine, uh, being around all of our friends, especially when we get older.

Uh, we don't have as much time to see each other. We lead very busy lives. So that is when I break out I'm in my element and a lot of drinking is involved. , I was overwhelmed with the, not the, the support that my friends showed me about. 75% of them already knew going into this trip that I had become sober just recently.

Um, my wife and I talked it over, she, you know, made sure that this.  gonna be okay for me, the triggers weren't gonna be too strong and I was gonna be comfortable with that. So we did decide that this was a good group that we trusted everybody, and that we were gonna be able to have a good time despite not drinking.


was, was this your first trip that you've taken since you've entered 


Good question. Yes. This is the first trip, um, up until, so I'm on day 70 today. And so over the last two plus months, it has been a very, very, uh, structured. Uh, you know, day to day, uh, work outpatient, uh, chores, errands, nothing really exciting has been going on this podcast, this podcast, well, obviously this podcast, but we've been, you know, we've been very busy, so this was our first time to really let loose since I've started this journey.

So first trip, and this was the first, I would say major test that I've had. Um, but as, as I said, very overwhelmed with the support that I receiv. Uh, from my friends and the inclusivity that they showed me, , despite not drinking, you know, I told the rest of the group sat them down when I got there. Cause I didn't have a beer in my hand.

And, you know, initially that was whatever, but they noticed, you know, Carson normally has a beer in his hand or a glass of wine within the first couple hours. And they did ask me and so I sat them down. Just briefly gave them the rundown on why I was doing this and, , amazing feedback. I wouldn't have expected anything less, but we had an absolute blast and I, and I'm not exaggerating what I say.

Go ahead. Yeah. 

I was gonna say a good point. You just brought up if you're newly sober,  or, you know, in sobriety and you're telling people for the first time that you're, um, not drinking anymore and they're anything less than supportive, then you need to remove those people from your lives. Yep. Because, or anybody that's trying to egg you on.

I mean, people in your life should be very supportive of this journey that you're. Because you're trying to better yourself. So anybody out there that's listening, you know, and you have that conversation with people for the first time, and they're not a hundred percent supportive. You need to cut them out of your lives.

You know, that's something that I find very important is, and, and this is gonna be a future episode coming up, but kind of cleaning house and, and kind of getting rid of those types of people. But sorry, I just wanted to mention that real quick that make sure people around you are very supportive. 

Yeah, no, I'm glad you said.

I'm very proud of the, the people that I've surrounded myself with. And I'm very happy that they are not those guys that I need to cut outta my life, cuz that would've been a tough decision, but a necessary decision. , so going forward, you know, I think that, or I know that we are, none of our relationships are gonna be tainted in any way, shape or form.

Um, they're, they're gonna honestly, maybe even be stronger because it, the foundation is not going to be alcohol. , because 70% I would say of our relationships have.  turned into that. , because like I said, we see each other, so rarely the immediate, you know, the, the go to is to drink. Uh, we all wanna let loose who all wanna have a good time, but being able to.

To do that. Sober is a whole nother level. So,  , we had a great time. It actually sparked really good conversation and went from, you know, the addiction that I was dealing with, , with the drinking to overall health. And we talked about, you know, how we're all trying to better ourselves, whether it be exercise, whether it be, you know, , the, the, you know, the food that we put into our bodies, you know, I have a good friend of mine who recently has cut out soda and he, he, I mean, absolutely loved it.

Five, six sodas a day. And although that is not necessarily as detrimental to you as the amount of alcohol I was putting into my body, it's still something to be said that he's working hard on himself. And I was very proud of him. Uh, I was very proud of him and very proud to hear that he is taking those steps as well.

But,  , all it to say, not to believer on this, but we had a phenomenal time. It was one of the best trips that I've had in a long time. And I, and I don't say that just because we're on this podcast. I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart, uh, we all connected. We had many, many laughs. I lost my voice from laughing so hard and, and just shooting the shit with all my friends.

, we were up later hours of the night. I actually think I. Lasted longer because I was not drinking and, and passing out around 12, you know, we were up till three, just talking, sitting in the hot tub, just having all kinds of laughs sharing stories and talking about life. , and they were very, you know, they were very inclusive.

As I mentioned, you know, as silly as this sounds, they all took, you know, around to shots numerous times, you know, cheers to, to David who was the one turning 30,  

 So a very, very. You know, over the moon that, that they included me, that they have not in any way, shape or form, tried to push alcohol on me just to have a better time, had a couple buddies, you know, they asked me, Hey, you know, do you like seltzers? You know, bubbly, whatever you wanna call 'em in. And they brought me some of those and I was able to, you know, sip on that while we were hanging.

We played drinking games with our seltzer waters. I've never heard bubbles before. I'm bubbly with, for seltzer water. That's what people say. You want bubbly. It's it's called fuzzy water, fuzzy water. I've always just called it. Selzer water. Well, me too, but you know, soda, water folks out there do it. So I don't know.

Interesting. If you call bubbly the more, you know, the more, you know, Yeah. So, you know, sipping on that, playing drinking games with that, and it didn't, it didn't make any difference to me other than not catching a buzz because the, the camaraderie was still there. We had the excitement. Yeah. It real quick too.

Like you were saying, you're playing games and, and the excitement stuff.  Carson can do that. Um, he feels comfortable with it, but know your limits and know how comfortable you are with that. Not everybody can do that, you know, so know yourself and know how you would respond in those situations where you know his wife's with him.

So he has. The accountability. He has the support system around him where he can do something like that. But, you know, if you're in that kind of situation, kind of just know yourself and know your body and know your mind before you do something like that. Yeah. No know your limits. I'm glad you brought that up because I, I was, I did think about it a little bit and, and I, I was completely fine, but that might not be the case for you and that's okay.

You know, you might need to make a decision to not go all together. You might need to make. Decision maybe to, you know, walk outside or go for a hike or do something different while your friends are doing what they're doing. Cuz I know that you. You can, they can show you support, but at the same time, you know, they're still gonna want to do what they want to do and that's okay.

But for me, I was okay with doing that. And so we did that. They, um, as silly as this sounds, you know, they included me even in round of shots and, and it honestly was heartwarming because they all poured, you know, they were passing around the, the pink Whitney. Doing a shot to David. He, uh, he's my friend that, that was turned to 30 and he said, Carson, get over here.

And I was like, I kind of gave him a look like, what are you doing? And he, he had poured me a little shot of Gatorade and it was funny because we took our shot together. Mine was Gatorade. We had laughs and I was still a part of that. I still shared in the so-called communion that taking shots with your friends consists of it and is, and so.

That was really neat and it, and it really was just touching that they are still doing what they can to have me a, just as much a part of the trip as everybody else, despite me not drinking. And I had an absolute blast as mentioned. So, you know, that was really great. And, and just as pat mentioned a second ago, just surround yourself with people like.

That, that, you know, it doesn't matter if you're not drinking or smoking or using whatever you used to, as long as you can have the same amount of fun, uh, and be around the same people, it's really not gonna change things. And I walked away from this weekend, incredibly grateful, excited for what's to come and happy that, you know, things aren't really changing that much.

And my wife said something really touching after, you know, we were on our way home and, and if you know, Jamie at.  she likes to have fun, but she kind of re she's a little reclusive at times. And I found something out this weekend. Uh, that was, that is kind of a major reason why she said Carson, you know, the reason why I was much more involved in the games and, and in the conversation was because a lot of times I was kind of sitting back watching you.

And I was worried about you drinking too much. I was worried about what you were gonna do next. And I was always on edge. So I really didn't have that room to be able to let loose and have fun. Whereas this time I wasn't worried about you. You were having a great time. Yeah. And of course you didn't notice that when you're in your active drinking, because you were so consumed by the alcohol, that you didn't care.

And we become very selfish when we are drinking, because you just don't give a shit about anybody else except the boobs that's going in your body. Exactly. I, I had no clue. To until yesterday that that was wearing on her, even in those types of situations. So that was really eye-opening for me. And, uh, and it was cuz I remember sitting back watching her do her thing and you know, I'd kind of taken a break.

I was actually smoking a cigar outside, just taking in the beautiful views. I mean, I, we had an incredible view from our mountain house and I looked inside and she was just having the, the title of her life. They were playing a board game and laughing and, and, and just, you know, getting all competitive and.

And, and it was really, it was really sweet to watch her really having fun. And I did not realize that it was because I was getting in the way of that time and time again, and this time I wasn't. And so we both were able to really have, you know, a nice relaxing time with our friends and alcohol was not needed.

So I hope that encourages, you know, you guys listening to understand that you. , if you are surrounded by the right people, you and you go in with the right mindset, that alcohol or whatever drug that you typically use. Um, it's not, it's not a, a necessity and it's not a requirement in order to have a good time.

I had to rethink, I had to re approach this and, and relearn how to have a good time without alcohol. And it was not hard. So trip was great. We are, uh, we're back at it. And I'm nice and relaxed and I do not have a hangover. I repeat, I do not have a hangover, so we are feeling good. I was productive today and typical Mondays after a trip I'm done.

I you're not getting anything out of me. So, uh, we're, we're very excited. And, and, you know, like I said to what's, you know, for what's to come it's, it's all, it's all good stuff here. 

Carson. That's awesome. I'm glad you had a, a good time. And you were ex able to, you know, that's one thing people need to realize too, is you can have just as much fun. Well, I'm gonna say you can have a lot more fun being sober because you remember what happens. Oh yeah. I it's funny. I mean, I'm not saying that my friends forgot everything that happened, but there were a couple times where, you know, maybe there was a little bit of a fog and they'd come to me and like, yeah.

That, you know, this and that happened. I'm like, yeah, no, here's the actual story cuz I was there. I can recount everything that, that occurred. And it's nice being able to have your memory back for sure. Robbie, how was your weekend? I know you're spending some time with your girlfriend this weekend. I know you guys both went to rehab at the same time and you guys were apart for a while and you guys are being careful.

I, I don't know if that's the right word to say, but you guys are taking things slow. Getting back together now. Yeah. Um, so I had a really good time this weekend. Um, so, , you know, being in early recovery, it's very easy to become codependent, you know, really a hundred percent and your addictions just change.

, I think having that time apart was. It was great for us to focus on ourselves and, you know, , to sort of build up our own uh self-sufficiency you know, and, and determine what it is that we like, , or say the things that I liked, that I knew what I liked beforehand, but it's sort of like reprioritizing, , hobbies for me.

That's like making music. , watching soccer, Liverpool,

What are some of the things that you guys like to do together now? I mean, I'm sure maybe in the past you probably have gone for beers or something along that nature. What is kind of your go to for like a little date night or just hanging out? Yeah. Well, you see. Funny thing is we met in recovery when we were both, , sober for a minute.

, , so we were kind of in a place where the idea of drinking, like if one person drank, you know, it was like not good, essentially. We wouldn't try and like, Egg the other person on if, uh, relapse happened because, , you know, at least for both me and for her, uh, when we relapse, it's like devastating kind of cuz we know.

you know, at this point that we're both addicts. Um, but, , what we like to do is, , we like to go out to the Greenways in Charlotte, whole bunch of really nice Greenways. , it was it last week we went to, , a reptile store. That was, that was badass. well I got a dog. So I adopted a dog. So we're kind of like, co-parenting that dog.

Yeah. And tell everybody the dog's awesome. And you rescued it and it has half a lip. Like what's the entire story with this, with this dog. Cause wasn't it like part of the, uh, the police had it at one point or something crazy. Yeah. So. This dog was in the Charlotte like animal shelter for some crazy long amount of time.

And, , I think in part, because she can't be with other dogs and on top of that, She's missing like half her lip, cuz they didn't know if she had cleed lip or if she got in like a fight, but um, and she's eight years old. So, uh, I was like interested in dogs and I wanted one that wasn't like too high energy since I'm at work a lot, I needed something that's okay with being a homebody.

, so I, I saw this one and I was like, oh, that little cleft, cleft nose, lip thing that that's adorable. So I adopted it. And next thing you know, , I, you know, I get this message from the Charlotte observer and this lady's like, oh, you know, I wrote a, I wrote a story on perstephanie that's a dog's name last week.

, you know, can I do a follow up with you? I was like, what did you even know about the story that she wrote before you got the dog? Yeah, no, I didn't realize I inherited a famous dog.  the dog has like TikTok videos from, , her foster foster parent that have like 10,000 views and stuff like that. And I was like, oh man.

And then I, I just kind of messaged today from the weather channel, cuz some lady did a report on her and she wants. Once an interview as well. Some like start a podcast, get interviews. It's like, I'm, I'm on the road to fame now. Well, you know, what's kind of cool is I was thinking, you know, this, dog's got that CLE lip, cuz I've gotten into a fight.

You know, it's eight years old. It was in foster forever. And now it's got a brand new life, just like we all have brand new lives and sobriety. And I, you know, I always think things happen for a reason.  and for some reason, I think this dog came into your life at the right time,  that you found it and that you guys found each other.

Because if you think about it, you guys are both starting this new journey together. So hopefully, you know, that dog will bring you some peace and, and serenity moving forward. I'm sure it will. And, and that's awesome that you can, , with the, , Charlotte observer and the weather channel and, uh, make sure you mention our podcast when you're talking.

People as well.  I can do that. Are you guys think what I'm thinking? What we have a mascot. Ooh, I do. I like that. That would actually be a good mascot. She's pretty cute. Yeah. She, we have our official mascot and my dog Tucker might get pissed about that. But's alright. We're not explain it to her. We're not gonna tell Tucker, I'm not gonna tell my three cats.

Meatball, Tim brigans and ducky that. We're just gonna leave them out of this. We can, we can have multiple mascots. Okay. Well, we got five now, so that's good. And also we are lining up a multitude. Interview. So I'm thinking we get her in on one. We can get her to talk about her experience as well and per Stephanie.

Yeah. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So, no, she's a, we'll add her to the list. Yeah. She has a little list from her. Uh  that's left lip, but that's okay. She'll do a great job. Right? We need to do a recording. Just bring all or I'll bring my dog, you bring your dog in, let them play together while we record sometime.

And that would be fun for them. Cause my dogs old too, they, they just probably just sit there and stare at each other and sniff each other and that's about it. But yeah, my cats will come in. They'll try to ni. All the mics off. Oh, I'm sure to give it a little bop. I know my parents cat, Larry loves to knock everything over.

Oh, everything. Nothing is safe. Yeah. Anyway, so back to, you know, talking about alcohol. So this weekend I played Saturday, I played golf. me and my dad went out. We had a tee time at, uh, 12, 10 got there. It was upper eighties, low nineties, which was actually, it sounds really hot, but it's been about a hundred for two weeks here.

So it felt somewhat nice, I guess. And anyway, so we're playing the course was super busy. Uh, we were waiting on every tee box, took us four and a half, five hours to get through that round. You know, I was hot, got home. Had to chair a 12 step meeting at seven.

So I kind of rushed out the door and I just, the cravings hit me so bad. All I wanted to do was drink. And I got to the meeting, um, about, I got there about 30 minutes early and we do our meetings outside and I was the first one there and I just sat outside and I had a. Or ounce styrofoam cup with me, which I, if you know me, I have that with me everywhere always.

And , a lot of times he goes, you know, Carson's talking about his buddy, who's trying to quit soda. I added soda, uh, to replace alcohol, but I filled that up. I drank, , drank two of those full water and I felt better a lot better actually. And one of the things we had kind of mentioned last episode about nutrition and about, you know, making sure you're keeping your blood sugar at a good range.

That you don't go long periods of time without eating that you don't get angry because then you're more susceptible to a re, relapse at that point. And that's, I think what happened to me Saturday is I was tired. I was a little dehydrated and I was hungry and all I could think about was drinking. And so I drank some water and I ate a snack and sat down and just kind of rested for 30 minutes before my meeting started.

And I felt a ton better. And. You know, so that's something to kind of think about is if you, if you're having a craving, why figure out the why and try to fix it. And at that meeting that I was chairing, I brought that up as a topic about triggers and it, it was a small meeting, but most people brought something up about how they had recently had triggers.

And, and one of the people there had brought up that at work, their work dynamics had changed this week to where somebody wasn't there that usually. And so this person was doing the job of two people. And this person said that they had not had cravings in years. And this week it was the first time they did.

And I had told that story and this person, it was like a light bulb went off and they're like, that's why I had cravings because I was picking up these extra slack from work. I was hungry. I was tired. You know, I'm not used to doing that much work and that's what, you know, caused the cravings. And so by me, you know, telling my story and she picked up on that, so now she'll know this week going in, okay.

I need to just, you know, talk to my boss or whatever that person needs to do. So they're not as tired, make sure they have snacks, things like that to avoid that. And so I think it's very important to kind of notice when you're having a craving or there's something that's triggering, figure out why try to break that down a little bit.

Because then you can avoid those going forward. I really like this little, uh, I'm looking at this little relapse kind of timeline thing and it goes, trigger, thought craving use. And, , I kind of like the way that it, it does that kind of breaking it down cuz like the trigger. I mean it could, it could be all sorts of things, you know, emotional triggers like death.

Family loss of job, , butting heads with a coworker, , that sort of stuff work could also be like physical like illness, which, you know, goes hand in hand with part of what I think too is going on because in our tax groups there's been, we've had a few people mention that they've been having problems with cravings lately and triggers.

The last two weeks here, it has been unbearably hot. It's been the upper nineties and low hundreds. And I don't think, I think that has messed with people a little bit. I don't think people are hydrating it enough. , I think that that can cause physical conditions. You know, and also in the summer we have 4th of July coming up, you know, you think back in your past, a lot of summer activities involve drinking.

And so I think part of it is in the back of their head, they're used to it being hot out and them drinking. They're not drinking the heat's causing a little bit dehydration. You know, the heat can wear you out a little bit. And your first thought is substance use.

So we're gonna split this up into two episodes. This is gonna be the end of this one. Check us out on social media, Twitter at Instagram at Facebook, 12 ounces sobriety, uh, on basically on all those email us questions. I'd love to do a question and answer to end each show, just at least one or two questions that we have some discussion on or email us questions at 12 ounces.

Sobriety pod@gmail.com or shoot us a DM and Instagram or Twitter. Anything like that? Wanna say, thank you again for listening. We are now up to 10 countries and 160 different cities here in the United States, which is amazing. So thank you very much. Have a good day.