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 two of a two-part episode.
Welcome back to 12 ounces of sobriety podcast. My name is pat sharp. This is part two of episode four.
I apologize. Splitting these up. We just running, , a little long on doing it all in one, we got a little long winded, so we're gonna split up in two that way. , we're the episodes aren't too long. And so with that, we'll jump right back to. .
. . Carson. One of the things you were about to get into was discussing, , triggers with work, right? . So what I was gonna touch on. you know, being on the cravings topic is there are a lot of guys that, oh, were in our outpatient program that travel a lot for work. Uh, we have some lawyers, doctors, a lot of businessmen, , that are in sales. And we do quite a lot of traveling, , across the United States or in our territories.
And with when it comes to traveling, it includes a lot of things. One is staying in a hotel by yourself. Uh, so at. It's a heavy trigger being alone. Maybe you don't have anything to do for the rest of the night. You're in a different city. You don't know anybody. You've got a hotel bar downstairs. You've got probably a lot of bars relatively close by being in a major city.
So that can oftentimes trigger people that, um, they don't really know what to do. And I've learned a lot of things in my experience that can help you essentially save you from yourself. , number one, I think we've touched. Before, but just to reiterate, if you are in an airport and you have a layover, , you can go to, , I think it's go to the counter.
Pat. Do you know where you go to, to ask? Yeah. If you go to any ticket counter or any, uh, gate, , gate counter, yeah. And request, , friend of bill. Yeah. If you have them page. That you're looking for a friend of bill. Somebody will come and find you at that point, right? Yeah. Uh, where you are just tell 'em, Hey, I'm looking for a friend of bill, meet me wherever you are.
You will have somebody come up there. Uh, that is sober. That is in a program to talk to you about that, you know, that's a great coping skill to have, right? Yeah. So go ahead and ask them that. And you'll have someone come within the, you know, 10 or 15 minutes to come sit down with you. Um, I've heard, and this is actually very.
Creative, but I've heard of some guys who they will call ahead if, especially if you're staying in a little bit, fancier of a hotel, if it's on the company dime, uh, they'll have mini bottles in the hotel rooms and they'll just be, you know, they'll be surrounded by, you know, high end. Uh, alcohol and, and bar scenes and all that.
So they'll call ahead and they'll say, Hey, you know, I've booked my room for, you know, from Wednesday to Saturday, this is my name. I want you to put me on the no alcohol list and they will put you on a black list, literally that it, you cannot get alcohol, even if you ask for it. , so that's a really neat idea because, you know, you can call ahead when you're not craving anything.
Go ahead and set that precedent. Hey, I am not going to. Do not let me drink. And so that's something to keep in mind when you're traveling and that'll really help, you know, abstain from alcohol while you're on the road. You know, another thing that's good. And, and I know this may not pertain to everybody, but most of you, it can get a tax group going or have phone numbers of people you can call.
If you're traveling, have people, you can text you, you can call. If you are having any triggers, anything pops. You're having those cravings reach out to somebody pick up the phone. You know, it it's sometimes that simple because if you start talking about how you're feeling, that's kind of almost the number one step.
Tell somebody else that understands, tell another alcoholic, tell another drug addict, whatever your poison is. even if it's gambling or something like that, talk to somebody else in recovery for whatever substance you're using or a group of people. Again, I alluded to this before about our text group.
I mean, we're constantly texting each other, you know, And it helps to have that communication. And if you don't have those people go find the, go to a meeting, get phone numbers at meetings that every, I, I guarantee you, if you go to a meeting, 90% of the people there will happily give you your phone number.
And they'll happily answer. If you call or text them, you know, That's what's so great about the sobriety community is how supportive everybody is. And I've noticed that on Twitter, especially that there's a huge, huge community of sober people on there that are truly looking help. Worst case scenario,
reach out to us on social media. I mean, I check Twitter all the time. I get it directly to my phone. I mean, if you, if you need somebody to talk to reach out, I'll talk to you or Carson will, or Robbie will one of us. , we're doing the show because we not only are trying to help ourselves, but help you, you know, that's one of the key components of the 12 step program is, you know, if you're an alcoholic, helping an alcoholic, So just wanted to, you know, talk to people about that when you're having triggers, when you're having cravings, you know, have a plan, have coping skills and, and we'll get into other coping skills at some point, because talk about different coping skills and things you can do.
We'll take a full episode and, and we have a, our first interview will probably be next week also, and we'll be talking to a therapist and I have a feeling a lot of that will come.
The rest of this episode is going to be done without Carson, as he had a prior engagement he had to get to. So you're just gonna be listening to me and Robbie, uh, just wanna touch on a few other things. I have a trip coming up to New Hampshire. Going to a friend's wedding. Uh, this will be my first trip kind of, since I've gotten sober again, , you know, I'm at a hundred, two days.
And because of after my last relapse, I was like, all right, I'm single. I have no kids cuz you know, I'm divorced, no kids living alone. It isn't the greatest thing. So I moved with my parents for the. Layer of accountability and, you know, I've just stayed super busy in those or a hundred, two days. You know, I completed the outpatient rehab, intensive outpatient rehab. , we kicked this, , podcast off, you know, in the nights I wasn't at outpatient rehab. I was at a meeting and then I work full time as well. And I haven't missed a day of work. So I haven't really even had time. Think about drinking and now all of a sudden I'm going away for five days, I've taken a couple precautions about that because I think I'm in a very good, , spot mentally and spiritually to take this journey.
So, but being cautious, I did my flight. I booked early morning flights. My flight leaving Charlotte is at 6:50 AM. My flight returning is at like eight o'clock. That way and get to the airport right away. Did direct flights. So no layovers. And then all my buddies that are in New Hampshire know that I am sober now.
And I'm lucky where two of them, two of my good friends up there are sober as well. And both of them have some decent sobriety time. One, I think's like getting close to two years and the other one's in the 430 day mark, , the, the guy who's wedding, I'm actually going to. He's been sober for 430 days. And the other guy that's reaching, , two years, we've already discussed, going to meetings with him while I'm there.
And I think I'll be fine, but you know, I just wanna talk about it a little bit because it is a little nerve wracking for the first time that I don't have anything structurally planned in my life. And I'm gonna be away from home for the first time, since in the a hundred and you know, two days I've been sober,
I commend you on letting your friends know, , , you know, in my experience, I've had no problems when telling people like, Hey, I'm an addict.
Yeah. Well, obviously we don't have an issue with it because we're doing a podcast where anybody can kind of hear our story. Yeah. You know, and this goes back to what we were talking about earlier a little bit with all the triggers and things like that. And, and talking about those, you need to talk about 'em, you need to tell people how you're feeling, uh, whether you're happy or sad.
, anything that's going on that could be causing, you know, a craving or some kind of trigger. The open communication is really what you need to have. And we're at that point too, like I said, Robbie's, you know, getting close to 140 days, I'm at a hundred, two days. And I think the pink cloud stage is wearing off a little bit.
Oh yeah. And for the, those who aren't sure, or a new sobriety, what the pink cloud is, Robbie, you wanna kinda explain what the pink cloud is. Yeah. So,
um, I like to think of the pink cloud as like, I, I liken it to the honeymoon period in a, in a relationship. it's almost like there's, there's this restored hope and you're doing stuff to kind of better yourself and given how bad off you were.
You know, when you're using all of a sudden, you're seeing all these changes very quickly and, , you're sort of motivated to do life again. over time that starts to wear off. You start to see a little less progress going on. , and if you're not maintaining a certain level of like, you know, personal, personal growth, it, life can really kick you.
You know, it can really kick you. And, , what comes with that, you know, is it's the saying that I hear all the time you get restless, irritable and discontent, and, , it it's, it's a red flag. Um, and, and for me, at least at this point, I can tell when I'm feeling like that, cause it, it is a drastic UHAL change.
yeah, I'm the same way. Like I was telling you about playing golf, you know, the other day it was hot out. I didn't drink enough water. I was tired. I was hungry, you know, and I'm just like, ah, but so I worked on dealing with that. I drank some water, I ate something. I, I sat down, calmed down and part of mine is cuz I think when you get outta the pink cloud phase, it's called hitting the wall phase, kind of where, you know, everything was going so well, you're feeling so great, but life still happens and you start to realize that life still happens and you just almost gotta push through it because early in sobriety, you know, once you get to that 90 days, About 120 days, you're feeling good, you know,
you're feeling very accomplished.
Now talking about the, you know, going from the pink cloud to kind of hitting the wall, you almost just have to fight through it, keep working, you know, towards it, cuz it does get better. And that's kind of the, you know, once you get to that six month to a year phase, Where you really start life becomes normalized again to where being sober.
You, you're not thinking so much about that. Just make it one hour at a time. And you, you still have to live one day at a time and keep it keep sobriety as the number one focus in your life. But the, the day to day struggle is not there as much. And I've yet to get to that phase. That's just kind of, I'm going off of what I've heard.
But, you know, so if, if you've kind of hit that wall a little bit, just, just keep fighting through it, try to find activities that you enjoy doing. Keep your mind busy, you know, do anything that you possibly can, like, you know, I was talking about the Twitter community. And, the recovery community there. I, I had sent out a tweet earlier just saying, Hey, let me know how many days sober everybody is.
And we're up to close to a hundred responses on that. And any of those people, uh, can't talk you through anything. . ,
I've sort of hit a wall to a certain extent, I would say, , noticing like the irritation. , I, I think being busy is definitely something that is necessary for me. you know, it's a disease of the thinking and I kind of like that cliche that's, uh, Move a muscle change of thought. it's like, what am I gonna do differently?
Because I've tried at least in all my little, uh, attempts at recovery, there's always this idea like, oh, I'm gonna figure it out. You know, I'm gonna figure out what needs to be done. And, you know, , I'd say the more time that I've spent trying to get sober, the more I realize is, I don't know. but, uh, one thing that I can say that is.
super detrimental and will definitely lead to cravings and feeling irritable and stuff is more time. I spend alone less time. I spend connecting with other people a hundred percent and that's one of the reasons I, it moved in with my parents because, and I'm gonna do that till, you know, at 6, 7, 8 months in until I know I can responsibly be alone.
And part of that is, you know, I've been working through a, the, with a therapist working. On reasons why I drink and starting to kind of undercover those starting to undercover my feelings, my emotions, talk through those. And that way you're just not stuck sitting in your own feelings without knowing how to process them when you are alone.
Because I think that's kind of what happens to a lot of people. And I'm fortunate to, to be in that situation where I can, you know, go stay with my parents for a while until I can get everything back under control. Yeah. You know, there's a certain level of getting comfortable in your own shit. Some people say, and like, I know that feeling, it's like, I know that I'm not living the life that I want to live, but I'm more comfortable staying where I'm currently at than, than enacting some sort of change.
And, and, you know, it's very similar to being depressed. I mean, it, in the sense that. You know, I did get less and less active. I start to cut myself off from people. And then the idea of a drink becomes, , not so bad because it's like, can life get any worse than this? Yeah. And with the drink, that's when, you know, going to meetings and having a community of, of sober support is so important that way when you're kind of in that rabbit hole of deep of dark thoughts.
You have somebody to reach out to, and it's important to, you know, go to meetings. I know for me, if I go to a meeting that I'm going to, I'm not gonna drink that day because meetings are generally very positive. If you go there and, and I guess it's with anything else with sobriety and recovery, you get, , out of it, what you put into it.
And if you go to a meeting and you're going to that meeting with a purpose of helping your sobriety for that day, You're gonna come out of it, a better person. You're gonna come out a bit stronger. You're come out of the positive attitude towards your sobriety, and it's gonna give you the strength to make it the rest of the day.
I think the thing that is important to know when you have those triggers, when you have those cravings already have something in place to deal with it, have that support system, have somebody you can call, have a local meeting, a home group, something that is familiar to you that you can go to for support and that you can talk it through it.
Yeah. I think it's good to have like a set out plan in sort of my expectation. For yourself if, if craving comes up, , I have plenty of people in my film that I can call, that I don't know if I said it before, but, , you know, it's really my preventing, even getting to that point, , I think is a large portion of what I I'm trying to do, in that is.
You know, talking to other people in recovery, , staying busy. Yeah. And I wasn't great at picking up the phone, , early in sobriety, but it's something I've gotten a little bit better at lately because it is helpful. It is helpful. I find it very helpful to talk about if I am struggling in sobriety whatsoever.
And you can discuss that with somebody else because another alcohol's gonna know exactly what you're going through. You know, that's, what's great about, we talked about last episode with rehab and with meetings is you're talking to other people that have been through the same experiences that you have, and that is helpful.
That is therapeutic. It's always therapeutic to talk about your feelings and learn how to talk about your feelings. Like I said, it took me going to see a therapist on a weekly basis. And I'm not ashamed of that, that I had to do that either to learn how to even discuss my feelings and start digging down and figuring out okay, why I was drinking, you know, any traumas in my past, you know, there's been some things in my adulthood that.
Have sucked. And I've learned that I was drinking to kind of cover those up. And when I would tell people kinda what I'd went through, they're like, oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. And I've just, my response was always, it is what it is. That's fine. I don't care. Or, you know, And I shoved all those feelings deep down side, and working with the therapist, I've been able to kind of open up and that's gonna help me with my sobriety moving forward.
I remember, um, first, when I was first getting people's numbers and stuff like that, , and first talking to people in recovery, me and I had to deal with a lot of conversations that were like small talk and just, , I mean, conversations that I was just not interested in. Over time. The more that I did that I started to gain interest in the conversations.
The more time I had sober, the more interesting I became, the more interested I became in, in other people. Yeah. And, and that's the thing, one of the things I wanna say real quick is the old saying is. Especially when you're entering sobriety early on, get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Oh yeah. And it gets easier.
, and I think it goes for all three of us, I enjoy helping others. I want to help others on their sobriety journey because I know how tough it is, how tough it's been for me. And if somebody's having a tough time, I want to be there for them because I,
I know how beneficial sobriety is and how our lives are just so much better. And if you're getting sober, whether it's drugs or alcohol, you're gonna lead yourself to where the point, if you're an addict, Um, whether it's drugs or alcohol, you're leading yourself to an early grave. There's no F ands or abouts about it, or, , life in jail, or, you know, you're not leading anything good.
And it makes me feel good to help somebody avoid going back to that old lifestyle and them finding the good in life. It's good for society. It's good for our community. It's good all around. I think the 12, if you look at the 12 steps, the 12 steps work for life. In general, you take the word alcohol out of the first step and you can apply that to anything.
It just teaches us all to be better human beings. And that's what I think we're really trying to do here is help those be become sober and stay sober while we're trying to help each other as well. Cuz I'm trying to, you know, even though I'm talking about this, I need help. Robbie needs help. Carson needs help.
And by us helping others, it's helping ourselves and just a growing community of sobriety and people in sobriety and living sober. And I'm hoping, you know, we can start a new trend here. It's cool to be sober. Yeah. , you know, I think the basis of this, all the recovery programs kind of recovery, you know, recovering a purpose in life is, is what I.
, or think of as in, in all the different programs really. And, , I think service is, is largely, uh, pretty common amongst the recovery programs too. And, , you know, over time that that becomes a purpose, you know, and being of service makes it feel like you're living for a purpose. Yeah, absolutely. And service work could be something as simple.
you get to that meeting 15, 20 minutes earlier, make sure the coffee's ready to go. You stay afterwards, make sure, you know, things are cleaned up the counters wipe down or, or wherever or whatever. Just eight something small that takes you. Five minutes is considered, you know, sober, reach out to somebody in sobriety every day.
Just reach out, just say, Hey, how are you doing? Or, Hey, I hope you're having a good day. That's considered, you know, just service work, just reaching out and being a. Person. ,
so the service work is, is just very important. One. You're helping your fellow alcoholic or drug addict, and two you're helping yourself. It's gonna make you feel better.
yeah, service work, you know, it, for me, it's as easy as, , you know, picking up trash that I see, like in the parking lot, in my way to work.
And also, I mean, keeping stuff tidy, you know, if I'm borrowing something from someone, if I'm using the restroom, , a public restroom that is, you know, , they're saying, you know, leave it cleaner than when you got there. So, yeah,
absolutely. Just don't be a scumbag, be a better human being. Yeah. And when you're a better human being, it's gonna make you feel better as a person, which is gonna go a long way in your recovery as well.
Uh, that's gonna wrap it for today. I know some of the topics that we have coming up are going to be coping skills, , society. Paul, um, kinda around the media portrays it. We are also gonna start interviews very soon. Uh, we got some awesome interviews lined up with some professionals in the, in the substance abuse field to.
To talk about that and get some, get their words kind of, you know, from a therapist's point of view, a counselor's point of view, and these people are specialized in addiction and recovery. So it'll be awesome to get theirs. I would love for feedback, anybody that has a topic that they would love for us to talk about.
We are wide open to do so. Again, if you have questions, let us know. You can reach us on email 12 ounce sobriety, pod, gmail.com. We're on Twitter. We're on Facebook. We're on Instagram. I think all of those are just 12 ounces of sobriety. So reach out, let us know, keep living one day at a time, stay strong if you're having issues reach out and we will talk to you next time.