Carly Benson joins us today on The SHAIR Podcast the founder of Miracles Are Brewing. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and Coaches. She is a Certified Christian Life Coach through Light University and has also served on the Board of Directors for Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Her mission is to teach people to love their weirdness and to bring forth the most epic versions of themselves. To live epic lives that are purpose-driven, passion-fueled, faith-centered and serve others in a way that offers impactful change.
But life wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows for Carly. For a decade, her life was jam packed, fully loaded with a party scene on constant repeat as if she had an IV of adrenaline directly connected to a brain that didn’t think the word NO even existed. There was no place she wouldn’t go or thing she wouldn’t do to get her fix.
One morning after a night of drug-filled oblivion and reckless alcohol consumption, she made the decision to clean up her act. Not really sure how she made it out alive, the only viable explanation is that God and his angels were watching out for her.
Over the years, Carly has told her story to friends, family and even people she just met. The first thing they always ask her is: “How did you do it? How did you change your life?”
It all started with a prayer…
Clean Date:August 17th 2008
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Omar: Question number one: What was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced to recovery?
Carly: My initial resistance, I guess, was two things. I had myself convinced that I didn’t have a problem, because I was such a high-functioner. I went to work. I paid my bills. I wasn’t sleeping on the streets. In my mind, my ego was a real big block. I kept thinking I could figure it out … that I could do it. I didn’t want to ask for help. I didn’t want to admit that I had a problem. My ego … that was the biggest thing was my ego. My pride was getting in the way.
Omar: Absolutely … for so many of us.
Carly: Happens, yes.
Omar: Number two: At what point did you have a spiritual awakening … that ah ha moment when you accepted that you were powerless over drugs and alcohol for the first time … but you developed that hope that you really could recover?
Carly: Oh man. I guess the major spiritual awakening happened in that moment when I got down on my hands and knees for the first time and begged for a miracle. What was interesting was … a small little story I’ll tell you here … is I got sober on August 17th. My best friend’s birthday was on September 11th. I was three weeks into this new sobriety thing. It wasn’t just like, oh we’re going to dinner and getting a bottle at a club. It was a whole weekend extravaganza, and I went. I was like, “I might be sober, but I’m not going to be boring.” I’m not missing my best friend’s birthday.
I went that weekend, and it was really hard. They were drinking. They were blowing minds. I was standing there with my Red Bull on the other side. I was just observing. We had rented a boat. Someone fell off the boat. There was fighting. There was drama. There was crying. There was the this and the that. I remember standing there and I was like, “Man, I’m so glad I don’t look like that right now.”
I think maybe that I’m not missing out on anything.
Omar: Carly, do you have a favorite book that you would recommend to a newcomer that you read in early recovery?
Carly: I’ve already been plugging the Bible a lot, but I know that’s probably not going to resonate with everyone. I will mention, I did read a book in the very beginning of my sobriety called Rational Recovery. It was a great book. I guess not all parts resonated with me, but there were some really powerful parts in that book that clicked for me. I highly recommend that book. It really teaches you how to become a witness and aware of the voice in your head, which the author refers to as the beast that tells you drink and to use. It’s like, “Oh, it’s happy hour somewhere. It’s five o’ clock. I had a bad day at work … better hit the bar.” It teaches you how to become aware of this nasty voice in your head that tells you that those things are a good idea. It actually tells you and it trains you how to tell it no. You begin to have this conversation in your head between your beast voice and your higher self voice.
I remember I read that book, and I was just shaking my head like yup, yup. I know exactly what you’re talking about. That happens to me all the time. Rational Recovery, and I think the authors name is Jack Trimpey.
Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction – Jack Trimpey
Omar: A revolutionary alternative for overcoming alcohol and drug dependency. Carly, tell us what is the best suggestion you have ever received?
Carly: Oh, man, I’ll tell you what. Last year on my sober date, 7 years into this game, I was sitting there and I was like, “Man, I don’t know if I want to do this for forever. Do I never want to drink again really?” I could just have a glass of wine and check it out. On my sober date, mind you. I called that same friend of mine that I had called in the very beginning who is two months ahead of me. I was like, “Man, you know I’m really struggling today.” It wasn’t that I wanted to get drunk or that I wanted to get high. It was more like I felt like I didn’t have the option even if I wanted to choose it because of all the work that I’m doing with Miracles Are Brewing. I was really struggling. It was a thing where I was like, “Man, even if I wanted to do this, I can’t.” It’s not because I wanted to, it’s just this weird thing going on in my head.
He helped walk me through it and he was like, “Okay, explain to people what if you did just have one and then that one turned into two … and then that two turned into three … and the next thing you know, someone’s laying lines out in front of you. Are you going to be able to say no? What are you going to tell your parents? Are you going to shut your website down?” He went through this whole thing of … “I wasn’t thinking about … where are you going with this? I wasn’t thinking anything like that.” I’m like, “No, I didn’t think about any of that. I just really don’t know if I want to do this for forever.” He said something to me in that moment that changed the game. I had heard it before, but it was like, “You know what, Car … you don’t have to do it for forever. You just have to do it for today.”
Omar: That’s the world we live in. Just for today.
Carly: It sounds cliché, but I’m telling you that was the best advice I’ve ever gotten. I don’t know why it’s something so simple. I feel like a lot of the times … especially in early recovery when you’re explaining to people that you’re not going to drink … they want to know … so never? You’re never going to drink again? You can have wine, though, at least? It’s the concept that you have to navigate around. That is the one thing that I would suggest is when you start feeling heavy and forever starts feeling like forever and never starts being like a scary word, you just have to do it for today. Just today … make the right decisions today.
Omar: Beautiful. If you could give our newcomers only one suggestion, what would it be?
Carly: Remember why you started. You get down the line, and you forget the pain and the shame and the guilt and the depression and the anxiety. You forget about all those things. It’s very very important to always put yourself in check and remember those times. Remember why you started. I’ll tell you what. That is one thing that has kept me sober. I always ask myself, “But how are you going to feel tomorrow if you do this today?” I do not want to feel that shame. I felt the shame of addiction, but I’m willing to bet that the shame of relapsing is a million times worse.
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE NEWCOMER
“Remember why you started.”
Omar: Tell our listeners what’s the best way for them to find you, to reach you, your websites, your social media … how do we get ahold of you?
Carly: My website is miraclesarebrewing.com. That’s where I do a weekly blog every week. You can sign up for weekly updates. It’s free. I send out a blog every Thursday or Fridays, depending on how that week’s going. It’s inspirational. I share things about sobriety, faith, personally development, all kinds of cool stuff. Then the real magic happens over on the Facebook page which is Miracles Are Brewing. You can get to it from my website. We have a really strong tribe going on over there. It actually just hit 25,000 last week.
I had my sober-versary and that happening at the same time, which was really cool. Very uplifting … daily positive inspiration. There’s 5 or 6 posts a day on there. It’s pretty cool to get involved. Some cool conversations happen. I’m on Instagram, too. That’s more of a behind-the-scenes king of thing of where I’m traveling to, what I’m up to. My handle on Instagram is Carly B Benson. That’s the same for my Twitter as well.
I wanted to tell you real quick, for my 8 year sober-versary, I created a tank top. Right now I only have it for women’s, and I haven’t really released it to anyone. You can get it on my website. It actually says sober is the new cool. I wrote a blog about it a couple years ago, actually. It went completely bonkers crazy viral and seemed to really resonate with everyone. Sober is the new cool. That is available on a tank top on my website. It’s actually a limited edition you can’t, because it’s a Teespring thing. There’s only a certain amount of them that are available.
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Thanks again for your SHAIR, Carly!
See you then!
Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.