On today’s Episode of the SHAIR Podcast angry Lauren no more takes us through 2 decades of relapse and recovery. For 10 years Lauren self-medicated her anxiety and depression with Marijuana and a cocktail of other illegal street drugs. Her first bottom brought her to a rehab center where she is introduced to recovery and remains sober for 7 years. She gets married, has her first child and stops going to meetings. Join us now as Lauren takes through her horrific relapse and how she finds the instruction manual to recovery and happiness. You don’t want to miss this episode.
SHAIR – Sharing Helps Addicts in Recovery
Here are Lauren B.’s SHAIR Podcast interview highlights and suggestions for the Newcomer:
Clean Date: August 14, 2012
Tell us about how your life is today, your hobbies, what you do for a living. Take us into your normal daily routine, including recovery.
Lauren: Okay, well right now I have a three year old boy so the majority of my day is taking care of him. I did used to work all the time and now my life is my son. I wake up, I get him ready for school, and I do some things around the house. I’m very, very active with my sponsee and my sponsor and I do recovery almost every day. I am the chairperson of my group and I do service all the time. I either try to make coffee, clean up or run a meeting. So my normal day is just taking care of my son, trying to be present with him. I sometimes get really caught up on what he’s doing, what he’s not doing and the drama around that and I forget to be present. So that’s like my battle during the day.
Let’s talk a little bit about your past now. How old were you the first time you drank or used drugs and more importantly, how did they make you feel?
Lauren: Okay, so I was thinking about this and really my passion was with drugs and the first time I smoked marijuana was amazing. It was probably one of the best experienced I’ve had and still had today. I had a friend who lived in NYC and people in NYC were always faster than us out in the suburbs and I remember her saying that she started smoking pot. I called her and said “can you please bring some pot? I need to smoke” and I’d never smoked before. She came up and I was ready to do it. A lot of people don’t get high the first time but I smoked two joints and I got so high and I laughed harder than I’ve ever laughed in my life. We ate and laughed and talked all night and it was just, it made me feel great.
What was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced to recovery?
Lauren: I think that I was keeping myself from getting clean. I didn’t want to admit that I had a problem with drugs and alcohol. I really thought it was all my depression. It was all my depression or my mood disorder, whatever you want to call it. It had nothing to do with the drugs and alcohol that were keeping me down. I think that the first two months, luckily I was in a rehab because if I wasn’t in a rehab, there is no way I would have gotten sober. These women in the rehab got me through those tough times and taught me how, yes you have a problem. If you have to do cocaine all the time, that’s a problem. If you’re not eating food, that’s a problem. You know, my disease rears its ugly head in a million different ways, but I think that was the biggest thing keeping me from getting clean. I could not admit. I never was the person that was like “I’m not going to use tomorrow” because I didn’t think it was a problem. Huge denial.
At what point did you have a spiritual awakening, that ‘aha’ moment in recovery where you accepted that you were powerless over drugs and alcohol, but for the first time had developed a hope that you could recover?
Lauren: It was the last day of rehab and I was writing in my journal. I was big into journaling at that point, which I highly recommend when you can’t talk to other people and I remember writing the last entry and feeling as though I came into a full circle: “wow, I haven’t done drugs and alcohol and I feel great. I feel fantastic. I’m able to get out of bed, I’m not sleeping all day, I’m not crying, I’m not screaming at people”. This was the first time I realized that because the drugs and alcohol were no longer in my life that I was able to recover. I was able to be the person that I wanted to be. I had a shot.
Do you have a favorite book that you would recommend to our listeners?
Lauren: Right now my favorite book is the Big Book because it is an instruction manual in how to live my life. In the doctor’s opinion, which is now like the most incredible chapter ever, is revolutionary for newcomers to read.
The number four question is what is the best suggestion you’ve ever received? I think you just used it.
Lauren: The stuff that comes in my head because I’m an alcoholic doesn’t go away. I still have the crazy thinking, but I think maybe the best suggestion, don’t think, don’t drink and go to meetings. That was the best at the beginning. All you have to do is put the drink down. Don’t drink no matter what happens. If your ass falls off, pick it up and go to a meeting. I’m sure you’ve heard that saying.
If you could give our listeners only one suggestion, what would it be?
SUGGESTION’S FOR THE NEWCOMER!
“Get a sponsor and get involved in a home group and do service ”
Lauren: To get a sponsor and to get involved in a home group and to do service because when you do service and when you raise your hand in a meeting, people get to know you and become interested in you and they want to care about you and then that’s how your recovery starts. I think that’s it.
That’s perfect. Great suggestions Lauren.
Lauren: I did want to say one other thing and then I’m done. I don’t know where you’re going to throw this in, but do you guys talk about the promises?
O: We haven’t, but you can talk about them.
Lauren: The promise that got me and to this day is the best promise is: “intuitively knowing how to handle situations that used to baffle me”. That is it for me. That is the most incredible thing that I got out of this program.
O: Well I remember that for me as well there was so many times in my life where I felt so lost and it wasn’t just about one thing. It wasn’t about one time in my life. It was year after year. Things would present themselves and I would not know what to do. When I came into the program and I remember that being part of the promises, I’d go “oh man, I can’t wait ‘til that happens for me” and when it started, it was for me another one of my huge ‘aha’ moments and spiritual awakenings. I was like “wow this program just keeps delivering and keeps delivering”. All the promises have come true. They’ve come true for me. There’s no question about it.
Thanks again for your SHAIR Lauren!
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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.