Rebecca Spuller joins us today on The SHAIR Podcast.
Today Rebecca walks us through her horrific battle with alcoholism, depression, suicide and death in the family. It’s an incredible journey from recovery and how she transformed her life.
In the past 11 months, she’s gotten sober, left a 6-figure job to start my own consulting company and basically, just reinvented her life. She created a blog called My 2.0 Project where Rebecca has chronicled everything she’s been doing since shortly after she got sober.
When she first started this blog, it was under the cover of anonymity due, in part, to her profession as a corporate HR manager, but also, because she was still harboring a lot of shame and embarrassment about her alcoholism. Well… fuck that. She works for herself, no longer embarrassed, and is not inclined to hide any more.
Join us now as Rebecca shares her amazing journey with us.
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Here are a few highlights from our interview to get the full story please join us on the Podcast now!
Omar: What was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced to recovery?
Rebecca: You know, it was really two sides of the same coin. First, it was pride. I was convinced that I could take care of this myself and that all I’d do is just buckle down. Then, when I realized that that wasn’t really the case it was shame that kept me out longer. I was embarrassed to admit it. I had a lot of shame. I didn’t want to tell anybody. So I think if I … Once I realized I couldn’t control it myself if I had not had that shame, I think I would have gone into recovery sooner.
Omar: All right, so number two. At what point did you have a spiritual awakening, that “Aha” moment in recovery when you accept that you’re powerless over drugs and alcohol, but for the first time had developed a hope that you could recover?
Rebecca: I was that moment when I was sitting in my sponsors car, after that meeting where I went back and looked at the quote-unquote coincidences that had led me to that point, and all of the ways that they connected to my life. I knew, and people can talk about coincidences all they want, but there was no way all those things happened on accident.
I knew that if … That was probably the part that I struggled with the most, saying that I didn’t come from a very religious background, and so I didn’t have a strong faith coming in. But once I was able to recognize that there was very clearly something, some force that was acting in my best interests when I couldn’t, then I knew that I could stay sober.
Omar: I love it. All right, so then number three. Did you have a favorite book, that you would recommend to a newcomer? Say you had an early recovery.
Rebecca: I have read so many books. Fabulous, fabulous books I would have never read before. I’ve actually on occasion … I’ve been kind of doing little reviews on some of the books I thought might be helpful for people. One of the books they read in early recovery that I really loved was, ‘Being Sober’ by Dr. Harry Harout-. I can’t even pronounce his name. Haroutunian. He’s the clinical director for Betty Ford. It was almost like a primer. It kind of, in a very easy language, walked you through the signs and symptoms of what could potentially be alcohol abuse or an alcohol and a drug addiction. It explained what happened if you went into a treatment center. It explained what happened in AA meetings. It dispelled a lot of the mystery of AA meetings and even kind of helped with some of the vernacular and some of the sort of catch phrases and things like that.
It talked about what to expect physically and mentally when you first quit drinking or using drugs. It was really, for me, because control is such an issue. Not just for me but every alcoholic I’ve ever met. It was a great way for me to know exactly what I was going to expect to happen.
He just has such a kind way about him. He also is in recovery, he talks about it in his book. He talks about how he got to where he is. It’s like a trusted friend is walking you through. Here’s what’s happening to your body. Here’s what’s happening to your brain, your thoughts. Here’s what’s going to happen if you go into treatment. Here’s what you should expect if you walk into an AA meeting. Even something as simple as having a dollar, just stuff you don’t know until you do it. So I really found that book to be extremely helpful.
Of course ‘The Big Book’ was a great book too. I don’t want to make it sound like that wasn’t also equally powerful. What I found interesting about ‘The Big Book’ was before I started my recovery I did download ‘The Big Book’ onto my iPad and tried to read it, and it was like reading Greek. I didn’t even … I was like, “I don’t even know what this is.” I thought maybe I had the wrong version or something, because I wasn’t ready for it. Later, I, for a while attended a Big Book reading group meeting and of course the language is what the language is, but it absolutely made sense and resinated with me. So that’s also a great book.
But ‘Being Sober,’ I thought was just really phenomenal on the way that he just kind of held your hand and walked you through the process so that it wasn’t so scary to take that first step.
Omar: What is the best suggestion you have ever received?
Rebecca: This isn’t exactly a suggestion, but it kind of is. There was a guy in one of the groups that I was in, and he would always introduce himself this way, and it always resonated with me. He would say, “I’m Brian and I’m an alcoholic, because I drink, and we don’t.” What that meant to me was the power of the group, the power of connecting with other people, so as individuals we are alcoholics but as a group we are a people in recovery.
To me, especially early on, that was a reminder to continue to reach out. To continue to connect. It was not my go to, to connect to other people in that way, but it reminded me that it was important. Another way to say it, was in meetings they would always say at the end, “Keep coming back.” And that was something that I just had to do.
Omar: Right. So, I love it. That’s a great suggestion. All right, so if you can give our newcomers our only one suggestion, what would that be?
Rebecca: That what it is. We can’t do it alone. Reach out. Reach out to anyone. Find someone that you can speak to. There is no way that I was going to get sober by myself. So when I reached out to my friend and then I reached out to the Facebook group and to you, that’s what set-off that entire series of events that allowed me to get sober. Someone is struggling, and they’re isolating themselves out of shame or whatever, they just need to reach out to someone.
Website – My 2.0 Project
Facebook – Little Miss 2.0
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Being Sober: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting To, Getting Through, and Living in Recovery – by Harry Haroutunian
See you then!
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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.