I started using alcohol at age 15 and it felt like the perfect solution to my childhood trauma and dysfunctional home life. My values changed almost immediately, and I went from having LDS background to the other end of the spectrum. I got a DUI when I was 16 and many underage alcohol misdemeanors. I was kicked out of high school and was ashamed that I had a GED and not a high school diploma. I was pregnant at age 18 and was able to stop drinking but started again shortly after my daughter was born. I didn’t have any more legal consequences after that first DUI, mostly because of luck. My biggest consequence from drinking was that it stunted my growth as a human being.

My recovery from alcohol has really been about recovering from the reasons why I drank, which I can address now that I am not drinking. My threshold for being unhappy was fairly low, in comparison to others’ stories. This is not to undermine or deny what I went through. I had withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, shitty relationships, and no sense of self. When people in AA say, “If I drink, I will die,” I don’t entirely relate. If I drink, I may die eventually and my disease will continue to progress, but more likely, I will be miserable in my existence. I won’t achieve my purpose, be connected to a higher power, or have fulfilling relationships. I have learned that my addiction to alcohol is a symptom of trauma, and drinking was merely a coping skill.  Alcohol worked very well to numb my pain and it helped me disassociate. I didn’t even know I was disassociating until I started my recovery journey. It becomes more and more apparent that I didn’t know how to cope with my feelings or know how to be comfortable in my skin.

My personal work and successes have been on self-forgiveness and love, forgiving others, learning healthy boundaries, and being the best mother possible. I am in recovery from alcohol and co-dependency. I am learning how to feel my feelings, cope with life, and stand up for myself and my worth. I live in Idaho, and I am a single mom to 3 amazing, beautiful daughters. I am so proud of myself for breaking the intergenerational patterns in my family.

My curiosity about sobriety started about 3 years ago. I started listening to podcasts in the beginning of my recovery and found The SHAIR Podcast with Omar Pinto. I loved his voice and his energy. I have found his interviews to have a profound impact on my ability to see my addiction as an opportunity and not a dirty secret. I eventually became a member of his FB group and then joined the SRC where I have connected with so many amazing people in recovery. I feel the SRC group has kept me sober.

I can access meetings via Zoom which has been crucial to me since I am at home with my kids and haven’t found an AA group in my community where I feel connected. The connection with others in the group has saved me from loneliness and isolation. I have found a sponsor in one of these groups who was willing to complete the 12 steps with me which has been transformational!  I am almost 5 months in my recovery from alcohol and 95% of the time, I don’t even think about drinking. I am so grateful for the SRC, the SHAIR podcast, my sponsor, the step work, and online recovery.

Arlina Allen is a writer, the host of international podcast “The ODAAT Chat Podcast,” and founder of Sober Life School. Sober since since 1994, Arlina has been married for 21 years and is the mother of two teenage boys. Today, Arlina joins us live in the SHAIR Recovery Community for an exclusive Q&A with our members!

Arlina used drugs and alcohol to self-medicate her emotional pain. She lived in a fantasy world and believed that if she could just find the right man, her problems would be over. Arlina spent so much time and energy disconnecting that she couldn’t see a life beyond her pain.

Listen as Arlina answers questions about what she’s discovered about herself during 25 years in recovery!

Arlina Allen

Arlina was a binge drinker who used to believe finding puke on her shoes in the morning meant she had a great time. Alcohol brought out her alter-egos. She never knew which one of them was going to show up at the party, and she didn’t remember what they did either.

Arlina always thought her life would straighten out if she found the right man, but Prince Charming never came to save her. Nothing changed until she removed alcohol from her life.

Listen to her first episode, SHAIR 186: Sober Life School.


“The intention of this podcast is to share stories of recovery from people who have stood at the abyss of addiction, and my some miracle, made it back to live free and reach for their dreams.

I myself have been clean and sober since April 23, 1994, I have been married over 20 years and have two teenage boys and a wealth of friends.

Addiction is but a symptom of a deeper problem. The goal is to heal the root causes so that you can be the person you always wanted to be and live the life of your dreams.

Together, let’s end the shame and stigma of addiction so that anyone who is struggling can heal the past and grow from their experiences…One Day At A Time #ODAAT”

Arlina Allen’s Links




SHAIR 186: Sober Life School with Arlina Allen