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.
Sometimes it’s not a huge, dramatic leap that changes our lives, but one small first step towards recovery that triggers an inner and outer transformation.
Today’s guest is Theo Bill. He is an entrepreneur and life coach who used to be overweight due to his emotional eating and a bottle-a-night wine habit. In 2015, Theo was in the middle of a stressful move, facing the possible bankruptcy of his company, and the crumbling of his 9-year relationship. He knew he wasn’t in a life-threatening situation, but he still wondered, when everything was falling apart, what was the point of getting up in the morning?
Theo knew he wasn’t strong enough to quit drinking, but he did make one small decision that created a domino effect new habits and behaviors that completely transformed his life. Now he is happy, successful, and has something he never dreamed possible—six-pack abs!
Listen to how gain momentum from small steps towards your recovery in this show!
This is about me, Theo Bill. And I’m not a bunch of facts and figures – in fact none of us is, I believe. We are our story though, and this is mine:
According to psychologists, some of the most stressful events in someone’s life is moving, divorce, and job loss. In 2015 I had moved my home AND business, and had made the decision to end a 9 year relationship. I nearly hit a trifecta! But I was also facing the impending bankruptcy of my company, so call it 3 out of 3. That I didn’t develop some awful disease, have a heart attack, or commit suicide is a miracle (although I certainly contemplated why I should bother going on).
I had the brilliant idea to rent a cabin in Lake Tahoe for my birthday for a romantic getaway. I figured if I could work on my marriage, it would be the foundation for all else. It was a beautiful place – wood lined walls, a big, beautiful loft, a hot tub outside – a perfect place to watch the stars from, especially when you’re more than a mile above sea level.
Let me backup a bit here…my ex and I had been going through a lot over the last year. We were moving our farm, business, and home to a new town about 5 hours to the east. Up and over the coastal mountains of northern California to the central valley – a much better environment for our business to thrive.
The entire move took nearly a year.
So….fast forward to my actual birthDAY and we’re talking about our relationship, our marriage – the culmination of 9 years of being together. Lots had happened over the last year – a lot of pain and anger, and a lot of exciting changes too. But that day we were only talking about what had held us together for the last 9 years – our love and ability to see past anything in the other.
And it happened.
We said the words – “It’s over.”
What a birthday present! Ha!
But in actuality it was a magnificent present. I don’t know that I’ve gotten a better one in my entire life. But I sure didn’t know it at the time!
You see, my body was in a shambles. I was 40 pounds heavier and had a 40 inch waist. I was drinking more than a bottle of wine (all by myself) each night to try and dull the pain and loneliness I was feeling inside. On top of that I was still eating pretty rich farm food – a lot of eggs, tons of (homemade) bread, pork from our pigs, and just in general not moving around much despite living on the farm.
When someone sees me for the first time now though they get a certain impression. I get asked how long I’ve been training, and most people are pretty surprised it isn’t a lot longer than it is. I’m grateful I’ve been able to make the improvements in my health and body that I have, but I’ve also worked really hard for it – and now I’m hooked!
I grew up as a scrawny, dorky, buck-toothed geek with glasses (aka “four eyes”)! I’m sure you know (or knew) the type. In fact I was in no better (probably much worse) shape at 38 than I was at 14! But when my waist size suddenly matched my age, I knew I had to do something soon or I’d be staring at a heart attack or worse.
If you looked at my life from the outside – happily married for 9 years, owning and running a successful 7 figure business, and the excitement of a new town, you would have thought I would be living a great life.
But I was way past my threshold of what I could tolerate. It’s important in life to know your comfort thresholds – and I was WAAAAY past mine! Instead of dealing with the stress in a healthy way, I let my stress get the better of me. I kept holding out for “things will get better.” The eternal (drunk) optimist!
Back to Lake Tahoe – When I was smacked in the face with reality, I had no option other than to take a pretty hard look at my life.
It’s funny how life works sometimes.
And what I saw wasn’t great. It was pretty dismal actually. I’m grateful I never got to the point of contemplating suicide seriously, but there were some moments that I thought it would be easier to be through with this life, that’s for sure.
One of the first things I did was to start reading – about body AND mind – what I was going through psychologically, but also I wanted to learn how to rebuild my health.
I get asked by a lot of folks what did I do, where did I get my training – can I train them, etc… And I offer tips and suggestions as I can, but I always thought – there are people out there way more qualified than me to help these people.
Until a good friend finally convinced me that I did have something to offer – especially to people just like me.
So many people in this life get convinced that they can’t do something. And the saddest part is it’s their own doubt, shame, and inexperience that is in the driver’s seat. I’m absolutely convinced that if someone has the desire, the knowledge, and the tools to form new habits, you can do just about anything!
Having founded, scaled, and exited from a successful 7-figure ecommerce company, Theo brings over 20 years of business experience in branding, web design, marketing, finance, systems, and management.
His passion around helping others succeed and live a life of joy and happiness led him to create Coaching MBA. He considers coaches to be true Superheros – being able to rescue others from the depths of depression and and self-hatred into a life of love, compassion, and connectedness.
Like the show?
Support The Recovery Revolution
If you would like to Donate to The Recovery Revolution you can do so using PayPal! The entire amount of your donation will go towards maintaining and growing the show.
To Donate now click on the Donate Button below!