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.
Gigi Langer is the author of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection. This book is full of the ideas she used to free herself and others from worry. It also encapsulates her personal story which involved relationship failures, codependency, perfectionism, sexual abuse, and addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Today she is thirty-one years into sobriety and is on The SHAIR Podcast to talk about what she’s learned from her training in psychology and over 30 years using tools from recovery programs, cognitive therapy, energy work, and a variety of spiritual and scientific teachings.
Gigi’s story is one of courageous healing. Don’t miss this episode!
About Gigi Langer Ph.D.
Worry Less Now
Do you want to stop dreading the future or reliving past disappointments?
Thirty years ago, Gigi Langer was a prisoner of her worries who used alcohol, romance, and professional accomplishments to soothe her frayed nerves. When she stopped drinking, she began applying tools from therapy, recovery programs, scientific research, and a variety of philosophical and spiritual teachings to overcome her anxieties and stress.
Worry Less Now offers four life strategies and 50 eclectic tools to dissolve the whispered lies of negative self-talk. Although many books address negative thinking, very few give the reader step-by-step directions on how to defeat it. Others simply advocate a single approach.
With candor and humor, Langer describes a wide variety of strategies that helped her and others defeat dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, addiction, and worry about loved ones. As an award-winning writer and professor, Langer skillfully shares compelling stories and exercises that empower readers to:
-MANAGE life’s most difficult challenges with calm wisdom
-CREATE relationships that blossom and thrive
-FULFILL your dreams without limitations
-SERVE others in their personal growth
Regardless of the situation, you’ll be able to gain peace, clarity, and wisdom.