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.
Today we have my good friend Austin Linney joining us. Austin lives in San Antonio, Texas and is married to the love of his life for ten years. He is a real estate investor with three properties and five Airbnbs. Austin is part owner of Kaizen Accommodations, an executive short-term rental company with properties across the USA.
Austin has been in the service industry for 19+ years. Hospitality is something he truly was born to do. Serving and helping people is a calling that fills his heart with great joy.
Listen to his battle with drugs and alcohol as well as overcoming paralyzing, self-limiting beliefs that were holding him back in life.
O: So, first of all please take us into your daily routine, what does that look like?
Austin: I get up around 5:30 or 6:00 am for meditation for 15 minutes and then get ready to go to the gym, then the regular job.
O: How do you maintain your spiritual condition; do you have a spiritual practice?
Addiction can be a driving force for some of us, it may propel some of us towards things like drugs, alcohol, food, money, success even our phones.
O: Was there ever a time when addiction played a role in your life?
Austin: Yes, in my early 20s I used to do drugs so I can feel normal. I am highly ADHD and was dealing with my issues with my father. It was the only time I could calm down the thoughts in my head.
O: How old were you the first time you drank or used drugs and more importantly how did they make you feel?
Austin: I was 15 when I drank alcohol the first time. I felt like a badass and truly was probably hoping I would get caught to get attention from my parents. It’s funny as I’m writing, these things are coming up. I spent my whole childhood, I think, trying to get in trouble sometimes to seek significance.
O: What if anything did that addiction cost you?
Austin: My health and money. There was real bad month there where I stayed up for a week and lost 30 pounds. Truly rock bottom for me. I moved to Austin and amazingly just quit drugs cold turkey with pure will. But if you would have asked back then, I would have told you no way I had a problem I just do it on the weekends. The truth is I have a highly addictive personality.
O: As a coach I hear stories all day from people who say, “I can’t do this because” or “once I achieve this, I’ll be happy.” They learn and pick up patterns from role models in their life not realizing that they are now in charge of their story.
What is the story that you used to tell yourself, your biggest limiting beliefs and what is it that you believe NOW?
Austin: My old beliefs were stated as follows:
I was unsuccessful because I didn’t graduate from college.
I was the reason my parents got divorced.
I was undeserving of the success that I have achieved.
I was a fuck up.
I needed to look up to people because I wasn’t on their level.
I want to say this has taken a ton work and mindset shifting!
I am a person deserving of all the gifts and joy in my life because the hard work I have done.
I am a person of strength and power that can move mountains.
I am a person that can empower individuals to push past the boundaries of their own limitations / beliefs!!!!
I am an amazing real investor.
I am a person of substance with a heart as big as Texas.
I AM NOT THE REASON MY PARENTS GOT DIVORCED (Free from this one but still looking through the ashes).
O: Many of us have had a moment in our lives when we drew a line in the sand and said to ourselves, “Not one more day, not one more hour, not one more minute…I will no longer tolerate this in my life.”
What was that pivotal moment in your life when you turned it all around? What made the difference for you?
Austin: I had done a ton of personal work, but something was holding me back still. The bullshit and dramas surrounding an event was all fake. That was my holy shit moment. Stripped away years of crap, but the true awakening happened when my father called me Friday and told me the real reason of my parents divorced and it wasn’t me. I have been set free of that burden.
O: Tell us about an aha moment in your life when you realized you were now moving in the right direction?
Austin: Friday at 3:20 pm central time when my father told me the truth about the divorce 20 years later. It’s an amazing thing that happened yesterday! I am free! I am unbound by the years of bullshit! I can lay down my battle armor and sword! And live for me! I will use this journey to help people on levels they only dreamed about.
O: Do you have a favorite book you would recommend to our listeners?
Rich dad poor dad
Austin: What are your 3 most powerful I am statements?
I am deserving of my success.
I am a great husband.
I am a person that can inspire others to reach their full potential.
O: What is your personal success formula or blueprint for success?
Austin: Work and then work some more. There are too many people sitting on the sidelines not taking action. This life will not hand you a magic ticket. You need to go out there and make opportunities for yourself. Also surround yourself with positive and badass people.
O: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Austin: The best advice I ever received was the read Rich Dad, Poor Dad at 17 years old. If shifted my entire mindset into working for myself.
Also, from one the smartest men I know. The only thing your wife wants is to spend more time with you…and if your wife is supporting you in making more money, it’s only in the hope that it will mean she will finally get more time with you. BAAAMMM!!
O: What is one parting piece of wisdom you would like to share with our listeners with?
Austin: Your purpose in this world is greater than you. When you realize that, with your actions and with your words, you can change/shift someone’s entire life. So, get out of your own head and do something for someone else and I guarantee you, it will come back tenfold.
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