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.
Jonathan Sylvester is a Recovery Coach, Nutritionist, Fitness Expert, and the developer of The Sobriety Blueprint, RecoverU, and Win Your 24.
It’s hard to believe that 6 years ago, Jonathan had destroyed all his relationships, had no education or opportunities, and was totally broke. He was addicted to prescription pills, and his whole life revolved around supporting his daily 30 or more Vicodin and Soma habit.
Today, Jonathan is doing much more than just staying sober. He’s designed a simple sobriety blueprint that optimizes all aspects of his life. He also helps others do the same.
Are you ready to consider the endless possibilities for your life in recovery? Listen to this episode!
Jonathan Sylvester’s addiction spawned from his childhood when he was the chubby kid who always felt less than everyone else. During his freshman year in high school, he started smoking marijauna. This lead to selling marijuana, which later branched into cocaine, and eventually, prescription pills.
At first it was fun. He got a lot of attention as the dealer and the respect he craved. But then friends started dying. His best friend was killed in an accident that involved drugs Jonathan sold to him. Using drugs stopped being fun and started being necessary just to survive. He couldn’t even get high anymore.
He was exhausted and defeated. He walked into a meeting and heard other guys telling his exact same story. He knew he wasn’t alone and saw hope for the first time. Jonathan surrendered and told himself that if he gave 100% to his addiction, he would give 120% to recovery.
“I didn’t want average sobriety.”
After getting clean, Jonathan discovered that fitness and nutrition helped him to heal and feel better about himself. He became a trainer and realized that merging physical self-care with recovery was a powerful combination.
The Sobriety Blueprint Podcast
“Sobriety is not enough for guys like us. If we don’t build a happy, healthy, and successful life that goes beyond just staying sober, not only are we selling ourselves short, we’re more likely to return to active addiction.”
Host Jonathan Sylvester and his guests discuss how to recover the man you were meant to be through stronger sobriety, personal development, fitness and nutrition, healthy relationships, business, and finding financial success.
This is The Men’s Guide Thriving in Recovery and in Life.
The Sobriety Blueprint Principles
These 3 Principles are the guiding force behind The Recover U Coaching Program:
Reinforce Your Recovery
Your foundation is built with tools that enable you to excel and thrive in a 12 Step Program of Recovery.
Upgrade Your Mindset
Your old way of thinking won’t get you far in your new life. Rewiring your mind for success is vital.
Optimize Your Body
Your body is your recovery vehicle. It’s going to need a tune-up for you to stay sober and live the happy, healthy life you deserve.
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