My podcast guest this week is Jeanna Fox – she’s a sobriety coach, podcaster, and writer.
As a college professor, she inspired thousands of young adults to pursue their dreams. These days, she uses her own experience to help women recover from addiction and childhood trauma.
In this Episode
- Jeanna was a late starter with her drinking – in fact, it wasn’t until after her gastric bypass operation at the age of 36 that she started to develop a drinking problem.
- Many people who have this operation to lose weight go on to develop a problem with alcohol – because alcohol becomes a new alternative to overeating.
- Not only did Jeanna turn to drinking instead of eating to numb her feelings, but so stood did she struggle to regulate her intake. Sometimes she would pass out after one drink and other times she could have several and be fine – her reactions to alcohol became unpredictable.
- She had lots of blackouts so, of course, she introduced the “rules”.
- Only drinking at certain times, restricting to certain amounts, tipping barmen to ensure all her drinks were alcohol-free – and no texting. Of course, like all of us who set rules around our drinking, she then went on to break them!
- Tragically, Jeanna lost her son to suicide and turned to alcohol to numb the pain –she drank for seven straight months and had several drinking-related accidents which ended up in hospital.
- She also got arrested for drunken behavior so was in real trouble.
- However, one day she came across a Medium who helped her to feel a connection to her son.
- This was a spiritual experience that became part of her recovery.
- She got sober with AA and almost immediately wanted to help others.
- Geanna had been abused as a child and she felt that this experience, combined with her alcoholism, gave her the insight she needed to help others.
- She explained how she loves to use Plato’s allegory of the Cave – and how as we escape from our addiction it’s our duty to go back in and get people out!
- We talked about AA and the way that they don’t like to talk about childhood abuse in the rooms – which annoys Jeanna because its one of the causes of her alcoholism – and for many others as well.
- Jeanna is working with her partner, Vince, to set up a membership program.
- The membership is for families of alcoholics – we agreed that many people go to rehab, then return to the family. The family expects them to be “cured” but in fact, the whole family needs to work together to make things change.
- Jeanna has a byline on her Linkedin Profile that says “If you’re successful with alcohol just imagine what you could be without it”. I love that and think it’s so true – even if alcohol doesn’t destroy us it will stop us from reaching our potential.
- We talked about how pleasure and pain are big motivators – in early sobriety, we are motivated by pain as our memories of the trouble alcohol caused us are fresh – but as those memories fade we are at risk of convincing ourselves we can have “just one”.
- William Porter describes this as Fading Affect Bias.
- The Challenge is to push through this and then the pleasures of sobriety will take over as the motivator – and the awesome thing is that those pleasures keep coming as you discover the “surprising joy of being sober”.
- We talked about warning signs and agreed that feeling that you may have a problem with alcohol is a big one – the fact that you are listening to this podcast is a bit of a clue…
- Jeanna’s advice to someone trying to get started is to join a community and just listen and learn – even if you carry on drinking just listen and learn for a while…
Jeanna has a podcast (Backporch Chats) and a website nowsobercoach.com
This episode is sponsored by the Tribe Sober Membership Program. If you want to change your relationship with alcohol then sign up today
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