My guest today is Brendon Watt who overcame his alcoholism to become a worldwide speaker, best-selling author and facilitator.
In this Episode
- Brendon grew up in Australia, within an unstable family and a lot of abuse
- His father had a formula for what a man should be, emphasizing the importance of being tough and having a trade
- Brendon tried to conform to these expectations by working in construction but by his late 20’s he was depressed
- By trying to gain his father’s love and respect he lost himself and knew the life he was leading was not the right life for him
- By chance, he discovered a technique called Access Consciousness and decided to give it a try
- Brendon booked a session and spent an hour and a half sobbing as he released his buried emotions
- He was so inspired by the Access Consciousness process that he trained to be a facilitator and began to make some positive changes in his life
- However, he was still struggling with alcohol, which he saw as his “back door” – his escape
- This made me think of Glennon Doyle who talks about using alcohol as the “easy button” to avoid emotional discomfort
- Like so many of us Brendon spent years trying (and failing) to cut down on his drinking – trapped in an endless cycle of stopping and starting
- Brendon eventually hit rock bottom and decided to go to AA
- Although he was terrified of losing his back door escape he persevered
- He attended lots of AA meetings and worked with a sponsor
- He realised that he was going to have to go through some painful stuff, including stuff from his childhood that was very difficult to face
- He realised that going through this pain would result in personal growth
- He did the work and gradually his life began to change
- We agreed that the journey to sobriety is a process that leads to freedom and a more authentic life
- We also agreed that getting sober was just 10% of the journey but that it was the essential part – without sobriety we cannot tackle the rest of the work and learn to thrive
- When we quit drinking we need to take responsibility for our happiness – we can no longer rely on alcohol for those chemical highs
- Happiness is a learned skill and if you want to learn how to keep your happy brain chemicals firing then listen to last week’s podcast with neuroscientist Staci Danford
- Sobriety also enables us to consider other parts of our lives – are we eating healthily, does our exercise plan need stepping up… are we in the right job or the right relationship?
- If you need help looking at your life and deciding what needs changing, check out Glennon Doyle’s book and journal – called Untamed – some great triggers for those big scary questions!
- When I first realised that I would have to quit drinking I saw sobriety as a punishment but Brendan and I both agreed that in reality sobriety is a gift
- The journey to sobriety allows individuals to deconstruct their lives and build them anew, something regular drinkers may not experience
- At Tribe Sober, we recommend a book by Laura McCowen – the title is “We Are the Luckiest” which says it all really
- Another quit-lit book title that says it all is “The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober” by Catherine Gray
- Our conversation touched on the importance of honesty, and integrity, and Brendon gave us a great example of catching himself in a lie – realising that when he was drinking the lies would come automatically
- We discussed the misconception that external sources, such as money or substances, can create happiness.
- Brendon used to think that when he had a certain amount in his bank account he would be happy – he got there but it didn’t make him happy!
- Brendan described his work with Access Consciousness, a program that empowers individuals to find the answers within themselves and discover their strengths
- He highlighted the importance of people acknowledging their unique gifts and the potential for change.
- You can find out more about Brendon via his website brendonwatt.com.
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