🍻🍻🍻I wish that was an exaggeration, but it isn’t. It was rare to have a day when I didn’t own a beer (or four), and those “off” days were usually because I was too hungover to even think about alcohol.
The last time I got rip-roaring drunk was right before my 40th birthday. I was in a lot of emotional pain, and I made the intention to go driiiiiiiinkk that night.
🤢 Mission accomplished.
The next day, my neighbor, who saw me while I was out drinking the night before, said, “I haven’t seen you that happy in a long time. What a great night!”
That crushed me.
🐝 Yes, I had a lot of “fun.” Put a few beers (and shots) in me, and I am the bee’s knees. I remember going to Up-Down and making friends with everyone.
And the entire night, I was acting. I was profoundly miserable and in pain, and the fact that I could mask it so well terrified me.
Then, Instagram changed my life.
I was sipping on my Gatorade, scrolling through social media, when I happened to see a re-post of a re-post on someone’s story. It was this podcast.
The title appealed to me because, well, I had a lot of relationship issues, especially post-divorce. I know, shocker.
I went on a walk and listened to this podcast, which had little to do with relationships. It had to do with PAIN and using it to our advantage.
Traver, who eventually became my coach, said it this way: “When we numb our pain, we numb our joy.”
When we become ultimate joy seekers, we find ways to numb anything that isn’t joyful. So we scroll, drink, overwork, binge food, binge tv, binge chocolate…the list goes on and on.
And we miss the lessons and information that pain has for us.
Joseph Campbell said it my favorite way: “The treasure you seek lies in the cave you fear to enter.”
I was drinking because I was joy-seeking. I was drinking because I thought it was my treasure.
I stopped drinking that day. I didn’t drink for over six months*. After drinking for over six years, it was one of the most painful experiences I have ever gone through.
And you know what happened in those six months?
🎤 I got clarity in my career.
🏋🏽♀️ I started crushing it at the gym.
👨👦👦 I became a more present and patient father.
🎤 I started Speak Up Stories.
❤️ I met Whitney.
All sources of joy. All because I decided to lean into the pain. Lean into yours, whatever that pain may be. I promise you will uncover a treasure you never knew was there for you the entire time.
Keep speaking up your story,
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