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I am a Certified Professional Recovery Coach and a She Recovers Designated Coach so I definitely have a bias towards working with a Recovery Coach at some point in time. It might be after a group, in conjunction with a group, or before you try a group, or it might be all you need. When I quit drinking, I didn’t even know a Recovery Coach was a thing and I so wish I would have. I did SO SO SO much work on my own. Truly, the first year I quit drinking all I did was work, spend time with my family, and do my personal recovery work…that was about it. I did the 10 week sobriety school I was in 3 times in a row, I read lots of books, listened to hours of podcasts, did therapy, wrote like crazy, and just tried to figure it all out. It was a year of hibernation and while I look back on it as a special time, I don’t want to do it again and I think I could have saved myself a lot of time, tears, trial and error if I would have had someone one on one to walk with me.
- There are two great places that I know of to look for a coach: She Recovers and This Naked Mind. There are definitely others that I am sure you can find by googling, but these sites both have a great list of trained coaches to get you started.
- When you are looking for a coach, I would recommend setting up a discovery call with at least two different coaches, you want to find one that you click with and that supports your goals. Not all coaches will offer a free discovery call, this is up to each coach, but I personally would not want to hire someone that I wasn’t able to interview before hand, but… I also interviewed 5 pediatricians when I was pregnant so maybe I have control issues ;).
- Recovery Coaching is most effective if you are completely honest about your goals, your drinking, all of it. If you want to quit drinking but still want to smoke pot, tell your potential coach that before hiring them. Find someone you trust and let it all out.
A group setting can be a great addition to Recovery Coaching or it might be all the that you want. It is a fantastic place to find peer support and have more generalized education about alcohol. Think of it in terms of group therapy/support group vs one on one therapy. The sobriety program I did is no longer in existence in the form I did it but the following programs are ones that I have heard great things:
- The Path– This is a new program from This Naked Mind so I haven’t heard much about it but I really love their other material.
- She Recovers Zoom Meetings– She Recovers is offering twice daily zoom meetings right now. This will not be a full education program but a place you can find support. She Recovers also offers local meetings but those are on pause right now. Most of the local meetings do have a their own fb group.
- Tempest– This is the newer version of the sobriety school I did. There have been lots of changes since I first did it but when I was there, I loved it. The founder, Holly Whitaker, is the author of Quit Like a Woman, which is an excellent book!
- One Year No Beer
- Smart Recovery
- Hello Sunday Morning
There ARE sooo many great books depending on what you are looking for. I am going to list just a few that I think are helpful from an education stand point. I know there are some people that really love the memoir drinking story book, I personally just don’t. It is the same for me with sobriety podcasts, if we are talking in person I want to hear your story all day long, but reading it or listening to an interview about it can feel emotionally exhausting to me. That being said, I have had many clients and friends that feel the exact opposite! These books touch on the author’s personal stories but go beyond the memoir (this is not a comprehensive list but just a couple I think are helpful places to start):
- This Naked Mind– I think everyone should read this book whether you want to quit drinking or not. I think it should be required reading for every high-school and college student. I would recommend the physical paperback over audio or kindle version.
- Quit Like a Woman– I loved the audio version of this but a good friend who shall not be named can’t handle the authors voice 😉 so maybe listen to a preview first.
- The Power of Habit- This is not about alcohol BUT is really helpful in understanding why we do what we do and how to make a change.
- You are a Badass– This also has nothing to do with alcohol (but sort of does) but I love this book. It is all about how to create a life you love but with out the cheesiness and with real practical tips. Love the audio version of this.
- Everything by Brene Brown. (The Gifts of Imperfection was a life changer for me)
So here is my podcast style…I don’t want to hear you chit chat unless you are super funny. I want information or entertainment. So with that rudeness just sitting out there, I don’t have many sobriety podcasts that I really love. Here are some of my favorites:
- She Recovers Podcast- love this one because She Recovers is not just about healing from alcohol and there are several episodes with experts on specific topics so it is much more than just chatting about alcohol.
- This Naked Mind- I have to be honest, the audio quality drives me a little bananas but I love her short QA episodes. The question is always listed so you can pick if you care to listen and they are only about 5-10 mins long. The longer interviewers are not my favorite.
- Soberful- it’s a little chit chatty for me but if it is a topic I really want to hear I will try to fast forward through.
- The Cure for Chronic Pain- I really wish this had a different name because it is SO much more. It is really about how our body stores trauma and how to heal. It is fantastic.
- Unlocking Us- Brene. Brown.
- Armchair Expert- This is Dax Shepard’s podcast and I don’t know why it is embarrassing to me that I like this podcast but it is. He’s kind of arrogant and a little bro ish but he has great guests and while the podcast isn’t entirely about sobriety, he is around 16 years sober and integrates his recovery into most conversations. And I have to admit he is a good interviewer, even guests that you are familiar with will often end up feeling fresh instead of the same thing you have already head.
- The Happiness Lab- Not about alcohol but can be incredibly helpful as you navigate how you want to your life to look and feel with out alcohol. Definitely a great add to your toolbox.
If you are someone that really wants to dive into sobriety/recovery podcasts chit chat and all, this article has more recommendations.
Well that is a wrap on the Beyond Dry January Q/A mini series!
If you take anything away from these posts, I hope the main thing you hear is that you are not stuck and you are not alone. Maybe alcohol isn’t your thing but there is something else you need to let go of. You are not stuck and you are not alone. 2021 is going to happen. The hours and days and weekends will float by. There is discomfort in acting and there is discomfort in staying stuck…you get to pick.