Anna D 00:00
And I believe it's our life's purpose to be able to you know in this Why me Why did this have to happen to me well it did so that you could share it so that you could help other people and and this is a lot of what I do it's you know, so that you could write your story and you know it's like if one person you know one alcoholic talking to another with a book, you're putting that on steroids over the years, I don't even know hundreds of people email me and say I got sober because I read your book.
John M 00:33
Well, hello, friends of Bill Wu and other friends you have landed on sober speak. My name is John M. I am an alcoholic. And we are glad you're all here, especially newcomers, newcomers that is both to recovery as a whole, and newcomers to this podcast. sober speak is a podcast about recovery centered around the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. My job here on sober speak is simple. My job is to provide a platform to the amazing stories of recovery all around us. Consider server speak, if you will, your meeting between meetings. Please remember, we do not speak for a or any 12 step community. We represent only ourselves. We're here to share our experience, strength and hope with those who wish to come along for the ride. Take what you want, and leave the rest at the curb for the trash man to pick up. Hello, my little chickadees that was the voice of Ana de that you heard at the beginning of this episode and you will hear so much more from her in just a moment on this here Episode Number 205 is dose zero cinco 205 of sober speak But first things first This episode is coming out to you brought to you by Rick Matthews gives me Matthew and Rachel Do you know what Matthew and Rachel did? Well let me fill you in and they went to our website sober speak calm they clicked on the little yeller, donate tab and they made it a contributions Thank you so much, Matthew and Rachel This episode is coming right out to humans. I john M. Just another bozo on the bus will indeed be the chair person for this meeting between meetings and I am truly honored and privileged to serve all of you listening in and have you ever noticed I basically am the chairperson for every one of these meetings there's a reason for that anyway, so take a seat if you will around this virtual table let's get started remember, no matter who you are or what your past looks like, you are welcome here it is an open table to all and we are glad you have joined us alright so I was a going through a little meditation in the morning this week and I came across this this is I get several little meditation things or text or whatever that come and he says sometimes I'm in the mood to read one sometimes in the mood read the other but anyway this one came from and I've talked about this before but if you're interested in this go to daily aa emails.com and it is a transitions daily and they send out a my friend buddy see over there. I don't think he sits there every night and presses a button is all automated but they do send out a daily email at I know that is 1015 Central. I don't know where that lands and the rest of the world I think it would be 1115 Eastern and anyway you get the idea comes out every night and is there for me in the morning when I wake up and I can use that. But anyway, this was in the daily a email that I get from translation transitions daily this weekend. I just wanted to read it because I don't know it just it rang. How do you say that it rang a chord. No, it hit a chord with me. You know what I'm talking about. it resonated with me. It says and this is by the way from the 12 and 12 on page 122. For those of you reading along at home, this is when with God's help. We commonly accepted our lot Then we found we could live at peace with ourselves and show others who still suffered the same fears that they could get over them too. We found that we found that freedom from fear was more important than freedom from want Let me read that again. It says we found that freedom from fear was more important than freedom from want once again that from the 12 steps and 12 traditions on page 122 of you are interested in looking at up yourself and as a friendly reminder we are now on the the Pinterest Pinterest pin interest however you pronounce that it's kind of a weird word right it's kind of like a combination of words but nonetheless we are on there now as at sober speak if you want to go follow us there we'll see if we get any traction they're not at you know, you never can tell. I didn't think I'd get anything on Instagram when this thing started up and we get tons of activity on there and I'm so thankful for that. But nonetheless, if you want to go follow us there please feel free to do that if you are not in the super secret Facebook group we'll go to your Facebook application look up secret Excuse me, I look up sober speak secret group has a lot of S's in there. And alliteration if I'm not mistaken, so you look up sober speak secret group and there you will find a little thing it says asked to join and you know the, the bar is very low for getting in the groove you just got to ask. Alright, now on to our guest, Anna de and Anna has been sober since Oh, and we're calling this one Ana de partie girl 20 years later and you will see why we call that when we crank up the episode and has been sober since November 19 of 2021. She's still very active in the program of fact she had just returned from a meeting when we hit record we talked about and his first year of sobriety her first sponsor the term cash in prizes which I've found just hilarious I love it. We talked about the term actually slow sobriety as opposed to sobriety get it anyway and we talked about and his career and geographical cures not before sobriety but in sobriety we address Oh, we this was kind of cool. We talked about this if those of you who are into EMDR trauma therapy, brain spotting, it was an interesting conversation and much much more with the Miss Anna de so buckle up, enjoy the ride and we will have printed do listener feedback at the end of this episode. Enjoy. Okay, everybody said today we are sitting here with Miss Anna de so Anna, I'm gonna let you go ahead and introduce yourself. Give your sobriety date if you will, and tell people what corner of this planet you are living in place.
Anna D 08:30
Well, I'm Anna David. I my sobriety date is November 19 2000. And I live in Hollywood, California.
John M 08:40
November 19 of 2000. So that's 21, almost 21 years. It is you're about to be of legal drinking age, I
Anna D 08:49
John M 08:51
And you live in Hollywood, actually in Hollywood, where you see the little signs and all that kind of stuff.
Anna D 08:56
I'm actually obsessed with the Hollywood sign. I just did an Instagram post about it yesterday. I have a bizarre obsession with it. I bought a house that had a view of it. I walk to it at least twice a week. I have art that shows it I don't even understand my obsession with it makes me just feel good.
John M 09:17
So what is the what's the history of that sign just briefly.
Anna D 09:23
The history actually is that it was meant to advertise cheap housing in Hollywood land. And when you go to this place where I walk from, there's actually it's a gate but it's not a gate anymore. You can just see the remnants of an old gate that says Hollywood land. And then there's like a Hollywood land Realty and now it's the Hollywood Hills. It's Beachwood Canyon. It's all of these things, but that's what it was.
John M 09:47
How well I guess it worked. Yeah, cuz I'm assuming the housing in Hollywood is much more expensive now than when they actually put it up there, right?
Anna D 09:57
John M 09:59
All right. So we met Li want to go ahead and mention his name john Corcoran actually introduced us. I love john Corcoran and him and Jeremy over there rise 25. They're great guys. That's a little outside of the scope of what I actually do with this podcast. But I have a relationship with them. I think they're great guys. And john said, Have you met Anna yet? I think she'd be wonderful to have on your podcast. And so he introduced us. So here we are. Yes. So and I don't know much about you. And and I, you know, there's some times when I get on an actual interview like this, and I know everything about the person, I've heard their case over and over. But I kind of like when I don't know much about them, I get to discover this along the way with the listener. So I do know that you Gus over in 2000. So do you want to take me back a little bit before 2000? And give me a thumbnail sketch of what it looked like in your life before that time? Yeah,
Anna D 11:01
I mean, it was it was pretty dark. Um, I was just very much a cocaine addict and an alcoholic. And I didn't really know that didn't know, as an alcoholic, I kind of knew I was a cocaine addict, I kind of kept trying to get my life going and had a lot of trouble and was very, you know, convinced that I couldn't live without drugs, and convince that I couldn't live with them, which was a terrible point place to be. And on the other side of that, the last thing I wanted was to go to rehab and be one of those sober people, I just thought they were freaks. And I got so desperate that I was willing to do the thing that I knew I didn't want to do. And then I discovered that it was nothing like I expected and that it was the beginning of my life, not the end of my life. And that was almost 21 years ago.
John M 11:59
Wow. So when you say it was pretty dark? Obviously a lot of people could you relate to that. But do you give I guess I'm wondering if you could dive into that a little bit further, if you will, just to kind of give people an idea of what you're going through.
Anna D 12:19
Yeah, I mean, I don't love to dwell on it. I love to focus on what, you know, the gifts are now. And what's been able, you know, to happen now, because it's taken a lot of sober time for me to really live the life in recovery. What else can I say about it, it was I was very isolated, I was very depressed, I couldn't make a living. It's just like, I was a prey to misery. I'm quoting a book. And, um, and I, I was really alone in the world. So and I really didn't have any spiritual connection, or any awareness that I was the root of my problems, I was really convinced the world was the root of my problems. I didn't understand why I was so unlucky. I was full of fear. I just didn't know it.
John M 13:12
Had you had some sort of spiritual connection when you were younger?
Anna D 13:16
I not really, I am grateful that I didn't have any bad ideas about God. I know a lot of people are terrified of recovery because they learned about a punishing God. And they don't want to have anything to do with that. And when they hear there's a spiritual solution, that's the last thing they want. I had no bad ideas about I just had really no ideas about it. And I knew that that was part of the deal at the rehab that I went to. And I was like, Look, I'm willing to believe there might be and then the experience that I had was that I had been trying to quit drugs for years and I tried all the things I tried hiding the drugs for myself, I tried going on trips, not going on trips, I tried all the things and I couldn't do it. And then I started to just follow some incredibly basic direction that seemed to have anything to do with what my problem was. But I was so desperate I was willing to follow this bizarre direction and this bizarre direction included playing on my knees and I'm like well I think it's weird but I'll but I'll do it. And I found that the desire to do drugs and drink went away, and it has almost not returned. And I realized you know, I was waiting for some white light experience and I realized I couldn't have a more spiritual experience than this thing that couldn't go away going away.
John M 14:46
Yeah, so I you know, I kind of went through the same thing I basically experienced that, that feel that that neutrality, where alcohol was concerned alcohol and drugs, you know, I And, and I remember that being kind of a spiritual experience for me going, Wow, I used to not like, think about this stuff day and night. And here I am. And I haven't thought about it for a while, I guess so much relate to that. So what was there a straw that broke the camel's back? Or was there a time where, you know you woke up one day and you said, Okay, it's time to do something here.
Anna D 15:28
Yes. And there was nothing special about that day, there was nothing different about that day, it was much like all the others. It's not like I had had some terrible bender. The night before. I woke up, I remember vividly, I was I walked down the street to get coffee at a place called buzz coffee that no longer exists. I saw the then fiance of a person I had been good friends with. But we had fallen out just like I had fallen out with all my friends. And I came home. And I called my mom. And I told her that I had a problem. And I was in rehab the following Monday. And I will just never forget that morning because it was, you know, I believe this is what happens to us is there's this glimmer of hope at the same moment that there's this glimmer of awareness. And I, whenever I hear somebody talk about that, I'm moved because it's it's fleeting. It is so fleeting. And I was lucky enough are blessed enough to jump on that. And that was it.
John M 16:37
What was rehab? Like, what do you what was your experience there?
Anna D 16:41
Well, it was okay, so so you know, as you know, I've been sober a long time. And I've written many books about my recovery. And it's funny because sometimes my first book party girl is a novel, but it's so autobiographical that everybody who reads it kind of knows. And I literally get mixed up. This is just part of being a writer between what's in the novel and what really happens. So the character in the novel goes to inpatient rehab, the character Anna, in real life, did outpatient rehab, and I will get can so everybody thinks I went to inpatient, and then I'll get confused. I'll go Oh, no, no, no, that was Amelia. But but so in the book, which I'm re releasing, so I just in it's being made into a movie and all of the things so I was just I've been rereading it. Rehab is just a lark. You know, my whole desire to write a book was, when I was about five years sober, I thought, My God, because back then there was no silver podcast, we're just silver bloggers, there were no, there's no quit lit. And I thought, if I had known via, I'd read a book that showed what recovery could be like, I wouldn't have had to go as low as I did, I wouldn't have had to get suicidal, I wouldn't have, I would have known that there was this this other life on the other side. And I thought, if I write something that can help one person experience that I will have done my duty, and I didn't know anything about writing books. And I just wrote it. And I had, you know, and I was lucky enough to get an agent and to have a bidding war and to sell it to my top choice publisher. But I was really and then, and then I accidentally became a recovery, quote, expert. Suddenly I was going on the Today Show and the talk and all these shows at with my Chi Ron identify me as a recovery expert. And I remember saying to my TV agent, at the time, I had to get a TV agent to handle all of this and and I said, You know, I better go back to school and get a master's in psychology because they're calling me a recovery expert. And he said, you know, why would you? Why would you need that you have a book that makes you an expert, which is why I do what I do now. But But you know, and then I started, I did three TEDx talks about recovery, I started a website called after party. I worked at a website called the fix. And then I went from there and started my own recovery website, sold it to the owners of the fix, started, you know, the first the second recovery podcast and really became a big recovery advocate. And then when I was about 15 years sober, I saw that everybody else was doing it too. And I didn't want to do something everyone else was doing. So I sort of veered to the right and now I help thought leaders publish books, so that they can go off and do that, go be on TV, go do TEDx talks, and talk about the things that they're passionate about.
John M 19:29
Wow. So take me back to that like first year coming into sobriety and you know, like, getting a sponsor and what all that was like, you know, experience all the firsts and stuff like that. I mean, what are your memories of that?
Anna D 19:46
They are so vivid. It is truly like it happened yesterday. I remember so well. You know, my my outpatient treatment center took us to meetings. And I remember them saying, well, you have to find a sponsor and I didn't know anything. And they said this big meeting, they said, who's available to sponsor I saw people raise their hands. I just went up to one it was the speaker meaning I didn't even hear the person chair. And she said to me, Well, I'm not available. She said, Why don't you ask Rachel? And, and I didn't know that that was her sponsee I asked this woman Rachel and I remember she took me to tea. And that you know, I'm so you know, I'm constantly gathering you know, information ahead, and I go, Okay, so I guess sponsors have to pay for you the first time. And I remember she, she used the word AI She goes, I'd gotten complacent. And I thought Oh, that must be one of those those vocab words that that people in treatment, you know, in rehab we have all these you know, as a as a word obsessed person, I couldn't stop obsessing over the words I couldn't believe people are using share as a noun, it just freaked me out. I couldn't believe that people were saying using instead of using drugs in group instead of group therapy, I was like, you're leaving the second word off. And, and so I was like, obsessed with with figuring it out. And and I remember saying to her, I'm super confused by this. What if you don't like me? Well, you'd have to work with me. And I remember her being like, yeah, that's the deal. Or she said something like, you know, you end up loving your sponsors. And I remember so many of the things she told me that first meeting, I remember her telling me that she she was like, I She goes, God that you can't ask God for anything specific except sponsees. That is the one prayer you can ask for something and God will give it to you set it to me the first meeting. She also said to me, she knew she needed more sponsors, because she was spending too much time on Amazon. And what is this woman talking about? I didn't know that you could get alcoholic about other things, or what that language even was. She taught me so so so much, and I just jumped in, I will say I jumped in. I didn't believe alcoholism and addiction was the same thing. I believed I was cocaine addict, non alcoholic. When I had six and a half months sober, I decided to experiment. I ended up having a glass of wine and two bottles of wine and then four and a half hits of ecstasy and coming back to a sorry 12 step the next day, November 19 of 2000. And going Okay, I get it, it's all the same. And she stayed with me through that. And then when I had a year sober from that she decided she was not an alcoholic, and she went out to drink. And it devastated me because she had really been my guide. And she came back she has been back many many years now. And but but I just I love my first year I'm going to stategic for my first year because it was just glorious. And we always say in program here the year of 2000 class of 2000 was so good. It was just a bunch of us came in and just embraced it.
John M 23:07
Everybody partied like it was 1999 and then go 2000 right? Exactly. We will be continuing our conversation with Anna in just a moment. Just a reminder, you are listening to sober speak. You can find us on the worldwide web at www dot sober speak. com. You can also find the donate button on our website you can use if and only if the spirit moves you to do such. Please keep in mind this is a podcast funded by you, the listener so to speak has a self supporting organization. Through our own contributions. We are not allied with any sect, denomination politics, organization or institution. We do not wish to engage in any controversy. Neither endorses nor opposes any causes. All right now back to Anna D. So Anna, what's it there's always kind of a way everyone always has kind of an opinion, if you will, at least that I've talked to generally speaking about what it's like to get sober in Southern California because it is a unique place to get sober. Right? There's tons of meetings and it's not like getting sober in some remote Iowa. Yeah, suburb somewhere, right. So what's it like getting sober in Southern California?
Anna D 24:23
Well, I think it's absolutely the best. I feel so incredibly lucky. I always say that places the best places to bottom out or the best places to get sober. Because you get sober with your people. I believe that I would not have I certainly wouldn't have taken to it the way that I did. Had the people not been cool and hilarious, sometimes famous. I'm kind of shallow. So the thing really, really moved me. And you know, because I go well, that person can be anywhere they want to be and they're here. Here must be the place to be and that's really also my book is a lot about that but but I I then have been to meetings all over the world this point you know I moved to New York 2007 to 2010 so I went to a lot of meetings in New York but I've been to meetings in Miami and Aspen and New Zealand and England and Spain and nothing like there's nothing like it and I understand that people believe where they got sober is the right way to do it. But But you know, I learned through the pandemic that everybody was signing on and going I've heard all about these la meetings I'm so glad that you know we have people from all over the world
John M 25:47
you go to the Pacific group very much
Anna D 25:50
No, my that Rachel that sponsor mine came back and went to Pacific group should I so I went a couple times with her But no, it's this is not not my thing, but I know it helps a lot of people.
John M 26:04
Right? I understand. Yeah. Okay, so you're in sobriety now you're like a year you got like a year sober. So I mean, take me from there. What were the next several years like like, what was your discovery process? like for you? What What did you start to find out about yourself and, and others and just take me through that part?
Anna D 26:27
Yeah, I mean, I definitely had a slow variety, as they say, because now at 20 I'm learning a lot of things.
John M 26:37
I've never heard that I'd like Oh, hello, Brian. He certainly
Anna D 26:40
got all the things out here. I didn't. Yeah, I Well, I thought, you know, I'm part of my alcoholism is I'm always thinking I found the solution. I remember when I lived, moved to New York. And it suddenly I always say, like, it was like sitcom music was playing behind me. Wherever I went, people were like, hello. And I and I thought, here we go. Finally, I am being treated the way I was meant to be treated. Is the answer. And then, you know, that was a beautiful fall, then it's winter, and I'm horribly depressed. And I'm like, oh, New York wasn't the answer. So I got to 12 step. And I'm like, here we go. This is it. I do not need therapy. I don't need anything I am actually going to be happy there every day for the rest of my life. Like I really believed that and and I had what you know, they call the pink cloud in early sobriety, I had such a glorious time. And and I will tell you, it and I share this with people who struggle in the beginning, I go, you know, get it over with because, you know, I had a really rude awakening, I would say around five years sober, where suddenly it wasn't new anymore. It didn't feel like the Epiphany is were coming fast and furious. It didn't feel like I was getting the cash prizes. And I now see that I was very uncomfortable. I now see that that's my problem. Here. I call it depression. I call it suicidal. I've called it terrified. Oh, I'm uncomfortable. And I'm such a dramatic person in my brain, that discomfort registers as you know, and I always say alcoholics like we it's not that our feelings are necessarily stronger than normal people's but, but we prioritize them. We think they're ever I have a feeling and I better, let's just alert the media. Whereas I do believe other people are like, Oh, I feel like that, let me just go get coffee, or whatever it is. So so I felt in retrospect, I felt uncomfortable. And so what I decided to do with that was move to New York, rather than going Oh, I'm uncomfortable, this will pass maybe like courses. And so then I find myself in New York, and I'm like, What in God's name and I and I felt like I couldn't come back to LA unless I had all the things I had to have something to show for my time. I had to have the husband I had to have the millions of dollars and and it kept me in New York for a long time. And, and and I remember saying to my brilliant sponsor at the time, saying, I just feel so stupid. I've wasted all this time and money on this living here for three years. And she goes, Well, why did you move here? And I said, Well, I never thought I was going to meet a guy in LA. And she goes well, if you just learned that you made it. You should never again make a decision based on fear. I'd say you got off easy. I'd say you save tons of money and tons of time. And it was such a brilliant thing to say. And you know, like I said sublight slow sobriety. It's, it took me you know, till the age of 47 to meet the guy. It took Took me 48 to buy my first house. I, you know, I was broke, I really struggled financially, and and now I figured out how to get paid what I'm worth. And here in my 21st year, I'm learning how to be in my body, how to just be like, Oh, I'm here. Like, that's really what spirituality and meditation has become to me. It's like, I'm sitting here sitting on my floor, I can feel it. Do you know what I'm saying? I was just so in my head and going a million miles a minute.
John M 30:36
So you moved there, you moved to New York? Really to kind of find a guy? Yeah, work out? No, you came back in you talked about also struggling financially. But by the way, I love the term that you use what he's that all said, and I wasn't getting cash and prizes. Do not say that, again, I talk about the cash prizes. And I had the exact same experience, by the way, and this is value, I don't want to talk to you about me. But at four and a half years of sobriety, it just quit work. And I felt like I had the Midas touch up to that point. And that lasted about seven, seven and a half years. So you know, and I hear that from from a lot of people. Alright, so now you've gotten back to LA, and you talked about a struggling fight. This is what I wanted to ask you about. You talked about struggling financially. And now you've kind of learned how to get paid for what you're worth. So and I know a little bit about your background. So talk to me a little bit about that. What do you mean by that, but because there's a lot of people listening, that are going to have the same basic experience. So discuss that place.
Anna D 31:56
Yeah, well, it for me personally, I come from a family that really prioritizes over anything. And so I believe I grew up thinking money was evil. And that and that if you wanted to make money, that was a bad thing. And luckily, I wanted to be a writer and writers don't make money. So you know, I, I pursued that. And I was successful. I did six books with HarperCollins I got book deal after book deal. One was a New York Times bestseller, but they don't pay you anything. So So I you know, they pay you but barely. So I you know, I kept trying to figure it out. And I kept you know, I knew I was like, the only thing I know how to do is right so I'm screwed. What do people like me do when they're 39 and you know, publishing book publishing, stop paying book deals anymore. Magazine, I you know, I used to get paid $5 a word to write a magazine swear I wrote for the New York Times, LA Times a whole bunch of places, suddenly they want you to write for free. And all these Millennials are willing to do it for free. And by the way, they're barely returning your emails, when you say, Can I write an article for you for free? Because you're like, you know, old school, weird Gen X person. And, um, and so I thought, well, should I should I work in advertising? Is that is that my only option? I don't know anything about that. And I talked to somebody in advertising. And she's like, you'd have to start as an intern. And so I tried working in websites. Like I said, I worked at the fix, and I started a website, and I sold it. And then I met a mentor. And I learned that I could, I basically accidentally fell into publishing books for entrepreneurs. So entrepreneurs come to us have my team writes their book, we publish it, they become bestsellers, they're able to sort of get on the speaking circuit and on TV and, and it blows my mind. I just basically go they say, How much is it? And I'm like, blah, blah, blah, blah, some out rageous amount, double what I used to get paid a year. And they go, Oh, is that all? And it just blows my mind. So it was sort of like breaking down money barriers. I really believed I was worth what I was getting paid. And, and then I wish that I could I wish I could break it down because I could teach that. But I don't know. I have another friend it happened to and I'm like, how did how did you do it? And she's like, I don't know. Um, but I'm telling you, I know a lot of under earners, and I was one of them. And it is absolutely possible in my experience to make more money than you've ever dreamed you could and to not feel bad and to know you're worth it. I just don't know how I got there. I just know it took a lot of years of being broke and to stop trying things that weren't going to work you know I was not gonna make money working in websites like I said I have a podcast but I don't you know I don't make money from it but I get clients from it so if I get one client from it it's paid for what you could call five years of advertising I stopped kinda going to what they you know the empty well for water and I go where's the ocean here is because it's there's enough I just got to find the access point
John M 35:29
well put so you also talked about finding the guy and getting the house and stuff like that walk me through that a little bit
Anna D 35:38
cash and prizes you know it it didn't look anything like I expected it to look I never thought I would buy a house and and I never thought that I would date somebody like my boyfriend little It was like fall in love with him and be planning to move in with him. um you know I don't know what's best for me at my best thinking you know got me alone with two cats doing cocaine for three days in a row. And I believe it took a lot of pain as opposed to the career stuff where it was just like sort of subtle pain of not making a lot of money Oh God, dating the wrong man just destroyed me because I have trauma and it would trigger my trauma and I'm unlovable and I'll be alone forever and all these things and I met somebody who didn't trigger that who just was wonderful. And I thought well this can't be it because because it's supposed to make you feel high and low and all the things and I'm you know I it's been a slow realization before him I'd never had a relationship longer than a year.
John M 36:51
Okay, so let's I think that there's gonna be a lot of it'll be men and women listening both to this but I think a lot of women in particular are going to relate to what exactly you just talked about. So can you I don't want to do you get as personal as you want, but at but I am curious about that trauma, what you discovered about the trauma, how it affects your relationship today and how you were able to navigate that.
Anna D 37:21
Yeah, I always knew I had trauma and I believed 12 step can do almost everything for me but it can't help heal my trauma. And I believe that those of us who have trauma and I would say most people do in some way some of it more severe than others. We walk around with this sort of gaping wound and we're going around and our subconscious is trying to heal it and then trying to heal it It puts us back in it again. So I you know suffer this like core wound and it doesn't I don't want to get into like how it happens but I'm going around and I'm looking for a man who is going to eventually who's going to constantly be out of reach and eventually devastate me and and I'm going to end up curled up in the fetal position thinking it's it's it's me that I'm unlovable and and no amount of people telling me it's not true will will penetrate because and I have a sponsee is going through it now just the most amazing girl and and i and i listened to her and I go I get it I get it I get it doesn't have to do with him. Because usually the hymns are completely not amazing at all. They're not even worth our time. And I'm the last one who wasn't worth my time destroyed me. And I you know, I don't know if you know about EMDR Do you know about that?
John M 38:54
You know what is very interesting you ask that because I've just recently it's it I had no idea this conversation was going to go this way. But I I I actually talked about this on a couple podcasts ago and I usually don't talk about these kinds of things, but I did and I've been going to something called brain spotting therapy lately. Do you know what that is?
Anna D 39:15
That's not TMS. Is it? No,
John M 39:18
no, it's where they they basically they they hold up a spot and what I understand it's very similar to EMDR. She said the council that I just said it's like EMDR on steroids.
Anna D 39:29
Oh, I want that. Yeah, it's no fun. I don't know what yours is like,
John M 39:35
No, no, it's it's intense.
Anna D 39:39
I I always knew I was going to end up in EMDR. But when it's when you're like okay, so when should I schedule that time to go deep into my trauma and sob? Well, I'll do that Aaron tomorrow. So when this guy triggered by trauma, and I am hysterically crying all the time, I thought well, why Go to EMDR at least I'll have a new place to cry.
John M 40:04
Okay, okay, so real quick. Yeah, back up just a second because there's gonna be a lot of people going, What is she talking about? EMDR so what
Anna D 40:13
stands for eye movement desensitization reprogramming, so what I mean yes, that's a terrible name, especially because it's evolved and it's really not about eye movement anymore. It's about bilateral stimulation. And the idea is that is that by stimulating the right event, the left side of the brain and going into traumatic experiences discussing them, you your brain will reprogram and you will have a different response to that trauma, it will still exist, but you will not have it will not have the same charge and you will not have the same response. And it sounds ludicrous, and yet studies show you know, it is the most effective form of trauma therapy. So I went there and we started to get into it and Adele barber the greatest I've sent everyone I know to her she's just the most amazing therapist ever. And um and we started to get into it and my experience was pretty it's it's so weird because it's very dramatic and it's very subtle and I will tell you my whole life whenever I got a compliment my feeling was You're giving me too much credit you're wrong or if I'm so great Why am I still allowed that those were the three thoughts I would have I never saw myself and my experience of doing EMDR was I don't know maybe two or three months into twice a week sessions I just looked in the mirror and I was like oh my god I see it I see what you guys have been talking about 46 years old and then I see myself and I'm magnificent as Are you person listening and and it was just mind blowing I still of course you know depression is something that I've experienced you know from about the time of 16 on periodically it's a being treated for it so it's not like I've been happy ever since but I've never you know i this is actually I have had I had a friend who one day just disappeared she kind of use me social client disappeared and it triggered by trauma again and what I look at that as these things happen so that they can come up so that they can be healed. And it's incredibly painful. And in some ways we don't really get to decide when we get off the train because it just keeps happening and happening and then it's not like you know EMDR is the solution for everyone it was for me and but I'm here on the other side to say no matter what you have been through there is a way to stop responding to it in the because you know trauma it's like we get screwed twice First we have the bad experience then we have to pay by revisiting it over and over again and there is an end to it and I believe it's our life's purpose to be able to you know in this Why me Why did this have to happen to me well it did so that you could share it so that you could help other people and this is a lot of what I do it's you know so that you could write your story and you know it's like if one person you know one alcoholic talking to another with a book you're putting that on steroids because it's like it's just like you don't know I've had over the years I don't even know hundreds of people email me and say I got sober because I read your book. And I wrote a book because I read your books within that person in turn affects 1000s of other people. So that's I think
John M 43:59
all right so a couple things here to work toward the end of this and that is first of all I want you to be able to share whatever you want to share about the you know the various projects that you have going on. But I also want you to kind of you know, wrap it up and it let me put it this way there's a lot of people in all four corners of the world that are listening to this many of them are sober curious, many of them are thinking about getting into a 12 step program but they haven't made that final step yet they're still experimenting out there. And what you share your experience strength and hope around that subject and thinking you know, addressing that person that may be out there kind of on the edges if you will.
Anna D 44:50
Um, I will say it is a sobriety or recovery is nothing like you expect it to be, I would say if you're spending any time with Wondering if it's for you? It probably is. I'm sorry. I don't think that normal drinkers wonder. And I would say that the way you feel about it will change. I think one characteristic of alcoholics is that really convinced I feel this way, I will always feel this way I have always felt this way. And like it was when I was my first year where I'm like, wait, you can be depressed at 10am and find by 11 I found if you were depressed, you're like, I'm depressed for like, a year. Maybe Maybe just a month. Like I didn't understand that feelings change. And, you know, and it's I think a lot of fear is I'm never gonna have fun again. I just remember thinking What are you sober people do do they like they go to plays like what do they do for fun? Because what would you possibly do? And I had no idea that that it was first of all, I hadn't been having fun holed up in my apartment doing cocaine alone with cats, but somehow I still thought Oh, I'm never gonna have fun again. And and, and you have so much fun in store for you. You really do.
John M 46:20
two cats. Cool. Cocaine holed up in the apartment. How can I possibly have fun after this?
Anna D 46:29
Seriously. neighbors are spying on me looking through the blinds and being like, they've got binoculars. Looking in here.
John M 46:39
I get it. answering that phone and Oh, the phone. Oh. When I got sober they there was no such thing as caller ID I can't remember what it was like to read 2000. But I just remember, oh, it was just like, Oh, it was horrible. Every time I had to pick it up wondering who was on my tail. But nonetheless, I digress. Alright, why don't you tell people about your various projects, where they can find you?
Anna D 47:12
Well, so I'm all over the interwebs on Instagram, I'm at an OB David. I like I said, I have a publishing company. But depending on when this is is released, I like I said my first book party girl, I got the rights back from HarperCollins. I'm re releasing it under my own imprint. And you can get it and find out more by going to party girl relaunch.com. And it's it's my favorite thing I've ever written. It's being made into a movie. And it's all fun.
John M 47:42
That sounds great. Well, God bless you, Anna, I really appreciate you coming on today. Like I said, I didn't really know what to expect. But I am pleasantly surprised. And I'll look forward to releasing this to the 1000s of 1000s of folks that are going to be listening to this. So God bless you. I always read from page 164 of the big book to closes out, says a better yourself to God as you understand God. admit your faults to him and to your fellows. clear away the wreckage of your past. give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God bless you, and keep you Until then, once again, Anna, thank you very much for joining in today.
Anna D 48:36
Can I just say, john, you are the best interviewer and you have the best laugh ever so much for having me.
John M 48:45
You're sweet. Thank you very much for Vidal. Oh, hi. Thank you, Anna D. As mentioned, it was a pleasure spending time with you. I appreciate you coming on sharing your story and sharing your insight with all of these sober speak, listeners. We'll have to get back together again some time and recording another episode because that was fantastic. Now everybody on Oh, by the way, we don't want to share in your gossip and we definitely don't want to share your STD. But we would love for you to pause your device and share that episode or the podcast as a whole. If you were so inclined. It may be just what that friend or that family member need today. Stephen writes in and now let me just kind of set this up here, Stephen. He wrote in he Stephen at several weeks ago, I made a little contribution to the to the to the podcast and I just wrote a little email back and I just wanted to say Hey, thank you, Steven. I really do appreciate it. John M. And Steven writes back and he says, Oh my god, oh my god. Oh my god, it's john j. o h n and big capital letters with an exclamation point. He said, I did a double take when I saw your email in my inbox, and I thought it was surely an automated message. But to my incredible delight, it was the man himself John M. Hill. I got to tell you, Stephen has very low standards for quote the man but I appreciate it. Freeza you say that Stephen? it he says first. You are most welcome for my little contribution to he says the proverbial basket pass me at three times. Oh, and see what he's saying. He's He's saying I guess that he listened to at three episodes. Okay, so he says the proverbial basket passively 83 times before the spirit moved me to do so laugh out loud. I found your podcast when searching quotes sober on Spotify. And I am so glad I did man oh man, I cannot begin to tell you what a row sober speak has made in my still early recovery. Oh, that's so cool to hear Stephen. I mean that's, that's exactly why we do these things. While I do this anyway, says my email address which you referenced in your email. And I don't want to give away his his anonymity here. But he you know, I don't want to say what his email is. But he says that's a nod to my love of food. I worked in the hospitality industry for 18 years at all levels, including a strip mall, strip mall, folks, seafood joint is some of the top restaurants in the country. But as the disease of alcoholism, emphasis on ism progressed, I became unemployed and unemployed unemployable. Following the loss of my last restaurant job the second in a row where I had been fired, I was incredibly lost, like Sandra Bullock in the movie gravity, completely untethered in a vast sea of blackness. Oh, you are a good writer there, Mr. Steven. He says I would take nearly five more years. For me to find the solution in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and the stories of experience, strength and hope from its members. I am now sober for just shy of four months and feel I really started to clear away the wreckage of my past, it can finally see my feet beneath me. Good for you. Good for you, Steven. He says after not being able to find employment for some time, I began painting houses and now have a small residential painting company in St. Louis, Missouri, where I live with my partner in two dogs. My life isn't what I imagined it be. But I am learning that if I am spiritually Well, a life beyond my imagination is possible. Amen to that, Stephen. He says, thank you so much for what you do. JOHN, I started listening to your podcast from Episode One ahead of my first meeting, and I'm now on episode number 84. No spoilers laugh out loud. He says, and I can't wait to listen every day in my car, went on a walk with my dogs or in my earbuds at work. This is one episode that I didn't speak there. There is not one episode that didn't speak to me in a deep and unexpected way. Gosh, I don't know what I would do without it. I know. You only comment or you only commit to one week at a time. So I am. So I hope this email gives you the encouragement you need to do another week. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. He says many blessings and keep coming back. Stephen C. St. Louis, Missouri was Stephen I think that does give me the recursion that I need. Thank you so much. Oh gosh, you guys are great. I just love hearing I just love getting the emails and the messages on Instagram and Facebook and wherever else and just God bless you. God bless you. Thank you so much You give me your give me meaning you give me purpose you give me live and and I think about you guys all the time. Thank you. Sophie writes in now This is a sad one. And we get these. And I don't want to turn away the sad ones and just make it all happy, happy. But Sophie wrote in and she says, Hi, john, I lost my soulmate on Thursday to drugs. The pain I am in is horrendous. AIA in the United Kingdom is trying to hold me up. He had eight years clean and sober and is just so unfair. Sophie, Sophie, my heart goes out to you. I don't even know what to say. You know, God bless you. I know it's tough. And just keep me posted. And for those of you who are listening out there, if you can just kind of throw up a little prayer for Sophie, not only Sophie, but all the people who are suffering out there from this illness. I would appreciate it. Thanks for writing in Sophie. Beth writes in and best says hi john. I was recommended sober speak by a friend in the fellowship after I shared my region recent experience in a relationship breakup, and I was struggling. I'm 13 years sober, God willing, this Saturday will congratulations. And despite this length of sobriety, I was still floored emotionally, by the end of the relationship. My first one sober, I lean I've leaned heavily into the program, and my great comrades in recovery, and slowly getting back to the point of acceptance and peace. with occasional moments of gratitude. It's been a tremendous reminder of powerlessness. I live on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom, really looking forward to having a good listen to the shares on the site. I'm training for a 10 mile run in month in a month's time and listening while I'm out there running in fellowship, bath. Well, thank you. And I hope you hear this while you're out there training for that, or maybe, while you're actually even in the 10 mile run, I don't know if you listen to music while you're actually in the competition or whatever. But nonetheless, I'm glad we can be part of your sobriety. Oh, I've been there, those relationships and those breakups, and I'm sure everybody listening has been there as well. Both in Not, not most everybody, a lot of people, I don't know what the percentage is, but there's gonna be a lot of people listening who can relate to this. And God bless you, Beth, just keep hanging in there and good luck in your 10 mile run. calem writes in, he says, john, I went to my, we went back and forth, because he was asking me some questions about what to do. And then he says, I went to my first a meeting. Well, back to my first one and almost 10 years, it's been your show that has pushed me to try again, oh, my goodness, calem. Thank you so much. And I'm so glad for you. He says that I heard you say, when you don't want to go to a meeting, then you probably need it more than ever. And that's how I felt. But I went in it was there. And it's that I needed to be there. Thanks again, john, for all your work. And all you do for people like me, and I'm going to keep listening to your podcast every day. calem as God bless you, calem I'm glad you made it. Just keep going better. Sometimes I hear every once in a while, keep coming back. Right? That may be the years so just keep going back and keep me posted as well. Shawn writes in. I remember this one. Yeah, I think this is a question at the end and he says, Hey, john, I accidentally came across your podcast a few few weeks ago, and I've been binge listening to your podcast ever since. The last few years have been challenging in so many ways. And I decided to listen to my gut and make an effort to stop drinking is see if this will help my life improve. I'm not even sure if I'm an alcoholic, nor have I ever been to an AA meeting but I was pleasantly surprised how I could relate to impart you and your guests. I grew up in a home of alcoholics starting with my dad and my older brother and I didn't. I did not think it impacted me. But this combined along with my social drinking through the years has probably impacted me more than I know, I'm in my 50s. I have not drained anything for the last seven days, and I am beginning to believe that I am heading in the right direction. My question to you, john, is should I join a? How do I figure this out? Well, you know, you hear a lot of this when you come to a you know, I can't tell you if you need to be in a if you should be in a there's really something that's going to come from within, but I can tell you, the only way to find out is to get to the meetings, right? You sit there you listen, hey, if it's for you, you'll probably come back. If it's not, you probably won't. But I've heard this in a meeting many times, there are not many people who are not alcoholic, the sit around and wonder whether they are alcoholic or not. Now, you could be an exception to the rule. I'm not saying you are. But the best way to find that out is to get to a meeting. And you know, we have the secret Facebook group, and you could join that. And you can post a question like this in there, and you will get tons of responses and feedback. One thing about alcoholics and Alan ons and other people in recovery, they have plenty of opinion. Way too many opinions. I'll say that, and they will give you their opinion. But ultimately, it's an inside job, right? You got to look inside and say, Do I need to be an AIA? Am I an alcoholic, and it's really up to you. In fact, I'm going to read this this is a post that was recently in the secret Facebook group just kind of give you an idea of what goes on in there. I mean, there. Oh, gosh, there's so so many posts. And there's a lot of people who are asking questions and provide feedback. And that's why I wanted to be there. But you have to be careful in posting questions and just realize that, you know, everyone's got an opinion. And ultimately, you have to listen to yourself. But here's a post from Anthony, inside the secret Facebook group, and he says I wanted to take a minute. And thank those of you who reached out to me personally in the past month, as I have been struggling to quit alcohol. Here's an update currently on vacation with my wife and children. And while for most alcoholics vacation would be considered difficult to stay alcohol free. However, I have found it easier than in my normal life. On vacation, I realize that the normal day to day stress is what triggers me to drink. I can tell you, Anthony for what triggered me to drink was just basic consciousness. But nonetheless, he said I am powerless to alcohol after a mine melting day at work on vacation. I'm relaxed and can easily stay a fear a stay away. My fear is that I'm already starting to think about my return back to normal life and it scares me. And I'm thinking about those stresses and how I can better deal with them. And then this is out to the entire group. And he says any advice already attending meetings, I just figured I would ask going to the gym question. Were any of the things that people found helpful. And he got a ton of feedback, right? So I'm saying you can come in there you can post a question like that, and I'm sure it can help. But anyway, back to you, Sean. Thanks for reaching out. I know you'll figure it out. Just listen to that still. Small, quiet voice inside. Alright everybody that's another week down the drain. One more week. I am I think I'll be back next week after though Who is it for Steven? Right, Steven? Yes. On the front end of this. I think he gave me along with everybody else he wrote in the incursion I need to come back one more week but I will say I don't know for sure yet. Right? Cuz I'm always one week at a time. Tune in next week, hopefully. And we'll have another fantastic speaker for you. Just like Anna today. God bless everybody. Keep coming back. It works. If you work it. Love MPs out to Allah ewens Bye bye.
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