Our CEO Brice Hancock recently chatted with Lindsay Bray, founder of SoberHustle. Both in recovery, they share their stories of addiction, treatment, and continuing care.
Here are a few excerpts from the discussion, view the full conversation below.
Lindsay’s Addiction Story
Lindsay: “I started following you when I was court-ordered sober. And I hadn’t fully conceded to the fact that, you know, I might have a problem with drugs and alcohol. But you know, I had a point to prove to my former husband and a slew of other people that thought I had a drinking problem that you know, I can stay sober for this court order. And I did. I did it. But was I working a program? No, not even a little bit.
So what happened was I, the day that was over, went and picked up my first drink and it was as if no time had passed since I had been sober, you know that 18 months from when I had stopped drinking to when I picked up again. I picked up right where I left off. And that’s when I reached out to you. I messaged you and said I had been sober for a year and a half, I started drinking again and it’s like 10 times worse than it ever was.”
Brice: “Yeah. No, that’s what they say. There’s always some old-timer to say, you know, your disease is doing push-ups in the parking lot, right?”
Lindsay: “Oh heck yeah and mine certainly was. It was up and slapped me in the face…I started drinking again on July 28th of 2017 and I had checked myself into Harmony in Estes Park by August 30th of 2017. That’s how fast and hard my disease came roaring back.”
Brice: “…It’s a fatal disease. It’s fatal. Progressive. It’s chronic. It doesn’t ever get better, ever. And eventually, it will kill you. The disease wants us dead.”
Lindsay: “The old-timers always said to me, you’re going to wind up incarcerated, institutionalized, or six feet under the dirt Lindsay. And I just didn’t believe them and you know, lucky for me. My bottom did not include jail time. It didn’t include being institutionalized. But I was crazy by the end of it because you’re drinking 24/7 for like weeks on end.
My brain chemistry, my entire just physical being was beat down, worn-out, spiritually bankrupt, you know, you name it. And you know, I think for me the turning point was when I woke up in the fetal position on my bedroom floor with a bottle of vodka, like clinging to it. I thought this is how you’re going to die. Someone’s going to come over, it’s going to be your kids, and they’re going to find you dead on the ground. And that for me wasn’t, I just tear at the thought of them finding me, that was finally what made me reach out to a former sorority sister of mine from college who I knew was sober and she came up to help. You know, get me detox until I could get into Harmony the next day.”
Brice: “Well, congratulations. I’m glad you’re sober. How much did stigma play into you not asking for help? You know like because there’s this stigma that’s associated with this disease. Like you don’t want people to know if you want to hide it.”
Lindsay: “Well that was, I think like, probably the biggest piece of the puzzle. I didn’t want that title of alcoholic. I did not want to be known as someone that what I thought of as being, you know, having no willpower. I didn’t want to be that person. And I didn’t want to be treated differently. I didn’t want to have to go sit in the rooms, you know with shitty coffee. And you know, I didn’t want any of that.
Yeah, and it was all ego. It was all ego. And it took a complete like annihilation of my ego for me to look at this disease as the biggest blessing of my life. I love the fact that God made me an alcoholic. If I can help one person see the beauty of their disease, all of this was worth it. You know, a part of SoberHustle is breaking the stigma of addiction. There is a stigma, it’s still misunderstood.”
Brice: “People in recovery are connected through shared pain. That’s how we get better, that’s what the best product of a 12-step program is in my opinion, hope.”
Lindsay: “It’s hope. It’s giving people like, you know, the knowledge of you’re not the only one that feels this way, you’re not the only one that has, you know had to walk through that door of the AA meeting for the first time. We have all been down in those trenches and it’s only another alcoholic or drug addict that can help another alcoholic or drug addict out of that hole, out of that pit of despair.”
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, Mile High Recovery Center’s intensive outpatient program provides an individualized and convenient addiction treatment experience. Our service is for people that struggle with various addictions and are in need of drug or alcohol rehab in Denver. Click here to learn more about our approach at addiction treatment, or give us a call at 303-268-2144.