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How I became sober

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

Did you know that Female alcohol use disorder in the United States increased by 83.7% between 2002 and 2013*? Yes, men are still drinking more, but the gap is closing every year.

There is more literature on the topic than I can share on this blog, but, as I prefer true stories, let me share with you my encounter with my ''red friend in a bottle''.

I started to hang around him when I was a teenager. I call this period with him the golden dates. This is when the promise was delivered. He promised he would make me popular and fun, that I would let loose an stop being so nerdy. And he kept his promise: all those things really did happen! I liked him and appreciated his presence but I was still ok not seeing him every day or every week - we were casual. This lasted for a good 20 years.

Fast forward and I am in my early 40's, newly single after a long relationship with someone who was quite sober and also critical of my relationship with the ''red friend in a bottle''. He thought I was seeing him more and more. The reality is that the red friend  had slowly become my travel companion, my late study-night companion, my Sunday blues companion, my afternoon by the pool companion, my every-occasion-is-a-good-occasion companion.

I had entered the Wine O'Clock Private Members' Club! This slow shift illustrates what a retroactive change is: one day I woke up and I was drinking almost every day, not really sure how it all happened and I never saw it coming. Oh well... my friend was still somehow delivering on the promise of a fun life. I traveled, I dined in the best restaurants, drank those expensive bottles, I was the life of the party, flying left and right, had an amazing life on social media and so many friends!

Then my friend started to behave weirdly. This is what I call the devaluation period. Our romance was over and I was spending more and more time alone. I noticed he started to make me feel sad and angry. He had faulted his promise. He was troubling my sleep and I was not so hungry anymore. My heart was pounding very fast in the morning and I frankly I could not recognize myself in the mirror. In reality, my friend was no longer my friend and I had no clue how I would split with him or even if I was going to be able to ever leave him. So I tried a few trick, see him only in the weekend or only for a few hours at the time but that never lasted long since he had became so entangled with my life, I felt trapped.

Never underestimate the power of words for they can really hold a miracle. One late evening, after overindulging with my friend I receive a text: "Wine is taking over your brain and it is not fun anymore". I can still see that text, but even more so, I can feel the effect those powerful words had on me. The word "Brain". Someone I respected and who was dear to me was telling me that my relationship with the red friend was damaging my brain. I couldn't let that happen - my brain is all I have! I need to work, etc. When I woke up the next day, I told my friend: "Game over". I never saw him again.

That is a great example of spontaneous change. It happens on the spot and there is no turning back. It feels like a miracle, like a grace. Joseph Campbell's The hero's journey calls this phase "the revelation" and it really feels like a revelation.

I will write more extensively later on my recovery and discovery experience and share with you how I have experienced the long, very long, incremental changes. Every day building layers of strengths and every day peeling away layers of pain.

But for now, I can say that I have chosen RTT as a powerful technique to help people that no longer feel comfortable in their life habits - shopping, gambling, drugs, netflixing, food, technology, ..., because I know that we can get our life back and get it back, a billion times better.

Janylene Turcotte, CHRP, ACC, C. Hyp, RTT

T. 514 576-9578

* 2017 study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

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