In 2019 I completed the Recovery Coach Academy in Massachusetts. Although I do not meet the criteria to become a Certified Recovery Coach I do strive to gain as much knowledge and skill as possible in order to help the people that I serve. Out of all the valuable info that I learned during that training one important phrase stood out the most. Our instructor instilled in us that in order to “talk the talk” one needed to “walk the walk”. I heard him when he said it but I don’t think I was truly listening to the wisdom of it all.
The phrase “talk the talk and walk the walk” repeated itself over and over in my mind for several months. I knew how to talk the talk but was I actually “walking the walk”? I didn’t really think so. I still drank. I got to the point that anytime that I drank the phrase would pop into my head and I knew that I was not “walking the walk”. I was not a heavy drinker for the most part but I did use alcohol as a way of coping with things. Looking back at it I think that I drank every time a crisis occurred. I drank pretty much every day for a year after my son Josh was killed.
I told myself that since I didn’t drink all the time and since I only drank beer and never hard liquor that alcohol was not affecting my life. But I knew this was not true. After a night of throwing back 4 or 5 beers (It never took much) I would wake up at 2am, hating myself and vowing to quit. Even on nights when I only drank 1 or 2 beers I felt guilty. Guilty because I was promoting recovery but I did not believe that I was not in recovery.
So, this is what I did: on November 31 I quit drinking. It actually wasn’t hard for me at all. I was surprisingly relieved to stop drinking. I did not go through any type of treatment as I did not have any withdrawal. What I did have was a free conscious and no more hangovers or feelings of guilt. I am now clear headed, setting a better example to the young people in my life, living a heathier lifestyle, and most of all I now feel that I am living my life to its potential rather than just existing.
I am now “talking the talk” and “walking the walk” and that is priceless.