On today’s episode, Duane talks with Charlie Gray about his journey of hope and resiliency through his toxic relationship with vodka and the one thing that allowed him to stay sober.

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In his memoir, At Least I’m Not The Frog: A Zany Memoir of Alcoholism & Recovery, Charlie Gray tells his story of being a recovering alcoholic sharing his experience of addiction, relapse, and recovery.

Living as a high-functioning alcoholic for 11 years, his plan was to keep his job, make some good money, and just drink his way through. This went on until, physically, he could no longer do so. The way he puts it is, “You can only drink a gallon and a half of vodka every day or so for so long before even a young man’s body begins to shut down.” 

The root cause behind such a behavior was his early childhood trauma from losing his mother. He was so focused on creating a life of purpose in honor of his mother that he never dreamed addiction would be something on the table for him. But then began 11 years of a toxic relationship with vodka.

Charlie attended a number of treatment centers across the country. Over the years, he had gathered all of the tools necessary for recovery. He was receptive to advice on what to do to better himself; he just didn’t implement it. 

However, when the body says no more and your pain is too great, there comes a point when you decide to do something. One day, Charlie just woke up ready to receive the love and the message from his higher power that if he would just spend a little time trying the practices he had learned through those years, he would stay sober. And so, that’s what he did.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Dealing with the loss of a mother
  • The brain as a powerful tool for coping
  • The huge disconnect between the heart and the head
  • Charlie’s decision to use the tools he learned to stay sober
  • A daily struggle to not succumb to the craving
  • How writing has helped him recover

Key Quotes:

[04:36] – “I was so focused on creating a life of purpose in honor of my mother that I never dreamed that addiction would be something on the table for me.”

[05:54] – “Your brain is such a powerful tool without you knowing it.”

[09:47] – “Thinking that you can control it – that’s another great example of how clever our minds can be and the rationale they can create when you have proven 1000 times that you cannot control it.”

[12:39] – “You can only drink a gallon and a half of vodka every day or so, for so long before even a young man’s body begins to shut down.”

[20:38] – “It really wasn’t until about a month or two after I’d been sober, that I began writing, and that is how I was able to stay sober through the rest of the pandemic.”

[24:14] – “A lot of terrible things have happened to me. But I overcame them and I’m not the frog.”

[32:57] – “Keep trying that even when it feels like you’re never going to find your identity or you’re never going to find your sobriety, it is out there.”

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Supporting Resources:

At Least I’m Not The Frog: A Zany Memoir Of Alcoholism & Recovery