How To Find Courage In Recovery

recovery May 28, 2022

How To Find Courage In Recovery


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Tamar: Okay. Are you ready? 

Lane:  Ready

Tamar: Let's talk about courage

Lane: Courage to change,  courage to walk across the street. Some days that's a challenge. Courage to get out of the house. Yes, courage to wake up in the morning, courage to get out of bed, courage, to be a good human being courage, not flip people off courage to be a wife, courage, to not sleep with somebody else.

Oh yeah. I could go on and on to be a parent courage to be a parent holy geez we're just talking about summer holidays. So that's correct. Courage, a lot [00:01:00] of courage going on over here. How about you? Any courage over there? 

Tamar: So full of courage, I had the courage to support my mother and lift laundry up the stairs.

Lane: That's that took courage. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Courage to make a big life change. 

Tamar: Oh, I haven't done any of that lately. 

Lane: Do you want to share with our audience what's happening with you? I think it's a, it's a courageous act to do what's going on with you right now. uh, yeah. 

Tamar: Well, the courage to be on my own for the first time, ever.

Lane: Holy that's a courageous act. That's so exciting. 

Tamar: It is exciting. It's like, I can do whatever I want now, but it's. You know, going from an eight-year relationship, I ended up moving out last year, getting my place and, you know, we had our things going on, but having it and very suddenly as you know.

And just having the courage to a, be there for my mother, because she had her surgery and all this stuff going on, but just the courage to know that everything's going to be okay. And I think it's my face. That. And we talk about it, right? God, all this stuff is happening for a reason. I know this, it hurts sometimes and it's, you know, some days are better than others, but just the courage to know it's going to be okay.

Lane: How long did it take you to get to that place? To know that it's going to be okay. 

Tamar: Oh, I would say. At least eight years. Yeah. You know, there's, I would say the last two years is when I finally, like I had faith, right. That first year I had a very profound, spiritual experience. And, but I was still really hesitant. It's like, oh, I don't know. And I still tried to control everything. And I think it's finally as of a couple of years ago where I started to let go of that control. 

Lane: Yeah. But you haven't let go of it.

Tamar: No.

Lane: Um, oh, that's brilliant. Yeah. That's a big deal. 

Tamar: It is. And it's, I don't know. I kinda, you know, there are mornings where I feel alone, but then I don't and it's, it's, it's a different kind of alone. It's kind of the. Just this transition and things are strange, but at the same time, I'm kind of embracing what's to come.

Lane: That's where you could walk around in your underwear. 

Tamar: And I could walk around naked.

Lane: I don't even know what you'd be worried about. You're with your partner, but there's just having another person in the house or people in the house it's like, you can't just be sometimes.

You're so lucky I say, okay, I know, oh my God, you can have whatever you want in the refrigerator. You can eat whenever you want. I know nobody's timeline. 

Tamar: I love it. Chicken strips in the freezer, although that is going to be, that is going to be my next one. 

Lane: Yeah. Given up that one thing at a time. Yeah. Chicken strips. That's a couple of months away. Yeah. We're not there yet. 

Tamar: I haven't, you know, I admit I'm powerless over the chicken strips, but I don't think my life has become unmanageable. 

Lane: And maybe it won't be, maybe it already is though. If you're already thinking of it, it might be. Was saying it could be like my, uh, matcha obsession.

I thought a problem. Two years later, 20 pounds heavier problems galore. No problem. Oh my God. I love them. I can't live without them. I'll take three. Yeah. I need them. Courage. Courage is a big topic.

I don't think I was taught how to be courageous. Were you taught how to be courageous? Did your dad like model that behavior? 

Tamar: He did. Yes. But I think because I started drinking at 14. Yeah. I don't, I mean, there's a lot of blurriness from 14 to 36, but I can remember having the courage or being courageous back then.

I mean, I did some pretty stupid things with liquid courage, but that's the only form of courage I ever had. 

Lane: Giving up the drink, like I would think, oh yeah, like walking over there and talking to that girl, that's like, Ooh, courageous, like asking her to dance. Woo. What is serious? You know, like that's not an act of courage, but in my little, you know, addict mind, like that was a big deal. Super courageous, but it is courage if you think about it because you're doing something that scares you. 

Tamar: Right. And most of the time. It's that fear of, I don't know about you, but it was like, what if they say no?

What if they don't want to dance? 

Lane: Yeah, I didn't, I don't think like that. That's the problem. I think that's here. I've always been like this. I don't think like they wouldn't say no to me like that doesn't come into my brain. It's like when I was in school in high school, what was her name? Lisa said to me at the lockers, she said, no one can ever say no to you.

And I said, what? She's like, I don't know. That's just the way your world is. And from that moment on, it just locked in. Right. That was a hypnotic moment that I had. And it, it, it just has never phased me since then. I was like 13. That's interesting. Right. And I remember it like it was yesterday, but whatever she said, however, she said it, it just like chink locked, locked, and loaded.

Tamar: Wow. Yeah. I can't, I think my dad modeled courage for me very early and I think that's where I get my work ethic today because he, and we immigrated to Canada when I was a year old. Wow. And. He was, he bought a bakery because that's what his family wanted to do. Right. I loved it. Cause it was free donuts.

I mean, what kid doesn't like free donuts every day after school, it was amazing. It was bliss. But then he decided he had always wanted to be a filmmaker, right. A documentary film producer. And so he kind of did it off to the side. And my brother and I were super lucky because like he would put the green screen up and we would do the Superman thing and he put us flying through the canyons and stuff.

So he's good at it. He's very creative and. He decided to sell the bakery, and get rid of it all. And we moved out to BC and that's what he did. And he's been doing it ever since. Right. And so seeing what my parents went through because they ended up separating when I was 18, it was very hard on my mom because my dad traveled all the time.

But I think watching him, it was kinda like, so it, it didn't surprise me. Like when I told him dad I'm quitting my corporate job and I'm going to be an entrepreneur. He's like, well, who am I to stop? Right. Yeah. That's where I got that from. That's what he did. He jumped. Yup. It is courageous to do something different than what your family has told you to do, or what society has told you to do 100%, and leave a corporate job.

Lane: Courageous Jesus. It's been a lot before. Yeah. That's a lot. It is a lot, but it's a good lot. So can you think of times, you know, when you got sober, where you got courageous, uh, uh, there are so many moments, you know, moving, moving to Colorado. Overnight, uh, this Carolina, this woman, she said, you know, I need a sober companion.

And I was like, what? I didn't even know what that meant at the time. You know, I was seven years I think. And she was like, you just helped me get set up there. And I had nothing going on. I was like, okay, whatever, but I just did it. And everybody thought I was crazy. They're like, you're going with her.

Are you kidding me? She's crazy. And I was like, sure, I got it. I'm going. But now looking back, that was super, that was courageous because I didn't know anybody. I didn't know how it was going to land. I didn't have, um, a community or a network, you know, set up. I had just gotten back from, uh, Southeast Asia.

So I was like still in culture shock a little bit. Um, Landed again, that was, that was bold. And everybody was like, you got to get your resume together. You got to get going with your job. Like you've been out, you know like you got to do something. I was like, no, I don't think so. Yeah. That was a courageous moment that took me on an incredible journey of living in Boulder, Colorado, which I loved.

Tamar:  And you moved halfway across the world for a while too. That's pretty courageous. 

Lane: Yeah. But I didn't see it as courageous. I see moving with, with Caroline. That was more courageous going to the other side of the world. I mean, I guess that is, but yeah, people thought I was crazy for that too, but you know, having a kid that's courageous.

Tamar: Because had you ever planned to get married and have children? Lane: No, it was not. No, that wasn't on my list. Not even the shortlist. No. Uh, but yeah. Lo and behold, I have a 12-year-old and a husband. Whoa. Who would have thought and you're planning summer holidays and I'm planning summer holidays.

Yeah. We're we will be so low. Which is super fine. That's amazing. 

Tamar: Well, you know what? I think it's courageous to give up the old lifestyle. Oh my God. And getting sober because I know that I was like, oh my God, how am I going to handle life? How am I going to have fun? Like, my life is so different.

And of course, I can't just think, you know, one day or one hour, it has to be forever because I'm very all over. And everything I do, but I think that you know, and we, when we nerd out about science, it's, I mean, I'll believe for vision, right? When you start to hear stories of other people who have done it before you it's like, oh, maybe I can do this.

Yeah, absolutely. Everything's been already done. You can just do it again. Lane:  Right. Just follow what they do, but I think it's courageous to stay sober.

There is something about just staying every day. I mean, sometimes it's very mundane. I gotta tell ya, making lunches every day. It's not what I want to do. Um, but I do it right. I'm here. I've grown up to become a participating working member of society who contributes. That from where I was, where I was taking every day from people to now giving and caring.

It's like, how is that possible? There's something about just staying the course. 'cause people get like antsy. I think the longer that we're in recovery, it's like, oh, what else can I do? And I hear this a lot. I heard somebody talking the other day about being 20, uh, 30.

No, I'm sorry. She was 20, 26. She's 26. So she's a year, more than me. Uh, but she stopped going being in her program, uh, for five. And, she didn't pick up a drink, but she said she got complacent and she didn't like her life. Then she was reintroduced to her sober life and she got like jumped right back in and she's super happy now.

And I bring this up because there's something about it. People in recovery where we kind of go in and out of these valleys, you know, on this self-discovery, solo tours hoping to meet others where really, we just keep digging down, down, down, down, down, and then we're like alone. And then we pick up a drink again, and those who make it back to the surface, so to speak.

That's a courageous act that they didn't just stay in the hole. Right. I mean, it would have been really easy for her just to not do everything that we do because it takes a lot of work. Like, as I said, it's, it's an act of courage to get out of bed sometimes. In recovery.

I dunno. I'm going on a rant. 

Tamar: Sorry. It's true though. You see it so often. I mean, I had that right in the F I would say five to seven-year mark, or it was kinda like, I'm good. You know, I can just get by with doing very minimal and I paid for it, you know, mentally and spiritually. And now I feel like I'm in such a physically.

Lane: Yes, physically, for sure. We pay for it. This is where people. I don't see the physical manifestation of this illness. 

Tamar:  But I feel like I'm in such a strange part of my life right now. 'cause. I mean, I've already been married right before, so I have done that.

It's not like I'm itching to have to do it again. I was just about there again. Um, but so now I'm 46 and I'm single and I'm like, okay, well eventually menopause. So there's, and I do reflect on this often, recently, and it's like, you know, part of me just wants to like put myself out there and have so much fun and do whatever, but then there's the other part of me that is maturing.

I feel a little bit in my recovery where I'm like, but do I want that? You know, like I like being alone. I have, I love my own space. I love. I don't know, it's just such a weird place right now because there's the desire to get out there. 

Lane: I think it's good to face this next part of your journey. And this is not, I'm not giving you any opinions here. Sharing experiences like it's good to just walk into the next phase. 10 for me was illuminating 10 is when everything opened up, and I fell in love with my program. I fell in love with my community.

I, um, And then I met my husband so 10, like that 10 to 15 was like an awakening, but I was also willing to be open to it. You know, even though I was begrudgingly saying, I hate this dating crap, it's like so stupid, so stupid, which was, you know, Uh, some would say that was courageous. You know, I was like going on these dates and I was just like, Ugh, God, this is so lame.

I don't want to do this. Uh, but looking back, I'm like, yeah, that was the right thing to do. Slow and steady wins the race. That's what it comes down to just like slow, methodical footsteps. I did this exercise the other night in my class where I had them. Do right foot left foot and they close their eyes and they go into you go into a meditative state.

And, uh, this one of my students just in awe, because she was like, I've never felt like this before. I've never been able to feel this way. And that's where you're going right now. Right. Foot left foot into this new experience. That's courageous, right. Being open and willing. I always tell my students, like, thank you for being here.

You're open and willing. Like you made it through the door. That's when we're winning right now. Your brain is winning. It is winning. 

Tamar: I think the longest I've ever been single in my life is a year. And that was a little dabble in between there. I had just separated from my ex-husband and of course, I'm like I'm meeting all these friends are going to the beach.

Like it was really fun in the beginning and yeah. I'm so grateful for the guidance I had back then. Now I did try. I'm like, well, I'm just going to date this guy. Like he's in, he was in a second-stage recovery house. So I thought, well, perfect. Right, where we're. Sober. We have so much in common and we dated for about a month.

And I remember, you know, a friend of mine going do you think this is a good idea? I'm like, we're just friends. We're just going on dates. It's nothing serious. I'm not going to sleep with him. Right. And I didn't for the record, but then 30 days later, which that in itself is a miracle. 

I mean, the whole joke about what does an alcoholic bring on their second date? A Uhaul. That's so true for me. And so we, I separated, like it was, you know, he, I just said, okay, we're done. And he said, well, that's great. That was a good six months of being sober and he relapsed and that could have taken me out.

So. That was my experience and why now I always suggest keeping that year, but I write actually on my year I went out on a date where she did, but that was the only year that I've ever been single. 

Lane: Whoa. I know, dude. Yeah. That's you owe yourself this break. Really? Your spirit is hungry for alone time.

Yeah. Oh, Wow. Single being single. Oh, the years of yesterday. So you don't get to hear the stories because you know, on the podcast now we're going to be having discussions and conversations and you know, we'll give updates and what's going on. Things as they happen. I think that's fun to talk about how we walk this journey in long-term recovery because it does, it looks very different today than even five years ago.

For me, like five years ago, I would have reacted very differently. Yeah. Oh yeah. Five years ago. What was I doing? Five years ago? I was 20. Oh. Oh, what was I doing, I don't even know what I was doing five years ago. It's so interesting. Two years ago. It's pandemic for almost three years now. We're in the third, right?

Third-year, I think I was in, I was in the Philippines. Yeah. Five years ago. Adrian would be 7. Oh my God. Yeah. I was not doing well, but you know, it, it just, it is what it is every year is different. 

Tamar: It is progres. And you know, one of the other things I was thinking about in terms of courage, and I think this is something that a lot of people struggle with is the courage to say no.

Lane: Um, so how do we say no, we just say. 

Tamar: Yeah, but I know a lot of people that can't so they get a feeling in their stomach and they just do things, but they have that feeling in their stomach and they just do say yes anyway. Right. So what are some practical tools that we can share with them to support them in saying no?

Well, first of all, when you do get used to it, it's very empowering. Um, I have to start by saying no to adding. Massive amounts of plans on my schedule, because I would always say yes to everything. And then by the end of the week, of course, my schedule was so busy that I was like, oh, I don't want to go out anymore.

And I ended up canceling last minute. And so I learned that lesson by having a really good friend of mine. Call me out. And she stopped talking to me for a couple of months and then, you know, we're both in recovery, so both of us got together and, you know, she said, I should have been honest in the beginning and said something.

Right. And so I've learned by practicing that when you, you can say no in a very nice way, you know, if you ask yourself, okay, Do I need to do this or do I want to do it? If you even have a little bit of an inkling that it that's a, no, you can say, you know what? I'd love to hang out, but I can't tonight.

No one has ever stopped talking to me because I had told them I'm tired or I've got too much on my schedule. Yeah. Yeah. And just having, I think it starts with just having the willingness to say, I'm going to say no. 

Lane: Like people ask me to do all the chores. People ask me to go do this. People ask me to do that.

Like just agreeing with yourself that I'm not going to say yes to everything. So one thing is going to fall off the list. Just one. [00:26:00] You know, that could be the laundry that could be going to the grocery store that could be doing something for your kid that could be driving to. And from school, you're only going to do one, right.

Something has to fall off the list, just be open and willing to have something fall off the list. So then the next week you can say, no, I'm not doing that. I can't do that right now.

Once you do that, I could be like, oh my God, this is so great. How come I don't do this more? yeah. I talk a lot about the full body. Yes. Like it has to be a full body. Yes. Like I gotta be all in on this or it's a full body. No, thank you. Yeah. Come back to me next year. Like there was somebody who reached out to me about LinkedIn. I said, no, thank you. Come back to me next year. You know, people like they try to market their services and, you know, I need help. I have said over and over again that I need help in social media land. I'm not great at it. I don't have the bandwidth.

I don't understand. I just it's too much. So when this person reached out, I mean, the old me would have said, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's great. But now that I know what I know that time is of the essence and time is my commodity. It's mine. It's no one else's. I said, no, thank you.

Check in with me maybe next year, 12 months from now. Do you think they're going to check in with me? I don't think so. No. Yeah. So how do you, cause we've talked about this right? Where you're like, hell yes. How do you feel that? I mean, I, I know like when I want to do something,

Right. And when you have that little bit of like, yeah, yeah. Um, it becomes easy.

Tamar: Do you like physically feel it?

Lane: I just it's for me, it's there's like a sigh of relief inside my body, like, yes. Yeah. And I get like confirmation that my practice. Double win right there. 

Tamar: Yeah, I can tell because the ideas start to flow. Like it's almost like this damn breaks. Cause I find that when there are things that I get asked, cause I get asked to do a lot of things and collaborate.

And there are things where I'm like, Hm, I don't like there's that resistance. But then as soon as someone asks you to do something where you're like, it's like the dam breaks and all these ideas start to flow. And I feel like that's when you know, Yeah, this is aligned with what I want to do. And that's another thing that I've practiced doing is the day-to-day things like whatever life throws at me, I'll ask myself, does this align with the life I want to create for myself?

And if it doesn't, I have no problem saying no most of the time. Yeah. Does it align with the future self that I am creating? Yeah. Yeah, because if it doesn't, it's. It's a no, thank you next year. Come back next year. 

Lane: So there's the practice. 

Tamar: There's the takeaway. If anybody asks you to do something, just say, uh, next year.

Lane: Yeah, please come back next year. Yeah. And you know, lo and behold, maybe next year I'll need it and be ready and be like, yeah, I'm all in. 

Tamar: But it won't be in Lane's timing. 

Lane: Nope. So courage is, um, really standing up for yourself, right? You're taking a stand and letting others know that you matter and that your time matters, your energy matters, and your being your presence matters.

Um, it's taken me a long time to get that. Yeah, it's a hidden gift of recovery. It is. And having the courage to just be who you are. Oh yeah. Like all of it's off. No more lipstick. Hello, today. It's lip gloss, just lip gloss.

Tamar: For me, it's chapstick which I'm addicted to as well. 

Lane: Oh my God. Great. So we have the event coming up in the community. Yeah. And if you're new to our world, welcome to the crazy here. Delightful to have you with us. I'm excited. Right? This is going to be so fun. 

And yeah, we've got so much fun stuff in there. I mean, and that's all in the community over at the connected calm life. So there's a couple of things happening here. There's your sober now what? And you're like, okay, great. What do I do with that? Well, that's this podcast that you're listening to, to inspire you, to take action, to live your best life.

Right? Because in sobriety we kind of get a little complacent sometimes, or we don't know how to put things together. And we're like, Ugh, this is overwhelming. So Tamar and I are here to kind of guide you, support you, help you, uh, perhaps even shift your thing. I mean really? We both nerd out on, neuroscience and recovery.

So hang out with us here. And then in the connected, calm life, it's like you're winning like three times. You know, when the slot machine goes, Ching, Ching, Ching, we'll do that for the outro. Like you get meditations, you get mindfulness practices. Happening in there. So check out that because it's there, they complement one another, and then we have something coming in.

Tamar: The Now What Academy happening September? In September, October. Yeah. I think September that's like the next level. Yeah. In September. 

Lane: So yeah. I am super stoked about this. Like, it's going to, it just, it's going to build, so I'm really glad that we are doing this tomorrow. What a great idea you had. And here's like I just said yes, because I had a full body ass on it.

Yeah, you did. You might've added a little more to the yes.

So, uh, shall we put a bow on it? Is there anything else you want to add to that? Did I miss anything? 

Tamar: No, it was perfect. I think one thing I would like to add though, is that for those of you that are listening we're here to help you create a life so good for yourself. You never want to go back.

If you have topics. That you would like lane and I to discuss, because nobody's talking about long-term recovery, you hear everything about getting sober, right. But a lot of people don't stay sober and that's why we thought it'd be cool to discuss these things that we go through. And, you know, you have me at the 10-year mark you at the 25.

So there's always going to be a bit of a different perspective, which I think is very cool. 

Lane: Um, but if you have a topic that you'd like us to discuss, we would love to hear from you. And you can send that over to our Instagram. @youresobernowwhat and 

Uh, get in the connected, calm life. Join the gatherings. I think the bow can be put on it. Ready. Here we go. Tie it up. We're out. 


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With over 35 years of continuous sobriety Tamar Medford & Lane Kennedy teach sober women over 40 how to feel ten years younger, do what they love everyday and live their best lives. Discover how you can create your dream life through mindfulness, meditation, science and spirituality.

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