Ep. 191 – Al Dutzik- The Real Deal Alcoholic- The importance of community and benefits of Sober Living

“Alcohol was the substance I just could not go without – I felt safe with alcohol.” -Al

Today, Ben and I are talking to Al, a native of Pittsburgh, who is sharing with us today his journey and what he did to become sober. He talks with us about Foundations – a program that provides housing for men moving through their journey of sobriety.

His First Experiences with Alcohol

At the age of 16, Al found a bottle of homemade wine in the basement of his home and decided to try it. When he drank, Al noticed that he didn’t feel embarrassment, a common emotion he would have in public. “It seemed that alcohol was a solution for me, I didn’t realize the hell that was in for me with alcohol.” Although he wasn’t aware of becoming an alcoholic, this was the start down the path to addiction.

Alcoholic’s Perspective on Drinking

“I thought that everyone drank to feel good,” says Al. He didn’t recognize that there was a social aspect to drinking. Today, Al acknowledges that you need to be OK with your strengths and weaknesses and that having good self-esteem and self-worth is a key component to completely recover from an addictive state.

When he talks about his addiction, Al says that his wheels fell off when the alcohol “didn’t work anymore.” At this point, there wasn’t an amount of alcohol that he could drink that didn’t make him sick. However, he didn’t know how to or who to ask for help.

Today, Al is grateful that he doesn’t have to use alcohol to feel good. “It’s incredible to not have that chemical holding me hostage all day!” Now, he learns about himself daily and seeks out meaningful relationships with others.

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Show Notes:

  • [03:15] Al’s experience with alcohol and growing up with an alcoholic father.
  • [07:04] The emotional void that alcohol fills.
  • [10:08] Starting to drink in the morning to avoid feeling hungover.
  • [17:56] The wheels fall off when the alcohol doesn’t work to solve your problems.
  • [20:01] How he decided to go into rehab and who helped him get there.
  • [24:58] Going into recovery simplified Al’s life in a very profound way.
  • [30:39] His first conference call with an addiction counselor.
  • [34:34] Be willing to take suggestions from others to help you on the road to recovery.
  • [39:33] What AA is all about and how you can use AA to recover.
  • [43:48] Giving up alcohol gave Al his entire life back.

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