Dismantled Life : A Podcast about Addiction and Recovery

021 - 5 Ways to Prevent Relapse with Brian Good the Sober Coach

November 01, 2020 Dismantled Life Season 1 Episode 21
Dismantled Life : A Podcast about Addiction and Recovery
021 - 5 Ways to Prevent Relapse with Brian Good the Sober Coach
Dismantled Life : A Podcast about Addiction and Recovery
021 - 5 Ways to Prevent Relapse with Brian Good the Sober Coach
Nov 01, 2020 Season 1 Episode 21
Dismantled Life

Brian Good, the Sober Coach, rejoins the show to share his advice on how to avoid relapse.  He puts his 19+ years of sobriety and career as a professional Interventionist to great use in this episode.  Listen to his 5 tips to stay sober and avoid relapse.


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Buy some edible, bakeable, ridiculously delicious cookie dough from Doughp.  Support the Dismantled Life podcast.  Use the coupon code DISMANTLEDLIFE to get 10% off your purchase.

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Show Notes Transcript

Brian Good, the Sober Coach, rejoins the show to share his advice on how to avoid relapse.  He puts his 19+ years of sobriety and career as a professional Interventionist to great use in this episode.  Listen to his 5 tips to stay sober and avoid relapse.


[email protected]

@Lifedismantled on Twitter

Follow me on Insta

Buy some edible, bakeable, ridiculously delicious cookie dough from Doughp.  Support the Dismantled Life podcast.  Use the coupon code DISMANTLEDLIFE to get 10% off your purchase.

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Dismantledlife)

Doughp.com (0s):
Edible bakeable ridiculously delicious. It's Doughp and it's a legit cookie dough. It's also the only kind of Doughp I encourage my listeners to enjoy with delicious flavors like Ride or die, Cookie Monsta, my kid's favorite, I think because its blue and extra delicious, You Want Smore and Fairy Dust or you can buy yours online @ doughp.com. That's spelled D O U G H P dot com. Doughp gives hope. A portion of every purchase is donated to a mental health and addiction recovery non-profit. At the time this airs Kelsey and Doughp will have donated over 66,000 mental health treatment minutes.

Doughp.com (46s):
That's nothing to sneeze at. Founder Kelsey Moreira is a shark tank alum, voted to the Forbes, 30 under 30 and a recovering alcoholic herself. She is the real deal. Kelsey was kind enough to share her story on the Dismantled Life podcast with me. Kelsey's episode airs on November 13th. Listen anywhere you grab your podcasts, treat yourself to some doughp, support Kelsey Moreira, support Doughp, help drive Kelsey's donated mental health treatment contribution and Support the Dismantled Life podcast. Use the code DISMANTLEDLIFE for 10% off your purchase of Doughp and help make it a great day.

Doughp.com (1m 27s):
Stay Sober

Anthony Capozzoli (1m 27s):
My name is Anthony Capozzoli and this is the Dismantled Life podcast, but we share stories of hope, love in strength from the darkness of Addiction in to the sunlight of sobriety. These are stories from people just like us who have lived through the pain and made it Brian Good the Sober Coach and I'm happy to have you back, man. We are talking today about avoiding Relapse. I know how hard it is from day to day. I mean, one day it would be amazing and know issues at all. And then the next day something happens and people struggle with, and I'm one of those people. I mean, I, you know, and I'm happy to say that the stretch of time, some times between those events is getting longer and longer, but you can never take for granted me and I think you'd really have to work hard.

Anthony Capozzoli (2m 19s):
It is staying on top of your game the whole time you get into it, man, because I think this is a great topic in one that is something that is near and dear to everybody's heart. That is going through this. I want to identify a couple of topics around this. So there's medicine and mental health, all using friends' early recovery and relationships or meetings and avoiding self we'll. So we'll be talking, you know, through those topics. Brian and I'm, I'm going to ask you, what do you, where do you think we should start on this, on this really important topic?

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (2m 55s):
It's really a no brainer about when you're in rehab, you know, like 75% of the people are prescribed some type of medication to make feel better and they get out of treatment and they stop taking it because they don't want to be the big one. And you know, if you stop taking the medication that the doctor is telling you, you need to take because you have some type of chemical imbalance and you stop taking that medicine, but you become uncomfortable and miserable, you know, cold distance and you start feeling in a way that you can handle that you can control.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (3m 40s):
So you drink and you now I am not saying that the whole world needs to be on medication, of course not. But from my observation, with working with a number of people on several coach.com and do an intervention, and I have found that people have chosen to modify there, made it, you know, a medication or on their own. And they end up relapsing and, you know, connected to that is mental health in general. I, I think 30, maybe 40% of the people I've met and rehab and, or at least 25% of the people that I've done interventions on. I can't talk about my current clients when I'm seeing the past, but 25% are ruled diagnosis.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (4m 29s):
And you know, to be under that zone is a real big deal because you're dealing with thoughts and feelings in your head that you are incapable of controlling without outside help. So we have guys that are dealing with the like uphill battle. It isn't just drinking and using him, but he was drinking and using a medic depression or depression was getting in front of you. Yeah. They're trying to cope with all of it all at once and it's borderline impossible. And then you get individuals. What they need to do is the lead to stick with the professional's and stick with the medication.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (5m 15s):
And I mean every milligram, no modification, you know, constantly seeing the psychiatrist to make sure that, you know, there may be a new medication or a better, a better medication or them, you know, that's always been a big worry of mine. I may have called hundreds of mothers up and say, Hey, is your son or daughter taking their medication? They're not taking the meditation. Okay, thank you. Hit me on the phone with him that in it, it, it is unlisted listing this first 'cause, it is a big one.

Anthony Capozzoli (5m 46s):
Taking your meds is just, that's the that's table stakes. Like, Ew, that's something that you just automatically knee jerk reaction have to do at the dosage. They give you the, at the pace that they tell, if it's two times a day, it's two times a day, whatever it is. But I would agree. Yeah. I mean, you, you got to work the plan the right way, embrace it and don't give up because that you're, you're putting yourself with a huge disadvantage. If you add that unnecessarily, that stress too, of not taking the meds and then the result of not taking the meds to the mix.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (6m 16s):
Correct. And nobody likes to hear that there are a bipolar, you know, and that there are bipolar and then they're also taking it to crack, you know, And and heroin, but ya know, you have to stick with the whole plan for forever, I think. Yeah.

Anthony Capozzoli (6m 30s):
And when you start to feel better in, in you, you get further along in the process and you talk to the, your doctor and let he, or she work with you through maybe the day the medication process. But yeah, I think that there needs to be a walk down from that. And I am not a medical doctor in any way, shape or form, however, do it professionally do it well and do it consistently. It's the, kind of the, probably the main takeaway there. So the other topic that we discussed that I think is a really good one to side from, in addition to, rather than medicine and mental health is, and this is a big one. And I think this is an easy one where people can fall into. And I had to really focus on, I'm not, I'm going to say isolation. And I don't mean that in a bad way.

Anthony Capozzoli (7m 11s):
I'm saying clear the runway of an old habits. And one of the big ones here is old using friends. I had to stay clear of going. And that just so the, the, the, the add to that, for me, it's not just the friends, but I had to make sure I was in the right place to make good choices and avoid old haunts the bar's and whatever. It might be a big thing for me to a certain driving around I was where I would stop at a certain gas stations, go in the bathroom and, and do a couple of key bumps. And I had to stay away from all that stuff, which I think I lean into that with the old friends concept. So I'll turn it over to you. But I think that, that, that's a huge, this is a huge one. People really have to realize that it's not what you're giving up.

Anthony Capozzoli (7m 52s):
It's what you're actually giving yourself, which is the opportunity to succeed. You're not giving up the old friends because they're probably in real terms and this things a little bit, there are not your friends, are, there are people that you used with and that doesn't make them friends,

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (8m 4s):
Right? And it doesn't necessarily make them friends. Although, you know, when do you know what relapse prevention we are talking about? People who are likely newcomers and they have not turned that corner long enough and far enough to acknowledge the fact that they have to make traffic life changes. Now, the good news for the listener here today is who, you know, there are plenty of newcomers had to call and do this. And one of those old friends who aren't going anywhere, okay, if you can walk away from that and come back later, you can come back when they are better.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (8m 46s):
When you are so strong and solid, which you we'll be through the help of the program and even hang out with those friends and a Use. But right now, to prevent a relapse, we need to let them go. If you let them go, then you are not making time for you, your new friends and your new friends, who are the ones who have been to hell and back just like yourself. And these are the ones that we can relate to it. These are the guys that, and the women in the meetings who know everything that's going on with us. And if we can just sit down with them and say, this is what's caught on with me, and they can take you out back and pray with you or run through the steps, or do you know all over the sponsor, you need all the time and in the world for people like that.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (9m 38s):
So you can turn that corner. There isn't any time for the old friends, not to mention the fact that they might not even respect your recovery. Some will some won't don't risk. It just like, Whoa,

Anthony Capozzoli (9m 52s):
I think the other side of that, they don't, they might not respect the recovery is because they don't know how to, what that means. I mean that, they're just no way they know you, how they know you in, in that mold, they're going to behave with, in to you the way that they have always behaved. So they're going to offer you a drink or whatever the hell it is. So, yeah. And so I guess what I would like to add to that is the takeaway here is it's not always the old friend's fault are just doing what they've always done with you. So you have to avoid them in and manage that process to put yourself in positions, to make good choices. And when you are ready to go there and, and confidently say, no, thank you. And avoid taking the drink or the drug, whatever. Then you can do that. But I agreed. So it's not always their fault.

Anthony Capozzoli (10m 32s):
Do you? And you, you, you need to Coach them up on how you can relate. I've got some friends that no, they still drink and God bless, you know, and, and they know that I, that I am sober, but at first, until they know that or understand that they're like, Hey, can I just went to a wedding in a couple of weeks ago in some friends that don't know about my sobriety, lets go do a drink, lets go to a shot at or whatever. I'm like, no I'm I'm I'm Sober Oh, and that was the end of it. It wasn't a big deal, but some of them were like, even push a little harder to try to Oh come on. What one Oh one shot that's not going to kill you. Yes, yes it will. So you know that you have to be prepared in a superhero kind of way to deal with that.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (11m 12s):
And I also think that old friends and have a habit of being unable to recognize the fact that rehab in that current sobriety is not a punishment. It's a gift you to do a punishment because they may have never gone.

Anthony Capozzoli (11m 27s):
That's a great way to put it all like that a lot. Actually it, it really is a gift and it's definitely not a punishment it's worth, you know, it's funny on this to, on that topic. I, I do. I participate in certain groups on Facebook, around sobriety and I just offer some sunshine and love and in a positive vibes to folks that are posting about how many days they've been sober or a bad day or a slip up or, or a Relapse Inn. And there was one this morning that I responded to. I'm not going to give you details about, you know, this specific instance, but I just posted, I said, look it, yes, you slipped up it's but it's important that you recognize that don't look at it like starting over, look at it, like you're continuing your sobriety journey and learn from it and move forward.

Anthony Capozzoli (12m 12s):
Like don't let that be. The reason that you go back to using everyone is going to do it though. It is what I'm saying is don't let that be the reason that you give up, like just work through it, understand that trigger that got you there or whatever it was all in the slip up and moved through it. You know that, and that was my feedback on it. And it's it's about what happens next. And I, I don't mean to simplify it, but I'm just, I'm doing it. So for, for sake of time for the listeners here, but that that's my feedback. And I think people should own in a good way. I slipped up. Why did you slip up, move through it positively and continue the journey. The number of days Sober is in the Gulf. When I say this is less important than the mindset about being, getting in, being sober.

Anthony Capozzoli (12m 57s):
So I think for me, at least the next topic around this is early recovery relationships. And I really liked this, what you talked about a moment ago, but I think this is a huge deal towards what I call the seismic shift of things that you change everything. And I think the really early relationships are in recovery or are very, very important.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (13m 17s):
So it was just writing about this on a forum last night. And I can, I also have a lot of experience getting into a relationship early on, opposed to feeling that pain that we need to feel. And in order to grow and get better. Now I can assure the listener have one real simple fact is whatever individual you would track and that you were attracted to before you work in steps. And then the individual that you attract in that you attracted too, after you thoroughly work your steps or B to B from like two different planets.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (14m 8s):
Okay. Two different planets. Now, if that is too much to swallow right now, it's extremely simple. You're trying to stay clean. You're trying to stay sober. You have to work on yourself. Not every day, we're going to feel good. If something doesn't feel right was suppose to write it down. And it was suppose to blend it into the other steps. I mean, we were supposed to do a fourth or fifth step that is not fun and that is not comfortable, but change is, and it was a coach to sit down with a sponsor and go over it. It's an effort, little things that happened throughout our life, that by getting them off of our chest, makes us a better human being for ourselves for a loved one.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (14m 55s):
And it prevents Relapse because you're getting that stuff off of your chest. So if you're in a relationship, well, I mean, there's nothing to do it. You're just numbing yourself with a human being because you don't know any better and you're avoiding the toughest stuff. I, when I was in a relationship in early recovery, I mean, I have dozens of dies. Tell me no dad away from her. And no, no, no, my kid, right. You kidding me 20 through all the courses. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you have to learn the hard way, but you know what? I remember the rough spots, her calling me and having him tell me that I committed to starting to steps with them.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (15m 37s):
And I just blew up until we stopped calling me and they just, you know, go sit with my new girlfriend who is also in early recovery. And we realized relapsed after, you know, maybe five or six months, one more time. Relapse we both went up to our lives, you know where the internships in recovery, they say the first year, you know what? However long you need to get your head together and start working on the program and to be in a position to Prevent Relapse when you're at that point, you'll know it. If you're not lying to yourself, I think we hope if you're not lying to yourself, you will know when your healthy enough to get into a relationship, right?

Anthony Capozzoli (16m 22s):
That's a Sage advice as well. Like you, you have to focus on yourself and you can't be a slave to two masters in that regard to simplify it. You, you just really need to work the process and the steps in and own that don't add complications unnecessarily. And they'll be plenty of time for all of that later in life. Like you said, that the, what you do attract in, I agree. I mean If and I think harmonic level, spirit level, if you're in a negative place, you'll attract that negative energy. If you're in a positive place right in light, it is what I like to say. You'll do. You'll attract that energy in good things begin to happen in not just with the people that you meet, but things in your life.

Anthony Capozzoli (17m 2s):
And I love that because I think that it's very true. I, you know, you have, and that's the other part of it. Many of us going through recovery have never taken the time to be good with ourselves. Take a deep breath, take a moment, let things slow down a bit. There's plenty of stuff to do later. A little come when it needs to come. So that's a big deal in don't complicate things to keep it simple in a void until you're ready, that relationship. So the next topic relapse prevention is meetings. What's your take on that? I mean, I know that everyone's got their own cadence, but w what do you suggest at different stages of recovery around me,

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (17m 43s):
The 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous and narcotics anonymous has been proven to work over and over and over for, I don't know, 20 to 30 reasons. The one reason that always try to point out to people is a fellowship provides fellowship. You've got a group of fronts. You've got people in their who can relate to a lot here to make it through the day. When you have a friend, you can call us. If you're having a problem, people would just show up. They'll just show up, you know, at your work and say, Hey, no, no, no, no, no, no. Talk to you that, you know, don't, don't go home. Don't want to you this.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (18m 23s):
You agree not to do that. Well, let's go get lunch. I mean, you can only get that in AA. I can't get that work in at all on your own. What? You just skipping meetings. My opinion when you're like, you know, you do the 90 or 90, you're going on a four or five meetings a week. You've got friends who are doing the right thing. You're sharing, you're doing service work, which is extremely important. Once, once your disease of addiction tells you that such, you know what, the guy on your right shoulder, he is telling you, what are your, don't go to that meeting tonight, watch the game.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (19m 3s):
You know, they home for a while. I was skipping out and then you start just skipping three or four minutes in a row. That's you're on your way to do it. Relapse.

Anthony Capozzoli (19m 10s):
So this morning, for some reason, I was just the last couple of days. I've struggled getting up out of bed in the morning to go to begin my day, which I get up at four 45. I have my morning routine. I get dressed ahead off the boxes. And then I walk a mile and a half, and then I read. And then the last, for some reason, the last few days I've struggled with getting my ass out of bed. Don't know why, but that's a big part of my recovery. Like I need to continue doing that because I am fearful like that. That's the Addiction talking about trying to talk me out of working my process, my step, your Addiction would try to talk you out of it. And you have to just fight the fight and go for work the plan And and go to the meetings and work.

Anthony Capozzoli (19m 52s):
The work. The process is really important. Skipping is at least for me, it's not an option. I have to stay, keep my eyes on the prize as it were. Yeah,

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (20m 3s):
They are really, really important. And however many you go to or whatever it works, it is what it is. But when you, you know, tell yourself that you can operate in your life without these meetings, that's probably the big one, I think.

Anthony Capozzoli (20m 23s):
And definitely a first step towards a Relapse no doubt because the fellowship, God, it feels so good, right? When you talk to people that get you in and you don't have to explain where you're at, they just know, and they can support you the way that you need to be supported because they've been there. That's huge and be able to get things off your chest are just here. Others in this struggle with you in a, in a positive way, it's, it's a really big deal. So I love that one as well. And the next one, at least for the last one for today is avoiding self-will. I was maybe I'd read it to describe

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (20m 51s):
That a little bit to help people understand what you mean. So this is my favorite topic because I spent so many year on the self-will site. They, they stayed in every meeting and every book surrounding the program that when you were living on shelf will and not God's will working on it. And the reel of the group, you are in deep, deep trouble. Now, obviously, if you were to jump into early recovery and jumped into a relationship, or if you were to stop coming to meetings where she went to hang out with the old friends, or if you want it to stop taking the medicine that the doctors are promising you, that you need to take that self-will okay.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (21m 41s):
Those are all examples of self. Well, but to me to get real general us alcoholic addicts for the rest of our lives while we're Sober, you know, everyone want to bother making our own decisions entirely. As you get older, as you get healthier, as we gain sobriety and we reach our goals and you know, lives, you know, get better. Well, the whole purpose is to be healthy so we can make better decisions and live a better life. But the backbone of our day to start of our morning, the root of everything that we're trying to do is based around somebody else's idea and experience, not ours.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (22m 24s):
Okay. If I wake up in the morning and I would say, yeah, you know, I'm going to go to spend $7,000 at bass pro shop as well. You know, go in late to go in and two or three hours late to work, you know, and my wife, who is a very healthy person who says, More, don't do that. You are going to want the money in some way, and you also need to be at work to continue helping others. So don't do that. Well, you know, if I'm listening to her and say no to South, well, the old saying the stealth will run while that it's like right there on a page, like at the third page of how it More.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (23m 8s):
If you know, he really is everything. Even though I've got coming on 19 years, Sober on 12 or one Oh one. And to this day, the vast majority of my day is based around the principles, a recovery Brian Good from some of them from Silver coach.com did not all right. Then I did it right then, but I lived in my whole life. I'm going to live by them when you start saying, no, I have it figured out, no I'm going to do this on my way. I'm not gonna be my morning meditation.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (23m 50s):
I don't need to bring my book to the meeting. I'll call my sponsor in late. Or even though he called me twice today, that's all, self-will, it doesn't work for us ever. And I've met some brilliant, very intelligent, very wealthy individuals in those meetings. And none of them live by myself. Well completely, they all know that they keep that attachment. So, yeah,

Anthony Capozzoli (24m 16s):
So I am not advocating a Relapse in any way, shape or form, but my question is if one relapses and you know, people will struggle with that challenge. What's the mental state to help get through it. So, because they are, today was a perfect example. I think it's just a it's serendipitous really that I was posting on this exact topic on one of the Facebook groups that I, that I participate in about that in, in this person was shameful and said, you know, why shouldn't even worry about this anymore? I failed. So w what's what's the self-talk or the fellowship speak about that,

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (24m 55s):
But beating yourself up does absolutely nothing. We're supposed to be drinking and using because we are alcoholics and addicts. And that's what we do at a sober living home in San Diego. And I was 19 years old, an individual named Chris sat across from me after we lost one of our brothers. He can be actually, you know, he passed away from, from, from drinking in the sober living at home. He said to me that he has always been told that he is more surprised when it's time that he stays sober, as opposed to When, you know, they pick her up. Was she supposed to pick up? That's what we do for every one individual that is in the meeting that is on the phone with, you know, with their brother and sister and sobriety for every one person that has made it that are like 40 or 50 that are never going to make it because they can't talk about what we're just talking about.

Brian Good the SoberCoach.com (25m 55s):
They can't listen to the show, they can't digest it and they refuse to allow themselves to relate to it. So that person shouldn't feel guilty. If anything, they should be proud. And just, I mean, just so proud of the fact that they feel bad, because if you don't feel bad, then they would have no chance. The fact that they feel bad and that they know they shouldn't have done that. And that was against their new religion. That just means that it's all part of the plant to go in, in the right direction. And thank God, they didn't die

Anthony Capozzoli (26m 28s):
A way that I best describe it to folks. I've not yet had a relapse. I'm grateful for that. And I hope that I don't, but I tell people that I have 40 plus years of bad habits to break in to really learn good habits, that, that that's some dedicated effort there for anyone that is learning the new positive routines and habits and in her life to not use or drink and its tough and there's going to be bad days. And when you do have a relapse, I think it's the most important thing. Dust yourself off, feel bad enough about it, to continue staying on the path and work that worked the programs. I mean, don't, don't let it be.

Anthony Capozzoli (27m 9s):
The reason that you give up is the main message here. And maybe one that we can end with here is that I, I think that, like you said, we were supposed to pick up her supposed to drink. That's what we do as addicts and alcoholics. And I think this has been a super helpful and insightful episode. And then I appreciate the help clear and concise you've made it. So I hope this episode is able to help folks out there with their day.

2 (27m 36s):
Hey, you know what? It always helps me talk about what keeps me alive or keeps everyone to tell him that I've worked with great to be here. And thank you. Thank you so much. And I hope I can come on again to me.