Recovery University is an 8-week masterclass for people who want to achieve spontaneous sobriety and reclaim their time, energy and health.
- Do you (try to) follow rules to control your drinking but it’s impossible to stick with them long-term?
- Are you secretly suspect of people who give up alcohol and claim to feel “amazing” because it’s such a struggle for you?
- Do you repeatedly promise yourself that “it” won’t happen again only to go back on your word?
- Do you minimize how much you drink around friends and feel ashamed? No one (maybe even you) knows how much you really drink.
- Do you feel embarrassed about things you’ve said or done while drinking?
- Do you eat healthy, exercise and try to think positive only to sabotage yourself with alcohol?
- Do you secretly factor in your drinking habits when making evening or early morning commitments?
- Do you often feel exhausted and know that alcohol is sapping your energy and resilience?
- Overcome your dependence on alcohol even if you can’t imagine life without it.
- Shift from “drinker” to ”non-drinker” without losing your identity—and rediscovering your authenticity.
- Frame the decision to quit drinking from a place of strength instead of weakness.
- Move forward with clarity, energy and motivation without getting sidetracked by cravings for alcohol.
- Enjoy life as a non-drinker without feeling like you’re missing out or being punished.
- Ascend to a new level of vitality and self-assurance that people around you will notice (and compliment).
- Navigate social settings like a badass without drinking alcohol.
- Quit drinking because you want to, not because you have to.
- Feel secure and confident in who you are and what you’re about instead of feeling stagnant and overwhelmed.
- Manage your stress and expand your bandwidth without craving a drink.
- Learn how to respond intuitively instead of reacting emotionally.
- Identify your unmet needs and learn to prioritize self-care instead of constantly short-changing yourself.
- Experience happiness—and feel gratitude for the little things, instead of apathetic and annoyed.
- Notice that you feel more connected to friends and family without alcohol, and that drinking breeds isolation.
- Sleep like a worn-out child and wake up refreshed (versus feeling like you’re clawing your way out of a hole).
- Identify the cultural and social “norms” that make every drinker vulnerable to alcohol use disorder and feel thankful to have escaped the trap.
Spontaneous sobriety occurs when the realization that life would be better without alcohol is followed by the decision to stop drinking. People who experience spontaneous sobriety and quit drinking without any formal treatment are four to seven times more successful than traditional recovery programs, which require only the desire to quit drinking. Desire is unreliable, and conventional addiction treatments have low success rates. Spontaneous sobriety isn’t reliant on emotion. It’s based on the belief that change is possible with appropriate support and furthermore, is already in progress.
This doesn’t mean that recovery is spontaneous. Healing takes time and encompasses mind, body and spirit. At Recovery University, you’ll learn how to set realistic exceptions and goals based on your unique circumstances. Every individual must define their own version of success; there is no “right” way to recover. However, the process can be accelerated with education, strategies and mentorship.
There are two common beliefs that can derail your best efforts to quit drinking. Depending on which camp you land in, you’re told either:
- Alcoholism is only a symptom of the problem. The REAL problem is what led you to drink in the first place. You’ll need to do a deep analysis of the past and of your personality, and make amends for all of your character defects. The unfortunate truth is that you have a disease—there’s something wrong with your brain. There is no cure.
- The sobriety customer service representatives promise you will immediately feel better, sleep better, look better, think better, do better (fly and leap tall buildings in a single bound). All you need is a gratitude practice, a good mock-tail recipe and you’re good to go.
The truth is both more and less complicated than either scenario. At Recovery University, we use the term alcohol use disorder to describe the inability to stop or control drinking. Referring to a person as an alcoholic perpetuates bias and stereotype. People can change; alcohol does not. Alcohol use disorder is progressive. But once the cycle is broken, your brain does heal. The reason you started drinking is not because you have a disease. In the beginning, alcohol likely served a purpose. Maybe it was an escape. Maybe it was just fun. Likely, it’s complicated. Drinking worked for awhile–maybe even a long time. But over time, it’s become harder to manage. The reason you kept drinking despite negative consequences is not because something is wrong with you. It’s because alcohol is an addictive drug.
The physical addiction will be gone within 10 days (maybe sooner–it depends on how long and how much you drank). That’s when your recovery truly begins. After years of abuse, your mind and body need time to heal. This is not indicative of a defective personality—it’s completely normal! Your brain chemicals and thought patterns have to recalibrate. There may be blood sugar imbalances, nutritional deficiencies or digestive issues to address. You’ll evaluate dysfunctional relationships, set new boundaries and break co-dependent habits. You may have trouble sleeping and feel depressed. These are temporary if you are willing to address them. This is why qualified support is essential. This is the work we do in Recovery University.
The only way to truly change your relationship with alcohol is to break the cycle of dependence. By immersing yourself in a sober mindset for 8-weeks (versus just white-knuckling through a time-out), you’ll gain the necessary perspective to make good decisions in the future. Sobriety is the vehicle to transformation–not a destination in and of itself. Should you ever choose to reintroduce alcohol, you’ll have the tools to evaluate and self-correct should problems arise.
“I was a drinker in identity and practice for over 30 years. It was fun for a long time–until it wasn’t. I attended a few AA meetings and quickly realized their philosophy was not for me. I set out on my own path and discovered real freedom– from alcohol, stigmas and stereotypes, and my own limiting beliefs. I’m not an alcoholic. I don’t have to apologize for who I am. I trust my intuition. I trust myself. I am Powerful. Confident. Grateful.“
Colleen Kachmann, MSc, CPRC
Founder of Recovery University