In this episode, my friend Alex Wilhelm joins me to talk about our shared experiences in recovering from addiction. Alex was most recently, the editor in chief of Crunchbase News, and is currently the host of the Equity Podcast on TechCrunch. He’s been covering the tech world as a journalist for many years and has had a wide variety of experiences in the entrepreneurial and startup ecosystems. Alex had a huge impact on my decision to get sober, and my decision to get help when I got to the point where I decided I wanted it. In this episode Alex shares why he got sober, when he realized he needed help, how he got help and then what he has done to maintain 3 and a half years of continuous sobriety. We also talk about how society views addiction, and how stigma plays a role in that societal perception as well as when and how some people get help.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE DISCUSSED:
- Alex Wilhelm shares with us about why he decided to get sober. He talks about when he realized he needed help, and all the times he attended AA, only to go home and drink immediately after. He then shares how he finally realized he needed help, which came when he ended up in the ER because of alcohol – which was 3 and a half years ago.
- We talked about how rehab, and then specific life changes, and support systems positively impacted Alex’s recovery. We both share some of our experiences living in recovery and some of the actions we took to foster our recovery in the early days.
- Alex shares about why he is intentionally being public about his recovery story. We talk about “stigma” and how society often views addiction and addicts themselves. Alex explains how addiction is a disease, and how it should be viewed and treated as one as well as why it has not been until recently.
- Sometimes life changes are required to set ourselves up for success in recovery. Alex talks about some of the changes he has made in his life, some large, some small. Some of those changes include not using mouth wash with alcohol in it, or not having alcohol in the house, nor eating foods cooked in alcohol.
- One of the most critical things Alex found that helped him with his recovery was learning to be of service to other people. Addicts can be very selfish individuals and when you remove the time wasted on your addiction from your life, you have more time to do healthy things. One of the things Alex fills his time with is being helpful to others. He even wrote a blog post about how serving others is “self-care” which you can read here.
- I asked Alex how sobriety has changed his life and he shares with us how he would have never gotten to marry his wife if not for his sobriety. He talks about how he dated her in college, then didn’t speak for 4-5 years then reconnected when he was 5 months sober. Without his sobriety, their relationship would have never worked, and he would have missed out on that incredible blessing.
- We talked about some of our habits that we have formed during our recovery and Alex listed a few of the things he focuses on that helps him with recovery including: exercise, meditation, diet, a social calendar with people who are sober or accepting of his sobriety, and a lifestyle built around sobriety.
- If you want to quit what is your first step? I asked Alex to advise anyone who may be listening on what to do today, if they think they may want to quit. He gave us a bit of a check list of things to do to see if you need to quit, and how to start that process.