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  • Writer's pictureHolly Ridgway

Hellloooo Freedom

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

The photo below is from a client offering phrases for me to turn into a testimonial.

More and more I'm surprised by my clients who are releasing old addictions within a short time of working together. I wonder if that's because the antidote to addiction is connection? Science is now proving this big time. Although, I think the strength and longevity of Alcoholics Anonymous is the best "clinical trial" that has ever taken place: Every culture, every economic status, every type of childhood upbringing, every age...and one solution.

I, myself, quit drinking January 1st, 1999 and I'm not sure it would have stuck without the help of AA. I was gregarious even back then, a true extrovert, but I still couldn't meet anyone who didn't drink or smoke pot. So, after a couple of months I went to AA on the suggestion of an old friend who I ran into. Someone who I drank with many years prior and who I knew could really drink like me, and then some. He said he was sober and having a blast and that he went to AA to do it. He was even co-owner of a popular upscale bar in town and his business partner was sober too. He had served me there not three months prior and I thought he was just a bartender now. He joked how he'll probably love the alcohol culture forever despite sobriety and then he shared that he loves every aspect of his business and especially has no problem serving drinks to folks who can handle it or to those who can't because the latter will just get to AA quicker.

This was not an overnight process, but it was fast once I got a coach and put one foot in front of the other with an intention in place.
“Vulnerability transformed into a strength.”

Today I'm someone who has shed nearly all addictions, even the "benign" ones like sugar, TV, Facebooking, gaming, over-dating, over-eating, and over-shopping. I still have a tea or a coffee most days but overall I am free. And my commitment is to being more free and more happy in little ways every single day.

This was not an overnight process, but it was fast once I got a coach and put one foot in front of the other with an intention in place. To do this I actually stepped away from AA for a couple of years to explore what else could be possible. I knew I still needed allies, connection, and accountability. So that's what I created. This time with a much larger context than just being free of the drinking and aching discontentment. This time the context was limitlessness.

Much like my client so perfectly noted for himself in the photo below: I took risks, I released addictive patterns of behavior, I was unguarded and vulnerable. I received support to be and explore anything I could imagine myself to be and as a result, I embraced me. I am my own best ally now. I love myself without any stories about it now. I request support and know to seek support without any stories about it. I take risks and stand up for myself without any stories about it. I love others deeply and unabashedly without any stories about it. I ask for what I want without any stories about it.

It's a great freedom to be me. I consistently connect more deeply with others and this, according to the science, insures my sobriety at greater levels. I don't sponsor people in AA anymore but I do coach with a desire to pass on the freedom I know, so sometimes that includes releasing habits or substances...not at my request though. Instead, it does seem to come as a natural result of connect with oneself and also revealing to a trusted other.

When I first came to AA people would say to me, "We will love you until you can love yourself." Umm, yeah, okay. ...I had no idea what that meant. Except that it worked! And something I've come to understand and that I share with clients is that someone can love you 100% all day and all night but if you only love yourself 20%, you'll receive 20% of their love. My clients learn to be receivers

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This photo is from a client offering phrases for me to turn into a testimonial.

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