Author Laura McKowen talks with Chris Grosso about the process of addiction and recovery, her resistance to defining herself as an alcoholic, and working with guilt and shame.
Laura McKowen is the author of We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life. She had a successful career in public relations and the Mad Men–esque drinking culture of advertising. After getting sober, Laura became recognized as a fresh voice in recovery, beloved for her soulful and irreverent writing online and in print. She now leads sold-out retreats and courses, teaching people how to say yes to a bigger life. Learn more about her at lauramckowen.com.
Like Losing a Friend
Chris welcomes Laura to The Indie Spiritualist podcast and asks a bit about her background. Laura details her relationship with alcohol and how she wound up in recovery. They talk about the grief they both felt when they gave up drinking – it was like losing a friend – and Laura shares why she doesn’t define herself as an alcoholic.
“When I had a few drinks in me, I was fine. And I thought, ‘If I could just stay like this, everything will be okay.’ And I really chased that, I really tried to keep that going.” – Laura McKowen
Guilt and Shame (25:00)
Chris and Laura discuss the pros and cons of Alcoholics Anonymous, exploring how both are indebted to the program but feel something is lacking. Laura talks about how she worked through the guilt and shame caused by her drinking, and how she ultimately realized she needed to love all parts of herself, the good and the bad.
“I learned that it really wasn’t my fault. I learned that all of it was my responsibility – all of it, everything – but none of it was my fault. Getting addicted was not my fault, I never chose that.” – Laura McKowen
Gabor Maté and Chris Grosso discuss trauma, addiction, and recovery on The Indie Spiritualist Ep. 38
The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life (44:45)
Chris digs into Laura’s book, We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life, reading some of her no-nonsense advice on facing addiction. Laura brings up a concept she calls ‘the bigger yes’ and talks about deciding what our highest priorities in life really are. Chris explores how Laura’s book isn’t just for people who struggle with drinking and drugs, it’s really for all human beings.
“Pain is not such a problem, it’s always an invitation to something. And when you’re in the middle of pain, that can be the most annoying thing in the world to hear, but it’s also so true.” – Laura McKowen
Images via lauramckowen.com