Dismantled Life : A Podcast about Addiction and Recovery

037 - Lonni : Gray Hair, Tattoos, and Loving Life after 50

March 11, 2021 Anthony Capozzoli Season 2 Episode 37
Dismantled Life : A Podcast about Addiction and Recovery
037 - Lonni : Gray Hair, Tattoos, and Loving Life after 50
Show Notes Transcript

I met Lonni on Instagram and fell in love with her joy instantly.  Her recovery from alcohol and gambling is powerful.  Lonni's path is a no nonsense path that helps her live in the moment and empowers her to shine her light on others.  I have met a lot of amazing people in my sobriety journey and Lonni is one of my favorites.

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Twitter @Lifedismantled

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Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (0s):
My name is Anthony Capozzoli and this is the Dismantled Life podcast where we share stories of hope, love, and strength from the darkness of addiction, into the sunlight of sobriety. These are stories from people just like us who have lived through the pain and made it no matter how bad it gets. Just know that you can and will recover. It takes work. It takes hard work. Each week. We talk in detail about what it takes to make it what it takes to beat your addictions. I am a recovering addict from alcohol, cocaine and nicotine. My addiction started in eighth grade. I am now 50. I am over 40 years of very bad habits to break. I hit rock bottom hard, more than once I nearly died, I would have left my wife and two young children behind I've been clean and sober for nearly three years.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (48s):
I completely dismantled my entire life and built it from the ground up. I believe to make it in recovery. It takes a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual approach. It takes a positive mindset. It takes hard work. It takes a village. Join me weekly to learn from my silver superhero guests and the dismantle life podcast. Subscribe and follow on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere you listen to your podcasts. Check me [email protected] Email [email protected] Anytime. Please be sure to leave a rating and review anywhere you listen to your podcasts. And let me know if you want to be on the show, happy recovery.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (1m 33s):
Like many people do on, on Instagram. I absolutely love your photos and I loved your, the backstories to each of your great photos. It's, it's great. And I'm a big fan.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (1m 45s):
Well, thank you. I think every picture has

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (1m 47s):
A story. First time. I wasn't a huge fan of social media personally. And then I started using it for my sobriety and to support other people on their journeys. And I found this amazing community of people on Twitter and on Instagram and on Facebook who support one another and throw some sunshine at each other with likes and great comments and support from time to time. And, and I, I stumbled across your great pictures with the story of the, the trip or the hike up the mountain on your sober versary, which I thought was spectacular. That was my very first post. I saw yours.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (2m 25s):
That was part of my journey. Well, every day is a part of my journey, but it was just something where I hiked a lot in the beginning, just because that gave me the opportunity to just drop into my own head in my own space and think a lot. And that kind of came to me while I was hiking.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (2m 45s):
It works. I have a similar path. I, you know, when I started my sober journey after nearly killing myself with cocaine and drugs and, or rather cocaine and alcohol and cigarettes, I ended up in the hospital for a very long time and I, I didn't know where to start. So I just started walking and I could barely walk five minutes without huffing and puffing and Keeling over for lack of breath. And now three years later, I walk two to five miles a day. I box eight rounds a day. I bike five miles a day. So it's quite a path that it really helped me get sober. And it helps me stay sober and clear my head in a very wonderful way.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (3m 24s):
Yeah, it's amazing how resilient your body is. I mean, you can just beat it up and abuse it and over time it fights back and it does make a recovery.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (3m 34s):
It does. And I am a big, I believe that there is a mental, emotional, spiritual somatic connection, and you just have to pursue it and it good things will happen at least for me. And it sounds like for you and many, many other people that have been on the show have had a similar path, whatever it might be yoga in some cases or hiking or biking or boxing, whatever. And it's, it's very, very good.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (3m 60s):
Yes, absolutely. And it's amazing. I mean, even when your body heals, your mind can heal, your energy can heal your soul can. I mean, everything can heal given enough time.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (4m 12s):
It does. It really does. And thanks again for coming on the show and maybe cause we've kind of, you know, I start recording right away just so I can pick up. We would usually as the magic, by the way, for the intros and the outros are these awesome little sound bytes. And I think we'll want our way to a very good episode here.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (4m 29s):
Awesome. Well, I'm excited. So like I said, just, I mean, I have nothing to hide Tripoli it's it's I spent too many years hiding and in shame of what I was now, it's like, yeah, this is, this is it. I there's, there's nothing to hide

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (4m 46s):
The same way. And now looking at you've got these, you have a bad-ass sleeve tattoo. You have awesome. Just you, you seem so happy when I see that. No, I don't know. This is the first time we've ever talked, but on Instagram you just seem to have great days every day, which is really wonderful.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (5m 1s):
You know what, and truthfully not every day is great. I mean, I, because that sets me up for failure, right. I don't have good days. I don't have bad days. I just have days. Yeah. You know, whatever they are. They are, I can't, I am not all being, I can't make everything perfect, but how I react to it is the only thing I can control.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (5m 22s):
So I have spent some time, you know, in my own head reading in, in trying to pick up the right path myself. And I've learned that if I give up the outcome by doing the right work, the hard work and just being okay with the result of that work, that leads to me being happy. I can't be, I lost five pounds because that five pounds can come and go. But it's, it's the path of the process. I think that I've come to enjoy. And by loving that it makes every day gives me the opportunity to have a good day every day,

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (5m 52s):
My days, or my days, if, if I try to get every day to be a great day, then would be in constant state of disappointment because not every day can be day a great day.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (6m 2s):
If you don't mind, if we could start with, and again, I have no medical background and this is just a term that I use on the show, but I call it pre addiction. And what I mean by that is, is just what was life like before you got into or pick up whatever it was you got into or picked up?

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (6m 17s):
I truthfully, I, I was born an addict. There's no prediction for me. You know, it just thoughts, even I was thinking about it before the show and kind of like, well, where did my journey began? And it's either, I don't really know anything other than addiction, but I can remember going to church with my mom and coming home and sharing a beer with my dad. And I was probably five or six. So, you know, to me, it's always been there. I got kicked out of junior high school for a drinking. I drank all through high school. So to me there's really no beef. You know, what was like before, it's more like, what is life after?

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (6m 59s):
That's a really interesting way to put it. My journey didn't start as young as yours, I started around eighth grade where I was hitting it, what I would say aggressively and consistently. And I rode that wave for a 40 some years of just getting escalating worse and worse in terms of the amounts and the duration of alcohol, then that wasn't doing it. And I needed to add other shit, which was cocaine and then smoking two packs and yada yada. And I say, yada, yada, because everyone that's listening to the show is probably sick of that part of my side of the microphone. And I mean that, because I it's really interesting way to put it Laddy where you hit the ground running with, with the addiction. So maybe we can just skip to skip to the transition.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (7m 41s):
Like what made you put it down? Maybe that's a better way to go.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (7m 44s):
Well, for me it's because like you, I don't think anybody just has one addiction. I mean, if you do, you do, and that's great. But I have found that if you have one addiction and again, addiction is all about just, you know, not really having that. Self-love, you know, I mean, any anybody who's in it who cares for their being, isn't going to not care for themselves enough to not put that junk. I don't know. You know, I could, I don't want to get too judgy and I don't really want to say what other people's visions are. But for me, I had the drinking, I had smoking and I had gambling.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (8m 25s):
So it was all three of those. I, I do all nighters at a casino, you know, I would, it was just for me, ultimate rock bottom. I was, I mean, I had a great job and I was, I made great money and I was giving it all away. And my children weren't speaking to me and I just woke up one morning and I'm like, I don't want to die like this. If I don't make a conscientious decision and do something about it, I will die sad and alone. So I had, no, I had no idea. I didn't even know what to do. So I Googled how to be happy. And it came up with some bullet points of like, you know, write down what it is that makes you not happy and do one thing at a time.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (9m 12s):
And I, that was my journey to acknowledging that I had enough self-worth that I could be happy. So I decided at that time, I couldn't, I couldn't get run. I couldn't get rid of one without all three. So I went cold Turkey on all three.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (9m 32s):
I got rid of the bandaid off. I'm like, you just described a multiple addiction person with the cocaine, the alcohol and the cigarettes. And I can't, if I know myself, some people like, Oh, do you think you'll ever drink again and not busting my balls or not being an asshole? They're not trying to get me to drink. It's just, it's a fair question. If somebody isn't struggling with addiction, like, like me and, and I always say,

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (9m 54s):
No, actually it's an asshole question. Let's just call it for what it is.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (9m 58s):
Yeah, no, I love you.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (10m 2s):
Thank you. I'm not going to bullshit around this. This is like walking up to an attic going, Hey, do you think you'll ever do heroin again? I mean, what's the difference? The only difference is, is it's socially acceptable to pick up a drink.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (10m 15s):
No, you are absolutely right in. I'm going to restate it. I get some bullshit asshole questions from time to time, whether or not I'm going to drink again. And the answer is absolutely not because I'll go right back to what the fuck.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (10m 27s):
Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, I don't know. I mean, it's like, and I don't, and my post today on, on Instagram was about bullying and people saying the rudest Snyder's things. And to me, if somebody asks a recovering addict, are you ever going to drink again? The answer should be, that's a really rude, that's a, you know, don't ask people that. Yeah. You know, it's like asking a fat person, are you planning on losing weight? You know, it's just not okay. So, and I think as part of our sobriety, we're allowed to be like, yo, this is my sobriety. Don't don't fuck with it. Right. You know, this is my little piece of slice of heaven that I have worked really super hard for.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (11m 12s):
You're not allowed anywhere near it. Yeah. That's just my little tangent there, but I protect my sobriety viciously because it took monumental inner strength and will to get where I am. And I'm not going to let anybody, anybody jeopardize that because you never know what's going to trigger you. I mean, I can be fine for years and somebody will say something and it sucker punches me. And I didn't realize that that was my trigger. Well, you know, you just have to, I think personally speaking up for your sobriety helps in maintaining your ability to keep it.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (11m 53s):
I love everything just said. And I think

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (11m 54s):
That w what's wonderful about that is it's the Razor's edge of this whole thing in a good way where most of us have to try to be polite in societal terms. And I think you're, you're spot on, I mean, screw people that do that. And I guess until this very moment, I was afraid to maybe take that position, but I agree with you, it's an asshole thing to say or ask. It's not a fair fucking question at any level. So it's really interesting because you know, it's okay for how do I, it's going to be, I'm trying to put this in the words, my secret of addiction. And, and it wasn't a secret. Everyone knew that what I was doing, but I was holding it as some kind of secret that nobody knew. And that burden of that was part of, you know, cutting my Achilles heel as it were.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (12m 38s):
And then, but, but being clean and sober because I'm sharing my story and I'm out with it. There's a certain pride in that for me, like you said, it's kind of my super power now where I'm very good in my own skin. I went to a last night is a perfect example. I went to a rehearsal dinner for a wedding. And today when we're done, I'm heading over and I'm officiating a wedding for the first time in my life. I'm very excited about that. But at the rehearsal, you know, that's filled with alcohol and people drinking and all of that stuff. And I wasn't bothered one bit. It didn't, I had zero issues with that at all. And I got home at nine o'clock because it's, you know, I'm not staying up for the rampage part of the, the event of course anymore.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (13m 21s):
And I don't drink. So I just went home. I was so proud that it does turn into like this superpower. I've mentioned it on my show before. And I, and I love how you stated that, how hard we have to work to get here and to keep it because you're, you're right. It's really hard work. Yeah,

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (13m 38s):
Absolutely. And the whole thing is going back to what you, what you said in the beginning. It's like, I mean, every addict knows they're an addict. They're not, you know, they know it, but they also live with a certain sense of guilt and shame. You know, you try to hide it. You, you know, you don't walk around and be like, hi, my name's Lonnie, I'm an addict. You know, you don't say it proudly. You have that certain sense of like, I'm going to hide this. And with that, hiding comes shame and guilt. And to me, the guilt is nothing about a soul sucking fucking demon. Who's going to take every ounce of happiness you have from you. So once you go from being an addict like guilt, and then you're sober and you have hide, you have to let go of that.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (14m 26s):
Like that guilt of like, I was an addict or, you know, I've had people be like, Oh, you shouldn't say that you're an addict. I'm like, why what's wrong with it? I'm sorry. You know, I don't, I'm not ashamed of it. It's a part of who I am and keeping that mindset of like, I am not ashamed of my past, allows me to look at people when they ask me that with full vengeance and just determination of that is not acceptable.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (14m 55s):
You're, you're absolutely right. And I love it. I, you know, and I love the simp, the simple first step. And I don't mean simple that it wasn't hard. I mean, simple just by Googling what to do, how to get happy. I love, I love that. I, I have to say, because that is the magic moment I call it the everything and nothing moment. Cause it doesn't always have to be the slammed down on the rocks rock bottom. It could be just the decision to say I've had enough of this shit in, and I'm not suggesting that your moment was not very, very hard and challenging and rock bottom. I'm saying that first step towards sobriety is the single most important step of the journey because you have to begin and beginning is admitting that maybe you don't know what step number one or two is.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (15m 42s):
So Googling it, I think is fucking brilliant and beautiful.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (15m 46s):
Well, Google knows everything. I mean, to me, it's like, Google's going to tell me what to do. Right. And then, so talk

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (15m 54s):
About what you found. I mean, you said you had to write, you had to write down what was making you unhappy. And then,

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (15m 60s):
And then, so it was like, I think part of it was like write down what makes you unhappy and then pick one and change it. And then it will lead to like step two, step three. So I'm like, I have to quit drinking. I, you know, and I knew then and there that I, again, I had to quit all three to quit one. There was no that. So I had the mindset of like, I had such a pattern, I'd wake up. I go to work, I have a clock. My mouth would start watering. Cause I knew I wanted to get home and start drinking. I could go all day long and not even think about it. But once that, like that dinner bell ring. Yeah. That's all I could think about was to try to get home, to start drinking.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (16m 41s):
So I'm like, I gotta change my pattern. I can't go straight home. Cause I'll never stay sober. I have to do something. So all day long at work, I was just worried about it. So I called my son. I'm like, I can't go home after work, you know, Hey, I have to do something other than go home. So we went to the movies and we saw Johnny Knoxville. I think it was called grandpa's boy or something. Of course it's great movie movie. I love that movie. So we went there and we watched a movie and I went home and went straight to bed, but I broke that pattern. Yeah. So a lot of nights after that, I would just go straight home and go straight to bed, but I had to do something different.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (17m 22s):
So that led to like, Hey I, can I change this pattern? And then the, like the first weekend was horrifying because I didn't know what I was going to do differently. So I was back then I had it like a part-time gig where I was hosting wine tours. So I was a recovering alcoholic trying to get sober with a bus full of 30 people, getting drunk dichotomy of that is amazing.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (17m 50s):
And I love it because there's a lot of silver bartenders and it sounds like wine tour as well. So, but, but once you decide to put it all down, you can do that,

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (18m 2s):
You know? Yeah. And it was just, it was the pit of me of it. And I ha I, I still remember I had a dream one time or I, it was right in the beginning when I wanted to become sober and my addiction had a form and I'm a firm believer in, you have to give whatever you're fighting against. You have to give it a shape and a form because otherwise you're swinging it air. But I had a dream and my addiction was just like this big black blob. And I'm like, I'm going to get rid of you. And it was like, no, you're not. And I'm like, yes, I am. And it's like, no, no, you're not going to get rid of me. And I'm like, just watch me. So I knew at then what I was fighting and just, you know, every time the, the twinge would hit or I'd want to just be like, screw it I'd be happier.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (18m 54s):
If I was drunk, I would do something different. Maybe take my dog for a walk or, you know, I just had to change that repeating pattern that I had embedded in my life

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (19m 5s):
For me, I would have to, like, there were times and I still, to this day, I'll get up sometimes at three in the morning and just go take a walk because I could feel the trigger being triggered. And I don't even know what the trigger is. I just have that feeling where I'm like, Oh my God, that I, you know, you just wake up with, I call it getting itchy, whatever it might be. It could be a song who the hell knows. Right. And I get triggered and I'll go for it. I'll just go for a, like a 3:00 AM walk or I'll go in the basement. And I have a box I like to box. And so I'll go hit the double end bag of the heavy bag. But I, I agree. I have to give my addiction a different outlet. And that's where learning the new routines was similar in my story as yours, where I had to, I didn't quite give it a face.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (19m 50s):
I kept my addiction, nebulous. And I, I liked what you described where giving your identity, your rather the addiction and ugly identity as it were. I think that's a really interesting way to go. And I have to think about, about that because I think it's great. I think to give it a face that you can beat up so to speak is really, really good.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (20m 7s):
Yeah. Well, you can't, I can't fight, you know, like I said, you can't fight air, but you can fight. I always look at it as, you know, like those campy horror films where there's some girl in the woods in a cabin and you know, the monsters out there and you're like, lock the fucking window. Don't go out there. Yeah. I consider like my, my addiction is that thing trying to get in the cabin and it's constantly trying to get in, but I don't, I mean, I don't dwell on it, but I make sure all my doors and windows are locked. And every once in a while, when you wake up and you kind of got that little itchy feeling, it's always trying to get back in.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (20m 50s):
I mean, anybody who, who, who just doesn't acknowledge that is, it's a scary thing, but that's what by you getting up and going for a walk, you're fortifying your doors, you're checking your windows. You know, you're keeping that, that thing out. That's trying to get in.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (21m 10s):
It's so true. One of the guests role in his episode, he specifically said this in a different way. And he said, as I'm inside watching TV, my addictions are outside doing pushups, which is exactly what you're talking about, where your addiction is, getting it, keeping in fighting shape, ready to strike. Whenever you let your guard down at any moment, it could be anything. And that's the truth of it.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (21m 31s):
Yeah. And, but you know what? I don't look at it as a bad thing. I look at it as, you know, like again, and I'm very visual, but I like at it, like Ripley on aliens, you know, I'm that bad ass. Who's going to strap herself into a robot and punch the bitch in the mouth. You know, I'm not the victim.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (21m 49s):
Right. Yeah. And you know, I love that because, and that's the flip side of this. I think as an addict, I had to take ownership. I had to be proud of my ability to fight the fight. I had to stare down my bullshit. I couldn't give myself a break or an outlet or an excuse. I had to own everything in turn, no matter what it was, make it, my problem, therefore I could solve it. I couldn't keep it a distance. Somebody else's bullshit. I couldn't, as soon as I gave up pointing fingers and blaming other people and claiming situational bullshit and whatever, and owning it, I can then fight the fight to solve the problem because it was my problem.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (22m 31s):
And that that little pivot is a big deal. And I think that sometimes you can tell when it doesn't even have to be somebody that's an addict, right. If people are always kind of, Oh, I'm having a bad day because this happened or that happened, but you're not doing anything to fix it. Well, then you're always going to have a shit day.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (22m 47s):
Everybody's an attic. I mean, that person you just described as a addicted to misery. Right. You know, I mean, that's just the whole thing. It's like, it's really easy for them to point fingers and be like, you're an addict. Well, I'm a, I'm sorry. We are an addict to mediocracy. You know, you're an addict to being too scared to live your life. I mean, everybody, everybody has their, their addiction. Everybody has their comfort level. If they're just all different and it's the ones who are take it out with the drinking and the drugs or whatever, they're the ones that everybody points, you know, we're the ones that are out more obvious. We have the more obvious problems, but there's no person in walking in this life who doesn't have some sort of issue that they're dealing with.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (23m 32s):
You know, ours just happens to be bigger and better.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (23m 35s):
You are absolutely right. And there's a lot of people that are addicted to misery, as you say, and, and it's, you kind of want to shake him and be like, you know, come on, you have to own the process. You can't just let it come to you. You've got to take active, active measure. You have to be purposeful in your, in whatever it is you're fighting and give it a face. Like you said, I, you know, giving it a face is a big deal. It's something really interesting to me that I'm gonna think about because I, I love that idea.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (23m 60s):
Yeah. And I found too, when I, when I found my voice and I started my journey, it was really hard for me just to not walk up to people and be like, yo, you need to do this and you can change it. And you can be happy. And look at me, if you can do it, like if I can do it, you can do it. And people aren't always open to that. You know? And I had to realize that just because I was in this head space, not everybody else was. And so I've learned that I kind of have to just be like, you're where you're at. I'm where I'm at. If you, if you want me to share my story, I will, if not, then you know, I'm going to keep on plugin,

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (24m 38s):
Get it. I'm not trying to minimize anything because I know I have it. I have good days. And I have bad days are hard. Days are easier days. You know, sometimes it's not in my face all day long, but some days it is. Did your, did your recovery process have a lot of ebbs and flows and ups and downs? Or did you have a nice, consistent up until the right kind of experience with it?

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (24m 59s):
I can't really remember like one super hard day or, I mean, it might be a moment. It could have been this, that I had a couple of trial runs at being sober. I did the whole, like, if I can stop for 30 days, I'm not an alcoholic. And I'm all like, clearly I am not an alcoholic. As I drank an 18 pack of beer and one day, you know, it's like, I'm not, I'm not as bad as that person. I must be fine. Yeah. So, I mean, and I had a couple of those incidences and I didn't look at it as a failure. I just looked at it as I knew it was common. And I just, I took it. But no, I can't really remember any like bad time, good time.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (25m 40s):
It was more, just a constant it's like walking uphill. That was just a slow, steady climb. And everyday it got a little bit easier, but I did replace alcohol with brownies and I, I, I loved my brownies and I gained about 45 pounds.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (25m 60s):
Oh, wow. Yeah. Okay. So you really did replace it. Sure. I thought, I thought it was hyperbole for a minute, but no,

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (26m 7s):
No. I, I was w I was getting the same satisfaction out of that first bite of chocolate as I was out of the first drink of beer. So I realized what I was doing and I knew what it was, but I gave myself a break and I'm like, if I gain weight just to get sober, I can always lose weight when I'm ready. But I, and I did. And I'm back to where I was, but I'm very conscientious. Like if I do something and it gives me like that little moment of like, Oh, that's cool, like shopping or, or whatever it is. I'm very conscientious that I'm not replacing that feeling with something else.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (26m 49s):
If that makes any sense.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (26m 50s):
Oh, no, it makes, it makes perfect sense. I have to instill do this day. I've got to be very cautious. There's a certain BPM type of music, high energy club music that I have to stay away from because it it's a trigger for me. And I have to be in a good place, like on a, if I'm working out or something, I could listen to it, but I can't just pop it on. And, and, and for like enjoyment sake or anything, cause it's a huge trigger for me. It makes me want to run screaming to my Coke dealer and I alcohol. And I've gotta be real careful with it because it can send me the other way. Like I've mentioned before, I've got that wedding today and I'm going to go right about 20 minutes before the ceremony, I'm going to officiate.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (27m 33s):
I'll stay for dinner and I'll be polite and cordial and visit for a little while. But then I'm going to head off before the music starts because that, I just, I don't, I try to always put myself in a position to, to have a good day or to win. And I know that with everybody drinking and socializing and having fun, it's going to create too many opportunities for weakness. For me, I'll have to get out.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (27m 52s):
It's like you, it's like, you're the girl in the cabin and you're going to open the door to see if the monster is still out there. And it is out there. The monsters out there just don't open the damn door to look

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (28m 7s):
And chill. Don't look, don't go out

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (28m 9s):
There, go anywhere. It's funny that you say that. Cause I actually have a wedding I have to go to today also. And the thing I found out, probably the strangest as after I stopped drinking, I cannot dance. I clearly wasn't a great dancer or at least in my mind, I had to be probably that, that Elaine girl out there just spoiling all around. But in my drunken state, I was like, I was moving. I went to one after I first got sober and I'm like, I have no rhythm.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (28m 49s):
You're like, I'm going to stay over here in the back. I'm not getting out there hiking. I'm like 10, 10, 10, 10. And I was just, Oh my God, but I will do the same thing. I'm going to go for the ceremony. I'll make a presence. But I'll just, you know, I'll fade out into the background because for one thing, it's, I don't enjoy watching people drink. You know, I, to me, I get no satisfaction out of it. In fact, I stopped doing those wine tours because to me, I could see them. I mean, it was like, it's okay. Going back to like movies, you know, like those movies where the people have like an outside face, but somebody has that super power to see inside and they can see what's going on in there.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (29m 31s):
I could see that in those people, you know, you could tell the housewife who never goes anywhere. Who's unhappily, married, who gets drunk and trying to dry hump. The guy pouring the wine. You, you got the girl who's there on the bachelorette party and she's pretending to be happy. But ultimately she just wants to like murder the bride to be, and it's like, yeah, you're just totally

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (30m 4s):
Perfectly living stereotypes, but you're right. You are so right.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (30m 8s):
Yes. And to me, it's like, I don't enjoy seeing people with their, their masks down because that's what alcohol does. Yeah. You know, everything, I can't stand it when people will be, I didn't really mean it. I was drunk. I'm like, no, absolutely. You meant it. They just, alcohol loosened your tongue and you said it and now you regret it. So

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (30m 28s):
I believe in, there's a saying in Latin, in Vino Veritas in I'm sure you've heard it, but it means in wine, there is truth. And it's, it's a hundred percent true. Like you're the same person. Drunk is you are sober, but drunk, you say shit and do shit that you want to do sober, but you don't because your social inhibitions are in place. As soon as you give yourself a drink or whatever the hell it is, you think that you're untouchable or you could use it as a fucking excuse. And it's not an excuse. And you know, I used to do that all the time. I would create my drunk identity, but I wasn't creating it. I was just letting that person out, which was really me inside. And that's the treacherous part.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (31m 8s):
That's the sad part. You, I had to come to terms with the ugliness inside me and fixed that. But you're right there. There's that layer of you in there. And I knew what the fuck I was doing. Plus I was upset. I was so coked up that I was never drunk enough. So I had both, I was fighting on both sides of the fence. It was brutal.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (31m 26s):
Yeah. And to me, it's like, it's funny that you mentioned it because it's, to me I'm an addict or not. We all have this conscious and we have a subconscious and we, people spend a lot of time with their conscious mind trying to have the facade. It's like, this is what I should be. And they spend all this time, subconscious not going into their subconscious. So when you drink that subconscious barrier falls down and your subconscious comes out, but that's why people say things that they wouldn't normally say because they don't have the ability to keep that wallet. So subconscious comes barreling through probably one of the most pivotal things I did for myself when I was, I mean, like I said, I'm always on my journey, but in the beginning, as I started doing yoga, which I always think is extremely important, I found such great tools.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (32m 26s):
But during a meditation session session, I literally traveled back to myself as a child in the room. Because as a child, we don't have a voice. You know, we have a voice, but it all depends. If somebody else is going to listen to our voice, you know, and I saw myself as a small child in a room and I went back to myself as an adult form, who I am today. And I saved that child. And I'm like, you have a voice. You matter, you no longer have to be here and be scared. I am here.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (33m 6s):
And we almost became like one because we were, I was too fragmented. I had the past child who was scared. I had the person who I am today and I had to bring them together and give that child a voice. And I've never been more okay with myself since I did that.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (33m 32s):
Gosh, that's, that's really powerful and perfectly stated because I, you perfectly described that because there are cracks in my identity from childhood as well, that I'm now three years into my sobriety coming to terms with. So I, what I love most is that bridge is possible, which that's my favorite thing I like to hear and that making it okay to be that broken kid is really important because you're right. You don't have a voice, you stay in your lane, you do what you're told you, take the abuse, whatever the hell it is. And it's hard. It's hard. I mean, a lot of it starts back then. And that's the one thing for me, I struggle with. I have two children, I've got an eight and a five-year-old boy, two boys, my wife and I, and I hope I haven't fucked them up already because of my, my addictions.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (34m 20s):
And I'm going to work real hard to do what I can to make them okay. But it's, it's, it's my biggest nightmare is ruining them.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (34m 27s):
Well, you know, I mean, as a parent, we always, we're never going to be perfect. And my children, I have a 30 year old and a 27 year old son and my oldest son actually became sober a year before I did. And so he was, he was, he started the whole trend first. It was him. Then it was me. And then it was my youngest son, but there are very few scars that I have in life that I will never get rid of. And my parenting is one of them, but, you know, it's, I mean, and I've given them the voice and you know, I've acknowledged it.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (35m 13s):
We have great relationships. Now. I, my youngest son works with me. We both, we all three work together, basically in one form or another, couldn't ask for a better relationship. But the simple fact that I know what I did will always be with me. I can't be guilty because guilt is a horrible, and it leads to addictions, but I, at least it, and by acknowledging it and just going forward, your children are going to remember that way more than when you were drinking, because in my conversations with them, they're like, we can't even remember what you were like when you were drunk. And I'm like, well, that's good.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (35m 55s):
Yeah. I mean, and I can see like certain insecurities in them and I can see, I can see things in them that I wish I had nurtured better, but even in an adult life, having a good relationship with your children makes a lot of difference. You know? So you can't be like, I screwed him up. You know, I've done damage. Every parent does damage to their children. The simple fact that you acknowledge it, and you're trying to do something about it now is leaps and bounds over those other perfect looking families that never acknowledged their children, period. You know,

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (36m 34s):
This was a great discussion and exactly what I knew it would be because I'm, again, I'm a fan of, of you and not in a creepy way, but in an Instagram I'm motivated by your posts. I'm motivated by your stories behind the post. Cause you always have really nicely written a sentence or two about what's going on and everything. And I love it because I, like I mentioned, and just in closing is I used to really despise social media because it all, there's so much ugliness in social media. Cause it's easy to be tough or some bullshit because you've got the keyboard and there's no real confrontation, but I'd love. So I dismiss all of that part of it. And I use it, like I said, for a positive outlet network. And it led me to so many wonderful people.

Dismantled Life Anthony Capozzoli (37m 15s):
You're one of them. And that's what we're on the show together because I do love your posts because they always, it's always you. And what I like about it is, but it's you smiling or you like outdoors and stuff and with your w what you do right. And stuff. It's very motivational. And I, and I love it because I use it as a, if I'm, if I'm struggling at all a little bit, I'll go on social media and try to help other people by giving them a like, or giving them some positive words of encouragement. If they're on day one or they post it, they're struggling or something. And then there's others that always lead me with some motivational, like quotes and statements like you. So I, I really appreciate that. And I've learned a lot from your life. This has been really, really helpful.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (37m 53s):
Well, good. Yes. And my, and, and truthfully, I hate social media. I think in a certain context you would just have to, it's very, it's very easy to, if you're in a bad spot, you like a social media and you're like, everybody's happy, but me. Yeah. And that's a really dangerous thing because it can make you feel if you're having any sort of self doubt at that moment, it's just going to increase that self-doubt. So I really try to express that life is not perfect, but you can still be okay with it. Yeah. You know, I've been really fortunate. I haven't had anybody not be kind. I really don't give a fucking rat's ass.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (38m 35s):
They're not because they're not going to like what comes back at them. Right. Because I mean, I am very happy, but I've walked up, I've walked a walk. So you stay in my lane. You're going to be nice. And I want people to have that safe spot where they feel like I can go here and I can say, well, one nobody's going to bully me. So

0 (38m 57s):
Thank you very much for coming on the show and sharing your story and, and where it started with Google and ended with our conversation today. And I'm looking forward to staying in touch. I'd love to have you back on the show in the future, but you and your boys having wonderful day today and thank you for carving out some time to spend with me before you go off to the wedding. I appreciate that. And I'll think of you tonight when I'm not dancing.

Lonni Gray Hair and Tattoos (39m 21s):
I'm not going to be there long enough, but if you do just dance horribly, then just walk off the floor. Like that is awesome. I will definitely do that. Yeah. Like break out the worm or something or go across the dance floor. Just nuts. Either go big or go home. Love it.