Determinism vs Free Will in Addiction Recovery – Featuring Briana Theroux

In episode 289 of the Elevation Recovery Podcast, Chris Scott interviews Briana Theroux, a Fit Recovery coach and a nutritional coach. They discuss the difference between determinism and free will, and that the belief we can change is a powerful entity in recovery. They also talk about the importance of nutrient repair when balancing determinism and free will.

Briana Theroux is a Fit Recovery coach and a nutritional coach. She combines Dynamic Eating Psychology with Mind-Body Nutrition practices to create a positive and empowering coaching style. She was certified through the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, the world’s leading school in nutritional psychology, and she has a decade of experience helping herself and others.

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Briana Theroux: And we actually do get a dopamine release from that, like when we just ordered the wine at the bar and we feel the anxiety completely leave our body before we even drink it. That's a dopamine release because dopamine is a motivation chemical and we actually are going to obtain what we set our mind on. So you have to detach that belief that it's going to make you have a better time, so you're not chasing after an imaginary goal.

Announcer: Thanks for tuning in to The Elevation Recovery Podcast, your hub for addiction recovery strategies posted by Chris Scott and Matt Finch.

Chris Scott: Hey everyone. Welcome to the Elevation Recovery Podcast. I'm Chris Scott, and today we have a guest we haven't had on in a long time, but it's going to be a really cool conversation as always. She's super sharp and has a lot to share with us today. Briana Theroux, thanks for being on the show.

Briana Theroux: Hi.

Chris Scott: Yeah, it's been maybe a year since we did an episode. I can't recall, but-

Briana Theroux: [inaudible 00:01:05] year.

Chris Scott: You've been out. You said you have more energy now.

Briana Theroux: Yeah, I had a baby in that year.

Chris Scott: Exactly. Yep. You and Tana both, coach Tana.

Briana Theroux: Oh, I didn't know that.

Chris Scott: Both Fit Recovery Coach babies, not myself included, unfortunately. People are going to have to wait, but maybe at some point. But, yeah, I also wanted to talk to you because recently, as we discussed before the podcast, I interviewed Mark Scheeren. We had a really great episode. We had a great conversation. He's the coauthor of the Freedom Model. And the Freedom Model is something that you told me about. I'd heard of it, but I hadn't read the book, so because of you I went to Amazon, I ordered the book, and I realized that I was having a lot of the same epiphanies in this never-ending intellectual evolution of mine.

Chris Scott: Fit Recovery is a very open-ended thing. I never wanted to claim I had all the answers. I feel like when anyone decides they're a guru and then they know everything, they just become progressively less interesting, and I'd rather explore. To me, I wouldn't be able to do this if I didn't keep exploring and try to be open-ended. But anyway, the Freedom Model ended up being something that really captured my interest because he articulated things that I was thinking, that a lot of my clients were thinking, and it completed that journey away from the very dogmatic Twelve Step. But it's not even just Twelve Step. There are all sorts of different-

Briana Theroux: A lot of recovery modules, right, and...

Chris Scott: Exactly. Yeah.

Briana Theroux: Even the ones that are not Twelve Step. There's a new movement away from Twelve Step and a lot of those use the same thing, like you're a victim and you need to get all of these things, all these traumas figured out before you quit drinking. And so a lot of it is moving in that direction, and that's not right either. So the Freedom Model ties all that together and breaks it down how it's wrong.

Chris Scott: I think it helps people rescue their own belief in their free will. We have free will. It's a property of humanity. But the question is whether we exercise it, whether we acknowledge it, because we can choose to act like automatons and then that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Briana Theroux: Well, and a lot of people. I get in this debate often online. I try not to, but I get roped in on free will and determinism, because my entire life philosophy and what I do in life and how I move through life is very free will driven. You have the ability to change. My point of contention with determinism is, "Sure, I'll give it to them. There might be determinants for every single thing, but we're never going to find those out." There's no way we're going to know all determinants for every single move we make through life. So we do know that the belief, if we believe we can change, we actually put more effort forth in changing our behaviors. So what is the benefit of believing in determinism? There is none.

Chris Scott: As I said, I think it [inaudible 00:04:17]-

Briana Theroux: It's true, there's no benefit.

Chris Scott: It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that you're determined, you'll act in such a way that would reflect that reality that you've [inaudible 00:04:28]-

Briana Theroux: Exactly. And we know that. We have scientific data showing that if we believe that the outcome is predetermined, we will not put effort forth.

Chris Scott: Right. So I want to back up a little bit. I may have gotten ahead for some people who are listening and don't even know what the Freedom Model is. So, I think to address that, maybe I'll just ask you, what was your situation like? And this would be a recap from the last time you were on, and how did you discover the Freedom Model? And obviously there are lots of modalities you're familiar with. You're a diet and fitness expert as well. How does that tie in with your philosophy and life?

Briana Theroux: Yeah, so I've had a pretty rough upbringing. I was around drugs and alcohol my entire life. My mom cooked meth when I was growing up and so I was around that kind of lifestyle. And then I fell into probably binge drinking through my 20s, very rare though. And then I went through a divorce in my early 30s and that's when it spiraled and I started drinking to blackout point, frequently, probably a couple of times a week. That's how I found you, and I found the Freedom Model and a bunch of different things because I was trying everything to just figure out what was going on with my brain, because that's what I do.

Briana Theroux: I want to figure out the problem and solve it. The Twelve Step kind of stuff never appealed to me with my background in nutrition. I was aware of Overeaters Anonymous and that kind of stuff and I thought that was bullshit, because my entire dieting stuff is like, "You take accountability for yourself and you learn what is wrong with your brain and you fix it." And so that's how I found you and the Freedom Model, is because you're very self-driven and you fit into my worldview very well.

Chris Scott: Yeah, well, I think also the Freedom Model and nutrient repair, I would say freedom recovery encompasses hopefully more than just nutrient repair. But that's the kickoff point for a lot of people that jump starts people's ability or at least desire to start making better changes and focus on repairing your biochemistry so that you can summon the optimism and genuine desire to keep moving forward rather than feeling like you're dragging a boulder up a mountain. There are people who can change. And I discussed with Mark, there are examples of people who have quit cold turkey from a liter-a-day vodka habit and never did any therapies whatsoever, and probably went on with all sorts of nutrient deficiencies, but they pulled it from somewhere that most people can't find somehow, and they did it. So you can do it. You don't need anything except your own free will. However, it's a lot easier and more fun and probably healthier if you incorporate other modalities such as nutrient repair.

Briana Theroux: Yeah, and it's not just the idea of free will. A lot of people get caught up on that. It's the beliefs that we are indoctrinated with as a child, so it's in our unconscious mind. And to be able to grasp that after an alcohol addiction is pretty hard. So nutrient repair, what it does is it makes it easier to grasp these concepts and understand that although it is free will, there's beliefs behind that that is driving your behavior. And so you have to uncover those beliefs and you have to have the prefrontal cortical activity to even address those beliefs, right?

Chris Scott: Right. I'm a big fan of-

Briana Theroux: That's what's the nutrient repair does.

Chris Scott: Exactly. I'm a big fan of trying to be in flow states. I don't want to be using free will actively and explicitly in everything that I do. It's not like when you're driving. If you're driving down a fast highway, assuming you're not a new driver, you're not analyzing in depth and trying to figure out mathematically what curve you're going to hit or whatever, and what speed you're going. You have a feel for it. Life's way more fun when you can develop a feel for it. And with things like alcohol addiction, what happens is, the feel that you've developed or what I call your subconscious autopilot, which you can turn off, but that magnetism towards alcohol that you feel, that's just the familiar.

Chris Scott: And that's something that you've learned through repetition and emotional intensity, and of course there's the complicating factors such as the GABA glutamate imbalance. But once you learn about that and fix it by, I don't know, taking glutamine and B6 and magnesium, or perhaps a benzodiazepine if it's really bad, you start to liberate yourself from that trap. Then you can start doing other things that feel way better, and those become your new flow states over time such that now I'm at the point where, if I drive past a bar or a liquor store, even if I went to it 10 years ago, I don't feel anything. But it used to feel like a huge burden because I had all of these beliefs as you say, [inaudible 00:09:28]-

Briana Theroux: Well, because you still desired it. You need so much willpower when you still desire that thing.

Chris Scott: You have to extinguish the desire.

Briana Theroux: And when you don't have that desire, when you untangle all these erroneous beliefs, it's nothing. I mean, I don't even notice when I go out. I'm just like, "I don't want to feel like shit so I'm not going to engage in that."

Chris Scott: And I'm usually drinking, I have had CBD sparkling water, my DRAM here. No affiliation. I've emailed them. I wanted affiliation. I haven't heard back yet, but I'll pitch their product for free. I love it. But I have these if it's a get-together here. I'm doing lemon juice and club soda or sparkling mineral water even better if I'm out. And I just literally don't notice. It doesn't occur to me that other people aren't drinking what I'm drinking. It doesn't enter my mind. I was trying to explain that to a client last week and it's very hard. I had to remember that it would've been hard for me to believe years ago that if I could go... I don't like going to clubs, but I could go to a club and I could appreciate it, maybe. I might not have a good time at this point. I'm very Zen. But I could maybe appreciate it if it was cool and not too loud and I liked the people I was with, and the thought of pounding vodka wouldn't even occur to me at all.

Briana Theroux: No. I'm in the same spot. It just doesn't appeal to me at all. I just don't want to feel like that. Personally, I didn't see any benefit in replacing alcohol with alcohol-free versions of anything, but now I do, now that I'm further away from that, the drive, the beast or whatever you want to call it. I do have alcohol-free wine now just because I get fed up with people asking me to drink. It has nothing to do... I was very passionate in the beginning. Like, "It's going to ruin you." But now I'm just like, "I'll pour some alcohol-free wine. No one asks me anything. I don't have to go into that. I can just enjoy myself."

Chris Scott: Do you find that places are serving that now? Or do you get-

Briana Theroux: Yes. Well, some places I have to bring my own or I just don't drink that. But most places have alcohol-free beer or something.

Chris Scott: I've had better luck with the alcohol-free beer. My issue is that I've drastically reduced the amount of grain or even grain-derived things that I'll consume. But I've noticed there are some really good tasting alcohol-free beers. If I'm in a phase where that's something I'm consuming, Athletic Brewing Company. I think there's one WellBeing. There's a bunch now. I think even-

Briana Theroux: There's a bunch of wines, too. I was impressed. Like, The Surely, and then there's this other brand that I really like, too. And it's a good way to get potassium in because that's what they use to preserve it, is potassium bicarbonate. And there's quite a bit of potassium in a glass of the alcohol-free wine.

Chris Scott: Interesting. Okay. Yeah, I feel like I've had the Fris, as in F-R-I-S, maybe. Some of them taste like grape juice, and I'm like, "I may as well buy some Welch's grape juice," but I think-

Briana Theroux: Yeah, no, the art is up there now. They have all these things. I do not enjoy the taste. I can't imagine most people do, but they make it taste just the same. So I just do it mostly for social at this point.

Chris Scott: So it may be that my social life has become so tame that I just don't notice, or that the people I'm with just already know. I'm not usually out with a bunch of strangers asking me. And even when I've been to weddings or whatnot, my little lemon juice and club soda, people probably assume that's like a Moscow mule or something. They just don't even ask. I don't know. Or maybe they do. I don't hear well, so maybe I don't hear them. But whatever it is, I typically-

Briana Theroux: [inaudible 00:13:23]

Chris Scott: Yeah, exactly. Selective hearing, or just not answering certain things. But, yeah, I typically don't do non-alcoholic alternatives when I'm out. Although, I have to say, my dad, he lives in, it's a residential golf club basically and they're clubhouses, and he has pushed for all of them to stock non-alcoholic beer and non-alcoholic wine.

Briana Theroux: Oh, awesome.

Chris Scott: He quit drinking the same time I did, but he never had a problem. He just decided that he felt better. He did it as an experiment. He was a social drinker. Like zero issue whatsoever, and now he's like, "I lost my taste for wine." He went to a wine tasting a year after he quit and decided it tasted funky and weird and somewhat sulfuric. They're probably good wines, but whatever. He lost his [inaudible 00:14:12]-

Briana Theroux: Yeah, I don't like anything with... I can tell right away, and I don't like it.

Chris Scott: I feel like white wine, when people have been drinking white wine and I smell their breath, it's nauseating to me. I don't know what that is. It's like a...

Briana Theroux: Fruity.

Chris Scott: ... yeah, but it's not fruity. It's like a foul fruity.

Briana Theroux: Yeah. Like a rotten fruit, because that's what it is.

Chris Scott: That's what it is, which I shouldn't be surprised. But, I mean, people drinking vodka, they just smell like hand sanitizer to me. It's less offensive. It's weird. But I probably smelled like that all the time for years. It's amazing that more people didn't notice.

Briana Theroux: Oh, yeah, I'm sure I did too when I lived in New York.

Chris Scott: Yeah. Well, let's talk a little more about the subconscious and how that fits in, because I feel like that's worth exploring. People might be like, "All right, I'm ready. I want to make a decision to change." And that's always a weird thing because in the moment you make a decision to change, but then you realize that has to carry on over into infinite moments in the future if you want it to stick.

Briana Theroux: Well, then, and we always find ourselves doing the thing that we promised that we weren't going to do anymore, right?

Chris Scott: We [inaudible 00:15:18].

Briana Theroux: No matter what it is. Like eating the cookies, drinking the wine, whatever. We promised ourselves. And the reason why we do that is because we try to use willpower. Willpower isn't going to work. You have to find out why you see benefits in whatever it is. Your thing. Alcohol. Why do you see benefits in that? Usually I can spot it on the first client call, what they are attaching an immense amount of pleasure to, and you have to unpack that because they're all false. The only thing that you get from alcohol is the head change. And that head change is like, we attach all these beliefs to it.

Briana Theroux: Like I'm reducing stress. I become more social. Whatever. I like my spouse more when I drink. We attach all these beliefs and that's what drives the behavior. If you want to undo the behavior, you have to identify those. And a lot of times it is more helpful when you have someone walk you through it because cognitive dissonance, we block off parts of our brain. We're like, "That's not me." That's what self-denial is, right? "That's not me. I don't do that. I don't drink because I think I have more fun." It depends on what phase someone's in. Other people will be like, "Oh, yeah, I know what it is."

Chris Scott: It was a huge epiphany for me when I realized that I was giving myself permission to feel a certain way because alcohol entered the picture. And my favorite example of this is how people feel differently as soon as they see a glass of wine being poured, or as soon as they go to the liquor store. I've talked about this on the podcast with Matt Finch before, but that is a belief-driven state change. It's not a biochemical change, which is not to say that alcohol doesn't change your biochemistry, because it does, and mostly for the worst. And which is also not to say that it doesn't change your mental state because it does. But as you say, it's the significance that you're attaching to that change.

Briana Theroux: Well, and we actually do get a dopamine release from that, like when we just ordered the wine at the bar and we feel the anxiety completely leave our body before we even drink it. That's a dopamine release because dopamine is a motivation chemical, and we actually are going to obtain what we set our mind on. So you have to detach that belief that it's going to make you have a better time so you're not chasing after an imaginary goal. It's imaginary.

Chris Scott: This is very similar probably to people who have unhealthy or beliefs that don't serve them about food. It's probably the same.

Briana Theroux: It's the same as alcohol.

Chris Scott: Right. And so, was that something that... Because you had been helping people with diet and fitness for some time. So was it like an epiphany for you? It's like, "Oh, my God, alcohol's not this special mystical substance that's outside all of the rules of how our brain works."

Briana Theroux: No, but, yeah. Exactly. That's exactly what it was. But we other it. We have alcohol in this other category because of all the marketing and the TV shows and everything from when we were young. We believe that you need treatment to overcome an alcohol habit. That's really what it is. It's a habit. A habitual use of a toxic substance. There is nothing special about it. It's no different than food. But society has told you that you're weak, and that once you're addicted to alcohol, you cannot get over it. You're always going to be the weird uncle in the corner, right?

Chris Scott: Yeah. There's so many nuances and intricacies in the relationship between the biochemical and the psychological, I guess, in this respect. So I'm thinking a lot of people will attach enormous significance to the first time they got high, and then they're chasing that for a long time. Or, for me, the last year that I drank, I was chasing the kind of buzz that I used to get in college and I was like, "Why isn't this working? I'm drinking 10 times more and I can't get it." And part of that, biochemically, could be because I had squeezed out all those brain chemicals.

Chris Scott: I couldn't replace them faster than I was artificially spiking them, and I wasn't giving myself the raw materials in the form of either high quality protein or fatty acids or whatever I needed or targeted aminos. So I was just left, I was in a deficient state and I was just poisoning myself. But also I had started to see evidence of alcohol being a highly toxic substance because of the amount I was drinking, so I was actually going through this evolution of making it into an exhaustive resource, psychologically, because of the biochemical detriment that I was causing.

Briana Theroux: Exactly. Well, our thoughts drive our biochemistry. That's what depression, anxiety, all of it is. It's the way we're thinking. That's why in an instant you can cure your depression and anxiety. Or we have instances. I'm not trying to make light of it because it is very hard to get out of that once you're in that cycle of thinking those things. But our thoughts drive the neurochemical release, our neurotransmitters, so we're chasing... I think it's funny that you brought up that we're chasing those experiences that we had in youth because I was doing the same thing.

Briana Theroux: I was like, "I just want that back. I'm divorced in my 30s and I didn't party in my 20s. I was married." And so I wanted to chase how I felt in high school and college, and that was not going to happen because what happens is, life gets more full and we get more experience and we're not as ignorant. Ignorance is not a bad thing. It's just we accumulate more data over our lifetimes and so we can't reach that same level of neurochemical release and bliss that we had in high school because we were dumb.

Chris Scott: Well, actually, I [inaudible 00:21:33]-

Briana Theroux: Like, you just understand-

Chris Scott: [inaudible 00:21:35]-

Briana Theroux: ... the consequences.

Chris Scott: I think that we can surpass that neurochemical release just with... We can't use suboptimal means. And so I actually have two really good... More than that, but I'll say two best friends from college, and we used to drink our faces off in college. And I thought, I assumed, a few years later when I was lonely in an apartment in New York and they're in different cities. I had friends in New York, but I was working all the time. They didn't want to hang out when I got off work. So I'm drinking. I'm like, "Why doesn't this feel like back when I was in college drinking with my friends?"

Chris Scott: And then, of course, long after I quit drinking, I had a reunion with these two friends and they know that I don't drink anymore, and I had the most fun I've ever had with them. It was more fun than when we were drinking in college, and I was like, "I was just using the alcohol as an excuse, or I attributed to the alcohol this neurochemical release that I just had without the alcohol." It's the people I was with. It had nothing to do... It's not that it had nothing to do. The alcohol colored that experience somewhat and we're in college-drinking culture. There's a significance there. But if we'd lived in a world where no one had discovered alcohol and I'd gone to college with those guys, I would've had the same caliber of memories.

Briana Theroux: Same amount of fun.

Chris Scott: Exactly. Yeah. So it's interesting to me.

Briana Theroux: Yeah. The license to misbehave is a huge one. I noticed that in a lot of my friends now and...

Chris Scott: Explain that, because that's a concept that I recall reading about in the Freedom Model.

Briana Theroux: Yeah. So people like to attribute cheating on their spouse or beating the shit out of some guy at the bar or something on the alcohol, right? It's not the alcohol. It's that we use the alcohol to justify the means. We desire these things in our shadow self. Even if it's not conscious, that's what people really get caught up on. They're like, "I don't want that." Well, you do. It's in your unconscious mind somehow. It's in your shadow self, which we need to unpack. But you desired those things and so then you used alcohol and you drank to excess so you could have the excuse because society does look upon a drunk person doing unspeakable acts with a little more forgiveness because they know that you lose rationality, right?

Chris Scott: Right.

Briana Theroux: And so we use it as the license to do these things that we want to do anyway.

Chris Scott: I think there's an important distinction there in that, if you were to drive drunk and hit someone, God forbid, it's not that deep down you really wanted to hit someone. It's that the alcohol did have a biochemical effect that made you a really bad driver and you had an accident. But then there are things where, like I blacked out, as far as I know, and I've had nightmares about this, but as far as I know I never did anything awful or illegal. I might have peed on a building, I'm sure, that level of thing maybe. But if that's the case, and I think it is, then that's because I didn't really want to, deep down, do something and the alcohol wasn't a license for that kind of misbehavior.

Briana Theroux: Exactly. So an example of that is, I mean, I blacked out several times when I was married to my first husband and I never cheated on him or slept around. And I know a lot of my girlfriends that they'll get super drunk and then cheat on their husbands. And that's just because that's what they wanted to do and they wanted to loosen up to... But it's permission with the alcohol, right? We take in this substance and we give ourself permission to do these things that we desire to.

Chris Scott: Yep. Totally.

Briana Theroux: And as far as hitting someone with a car, we might not wanted the consequence of hitting someone, but we wanted to get in our car and go home.

Chris Scott: That's provided [inaudible 00:25:36]-

Briana Theroux: I didn't drive drunk either. That's one thing that I've never really done either, and there's no judgment either with me saying that. I don't judge anyone for doing it, but they did want to get home and they did want to get home in their own car.

Chris Scott: Right. Yeah, as I look back at-

Briana Theroux: [inaudible 00:25:53] consequence.

Chris Scott: Yeah, I think that there's definitely a license to misbehave and that's a weird collective consciousness phenomenon with alcohol. And yet at the same time I do think that, as people excise alcohol from their lives, or adjust their use such that they're not bombarding and toxifying their brains and bodies, they then unveil a potential for themselves to act in a way in which their accumulation of all of their new actions point to a much seemingly better person. They're the same person as they were before. And yet it's easier for them to, A-

Briana Theroux: [inaudible 00:26:33] their integrity.

Chris Scott: Yeah, to act with integrity, to act in accordance with their values, and hopefully to sort out issues in which they deeply desire something that consciously they wouldn't want to have to contend with.

Briana Theroux: Yeah. It help us decipher what we really are willing to give up in life. So if we're not willing to give up our spouse and our kids and our home, then we're not, likely, going to cheat on our spouse. But alcohol gives us that license to misbehave in that way. But if we were not happy, we would address it the appropriate way within our integrity and just tell the person that we wanted out of the marriage, instead of cheating on them. That's usually what happens. We just act more in line with our integrity.

Chris Scott: Right. So I'm curious for you, I don't know if you like this phraseology, but what tools did you learn? Or what strategies did you learn as you were overcoming some of these hardships that stick with you even today? Even maybe on a daily basis. I'll say, for example, for me, I find myself repeating my meditation mantra over and over again sometimes when I'm driving because we have some crazy drivers in Savannah and I think, I don't know, maybe my T-levels are lower than in my early 20s when I would've engaged it, and now I'm just repeating my mantra and I'm putting on calm music. And for me, like this morning, I have a thing. I'm trying not to eat until 11:00 AM which is not hard for me. But I've had a lot going on and sometimes I get low blood sugar when I do that because of lack of sleep or less restful sleep, and I have other supplements for that, so that would be another strategy.

Chris Scott: But L-glutamine is a huge boon for me in the morning. So I take a little bit of L-glutamine and then whatever the pain, the hunger pain, goes away, and I'm like, "Oh, it's 11:00 AM. I guess I have to eat now." I feel like if I needed to fast, and it's funny, I've never heard of this from people who are obsessed with fasting. Maybe they do say it, but I would at least just take a little L-glutamine during those low blood sugar things. So I have all these tools that are relevant for me now, even though I'm not struggling with alcohol. And I was wondering what some of yours are.

Briana Theroux: Yeah. So some things that I picked up during that time, I still take amino acids daily-

Chris Scott: What kinds?

Briana Theroux: I take tyrosine, 5-HTP for sleep. The DLPA and glutamine.

Chris Scott: Awesome.

Briana Theroux: Glutamine because I train like a maniac, and so I need it for immune function and whatnot, too. And the other ones, because I've ran my DNA and I feel, intuitively, I know they help me, but I've ran my DNA and I know that I have SNiPs that just indicate that I need more of those substrates permanently. That's why I do well on Wellbutrin when I was using antidepressants, because it's a dopamine reuptake inhibitor. And instead now I use tyrosine and DLPA in place of that. Another thing I do, I'm very big on journaling and I picked that up when I was going through my really rough phases of my life. So I wake up and I journal every morning still, and I listen to spiritual-minded books because it gets my day started right and my mindset in the right place. And so I picked that up during that time and that'll be with me forever.

Chris Scott: Cool. Yeah, I say that I journal, but when I look at what the journaling is, it's more of just a running to-do list, which-

Briana Theroux: I love it.

Chris Scott: ... that's how my brain works. But it's therapeutic for me. So I keep doing it. I like writing things down. And then every now and then, if I look through, I have four notepads because it's a leather-bound thing that a notepad slides into that one of my best friends from growing up gave me. And so I use that. I have four or five notepads filled with stuff in small print and most of it is like, "Start getting to the gym at this time. Why don't you go to bed at this time?" Some of it's a little bit... But then it's like-

Briana Theroux: It's our inner voice.

Chris Scott: I'm grateful for my dogs, I'm grateful for my parents, I'm grateful for my supplements. There's a bunch of different stuff. Occasionally it's like I'm trying to journal. I don't know if it counts as journaling, but the whole process is just therapeutic for me. And also I've tried to use it to drum up excitement about certain things. If I have an event in a few months or if I'm going to have a reunion with some good friends, I'll use that as motivation to try to take care of my fitness because we're going to have a group workout or go to the beach or whatever. Or start eating a little bit better, and like little tweaks. And it's been really helpful to do that over time, and then also to reflect on the whole evolution of things. I often look back at what I journaled two years ago and I think, "I was so dumb. How did I not know that [inaudible 00:31:30] process?"

Briana Theroux: I do that same thing. So we're getting ready to move in April into a house in the area, but I found all my old journals from when I was married to my ex, too, and he was very physically abusive and I just read through some of those journals of me processing my emotions during that time, and I was just like, "Oh, that poor girl." I had so much compassion for my past self. That's another reason why you should keep those unless you're afraid someone's going to find them or something, but keep them in a lockbox or something. But looking back at it, you're just like, "Wow, I've grown so much." And we can't see that in the day-to-day how much we're growing. I don't think today, like, "Wow, I was so dumb 10 years ago," or anything. But you can see it when you read your writing.

Chris Scott: Yeah. Good. Well, I wanted to keep this episode relatively short and I knew it was just going to be fast-paced, machine gun fire style information conveying, and I love that. But I want to make sure that you can tell people where they can find your stuff if they're interested in learning more about you and what you offer.

Briana Theroux: Yeah, it's, and Instagram is liftheavybreatheeasy, because that's my creative outlet. And Facebook is where I spend most of my time because I like writing big long comments when I have time, so that's where I'm at.

Chris Scott: Great to catch up, Briana. Thanks for being on the show.

Briana Theroux: Thank you.

Chris Scott: Hey everyone. Chris Scott here. If you like the information on today's episode regarding supplementation and empowerment strategies for addiction recovery, then please subscribe to the Elevation Recovery Podcast and leave us a rating and review on iTunes. And if you've benefited directly from this information, I'm confident in saying that you'll love the information-packed online courses that Matt Finch and I have created. Matt Finch's Ultimate Opiate Detox 4.0 is a six module, 30-activity course that contains video lessons, written lessons, PDF downloads, worksheets, audios, and much more. And it has everything you could possibly need to know to conquer opioid addiction in the easiest and most comfortable way possible.

Chris Scott: My own course, Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0, is the most cutting edge resource for anyone who wants to transcend alcohol and build their best lives. To get these courses, to learn more and to read testimonials, simply go to Again, that's For Matt's course or for my course, go to Again, that's You can also go to to see the show notes for this episode.

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