I Don’t Do That Podcast (With Ocho)

I Don't Do That (with Ocho)
I Don't Do That (with Ocho)
E11 - I Don't Drink Alcohol (Melissa)
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Show Notes

Cheers!  In this episode we follow Melissa Ketchum (host of the Awakening Hour Podcast) through her best and worst moments with alcohol, culminating in her arrival at lifelong sobriety.  Listen to absorb Melissa’s inspirational message of self-awareness and personal power.

Visit ko-fi.com/ocho for exclusive content as a supporter of this podcast!

[chimes]

Welcome to the “I Don’t Do That Podcast,” where we get into all the things that we’re not into.

[theme music plays] “na na na na na yeah nah I don’t do that, no I don’t do that.  You know it’s alright; you can ask, but I don’t do that, no I don’t do that.  I don’t do that.  I don’t do that.

Ocho:

Episode Eleven

Ocho:

Let’s take a drink of water right now

Melissa:

Cheers.

 

[clink]

Ocho:

All right. 

Melissa:

Yes. 

Ocho:

Episode eleven is “I Don’t Drink Alcohol.”  We’re in the studio today with Melissa Ketchum, who doesn’t drink alcohol.  Melissa is a Spiritual Wellness Coach and Reiki Practitioner with Gilded Heart Coaching.  She produces and hosts The Awakening Hour Podcast.  Melissa lives in Southern Minnesota.  She identifies as female, and is White and Mexican.  She is in her mid-30s.

Ocho:

Well, thanks for coming in. 

Melissa:

Yeah, thank you. 

Ocho:

It’s wonderful to have you. 

Melissa:

I am so honored. 

Ocho:

Thank you.  I had a blast doing the theme song for your podcast and that was a great working experience together. 

Melissa:

I loved that collaboration. So I’m just excited to be here and be on your podcast. You know, create again, collaborate again. I think that’s so important. 

Ocho:

Well, I listened to your first couple episodes and you did talk about sobriety and about not drinking. So that’s what we’re talking about today. 

Melissa:

Yeah. Yep. 

Ocho:

So, did you drink before? 

Melissa:

I did. I actually have a pretty long history,  with alcohol.

My experience began when I was probably 15 and we were at a party, you know, in high school and it was a party with like a bunch of upperclassmen and they were passing around a bottle of Hawkeye vodka, like that real cheap stuff, you know? I think that’s what all we could get our hands on.

Ocho:

Sure. Classic teenage drinking. 

Yeah. Yeah, that, and I think, what was it? UV vodka, like that blue stuff.

Ocho: 

I was gonna say, I haven’t even heard of Hawkeye Vodka. That must be cheap. 

Melissa:

Yeah, it’s so cheap. Yeah. But yeah, we were just,  that was my first experience was at that party and, you know, people were passing it around and when it kind of got to me, I was like, why not?

You know, I wanna, I wanna fit in like we all do. We all wanna belong. And yeah, I just remember the feeling that it gave me. You know, they talk about like liquid courage and I just loved feeling confident and, you know, having fun and letting loose and not really worrying about people and what they have to say about me or, you know…cuz I have a long history with like social anxiety and so it was like,  that opportunity to really just like feel full within myself.

Ocho:

Yeah. So it was a relief from your social anxiety. Yeah. And you just felt okay being around people. 

Melissa:

Yeah, definitely. 

Ocho:

So that must have been a new experience or like, obviously your first time drinking.  It sounds great. 

Melissa:

Yeah, it was fun. You know, like that was, I think what was so appealing about it was, wow, you know, I just remember it was such a fun night, just dancing the night away and having a good time, and I was like, “there’s something about this.”

Ocho:

Yeah. Being uninhibited. 

Melissa:

Yeah. Totally. Mm-hmm. 

Ocho:

Did you pay for it the next day? 

Melissa:

I think when I was super young, I didn’t get hangovers towards the end of this journey, I would haveve a couple drinks and I would be done for. I would be hungover for like three days. Yeah. 

Ocho:

So that was, that was when you were 15?

Melissa:

Mm-hmm. .  

Ocho:

Just drinking out of the bottle, passing it around, drinking hard liquor and just passing it around. Yeah. Yeah.  making a weird face. 

Melissa:

Yeah. Just like, why are we putting ourselves through this? This is… 

Ocho:

But there was the reward and then, 

Melissa:

yeah.  so, so that continued for a while. Yeah, I would say, you know, I grew up with like, that was just part of our culture growing up.

You know, I grew up in a small town in Iowa and we would just love to party on the weekends. Right. And that was like how we connected with one another was through parties. 

Ocho:

So through high school. 

Melissa:

Yeah. Yep. Yeah. We even had some barn parties in Iowa. Very stereotypical. 

Ocho:

Sounds like Iowa, I guess. Yeah.

Melissa:

Yeah. So, you know, it was, yeah, and I think everyone else just looked at it as a way to connect and get along and also be uninhibited, you know?  

Ocho:

And, there’s something normative about it too. I mean, it just seems like a thing probably people were doing. Yeah.  probably their parents did the same thing.

Melissa:

Yep. Yeah. And yeah, like I said, we all just wanna belong and when your peers are drinking and partying it, it is kind of easy to succumb to that. 

Ocho:

And especially when you’re an adolescent, just connecting with socially is very important at that age, finding your social group and, 

Melissa:

Yeah, exactly. So, you know, I went on of course to drink for like, what was it, like, almost 15 more years or so, and, just kept finding myself using it as a crutch to again, gain that confidence, to feel, you know, just full within myself, but also I was using it as a means to just numbing and escaping any problems or emotions or, you know, things that arise within my experience. 

Ocho:

So how long would you say that it lasted like that? And when did you realize that you were using this ffor other things like for numbing and to just be distracted or dissociated?

Melissa:

Yeah, I think that it, it went on for, you know, quite some time where, I would just get kind of like those signs and synchronicities or those messages that would tell me, “Hey, you know, this experience is not for you. This is not healthy.”

You know, we all do things that we regret when we’re intoxicated. Right, and I had quite a few circumstances that should have been like my wake up call or my rock bottom, but I just kind of continued to drink and just kinda ignore those signs for quite some time.  And yeah, I just kind of, I think, you know, I talk about this in my podcast, my big rock bottom moment, my big wake up call was, about six years ago. So I’ve been sober six years and…I got a DWI and you know, crashed my car and just really from that experience I was like, “okay, this is not the life that I want to be living.”  When you get charged with a DWI, you have to do what’s called a MADD panel.

So like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and there was fathers there as well. But, I just remember sitting through that panel and I just heard these parents pour their hearts out and share their stories of their children, you know, killed by drunk drivers and throughout the whole thing I am just sobbing.

Like I could not hold it together. I was like, “whoa, this is really, you know, that could have happened to me. I could have, you know, killed somebody.  I could have harmed myself too.”

Ocho:

I’m just curious if that, if other people who were attending that panel with you, I assume you weren’t the only one there.  Were they crying too? Were there, were there other offenders there who were…

Melissa:

Yeah, it was a full room, I would say. 

Ocho:

Like, were they emotional about it too?  

Melissa:

I did catch a couple people, but I definitely, you know, I’m sensitive and I let it move me. I was like, “I don’t want to go back to that.”

Like, “let this move me. Let this change me and let this be the motivation that drives me to stay sober.” 

Ocho:

Yeah.  So you’d had before, before the car crash, you had things and…you hit a tree, if I remember?

Melissa:

I hit like, a light post. 

Ocho:

A light post, okay.  And before that, you’d had some warning signs, but nothing that woke you up or rattled you or made you change your behavior.

Melissa:

Yeah. I think,  you know, there were circumstances of, you know, losing my keys or breaking my phone or… You know, those are kind of minor, but still. 

Ocho:

Stuff that wouldn’t have happened if you were sober. 

Melissa:

Just, you know, bad decisions and there wasn’t really anything besides that DWI.

I mean, that was the real wake up call. And I actually remember, so that happened in August and I remember that summer, just being out and about downtown and having a good time with friends and it was bar close and everyone had just gone their separate ways. Like, you know how that can sometimes be, I guess, when you’re out and about with friends?

Ocho:

Sure, sure. 

Melissa:

Like people get carried away and go off and do their own thing, and I just remember like being downtown all by myself, waiting for a cab and like this.  moment, I feel like I kind of predicted what was going to be happening in the next several months, but I just felt this like overwhelming sense of like loneliness and like I remember that moment so vividly and clearly as like, “okay, you know this isn’t meant for you. This isn’t the life that you wanna live.  You know, you have all these dreams and goals inside of you, and you’re putting them all aside to just party and, you know, drink your life away.”  And I just was like, that’s not the life I wanna create. 

And so it was kind of like a premonition to what would come, you know.

Ocho:

It seems like you have a lot of self-awareness, like even when you were drinking a lot, you still knew about it.  I don’t know if everybody has that,  particularly because I think sometimes people drink to escape their self-awareness.

Melissa:

Definitely. That is something that I feel grateful to be able to cultivate within myself and just, an understanding of what works for me and what doesn’t.  And, you know, I think we’re all on our own journeys and paths and, you know, we have to learn these lessons ourselves. You know, no one else can tell us what to do.

At least that’s how I felt is like, you know, many people who were concerned with my drinking and my behavior, and I would hear it, but I didn’t always apply it. 

Ocho:

So there were people who expressed concern to you and maybe that had some effect, but it didn’t change your behavior really.  Do you mind sharing any details about that crash? So you were, you were driving home from a concert, I think.  Were you on the highway or what happened? 

Melissa:

I was just in downtown Mankato. It was after a KISS concert and…

Ocho:

Was KISS in Mankato? 

Melissa:

Yeah. Yeah.

Ocho:

Awesome.  Good for them. 

Melissa:

It was a great concert. I mean, the little bit that I remember, but you know, we went out and had drinks before. Had drinks during, had drinks after. And, you know, I usually didn’t drive downtown. I usually got a cab or, you know, was smart.  But this time I was coming straight from work.

So I did drive and I honestly don’t even remember leaving the bar.  I don’t remember getting into my car, my vehicle.  I don’t remember the decision I made to do that. So, you know, I got in the car, drove home.  I was living in like Upper North, so not too far.  

Ocho:

Just over a bridge. 

Melissa:

Yeah, just over that bridge.

Ocho:

Did you make it over the bridge? 

Melissa:

I made it over the bridge, yeah. I was right at the bottom of Lee Boulevard, and that’s when it happened. And I did remember, which I think is really interesting: 

[chimes]

To those of you listening, I would like you to know that the sirens you just heard were not overdubbed.  It was actually just a really appropriate coincidence that some emergency vehicles happened to be driving by my studio as Melissa was telling the story about her DWI.  I’ll replay the sirens, in case you missed it:

[chimes]

Melissa:

I was right at the bottom of Lee Boulevard, and that’s when it happened. And I did remember, which I think is really interesting: I remember the visual of my hand, and seeing the wheel just like rotate to the right. And so I remember the crash, and I remember that happening just like kind of vaguely. But, so I ran into this light post.  I just like, after it happened, I just like opened up my car door and I remember this guy on his bike had seen everything and he was like, “oh my gosh, are you okay?” I’m like, “yeah, I’m okay.” And you know that’s right by the police station there.

Ocho:

So, it’s convenient. You didn’t have to wait too long. 

Melissa:

Yeah, yeah. So, It all just kinda fell into place and you know, I just look back at that moment and, you know, I’m a spiritual person and I believe in a higher power, and I believe that that was just that divine intervention that was like putting me back on the right track.

So I just feel even though it was very difficult and there’s a lot of shame associated with that experience, I’m glad it happened. 

Ocho:

You know, to me, like the moral of that is like, if you don’t remember your decision to drive, you know it was the wrong decision, you can’t trust yourself blacked out, you know, that’s problematic.

Then you can’t really do that. 

Yeah, I hear that. 

Melissa:

Yeah. And you know, . I just, I think it’s scary that it got to that point of blacking out.  As I mentioned, I’m spiritual and, as I’ve embarked on this journey of sobriety, I’ve found information that tells me, and I do believe this, that when our body gets to that place of such a low vibrational state, you know, anyone can believe this or not, it’s just an invitation: when it gets to that low vibrational state, our soul leaves our body because it can’t function at such a low vibration. And so when our soul leaves our, our body, any entities can come in and take its place. And so I guess that’s when you see people who are completely blacked out, like their eyes are even black and they just have this like dazed look on their face.

And, you know, that’s something I choose to believe and that’s helped me stay sober. So I don’t want any funky energy entering, you know, my field. 

Ocho:

So you see that as a spirit just taking the opportunity to inhabit somebody? 

Melissa:

Yeah. Yeah. And just attaches because it wants to live within a body, you know, it’s just, they’re usually like lost souls…

Ocho:

Till they pass out or whatever.  When they come back… 

Melissa:

and then they come back and they’re like, “Hmm, you gotta go.”  

Ocho:

You did mention that that was an awakening and that you talked about on your podcast about how rock bottom is a blessing.  And that was your rock bottom moment. And it was directed by higher power, so that that could have been a lot worse. It was enough to wake you up, but you weren’t injured? 

Melissa:

I was fine actually. At the time I was driving a Chevy Malibu and I was just really proud of my car. You know, it was nothing special, but to me it was special.

Yeah. And it was totaled, so, you know, that was kind of difficult to move past that. But again, I’m like, “thank God it wasn’t a person.” 

Ocho:

I’m guessing they wouldn’t let you drive after that anyway.  For a while. 

Melissa:

You know, I had to do outpatient treatment, and I had one of those breathalyzer things in my vehicle like I had to blow into, in order to start my vehicle in the first place, so it was my first DWI. So they do let you drive, but it’s under certain circumstances.  

Ocho:

Was the whole thing pretty expensive? 

Melissa:

Yeah, it was pretty costly.  An expensive mistake that, you know, rightfully so.

Ocho:

You didn’t hurt anybody.  You didn’t generate one of those stories that those mothers were telling. 

Melissa:

And those were just, ugh, just absolutely tragic. You know, I, I couldn’t live with myself if that would’ve happened. 

Ocho:

Well, I’m glad you made the decision that you did. 

Melissa:

Yeah, it feels good.

Ocho:

Can you say more about rock bottom and how it’s a blessing? 

Melissa:

Yeah. So, you know, My belief is that we are here on this planet to learn lessons and explore our soul’s depth.  And I feel that I’m generally pretty optimistic when it comes to things like that—learning lessons. I feel that there’s always a gift within each lesson, within each difficult experience that you may have and so I always look for the gifts.  And within that experience, you know, my gift was sobriety and another chance at life, and really committing to myself and, you know, calling my power back.  Because when we use substances to gain confidence or, you know, to numb, we’re giving our power away to that substance.

And, you know, we have the ability and the know-how within us to cure ourselves or heal ourselves. And so, I feel that’s really valuable and I’m so grateful I was able to come to that conclusion or that place of, you know, just calling my power back. Like, “I don’t need to use this. I can go to therapy, or I can just sit with my feelings and process them.”

I will say like, I think it was like within the first nine months of sobriety, I just had emotions coming up that I didn’t even have a name for because I had suppressed them, and it was really interesting to experience that, like, “I’m feeling something, but what is it and where is it coming from?”

You know, and it’s like… 

Ocho:

I do know I’ve had that same thing. I brought that up to you when we met a couple months ago or whenever it was. But yeah, it was, It’s honestly, it’s been a couple years since I’ve had a drink and…

Melissa:

Congratulations! 

Ocho:

Thank you. It’ been a little over two years.  Yeah. Did I say months? 

Melissa:

No, you said two years. 

Ocho:

It’s been two years. It’s been 26 months or something like that, but, just recently, I’m like, “oh, yeah, man, I missed out on a lot of grief.”  And because I was just, I was burying a lot of stuff.   It’s so smooth at the time, it just slides right off, you know? But like, yeah, I honestly, like I have things to be sorry for  that I wasn’t sorry for. Cuz it kind of like it didn’t affect me, but it DID.  I just didn’t know it. 

Melissa:

You’re so right. Yep. That’s exactly it. You know, even recently, I’d say the past couple years I’ve had to like, give myself the time and space to just like grieve some things that I didn’t process.

And, you know, I’m like, “I’m gonna take a moment. I’m gonna just really tap into this past experience and just let myself feel the feels and cry it out.”  And,  that’s kind of been my process and moving through some of those things that are pretty heavy, you know? 

Ocho:

I feel like it has to happen. 

Melissa:

you know, it does 

Ocho:

Emotions have to process. 

Melissa:

Yeah. They have to release.  You have to get ’em outta your body. Otherwise they’re stuck there, you know? And that can contribute to so many things like disease or dis-ease of the body. We don’t need that. 

Ocho:

No. No. I had a hard time sleeping. I don’t know, it might have just been withdrawal or it might have been, I don’t know who knows what, but that made it hard to experience my emotions too. Now that I got my sleeping in order, I don’t know. I’ve probably got a lot of crying to do. 

Melissa:

Yeah, it’s probably just gonna happen. Yeah. Let it out.

Let it happen.  I think it’s really interesting cuz of,  many people that I know that are sober, they talk about having relapse streams and I don’t know if you’ve experienced those. 

Ocho:

It’s not really a thing. 

Melissa:

Yeah. Well I’ve had several relapse dreams, where they feel so real and they’re just so vivid.  And I wake up confused cuz I’m like, “did. I, did I…”

Ocho:

Right, right. I had that when I quit smoking, 

Melissa:

And it’s really interesting cuz it allows you to just like live out that experience but not really. You know, so you do feel like, I feel grateful for those experiences too.  Like, “wow, I, I can feel it, and feel the shame and like the repercussions of that, but it’s not really happening,” so… 

Ocho:

Yeah. You didn’t have to make the mistake.  It’s like a reminder. Yeah, I understand that. Yeah. That’s the subconscious mind and there’s a, you know, I studied psychology and there’s a lot that’s kind of…I did try to learn about dreams. There’s a lot of theories, but no, no one knows, but I mean, one thing that Freud said, you know, kind of the original guy, is just that, it’s desires that are unfulfilled, so it makes sense. If part of you wants to drink, then you dream about it.

Melissa:

Yeah. Oh, that’s fascinating. 

Ocho:

Yep. That does seem to be one reason why people dream but it certainly doesn’t account for everything. 

Melissa:

I think dreaming is so fascinating.  

Ocho:

Did you find challenges in quitting? 

Melissa:

You know, it was really interesting because at the beginning of my sobriety journey, I was actually dating someone who was a musician.  And so they played a lot of gigs out at bars and that was their thing. That was their means of income. And so I would kind of tag along and at times…

Ocho:

Were they at that concert with you, or were they gigging or whatever? 

Melissa:

They were gigging. So I’d be like in the crowd and you know, and I did find that a little challenging right away. But I felt also that, you know, if I go out and about, and I have like a purpose or a reason why I’m there, I really like kind of hold onto that as like, “okay, I’m here to just like participate as this supportive partner. That’s what I’m doing.  And then we’re gonna go.”  And you know, I think that that’s really what’s helped me.

But, you know, one thing I do miss is just really being able to celebrate with people. You know, when people cheers for New Years or whatever it is, I always just like, hold up a glass of water or a soda, water and lime.  And still celebrate, of course. But 

Ocho:

Let’s take a drink of water right now

Cheers. 

[clink]

Melissa:

Cheers.

Ocho:

All right. Yes. No hangovers from that. 

Melissa:

No. Thank God. 

Ocho:

So there’s the social aspect and the, it sounds like you wanna be supportive and communal.  Party with people, celebrate.  Was there any physical withdrawals or was there anything with you personally?

Melissa:

Just, I think like the withdrawal experience was more, you know, a lot of emotions that were presented, like I said.  Just like an emotional roller coaster.  And you know, at that time I decided to just quit everything. You know, I was smoking marijuana and drinking, and so it was two big things that had contributed to my life.

Yeah, but I can’t specifically think of like a physical withdrawal. Maybe there was, but…

 

Ocho:

Weed will do that too. Like the dissociative thing and like just kind of more, more numb like, and I found that with drinking too. Like I didn’t, I didn’t really notice until I quit, a hundred percent.

Cuz I sort of tapered off for a while too. I would drink occasionally and then like, but when I finally quit and then sometime later I realized that it isn’t really just like when I’m drinking that I’m numb. It’s like, it’s all the time. A little bit. You know, and it really does have to like, leave the body and be gone for a little while, for all of my sensations and awareness to come back.

And the same way with THC too.  With cannabis.  That stuff hangs out in your body a long time.  Anyone who’s taken a drug test knows like, you can fail after a month. So, yeah, I mean, that’s hanging out there and it does affect your consciousness. Like you’re like, “oh, I can remember phone numbers now,” or whatever.

Melissa:

Yeah. It just kind of comes back to you. Yeah. And you’re like, wow. Yeah. Can remember things. It’s amazing. 

Ocho:

Well, how long was the rollercoaster? I mean, I’m sure there was no set end point, but how long did, did you say, would you say that lasted? 

Melissa:

You know, I would say it lasted probably, I don’t know, because I was kind of on that introspective journey; That’s where it all kind of kicked off anyways, so I was really unpacking some deep layers of myself and really exploring traumas and pain, and I don’t feel like that’s something that ever goes away.  So maybe I’m still unpacking things right now, six years later. You know, and I’m okay with that.

I feel like, again, we’re here to like learn those lessons and know ourselves in that way, and there’s a lot that can be healed. 

Ocho:

Yeah. That makes sense. If you’re exploring yourself, there probably isn’t an end to it. No. 

Melissa:

Yeah. No. 

Ocho:

Do you ever miss it?

Melissa:

Hmm. I feel like, you know, I do miss just being that uninhibited that we’ve been talking about, just like feeling free in that way and, kind of irresponsible in that way. You know, it’s like all your cares just melt away.  But now there’s that sober reality of what we need to face, you know?

And I do kind of miss that escape and you know, I am trying to not let other substances or things be an escape.  And you know, because I think people that have these tendencies, you know, are drawn to just escape and feel better, are numb.  And so yeah, I don’t really miss it too much. Like I still find myself, you know, going out and having dinner and going to concerts and doing things I did before.

Ocho:

Sure. 

Melissa:

It’s just now I have a game plan when I do those things, like one thing that I do is I always make sure that I’m the one driving, and I have my own vehicle in case I wanna leave somewhere, you know, and that’s been really helpful because of course there have been times where, you know, I’m at like a wedding, for example, and it’s like the reception and everyone’s been drinking for quite some time, and it just gets to that point where I don’t really think I wanna be around drunk people anymore. Yeah. I mean, who does? 

Ocho:

Yep. 

Melissa:

If you’re not drunk, it’s just not as fun. 

Ocho:

No, no it’s not.  They, yeah, they, they sort of like, they sort of go away, like, like we were saying.

But I always thought of it that way too. It’s like, they leave, their attention span gets shorter and things start to become less interactive. And yeah, that’s usually when I part ways too. And, wish them the best. 

Melissa:

Yeah. “Have fun. Be safe.” Yeah.

And you know, I just, I prefer at this point in my life, just more one-on-one conversations and really connecting with people in that way. So, yeah, that’s highly valuable to me, and I love having conversations and just going deep and, you know, so that’s far more appealing to me than, you know, even just going out and dancing and like I said, having like a good time and feeling carefree.

So that is like a driving force for me.

Ocho:

Yeah. Thanks for coming and having a one-on-one conversation with me. Y

Melissa:

Yeah, of course. Yeah. I love this. This is great. 

Ocho:

Yeah, me too. 

It’s a great thing to do, to have as an occupation. And I hear you about the filter going away and being uninhibited.

You know that kind of would be a nice thing to get back.  But maybe, yeah. Maybe we just gotta make friends with the filter. It doesn’t have to like, stop us from acting weird if we want to act weird. Question is like, do you really want to do that?

You know? And, being uninhibited, we do things that we don’t, we didn’t really want to do. 

Melissa:

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. You know, I find it really fun to connect with like our inner child and like our childlike wonder and being silly and goofy in that way. I guess that would be, you know, how I would connect to that now.

You know, and I think when we come into this existence, we’re just such pure, beautiful, bright souls and we have so much wisdom within us. Like we know our direction and our purpose and what we love. And so, I’ve had the opportunity to connect back to that part of myself, like the dreamer in me, you know, the young Melissa, and that’s just so beautiful and yeah.

Ocho:

Yeah. So that kind of answers my next question, which is like, what do you do instead? What are things that you do that the dreamer does? 

Melissa:

Yeah, so I’ve been wanting to be a fashion designer since I was like in fourth grade, and that’s been my biggest dream.

That’s actually what I went to school for.  And I find art and creativity to be my outlet.  You know, whenever I’m processing or going through something difficult, I just kind of use that and channel that creative energy to make something beautiful and I think that that’s reallysaved me as like, healing through the arts.

And, yeah, I’d say, you know, being creative, again, connecting with people, dance and movement and, you know, the spiritual journey that I’ve been on, I feel like I’ve really gotten to devote more time to my practices in that way, and that’s such a gift and a vast exploration that I’ll be on for the rest of my life.

Ocho:

Yeah. We’ve done some performances together too, where you’re dancing and I was playing music and stuff. 

Melissa:

And you know what’s interesting about that?  I’ve been a dancer my whole life and I feel like being able to get in front of a crowd and perform and tell a story is a way of gaining my confidence again, you know, calling my power back through that way.

And so that in itself has also been extremely healing. So I love it. 

Ocho:

Yeah, sometimes there was a while when I couldn’t practice. I like had to have people watching. [laughs]  I got, I got over that, but it is a strange experience. I was like, “I can’t even bring myself to do this.” I needed the excitement of people watching me.

Yeah. The limelight. That’s okay. 

Ocho:

It’s a good motivation. Yeah. It’s just weird that,  It’s weird that I had that, but everything was weird for a while there.  With Covid and everything.  Especially like being used to performing all the time, and then not being able to, and all that stuff, but yeah.  

I get giddy just like, honestly, like producing this podcast like when, when all this stuff’s recorded and I just get to mix it and, and get it all together.  Like that the last day, like the production day, is super fun.  And I do feel like a kid and I get all these… I just get funny ideas and I’ll just throw a little sound in here or there.

Or mixing the music in or like editing, doing whatever. Like I get some fun ideas and, yeah, that’s me being a kid in addition to playing music and stuff. 

Melissa:

Yeah. Yeah. And that’s fun. It’s fun to feel excited about something that you’re creating and it’s a new challenge. It’s a new venture for you.

And for me too, with my podcast, and I understand it’s just a different way to express yourself.  And also for me, it’s been a great way of just using my voice and, you know, feeling empowered and telling my story and it’s, it’s been amazing as an outlet. 

Ocho:

Yeah.  It seems like you write for it too.  Like yeah, you really have a vision of what you’re gonna say. 

Melissa:

Yeah, definitely. I wanna kind of craft this journey that I take my listeners on and, you know, of course down the road I’ll be interviewing others to kind of take them along on this journey and to share their stories, and I’m really excited about that.

Ocho:

Yeah. Well, I’d be happy to come on if you wanna talk to me. 

Melissa:

Yeah, I was gonna say like “you’re one of my guests, so, all right. Get ready for it.”

Ocho:

Anytime I’m ready. Yeah. Just let me know.  So, is there anything that you wanted to say to people who are struggling with addiction or maybe just people who are using substances?

Melissa:

Yeah, I think that, you know,  life, you know, Is so rewarding and so fulfilling when you just eliminate those crutches and sure, it can be a little difficult, a little sticky here and there.  But I just feel like that is one of my biggest accomplishments in my entire life, is my sobriety, and it’s just something I feel so proud of.

And, you know, it has given me new life and new perspective and I have so much compassion and understanding for people who are in it. And, you know, there’s, they’re just worthy of so much more than that experience.  It’s worth it to pursue your dreams and to really live a life that you can be proud of, and look at and just like be in awe of because you know you’ve earned it!

And that feels good. And you know, there are so many groups and resources and you know, there’s therapy…There’s so much out there that can assist people that are going through these difficult times. So, you know, you can reach out and again, you’re worth it.

You’re so worth it and loved.  On this journey… 

Ocho:

Yeah. It can get better. 

It can get better. You don’t have to stay stuck in that place. And I just look at it as like being in the hell realms of the mind, just like, you know, on a hamster wheel of doing the same thing over and over. It’s just insanity, and it just doesn’t feel good.

And it’s not who we’re meant to be. Yeah. In this life. 

Ocho:

And we can be very unaware of it cuz it’s the nature of intoxication to be unaware. 

Melissa:

And yeah, there is a lot of that. And you know, I think it is important too to also just be mindful of any signs that you’re receiving or, you know, I could give this advice, but I definitely wasn’t receiving this advice when I was in it, but, you know, just, your friends and family care about you, and if they’re mentioning anything about your substance abuse, then, you know, maybe take that into account. You know, 

Ocho:

It’s one of the things on the medical questionnaire Yeah. For alcohol evaluation. And they’re like, you know, “do your loved ones talk to you about your drinking?  Are they concerned?” 

Melissa:

You know, it’s like “Yeah. Let me think about that.” I go, “oh shoot, have they said anything?” 

Ocho:

Right. Yeah. Well, was there anything else you wanted to say? 

Melissa:

I just am so grateful for this experience and conversation and, you know, I just feel like we all have problems and, you know, issues in this life, but I think if I can overcome this obstacle of, you know, addiction, alcoholism, then anyone can overcome whatever obstacle that they’re experiencing, cuz like I was really in a bad place with it and really allowed it to just consume me and yeah, I just feel that if anyone is listening and they’re struggling now, I just hope to offer that inspiration and hope and healing and yeah, 

Ocho:

help ’em get free.

Melissa:

Yeah. Free yourself. For yourself. 

Ocho:

Yeah.  Well, thank you so much. 

Melissa:

Yeah, thank you. 

Ocho:

Cheers. 

Melissa:

Cheers.

Thanks for listening.  Thanks especially to those who understand what it takes to make a production like this happen every week, and for giving a little back.  I’m talking of course about our financial contributors.  If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, and you have not contributed, I’d ask that you consider doing so.  You can make a one-time contribution for as little as 8 dollars, and/or you can join our ever-growing group of members for as little as 4 dollars per month.  That gets you exclusive content such as music and comedy; it also gets you a weekly link to listen to the podcast before it’s released to the public.  And coming soon, you will be able to hear guests interview me about things that I don’t do.  Perhaps most importantly, it helps keep the podcast going, giving a voice to ordinary people who just don’t do things.  Show your support today at idontdothatpodcast.com/give.  That’s idontdothatpodcast.com/give.  It’s easy—credit card or paypal.  If you like what you hear, and you don’t want to part with the money, I understand.  In that case, I would love a five-star rating on your streaming platform.  And a positive review would mean a lot too, if you have a minute to write what you like about the show.  Also take a second right now and hit that subscribe button.  Take 5 seconds and share the link on social media.  Thanks mostly just for listening.  I appreciate you so much.

And if you have any curiosity about the benefits of spiritual wellness coaching, check out Guilded Heart Coaching by Melissa Ketchum on the web.  

I am Ocho, your host, chief engineer and producer. I also composed and performed the theme song.  Shout outs to Braden Saulsbury for the background music for this episode.  Shout outs to our sponsor, Prime Time Web.  Shout outs to my homie Fuzzy with the FuzzJock Radio Podcast who has agreed to have me on as a guest, despite my lack of interest in sports, despite my lack of knowledge, despite really having very little tolerance for the subject, I am going to go live with the FuzzJock Radio podcast on January 9th, 2023 at 10:30pm CST.  Check that out, it will be me doing something that I don’t do.  

How about you?  What do you not do?  Maybe you or someone you know would like to come on this show and talk about it.  Apply today at ochotunes.com/guest

Thank you again to Melissa Ketchum, and thanks to you for all you do and all you don’t do.  I’ll talk to you again if I’m lucky.

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