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Do you drink alcohol or take medication to numb your feelings? Perhaps you use it to alter who you are? Do you have a form of addiction?
In this podcast takeover episode, Billy and Brandy Eldridge share insight into Billy’s story about addiction to alcohol and medication, and how he used it to escape who he really was.
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Meet Billy Eldridge
Meet Billy, the resident beta male. For Billy, this is a place to hang out with other beta males and the people who love them. We’re redefining what beta males look like in the world. I have learned to embrace my best beta self, and I can help you to do the same. As a therapist, I understand the need to belong. You belong here. Join the REVOLUTION.
Meet Brandy Eldridge
Hello, Beta friends. I am an alpha personality who is embracing the beta way of life. I feel alive when connected with people, whether that is listening to their stories or learning about their passions. Forget small talk, let’s go deep together. Come to the table and let’s have some life-changing conversations.
Visit their website, connect on Instagram and Facebook. Listen to the podcast here.
If you want to be comfortable in your skin and be the most authentic beta male, then the free beta revolution course is for you. Sign up for free.
In This Podcast
- Billy’s Story
- 3 strong characteristics of a strong beta male
- 3 unhealthy characteristics of a strong beta male
The first time Billy took a drink was when he was 12 years old. After the first sip, he knew that there was something in that mixture that he needed to change himself. He knew alcohol changed people and he wanted to see what it would do for him. It was a year or so later when drank a case of beers by himself. He got intoxicated and he knew that he had to have more.
Billy had always been very insecure and uneasy in the world and in his skin. He was highly insecure, waiting for someone to validate him. He had a lot of anxiety at a young age, and he used alcohol to try and get rid of that, and his insecurity. He was confused about life, very sensitive, and felt more than most, to the point that it overwhelmed him where he wanted to numb those feelings.
Drinking over his teenage and college years was a lot of fun and it was exciting. He never felt like he fit in, but when he had a drink, he felt like he did fit in.
After getting his wisdom teeth out, Billy experienced his first pill, at age 15. He thought, “I can’t wait to feel this again.” And for more than a decade, he chased that feeling. He was never able to obtain it.
Drunk Billy has dysfunctional coping mechanisms to the point where he had to go to rehab a week before Christmas for a whole 3 months. It was then that he began the journey into authenticity, and began to take down the layers to become more of himself.
The day he decided to stop, he knew something had changed and he was done. He’s now been done for 6 and a half years. What helped him get out of the bad habits was his willingness to self-actualize and be vulnerable. And through the process, he found this beta person.
3 strong characteristics of a strong beta male
- A peace-maker and can easily see both sides.
- He has calm, authentic confidence and doesn’t have to try to be someone else.
- He is healthy and a good listener.
3 unhealthy characteristics of a strong beta male
- He finds it hard to take credit for things.
- Easily feels insecure and worries about if people like him.
- Feels self-pity and shame often.
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Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 475. The podcast takeover continues with Billy and Brandy with the Beta Male Revolution. Here we go.[BILLY]:
Beta Male Revolution is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a family of podcasts seeking to change the world. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
Welcome to the Beta Male Revolution. This is a podcast for beta males, the people who love them, and the alphas that enjoy their company.[BRANDY]:
Welcome to the Beta Male Revolution. Today, I’m very excited. It’s my favorite guest, your favorite guest, our beta, Billy. Welcome, Billy. [BILLY]:
Thanks for having me. [BRANDY]:
You’re welcome. [BILLY]:
Glad to be a part. [BRANDY]:
We are coming to you from Galveston, Texas. It’s about 10 o’clock at night. We took a little family vacay and had to wait until the kids went to sleep. [BILLY]:
All but one. [BRANDY]:
But we were looking forward to recording this episode; didn’t want to lose the momentum. So today, we are going to get to know you, Billy, we are talking about you, which is your favorite subject. [BILLY]:
I am. It’s strange for a beta, but I feel that… [BRANDY]:
Wait, wait a minute. Is it strange for you? Maybe for betas in general, but for you, Billy, is it strange? [BILLY]:
Well, I’m a bit of an extroverted beta, I think, somewhere on the scale. [BRANDY]:
But your favorite subject is still you. [BILLY]:
Yes, my favorite topic. I could talk about me a lot and I don’t know where that comes from. I may need to look at that. [BRANDY]:
You’re likeable. I like talking about you. I look forward to this. I really want to get into your story. I know your story. But I think it’s important that people understand your story, so they know why you’re here and why Beta Male Revolution is come this far and where we want to go but I think it’s important to know our beta male. So, I’m just going to go right to it. I want you to tell me about the first time you took a drink. [BILLY]:
This is not a recovery program, but there is recovery in this program because you are in recovery. And so, I think it’s important to start there. I think it’s a very pivotal point in your life. [BILLY]:
I think it’s applicable for… we’re all in recovery from something in one way, form, or fashion, but for me, the most obvious thing I’m in recovery from his alcoholism. And the first time I took a drink would probably have been around 12 years old. It was an Old Charter that was under the cabinet at my grandparents’ house, and it tasted horrible, horrible. I couldn’t get enough in me to get intoxicated but, man, did I try and from that point forward, it was a pursuit. I knew there was something in that mixture, in that elixir, that I needed in me to change the way I feel. [BRANDY]:
Okay, so just a couple clarifying questions and I’m sorry because I’m not an alcoholic. I don’t know what old charter is. [BILLY]:
It’s whiskey. [BRANDY]:
Okay. didn’t know that. Thank you. [BILLY]:
It was grandpa’s whiskey. [BRANDY]:
Okay. And then when I say take your first drink and trying to get enough in you, those are two different things. So, your first drink or your first sip of alcohol and then trying to get enough in you. That’s quite a gap. Can you kind of explain that to me? [BILLY]:
I’ve always been very insecure and uneasy in the world and in my skin. And so, I like to say I believe I was an alcoholic waiting on a drink from day one. But I think it would probably be better to say I was a highly insecure individual waiting for someone or something to validate me or make me feel okay in my skin. [BRANDY]:
Alright, so let me clarify the question again, which is fantastic. Thank you for saying that. [BRANDY]:
You took your first drink, like your first sip of alcohol, and you immediately knew I have to get more of this in me. Like, that’s a huge leap for me. That’s what I’m trying to understand. [BILLY]:
Well, before I took the alcohol, I knew there was something in that bottle that it did something to people. And I’m not sure where I got that message – if I had seen people drink and it changed them, or if it was just some odd intuition, that I knew that alcohol changed people. And I wanted to see what it would do for me. [BRANDY]:
Were you alone? [BILLY]:
And you knew it was out there, like, or where… under your grandfather’s sink, or where did you say it was? [BILLY]:
Yeah, it was under the kitchen sink, yeah. [BRANDY]:
Was this premeditated? [BILLY]:
Yeah, probably on some level. I’d seen it before and probably worked up enough courage to do it because I grew up in a very evangelical Christian home that you don’t drink or smoke or chew or run with those who do. So, it was probably under there for years, for who knows what reason. [BRANDY]:
And it was horrible. [BILLY]:
It was horrible. [BRANDY]:
But you wanted more in you. [BILLY]:
Did you have an immediate feeling? I mean, did you have a reaction to it? [BILLY]:
No. No, I don’t remember that day. It was a year or so later when I was able to… my friend, Chris – he was a little bit older than me – I was probably 14 or 15 at the time, and he went up to the local gas station and got a 12 pack of Coors Light and slid it across the counter and the beer God shone down on us that day and they didn’t ask for ID, and he came out with it and he gave it to me to take to my house because my parents were out of town, and my youth pastor was going to be staying with me, but he wasn’t going to be coming over till later that night. [BRANDY]:
So, you were going to be drunk for your youth pastor. [BILLY]:
Well, we were going to be in bed, like, we said our prayers and went to bed early. Um, the funny thing is, my youth pastor was out with his girlfriend, and we knew he would be out late, because we knew what kind of guy he was. Great youth pastor, loved God, but loved women too. [BRANDY]:
Those two do not have to be separate. [BILLY]:
No, they do not, they do not. But, you know, he was courting a young lady. Let’s just say that. And so, my friend Chris gave the 12 pack of Coors Light to me, and he was going to come over later and we were going to split it six and six and just see what it did. And lo and behold, Chris got grounded, couldn’t come over, and I believe most normal people would have waited. But no, I went ahead and dug into those things. [BRANDY]:
So again, you were alone. [BILLY]:
I was alone. And that night, I did get intoxicated. And I thought, this is everything I thought it would be. And I need more of this. This needs to be a part of my life from here on out. [BRANDY]:
That’s heartbreaking. [BILLY]:
So, what was it that you were trying to not feel? Or were you just trying to feel? Were you just in that age where you were just figuring things out and you thought you would try it, experiment? Or were you trying not to feel? [BILLY]:
I had a lot of anxiety, from a very young age. I remember my first panic attack in the first grade, clinical panic attack. I didn’t know what it was for years until I had it explained to me by a professional. But yeah, some of it was trying to get rid of that. Being an awkward feeling middle schooler, junior higher, with acne, and confused about life and feeling scared all the time, which isn’t a very manly feeling. And then we kind of get to the betan-ess of what this is all about. I was a very sensitive person and felt a lot and felt more, than I thought, most. And it overwhelmed me to the point that I needed to stop some of those feelings so I could feel a little more macho. [BRANDY]:
Everyone in middle school I imagine struggles with those feelings. But everyone in middle school weren’t staying at home drinking a 12 pack of Coors Light. [BILLY]:
Yeah. It made me feel brave. [BRANDY]:
So, did it stop there, begin there, was it dormant? [BILLY]:
It began there, and it was nothing more than what everybody else was doing, or the people that I knew. [BRANDY]:
And then where did it go from that age, 14? [BILLY]:
It was fun for a lot of years. [BRANDY]:
Define ‘fun for a lot of years’, kind of explain that. High school, college, what was it? Take me on that journey for a minute. [BILLY]:
It was exciting. It was camaraderie. It was friendship. It was fun. It was dangerous. It was getting away with things we shouldn’t be doing. I had a [unclear] towards that. My parents would have called it rebellious; the church would have called it rebellious. Getting away with things that were taboo in the circles I ran in, and I always gravitated towards guys who were a little off the beaten path of just the kids doing what their parents wanted them to do. [BRANDY]:
So, you weren’t a jock. But you were kind of the bad boy of the youth group? [BILLY]:
I was the bad boy of the youth group. [BRANDY]:
I just want to measure that and kind of like, so… [BILLY]:
Oh, but you know, but the funny thing is it was very split. I was a very incongruent, I was a split young man, because I loved God, and I loved youth group, and I played that part very well. But there was this other tug that I just didn’t quite fit in. And man, did I feel like I fit in after I had a drink. [BRANDY]:
So, drinking, then drugs, where did that start? And I want to say that the reason I’m going through this is because I think that this plays in very much to where we are today and why we have the Beta Male Revolution. I think that your recovery and your alcoholism and your vulnerability and honesty about that is going to be huge in episodes to come and who we are and how we’ve gotten here. So, I do think it’s important for people to understand your struggle and where you’ve come from and where you are now. So that’s kind of where I want to go with this. [BILLY]:
Yeah. So, pills, opiates, mainly… [BRANDY]:
What age? [BILLY]:
15. Yeah, I got my wisdom teeth out. They gave me Percocet and they had sedated me with some narcotics. And they had hooked me up to machine, or to an IV, and when they put that IV in me to have my wisdom teeth taken out, before I fell asleep and drifted off into the full sedation, I thought, I can’t wait to feel this again. And I think for a decade, better than a decade, I chased that feeling right there and was never able to obtain it again. [BRANDY]:
Did you have bouts of sobriety? [BILLY]:
Oh, it was probably just lack of access, so I wouldn’t really call it sobriety. [BRANDY]:
I do remember you telling me about your senior year of high school. [BILLY]:
Oh, yeah. I joined Fellowship of Christian students. It was Fellowship of Christian Athletes but they changed it to students so I could be a part of it because I was the vice president. [BRANDY]:
You’re joking. [BILLY]:
No, no. [BRANDY]:
No, that’s for real? [BILLY]:
That’s for real. [BRANDY]:
That’s a fantastic story. I have been married to you this long and I did not know… [BILLY]:
That’s a beta story. Very beta stories… [BRANDY]:
They changed it from ‘athletes’ to ‘students’… [BILLY]:
Just for me. [BRANDY]:
Okay, that sounds about right. [BILLY]:
FCS, they’re like, don’t you mean, FCA? No. It’s Fellowship of Christian Students. [BRANDY]:
Because you’re in it. [BILLY]:
I was the vice president and they had to change the rules for me to be more inclusive. I was inclusive from day one. I was like, we all need to get along. So yeah, they changed it to Fellowship of Christian Students, and the leader, a friend, Steve, of mine, said, there’s a policy in our bylaws that you don’t drink or have sex, and the sex thing was not a problem. Not by choice. It just wasn’t a problem, at least with anyone else. And they said, no drinking or drugs, and drugs really weren’t a major player. But alcohol… there was going to be a little more, but I was ready to make a change in my senior year, so I took the pledge and I didn’t drink the whole year. And we threw events, we had the counter senior bonfire that was called “A bonfire you can remember”, with quotes in it. He was very arrogant. Because the other senior bonfire, Everybody went and got trashed, so we were trying to be… [BRANDY]:
So, your senior year you stayed sober. And the minute you graduate… [BILLY]:
I graduated senior night and had already pre bought a 12 pack of Coors Light – it comes full circle – actually, I probably had gotten more. And I left graduation without telling anyone goodbye, my mom or anyone, I didn’t even get pictures. And I went back home to our back porch and drank. [BRANDY]:
Alone. I didn’t go to any senior parties. [BRANDY]:
That’s a pattern. [BILLY]:
So, then college starts. You become drunk Billy, who, that’s when I met you, you were like a blast. I love drunk Billy. [BILLY]:
Lots of parties. [BRANDY]:
Then you get married to your first wife. She did not appreciate drunk Billy. [BILLY]:
No. Well… [BRANDY]:
Not after a while. [BILLY]:
And then pill Billy. [BILLY]:
Yeah, yeah. And all these dysfunctional coping mechanisms just begin to flood into my life, and I didn’t know how to give them up and function in the world, in my skin, without these aids. Yeah. [BRANDY]:
Then you marry your second wife. Current wife. [BILLY]:
You go to rehab two days before Christmas when you have a two-year-old and… [BILLY]:
Actually, it was December 21 of 2010. [BRANDY]:
A week before Christmas. And then you’re there for three months. Tell me about that. [BILLY]:
Yeah. It began my journey into authenticity. I went willingly, out of desperation, because it was going to be drink and use substances until I die or change my behavior and become someone different. [BRANDY]:
So, you’re there for 90 days. [BILLY]:
Yeah. And by becoming someone different, I found out that I didn’t really become someone different. I’d been someone different all along, I just didn’t know who I really was. And it began to take down those layers. And I hate it that not everybody gets the opportunity to go to rehab. [BRANDY]:
So, you go to rehab, 90 days, come home, and life was just fantastic, right? [BILLY]:
No. Absolutely not. I kind of had to piecemeal my addiction in a way, and take it apart, because I wasn’t fully convinced I was an alcoholic. I knew that the pills were a problem – the opiates mainly – but somewhere along the line I felt as though Valium and those things would be okay. And yeah. [BRANDY]:
So, you come home. [BILLY]:
Took the Valium, relapsed, that’s my drug of choice, multiple times. Yeah, didn’t get sober till May 20 of 2013. [BRANDY]:
So in between then you had a business, filed bankruptcy, lost everything. [BILLY]:
Almost lost your family, but you didn’t. Walk me through that day that you decided to stop. What was it? [BILLY]:
Man, I wish I could package it and sell it because if I could, I would, and I would be a multimillionaire. But the funny thing is that would probably go to my head, and my ego, and get me drunk. Man, I wish I could explain that spiritual awakening, that spiritual experience. I wish I knew how to induce it in people, and people try for a long time to make that happen. Create the aha moment, the awakening, [BRANDY]:
But if you had to describe it in your own words, what was it? [BILLY]:
It was very uneventful. It was just, I knew that something had changed and shifted that day and I was done. [BRANDY]:
After a lifetime of drugs and alcohol? [BILLY]:
You just were done. [BILLY]:
I was done. [BRANDY]:
And you’ve been done for seven years? [BILLY]:
Six and a half. [BRANDY]:
Six and a half years. [BILLY]:
So now going back to the beta male, six and a half years ago, you start this sobriety date. And I know just for us, in our marriage, it was probably two years after you got sober were probably the toughest two years we went through. You were getting to know yourself; I was getting to know the new Billy. I didn’t like him. He was irritable. [BILLY]:
Restless and discontent. He was learning how to live in my skin as a sober human being without being altered. [BRANDY]:
Yeah. Yeah, I really found out I liked drunk Billy a lot. He was confident, he was fun, he was outgoing. Now I’m with anxious, nervous, irritable, pissy Billy. And you really went through a lot of work, you still do a lot of work to keep that sobriety. But the thing I admire about you the most, and I talk about a lot, is your willingness to self-actualize, self-evaluate, be vulnerable. And all those things come to where we are now, because through this process I’ve found, we’ve found, this beta person. So, what do you think, if you were to give me three characteristics of a beta male – a strong, healthy, beta male – what are three strong, healthy characteristics of a beta male? Because I think that there are other males out there that feel like you, that feel like, I mean, it’s got a little bit of my story, even though maybe it wasn’t involved with drugs and alcohol, or maybe it was another addiction they wrestled with, but trying to be something they weren’t. When you’re healthy, when you’re strong, what are those three characteristics? [BILLY]:
I’m a peacemaker. I find it very easy to moderate situations and see both sides. There’s a calm confidence. [BRANDY]:
What does that mean? [BILLY]:
It’s a more authentic confidence, and I believe in who I am and who I’m created to be and what I’m created to do. And I don’t have to be arrogant about that, and it doesn’t have to look like anything else. [BRANDY]:
And your third? [BILLY]:
Well, healthy, good listener. [BRANDY]:
And do you think those are beta male characteristics, or Billy beta male characteristics? [BILLY]:
I think they’re beta characteristics when it comes to a healthy beta male. Yeah. [BRANDY]:
Yeah. So, give me the three unhealthy… you can give me more. [BILLY]:
I can give you a lot. Those are easy. Wow, the strengths, it’s… hey, it’s hard for me to list my strengths. It’s hard for me to pinpoint those. So that would be a weakness. It’s hard for me to brag on myself. It’s hard for me to take credit for things. It’s easy for me to feel insecure, to second guess myself, to play conversations over and over again in my head and wonder what I could have said different, what I could have done different. I wonder if people like me, often… [BRANDY]:
I mean, I think that’s across the board. What is specific to a beta? I mean, insecure? [BILLY]:
Yeah. Insecurity. [BRANDY]:
Okay. What’s another one? [BILLY]:
Mmm, that’s good. Yeah. [BILLY]:
Yeah. The opposite of pride. So, you know, I believe, in health, alphas and betas look a lot like each other. But in unhealth, alphas tend to go to pride and ego and betas tend to go to the opposite of that, self-pity, and shame. I wear shame well. [BRANDY]:
Okay, so growing up, I just want to touch on what you were like as a kid. What were you like as a child? What were you into? What were your characteristics? [BILLY]:
I was afraid most of the time. [BRANDY]:
That’s honest. [BILLY]:
That’s my primary emotion. That’s the main thing I remember feeling, is fear. [BRANDY]:
Throughout your whole childhood? [BILLY]:
You came from a two-parent home? [BILLY]:
Middle class? [BILLY]:
Middle class, good home, no reason to be afraid. It was irrational. [BRANDY]:
And there was no trauma associated with that fear? [BILLY]:
No trauma. [BRANDY]:
And then in high school, college, 20s…? [BILLY]:
Well I say, no trauma. I guess that’s all relative. And as a therapist, it’s hard for me to say what I went through was trauma – that may be another beta characteristic. But I think having an over involved mom and a distant father, and a mom who tried to make up for the distance of the dad by playing both roles, was traumatic in its own right and caused its own issues. [BRANDY]:
And you were the oldest of three? [BILLY]:
Yeah, yeah. [BRANDY]:
Did you assume that role of the oldest? [BILLY]:
I don’t know. Those things never really… my youngest brother was 12 years younger than me. My other was four. We were pretty close. My youngest, it was… I was gone. [BRANDY]:
So, leading up to now. Now you’re working on yourself, you’re vulnerable, you’re self-reflective. What do you want other betas to know out there? I know we talked about freedom last time. But what is it that you want them to come on this… why do you want them to come on this journey with you? What are they hoping to get out of this? [BILLY]:
I remember hearing other people give me permission to be a certain way in the world that was very freeing for me. And I hope to create an environment where I can have conversations, just with you and me, and also with other people, outside people, that do that same thing for people. And they may not say, oh, they directly click with me, but I hope I can facilitate conversations with people that they can. And I think there’s some quieter voices that have some big messages that need to be heard. And they can help other people feel a little more at home in the world, at home in their skin. [BRANDY]:
What do you want them to know today? [BILLY]:
It’s okay to be you. [BRANDY]:
Alright, Billy. Thank you. [BILLY]:
Are you ready to find freedom to be yourself as a beta male? Do you want permission and tools to be your best beta? Are you ready to join the revolution to find your strength as a beta? If you want to be comfortable in your own skin and be the most authentic beta male, then our free Beta Male Revolution course is for you. Sign up for free at betamalerevolution.com/course.
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guest are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.