Episode 23: Estevan J Zarate (Chuy) and the diagnosis that changed everything


Estevan J Zarate who goes by Chuy, is an actor, director and coach from San Antonio TX that has been improvising for audiences for 29 years.



Currently a resident of Austin, Chuy specializes in improv-singing and grounded/character-driven scene-work. He doesn’t just perform, he’s coached hundreds of kids, teens, students and adults for years to multiple successes.





He’s also my friend. As of this post on Nov. 5th, 2020, Estevan J (Chuy) Zarate has been sober for 1352 days.





Estevan J Zarate, or Chuy as I call him. Photo by Steve Rogers Photography



This month, I’ve made the decision to have a no-drink-November. I do this occasionally, typically during stressful times, and our current political situation in the US has been stressing me out! So… here I am.





For me, and for many of you alcohol is fun… but not necessary. Periodically you might over consume, but you’re able to balance the scales by having an Octsober, or no-drink-November like I am doing.





For others… and it’s a surprisingly high number (alcohol related disease and death is more common in the US than heart disease), alcohol use isn’t a thing. It’s all or it’s nothing. It’s Alcohol abuse and it has consequences.





In this episode of the Changed Podcast, Estevan J Zarate, or Chuy as I’ve always known him, shares the story of being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, and how that changed everything for him, for his family… and for his survival.





Takeaways from this conversation



There are some warning signs that go with abusing alcohol: hiding your drinking, sneaking sips between tasks, and using alcohol as your go-to strategy for everything; from coping with stress and handling heartbreak to celebrating the mundane as intensely as the triumphant.





There are some warning signs that go with cirrhosis of the liver including yellowing of the skin, nose bleeds or bruising easily, and bloating or swelli