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Rank #139 in Health & Fitness category

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Health & Fitness

Recovery Elevator

Updated about 1 month ago

Rank #139 in Health & Fitness category

Education
Health & Fitness
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Here’s an idea. When you’re a closet alcoholic who’s quit drinking more times than you can count, start a podcast to hold yourself accountable as publicly as possible. Share your struggles, your triumphs, and every lesson you’re learning along the way. While you’re at it, invite others to share their stories of addiction and recovery so that you can learn from them and be reminded: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Getting sober is just the beginning. Staying sober, and then becoming the person I know I’m meant to be is the real adventure. Join me?

Read more

Here’s an idea. When you’re a closet alcoholic who’s quit drinking more times than you can count, start a podcast to hold yourself accountable as publicly as possible. Share your struggles, your triumphs, and every lesson you’re learning along the way. While you’re at it, invite others to share their stories of addiction and recovery so that you can learn from them and be reminded: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Getting sober is just the beginning. Staying sober, and then becoming the person I know I’m meant to be is the real adventure. Join me?

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Love you Paul

By zxoqy - Jun 01 2020
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Love your approach and energy. Listening has helped me so much on my journey.

Really good podcast!

By Stingybone - Jun 01 2020
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We love you, Paul! Thank you.

iTunes Ratings

1000 Ratings
Average Ratings
893
41
21
19
26

Love you Paul

By zxoqy - Jun 01 2020
Read more
Love your approach and energy. Listening has helped me so much on my journey.

Really good podcast!

By Stingybone - Jun 01 2020
Read more
We love you, Paul! Thank you.
Cover image of Recovery Elevator

Recovery Elevator

Latest release on Jul 13, 2020

Read more

Here’s an idea. When you’re a closet alcoholic who’s quit drinking more times than you can count, start a podcast to hold yourself accountable as publicly as possible. Share your struggles, your triumphs, and every lesson you’re learning along the way. While you’re at it, invite others to share their stories of addiction and recovery so that you can learn from them and be reminded: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Getting sober is just the beginning. Staying sober, and then becoming the person I know I’m meant to be is the real adventure. Join me?

Rank #1: 052: 10 Value Bombs After 1 Year of Podcasting

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What I learned in 1 year of podcast is remarkable. It will help me stay sober and I want to thank everyone who has been a part of Recovery Elevator. I really hope you enjoy this summary because I had a great year compiling them.

Value BombsWhat I learned from a year of podcasting about my sobriety.By Paul Churchill (with Elliot P.) Podcasting about your sobriety isn’t exactly the best way to stay anonymous.   However, after years of struggling to stay sober I was willing to try anything and nothing seemed more powerful than the accountability I’d create by checking in with “the world” every week.   So I bought a few simple pieces of recording equipment, signed up for a podcasting service and started talking.  I was terrified to release the first episode – it felt like I was jumping off a cliff.  I knew my life would never be the same.   I was right. This year has been the best year of my life but strangely, also the hardest.   I know what you are thinking, “of course it was the hardest as getting sober isn’t easy” and you’d be right.  But there is something especially terrifying about getting sober in front of anyone who wants to watch.  I’ve been told that some people thought my podcast would be a train wreck and they were listening for entertainment value.   Luckily, so far, I have beaten the odds and probably made this pretty boring for my macabre listeners.   My goal is to make this podcast as boring as possible for this demographic of my audience!  How is that for a podcasting goal?  Really though, I think we have had a lot of fun this year and I’m all for the suspense each week as I sign in, once again, still sober.   If I can do it, maybe some of my listeners realize that they can too. Now I don’t claim to be very smart but the most unexpected part of this journey has been meeting hundreds of listeners who can relate to my story.   I honestly felt like I was the only one who suffered exactly like I did.   It turns out that alcoholism is ironically a communal disease where everyone afflicted feels isolated.  Part of the solution involves finding like-minded people who you can get honest with.  Little did I know, just by talking openly into the microphone, this group of like-minded people would come to me.   Listenership has grown beyond my wildest dreams.  I love you guys. I’ve been asked what have been the most impactful lessons I’ve learned over this year of podcasting.   The beauty of listening to the stories of those I’ve interviewed is that everyone can relate to the stories differently depending upon their place in their sobriety journey.  Below is a list highlighting ideas that have meant the most to me:

Feb 15 2016

1hr 5mins

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Rank #2: 002: Sobriety is located outside of your comfort zone

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The only way you're going to be able to quit drinking is to get outside of your comfort zone. If you are not willing to do this, then your chances of getting sober are bleak.

Show Notes for Episode 2: What is covered

·    Why you are a lucky one

·    Myths debunked

·    Can I ever drink again?

·    Comfort Zone

·    Success Rates

·    Answer to quit drinking

This is the link to where I found the percentages of alcoholics

Feb 24 2015

37mins

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Rank #3: 036: Four Types of Alcoholics | Which One Are You?

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Robert with 5 days of sobriety joins the podcast again. Robert was previously on episode 17 and he is determined to achieve sobriety.

Oct 26 2015

53mins

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Rank #4: 045: Recovery is Moving in the Right Direction | A Recap of the 60 Minute Segment on Drug and Alcohol Addiction

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Micheal Hilton, with over 10 years of sobriety, discusses his recovery portfolio.  Micheal Hilton is a leader in the recovery community and does personal coaching with his company Breakthrough Coaching. 60 minutes recently did a segment on addiction.  Micheal Botticelli, the "Drug Czar” is someone who from first hand experience knows the intricacies of alcoholism and addiction. Here are some key points of what I took from this segment.
  • 40 years and a trillion dollars, nation has little to show of the war on drugs.
  • 21 million americans are addicted to drugs and alcohol and nearly 1/2 of federal incarcerations are in for drug crimes. “can’t arrest addiction out of people.” “We have learned that addiction is a brain disease.” “ We can’t expect cancers patients to just stop having cancer.”
  • Addicts should be patients and not prisoners.
  • Michael Botticelli has created a high school for teens in recovery in Massachusetts.
  • Convicts can choose rehab over jail and this actually reduces crime.
  • in 1998 crashed his car and woke up hand cuffed to a gurney. Alcohol free for 27 years.
  • Oversees 26 billion dollar budget across 16 government agencies. Over 1/2 of the money goes to drug enforcement.
  • Says the heroin crisis was created at home. Pain scripts have risen from 76 million in  1991 to 207 million in 2015.
  • More than 120 americans die of drug overdoses each day.
  • Tried an experiment in 2010 with the quincy police department. Officers are armed with Naloxone. A nasal spray for an overdose. Also changed laws called the good samaritan law.
  • Today, 32 states have adopted similar laws and more than 800 police departments carry Naloxone.
  • In Massachussets, Botticelli has made treating addiction routine health care.
  • The affordable care act requires the most of insurance companies to cover addiction treatment.
  • Substance abuse is one of the only disease where we let people reach their most acute point of the disease or “bottom” before we intervene.
  • Botticelli prefers the word disorder instead of addict.
  • Sees a model in the attitude towards the stigma with the gay rights movement. He was more comfortable being a gay man, before saying he was an alcoholic. “We have more work to do.”
  • over 1/2 a million a year are killed by legal drugs. Alcohol and nicotine.
  • Botticelli is not in favor of legalizing marijuana.
  • Grew up as in insecure kid.
  • A very wise judge said you can either get care for your drinking problem or you continue the path of this criminal behavior.
You Might be an Alcoholic if...

Claire

You keep a note pad by the phone so you can take notes about your drunk dialings, but then you can't read your handwriting

You're now sober but want to wear a sign on your shirt that says you are enjoying a piece of gum to merely blow bubbles, not to cover up the vodka smell

Caleb

You buy canned beer so you can hide it in your bag without anybody hearing the glass clinks

Simone

If you log into MyFitnessPal as soon as you wake up...to log in the calories of the 8 double whiskeys you'll be drinking later...to know how much not to eat today.

Shane

If after a night of drinking an entire 26er of scotch, the only thing you can think of is "what am I going to drink today?"

Brian in KC, MO

You might be an alcoholic if it's your turn to be the DD, so before the baseball game you pound beers at the tailgate before the game hoping it carries you through to the end of the game....but then the game gets rained out in the 5th inning and you are still too drunk to drive home.

This episode was brought to you by Sober Nation.

Dec 28 2015

49mins

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Rank #5: 003: Your alcohol addiction is lurking nearby and it is getting stronger

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Paul sums up his summer of 2014 and drinking career with one dream explaining why he decided his elevator had gone down far enough.

Points to discuss during Podcast

-It works! It's keeping me sober. Talk about every Monday at 6am goal and how someone reached out.

Fear of creating podcasts is no one will listen, mine is that people will actually listen.

Dream

            Peace, Calm, unity, free

Gary Jules - Mad World Dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had which describes how Paul felt in the summer of 2014.

Repeating statements, words etc. Broken Record. Are you not listening to your own podcasts?

Addiction doing laps on ten-speed bike

            Addiction can dunk a basketball

            Doing pull-ups

            Burpees         

            Taking a break, then buying performance enhancing drugs

Picture of my beautiful view while podcasting

Mar 09 2015

32mins

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Rank #6: RE 214: Your Body and Mind Have the Capacity to Heal Itself

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Dr. Sue Morter, talks to us about how our bodies and minds have the capacity to heal themselves if we allow it.

Registration is now live for the Recovery Elevator retreat in Bozeman, Montana this upcoming August.  You can find more information about this event here

Paul discusses addiction and how there are hundreds of definitions for what addiction is.   He has covered several of them on this podcast already, and covers many more in the book that he is currently writing. Some definitions are scientific. Some are psychological. Some explain the disease theory.

He brings up another definition that, in his opinion, may be the simplest and most accurate. Paul suggests that addiction(s) are nothing more than signposts in life. Addictions are nudges from the body, your internal and external environments, that signify that a change needs to occur.

Many people struggling with addiction ignore these internal and external cues their entire lives, and this gets ugly. There are signposts everywhere in life.  Paul’s advice? Get out of the way and let life happen.

The content that Dr. Sue Morter writes about in her book, The Energy Codes, which was released about a week ago, is profound.  (You can find the link here .)  She explains through quantum science how we can use our own energies to heal ourselves if we let it happen. Be prepared to have your mind blown.

SHOW NOTES

[7:44] Paul Introduces Dr. Sue.

Dr. Sue is an international speaker, master of bioenergetic medicine, and a quantum field visionary. She explains how quantum science and spirituality are speaking the same language. Dr. Sue redirects the flow of energy patterns in the body to activate full human potential. Through her presentations, seminars, retreats, which Paul attended one this past February in Colorado, and her book The Energy Codes, Dr. Sue illuminates the relationship of quantum science and energy medicine, as well as the elevation of human consciousness and life mastery.  In the book The Energy Codes, and at her retreats and conferences, she teaches individuals how to clear subconscious memory blockages.

[9:45] What is addiction? What causes it, and can it be overcome Dr. Sue? 

Dr. Sue is about the flow of energy in the body. If the energy is flowing in the body then the body is healing itself.  What happens with addiction is that there are sets of circuits that are supposed to be connecting our enteric system, meaning our digestive, hormonal, and chemical balance system, with our heart, with our mind. We're supposed to be one big communication system, everything having a check and balance on everything else. 

What happens is we have a tendency to kind of land and splat when we get here. We land in this life and our mind goes one way, our body goes another way, and our breath goes another way, and we're kind of not operating on all of our cylinders because of that.

Addiction happens when we bypass certain aspects of our own personal power, and we reach outwardly for some kind of reassurance, whether it's an addiction to an emotion, an addiction to needing to know the future, or to control things, an addiction then later turns into chemical addiction, substance abuse, those kinds of things.

[13:08] What do you feel about addictions, and can we overcome them?

She says we can absolutely overcome them. In fact, she feels that they are in place to reveal to us where we are here to evolve. We come into this life for a reason, and the addiction itself shows up in a certain pattern.  Dr. Sue says it's an avenue to our wholeness, not a problem. It's just a very intense solution.

[14:37] Earlier I talked about addiction being a signpost, almost an invitation of where to go next in life, and that many of us miss this. Can you comment on that a little bit?

We miss the lamp post, the light house, because we're so consumed in guilt, and shame, and fear because we start to observe our addictive patterns, and we start to try to outrun them even faster because we are afraid that something is inherently wrong. That whole sensation is generated because the mind is not connected to the rest of who we are.

When we do see the light post, the sign post, everything shifts. When we don't see it it's because we haven't created enough of a vibrational frequency to get the mind's attention yet.

[17:16] Talk to us about how disconnection can lead to addiction.  

When we land and we splat, we come up from the splat attached to the mind. We are attached to the mind. It's important to realize that we are not the mind. We have a mind, but we are so infused and inter-meshed with it that we think it's who we are.  Bear in mind that the mind is based in duality, and the mind's job is to separate things, to see the differences, to make distinctions.  If we're attached to the mind, we inherently feel different and distinct from other things. When we're attached to the heart, or to the soul, or to the truth of who we are, our true essential selves, we are connected, vibrationally speaking, to nature, and to everyone else, and to all that exists.

When we are disconnected to our heart, and our deep wisdom, we don't experience ourselves as wise, loving, brilliant, smart, and enough to meet the bill. What happens instead is we divert, we deflect, and the energy moves around this area.  The next thing you know we're looking for an imitation. We're looking for some other sense of self that gets hidden in our activities, or our substances.

[21:40] Talk to us about the trap door.

This energy that's rising up through the body that either does or does not pass through our own personal identity on its way through to love, and to manifesting the life that we would choose to have, it's rising up through the primitive brain and it hits a trap door that's either open or closed. That trap door is closed if we've experienced too many things in our past that we couldn't really resolve. 

[25:00] What advice, or what do you have to say to people who, the first month of sobriety, first six months of sobriety, they feel these uncomfortable emotions? (PAWS) Do they run away from them? Do they go towards them? What are these emotions, and what do you recommend they do when they experience them?

It's not that the body generates those emotions when you stop drinking. Those emotions were always there. You just couldn't sense them or perceive them, because you were either running from them, or you were numbing them out. They are your power. Your power is inside of those emotions that currently might feel a little intense, or a lot intense. And we can learn how to grab ahold of those energies and get them back into the flow, breathe them into the flow that's trying to happen in our system that keeps us connected.

 [29:10] If we feel a meltdown coming do we squash it? What do we do? What are they?

Dr. Sue 100% suggests that we lean into it. The body is trying to get us to implode back into the soul.  Just by allowing ourselves to sit in presence with what is rising is a victory beyond what we were able to do before.

[35:48] Can you talk a little bit about how everything that happens, even on a day to day basis, is there for our advantage?

All of it is ultimately serving you. You are made of the entire cosmos, and you are packed into a body. And more of it is arriving every second, and it's 100% in support of your awakening to this truth, to your greatness, to your magnificence. Everything that happens in your life is guiding you, and steering you toward a great shakedown that will make you let go of being attached to the mind and this idea that you're a separate self, and accept, and receive, and perceive this amazing support that is constantly here supporting you toward you realizing a different version of life altogether.

[38:50] You did an incredible job of explaining how science, quantum physics, is blending with spirituality, with a higher power. Talk more about this.

What's happening is science and spirituality are kind of meeting on the same page and recognizing that there is a great unifying presence, and each of us has the opportunity to allow that to guide us in particular ways.

[42:06] Dr. Sue walks listeners through exercises so they can build circuits and create new connections, inside the body, on their own. 

[55:13] Listeners, Dr. Sue’s book The Energy Codes was just released about a week ago and you can find it here.   

She also has incredible retreats, taking people to sacred sites all over the world, along with teaching all kinds of coursework across the country.   For more information you can go to DrSueMorter.com

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

Mar 25 2019

1hr

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Rank #7: RE 175: Anxiety and Alcohol

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Alcohol and Anxiety Today we will look at anxiety and the role it plays in alcohol addiction.  Anxiety is inevitable, but we can change what we do and feel about it, ultimately affecting the level of severity we experience and the frequency of attacks.  It shows that we care about what is going on.  Anxiety is a tool we inherited from our prehistoric past that let us know that we were in danger.  It is useful and necessary, and is a natural part of life.  Unlike normal anxiety, chronic anxiety does not have roots in the present moment.  Chronic anxiety begins when the anxiety becomes our default modus operandi.  The conscious mind focuses on the anxiety, fueling it and allowing it to expand and become consuming.  We find ourselves on a hamster wheel of potential causes, cures, analyses, and ultimately, fear and discomfort.  It surfaces for, as far as we know, no apparent reason.  We make attempts to repress or sidetrack it.  Drinking is one way that many try to deal with their anxious feelings.  While we are drinking, it feels like our problems temporarily disappear.  When we look more closely at the way alcohol changes brain chemistry, we see that all it does is slow us down and weaken our higher faculties.  In the relatively short long term, alcohol usually makes our problems worse by increasing our anxiety and having a negative impact on our overall health.  We have the ability to naturally rewire and change our brains.  When we make the decision to quit drinking, over time we can reverse many of the negative effects on our brain chemistry and overall health.  Our brains are able to find a new and more healthy version of homeostasis with less anxiety, less depression and more clarity. Chris, with almost 1 year since his last drink, shares his story

SHOW NOTES

[11:40] Paul Introduces Chris. Chris is 36 years old, a power plant operator, lives in North Dakota. He's married with two kids and a dog.  He enjoys camping and boating, cooking, photography, and woodworking.

[13:40] What is camping like now that you don't drink? Alcohol took over his life.  Now he feels more present for his kids.  He feels his life is more enriched.  He enjoys more of nature.  He is happy to have quit. 

[16:00] When did you first realize that you had a problem with drinking? A while ago.  He craved it since he started in high school.  It started social, and it gradually progressed.  In the military, he went to Korea when he was 21.  Being far away from friends and family was difficult and and he drank more.  He suffered from “terminal uniqueness”.  He felt he was different from the people around him.  We lie to ourselves and focus on the differences, further isolating ourselves from the community around us.

[23:55] Did you ever have a rock bottom moment?  How much were you drinking? He was drinking a case of tall beers almost every week.  His wife had been giving him ultimatums for a while.  He started to drive drunk on a regular basis.  He was regularly drunk, or if he wasn't, he was experiencing intense anxiety.  He would regularly yell at his kids.  He was terrified about what he was becoming.  His wife turned toward the church and he turned toward alcohol.  He and his wife had a blowout over drinking and they separated.  He read a few AA books.  He moved out to the camper.  His faith suffered and he had to see his pastor.  His wife explained how much he was hurting her.  He went to see a counselor and started to unload his emotions.  He eventually found an intensive outpatient program that helped him quit. 

[31:38] Will you share a little of what you learned in your outpatient program? Neuroplasticity, how your brain becomes dependent on chemicals.  He learned that it wasn't a moral failing, and he felt relief.  He started to relate to the other members in the group.  His wife filed for divorce, and it helped him apply himself in the program. 

[37:15] Where did you get the strength to move forward? The gift of desperation.  He didn't know what else to do.  He saw that this was an opportunity to change and he applied himself.  His faith life had dried up and he became inspired after reading “Bill's Story” from the AA book.  He started to get better rest.  As he worked the program his feeling of higher power returned.  He realized how much he had hurt his wife.  He was lucky enough to have counselors and friends in his life that helped him get through it.  He started to focus on his actions and not the results with his kids and his wife started to come around.  He started to do the work for himself and not for her. 

[45:42] What have you learned most about yourself in sobriety? That he's worthy of love.  He's worthy of a happy life.  Life is worth it. 

[46:20] What's on your bucket list in sobriety? To continue.  To continue to work on his marriage.  To continue to make memories with his family.  He wants a future for him and his loved ones.  He wants to help other people with recovery. 

[47:51] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? The many ways that he hurt his wife and kids. He'll never forget hurting his loved ones. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Last summer when he chose drinking over his wife.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? To continue to work a program. He likes to keep his sponsor close. 
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? You don't have to be sober for the rest of your life, today. Take it a day at a time. 
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Just be honest with yourself. Stop lying to yourself.  Don't listen to the voice of addiction.  Tell someone that you trust.  Accountability and community is key. 
  7. You might be an alcoholic if... “You go to sleep drunk, and wake up with less eyebrows and more penises drawn on your face.”

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This Naked Mind – a book by Annie Grace

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

Jun 25 2018

57mins

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Rank #8: 041: Emotional Sobriety and Not Just a Dry Drunk

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In Episode 41, I talk about emotional sobriety which is a topic breached with trepidation because fully understanding emotional sobriety is near impossible and I have so much more to learn about it. Also in this episode, I interview Erik from Massachusetts who is doing a great job in recovery working with other alcoholics. He mentioned in his interview that it isn't a requirement to hit rock bottom in recovery, a concept I wasn't familiar with in 2014 when I hit my bottom. The bulk of the content for this episode comes from Elliot P who just reached 2 years of sobriety earlier this month. Way to go Elliot!

Nov 30 2015

42mins

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Rank #9: RE 109: How To Quit Drinking

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Mitchell, with 30 days since his last drink, shares his story

How to quit drinking

  1. Do not drink. Replace the beverage in your hand with a Popsicle or a ginger beer
  2. Watch the movie Leaving Las Vegas and then watch it again
  3. Listen to every Third Eye Blind Song ever written
  4. Do not watch the movie Beer Fest
  5. Go to 90 meetings in 90 days
  6. Get a sponsor or an accountability partner
  7. Think about joining Café RE www.recoveryelevator.com/cafere
  8. Have you ever asked yourself, “Do I have a drinking problem?” Well think no more because that’s your answer
  9. Remember that alcohol is pure shit
  10. Affirmations - your unconscious mind is way ahead of you when it comes to viewing alcohol ads and advertisements. You constantly need to affirm to yourself that you will not be drinking.
  11. Change everything: where you get your haircut, the color of your walls, and probably most of the friends you hang out with.
  12. Tell the people closest to you that you will no longer be drinking.
  13. Create accountability = the most important thing on this list.
  14. You cannot quit drinking with willpower because willpower is finite and exhaustible. You might last a week or a month or a year, but eventually you will drink again.
  15. Find a higher power. This higher power could literally be a pigeon sitting on a power cable.
  16. I hate to break it to you, but you cannot do this alone. You are going to need a community of like- minded individuals. Whether this community is online, in person or your next-door neighbor, you are going to have to connect with other like-minded individuals.
  17. Did I mention that alcohol is shit?
  18. If you are just starting this journey, you do not know any answers yet. Please put the cotton in your mouth and start listening.
  19. If you ever say the words to yourself “I think I got this” you’re f@#$%@. Those are the three most dangerous words an alcoholic can say.
  20. Always give yourself an exit strategy. Drive your own car, scooter, skate board or hover board. It is right around that time when your friends start getting tipsy that the danger zone approaches and I’m not talking about the Top Gun soundtrack.
  21. Look at yourself in the mirror. What do you see? Do you like it? Do you want to change what you see?
  22. Ask yourself if you are reaching your full potential in life. Most likely if you are drinking that answer is no. Your dead relatives would not be proud.
  23. If you were thinking about quitting drinking for someone else, you’re f@#$%! You have to quit drinking for yourself.
  24. Do not beat yourself up. In fact, tell yourself that you are a rock star. Sure you might be an average guitar player who will never tour with Aerosmith, but you are worth it, you are damn worth it.
  25. You may find yourself quite bored without alcohol which is why you need to pick up new hobbies such as yoga, jogging, archery, or stamp collecting. Stamp collecting to me sounds extremely boring but you get point.
  26. You need to get outside of your mind and fast. The best way to do this is to help others. For example: Mrs. Jones's lawn across the street is in desperate need of care. That could be the perfect job for you.
  27. If you think you’ve hit rock bottom, unfortunately I’ve got bad news for you. Every bottom has a trapdoor that can lead to much greater pain and suffering.  The good news is that when you do reach a bottom there is something called a conduit. That is when your higher power is there to help you get sober.  Do not put too much emphasis on what this higher power is.  It could be the pigeon on the powerline or it could be the wind bristling between the pine trees.
  28. Educate yourself. Knowledge is useless unless you do something with it. There are a tremendous amount of great podcasts out there about recovery.
  29. Read books preferably not while drinking. “This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace is one of my favorite books. Also a book called “Beyond the Influence” by Katherine Ketchum is fantastic.
  30. If you think you are alone in your drinking, you are dead wrong. There are millions struggling with alcohol and if you connect with some of them you will find that what you have in common is incredible.
  31. Start to develop a recovery portfolio. Jam pack this recovery portfolio full of books, a list of contacts, AA meeting schedules, etc.
  32. Get out of your comfort zone. I can tell you with 100% certainty that sobriety is not located inside of your comfort zone. Friends that try to convince you that sobriety is located inside your comfort zone are not your friends.
  33. La Croix soda water is your best friend.
  34. Do not beat yourself up because alcohol has done a good job of doing just that.
  35. Get up. Get up again. Get up again. Then get up 15 more times. Eventually this will stick and booze will be something of the past.
  36. Start writing a journal. Start writing about what you’re thankful for. Start writing about what your goals are in life and if your current path is leading you to those goals.
  37. Alcoholics Anonymous. Get outside your comfort zone and go to a meeting. Stop making excuses. No wimps allowed!
  38. The stigma is total BS. In 1956 the American Medical Association classified alcoholism and addiction as a disease. Why we are still talking about this today is a mystery.
  39. Come out of the closet as somebody with a drinking problem. I can guarantee you with 100% satisfaction that more good than harm will be the result.
  40. Keep in mind that alcohol is ethanol with a couple of additives added to it to make it palatable. Alcohol in its purest form tastes like raccoon piss.
  41. Tell yourself that alcohol doesn’t actually help you relax. What it’s doing is slowing down your brain faculties. You are literally thinking slower when drinking alcohol.
  42. Watch the show “The Anonymous People” on Netflix. This is a very powerful documentary.
  43. For one week straight write down any triggers that make you drink alcohol. This is 7 straight days of putting pen to paper.
  44. Acceptance is your best friend. It doesn’t matter if you have been sober for a week or you are drinking while listening to this podcast, you must accept the current circumstances that you are in and find a way to be content in them.
  45. There is no chance of getting sober if you are not honest with yourself and others.
  46. Do not turn recovery into a game of leap frog. You cannot skip the steps to getting sober, but you can speed up the process.
  47. On a piece of paper, write down all of the people that you hold resentments towards. In another column write how you are a part of the problem.  Read this to a trusted companion and get ready for major light bulbs to illuminate.
  48. This might seem contradictory to some since the word anonymous is in the word Alcoholics Anonymous, but being silent about your drinking problem only does you harm. You need to tell your loved ones, your friends, your family and any other people you care about in regards to your goal to stay sober
  49. Develop a network of people who also share the same common goal to not drink. I’m not talking about Mr. Rogers on the television.
  50. Alcohol kills more than any other drugs combined – that’s 3 million people each year!

SHOW NOTES

[ 16:57 ] Paul Introduces Mitchell

Mitchell – I have 1 month of sober time and I feel great.  I am originally from Michigan, 31 years old and am the lead pastor of my parish.  I am married with a 3 year old boy.  I enjoy playing music, the outdoors and anything Disney!

[ 20:00 ] When did you realize that you did not drink normally?

Mitchell – I was 22 years old when I had my first drink.  I drank through college but stopped for 7 years when I started my pastor role.  I started drinking again to alleviate anxiety and depression.  When I took an actual inventory of my drinking, I found that I was drinking every day.  I never took a day off.  

[ 22:49 ]  Is there any history of alcoholism in your family?

Mitchell – It is not talked about much but I am sure it is there.

[ 23:00 ] Paul and Mitchell discuss the 7 years he did not drink.

Mitchell – I really did not think about it much at the time.  I was busy building my parish.  Before I knew it, I was drinking on Fridays and then every day again.

[ 23:49 ] Did you ever put any rules in place to moderate your drinking?

Mitchell – Rules never worked for me.  Something situational always came up that gave me the excuse to drink.  Alcohol was my “go to” tool.

[ 24:26 ] Did you have a rock bottom?

Mitchell – I didn’t have a severe rock bottom but I would try and a break from drinking.  I had to keep drinking more and more in order to get the same effect.  The drinking would cause me to make unhealthy choices like eating everything in sight.  

[ 26:00 ] How important has your HP been for you?

Mitchell – God gives me hope.  My relationships with others, being a lead pastor, and my relationship with God can be just as stressful as it is helpful.  Alcohol was my escape from thinking about God, even as I served him.

[ 27:10 ] Have you ever felt let down by God?

Mitchell – It was very challenging leading new community and I would look forward to those drinks at night. 

[ 28:05 ] How did you get sober?

Mitchell – I signed up for the RE group on Facebook.  This took some initiative.  I also went on a diet and this reduced my cravings significantly.  I love being helpful to others and surrounding myself with people who “get it.”

[ 31:42 ] Have you had any withdrawals?

Mitchell – nothing really physical, but I have been edgy and irritable.

[ 33:04 ] How are you living life on life terms?

Mitchell – It is OK for life to be nuts.  You do not have to escape it. You are strong enough to deal with things that come your way.

[ 34:06 ] How is the best way to pray?

Mitchell – You need to be confident in your God.  Just talk openly and honestly to him like you would do with a friend.

[ 35:00 ] What advice would you give to your younger self?

Mitchell – Do not take that first drink.  Alcohol is addictive to everyone.  It is not safe.

[ 37:28 ] How has your relationships changed?

Mitchell – I am more present for my wife and child.  I enjoy being in the moment instead of rushing through things in order to get back to my drinking.

[ 38:07 ] Tell me about a day in the life of Mitchell?

Mitchell – I will continue to reach out to others. I also do a lot of reading in order to consistently remind myself of what alcohol did to me.

[ 39:03 ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? my son found an empty beer can and was bopping the family dog with it
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I was on vacation and took a good look at myself in the mirror.  I looked like I was pregnant, my belly was so swollen
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? staying accountable and feeding myself with knowledge
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? you have to do the work, “you don’t got this”
  5. What are your thoughts on relapse? Don’t beat yourself up.  Keep going.
  6. What has been your proudest moment in sobriety? making it this far
  7. You might be an alcoholic if…. you have a beer bottle opener that looks like a fake handcuff in your car

*You are the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most**

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

Mar 20 2017

45mins

Play

Rank #10: RE 155: Filling the Void Left By Alcohol

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“For us to be successful in sobriety, we must fill the void left by alcohol.” -Russel Brand, Recovery:  Freedom from Our Addictions

Drinking plays a big role in our lives.  Many of our social gatherings revolve around it.  We use it to relax or to deal with difficult emotions.  When we quit drinking, a void is then created that can be felt across many areas of our lives.  What do we do with this?  Should we fill it?  With what?

When the void is present, some try to use willpower to ignore it or to muscle through or around it.  Unfortunately, studies show that willpower is a finite resource and can not be solely relied upon to quit successfully.  If the void (also known as the emotional and spiritual causes of alcoholism) isn't properly dealt with, one can become what is known as a “dry drunk.”  The behaviors, coping mechanisms, and mindsets of the alcoholic are still present; the only difference is the lack of alcohol consumption.

In sobriety, we find ourselves with more... more time, more energy, and more mental clarity.  It's important to fill this time and spend this energy in a healthy and productive way so that the reasons for the void's existence begin to disappear as we lay a healthy and solid foundation for living.  Find things you like to do, and more importantly, find the communities surrounding those activities and do your best to become a part of them.

Chrissy, with 2 and ½ years, talks about how she married her drinking buddy:

SHOW NOTES

[12:50] Paul Introduces Chrissy.

Chrissy has been sober for 2 and ½ years.  She's from Mill Valley, California.  48 years old.  District Sales Manager.  Mother of two teenage boys.  She has two dogs.  Married.

[14:42] When did you first realize you had a drinking problem?

She used to be in denial.  She married her drinking buddy.  Started dabbling to get out of her head.  Became a problem when she moved to a town where everyone drank.  Started drinking daily.  Lead to a health scare.

[17:10] What was it like to find out you had Grade A Liver Cirrhosis?

She lost a lot of weight. She was mistaken for someone who was pregnant.  Ignored swelling abdomen and yellow eyes.  Eventually couldn't ignore symptoms.  The doctor called her an alcoholic.  She says the doctor is a good place to go for help.

[20:50] Did you ever attempt to moderate or control your drinking?

She always tried to manage it.  She had an idea for a perfect medium buzz.  The health scare is what made her consider quitting.

[22:47] What was it like when you first quit?

It took a few weeks for her body to repair itself.  She now gets checked up regularly.

[25:30] What did you learn about yourself during this process?

Once the fog was lifted, she began to ponder why she drank.  Now she says it isn't important.  It's more important to stay sober.  Year 1 was “how do I stay sober?” and now year 2 is “how do I manage my emotions?”.  Year 3 is now easier and more relaxing.

[27:10] What was it like to cut ties with alcohol completely?

She felt like she was kicking her best friend to the curb.  She had to get it out of her immediate surroundings.  At first, she felt sad, was white knuckling it.  Now she feels that quitting drinking was the one thing that changed her life completely.

[31:17] What does a day in recovery look like for you?

A neighbor took her to a meeting.  Found a sponsor.  Podcasts.  Reading books.  Surrounding myself with sobriety.  Changed her priorities.. recovery, then family, then work.

[33:25] What was it like to marry your drinking buddy?

She used to blame him a lot for her drinking.  She noticed that he drinks less.  They did therapy together.  She's focusing on herself.  She's not sure whether or not her husband is an alcoholic. [36:00] What advice do you have for someone in recovery which is with someone who drinks?

Changed her perspective.  Release me from the bondage of “self”.  She focuses on herself.  She sees her partner more with compassion.

[39:40]  What do you have to say to a person who is scared of quitting because they feel they might become depressed?

Reach out and get some help.  Any hospital will help you to quit drinking.  Get to a safe place... get over the hump, just for a few days.

[42:20] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

     

    After delivering a baby, all she wanted to do was get home and have a drink.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

     

    When a colleague told her that her eyes were yellow.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    Continue to stay in the middle of the herd. Continue to work with the sponsor, and keep going.

  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    Her community in recovery.

  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

     

    “If your ass falls off, pick it up and come to a meeting.”

  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

     

    If you're thinking about it, just go for it. If it's not for you, you'll know.

  7. You might be an alcoholic if...

     

    A worker at the grocery store mistakes your alcohol purchase as being for a large group of people.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery:  Freedom from Our Addictions by Russell Brand

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“We took the elevator down; we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

Feb 05 2018

49mins

Play

Rank #11: RE 63: Nutrition, Exercise and Sleep to Jump Start Your Recovery

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Robert, who has been sober for nearly 3.5 years shares how he
has made it this far.

In this episode we hear from Shawn from the Model Health Show Podcast
and he gives us valuable tips on how to get a grip on alcoholism
with these tips and tricks. Below are links to some of the items he
mentions in the podcast.

Rebounder - Mini trampoline
for cardio. NASA says this is the most effective form of exercise
and detoxification. Moves your lymphatic system and starts to
remove the muck that has built up into our systems over years of
drinking. Start with no more than 10 minutes. . This helps drop
your cortisol levels which will reduce stress throughout the
day.

Magnesium - Key to the
early sobriety.

Spirulina - Highest form of
protein in the world by weight. Rich in B vitamins

Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin
(B2) great for depression

Vitam B3 - Niacin. Helps
capillaries dilate and get blood to your system and help eliminate
waste in the body.

Vitamin B12 - Great for
Energy

Multi B Vitamin - A great
combination of all the B Vitamins.

Green Super Food Blend -
Not processed in a laboratory and is great for early recovery.

Shawn's Bio:
Shawn Stevenson is a bestselling author and creator of The Model
Health Show, featured as the #1 Health podcast in the country on
iTunes. A graduate of The University of Missouri - St. Louis, Shawn
studied business, biology and kinesiology, and went on to be the
founder of Advanced Integrative Health Alliance, a company that
provides wellness services for individuals and organizations
worldwide. Shawn has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine, Men's
Health magazine, ESPN, FOX News, and many other media outlets. He
is also a frequent keynote speaker for numerous organizations,
universities, and conferences - all with outstanding reviews. To
learn more about Shawn visit TheModelHealthShow.com

Join Team RE on May 21st for the 3rd annual run for recovery at
AALRM.org and use promo code
Recovery Elevator for a 10% discount.

Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery
Elevator Private Forum.

Come join the ultimate Recovery Elevator meet-up in
Peru
where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian
Hearts,
working with local alcoholics, and why not hike the 38
mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while were down there!

This episode was brought to you by Cafe RE and get
your daily
AA email here!

Apr 25 2016

56mins

Play

Rank #12: RE 100: Binge Drinking Is the Problem

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Tricia, with 30 days since her last drink, shares her story….

Congratulations Recovery Elevator on 100 episodes!  How did we make it to 100 episodes?  How else, but one episode (day) at a time.

Problem drinking that becomes severe is often given the medical term alcohol use disorder or AUD.  Some interesting studies from the NESARC show that in 2012, 7.2% of the population surveyed had an alcohol use disorder (article found here: www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders.) 

Europe also has an organization (the ECA) who conducts alcohol related surveys.  They found that although people in Southern Europe drank larger amounts of alcohol, they were able to moderate their drinking.  In comparison, there were more alcohol related fatalities in Northern Europe.  Could this be because of binge drinking?  Perhaps the folks from the South can drink 1-2 glasses of wine with their meal while people from the North are drinking larger quantities in one sitting?  We will let the ECA draw that conclusion.

SHOW NOTES

[ 8:23 ] Paul Introduces Tricia who’s last drink was approximately 30 days ago

[ 9:00 ] When did you realize you had a problem?

Tricia – I knew I wasn’t a normal drinker even at the age of 23.  I always knew that I would have to quit one day.  I never drank just for the taste, it was always to get drunk.  Once I started drinking, I could not stop.

[ 11:28 ] Did you ever put any rules in place in order to control your drinking?

Tricia – I tried switching to a drink that I did not like.  This never worked and I would end up doing shots of something else.  My fellow drinker friends thought this was a great idea!  I was always into fitness and nutrition so I would make sure my daily caloric intake would allow for booze.

[ 15:41 ] Tell us about yourself?

Tricia – I am 35 year old chef who now owns her own business.  I have always been a runner but also enjoy anything in the outdoors, such as skiing and snowboarding.  I like to knit and cross stitch Gangsta Rap lyrics into items for friends.  My only hobby before was drinking.  I would work and drink.  That was it.   

[ 19:18 ] Did you have a bottom?

Tricia – I was a high functioning alcoholic.  My bottom was very high.  I would always pretend that I wasn’t drunk or that I didn’t have a hangover. My motto was, “I’ve Got This.”   When I went on a 3 day binger, 30 days ago, I was so hung over that I could even fake it.  I had to stay in bed all day.  That was the first time I experienced the physical withdrawals of sweating, fever and shaking.

[ 22:15 ]  How did you reach the conclusion that you did not have control over alcohol?

Tricia – My friends and I were going out one night and rented a party bus.  I was terribly anxious for weeks up until this party.  I was afraid I would drink too much and black out.  The black outs were getting to be very common.  I ended up drinking too much and woke up the next day with bruises all over my legs.  I did not remember falling down but obviously it had happened. 

[ 24:48 ]  Did alcohol play a role in your divorce?

Tricia – there were many other factors but both my ex-husband and I drank.  When we fought, we had usually both been drinking.  I wasn’t supposed to be the drinker of the family.  My brother was the center of attention since he had the alcohol/drug problem for years.  I was the over achiever who still managed to get to work on time and function normally.  Until I could no longer fake it.

[ 26:56 ] How did you get to day 1 without a drink?

Tricia – I had not planned on stopping drinking entirely.  It basically snuck up on me.  I had that terrible hangover and the physical withdraw symptoms so I called my brother who is now in recovery.  He is very supportive.  I went on-line and found the RE podcast and starting listening and hearing similar stories.

[  30:28 ]  What does a day in the life of Tricia look like?

Tricia – I started going to AA meetings.  I ended up being late to my first AA meeting because I went to the wrong room.  The security officer at the church shouted to everyone that the AA meeting was in the other room.  Even though I was 10 minutes late for that meeting, I was really 10 years late in trying AA.

[ 34:51  ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? the blackouts and everything that I do not remember
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? trying to moderate and being fearful that I would over indulge and put myself in danger
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? Every morning I read the Big Book pp 86-88.  I meditate on those pages.  I am also reading a book by Tara Brock called Radical Acceptance.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? AA meetings and connecting with other alcoholics
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? keep an open mind and forget everything you think you know.  Do not try to do this alone.
    • you need alcohol to do simple tasks
    • you put vodka in your water bottle to go to the gym
    • you think you are an alcoholic
  6. You might be an alcoholic if….

Paul ends the podcast with some questions for the listeners: What type of role does or did alcohol play in your life?  Does alcohol dictate your life?  Be honest with yourself.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Paul will be speaking at a “This is My Brave” even on 1/22/17.  The event is at the Moss Theater @ 4pm.  The address is 313 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA.  Tickets can be found here:  www.bfrb.org

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

Jan 16 2017

42mins

Play

Rank #13: 040: Self Loathing in Recovery Continues | Stop Beating Yourself Up

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Felicia shares how she reached nearly 60 days of sobriety and we check back in with Robert who has been interviewed twice on the podcast.

Nov 23 2015

48mins

Play

Rank #14: RE59: Friends and Family Actually Can't Read the Mind of an Alcoholic

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Molly Shares how she has made it to almost 30 days sober. I also interview my brother who has stuck with me from day one. I expected Mark to understand my pains, struggles and inner thoughts. I even developed unnecessary resentments towards him which he didn't deserve.

Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery Elevator Private Forum.

Come join the ultimate Recovery Elevator meet-up in Peru where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian Hearts, working with local alcoholics, and why not hike the 38 mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while were down there!

This episode was brought to you by Sober Travel and Sober Nation.

Apr 04 2016

1hr 8mins

Play

Rank #15: RE 135: Key Tips For Early Sobriety

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Paul reads posts from members of Café RE answering the question: “What are some things that helped you in early sobriety? 

There are some emerging common themes from these responses.  Change, you don’t have to change much, you just have to change everything.  Accountability is the key, you can’t do this alone.  Alcoholism is a thinking disease.  You can’t think your way out of it.  Knowledge is not power unless you use it.

Marybeth, with 8 months since her last drink, shares her story

SHOW NOTES

[8:40] Paul Introduces Marybeth.  I’m 51; I live in southern New Hampshire.  I am married with 4 children, 2 of which have special needs so that takes up some time.  I like to visit with friends and family, downhill ski, and exercise.

[13:39] Paul- Tell us about your drinking habits, how much did you drink prior to November 26th, 2016?

Marybeth-  I was a big red wine drinker.  I did a sugar cleanse, and then I ended up sipping Tequila neat.  Then I switched back to wine.  I knew I would never be a morning drinker, or drink before 5:00.  I typically had 2 glasses of wine a night for years. 

[17:45] Paul- Was there a bottom moment, or were you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Marybeth- I attribute my sobriety to an accident.  I broke my ankle while I was walking and texting.  It was difficult to be on crutches, and drink at the same time.  I came upon the 30-day sober solution while I was in my cast.

[21:48] Paul- How important do you think accountability has been these past 8 months?

Marybeth- It’s been really great.  I couldn’t handle my alcohol, and was passing out early.  Now I can stay up late and have fun.  I was asleep and numbing my self with alcohol.  I was snared by it socially, and numbed by it unintentionally.  I wasn’t seeking to numb anything.

[29:05] Paul- What does your sobriety portfolio consist of?  Walk us through a typical day of sobriety.

Marybeth- I wake up everyday and meditate for 30 minutes.  I use the headspace app.  It is like exercising a muscle.  I connect with friends, and do things, which interest me.

[30:16] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? I was separated from my husband, and got into a car.  I put the car in drive instead of reverse and ran over the curb.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? When I broke my ankle.  I had a bloody Mary on board when that happened.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? I am going to continue with meditation, my wellness, helping others, and reading books.  Possibly attending an AA meeting.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? The Recovery Elevator Podcast.  I love listening in the car on the way to work.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? My dad was a recovering alcoholic.  He would always say don’t sweat the small stuff.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Just do it.  You can always go back to drinking if sobriety doesn’t work for you.
  7. You might an alcoholic if you are at a weight watcher meeting and all you are concerned about is if you have enough points left for wine at the end of the day.

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

Sep 18 2017

37mins

Play

Rank #16: RE 256: What Happens to Your Brain When You Stop Drinking Alcohol

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Greg took his last drink on October 2, 2012.  This is his story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

Registration is now open for the 2020’ Recovery Elevator LIVE event, Dancing with the Mind.  The event will take place June 11-13 in Denver, CO.  You can find more information about our events here.

On today’s episode Paul talks about what happens to the dome when you stop drinking alcohol.  There is a long list of benefits of quitting alcohol, and the mental health aspects are just as important as the physical ones. 

In the first year away from alcohol, and beyond, neurons in the brain that no longer fire together, no longer wire together.  This means the neural connections that spark when we want to drink, or take a drink, begin to fade.  In time new neural connections are created that don’t involve alcohol.   

[9:40] Paul introduces Greg. 

Greg is 35 years old and from Orange County, CA.  Greg is an actor and has a 4-year-old daughter.  For fun Greg likes to go on adventures with his daughter and create music. 

[12:25] Give us a background on your drinking.

Greg first started drinking alcohol as a social lubricant.  Alcohol made it easier to talk to people and deal with things that he had tried to avoid.  In the beginning Greg was more of a clown when he drank, but in his early to mid-twenties his drinking got out of hand.  He was no longer drinking for fun anymore; he was relying on it to get through the day. 

[19:07] Was there a time when you knew the gig was up but you didn’t know where to go for help, or how to stop? 

Greg said yes, that it was a really demoralizing moment involving alcohol and cocaine.  He woke up, went outside in the rain, chain smoked about 10 cigarettes, and knew he needed to talk to somebody.  He called his sister, and without giving it much thought, told her he needed help.  His sister was there 20 minutes later, and with Greg’s mom helped get him into a place.        

[20:55] What happened after that?

Greg entered a treatment center and white knuckled it the first two weeks, and then eventually the clarity started to come. 

[24:30] Talk to us about your experience after rehab.    

Greg said he surrounded himself with sober friends and family.  He started going to school and focused on that, and also stated going to meetings.  About 6 months out Greg got a job volunteering at a treatment center.  He said he stayed really busy with a lot of structure.     

[26:35] Why do you think it’s so hard for people to ask for help?

Greg said he thinks that it’s our pride that gets in the way a lot of the times.  Greg said he had a hard time asking for help because he felt that he would be a burden on someone and he didn’t want people to become resentful of him.          

[36:00] How could it affect us if we are always thinking about the past or the future?

Greg says if we are always thinking about the past we are going to tend to be depressed, and if we are always thinking about the future, we are going to tend to be anxious.  Either one just drags us down and we are not productive.     

[38:00] Why do you think addiction is higher in the entertainment industry?

Greg said that there are several reasons, one being that it is more readily available. 

[44:00] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

Witnessing my daughter being born.

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?

My trip to Argentina. 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Yerba Mate Revel Berry. 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?

AA literature, online literature, stuff like that.         

  1. What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

Seeing my daughter have kids. 

  1. And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

You get married in a blackout.    

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

Recovery Elevator in Costa Rica: From Jungle to the Beach - October 8 - 18th, 2020

You can find more information about our events here.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Care Of

For 50% off your first Care/of order, go to www.TakeCareOf.com and enter the code elevator50

This episode is brought to you in support by Care/Of. For 25% off your first month of personalized Care/of vitamins, go to TakeCareOf.com and enter the promo code ELEVATOR

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – It All Starts from the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

Jan 13 2020

51mins

Play

Rank #17: RE 79: Alcohol and Relaxing | What Really Happens

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Randy, with 124 days of sobriety, shares how he did it.

Ponder this. We have been conditioned to think that alcohol is relaxing. Now, cue the visions of a Corona commercial; a couple on the beach, kicking back beer after beer… In fact this notion of “relaxation” has the exact opposite effect on our bodies.  Alcohol actually slows down your brain’s function, affecting two neurotransmitters, Glutamate and GABA. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is released by nerve cells in the brain. It is responsible for sending signals between nerve cells, and under normal conditions it plays an important role in learning and memory. When we consume alcohol, Glutamate production slows W-A-Y down, completely bogging down your brain’s neuro-highways. GABA, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that reduces energy and slows down brain activity. Alcohol increases GABA productions…. Folks, that is just not a good thing. This process starts instantly after just one drink… And stays with you long after you stop drinking…

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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  • For $12.00 per month, you receive unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meetups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel.
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Jason Vale’s book : Kick the Drink...Easily!

Support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link: www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

 

SHOW NOTES

[ 07:34 ] Paul Introduces Randy

Randy has been sober for 124 days (using the sobriety tracker). “It feels great, every day is a new experience.” Randy is from the East Coast (grew up in RI) and made his way around the world in the Air Force. Randy found his career through the military. Randy now works in aviation with the FAA in Guam, U.S.A. Randy is a hardcore cyclist, with a renewed passion for pedaling.

[ 11:29 ] What was your elevator like? What was your bottom?

“I’d been a lifelong drinker and never thought that I would have a problem, I thought drinking to some degree was healthy…” Randy made all  kinds of "plans"… a 30-day sober binge, operating in moderation, writing, using apps, etc… “IT DID NOT WORK!”… “I have that switch, once you turn it on, it doesn’t really turn itself off…”

In preparation for his daughter’s baby shower, Randy noticed that he went through a 6-pack within an hour… He quickly opened up the next 6-pack and shortly thereafter found himself drinking a bottle of wine… “The next morning I’m completely useless, I wasn’t there, I wasn’t available…” The shower happened and the next day I thought to myself, ”I don’t want to do this anymore, that continuous vicious cycle.”

[ 26:30 ] Randy speaks about his clarity and peace of mind being sober.

[ 26:59 ] What does your recovery portfolio look like today? Walk me through a day in the life of Randy.

“It’s staying engaged with the process and the journey of sobriety. I think about alcohol multiple times throughout the day, and then I just have to let it go…” “Yeah, yeah, there’s the beer (commenting on the coolers full of beer @ Kmart),” says Randy. "Just noticing these thoughts and letting them go, constantly reminding myself why I’m doing this. Cafe RE is the strongest network that I have. I’ve been to one meeting (AA), and it was a candlelight vigil. I just haven’t found myself showing up at meetings, just not yet anyways.”

[ 36:02 ] Rapid Fire Round
  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? “The day that I ran my own sailboat on the ground. I haven’t shared this with too many people, I nearly lost my boat that day and it was absolutely alcohol related. I was boating under the influence and couldn’t execute all of the steps necessary to avoid the reef.”  
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “Oh many! The sailboat ride where I had my hand in the cooler for 8 hours was one for sure…”
  3. What is your plan moving forward? “More of the same. Reminding myself of all of the positive things that have come from leaving alcohol behind. And, living my life! Just knowing that I don’t have to have a drink to experience things.”
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “Listening to yourself. If it doesn’t feel right to you, then it probably isn’t okay.”
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give to our listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “Just to be honest with yourself. If you wake up with that heavy feeling like you’ve gotta take action, do it. Don’t beat yourself up, listen to yourself and take it one day at a time.”
  6. What brand of boat shoes would you recommend? “If you’ve got a boat, you don’t need shoes… unless you’ve got a staff…” You've got listen to really get it! 

 

QUOTABLES

“Enough is enough. I was tired of waking up with that dull, heavy feeling in the mornings.” - Randy

“I’ve got to take this one day at a time.” - Randy

“If you’re a real boater, you don’t need shoes.” - Paul

“Maintain a clean deck.” - Randy

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up. WE can do this!”

Drop us a line: info@recoveryelevator.com

Support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link:

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

This episode was brought to you by Cafe RE and get your daily AA email here!

Aug 22 2016

46mins

Play

Rank #18: RE 254: Your are What You Think

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Justin took his last drink on November 5, 2018.  This is his story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

On January 1st, 2020 the 4th Café RE group will open. 

2020’ Recovery Elevator LIVE event, Dancing with the Mind, will take place June 11-14 in Denver, CO.  You can find more information about our events here.

On today’s episode Paul talks about manifestation, how you basically create your future with your thoughts.  We all do it, most often unconsciously.  

What is, and isn’t, possible isn’t your business, it’s nature’s business.  Your business is to thrive towards what you want; sobriety, the why.  To create what you want it must be clear in your mind, stay the course, make a commitment to this clear and coherent goal of quitting drinking. 

If you don’t know what you truly want, seek love and connection in the mind with thoughts.  Those two alone will blast through addiction. 

[14:25] Paul introduces Justin. 

Justin lives in Santa Cruz, CA.  He is a musician and has been playing music for about 22 years.  He is 31 years old.     

[17:27] Give us a background on your drinking.

Justin says he got introduced to drugs and alcohol around the age of 16.  He says he always wanted just a little bit more than everyone else, and then he started mixing up the drugs and alcohol at the same time. 

Shortly after graduating high school Justin’s mother passed away and that sent him down a spiral.  He started to really abuse drugs and alcohol, waking up sick every morning and hardly able to function.  He realized that he needed to get help or he was going to die. 

[19:00] How old were you when you realized you needed to get help? 

Justin says it was around the age of 24 that he first really realized it, but that it wasn’t until the age of 27 that he really that he had thoughts of really quitting.   At 27 Justin realized he had to stop, and that he couldn’t stop. 

[19:43] What happened then?

One of Justin’s friends told him about the plant medicine ayahuasca.   Justin felt like he had to options, rehab or try the plant medicine.  He signed up for an ayahuasca ceremony. 

Within a couple hours of drinking the plant medicine the first night Justin says he had a life changing experience.  He was taken right to his mother’s death and says she was there with him, holding him.  After that experience that night Justin completely quit everything and was sober for 16 months. 

[23:20] What sneaky ideas did the thinking mind put in your head at 16 months?    

It was New Year’s Eve and Justin had the thought that he would just drink a couple drinks that night, and go back to his sobriety the next day.  What happened is he got black out drunk, doesn’t remember the night, and woke up sick. 

[24:38] How long did you go back out for, and what brought you back?

Justin said he went back out for 7 months, and then he did another ayahuasca ceremony, which brought him back.  At the time he felt that he needed the plant medicine to bring him back, but now he’s learning he can access that state of consciousness with yoga and meditation.       

[26:15] Get us up to speed to your sobriety date.

There very last night Justin drank he told himself that he needed to stop.  He started the night saying he would just drink one pint.  The one pint led to at least 10 more drinks and Justin found himself getting kicked out of the bar.  He got in his car, blacked out drunk, and sped away to the gym he goes to.  He walked into the gym with a 12 pack of beer, went to the locker room and started chugging them, and puking in the lockers.  Justin made a big scene and many other members were complaining about him.  He was asked to leave the gym, or they were calling the cops.  At the end of this night Justin woke up naked, covered in puke, in a bush in his yard, not remembering anything. 

[35:39] Talk to us about how you did it?

Justin said he called a therapist the next morning, to talk about rehab.  He was going to at least one AA meeting a day the first couple weeks.  He still goes to a meeting about once a week, but doesn’t feel that meetings help him as much as meditation and yoga.  Justin says a recent meditation cruise was the best trip of his life. 

[42:25] Talk to us about meditation. 

Justin says he feels that his alcohol abuse was led by feeling there was a hole, or emptiness, that he wanted to fill, or that he wasn’t enough.  He wanted to cover up all those thoughts with alcohol.  But now, he’s learned, that instead of covering up the thoughts he doesn’t want, to create the thoughts he does. 

[52:30] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

To love myself.    

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?

Meeting all these amazing people that are connected to the heart. 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Probably water, honestly. 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?

Plant medicine and YouTube.         

  1. What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

Creating more music to help people heal. 

  1. And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

I would say to spend more time connecting to your heart and spirit. 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

You’re waking up naked, outside your house, on two hits of acid.      

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

Recovery Elevator in Costa Rica: From Jungle to the Beach - October 8 - 18th, 2020

You can find more information about our events here.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – It All Starts from the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

Dec 30 2019

58mins

Play

Rank #19: RE 270: Sobriety in a Pandemic

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Tom took his last drink February 16, 2019.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul shares stories from listeners, and Café RE members, sharing their experiences during this Covid-19 pandemic.   We’d love to hear how you are doing through this as well.  Email your story to info@recoveryelevator.com

Paul also reminds us to cut ourselves a break, practice self-love and compassion.  He asks that you love yourself, regardless of where you are on this journey.  For some free guided meditations, go here.  

[18:55] Paul introduces Tom. 

Tom is 64 years old and lives along the shore of Lake Erie, near Cleveland, OH.  He is married and has 2 adult children, a son and a daughter.  For work Tom is a graphic artist, and for fun Tom loves to cook, which led him to vegetable gardening, which is also a loved pastime of his.  Tom is also a big history buff.       

[26:55] Give us a background on your drinking.

Tom started drinking in high school and found it helped him overcome his shyness.  He continued to drink regularly for about 18 years.  He didn’t drink every day, was more of a binge drinker.  Drinking made outgoing and he liked it. 

In 1991 Tom got a DUI while driving home from a wedding.  Up until that point Tom had never thought about quitting drinking.  After getting the DUI he just stopped.  He stopped for about 14 years.         

[28:25] What happened after 14 years?

Tom said after 14 years he just started easing back into it, drinking occasionally.  That continued from about 2005 to 2017.  In 2017 Tom realized that his drinking was causing more anxiety than it was solving, and he became sober-curious.      

[34:00] Was there a time during those 5 months of day 1s that you just wanted to give up?     

Tom said it was more a frustration because it was ridiculously consistent and he couldn’t seem to break the habit.  In February of 2019 Tom got the flu and missed a couple days of work, during which he drank, while trying to hide it.  Tom’s wife called him out on it and on February 17, 2019, Tom joined Café RE and hasn’t had a drink since.       

[39:00] What was it like when you reached out for additional accountability?

Tom said he thought, why should he do this alone, so after listening to the Recovery Elevator podcast he joined Café RE.  He started getting posting videos and connecting with other members.  The connections led to in-person meetups which are one of the biggest parts of Tom’s sobriety and life.         

[47:47] What can you say to people out there that are struggling and can’t make it past day 1? 

Tom says that when you are getting started you have to change everything that you are doing.  He also suggests going for a walk until the cravings go away. 

[55:22] What excuse did you used to tell yourself as to why you couldn’t quit drinking?

Tom said it was more of the excuse, why should he, rather than why he couldn’t.    

[56:20] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

That drinking wasn’t a solution for anxiety, it was more of a cause for anxiety. 

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?

Meetups, absolutely meetups.

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Virgin Canadian Whiskey and Diet Coke. 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

Meeting more people from Café RE. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Really connect, connect, connect on a personal level. 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

You order a cello while drinking and you don’t play a musical instrument. 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about our event here.

The book, Alcohol is Sh!t, is out.  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”

Apr 20 2020

1hr 5mins

Play

Rank #20: RE 62: Alcohol is Deadly, but These Facts, Won't Keep you Sober

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With 91 days of sobriety, Sarah shares how she did it!

In this podcast episode I cover an article from Sober Nation covering why Alcohol is such a potent drug.

Sarah also shares how she made it to 91 days of sobriety!

In this episode I review The Staying Sober Handbook, by Howard P Goodman and I would definitely recommend it for someone who is in recovery or as an informational piece if you want to know more about the disease in general.

Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery Elevator Private Forum.

Come join the ultimate Recovery Elevator meet-up in Peru where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian Hearts, working with local alcoholics, and why not hike the 38 mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while were down there!

This episode was brought to you by Sober Travel and Sober Nation.

In this episode I review The Staying Sober Handbook, by Howard P Goodman and I would definitely recommend it for someone who is in recovery or as an informational piece if you want to know more about the disease in general.

Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery Elevator Private Forum.

Come join the ultimate Recovery Elevator meet-up in Peru where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian Hearts, working with local alcoholics, and why not hike the 38 mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while were down there!

This episode was brought to you by Sober Travel and Sober Nation.

Apr 18 2016

40mins

Play

RE 282: Is it Working?

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Michael took his last drink on May 13, 2019. With just over a year sober (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol-free (AF).

Odette opens today asking the question: Is this working? There are obvious moments where it is easy to recognize that life without alcohol is working. When people say you look refreshed, you wake up not hungover and you start sleeping well. But what about the not so obvious moments? The moments that are hard, the moments you miss drinking? Yes, those are the moment when growth and change and abundance are there and about to bloom. Trust, be patient, and stay the course.

[7:23] Odette introduces Michael.

Michael lives in Springfield, Missouri, and works in construction. He is married with 2 children. For fun, he works, plays video games and spends as much time as possible with his family.

[8:24] Can you give listeners a background on your drinking?

Michael said he started drinking around the age of 14. He said it was something he was good at and within a year he was drinking a pint or more of liquor a day. He soon began drinking before school and after. In 2002 he joined the Marine Corps, which was his goal. In the military, he often couldn’t drink for stretches of time, so it became binge drinking episodes. But at the end of his 4 years in the Marine Corps, he realized he had a problem with drinking and asked for help. He was enrolled in a daily program through the military to learn about drinking.

After getting out of the military he worked construction, but then in 2008 re-enlisted in the Army. The 6 years he was in the Army, the drinking continued at a bottle a day, every day. He considered himself a very high bottom drinker because he was so high functioning within life.

[15:19] What was it that led you down the path to try going AF?

Michael said that he tried to stop multiple times over the years. He began to realize he wasn’t living his life to his best potential. He always tried to be the person setting the example for others, yet his inability to stop drinking was weighing on him. He needed to show that he could stop drinking for good. The idea that he couldn’t quit was his bottom.

[17:16] Walk us through what went through your mind on your day 1.

Michael said he woke up and said to himself “I need to quit, again.” He searched for podcasts that day and found Recovery Elevator. Podcasts allowed him to saturate his entire day with recovery. He downloaded the Sober Grid app and started reading that and the resources offered.

[21:13] How has your life without alcohol been different than what you originally thought?

Michael said he had a lot of fear about what he would do and who he would be not drinking. Once he quit, he was no longer avoiding emotions and in a fog. He was freed to just live his life. Michael has learned it’s ok to be sad or angry and that he will make it through.

[25:24] How has your family dynamic changed since you have been on this path?

Michael said that he’s happy and no longer hiding from his family. He’s a present and active member of his family and at a higher plateau of being a husband and a father. He’s always working on trying to be a better husband and father while at the same time learning to be a husband and a father for the first time since this is the first time through sober eyes.

[27:44] Walk us through a day in your life right now.

Michael said he wakes up, goes to work, and hangs out with his family. He prides himself on being an open person; he’s open about his sobriety, his PTSD, and his anxiety. He tries to lead by example and with being so open, he allows space for others to be open about their own struggles.

[30:22] What is your social life like now?

Michael said from the beginning he was honest about his not drinking with friends and co-workers. They were respectful and always offered not to drink around him, but he was always ok about around other people drinking. He said that he understood this was his choice and his alone. There were a few times he did walk away in the beginning, but now he’s comfortable around alcohol.

[31:55] What have you learned in this AF journey?

Michael said that he is really motivated and setting goals and accomplishing them. This past year has really reinforced this. He’s also rediscovering who he is as a person, not just an alcoholic.

One particular goal of Michael’s is to run a marathon.

[36:25] What possibilities are keeping you hopeful?

Michael said rediscovering daily life. He focuses on the little things in life and is finding joy in those things. He’s excited about mowing the lawn now!

[37:35] Do you still get cravings?

Michael said he doesn’t get cravings so much as he gets the idea of drinking still. Cravings are for the most part a non-thought.

[38:31] If you could talk to Day 1 Michael, what would you tell him?

Keep trying. Even if you don’t succeed today you can try again tomorrow.

 [38:59] Rapid Fire Round 

  1. What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?

Being with my family after my father in law passed and really connecting with them.

  1. What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

That I am able to stop drinking.

  1. What are some of your favorite resources in sobriety?

Any recovery podcast, any app that helps you track your sobriety and music.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Just keep trying, we will figure this out. You will never succeed if you don’t keep trying.

You may need to ditch the booze if... 

You’ve ever considered putting on a resume that you are a daily drinker but have never been late to work.

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

Resources: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – keep going, trust the process and try not to throw up when the road gets bumpy, we can do this - I love you guys,” 

Jul 13 2020

43mins

Play

RE 281: Rewriting Memos

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Sara took her last drink on December 02, 2018. With 18 months sober (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).

Odette opens today talking about re-writing memos. Take a look at the memos you write to yourself every day. Those memos we repeat to ourselves as fact. There are thousands of stories we have written as memos in our lives. Odette encourages us to take out a sharpie and re-write the memo. Change your mind, change your opinion.

[6:24] Odette introduces Sara.

Sara lives just outside Minneapolis, MN. She is 37 years old, married, and has one daughter. They just adopted a puppy. She works in communications and for fun she likes to go for hikes and walks with friends, hang out with her daughter and eat her husband’s food (he’s a great cook!).

[12:58] Can you give listeners a background on your drinking?

Sara said she didn’t drink in High School. She went to a party school for college and started to binge drink on weekends. When she first started drinking, she liked the permission that alcohol gave her to be extroverted. Towards the end of her 20s the binge drinking tapered off, but that was when she began daily drinking, first a couple of glasses of wine on the weekend, soon became 7 days a week. While she quit when pregnant with her daughter, she did feel deprived. And once her daughter was born the daily drinking quickly resumed. The anxiety resumed in full force and because Sara didn’t feel like she had a problem with a capital P, this was all normal.

December 2, 2018, Sara found a book by Annie Grace and went from never considering quitting, to leaving alcohol behind all in the same day.

[20:16] How was it early in your journey?

Sara said at first she cried once the decision was made. She allowed herself to grieve the loss while at the same time being excited. The first 1-3 days she practiced going into social situations, being right before the holidays she had lots of opportunities to practice. Sara always had a treat for herself to keep the feelings of deprivation at bay.

[30:43] How was the dynamic with your husband? Did you burn the ships immediately?

Sara said she told her husband right away. She thinks he didn’t believe her at first, she wouldn’t have believed herself at first either! However, he was supportive of her decision. Sara experienced some guilt when she stopped drinking because she felt like she was taking away something from him that was an activity they enjoyed together. They had to work to find new things to connect over.

[35:04] What’s in your recovery toolbelt these days?

Social connection is the #1 action item in her toolbelt. Sara said that she walks with her friends, she needs face to face meetups. Sobriety podcasts are 2nd. They keep her motivation up. And 3rd is “No treat is off-limits.” Sara knows that she has to protect her sobriety at all costs. She also uses meditation to monitor and identify uncomfortable feelings inside.

[40:37] If you could talk to Day 1 Sara, what would you say to her? 

This is going to teach you more about yourself than you ever thought you could learn. It will be worth the challenges.

 [40:00] Rapid Fire Round 

  1. What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

The awkwardness you feel at the beginning of any social gathering will be gone in 15 minutes whether or not you drink.

  1. What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?

Remembering Christmas Eve and making memories with their friends and the kids.

  1. What are you excited about right now?

The upcoming summer in Minnesota. Casual family time.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Don’t cut out alcohol without adding in other things you’re excited about.

You may need to ditch the booze if... 

If you download a habit tracking app to make sure you’re sticking to your allotted amount of alcohol per day. And when it tells you that you’re over, you just delete the app instead of questioning the habit.

Odette’s challenge this week:

Write down 10 negative memos that come to mind. Don’t think about them too much, just write them down. Then re-frame and re-write them and keep them close. Read them often and remind yourself of your power. Share on Instagram and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five! Or email them to odette@recoveryelevator.com

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

Resources: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – Let’s walk this path and let’s walk it together - we love you guys,” 

Jul 06 2020

47mins

Play

RE 280: Prepping for an Alcohol Free 4th of July

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Hannah took her last drink on April 16, 2020. With 45 days sober (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).

Paul has created a new meditation. It’s 20 minutes long and is specifically geared towards cravings. You can get it here for free.

Odette opens talking about the upcoming long weekend, which is the 4th of July. She asks “how can we leverage the current state of the world / the current pandemic and our desire to not drink this upcoming holiday weekend?” A celebration that is centered around food and also drinking, what does this mean for our own choices. There is an assumed permission slip that allows you to start drinking at whatever time you want. Given the state of the world and smaller gatherings happening, it might prove to be easier to not drink.

Here’s a list of how to not drink this weekend

  • Bring your own drinks, make it special!
  • Tell someone you don’t want to drink. It’s ok to ask for help
  • Let yourself have fun.
  • Have one goal for the day- Don’t drink.
  • Leave if you’re uncomfortable.

[9:00] Odette introduces Hannah.

Hannah lives in Las Vegas. She is 30 years old. She has worked in the medical field in the past but will begin teaching soon. For fun recently she’s been doing puzzles. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and working out.

[12:33] How have you been feeling in these early days?

Hannah said she previously had some time away from alcohol under her belt, but had started drinking again. So, she was prepared for stopping again. This time it was emotional, but no physical withdrawal symptoms. She feels good and is looking forward to this path.

[14:12] What happened that made you decide to drink again?

Hannah said in January 2019 she tried to do dry January again, but only made it about 15 days. She restarted February 1st and this lasted for her until almost September. While she was for a time able to moderate her drinking, once quarantine began the drinking became a daily thing and she was feeling pretty awful, mentally, and physically.

[16:02] What started you on this path to wanting to live AF? What’s your drinking background?

Hannah said she took her first drink around 14 or 15. When she was 17, she lost her mother to addiction and alcohol became her outlet to escape. She had a year of partying harder than any teenager should have. Two weeks after she turned 18, she found out she was pregnant and sobered up, promising her child a better life. She did eventually return to alcohol. While she was succeeding on the outside, she was drinking a lot. Around 25 years old she was experiencing high anxiety and was noticing how alcohol wasn’t serving her.

[20:38] Did you have a rock bottom moment or what pushed you to take action?

Hannah said there wasn’t a true rock bottom moment, but there were a lot of moments that weren’t the smartest: falling, driving drunk, drunk injuries. It was just the understanding that alcohol was what was causing her to feel bad all the time. The shame spiral was real.

The end of 2018 was a heavy drinking period for Hannah and she did 15 days of dry January 2019 but drank. And in February 2019 was her first attempt at living AF.

[28:07] Does your son notice the difference in you drinking vs not drinking?

Hannah said he hasn’t ever said anything directly, but she knows he noticed when she was drinking in the past. As he gets older she wants to share more with him about her stopping drinking.

[30:26] Walk us through a day in your life now. What’s in your recovery toolbox?

Hannah said that she tries to wake up and get a workout in before work. Waking up early and doing something for herself helps make her day better. This also helps her identify her emotions for the day. After work she and her boyfriend will cook, listen to audiobooks, keeping herself busy is important.

[32:28] Has it been easy having an honest conversation with your boyfriend about your drinking? (Her boyfriend still drinks)

Hannah said it's been difficult; she was emotional in the beginning when she first stopped drinking and had to watch him drink a beer or two. He however has been very supportive. He checks in with her and is often the sober person with her. They no longer keep alcohol in the house.

[34:59] What’s your favorite NA drink?

Pamplemousse La Croix.

[35:25] What have you learned about yourself in this journey?

Hannah said over the years she has developed some coping mechanisms, but there’s still more work to be done. She wants to work on being more open and honest with those close to her. Expressing her feelings honestly and talk and not keep it all inside will be helpful.

[36:20] What gets you excited in life right now?

Hannah said that being there for her son as he gets older. Also, a new career in teaching is exciting. Being fully present.

[38:05] Did you get any pushback from friends when you decided to stop drinking?

Hannah said when she first went AF in 2019, a few friends gave her pushback about it. But this time around she’s trying to be more honest with friends. In the moment there are always people who question why she’s not drinking.

[39:22] If you could talk to Day 1 Hannah, what would you say to her? 

Just wait it out. Life is so much better without alcohol.

 [40:00] Rapid Fire Round 

  1. What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

How quickly I can progress without alcohol.

  1. What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?

Being in the moment and not being hungover.

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

Recovery Elevator podcast, Café RE, talking to more people who don’t drink, Sober Happy Hour, Quit Lit,

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

If you think you have a drinking problem, you probably do. Only you can decide that.

You may need to ditch the booze if... 

If you go to the store, buy a bottle of wine, pour ½ down the drain so you won’t drink it all, drink that and then return to the store to get another bottle of wine.

Odette’s challenge this week:

Take a picture of your 4th of July contribution. Share on Instagram and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five!

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

Resources: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – Stay cool, stay weird, stay safe and stay healthy- we love you guys,” 

Jun 29 2020

45mins

Play

RE 279: Permission Slips

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Jamieson took his last drink on August 7, 2019. With almost 10 months sober (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol-free (AF).

Odette opens the podcast talking about “permission slips” and specifically giving yourself permission to feel certain things. She quotes Brene Brown, “For personal permission slips, you are in charge of your own behavior – so you're giving yourself permission to feel or act a certain way. It is setting an intention for how you want to behave in difficult situations.”

Here are some permission slips Odette gave herself after her first week as the new voice of the podcast: to be scared, to make mistakes, to ask for help, to feel uncomfortable, to fail, to succeed, to try again, to love myself. Writing these out she gained courage, the courage to run towards what she wants.

[5:23] Odette introduces Jamieson.

Jamieson is 28 years old and lives in Kansas City, MO. He works in special education and is starting grad school in the fall. He is single. For fun, he enjoys making music, reading, playing video games, hiking, going camping, and traveling.

[7:49] Can you give us a background on your drinking?

Jamieson said he started drinking when he was around 13 or 14 years old. But at the time it was a shot glass worth of wine at dinner every night. The first time he was drunk was when he was 16 or 17.

He never really felt like he ever had a normal relationship with alcohol, but problematic drinking began around the age of 21. In college he was always trying to be cool like everyone else, alcohol was an easy resource to make him feel cool and ease his social anxiety.

[10:50] What happened after you noticed your drinking increasing?

Jamieson said it became very consistent and an everyday thing. At the age of 22, he went without alcohol for one year. After a year of being a dry drunk, he decided he didn’t have a problem and returned to drinking. He continued drinking until his last drink in August 2019.

[13:58] After your year sober, and return to drinking, did you know in the back of your mind that eventually, you would stop drinking?

Jamieson said in the back of his mind, he always knew something wasn’t quite right about his drinking. The quiet voice in the back of his mind slowly crept into the forefront of his thoughts and he couldn’t ignore it any longer.

[14:51] Was there an event that made you go sober again?

Jamieson said it was a combination of things. Between multiple rock bottoms/events and seeing his younger brother struggle with alcohol as well, he realized he needed to cut alcohol out.

[20:15] What was your plan on the day of your last drink?

Jamieson said to himself “let’s just see how long I can go” and at about 2 weeks’ time, he was feeling pretty good and went to a Refuge Recovery meeting. That was a turning point for him.

[24:50] You mention that Buddhism has really changed your life, can you chat about that?

Jamieson said he’s been interested in Buddhism for a long time but was never able to fully dedicate himself to it while drinking. Mindfulness and meditation are not friends with alcohol and substance abuse. Meditation has been a key component in his sobriety.

[31:47] What else is in your recovery toolbelt?

Jamieson said podcasts and focusing also on leading a healthier lifestyle/routines. Being on top of himself for the little things like making his bed and brushing his teeth daily. He’s also begun practicing yoga.

[34:29] Did you feel like there were new triggers for you when COVID began?

Jamieson said it had a big impact on his routine. His school was on Spring Break at the start and they didn’t return afterward. He said it was abrupt and unexpected at how quickly it happened. His routine was a large part of his “staying sane” in sobriety. The lack of routine pushed him to seek out more meetings.

[37:04] What are your thoughts on self-awareness growing?

Jamieson said he has noticed he’s much more self-aware since he stopped drinking. He has learned more about addiction and specifically alcohol addiction and his compassion has grown towards others. He finds himself being less judgmental.

[39:32] What’s a narrative in your life that you would like to re-write?

Jamieson said he felt for a long time his issues with substance abuse, anxiety, and depression were his fault. He was messing up his own life because he wasn’t a good person. Jamieson has worked on forgiving himself over the past 9 months. Through Refuge Recovery and Buddhism he has learned that it’s not your fault you are this way, but it is your responsibility to deal with it.

[44:32] You’re so young, how has stopping drinking changed your social dynamic?

Jamieson said his social life was getting worse with his drinking. All of his friends have been supportive. He finds he’s able to appreciate spending time with his friends and his family now.

 [48:15] Rapid Fire Round 

  1. If you could talk to Day 1 Jamieson, what would you say to him?

Be patient with yourself and know you are stronger than these problems and alcohol.

  1. What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

Realizing that I don’t have to wake up every day feeling like garbage.

  1. What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?

Every time I do something I couldn’t do while drinking.

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

Refuge Recovery, Buddhist based recovery platforms, Recovery Elevator podcast, yoga, and AA.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

If you’re struggling with drinking and think you have a problem, start looking into literature and different communities that are out there. When you find a community you like, put yourself in there. Try it for a little while without any promises.

You may need to ditch the booze if... 

You’re so hungover and sleep-deprived you are barely capable of picking someone else up from rehab.

Odette’s challenge this week:

Write yourself a permission slip. Snap a photo of it, share on Instagram, and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five!

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – We took the elevator down, we gotta take the steps back up, we can do this- love you guys,” 

Jun 22 2020

55mins

Play

RE 278: Day One Emotions

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Kris took his last drink on August 9, 2017. At just over 1000 days (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol-free (AF).

Odette opens the podcast talking about beginner emotions, also called day one emotions. “You can be brave and afraid at the same time.” Feeling scared and uncertain is natural and part of the process. Embrace those feelings and you can go far.

[5:26] Odette introduces Kris.

Kris is 38 years old, married with 2 children and a dog. They live in central North Dakota and he is a power plant operator. For fun he loves photography, videography, staying warm in the winter, and camping in the summer. ND summers are the best.

[8:28] What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

As kids, Kris and his brother would always go for vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, roasted salted peanuts, and Smarties as a topping.

[10:00] Can you give us a background on your drinking?

Kris said he started drinking in high school, he was shy and quiet in High School and this brought him out of his shell. He felt like he could be himself. He joined the Air Force out of high school and alcohol continued to help him forge bonds with others.

While he was stationed in Korea, he says he began using alcohol for more than just fun and instead used it to cope with depression. They lived by “work hard, party hard” while stationed there. He felt lost when he came home and struggled with his identity.

He says the last few years of his relationship with alcohol was really a disaster. He didn’t want to stop, he was hiding his drinking and his relationship with his wife was falling apart.

[22:48] What happened after your wife told you that you had to stop drinking?

Kris and his wife separated after that and he experienced an “Oh sh*t” moment. At the same time, he began having a willingness in his life to make and action change. He signed up for a treatment program.

[25:34] How did you feel after you realized that you had to do this? When did the decision to get sober become yours?

Kris said it was during treatment. Working with counselors he learned that he needed to take responsibility for everything. He also met with a pastor who encouraged him to start praying every day. He began asking God to help guide him. He learned the burden of his past doesn’t have to hold him back from his future.

[30:50] Do you still have cravings? How different is from the beginning and how is it still similar?

Kris said for the most part he only has moments where he romanticizes drinking. He reminds himself that it’s never one drink. Exploring the truth of what it is, sets him straight. He notices that it’s more about behaviors than actual cravings. Being short with his kids or tense with his wife. Because he now actively works on these things, he’s able to more quickly correct the action. Both Kris and his wife, in their relationship, work on these things. They are both more tolerant of each other.

[40:34] Walk us through a day in the life right now. What does working your recovery in this type of crisis look like?

Kris is considered an essential worker, so he’s still going to the office every day and his wife is a teacher, so she is homeschooling their children. Kris says his recovery is very similar, he just isn’t getting to as many face to face meetings as usual. He’s recently begun working with a sponsor again, so they are connecting a lot. He’s staying connected with Café RE, his sponsor, posting videos, showing support to others through the Facebook pages and Marco polo’ing. 

[43:23] How do you keep this journey fun?

Kris chooses the tone for his life. He celebrates the milestones with his family, he stays connected with his friends in the sober community, he goes to events, and this past fall he hosted his own independent Café RE meetup. He surrounds himself with the people he loves and can be himself and let loose now that alcohol isn’t a part of the equation.

 [46:36] Rapid Fire Round 

  1. If you could talk to Day 1 Kris, what would you say to him?

Take it easy and you are loved.

  1. What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?

Being in the water swimming with my family and seeing their smiles.

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

Recovery Elevator podcast, Café RE, That Sober Guy (Shane Ramer), Transitions Daily, Saddleback Church, Elevation Church and a good sponsor.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Be honest with yourself about where you are at. We can do hard things, but we don’t have to do them alone. Try to find a community, you are not alone.

You might be an alcoholic if... 

If you’ve urinated in more corners of your house than you care to actually mention.

Upcoming events, retreats and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – We took the elevator down, we gotta take the steps back up, take that road less traveled, we can do this- love you guys,” 

Jun 15 2020

52mins

Play

RE 277: Season 2 - New Beginnings

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Paul opens today’s episode talking about the short term & long term plans for Recovery Elevator:

Paul is taking a break from the podcast and he will be focusing on the Recovery Elevator YouTube channel and creating meditations.

1-3 year plans: Recovery Elevator Retreat Center

Long term goals: adding more Café RE groups

Let’s all start putting thinking bigger and putting Big Energy out into the universe for Recovery Elevator.

[12:09] Paul welcomes Odette, the new voice of Recovery Elevator.

Odette’s last drink was 12/17/18. She is from San Diego, originally from Mexico and is married with two kids. They love the outdoors as a family. Odette enjoys learning about tea, puzzling and cooking. She often runs and uses her indoor bike for exercise.

[16:08] Paul: What have you been up to since Episode 231?

Odette is grateful for her recovery during this time of Covid-19. During her first year sober it’s all about relearning habits, restructuring life and setting new routines. Her year two has been about uncovering a lot of deeper seeded emotions and being more honest with herself.

[19:15] Paul: Can you cover what brought you to wanting to live an alcohol free life?

Drinking felt like a déjà vu of Odette’s previous addiction. (She is also in recovery from an eating disorder.) She had already walked this path and could her inner voice telling her that if she kept drinking the way she was, it would end badly. Her rock bottom was an emotional rock bottom.

Odette has always felt like she wanted to be normal and because drinking is normalized in our culture she didn’t initially want to step away. Choosing to do the thing that is not considered normal would again put her in a spotlight. However, she knew internally this was the path she needed to take. For more on her story go listen to episode 128 & 231.

[23:00] They talk about Odette’s path with the podcast.

Odette likes relating to people. She will share when she hears her own story in others. She enjoys sharing books she’s reading and things she is listening to. Sharing a-ha moments.

[24:09] Paul: What are some topics you will cover moving forward?

Practical tips and recovery tools. Focusing on her recovery toolbelt and listening to what’s working for other people. Spiritual concepts and how those can be brought into our lives. Fun facts, history and what she can learn from others. Hearing from others and having the audience suggest topics.

[25:23] Paul: Same format?

For now, Odette plans to stay within the same format of an introduction and then having an interviewee. She loves talking and sharing and is really excited to take this forward, she is nervous at the same time. This is about a movement of living alcohol free and she wants to honor the path Paul has established.

[28:00] Paul: Talk about evoking Rule 22 on this journey.

Odette’s father was silly when raising his own family. She grew up with flawed parents, yet they showed her there was always a path of fun to be found. The life she’s living isn’t a dress rehearsal, it’s the only you she has and it’s too short to not have fun.

[30:06] Paul: Spanish or English?

English. But there may be an opportunity in the future for episodes in Spanish.

If you want to share your story you can email odette@recoveryelevator.com

[32:32] Odette turns the tables and interviews Paul. Can you talk about your decision to step down?

Paul acknowledges that he needed to take a break. He thought he needed to start over again, instead of asking for help and delegating a lot of what he’s been doing. The community that he has created came to him with suggestions on how Recovery Elevator can keep moving forward. With some restructuring there is now a path.

[37:20] Odette: Overall how do you feel?

Paul says he feels incredible. That past year and a half has been the most spiritual he has ever experienced. And even more, the past 3 months he found his body cleansing itself of anything that didn’t need to be there.

[39:13] Odette: Tell us about some of the most fun experiences in your travels this past year.

Watching a woman connect with an elephant in Thailand. The elephant laid down on its side and the woman laid on top. Watching the elephant breathing and the two of them connecting was powerful.

While in Australia someone from an AA meeting asked if he wanted to go feed the seagulls. Paul put aside his serious side and went to feed seagulls for an hour and a half.

[41:51] Odette: What’s flowing through your creative side right now?

Music has been creeping back into Paul’s life over the past 5 years. He’s been making meditation music. Also 3D meditations where you are walked through your future self, in the present moment. Focusing on the Recovery YouTube channel as well.

[46:20] Odette: Will we hear from you during your break?

Yes, Paul would love to pop in from time to time.

[52:30] Paul: Where do you think we can take this?

Odette says we can start small: have a podcast in Spanish for example. As large as: Traveling across the globe for service projects. A recovery center.

She sees this growing in all directions. The opportunities are endless.

 [55:08] Rapid Fire Round 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

Odette: I can’t accept myself if I don’t start with myself. I can’t ask for help, if I’m not helping myself first

Paul: We don’t fight an addiction that’s been trying to guide us.

  1. What’s your favorite AF drink?

Odette: all Tea, anything with ginger, grapefruit Bubly.

Paul: Cold tonic with square ice cubes and tiny peach slices.

  1. What’s on your bucket list in this AF life?

Odette: to run a marathon and working in the recovery field.

Paul: finding a new home base, follow the body.

  1. Favorite recovery resources?

Odette: Café RE, Eckart Tolle, Pema Chödrön, Glennon Doyle, friends and Marco Polo.

Paul: You, Café RE, the listeners, meditation.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Odette: What you resist, persists.

Paul: Use the mind and locate the body.

 

This episode brought to you by: Gruvi, use this link and enter the promo code: Recovery Elevator for 15% off your order.

Upcoming events, retreats and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee..

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com

Jun 08 2020

1hr 3mins

Play

RE 276: End of Season 1

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Brian took his last drink September 18, 2019. At 213 days (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF).

End of Season 1

After 276 consecutive Mondays & 5 years, Paul is stepping down from the podcast and is handing Recovery Elevator over to a new and talented voice. He recaps his next steps and an overview of what the last 5 years has brought him. With 2076 days at the time of recording, Paul is filled with gratitude for all you listeners. Because of you, he is filled with enough. We are all in this together.

Don’t forget, you can rate and review the podcast and tell Paul the change this podcast has affected in your own life.

[13:36] Paul introduces Brian.

Brian is 45 years old, married and lives in Easley, SC. He is married with two children. He was in the Army for 17 years before moving to the South. For fun Brian likes to golf, ski, snowboard, BBQ his own meats. He also does podcasting and some PA events.

[17:20] Give listeners some background on your drinking.

Brian didn’t drink until he had almost graduated High School. He drank and got drunk the very first time. He said that was a theme throughout his drinking. He drank to get drunk each time. He went through military training and service and returned home to finish college in Baltimore. He was asked to leave after 2 years due to a 0.0 GPA the previous semester.

[21:16] When did your drinking progress?

Brian said there were waves of drinking. It picked up in his 20s after leaving college. Bartending made it easy to drink a lot. In 1999 he had to call out of his job a few times due to hangover. At that time, he saw there was a problem with his drinking and got sober for about 8 months from alcohol. In 2004, he tried to quit alcohol again for about 7 months. In 2007 he got into some legal trouble but during that his now wife became pregnant with their first child. He says his daughter saved his life.

Thorough out this time, Brian says he would often be spoken at work about his behavior during events that involved alcohol. And in 2020 at an executive weekend event, he spent the entire weekend drunk. He said he was spoken to a few times throughout the weekend and that next week was his last drink with his cousin.

[30:55] Let talk about your last drink.

Brian said it was in his mind that something needed to change. He ordered a craft beer, and it didn’t taste good. He ordered a second, it didn’t taste good. At that moment he knew something was going to change.

[35:15] What was September 19, 2020 like?

Brian was familiar with the sober fellowship in his area and he began attending meetings immediately. However, this time, he felt very good about his decision to stop drinking. There was a sense of relief and peace that his suffering was over.

20 years of ups and downs and trying to get sober, culminated in this last drink in September 2019.

[40:43] In the first 60 / 90 days how did you get past some cravings?

Brian said that while he didn’t have cravings exactly, he had thoughts about drinking. Many of them situational. He’s forcing himself to remember the bad and not romanticize the good. Playing the tape forward helps to remind him of the bad. Seeing how that one romantic moment turns into a day of regret the next day. This time getting sober, Brian knew he needed to do something different and approached it in that manner. He put more effort into his getting sober.

[46:26] Do you recognize the profound leaps and bounds you have made over these past 7 months?

Brian said he has put the work into himself to try and find out who he is. Removing the masks worn and breaking down the facades of who he thought he was to find out who he truly is in this life. He tries to meditate every single day for 30 – 60 minutes a day and has been reading a lot more, both of which center him. All of this to try and put aside the ego.

[48:34] Comment on some other experiences where you have said “that’s no longer me / who I am”

Brian has seen a change in his personal relationships. In the past he was short to show his temper and is choosing to not be that person any longer. He now finds his stoicism a strength, while when he was drinking it was a weakness. While still drinking he bottled up his feelings which would then tumble out while drunk in an overexaggerated manner. And now while sober, he’s allowing himself to feel the feelings and understand more what they are telling him. Brian lets himself be sensitive and he can respond rather than react.

 [52:50] Rapid Fire Round 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

I never knew who I was until these last 7 months.

  1. What is a memorable moment a life without alcohol has given you?

Rekindling my relationship with my kids.

  1. What’s your favorite AF drink?

Seltzer water. Cranberry lime specifically. And Kombucha.

  1. What’s on your bucket list in this AF life?

Pilots license.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Keep going. Even if you slip up, don’t beat yourself up. Every moment is a new moment to change.

You might need to ditch the booze if... 

If your fraternity renames the yearly Biggest Partier award after you and disqualifies you from winning it.

Future Episodes:

Please give this new voice a chance, please listen for at least a few episodes. Please let us know your thoughts. Paul has asked this person to honor the mission of the podcast, shedding the stigma surrounding addiction. And also to honor the path this new direction takes.

Upcoming events, retreats and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee..

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this- I love you guys,” 

Jun 01 2020

1hr 6mins

Play

RE 275: The Drink in my Hand Was Never Enough

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Belle took her last drink June 30, 2012. With almost 8 years of sobriety (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol free (AF).

On today’s episode Paul opens discussing what alcohol promises and does not deliver. Many people are trying to fill a void by using alcohol, but it will never be enough. The journey you take and the reward you earn on this life being AF is the eternal knowing that you are enough and are fulfilled.

[7:58] Paul introduces Belle.

Belle is 53 years old, married and lives in Paris, France. She is a caterer.

[11:06] Because of the formal nature of the culture in Paris, is the recovery culture more secluded?

Belle says that because she interacts mostly with English speakers (UK, American, Australia, Canada) her insight into the recovery world in France isn’t that well-informed. But she does state that there isn’t the overindulgent alcohol community that you find other places and in nearby countries. “It’s not socially acceptable to be hammered outside your home.”

[16:58] Why is French onion soup so good in Paris?

It’s situational, exhaustion, dehydration and fantasy of France.

[18:40] Give us a background on your drinking

Belle felt alcohol talking to her around the age of 21. She thought everyone had that voice. For the next 15 years she felt she was keeping drinking in check by only buying what she would drink that day and not have other alcohol in the house. At 36 she was having 3 glasses of wine a night and found it hard to go a night without. Belle began putting into place unconscious moderating techniques to keep in control. She got married in 2005 and having that partner there opened the door to more drinking but with someone else there, so it appeared less harmful.

In March 2012, she tried quitting drinking for 1 month, just to prove that she could. She got 7 days.

[25:59] Can you expand on the feeling you had when you realized it was actually really hard to quit drinking?

Belle says it was embarrassing because there was no one to tell or talk about it with. She didn’t associate herself with alcoholics because of her high bottom drinking. She just thought she lacked self-discipline.

Belle tried again with Dry July in 2012 and on day 9 knew again, this was going to be harder than anticipated. So, she started a WordPress blog to talk about the struggle. People began commenting on her blog posts and she in that moment she wasn’t alone.

From that blog grew her 100-day Sober Challenge, her penpal support system and a business venture.

[39:28] What are some of the lessons you have learned from doing this project?

Belle says everything she’s learned are from her penpals. They taught her that while her story may be unique to her, the core experience of quitting drinking is the same for everyone.

[48:37] Talk to us about the anonymity [of your project] and how you are anonymous.

Belle said that without anonymity she wouldn’t have been able to share the truth. People responded to her approach because it allowed them to also share the truth while being anonymous. Belle believes that you get sober and then you go on with the rest of your life and there exists the life you build on top of being sober. She believes that you don’t have to tell everyone or anyone else about your sobriety.

[52:25] Let’s talk about your book.

Belle’s book is titled Tired of Thinking About Drinking: Take My 100-Day Sober Challenge. Her subscribers wanted her to write a book, so she did.

[52:29] Do you think there will ever be a day you will shed the anonymity?

If Oprah calls and asks Belle to share her experience working with 3000 people, yes. She would probably do that. Otherwise, no.

[56:03] Rapid Fire Round 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

That I’m not alone. And most people have identical experiences.

  1. What’s your favorite AF drink?

Just tonic or tonic and grapefruit juice.

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Her subscribers.

  1. What’s on your bucket list in this AF life?

Own a bakery.

  1. What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

It’s in the act of reaching out that things change.

You might need to ditch the booze if...  

If you can’t quit drinking for 100 days, then you have a problem. The answer is in the question.

Belle’s website and all the information shared: www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com 

Upcoming events, retreats and courses:

  • We are into week one of Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. And will be offering this a few more times coming up. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

This episode sponsored by:

Tiger Tail, use this link and enter the promo code: ELEVATOR15 for 15% off your order.

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. 

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside out- I love you guys” 

May 25 2020

1hr 3mins

Play

RE 274: I Feel Your Pain

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Jeff took his last drink February 8, 2020. With 65 days of sobriety (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF).

On today’s episode Paul opens discussing emotions. How it’s ok to feel all of them and how they help us to grow. In order to shift stagnant energy inside all of us, we have to talk about our emotions. It’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to vent out your emotions and break off little pieces of frustration.

Are you looking to explore deeper your decision to live alcohol free and are already a Café RE member? If so, sign up for the six week course starting May 19th entitled: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set up fee.

Paul shares the details about his free guided meditation. To find those meditations, go here.    

[12:08] Paul introduces Jeff.

Jeff is 29 years old, lives in Tampa, FL. He is a plumber. He doesn’t have a family, yet! He likes to hang out with his dog Bo and go fishing, camping and attend sporting events.

[13:58] What’s your favorite alcohol free drink?

Cherry Coke.

[15:13] Give us a background on your drinking

Jeff started drinking around the age of 15 with anything he could get his hands on. He remembers being 5 years old and having a sip of his father’s drink. He is the youngest of 3 and when he would visit his older siblings in college, their friends would slip his drinks, as young as at the age of 11. Drinking was just what you did when you got older, it was part of being an adult. Everyone seemed to enjoy drinking, so he should too. In college he joined a fraternity and it again drinking was just what everyone did, it was part of the culture of college and he went along for the ride.

However at the age of 22, Jeff realized that stopping drinking might be the better choice for him.

[19:52] What were the circumstances at 22 that made you think to stop drinking?

Jeff said it was the physical effects of alcohol on his mind and body. He always felt like he could be doing more in life and alcohol was holding him back. 

[21:45] Fill in the gaps from age 22 to 29 (7 years) as you were building awareness around your drinking.

Jeff began working as a Sam Adams beer rep out of New Orleans/Baton Rouge, LA. At any given time there were 15 cases of beer in his home. Part of the job was sampling beers, so loading up a cooler full of beer every day and sampling with 10 different customers wasn’t out of the norm. The idea that something Jeff felt was in his way, but also his paycheck was difficult to reconcile.

In 2015 Jeff began trying to moderate his alcohol intake. He didn’t keep much alcohol in the house, but he found when he did drink, he couldn’t stop.

[23:46] Can you talk more about when you say, “Once you start it’s hard to stop”?

Jeff described his drinking like a firework. Light the fuse, it shoots up, it’s great for 8/9 hours and then it blows up. His emotions would often get out of control. The days following his drinking were awful emotionally as well. No energy or mind power to do anything.

[25:22] Was there a rock bottom moment?

Jeff said the first rock bottom moment was in 2012. After a day of drinking, he completely lost it; throwing away his wallet, trashing the apartment he shared with a roommate, quitting his job via email with 2 hours notice.

65 days ago, after three weeks of not drinking, he had a beer and the next day got sick. He knew it was the alcohol and used those 4 days being sick as a springboard to make the change to fully living a life without alcohol.

[27:28] After those initial 4 days, how did you do it?

One day at a time. Jeff said he would call old friends, not to talk about drinking, but just to talk. He would exercise, cook and focus on doing all the things he wanted to do that alcohol was holding him back from doing. Also journaling and feeling his emotions again.

[30:34] Talk to us about how you are embracing your emotions?

Jeff said he is trying to learn what emotion he is actually feeling at a particular time. Is this happiness? Why am I feeling happy? Jeff is giving himself permission to have these feelings. He’s focusing on gratefulness.

[35:47] Where do you want to go in this AF life?

Jeff said he’s trying not to look too far ahead in life. That’s been a problem for him before. He’s focusing on being present and happy. He wants to grow and have a family and grow his business. Jeff said, “If you drink today, you are taking away tomorrow’s happiness” and he wants to be happy.

[38:08] What has it been like getting sober a little earlier in life?

Jeff said that so far, it’s been easier than expected. However, he doesn’t discount the near decade of knowing he needed to try and live an AF life. There are no distractions right now during stay at home orders. He admits this might be a bigger test once COVID-19 is over.

[43:10] What are your thoughts on relapse?

Jeff said it does mean you’re a failure, it’s all about how you handle the relapse. The past is the past and you can start over in the present.

[44:11] Rapid Fire Round 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

December 2019, driving home after a party, Jeff drove through a construction zone. The police were called, and he was let go. Avoiding jail was a wakeup call.

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?

Constantly being present and recognizing emotions.

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Recovery Elevator podcast, other online stories of people overcoming addiction.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Give it a try. If you can do it for 1 day, you can do it for 2.

You might need to ditch the booze if...  

You are 19 years old, get kicked out of a football game, on your way home call up a family member to curse them out, break into your RA’s room and finally wake up to the police carrying you to your own room

Upcoming Events and Retreats: 

You can find more information about our event here.

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

This episode sponsored by:

Tiger Tail, use this link and enter the promo code: ELEVATOR15 for 15% off your order.

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set up fee. 

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up. We can do this.” 

May 18 2020

50mins

Play

RE 273: You Don't Have to Quit Drinking to Quit Drinking

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Carrie took her last drink April 7, 2020. With 7 days of sobriety (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).

On today’s episode Paul discusses the idea that you don’t have to quit drinking in order to quit drinking and what that means to different people and himself. When you give yourself permission to be happy in the now, the need to drink goes away. By not delaying happiness in life, an alcohol-free life emerges. If you have more questions about this, please email Paul directly here.

Are you looking to explore deeper your decision to live alcohol free and are already a Café RE member? If so, sign up for the six week course starting May 19th entitled: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee.

Paul shares the details about his free guided meditation. To find those meditations, go here.    

[12:30] Paul introduces Carrie.

She is 42 years old, lives in Centralia, MO. She is a single mom of 2 boys. She sells cars for a living. Carries likes to read, spend time at baseballs games, spend time with her kids, to bike and be outdoors. She is looking forward to rediscovering new way to spend her time.

[16:29] Give us a background on your drinking

Carrie took her first drink at the age of 13 and was in treatment for alcohol twice before she was 18 years old. From the age of 18 to 27, she gathered 9 years of sobriety. After that time, she wanted to reach out and connect with other young people and thought she could pick up and drink without consequence. In 2015 after her son was born, was when she noticed her drinking was becoming unmanageable. She said her drinking got “way worse”, to the point of drinking in the mornings.

[23:43] Talk to us about the last two years of your drinking.

Carrie said she has always tried to moderate her drinking, but it was never possible. In March of 2020 her boss called her into his office and asked if she had a problem with alcohol, which she replied “no.” However a week later she walked back into his office and said she does have a problem and she wants help. While she did lose her job, she freed herself of the secret.

[27:38] Is something different this time around?

Carrie stated that yes, this time feels different. After getting through the withdrawals and praying that she wouldn’t die, she realized that this time around was the worst withdrawal she had experienced. She decided this was the last time she would ever go through this. Using those physical symptoms to propel herself forward.

[32:54] What are you struggling with most right now?

Carries says that seclusion is the hardest. She only interacts with her children and isn’t able to spend time with friends and family. She misses her church and the ability to worship with other people in the same room. She finds video meet ups helpful, but just not the same thing.

[35:25] What are some concepts/mantras you are putting in place to help you continue past these 7 days?

Carrie says that she keeps telling herself she is stronger than alcohol and she wants to be free from alcohol. Repeating that to herself over and over.

[41:07] What’s on your bucket list for this AF life?

She is looking forward to interacting with her children again. She is also looking forward to traveling again.

[43:17] Do you think you’ll be sober in 30 days?

Carrie: “Yes I do.”

[46:28] What advice would you give to your younger self?

Carrie doesn’t think that her younger self would have listened to any advice. Carrie of today would simply say “It’s going to be a rough road, but it will be ok in the end.”

[48:01] Rapid Fire Round 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

When she lost her job due to alcohol, that she needs to quit drinking.

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?

Easter with her kids. She was able to hide eggs and baskets again.

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Water.

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Recovery Elevator podcast, AA meetings, reading about addiction.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

You are stronger than alcohol and if you surrender to the addiction to alcohol, you can get past this.

You might need to ditch the booze if... 

Your 18 year old comes into the closet you are hiding in and takes the bottle of vodka and dumps is down the drain.

Paul shares a poem written by a listener:

“12 Steps to Addiction” 

A long time ago, I met a friend.   

Oh, it was a god send. 

Together, 

Streams of blood turn into a rushing river, 

Shaking loose an ancient rigidity.  

Like a hot fired fever. 

Cracking a cast of insecurity. 

Oh paint my vision in saturated tones, 

Warm my blood, loosen my bones. 

Tell me stories that aren’t true, 

The biggest lie you told, 

Is that the only truth is you. 

I’m tightly steered  

by your white knuckled grip. 

“I will make it better” it whispers in sips. 

I buy another round of your intention.  

To cure a mental infection, 

Septic fears of imperfection,  

Impermanence, 

Loneliness,  

And rejection. 

Im being taught to say goodbye, 

To friends I used to see. 

These people surrounding you, you say, 

“They are not like you, and not like me. 

They are empty vessels floating by.” 

I agree, 

Because I no longer float,  

My mind runs until it can fly. 

I keep running running running,  

But now I can’t catch up, and I can’t escape. 

I’m talking, I’m laughing,  

Sounds from my mind unheard,  

Like a cold air’s breath, they dissipate. 

I am alone. 

You implanted these thoughts, 

Rewired my synaptic circuits, 

Into a million tiny knots. 

I need you to keep making this true. 

And when I wake up at four, 

I need more. 

I ignore the conscious mind, 

breathing notes of despair, 

In my ear and around my neck. 

I’m unaware of the gun to my head,  

And all the ways I’ve been mislead. 

While I drink your poison,  

It is me that you usurp. 

I joyfully bask in your calm, dimming light, 

Until I’m met with a darkness. 

Thoughts reduced to a dizzying fog, 

Words falling into meaningless, 

Forgetful monologue. 

Oh, I want more of this story you sold. 

But you no longer talk.  

Your skeleton sits with me in silence, 

As I desperately chew on your bones.  

Your eyes are barren stones.  

I will use them to build a memorial, 

To every drop of poison I tasted. 

All the valuable time I wasted. 

A long time ago, I met a friend. 

It was a godsend.  

I was introduced to my vulnerability, 

Reduced to an insanity, 

Succumbed to this power, 

 Quietly, stealing my vitality. 

A godsend, 

Who will make me climb a mountain, 

To find my own cure. 

A challenge I didn’t expect to endure, 

To ensure that I don’t lose breath, 

Running towards my destruction,   

Towards a construct, an embodiment, 

Of everyone else’s description, 

Of who I should have been. 

Ultimately I’ve become lonely. 

Constructed a fraudulent personality, 

Succumbed to a common abnormality, 

I carry this world uninspired. 

This void you left, 

Is making me so,  

Goddamn, 

Tired. 

-Mia  

Upcoming Events and Retreats:

You can find more information about all our events here.

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

For 15% off your Tiger Tail order go to https://www.amazon.com/tigertaildog and use the promo code ELEVATOR15 at checkout.  

In today’s episode Paul introduces listeners to a new company called Monument, an online treatment platform for those looking to change their relationship with alcohol.

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. 

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – Go Big, Because Eventually, We All Go Home.” 

May 11 2020

57mins

Play

RE 272: Recovery Gave us a Head Start

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Ruth took her last drink March 21, 2020. With 13 days of sobriety (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol free (AF) during a worldwide pandemic.

On today’s episode Paul discusses the sale of alcohol / liquor stores remaining open worldwide during COVID-19 and its effects. ODAAT: it’s not just for those who are living an AF life anymore. The quarantine is an invitation to examine our lives and find new pathways to joy.

Paul shares the details about his free guided meditation. To find those meditations, go here.    

[13:25] Paul introduces Ruth.   

They start by discussing the email Ruth had sent to Paul directly to ask him what his own thoughts were about living alcohol free during COVID-19.

[15:56] What were you feeling when you sent me this email?

Ruth became aware that the pandemic was going to be a test for a lot of people. She wanted to let people know that this isn’t a time of hopelessness . For her, this is a time to be grateful because of choosing to stop drinking.

She is 40 years old, grew up in Denver, CO but now lives in Switzerland. She is a single mom. While currently out of work, she normally is a manager at a small restaurant. For fun Ruth likes to be outside hiking or running. She enjoys a good movie and reading.

[24:53] Give us a background on your drinking. 

Ruth began drinking as a teenager. She first got drunk at the age of 14 with some classmates. She drank for fun as a teen, had a boyfriend that was of age and could purchase alcohol. Ruth got pregnant with her first child at the age of 20 and that stopped alcohol in its tracks. She drank very moderately through her 20s. In her early 30s Ruth noticed that drinking seemed to calm her anxiety, stressors and worries. The association of alcohol and the calming of anxiety stuck with her. In 2014 she moved to Switzerland and began a new romantic relationship that was “very boozy.” Her drinking ramped up quickly, drinking daily and often early in the day.

[30:43] Was there a time during the escalation of your drinking that you questioned this path?

Ruth remembered even during the moderate drinking in her 20s, if she couldn’t have a beer or the stores were closed, it created a grumpy feeling. And at the same time, she felt that wasn’t the proper emotion to be experiencing.

[33:25] Can you think of a definitive moment when you said “I need to quit drinking?”

Ruth indicated that there were several attempts, but the catalyst was the breakup from her most recent relationship. She said to herself “if you can survive this breakup, you can stop drinking.” Ruth learned about how a breakup and alcohol withdrawal create similar feelings/reactions within the brain.

[40:30] Thirteen days ago was your day 1 and in the email you sent me you said it was the hardest day 1. Talk to us about this particular day 1.

Ruth said that because she had had 42 days of sobriety before the pandemic started and then drank at the beginning of the pandemic to quiet the noise of everything happening in the world, everything that comes along with drinking was magnified. Thinking about having to break the cycle of drinking again, and in the extra stressful time of COVID was overwhelming. However, she found herself back in a place of joy within 3-4 days, once the chemicals left her body.

[45:30] What is something you’ve learned about yourself along the way?

Ruth said that she had a lot of unrealized strength and through that found herself again.

[48:00] How are you filling your time currently?

Ruth said reading, listening to podcasts, cooking from scratch, running, walking, yoga, watching Tiger King and taking it easy on herself.

[49:21] Rapid Fire Round 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

Realizing her relationship was toxic as well as alcohol is toxic and how they were parallel.

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?

Spending time with a family member recently and being 100% present.

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Sparkling water and coffee.

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Recovery Elevator podcast, This Naked Mind, the stopdrinking subreddit

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

Go to the Greenfield Festival in with her son sober and sober camping trips.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Don’t give up. Never quit trying to give up alcohol, no matter how many day 1s you have. Find and use all resources. It will eventually take if you keep trying.

You might need to ditch the booze if... 

You go out for a couple drinks and wake up with confetti in the bed and you have no idea where it came from or how it got there.

You can read more about what the World Health Organization (WHO) says about using alcohol as a coping technique during this time of lockdown here

Upcoming Events and Retreats:

You can find more information about our events here.

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free 

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com 

“Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”  

May 04 2020

55mins

Play

RE 271: Sobriety in a Pandemic Part II

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Kirby took her last drink March 25, 2018. This is her story.  

On today’s episode Paul shares more stories from listeners, and Café RE members, sharing their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic. We’d love to hear how you are doing through this as well. Email your story to info@recoveryelevator.com.

Paul shares the details about his free guided meditation. To find those meditations, go here.    

[16:41] Paul introduces Kirby.   

Kirby is 30 years old and lives in Charleston, SC. She is single and lives with 2 other family members and her 3 cats. For fun Kirby likes to try new things, even things she thinks she won’t be interested in. Spending time outside brings her joy. Her favorite alcohol free concert was Ryan Caraveo.

[19:40] Give us a background on your drinking. 

Kirby thinks her first drink was around the age, of 13. She doesn’t exactly remember, but has been able to piece it together through asking friends. Her first black out happened at the age of 16, which she considers the starting point of drinking. At 19 she began working at a sports bar which allowed her to keep drinking, even under age. When she turned 21, she posted to Facebook that she wanted to hit “burned out liquor head status” and drank for the next 30 days straight.

[21:38] What happened after those 30 days? Did you have withdrawal symptoms or return to normal drinking or did signs of addiction show at this time?

Kirby said she doesn’t really remember because drinking at that level, the memories are really fuzzy. But she believes she went back to normal drinking for her, which was only on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturday and sometimes Sundays. Kirby and her friends said that shots “don’t count.” So while she was drinking 5-6 beers, she was also having 5-6 shots.

At the age of 26 was when the drinking took a turn. Kirby got out of a relationship and started to burn the candle at both ends. Drinking 8 -10 beers a night, matching that with shots. Here is when she figured out that if she didn’t do shots, she wouldn’t black out, meaning she wasn’t drunk.

[24:04] Was blacking out just to go away and not feel / be empty for a while?

Kirby said definitely, and that also part of the fun was piecing back together the night before. Sitting with friends and putting the night back together based on who remembers what.

At this time she also began to put rules into place for her drinking because she knew that once she started she wasn’t going to stop drinking.

[27:20] When was the first time you said Uh-oh about your drinking? 

Kirby said that the first time she felt something was wrong with her drinking was when she woke up in October 2017 with 13 broken bones in her wrist and had to have surgery. To this day she has no recollection of how this happened.

[33:22] What happened on March 25, 2018?   

Kirby says the process started 4 days before that. She began searching for recovery options. The next day while she was drinking, “Sober Kirby” showed up in the middle of a blackout and declared to her family that she needed to stop drinking and start going to AA meetings. The next day her family told her the story back to her.

[40:55] What were the responses when you started burning the ships?

 Kirby said that a lot of people believed it was a phase, but she kept the forward momentum to hold onto sobriety.

[46:34] Talk to us about the difficult time you had at the Recovery Elevator Live event in Nashville.

Kirby said she made the goal to travel every month the year of 2019. Not having anything planned for February, she joined Café RE and pulled the trigger and bought the Nashville ticket. She considered turning around even on her drive to TN. At the event, she has an awakening that hurt people, hurt people and this gave her a moment of clarity: everyone has pain. Kirby opened up and found compassion in other people.

[54:56] What is an excuse you used to tell yourself as to why you couldn’t quit drinking?

Kirby said because she wouldn’t be fun anymore, she wouldn’t have friends anymore.

[55:20] Rapid Fire Round 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

Realizing I didn’t have to drink anymore vs I couldn’t drink anymore.

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?

Watching the sunrise over the mountains on her 30th birthday

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Black coffee or blackberry Bubly or Firebrew.

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Café RE Facebook group, Recovery Elevator podcast, Recovery Happy Hour Podcast, speaking/connecting with other sober people.

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

Traveling to all 50 states, she has 8 left!

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Why not start today?

You might need to ditch the booze if... 

If you get a new chat system at work and you can add your own emojis and you add a carbomb and a bud light lime logo as your first emojis.

Upcoming Events and Retreats.  

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020 

You can find more information about our event here.

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Betterhelp

Visit https://www.recoveryelevator.com/betterhelp and join the over 700,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at https://www.recoveryelevator.com/betterhelp

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free 

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com 

“Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”  

Apr 27 2020

1hr 1min

Play

RE 270: Sobriety in a Pandemic

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Tom took his last drink February 16, 2019.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul shares stories from listeners, and Café RE members, sharing their experiences during this Covid-19 pandemic.   We’d love to hear how you are doing through this as well.  Email your story to info@recoveryelevator.com

Paul also reminds us to cut ourselves a break, practice self-love and compassion.  He asks that you love yourself, regardless of where you are on this journey.  For some free guided meditations, go here.  

[18:55] Paul introduces Tom. 

Tom is 64 years old and lives along the shore of Lake Erie, near Cleveland, OH.  He is married and has 2 adult children, a son and a daughter.  For work Tom is a graphic artist, and for fun Tom loves to cook, which led him to vegetable gardening, which is also a loved pastime of his.  Tom is also a big history buff.       

[26:55] Give us a background on your drinking.

Tom started drinking in high school and found it helped him overcome his shyness.  He continued to drink regularly for about 18 years.  He didn’t drink every day, was more of a binge drinker.  Drinking made outgoing and he liked it. 

In 1991 Tom got a DUI while driving home from a wedding.  Up until that point Tom had never thought about quitting drinking.  After getting the DUI he just stopped.  He stopped for about 14 years.         

[28:25] What happened after 14 years?

Tom said after 14 years he just started easing back into it, drinking occasionally.  That continued from about 2005 to 2017.  In 2017 Tom realized that his drinking was causing more anxiety than it was solving, and he became sober-curious.      

[34:00] Was there a time during those 5 months of day 1s that you just wanted to give up?     

Tom said it was more a frustration because it was ridiculously consistent and he couldn’t seem to break the habit.  In February of 2019 Tom got the flu and missed a couple days of work, during which he drank, while trying to hide it.  Tom’s wife called him out on it and on February 17, 2019, Tom joined Café RE and hasn’t had a drink since.       

[39:00] What was it like when you reached out for additional accountability?

Tom said he thought, why should he do this alone, so after listening to the Recovery Elevator podcast he joined Café RE.  He started getting posting videos and connecting with other members.  The connections led to in-person meetups which are one of the biggest parts of Tom’s sobriety and life.         

[47:47] What can you say to people out there that are struggling and can’t make it past day 1? 

Tom says that when you are getting started you have to change everything that you are doing.  He also suggests going for a walk until the cravings go away. 

[55:22] What excuse did you used to tell yourself as to why you couldn’t quit drinking?

Tom said it was more of the excuse, why should he, rather than why he couldn’t.    

[56:20] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

That drinking wasn’t a solution for anxiety, it was more of a cause for anxiety. 

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?

Meetups, absolutely meetups.

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Virgin Canadian Whiskey and Diet Coke. 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

Meeting more people from Café RE. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Really connect, connect, connect on a personal level. 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

You order a cello while drinking and you don’t play a musical instrument. 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about our event here.

The book, Alcohol is Sh!t, is out.  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”

Apr 20 2020

1hr 5mins

Play

RE 269: “Nolo” Drinks - NA Beers and Kombucha

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Derek took his last drink August 22, 2019.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about what a Nolo drink is, non-alcoholic beers, and kombucha…and whether, or not, we should stay away from them if they have trace amounts of alcohol.  He also talks about the roll, if any, that cannabis and plant medicine play in recovery. 

Paul also explains about some of the changes taking place with Café RE.  Sone of the changes is, starting on May 1st, 15% of the membership fees will dedicated towards a partnership with a non-profit organization that is geared towards helping those affected by addiction.   

The link to the article where Paul gets his information from can be found here

[15:35] Paul introduces Derek. 

Derek is 35-year-old and is from New York City, currently living in Philadelphia, and is a real estate agent.  Derek loves riding his bike and playing ping pong.     

[18:42] Give us a background on your drinking.

Derek started drinking when he was 13 years old, drinking on the streets of New York.  Derek realized that he loved the feeling of being out of control. When Derek was 17 years old his father was killed in the World Trade Center and he used alcohol to cover up those feelings.  Alcohol helped him get through those brutal moments and became like his best friend.  He says he continued to drink like that up until 6 months ago (his sobriety date) and those feelings are all coming back up.          

[21:00] When did you start to realize that alcohol was not working for you? 

Derek said it was about 3 years ago.  The negative started to outweigh the positive.    

[23:14] What happened when you realized this?     

Derek said he started keeping track on a calendar of his drinking days, verses his non-drinking days.  He tried to slow down.  He started making negotiations with himself, like not drinking during the week, only drinking beer.  One very drunk night he realized that he just had to stop, that moderation did not work for him.     

[27:35] Why do you think willpower flew out the window when you were drinking?

Derek said that when he took that first sip he was no longer in control.  He said it was like a monster that lived inside of him and every time he let it out, he was no longer in control.       

[32:33] Talk to us about that moment you stopped drinking, and how you did it. 

Derek said the first couple days were easy because he had such a bad hangover, but the first weekend was tough because he didn’t know what to do, that he had not gone a weekend without drinking in years and years.  He said what he started to do was start to do the things he enjoyed again.  He started to play the piano and guitar again, started to workout again.     

[35:30] How did you do it after the first week?

Derek says he started watching YouTube videos of people that had gotten sober.  He found the Recovery Elevator app…and then the podcast.        

[37:20] What are some of the emotions you are facing now that you are no longer drinking?

Derek said that in a way he had never dealt with losing his dad in the way he had.  He recently got married and could not share that with his father.    

[38:10] What is important to you in life?

Derek says his health is one of the most important things to him.  He said that also that just who he is, is important to him.  Drinking made him a liar and selfish, and that has changed a lot.  He now tries to be a better person overall. 

[38:50] What are some strategies you use now, instead of drinking?

Derek says that exercise is big, he wakes up early to exercise.  He has started using a steam sauna, ping pong, biking, outdoor activities.  Derek also said that talking to other people that have similar stories, that he had just attended his first meeting. 

[39:40] What roll has your wife played in this?

Derek said that his wife stopped drinking with him and that she has been his biggest supporter. 

[43:30] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

That I am stronger than I thought I was. 

  1. What’s an excuse that you used to tell yourself for why you couldn’t quit drinking?

My friends, my social circle…what would I do, I wouldn’t have anyone.

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Coffee or seltzer. 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

Your podcast, I’m not just trying to blow smoke, it’s really helped me a lot.    

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

To stay alcohol free is the number one thing, and I would like to travel again. 

  1. What are your thoughts on relapse?

It’s never going to happen to me. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Just do it. 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

You think you might need to ditch the booze. 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about our event here.

The book, Alcohol is Sh!t, is out.  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”

Apr 13 2020

52mins

Play

RE 268: You’re in the Ring

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Raj took his last drink May 11, 2014.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul zooms out and talks about the journey.   If you are listening to this podcast you are an active participant in the center of the ring.  Your conscious decision to ditch the booze places you in the center of the ring.  Who is the critic when you’re in the ring grappling with alcohol?  You are, but you can rewire those thoughts and become your greatest cheerleader. 

Watch the video of the little girl not giving up here

[16:05] Paul introduces Raj. 

Raj is 54 years old and is from Las Angeles.  He is divorced and has a 13-year-old son.  Raj is an avid cyclist and says it keeps him sober. 

[22:20] Give us a background on your drinking.

Raj says he didn’t really drink until college and even then, it was a very slow progression.  In 1991 Raj started having adverse consequences to his drinking, such a getting a DUI and not getting hired for a job.  In 2010, and the following 3 years, his drinking totally spiraled out of control.        

[25:50] During this progression were you able to step back and see the writing on the wall? 

Raj said he definitely did not.  He said he lived in denial for over 20 years. 

[26:46] Get us up to speed to May 2011.      

Raj said he always performed well in his career; his drinking didn’t affect it.  But in the summer of 2010 Raj had a serious biking accident and broke his ankle and was prescribed an insane amount of Vicodin.   In a period of 4 months he watched his work productivity go to hell, actually getting put on probation at work.   

Because work was always something that he could keep together, Raj said he lost it at this point.  His drinking and drug use took off.  That led to another DUI in May of 2011, which led him to the doors of AA.  

[29:25] Fill in the gaps between your first AA meeting and May 2014?

Raj said he started going to AA and got a sponsor, but didn’t really do the steps.  In 2012 he convinced himself that he didn’t have a drinking problem, but was still having blackouts and waking up in the hospital not knowing how he got there. 

In November of 2012, after a locking himself in his hotel room while at a work retreat, causing a huge scene at the airport, and landing in the hospital again Raj was fired from his job.  This led Raj to The Betty Ford treatment facility and Raj says this was his rock bottom moment.  

Two more rehabs, another DUI, and Raj finally got sober in May of 2014.      

[34:20] What happened next?

Raj said he started taking AA seriously, got a new sponsor that was pretty much an AA hard ass that took Raj through the 12 steps.  Raj says he was just ready.  He had to become humble, and willing to ask for help.   

[38:05] What is an excuse that you used to tell yourself for why you couldn’t quit drinking?

One was he had a wine cellar, he had to drink all the wine.  How would he deal with stress and anxiety?    

[38:55] How do you deal with stress without alcohol?

Raj uses biking and exercise, AA meetings, talking to his sponsor, and spending time with his son. 

[49:50] What do you think was one of the hardest things about quitting drinking?

Raj said it was trying to get the message down to his subconscious that he was no longer drinking. 

[55:50] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

That we can’t do this alone.   

  1. What’s a memorable moment a life without alcohol has provided you?

My son was in a play at school and I was able to be present and witness it, and was able to tell him what an amazing job. 

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Club soda.

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

The Big Book or AA is a terrific resource.  Café RE UP, AA meetings when I am on the road especially. 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

There are a bunch bike challenges that I want to do. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

If you’re struggling at staying sober don’t give up. 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

If you are driving drunk 300 miles with your 3-year-old child in the car. 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about our event here.

The book, Alcohol is Sh!t, is out.  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

BetterHelp 

BetterHelp  Visit https://www.recoveryelevator.com/betterhelp and join the over 700,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at https://www.recoveryelevator.com/betterhelp

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”

Apr 06 2020

1hr 6mins

Play

RE 267: When Facing Crisis

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Lucas took his last drink November 13, 2018.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about crisis.  In some languages the word ‘crisis’ is coupled with the word ‘opportunity’.  Everyone experiences crisis’ in life, but we are the fortunate ones that are forced to reach out for help.  We are then in this together…think the movie, The Breakfast Club. 

[11:15] Paul introduces Lucas. 

Lucas is 32 years old, was born and raised in the DC metro area.  He is married, no kids yet.  Lucas is a UPS driver.  He has a dog that they rescued from a shelter.  For fun Lucas likes to work out, go to sporting events, and concerts. 

[17:00] Give us a background on your drinking.

Lucas started drinking when he was 13 years old.  By the time he was 15/16 he says he would routinely blackout from drinking.  It was at that time he started to realize that it was something he perhaps should look at.  Even though he was aware that he may have a problem at this young age his drinking continued to progress through his 20s and college. 

Lucas said he really started to see the effect that his behavior had on his life in his late 20s, early 30s.     

[28:44] How powerful was it to bring your wife along with you on your journey? 

Lucas said that it has been vital to his sobriety, that it was so critical because it (sobriety) has been such a hard, and courageous, thing to do.     

[33:33] Talk to us about what you meant when you said, “moderation in all in my mind”.      

Lucas says that moderation is not an attainable thing for him, that it is a word that was made up to make him feel better and convince himself that he could continue to have alcohol in his life.  Once he realized that moderation wasn’t a thing it was freeing.

[39:55] Talk to us about quitting Adderall?

Lucas said that Adderall was something he started taking in college and not because he really needed it, but because he liked its mood-altering qualities.  Once he quit taking it, he realized that it actually was making him less productive and less organized. 

[44:10] Walk us through a sample day in a life without alcohol.

Lucas said he is a creature of habit.  He wakes up, lets the dog out, reads meditation passages, goes to the gym, goes to work, goes home, sometimes reads, cooks dinner, visits with his wife when she gets home from work and is in bed by 10/11 PM. 

[51:00] What is an excuse that you used to tell yourself for why you couldn’t quit drinking?

Lucas would tell himself that he didn’t have a problem. 

[51:35] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

When I realized how much time I was spending pursuing the feeling that I was never going to obtain again.

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Lime flavored seltzer water.

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

AA, my meditation books, and “In the Rooms”, which is online AA meetings. 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

I need to travel the world. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

To remind yourself how vulnerable, dangerous, and susceptible we all are when we live in unreality. 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

You find yourself asking if you have a drinking problem. 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about our event here.

The book, Alcohol is Sh!t, is out.  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”

Mar 30 2020

59mins

Play

RE 266: Rule 22

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Renee took her last drink January 2, 2020.  This is her story.

If you have ever wanted to attend a Recovery Elevator event you should get yourself to Denver in June for the Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - June 11-14th, 2020.  This event will be, essentially, the closeout event for Recovery Elevator.  You can find more information about our event here.

On today’s episode Paul talks about Rule 22.  What it is.  Why it is important to make this rule a part of your life ASAP. 

Rule 22 = Lighten up.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Laughter really is the best medicine.  Life is never as serious as the mind wants us to believe. 

[12:00] Paul introduces Renee. 

Renee is 40 years old and live in Greendale, WI.  She is a hair stylist and is currently working at a children’s hair salon.  She is married and they have 2 kids, a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old.  Renee also has a 20-year-old son from a previous relationship.  For fun Renee likes to hike, camp, go on vacations, paddleboard and jigsaw puzzles. 

[17:25] Give us a background on your drinking.

Renee started drinking as a teenager, around the age of 15.  She says she did it to fit in and have fun.  She met her husband, in a bar, in her early 20s and they pretty much drank together every weekend.  It wasn’t until 2007 that Renee started drinking more than just on the weekends.  After getting married they were drinking 3-4 days out of the week.  Renee got pregnant early on and while she couldn’t drink due to being pregnant, her husband continued to drink.  That made Renee mad because she wanted to drink.  Renee did start drinking again, in the hospital, after giving birth to her children. 

[20:30] Was drinking again, as soon as you had your baby, something that you had pre-planned? 

Renee said she could not wait to drink after her baby was born.    She did the same exact thing during and after her 2nd pregnancy a few years later.    

[24:18] Why do you think your husband came clean about his drinking?    

Renee said he told her because he couldn’t do it anymore.            

[24:40] What was your response?

Renee was pissed off when he first told her.               

[28:35] When did you both recognize that alcohol was almost the driving divider?

Renee says it was in October of 2019 when her husband told her about his drinking.  They started to put all the pieces together and realized that everything bad that had happened between them was caused by alcohol, in some way, or somehow.    

[30:40] Has there been a moment when one of you was about to drink and you had that conversation where you lean on each other, and you both made it through?

Renee said yes, that there had been a couple of those moments. 

[30:05] Was January 2 a planned date?

Renee said yes, it was a planned date.  She went to work that day and was cutting hair with shaky hands. 

[35:40] How did you get through the last 45 days? 

Renee says that they bought a new treadmill, have been binge watching Netflix, just finding things to keep their minds off of it.  But that it was really hard at first. 

[38:53] How has working with a counselor helped with your anxiety and depression?

Renee says it helped a lot.  She didn’t have any anxiety after the first couple weeks.  It just started to get a little better and better until now, when she says she has none.      

[40:40] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

I realized that alcohol has basically affected everything in my life. 

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has provided you?

Recently we got a lot of snow here and we took the kids sledding. 

  1. What is some advice you’d give to your younger self?

To try and surround myself with people who aren’t party people. 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

Well definitely your podcast, lots of reading. 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

We want to do a lot more traveling. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

If you are thinking about drinking, or if you are thinking that you drink too much, you probably do. 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

You do a drunken cartwheel and wake up in the morning to find your whole hand is black and blue because you broke your middle finger. 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about our event here.

The book, Alcohol is Sh!t, is out.  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”

Mar 23 2020

50mins

Play

RE 265: The Strategy of the Comfort Zone

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Janine took her last drink on October 6, 2019.  This is her story.

If you have ever wanted to attend a Recovery Elevator event you should get yourself to Denver in June for the Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - June 11-14th, 2020.  This event will be, essentially, the closeout event for Recovery Elevator.  You can find more information about our event here.

On today’s episode, Paul talks about your comfort zone, why it’s important to have one, why it is so important to get outside of it, and how it is possible to get too far out of it.  The true authentic you doesn’t exist in your comfort zone.  Stepping outside your comfort zone even once, makes it easier that you’ll do it again. 

As for ditching the booze, here are some strategies in regards to the comfort zone.  Instead of quitting forever, aim for one day, or 50% of the days in a month.  Burning the ships?  Go at your own pace.  90 meetings in 90 days too much, aim for 1 a week, then 2 a week.   

[20:00] Paul introduces Janine. 

Janine is 32 years old and is from Pensacola, FL.  She is married and has a 9-month-old daughter.  Janine is a former kindergarten teacher.  For fun she likes to go to the beach with her family, walking her dog and spending time with her daughter. 

[24:00] Give us a background on your drinking.

Janine took her first drink when she was 17-years-old and she immediately loved the feeling it gave her.  Through college she feels she drank like every other college student.  Janine says her drinking didn’t take off until she started her teaching career, and that gradually over the years she was drinking more and more. 

When she met her husband, and knew that it was something serious, she says she knew that she was going to have to do something about her drinking.  

[26:45] Talk to us about the methods you used to try and control your drinking. 

Janine said she tried them all.  Switched from liquor to wine/beer.  Still getting backout drunk after switching to wine she tried drinking a glass of water after every glass of wine.  Not drinking during the week, but even when that worked, she was still getting blackout drunk all weekend.      

[28:15] Was there a time when fear came in and you didn’t think you could stop? 

Janine said yes, that that is exactly what happened.          

[30:30] Can you tell us a little about postpartum depression?

Janine said for her she felt like she lost some of her identity, her whole life now revolved around another human being.  She had days when she would look in the mirror and not even recognize herself.  Her emotions were all over the place.  Janine ended up going to her doctor and getting on antidepressants, but was still drinking.             

[35:00] Tell us what happened next. 

After trying to modify, by having no alcohol in the house, Janine said she went and bought 2 bottles of wine and drank them one night after the baby was in bed.  She got blackout drunk, sent strange texts, and spent the next day crying and filled with anxiety.  She couldn’t deny it anymore, she knew she had a problem and couldn’t control it. 

Later that day her dad, a recovering alcoholic himself, called Janine.  She says his first words were, “I just felt I needed to call and hear your voice.”.  Janine said she just lost it and opened up to him for the first time.      

[40:30] What was that first AA meeting like and what happened after that?

Janine said she was terrified to go that first meeting, but that after the meeting people came up and were very friendly.  She said she was also comforted by the fact that there were other teachers there.  She was still feeling like her life was over that first week.    

[44:14] Was there a challenging moment when you wanted to drink, and how did you get past it?

Janine said she had several in the beginning.  She said when those times came up, she would call a friend, or call her sponsor. 

[45:25] How has the relationship with your husband changed? 

Janine says her husband fully supports her and has also quit drinking.  She feels like their relationship has gotten a lot deeper.       

[54:30] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

I would say when I made that last attempt to control my drinking by not having alcohol in my house

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has provided you?

Spending my daughter’s 1st Christmas completely sober. 

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

I am a big fan of water. 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

I enjoy this podcast; I don’t get to attend AA meetings as much as I would like but I also enjoy reading. 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

I am actually thinking about taking up blogging. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

If you know in your heart that you can’t control your drinking anymore, don’t listen to the lies that your mind is telling you. 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

You get blackout drunk while watching Dateline. 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about our event here.

The book, Alcohol is Sh!t, is out.  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – It All Starts from the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

Mar 16 2020

1hr

Play

RE 264: Broken and Whole

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Aaron took his last drink October 6, 2019.  This is his story.

If you have ever wanted to attend a Recovery Elevator event you should get yourself to Denver in June for the Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - June 11-14th, 2020.  This event will be, essentially, the closeout event for Recovery Elevator.  You can find more information about our event here.

On today’s episode Paul talks about it being possible for things to coexist in your life, you can feel calm and accomplished while you still have things to do.  It is important to recognize both parts equally.  When you are in the middle of a tough emotion you can chose to ride it out on the surface, which would be the mind, or deep down, which would be the belly area of the body.  Do you best to get out of the mind and stay in the belly, preferably with belly breaths.   

[13:00] Paul introduces Aaron. 

Aaron is 54 years old and lives in Pittsburgh, PA.    He is a chiropractor and loves health, fitness and exercise.  Aaron has a 65-acre farm and plays rugby. 

[17:50] Give us a background on your drinking.

Aaron didn’t drink until his dad passed away from heart failure when Aaron was a junior in college.  His friend left some wine coolers at his house and he decided to give them a try and he liked the way they made him feel.  He continued to drink through college and alcohol made him the life of the party. 

Aaron moved to Florida after graduation, he was 21 years old and had a teaching degree.  He was only drinking on the weekends at this time and started playing rugby.  He says drinking and rugby go hand in hand. 

Aaron graduated from chiropractor school and continued to only drink on the weekends.  This was his drinking pattern through his 30s and 40s.  It was in his late 40s that he realized that he hadn’t gone a week without drinking, even if it was only on the weekends.  He thought he might have an issue with alcohol but he didn’t think it was a big deal. 

[29:55] Talk to us about how you tried to hide it before you fully got on board on stopping. 

Aaron says that this went on for years.  He was hiding beers in cereal boxes.  He was waking up in the middle of the night with pounding headaches.  Aaron said his wife started to notice what he was doing and started to call him out.  He started getting sick and having headaches after just 2 beers.    

[33:33] Get us up to speed to before your sobriety date. 

Aaron says in 2018 he stopped drinking for 6 months, but then at a bar one night said, “I got this.”, and had an IPA.   That started another year of drinking for Aaron.  In October of 2019 he said he has got to stop (drinking) and that time he meant it.        

[39:22] What has been working for you these last few months?

Aaron said he listened to the Recovery Elevator podcast.  He told his wife and kids.  Aaron has started to tell other people that he just isn’t drinking anymore.           

[42:05] What has been the biggest thing you have learned about yourself along the way?

Aaron says he thinks he saw himself as being compulsive and having a problem and then thinking he can break the problem.    

[47:40] What got you through your brother’s death without taking a drink? 

Aaron said he had no desire to drink at all, he knew that his brother’s death was caused by alcohol.  He no longer has a mental or physical desire for alcohol.      

[51:30] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

When I saw my kids drinking and having problems that I had. 

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has provided you?

When we go out to restaurants and I order water with lemon.

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Seltzer water. 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

I only have one, I listen to Recovery Elevator over and over and over. 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

I just want to have family functions without beer. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Just keep listening.

You might need to ditch the booze if...

When you are having drinks out at the restaurant and you go to the bathroom and your pee is clear and you say to yourself, yes…it’s kicking in, because you know now that the beer is kicking in.    

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about our event here.

The book, Alcohol is Sh!t, is out.  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – It All Starts from the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

Mar 09 2020

58mins

Play

RE 263: Top Ten Benefits of Quitting Drinking

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Tara took her last drink February 4, 2019.  This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about the top 10 reasons for quitting drinking.  Number one; your authentic self will begin to emerge.  Number two; you don’t have a headache due to lack of aspirin in your system.  Number three; you’ll begin to find out who you aren’t.  Number four; you’re open to signs from the universe.  Number five; you can start to see the insanity of the mind.  Number six; your brain will start to produce regular amounts of melatonin.  Number seven; welcome back oxytocin.  Number eight; you’re part of something much bigger.  Number nine; you stop hoping.  Number ten; you have a chance to start working on the one big lesson you’ve signed up for in this lifetime. 

[19:15] Paul introduces Tara. 

Tara is 46 years old and lives in Seattle, WA.    She is a preschool teacher, founded her own preschool 25 years ago.  She is married to her high school sweetheart and has 2 adult children.  For fun Tara loves to dance.    

[22:30] Give us a background on your drinking.

Tara says there were 3 scary moments that caused her to pause and think that alcohol could be a problem.  The first was when she was 15 years old and she was at a wedding and the bar was opened up to her.  This was a formal wedding and Tara jumped into the pool.  She was the only one in the pool. 

Tara’s second scary moment was also in high school.  She was at a party drinking hard alcohol and decided to get into the hot tub.  Tara says she got so sick that she threw up blood. 

Tara’s third scary moment came when she was in her forties and was on an annual girl’s trip to Palm Springs.  She drank like she normally did, with no off switch, and she fell and hit her head.  All Tara could think about when that happened is that that was how her dad died. 

[38:25] Talk to us about right before you quit drinking. 

Tara says she went to a party and started drinking, and instead of calming her anxiety like she felt alcohol usually did, her anxiety amped up.  It made her question how much she was going to have to drink to feel that ‘warm blanket’. 

[42:50] Your Dad is listening right now, what do you have to say to him?

Tara said she just wants to let her Dad know that she loves him, and she’s proud of him.      

[45:20] How did your relationship with your husband change after you quit drinking?

Tara says that her bond with her husband is even stronger and deeper now.        

[49:00] What has been your biggest challenge this last year?

Tara says is the ones that kind or catch you out of nowhere.    

[50:40] What’s an excuse you used to tell yourself of why you couldn’t quit drinking? 

Tara said it was telling herself that she didn’t drink every day or that she didn’t drink by herself.    

[51:20] What are your thoughts on relapse? 

Tara says that on a personal level she doesn’t see it happening to herself.    

[54:40] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

I’m happier without alcohol.

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has provided you?

A trip to Costa Rica and no drinking whatsoever.

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

I like iced tea or Bubly water with a little mint in it. 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

I love to listen to your podcast, and many others.

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

A lot more travel, and I hope to go to Thailand.

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Just stick with it. 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

You put a bikini on at a formal wedding and jump into the pool when nobody else is in the pool.    

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about our event here.

The book, Alcohol is Sh!t, is out.  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

“Recovery Elevator – It All Starts from the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

Mar 02 2020

58mins

Play

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Love you Paul

By zxoqy - Jun 01 2020
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Love your approach and energy. Listening has helped me so much on my journey.

Really good podcast!

By Stingybone - Jun 01 2020
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We love you, Paul! Thank you.