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Personal Journals

Recovery Elevator

Updated 9 days ago

Personal Journals
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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?

iTunes Ratings

685 Ratings
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Great Info and Help

By Chef_D_bone - Jul 04 2019
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Helped me get through some difficult times - give it a listen instead of hitting the bottle

So good!

By Drsarahdc1 - Jun 28 2019
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Really helping me stay sober in a very supportive, kind, open and safe way.

iTunes Ratings

685 Ratings
Average Ratings

Great Info and Help

By Chef_D_bone - Jul 04 2019
Read more
Helped me get through some difficult times - give it a listen instead of hitting the bottle

So good!

By Drsarahdc1 - Jun 28 2019
Read more
Really helping me stay sober in a very supportive, kind, open and safe way.
Cover image of Recovery Elevator

Recovery Elevator

Updated 9 days ago

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: RE 233: It’s Okay to Struggle

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

This coming January Recovery Elevator is going to Thailand and Cambodia for 12 days.  Space is limited.  You can find more information about this event here

On today’s episode Paul discuses the double negative, not failing.  If you find yourself struggling to say no, to picking up a drink, you are not failing.  If you are not failing you are succeeding, accomplishing, flourishing, overcoming, conquering, thriving, winning, realizing your goal to become alcohol free. 

Think about an accomplishment in your life that you are proud of.  Did that come without a struggle?   Most likely it did.  That struggle did not represent failure.  Growth is a big part of that struggle. 


[10:30] Paul introduces Daz. 

Daz is 43 years old, has been married for 5 years, and has 2 beautiful little girls.  He is from Vancouver Island and has lived in Vancouver for the last 17 years.  For fun Daz plays guitar, writes and records a lot of music, and his latest addiction is knowledge in recovery.

[13:31] Give us a background on your drinking.

When Daz was 13 he had his first drink, and first drunk.  At the age of 15 he was introduced to smoking pot which very quickly became a daily thing.  An honor roll student until his senior year of high school, when other drugs were introduced, and things really started to nosedive. 

Daz didn’t start drinking regularly until he was 19.  It then quickly became a daily thing, helping him come out of his shell and be more social.  It became a staple that stuck with him through his 20s. 

Daz hit his rock bottom on April 20, 2005.  He had gone through a really dysfunctional relationship and his life had completely veered off the path that he had expected.  He was ready to throw in the towel on life.  Daz called his parents at 2AM and told them he didn’t know what to do, that he thought he wanted to just go and finish it off.  His parents got him to come home and that was his first attempt to get sober. It lasted a couple weeks, through the Christmas holidays, and he attended his first AA meetings while there. 

When he got back to Vancouver things went back to the way they had been for about another year.  He was struggling to get by, working in bars and drinking on the job.  Found himself in legal trouble and soon couldn’t pay his rent.  Daz says he was one step away from living on the street.

[19:00] That was early 2007, bridge the gap for us. 

Daz entered a 2-month treatment center and says that was the beginning of him starting to stand up and dust himself off.  It gave him time to think about what he was going to do with his life.  He worked in the fitness industry for a couple years.

He started to slide back into drinking but had enough of a foundation at this time, and had left some of the other drugs behind, that things were starting to get on the right path. 

He moved from the fitness industry into the software business and started performing music in the evenings.  This gave him something to be excited about and even though he was still drinking he now felt he had a purpose.

Daz met his wife 7 years ago, 1.5 years later they had their first baby, and 2-3 years ago he went to the doctor and was told he had a fatty liver. 

[21:55] What happened next?

He now has his 2nd baby and a fatty liver.  His doctor told him if he didn’t stop drinking, he would be dead in 10 years.  That was the motivation Daz needed.  He had gone through the 12 steps of AA while in the treatment center but just never felt like that was for him.  What he found was something called, Neuro Recover, which is an IV treatment where the person is hooked up to an IV for 8 hours a day, for 10 days.  He says he soon realized that being sober is not just about not drinking, it’s about rebuilding your body. 

After a few months Daz went back ‘out’.  When he was ready to try again, he came with more of a plan and was going to include community.  He did the IV treatment for 3 days. 

On day 5 he was having back and leg pain, anxiety, and feeling frustrated.  Daz says he was almost ready to go get alcohol.  Instead of going to the store for alcohol he recalled reading that L-glutamine can help with alcohol cravings.  Having some in his cupboard he drank some and says that instantly the craving was gone.  Daz started attending SMART Recovery soon after. 

[32:32] What are your qualms about AA?

Daz says his biggest qualm is the powerless aspect.  He feels to overcome addiction you need to be empowered.    

[39:16] What would you say to someone looking to get sober, that has tried AA, and is looking for something else?

Daz would suggest the SMART Recovery community, RE Café’ Facebook groups, L-glutamine.  He would tell them to stay connected with people, and that diet is important. 

[44:14] What are your thoughts on relapse?

Daz says he doesn’t think relapse is a bad thing, that it is just part of the process.  He says people shouldn’t be too negative about it as long as you are continuing on and learning to understand yourself, the body, and how it works. 

[47:41] Where does spirituality come into play on this journey?

Daz is not a religious person, per-se, but he thinks it’s really important for people to stop and look inward, and turn other things off. 

[48:50] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

Driving down the road and not being able to keep his hands on the steering wheel because he was shaking so badly.

  1. What is your plan moving forward?

My plan moving forward is to finish my website that I have been working on, like I said, it’s  Continue going to SMART meetings and I have some people that I am close to and to just continue to help each other. To continue to lead by example.     

  1. What is your favorite resource?

Get yourself some glutamine, don’t leave out the supplementation part of recovery.  You’ve been killing yourself for years and your body needs to heal itself.  I would also shout out Omar Pinto and the SHAIR podcast.  Another book I would recommend is Addicted to the Monkey Mind. 

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

When it feels like it’s impossible, it’s not.

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

You need to pull over on the side of the road because you can’t control your shaking. 

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

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

Aug 05 2019
55 mins

Rank #2: 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
1 hour 5 mins

Rank #3: RE 234: The Scientist

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Tiffany took her last drink on July 14, 2018.  This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about the DUIs he didn’t get.  For those of you that may not know what a DUI is…it is Driving Under the Influence, with a BAC that is higher than .08. 

Those missed DUIs, going all the way back to one in 2006, in which he was following behind a friend that was drunk behind the wheel, rolled his vehicle and passed away with a BAC of .33…were a contributing factor in Paul telling himself he didn’t have a drinking problem. 

He told himself he didn’t have a drinking problem because he didn’t have any DUIs.  Paul has said, ‘the only line you can cross, but cannot come back from, is death’.  He hopes that Adrian’s story can help save the life of someone listening to this podcast. 


[16:05] Paul introduces Tiffany. 

Tiffany is originally from Connecticut but has been in Maryland for the last 10 years.  She is a property manager and a licensed captain.  She is 35 years old, single and has no kids.  She enjoys hiking and recently has discovered she likes to macramé, and has been doing a lot of that.  DIY crafts and projects around her house bring her joy. 

[18:15] Give us a background on your drinking.

Tiffany started dinking when she was in 7th grade.  Drinking was the not the norm for her family or in her household growing up.  It wasn’t until she was in junior high and spending more time at friends’ houses that she was exposed to drinking being the norm.  Jr. high and high school was a lot of binge drinking on weekends.  Towards the end of high school Tiffany was more interested in being at work, she was working at a horse farm, and partying with her friends than being at school.  Work and partying became her priority and school was at the bottom of the totem pole.  She says she was a big pothead and felt that she could take, or leave, alcohol. 

[20:50] When did you reach the moment when you couldn’t take it, or leave it? 

In 2006, when Tiffany was 21, she left everything behind and moved to New Zealand to work on a schooner.   She says that is when the switch happened.  Wine was everywhere.  She started to think of drinking as a reward for having a hard day, rather than just something she would binge on. 

[22:45] Talk to us about the years between 21 and 34.

While on the schooner they went through a bad hurricane during a voyage.  Tiffany says it was terrifying, and it was at that time her drinking shifted from drinking as a reward for a hard day, to drinking to get out of her head.  She says she came home from that experience different, and that it is still something she is working through. 

It was at this time she was drinking to not feel her feelings, and she started to isolate rather than drink socially.  In 2007 she moved to Baltimore and moved in to a neighborhood that was filled with bars, making it easy for her to drink and not be questioned.  

[26:00] Get us up to speed closer to your sobriety date.

Between 2009-2012 not a lot really happened.  Tiffany says her drinking stayed about the same, she was still isolating amongst her group of drinking friends.  In 2014 she got into a relationship, that didn’t work out, but it was the first time she had ever heard someone refer to her as an alcoholic. 

[26:45] What was it like hearing that?

Up until that time she says she had had a lot of nights that she regretted but that this was the first time she felt embarrassed.  This prompted Tiffany to lean into her isolation and she let all the self-negative talk that she had for herself beat her down. 

In 2017 she was so depressed and isolating that she was afraid to leave her house unless it was for work.  Because she couldn’t control her drinking, she felt like she was failing in everything other than work.     

[28:44] You said you knew you didn’t want to drink, but that all you knew was a life with drinking…talk to us about how that felt. 

It was insanity.  A snapshot of what felt like a normal day for Tiffany involved her waking up with a hangover, feeling like hell, getting herself together for work and then crying the whole way to work because she did not want to go home, because she did not want to drink again that night.  Her anxiety was crippling and things just didn’t get any better.  She lived like that for 3 years. 

[30:20] What tipped the scales?

November 2017 Tiffany says she was at her bottom and she came across the Recovery Elevator podcast.  She hit play and binge listened to the episodes for a solid 2 weeks. 

[33:55] What happened between November 2017 and July 2018?

Tiffany signed up for the RE Facebook group in June 2018 and made it 30 days AF.  On day 31 she walked into a store, thinking, “I got this”, and bought 5 bottles of wine and drank for 5 days.  She then decided she was done, drank all the alcohol in her house, and on July 14th 2018 had her last drink. 

[44:00] So you got sober outside of AA?

Tiffany says that 12 step meetings are not for her, at least not right now.  She finds her peace and healing when she is outside of the rooms.  Knowing that she does need to talk to people and dive into some things

she did start talk therapy. 

[45:56] What’s on your bucket list? 

The Asia trip is definitely being added.  Tiffany says she just wants to be happy. 

[47:47] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

My 18th birthday.  I got so drunk I fell down the side of a mountain and my friends had to drive me home. 

  1. When was the moment you knew you needed to quit drinking?

That is a toss up between when I heard my ex say I was an alcoholic and when I started listening to this podcast.

  1. What is your plan moving forward?

Keeping connection and staying social.  I’m making the point to keep networking.      

  1. What is your favorite resource in recovery?

Definitely Recovery Elevator podcast and the Café’RE group.    

  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

That it’s ok not to have perfect day. 

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

If you think you have a problem you probably do. 

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

At the age of 15 you realize that if you only take shots, you don’t feel full, so you can drink more. 

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:


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This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

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Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to

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

Aug 12 2019
53 mins

Rank #4: 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
53 mins

Rank #5: 001: Do you have a drinking problem

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Answering this question is easier than you might think........

Feb 22 2015
40 mins

Rank #6: 000: I'm an alcoholic

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Paul discusses his struggles with alcohol and his experiences in early recovery. Test Content

Feb 12 2015
9 mins

Rank #7: 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...


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


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


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


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
49 mins

Rank #8: RE 232: What is Sober Curious?

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Arlina took her last drink on April 22, 1994 and has been alcohol free for 25 years.  This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul discuses an article that a listener sent him regarding the term, ‘sober curious’.  This article was published in the New York Times and can be found here

What is sober curious?  The term is pretty straight forward, it refers to those that are curious about exploring a life without alcohol.  But it can be unpacked even more.  To some, sober curious may mean that they never had a drinking problem, but they had a problem drinking.  In the article the author describes the sober curious as young professionals that are kind of, just a little bit, addicted to booze.  

Paul feels that that bulk of this demographic of sober curious people are what would be referred to as high bottom drunks.  They are beginning to experience consequences from their drinking and they are becoming curious to what a life without alcohol would look like. 


[9:30] Paul introduces Arlina.

Arlina is 50 years old and had her last drink on her 25th birthday.  She grew up in Silicon Valley.  She is married and has 2 sons.  Arlina has a podcast, enjoys yoga, hiking and going for walks.  She is soon to be the owner of a bulldog puppy. 

[15:05] Give us a background on your drinking.

Arlina says she feels her drinking was garden variety.  She started drinking at a young age, between 8-10 years old, and says she didn’t realize how bad she felt until she felt good from drinking. She says from her first drink to her last she wanted to be anybody but herself.  

[19:00] Was there a rock bottom moment that led up to you having your last drink on your 25th birthday? 

Arlina says she had a series of rock-bottom moments.  She never knew what emotion to expect when she would drink, she would either be crying or fighting.  Even after a night out with her sister, in which Arlina got drunk, punched her windshield a couple times, breaking it, kicked her sister (who was driving) in the face, her sister getting help from the neighbors, the police being called, and waking up with that incomprehensible demoralization, it took hearing that her sister had gone to Al-anon for her to connect her drinking with alcoholism.  Arlina wrestled with that thought for 2 years. 

[23:20] Talk to us about when you finally reached that conclusion.

Arlina says it was a very humbling experience because she had defined alcoholism as something so negative.  Hating who she was anyway and then adding alcoholic and drug addict to it was overwhelming.  What had been her solution had become her executioner.      

[25:55] What was it like in early sobriety?

Arlina says it was overwhelming, but that she was relieved of the obsession to consume alcohol the day after her birthday.   She discovered she was kind of high maintenance.  She needed a morning routine, turning her life and her will over to God, and had to nurture a conscious contact with God throughout the day.  She attended a lot of meetings a week and service played a large part.   

[31:22] Let’s talk about the why behind your drinking.  Do you agree that alcohol is but a symptom? 

Arlina agrees 100% that alcohol is but a symptom.  She says she las learned that the brain will try and protect you from your pain, and if you can’t get out of it, it will develop a distraction, and that could be alcoholism or any other addiction.  Time does not heal all wounds; pain waits and lessons are repeated until they are learned. 

[37:27] Earlier you talked about chasing a feeling, how do you chase that feeling without alcohol. 

Arlina says the feeling that she was chasing was relief.  She likes to feel happiness and joy and she finds that in the service work she does.  When she can do something to alleviate someone else’s suffering she feels like she is fulfilling her purpose and that is when she feels the most joy. 

[42:00] Talk to us about your podcast, The ODAAT Chat.   **Arlina also has a website by the same name and you can find it here.   

Arlina originally started a sales podcast, but says it was really on her heart to do one on recovery.  She was conflicted because in the 12 traditions it says to maintain our anonymity at the level of press, radio and film.  Following the tragic death of a friend, who had attended a 6 AM meeting called ODAAT, she decided to be bold and follow her heart.  The podcast has added some pressure but also has brought joy to Arlina. 

[46:40] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

Puking my guts out at a San Francisco Giants game in front of a whole bunch of fancy people.

  1. Year 26, how’s it going to happen?

It’s going to happen one day at a time.  This morning I went for a walk and broke out an amazing book called Jesus Calling and read that.  I drew my Gabby Bernstein card and I use the Headspace app to do some meditation and I find if I do that routine in the morning my day goes so much better. 

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have ever received?

Follow your heart.    

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

Open your mind and your heart and you’ll be amazed before you are halfway through.

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

You end up in an AA meeting. 

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:


Visit and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at

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

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

Jul 29 2019
52 mins

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
  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!


[ 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

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

Mar 20 2017
45 mins

Rank #10: 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


[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

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

Jun 25 2018
57 mins

Rank #11: 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
37 mins

Rank #12: 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
42 mins

Rank #13: 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:


[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

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

Feb 05 2018
49 mins

Rank #14: 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

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

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

Join Team RE on May 21st for the 3rd annual run for recovery at 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
where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian
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
56 mins

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


[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

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

Sep 18 2017
37 mins

Rank #16: 037: Sex, Dating and Relationships in Sobriety

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Anthony from Rise Together, with nearly 3 years of sobriety joins the Podcast.

Nov 02 2015
53 mins

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:

Connect with Cafe RE

  • 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.
  • First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.
  • RE on Facebook
  • RE on Instagram

Jason Vale’s book : Kick the Drink...Easily!

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



[ 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! 



“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!”

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

Aug 22 2016
46 mins

Rank #18: 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
1 hour 8 mins

Rank #19: 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: 

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.


[ 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:

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

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

Jan 16 2017
42 mins

Rank #20: 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.


[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

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

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

Mar 25 2019
1 hour

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