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Recovery Elevator | Stop Drinking, Start Recovering. | Alcohol, Addiction & Life in Sobriety

Hello, I'm Paul and I've come to the realization that me and alcohol no longer get along. When I start drinking, I cannot stop, despite how many times I tell myself I'm only going out for just a couple. I've lost that battle 99 out of 100 times. I've tried to set boundaries on my drinking like never drink alone, and not before 5pm but several times found myself drinking alone well before 5pm. When I'm not drinking, I feel fidgety, contentious and anxious which eventually leads me back to the bottle. After grappling with alcohol for over a decade and a summer from hell in 2014, I decided on September 7th 2014, I HAVE to stop drinking. The Recovery Elevator Podcast is a medium to help keep me sober in addition to helping others struggling with alcohol quit drinking and maintain a healthy recovery. Don't make the same mistakes I did in early recovery. Hear from guests who are successfully navigating early sobriety. It won't be easy, but you can do this.
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Now displaying: January, 2016
Jan 25, 2016

Colin shares how he has made it to 16 days of sobriety.

I'd like to give a special thanks to Maureen for helping me compile this great list of songs about recovery and getting sober. There are some great artists putting recovery on the map.

 

  1.  “Hate Me” - Blue October.  What alcoholic cannot relate to these lyrics?  I know I’ve felt this so many times.  When we disappoint our loved ones after a relapse or crisis.  It would be so much easier if they would just hate me and go away.  The voice of his mother can be heard at the beginning on his answering system.  She’s calling to check on him and see if he’s taken his medications. He’s got 90-days sober and wants to thank her.  Good song.
  1.  “You’re Not My God” - Keith Urban.  “You’re not my God and you’re not my friend.  You’re not the one I will walk with in the end”. I view this as a goodbye letter to alcohol and drugs.  It’s got a great message.  Urban is public with his recovery as well.
  1.  “That’s Why I’m Here” - Kenny Chesney.  This is a great song and it’s one man’s  take on his first AA meeting.  It gives the impression I know I’ve felt of wanting what other people had.  “They started talkin’ about steps you take. Mistakes you make and the hearts that we break”.  There are a lot of 12-step references and I found it so relatable.  In the beginning he says “Well I ain’t had nothin’ to drink. I knew that’s probably what you’d think”.  I know this hit a chord with me as people would often if I really was sober.
  1.  Macklemore has a bunch of good songs.  “Fallin’” has lyrics, “Another drink at the bar but I’m not drunk enough..”. He goes on to describe his downward spiral in pretty good detail.
  1. “Otherside” is a great song about relapse and how low that can make you feel.  He describes going back to a meeting after a relapse and a fan tells him how much he’s inspired her with her own recovery.  He can’t even look at her as he is so ashamed and feels like a “fake”. It’s a great song for starting all over.  Remember, relapse is part of recovery and I know I’ve beaten myself up so bad in the past.
  1.  “Inhale Deep” has an inspiring message about “...every struggle in life, is there to teach you a lesson...”.  “But if you make the end You will never know the beauty of being able to stand up again”.  Very powerful lyrics.
  1.  He has a new song for his next album entitled “Kevin”.  He teams up with Leon Bridges and this song talks about the epidemic of doctors prescribing medications and people getting addicted.  You can’t buy the single yet but I strongly recommend you watch the YouTube clip of the two of them performing it at an awards show this fall.  Leon Bridges is like a throw-back to Sam Cooke and says, “Doctor please, give me a dose of the American Dream.  Put down the pen and look in my eyes...we’re overprescribed”.  Great song.
  1.  “Not An Addict” - K’s Choice.  This song is clearly about heroin addiction and the denial of being an addict. The song says “We’re so creative, so much more.  We’re High but on the floor”.  “It’s not a habit, it’s cool.  I feel alive”.  It’s like they are trying to tell themselves that they can “stop anytime I want to” trying to justify their use.  Old 90s song but I think it’s powerful.
  1.  “Recover” - Natasha Bedingfield.  This is a great song and it is so positive.  She stresses “It’s now what we’ve done but, how far we’ve come”.  The message is: WE WILL RECOVER, the worst is over, now.

10 “God of Wine” - Third Eye Blind.  “She takes a drink and then she waits.  The alcohol it permeates.  And soon the cells give way. And cancel out the day”.  Wow, this is so true for me, that feeling that I was wasting my life away when drinking.  It also speaks of the frustration of “Where do we begin?” when new to recovery.

  1.  “The A-Team” - Ed Sheeran penned this one about a drug-addicted girl he met on the streets of London.  He befriended her and describes her as a “cool girl, with no phone”.  It sends the message of what lengths this girl goes to for her habit.
  1.  Sound City (Dave Grohl collaboration with Stevie Nicks and some other artists) “You Can’t Fix This” . It’s about dancing with the “devil” (addiction).  I know Stevie Nicks is vocal about her recovery.
  1. “One Day At A Time” - Joe Walsh
  2. “One Day At a Time” Yusaf Islam (the former Cat Stevens
  1. “Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace” - Sinead O’Connor.  I just like this song as it is the Third Step Prayer.  Its kind of somber though but pretty.
  1.  “Losing My Way” - Justin Timberlake.  “I used to be the man in my hometown until I started to lose my way”.  It spells out his downward spiral into addiction.
  1. “Sober” - Pink
  1.  “Amazing” - Aerosmith.  I think we’ve all known this band has long been in recovery.  Steven hit a rough patch in 2006 with painkillers after surgery but checked back into rehab and has since been okay.  This song is great as it tells how his life is “amazing” post recovery.  How inspiring for all of us struggling!
  1.  “Leave The Light On”  Beth Hart.  She says, “I want to love. I want to live. I don’t know much about it.  I never did. Seventeen and I’m all messed up inside.  I cut myself just to feel alive”.  Wow, what pain is she in....who cannot relate?  Addiction sucks!
  1.  "Semi-Charmed Life” - Third Eye Blind (your band) “Doing crystal meth with lift you up until you break”.  “We tripped on the edge of wanting  to feel alive and now I’m struggling to stay alive!

Be sure to join the Recovery Elevator Private Accountability Facebook Group.

Be sure to expand your recovery network in and Seattle on February 27th and San Francisco on March 5th. Dates for NYC, San Francisco, Denver Costa Rica and Norway are coming soon.

This episode was brought to you by Sober Nation.

Jan 18, 2016

James with 8 days of sobriety shares why he wants to quit.

There was a period of time from around 2004-2014 where I could not look at myself in the mirror. I didn't want to admit it, but I was disgusted with myself. I didn't recognize the person standing there and I didn't know what to do about it. I thought the problem was others, I thought the problem was stress, I thought the problem was anxiety and depression. I definitely wasn't ready to examine the problem could possibly be my ally alcohol. No way. Not at all. That couldn't be the problem. Nope.

It wasn't until I reached emotional sobriety in 2014 when I started to catch glimpses of the real Paul Churchill in the mirror. It didn't happen day one of sobriety. It didn't happen day 30. But like the seasons change, I was eventually able to look myself in the mirror without total disgust. Fast forward to January 18th, 2016. I embrace that man in the mirror. We challenge each other to be better. To make others better and that man in the mirror is my best friend. Here is the poem a football coach read to us in High School.

 

The Guy in the Glass

by Dale Wimbrow, (c) 1934

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,

And the world makes you King for a day,

Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,

And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn't your Father, or Mother, or Wife,

Who judgement upon you must pass.

The feller whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He's the feller to please, never mind all the rest,

For he's with you clear up to the end,

And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test

If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,

And think you're a wonderful guy,

But the man in the glass says you're only a bum

If you can't look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,

And get pats on the back as you pass,

But your final reward will be heartaches and tears

If you've cheated the guy in the glass.

Dale Wimbrow 1895-1954

"You might be an alcoholic if"

 

-your spring cleaning meant clearing out the alcohol hiding spots, nooks and crannies to make room for the new ones -Brandy

 

-you know more about what's happening in your bartender's life, than in your best friend's. -Sarje

 

-as the sun rises over the curb, you notice you have one shoe on and aren't sure if you lost a shoe or found one. -Frank

 

-you do your recycling at 2am in the morning so no one will see you. -Claudia

 

-you don't remember leaving a bar with a guy, wake up at 2am and find a note from a guy you swear you've never met. You text him. You confirm your worst fear. Then start drinking again. -Kelly E.

 

"If you can't wait to get home from the corner store, so you start drinking your beer while driving home in the car...you might be an alcoholic." -Alvin

 

 

Be sure to join the Recovery Elevator Private Accountability Facebook Group.

Be sure to expand your recovery network in Bozeman and Seattle. Dates for NYC, San Francisco, Denver Costa Rica and Norway are coming soon.

This episode was brought to you by Sober Nation.

Jan 11, 2016

An article written by the Alaksa Dispatch News titles "Americas are drinking themselves to death at record rates"  was recently posted in the Recovery Elevator Private Accountability Group on facebook and I was blown away by what I read.

Here are some of the bullets that I want to point out from the article.

Facts about the booze: 
  • Last year more than 30,700 Americans died from alcohol-induced causes
  • In 2014 there were 9.6 deaths from these alcohol-induced causes per 100,000 people, an increase of 37% since 2002.
  • in 2014 28,647 people died of heroin and prescription drug overdoses which is less than the 30,700 from alcohol.
  • The top 10% of American adults consume the lions share of alcohol in this country with close to 74 drinks on average.
  • Line between "moderate use” and “Dangerous use”can be a thin one.
  • A recent study quantified the rise of death associated with the use of a variety of common recreational drugs and they found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroine and cocaine.

 

Meetup! Bozeman in January 23rd and Seattle February 27th 2016

This is huge Recovery Elevator. The first Recovery Elevator meetup will be taking place in Seattle on Saturday February 27th, 2016. Details to come. Email info@recoveryelevator.com for more info on this meetup.

You might be an alcoholic if:

- you feel like you have to hide it from anybody at any time. Bill - Interviewee

-you swish mouthwash to freshen your breath and you notice you cannot taste or feel it... it's like swishing water  -Margaret

-at 476 days you are still finding empty beer cans in the garage, workshop, musical equipment cases etc because you were hiding so many empties thinking that you were fooling everyone about how much you were actually drinking. -James P

-you carry the tiny wine bottles in your purse and one falls out when you go to pay for your mani pedi at the nail salon.  -Larecia

-you live in a really small tourist town with 3 liquor stores within walking distance and you go in the liquor store to buy your usual, and the clerk offers you the "locals" (read frequent buyer) discount! -Tyrrell

You find a half-empty flask of flavored vodka that you hid under the sink months ago and actually contemplate drinking it, even though you just hit one week sober. -Me

 

This podcast was brought to you by Sober Nation.

Jan 4, 2016

Are New Years resolutions really a good thing? In my opinion, if there is anything in life really worth changing, then waiting till a certain day to make that change seems silly to me. However, if the spirit of the New Year is to create goals and accountability, then I am all for it.

My new years resolution is to quit the gym. I know that sounds really strange but I have gotten way to comfortable with my routine at the gym to the point where I am in the center of my comfort zone circle. Last night I cancelled my gym membership and will be making an effort to to outdoor activities with my dog and use my own body weight for resistance. I'll let you know how it goes.

 

Here is an outline of what is discussed in today

 

1)  For people thinking of making “stop drinking” a new years resolution:

 

Resolutions are good and its a great time to start something new.   However, alcoholics are experts at making promises (even to ourselves) and then letting ourselves down.

There are thousands of self help books on reaching goals (i.e. tony robbins) but a true alcohol problem requires more than will power and knowledge.

I think we have all made the resolution to stop drinking on new years day - and that is good! But when dealing with addiction, the day doesn’t have much power than the other 364 days a year if we don’t take a few steps to get us on the path to sobriety.

If this is you, I encourage you to save yourself a lot of grief and supplement this resolution with some action such as: attending a meeting (maybe your resolution includes attending at least one meeting a week for a year), telling someone close to you, and maybe even join our private Facebook accountability page and post to the group introducing yourself.  Its a lot easier to quit drinking when you are part of a community that cares about you.

2) For people well on their way in sobriety that are making new resolutions:

We are experts at making promises and failing.  We are also experts and trying to do things our own way, only to find ourselves humbled as we constantly "bang our head on a wall” hoping the outcome will somehow “be different this time.”   I almost want to save myself (and all of you) the agony of defeat by just skipping resolutions this year.   However, not trying something is way worse than not trying and failing!    What if we tried something and we actually succeeded!

Sobriety can be so fragile in the beginning.  Maybe skipping resolutions and just “working your program” is the right move.  Without sobriety nothing else in life really matters.

However, if you are at a point in your recovery where your program is working and you still have some energy to spare.  Improving other areas of your life can actually strengthen your sobriety.

The key then, is to skip the standard mode of operation (make a big promise and use willpower to try and fulfill it) and instead use some of the tools we have learned in recovery to help turbo charge our progress.

A few ideas:

 

What tools  in your “recovery portfolio” can help you achieve your goals.

Is the resolution necessary and realistic?

Example:  quit all sugar vs quit processed sugar.   Necessary because regulating or moderating has produced nothing but failure.

Is it measurable:

Lose weight vs, loose 5 lbs every 3 months for a total of 20 pounds in the year.

Can you vision yourself and what it will be like when you achieve the resolution?

How good will you feel!  Weight loss and how you will look?  Pride from being successful.

What are you doing to hold yourself accountable?

Telling others, scheduled review times, public posting?

Have you laid out the steps necessary to get there?

i.e.  learn to fly…. what steps does that take?

This is all good and can really improve our health, happiness and thus sobriety.  One thing is for sure, achieving lofty goals were probably not possible when we were drinking!  Its okay, its more than okay - its so powerful to do awesome things in sobriety!   New years is a good time to expand upon our sobriety by really living.   Improving our lives through by achieving resolutions another way we can express gratitude for our sobriety.

 

You might be an alcoholic if:

  • You might be an alcoholic if you get arrested for trying to pump your own gas at a closed gas station while your friend is taking a leak outside your car. -Rob
  • You might be an alcoholic if you teach your kids how to play beer pong, but you are the only one that drinks every cup. -Rob
  • You might be an alcoholic if you go on vacation in the first thing you do is locate the nearest liquor store. -Chris H
  • You might be an alcoholic if you have to replace your debit card once every few weeks, because you black out and lose it on a regular basis. -Amber O.
  • You might be an alcoholic if you have to buy a replacement bottle of wine for special occasions because you drink it before the event. -James M
  • You might be an alcoholic if you are upset by facebook ads relating to alcohol. -Meg
  • You might be an alcoholic if the remedy (alcohol) has become the ailment. -Dee M.

 

This is huge Recovery Elevator. The first Recovery Elevator meetup will be taking place in Seattle on Saturday February 27th, 2016. Details to come. Email info@recoveryelevator.com for more info on this meetup.

 

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