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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: October, 2016
Oct 31, 2016

 Zach has been sober for 3.5 years... This is his story…

Support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link:
www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/
This episode was brought to you by Cafe RE!

SHOW NOTES

"You gotta get through it to get to it..." Open your eyes and start to notice those around you. Often, you'll find others who don't drink. Talk to them, discover why they don't drink... Some of these people quit for religious reasons, some for health, and others for personal reasons. Some are able to just quit on the spot, others not so much. Yeah, not all of us are so lucky to just suddenly decide to quit drinking... These individuals who do own up to their problems and the fortunes in their life. They take ownership. There are tons of studies highlighting different stats on sobriety (check out the links in the show notes below).

[ 10:53 ] Paul introduces Zach.

Zach has twin boys and has been sober for 3.5 years, his last drink was March 9th (4 years ago) at about 3am. Zach is 27, and born and raised in a small city just North of the Atlanta area. He has been married for two years. By day Zach is a marketer and by night he is a self-proclaimed beat-boxer for his kids.

[ 13:28 ] Talk to us about your Elevator. What led up to you quitting drinking?

"I quit 1,000 times in my own head... It's a revolving circle." Zach started drinking when he was about 12 years old, when he had about 3 Budweisers and remembered waking up in the pool. "I remember at that point wanting to make my life all about drinking." Zach continued to drink all through high school... Zach got expelled from school for the last half of his senior year due to drinking. "That's kind of where I kick-started my 'drinking career'." Zach was 19 when he got his second arrest due to drinking and had to spend 30 days in jail. This was the first time when Zach thought, "Ok, this is me, this is alcohol."

[ 18:25 ] What were your drinking habits like?

The second Zach got out of jail he found a Bud Ice in a friend's fridge and was at the bar that night, still underage. Zach usually took Mondays and Tuesdays off... In his early 20s it shifted to needing a drink to feel calm. "I started buying airplane bottles of rum. I was living with my girlfriend at the time and she knew I drank often, but I would drink all day long when she was gone and then pop a beer open when she came home in the evening, acting like it was my first drink."

[ 21:31 ] Did you ever try to moderate? 

"I'd kick liquor away and just focus on beer. I'd binge drink real hard on the weekends. Right at the end of 22 I started diving into other substances... I got into meth and then I didn't have to drink. Once I made that leap I felt really defeated." Zach's own father introduced him to meth. (Unfortunately, his dad is still walking that story.) Thankfully, Zach didn't get addicted to meth and was able to back off of that substance, which let the drinking pick back up.

[ 25:02 ] Alcohol is an extremely addictive substance. How do you feel about that?

"I completely agree. It was like relearning to walk and talk (on choosing sobriety). Everything used to spike my interest in drinking... It's so highly addictive."

[ 26:36 ] Zach talks about his father and living with a family of addictive patterns.

[ 28:56 ] How did you do it? Talk to us about how you got sober.

"It was just an ordinary night... I got home at about 3am. I had to crawl through the window because I couldn't find my keys. I slept in 'til about 10am and awoke to missed calls from my girlfriend..." Zach had missed her Crossfit competition, something that was extremely important to her. "It was like the 10th time I had missed something. She was broken... Mentally, I couldn't tell another lie. I was exhausted." When she came home later Zach broke down and asked for help.

Those first few months were tough. "I was trying to fit in, I was not answering any phone calls. I was rationalizing it... I was white-knuckling it for about 2 mos. I was just a dry drunk..." Zach ended up at an AA meeting on his way to the liquor store... He was blown away by the diversity of the room and yet everyone was telling 'his' story. Zach discovered his first glance of hope at this AA meeting. "You can have a better lifestyle, a better life."

[ 35:23 ] Zach talks about getting a sponsor and working his program. Buddy, from RE #67, became Zach's sponsor. 

[ 37:53 ] How do you stay sober today?

"I try to get up earlier than my kids so I can read... If I meet with Buddy we go through the step work, the stories or just kick it and drink some coffee... I try to hit 3 meetings a week, it allows me to share. It helps me hold myself accountable. I'm involved in a non-profit, Orphan Aid Liberia. Humility has been a big word in my recovery... Now, I can actually look outward and give back."

 

[ 41:23 ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? "Blue light. Anything to do with a cop."
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? "Woke up one morning, my head was hurting so bad and I couldn't find a bottle opener to open a Corona, so I smashed the bottle on the counter to get a drink."
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? "To do daily amends, doing the next right thing day after day and just trying to give back."
  4. What's your favorite resource in recovery? "Besides Buddy, is having AA to fellowship with."
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? "Let go or get dragged."
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? "There's nothing quite like the experience of sobriety... Sobriety has given me so much more than I ever thought. You deserve this. You deserve to live whatever life you want to."

“You Might be an Alcoholic If…”

 "Your job gets in the way of your drinking." 

 

Resources mentioned in RE 89:

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

Connect with Cafe RE

  • For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel.
  • First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Recovery & Rehab Links:

Join Recovery Elevator for a Recovery Retreat Summer Camp Style in Bozeman, MT! Stay tuned... More information to come!

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

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

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

Oct 24, 2016

Val has been sober for 6 months... This is her story…

Support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link:
www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/
This episode was brought to you by Cafe RE!

SHOW NOTES

If you drink enough alcohol over time our brains will change due to the response to alcohol. Some of the damage is irreversible, thus proving that you can pick up right where you left off (upon relapse). This is because there is still a dopamine hypersensitivity. Relapse is part of Paul's story… After being sober for 2.5 years, Paul got another 8mos. of drinking under his belt, picking up right where he left off. There was no ramp-up phase because Paul's brain is hyper-sensitive to alcohol. Good news! Even though in the brain there is this environment where dopamine hyper-sensitivity still exists, if you don’t drink then it’s not activated. This change is irreversible, but, if you don’t drink then it doesn’t react… Check out RE 87 for more detailed info on dopamine and our crazy brains.

 

[ 06:34 ] Paul introduces Val.

Val took her last drink on April 8th, 2016, just about 6 months ago. She is 44, married, and has 3 kids and one grandchild. She is originally from Billings, MT and has lived in the Big Sky area for 20 years. She loves to bake, knit, garden, camp, hike and just be outside.

[ 09:25 ] Talk to us about your Elevator. When did you hit bottom?

“Well, I’ve hit many bottoms in my life, but I finally reached that point where I knew I needed to change or else I was going to lose everything.” This was not Val’s first attempt at quitting drinking. She first tried to quit in her mid-20s when she decided to start having kids. Val quit drinking for 8 years, but was miserable. After owning a restaurant and dealing with the stress of that, Val broke down and started drinking again… After 8 years of sobriety! “That’s just how I dealt with stress. (Drinking) was the only way I knew how."

[ 11:03 ] What is a dry drunk?

“I was not drinking, but my mind was still crazy. I was still trying to control everything around me, I didn’t understand life and I always felt that life was out to get me, that I was the victim.” Val explains her unhappiness as afraid of people, not being comfortable in her own skin, not having a higher power and trying to do everything herself… Now, Val is asking for help. “Before, I felt that I was a failure if I had to ask for help. My expectations that I held were so high and I could never meet them.” 

[ 12:57 ] How much did you drink? Talk to us about your drinking habits.

Val was drinking at least a bottle of wine a night, and more like two bottles a night. “Because I was drinking wine, I thought it was not a big deal, that it wasn’t a problem.” Val tried every rule in the book: just on the weekends, or only in the evening... “When I started drinking during the day, that’s when I started having oh-shit moments.” Val always used the stress of work to qualify needing a drink.

[ 14:30 ] Val talks about losing her restaurant and the feelings of failure and stress that accompanied the experience.

[ 15:48 ] How did you do it? Walk us through the first day, the first week.

“The first day was a morning that I was so sick that I couldn’t go to work. I was so sick, sicker than I had ever been. It was a Tuesday night, and I was just sitting at home watching Netflix.” Val was watching Amy (the Amy Winehouse documentary) and discovered that Amy had died from alcohol poisoning… Val had a huge wakeup moment, realizing that the same thing could easily happen to her. Val white-knuckled it for about 30 days before she started drinking again. After connecting with Paul on a webinar, she accepted help and went to her first AA meeting.

[ 18:59 ] Tell us about your program.

“I read in the Big Book everyday if I can, usually before bed. I know a lot of people try to start their day with a reading, but I have a kid to get ready…” Val goes to her home group meeting every week, has a service position, meets with her sponsor every week and she is on a committee. Val chooses to stay involved.

[ 19:49 ] Do you feel more confident with 6mos. of sobriety?

We are all shaky when we step onto new foundations. “It is getting better, but I know I have work to do. I need to keep working on my program. I’m on the 4th step right now… Writing stuff out has been very helpful.” Val shares one of her resentments which is part of the 4th step, taking responsibility for her actions, emotions and experiences. “You need to forgive yourself in order to let the anger out… It feels awesome. I look at the world in a different way.”

[ 24:39 ] What have you learned about yourself through sobriety?

“I’ve been very dishonest with myself throughout life and I don’t want to be that way anymore. I just want to be who I am… I always felt that nobody would want to know the real me, but that’s not true, that’s the disease speaking.”

[ 25:46 ] What are your thoughts on relapse?

“Well, I’m only a drink away from relapse. It can happen so easily. I have to be sure to always call my sponsor if I have that urge to drink. I’m not hiding anymore… I’m interacting and asking for help when I need it.”

[ 26:24 ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? “Not having a memory… Blacking out and not remembering what I did.”
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “That morning I woke up so sick that I couldn’t go to work.”
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? “Continue working my program, make the relationship with my higher power stronger (accepting that I have a higher power) and I also think that I need to start worrying about what I think about myself instead of worrying about what others think.”
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “You can’t fix it right away, it’s going to take awhile.”
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “Just do it. Just get yourself to a meeting.”

“You Might be an Alcoholic If…”

“You pass out before the Amy Winehouse movie is over.”

Paul’s Life Hack:

Play the long game…

 

Resources mentioned in RE 88:

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

Connect with Cafe RE

  • For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel.
  • First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Sobriety Tracker

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

The Compound Effect 

 

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

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

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

Oct 17, 2016

Kenny has been sober for 1 & 1/2 years... This is his tale...

Support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link:
www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/
This episode was brought to you by Cafe RE and get your daily AA email here!

 

SHOW NOTES

Why did alcohol stop working for me? (***Spoiler Alert*** If it still works for you, IT WILL STOP working.) I needed more and more of it to fill the same effects, a.k.a. the pleasure… We know that alcohol increases cravings in the brain by releasing dopamine… But, dopamine is actually the LEARNING chemical in the brain. Thus, it teaches us where to find pleasure… After we have found pleasure, i.e. tipping a bottle back over and over again, the body will eventually turn down alcohol to protect itself. Our brain is a beautiful system that has kept us alive for millions of years… How does it do this? The brain produces another chemical, which turns down the stimulation. I’ve learned that I have enhanced dopamine receptors. Now, if we lived in the age of saber-toothed tigers and always having to fight for our food, this would have kept me alive, however, not now and no longer! Over time, I needed more and more alcohol to get to the point of stimulation, of pleasure, I even needed it just to feel normal… This is an evolutionary mechanism built inside of us. However, the pleasure that we should be seeking is food, water, shelter, and Cinnamon Pop-Tarts! Not alcohol!!!

[ 06:18 ] Paul Introduces Kenny.

Kenny has been sober since April 3rd, 2015, about one and a half years. Kenny is 27 and grew up in a small farm town in California. He spent some time in Riverside, CA before moving to Montana to attend grad school. He is a PhD student, studying statistics. Kenny loves to work on his truck, build bikes and computers and wander around in nature, getting lost in the wilderness.

[ 07:30 ] Talk to us about your Elevator. What led up to your desire to stop drinking?

“It was a long, slow descent with a lot of bumps towards the bottom.” Kenny’s roommates started to notice and comment on his drinking habits. “Last March I missed classes because I was too drunk to get to class, this had never happened before… I had a BIG eye-opening experience and realized that this wasn’t just about me. I had to take responsibility.”

[ 10:02 ] How much did you drink? Did you ever try to put rules in place?

“It started when I was 21… I realized that it kind of helped me get my Math homework done. I’d have a gin and tonic or two, nightly or whenever I needed to get stuff done and then from there I was drinking like half a ⅕ of brandy in one afternoon.” This gradually progressed to being hungover or still drunk the next morning. Eventually Kenny was blacking out and waking up on a strange couch… “I came up with some schemes. I was supposed to call my best friend to stay accountable, which just led me to lying to her about how much I was drinking, which made me feel worse. My next scheme was that I got a little notebook, thinking that I could be accountable to myself and do it on my own…” This turned into Kenny tearing himself down and feeling guilty.

[ 15:33 ] Kenny talks more about his Elevator...

“I started talking to my new roommate who’s father had turned his life around after connecting with AA. She suggested that I give him a call, which I did. He completely understood the craving and how when I drank it was just never enough…”

[ 17:05 ] Kenny discusses “that feeling in your head.”

[ 18:08 ] What was it like when you quit drinking?

Kenny checked out a few AA meetings after talking to his roommate’s Dad… It took a couple times before he was ready to change his life. Sometime around April 3rd, 2015, there was a party… Kenny went to it having decided that he would try to drink just one drink and then go home. Kenny nursed that one drink for 1 ½ hours and was so proud that he took the opportunity to do shots with a buddy, waking up the next morning on a couch and not remembering anything from the night before… That next morning Kenny decided to give AA a shot.

[ 21:15 ] Kenny talks about his first experience at an AA meeting...

[ 22:00 ] Walk us through a typical day and how you stay sober.

“I usually get up at 4:00 or 4:30 am, I realized I’m a morning person! I make a nice big breakfast, take a shower and then head to school. I ride my bike and get to see the sun come up… In the evenings I try to meditate for 15 minutes or so and play my guitar.” Kenny has been working on mindfulness, trying to clear and calm his mind, becoming more aware of what’s going on inside his body. “I just close my eyes and focus my breath, just acknowledging what kind of breath I’m taking, just trying to pay attention to what’s going on inside.”

 

[ 35:17 ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? “When I was visiting my mom for Christmas and I got a call from my housemates saying that they couldn’t put up with my drinking any longer and that I needed to find a new place…”
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “That morning that I realized I was still drunk and didn’t make it to class, not only letting myself down but other students as well…”
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? “Keep doing what I’ve been doing, fitting in a meeting or two on the weekends and staying involved…”
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “Just don’t drink.”
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “Go connect with someone. Find someone else who has struggled with drinking and get to know them.”

 

“You Might be an Alcoholic If…”

“You’ve almost fallen in a campfire and didn’t know about it until the next morning when your friends tell you about it!”

Paul’s Life Hack:

Making decisions whether big or small is tough, so just eliminate a lot of the small decisions… Examples of stressful small decisions: “Should I drink tonight?” “How many drinks?” “What liquor store do I go to now?” “How do I sneak booze into the movie theater?” “How do I control my f****** drinking?” I no longer have to struggle over these small decisions because “I DON’T DRINK.” Make this one decision and the others are no longer relevant.

 

Resources mentioned in RE 87:

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

Connect with Cafe RE

  • For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel.
  • First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Sobriety Tracker

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

Dr. Wolfram Schultz 

Dr. Daniel J. Levitin

Pop-Tarts Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Toaster Pastries

 

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

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

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

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

Oct 10, 2016

Jenny has been sober for 13 months... This is her tale...

Resources mentioned in RE 86:

Connect with Cafe RE

  • For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel.
  • First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Sobriety Tracker

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

 

SHOW NOTES

Ok, so you’re doing a pretty good job of following your rules, your systems, or you're experimenting with sobriety… Have you ever said the words “I got this”? "I would say these words over and over again while putting these rules, systems, games, etc. in place when trying to get sober on my own…" Paul was sober for over 2 years when those mean little words came back, “You know what Paul, we got this… We’re totally good.” And, DAMN IT! After two years of sobriety, we drank (me and Gary)... “We didn’t got this…” If you ever catch yourself saying, “Hey, you got this…” be very cognizant, very aware, and very, very cautious... "I got this," the three most dangerous words an alcoholic can say.

[ 05:33 ] Paul Introduces Jenny.

Jenny has been sober for just over a year, since August 25th, 2015. “My life is better than it was when I was drinking.” Jenny grew up in Helena, MT and currently lives in Bozeman, MT. She is married to an amazing man and has 4 kids, ages 4-14. She loves to run, workout and go to the gym. “If it involves exercise, I love to do it!”

[ 06:59 ] Jenny speaks about her drinking history.

The alcoholic tendency has always been there for Jenny… “I don’t think that ever in my life I had just one drink. It was always like game-on. In High School I was “the party girl.” Jenny knew she had to stop before she hit the absolute bottom.

[ 10:46 ] What was it like drinking and taking care of 4 kids? (Paul openly admits that he could barely take care of Ben, the Standard Poodle, when he was drinking…)

“When the drinking started to escalate, it was sort of the perfect storm. My husband is a firefighter and started working 24-hr. shifts… Things really started to get out of control. When I was drinking, I felt like I was the best mom in the world… But, I was really checked out. I was selfish. In the back of my mind I was always concerned with refilling my glass.” Saying those words, “Yes, I am an alcoholic,” was the scariest thing Jenny has ever said… "Admitting that I didn’t have all of my shit together…”

[ 14:06 ] Jenny talks about how admitting “I am an alcoholic” is liberating.

“That dirty little secret I had been carrying around... I had been doing all of these things to convince myself that I didn’t have a problem. I was volunteering, doing insane workouts at 5am (sometimes still drunk)... After, a lot of moms came to me and said, “Hey, I think I have the same problem.”

[ 16:43 ] Talk to me about Run for Recovery.

Run for Recovery is a run supporting Alive Again Life Recovery Mission which exists for the purpose of creating a safe Christian environment for individuals of all ages to fellowship, learn and heal from addiction and addiction-related effects. Running and exercising has helped Jenny so much through this process (choosing sobriety).

[ 18:39 ] How did you do it? What was Day 1 like?

“I just did it. I just quit. I went moment by moment, minute by minute. I binge listened to Recovery Elevator. After about a week I got into my crying phase. I was ashamed. I beat myself up over poor choices and poor parenting…”

[ 20:20 ] What other methods besides running do you use?

“Reading a lot, educating myself, and sometimes just forcing myself to sit still. Forcing myself to feel those feelings.” Jenny has found that her athletic performance has increased since being sober. “I feel one million times better than when I was drinking.” Working out is definitely an outlet for Jenny. “It’s definitely better than vodka.”

[ 29:06 ] What’s on your bucket-list?

“Half marathons, Spartan racing, keep volunteering, discover more about myself, and to be a little kinder to myself…”

[ 30:02 ] What have you learned about yourself?

“I’m a type-A, over-achieving, control freak, and working on being a little nicer to myself… We need to be nice to ourselves. We need to talk to ourselves like we talk to a friend. We really beat ourselves up.” Jenny has learned about what triggers her and how to manage cravings (they do come). She finds other things to do, like playing with her kids, going for a run, or just sitting with the craving and letting it pass.

 

[ 35:17 ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?  “4 or 5 months before I quit drinking, my husband and I went to Las Vegas. My husband went to bed and I went to the "gift shop," which just meant that I went drinking. I couldn't get the key to work to get back into the room and I ended up passing out just outside of our bedroom. My husband found me at 3am.”
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “That panicky feeling that would come when there were only a couple of drinks left in the vodka bottle, and over-thinking my kids activities because it was going to affect my ability to drink.”
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? “Continue to volunteer and be of service. Get more involved with RE and really staying accountable.”
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Cafe RE, the Bubble Hour, going to the gym, getting out of my own head, staying in the moment…”
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “You can do anything, you just can’t do everything.”
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “Set yourself up for success. Cut yourself some slack. Make sure you have a plan.”
  7. “You might be an alcoholic if you go to the liquor store and browse around, ask some questions, yet know full well that you’re going to go to the vodka section and buy something from the bottom shelf.”

 

Paul’s Life Hack:

Take your ball and go home. You don’t have to put yourself in precarious situations. You don’t have to drink just to appease others. Just take your cell phone and go home. Be kind to yourself. Take your ball and go home. Take your beach toys, your camper, your R.V., your whatever… Take it and go home.

 

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

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

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

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

Oct 3, 2016

John has been sober for 5 years... This is his story...

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE

  • For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel.
  • First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Sobriety Tracker

AA

Recovery Elevator Episode #1: Do You Have a Drinking Problem

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

 

SHOW NOTES

“In Episode 1 of RE, we (the human Paul & the dog Ben) do a test to determine if I am an alcoholic. The results… Blatantly clear. Yes, I am an alcoholic.” Paul found it extremely difficult to stop drinking after having just one drink. For about a decade, he lived in the pickle of “one drink was too much and 1,000 drinks was just not enough.” How the hell do you navigate that? Well, the answer is definitely, “Don’t drink.” Now, at Episode 85, Paul has an even better test to determine if you’ve got a drinking problem.

Preliminary steps before taking this self-assessment:

  1. Make sure you are hydrated. Drink lots of water (if you are already drinking a beer during this portion, then yes, you too are an alcoholic).
  2. Stretch out. Loosen up. Maybe even do some burpees!
  3. Make sure you’ve got enough lead in your pencil and ink in your pen!
  4. Take some deep breaths.

Paul’s Self-Assessment Test:

(***This is going to be the new metric moving forward, I guarantee it! No need to go spend a ton of money on any other tests...This assessment is free and accurate.***)

  1. Have you ever wondered, “Do I have a drinking problem?” YES or NO

***FEEL FREE TO PRESS PAUSE, GRAB A GLASS OF WATER, SHARPEN YOUR PENCIL, ETC., AS THIS IS THE HALF WAY POINT OF THE SELF ASSESSMENT TEST***

  1. Have you ever asked yourself, “Would my life be better without alcohol?” YES or NO

CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have just finished the Recovery Elevator self-assessment!

Answer Key: Listen to Paul on RE 85 @ [ 5:11 ] 

"Quitting drinking isn’t easy, but my life is exponentially better since I’ve quit drinking." In the previous 84 podcasts, there's a pretty good roadmap already laid out for you… Not only will your life improve (yes, there will be speed bumps), but the lives of those around you will improve too! In all honesty, these self-assessment tests are this simple. It’s not easy, but it’s better.

 

[ 10:25 ] Paul Introduces John.

John was born and raised and lives in Wichita, Kansas. He has a 3-year old son. He enjoys working on his car, experimenting with cooking, and comic books… He is engaged to be married to a woman who is also in the program (AA). John’s last drink was August 28th, 2011…

John kept trying to do it (quit drinking) on his own, but time and time again, it just didn’t happen! After telling himself, “I’m just going to have two beers..." 3 or 4 beers, a few mixed drinks, sake for the whole table (they were going to a bar after dinner) and a $400 bar tab later… "I woke up on the floor in my undies, covered in puke (puke in the hallway, puke in the bathroom)... I just felt that someone was telling me to get help.” John realized he just couldn't do this alone.

[ 20:29 ] When did you decide to first quit drinking?

“I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I kept trying to do it myself, but I’d always find a “special” occasion to drink.” This is one of those things (choosing sobriety) where you actually have to do the work!

[ 22:19 ] “I think I got this.” John explains what this means for him...

To John, this phrase means that he’s letting his ego tell him how to run things. “I tried on my own without a program, guidance or a schedule and it just wouldn’t stick. Ever.” When John got his 2nd DUI, he knew something was up… John knew that if he drank again, he would get behind the wheel.

[ 24:15 ] Talk to us about Alcoholics Anonymous.

John was completely blown away by the spectrum of diverse people that made up his first AA meeting, which was quite contrary to what he “knew” AA was going to be!

[ 31:08 ] John discusses weight loss, cooking and what he does with all his booze-FREE time!

[ 32:59 ] What’s your favorite dance move?

Thanks Paul for getting in some humor! In his sobriety, John has really enjoyed running, but he does not prefer the “Running Man,” and claims that the “Robot” is more his style...

[ 35:48 ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? “I had the DUI 50-moped (the scooter I rode when I had my license suspended) and I had been drinking. I got on the moped… I just could not stop myself from drinking and driving.”
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “That day that I swore to myself that I’d only have 2 beers at the restaurant and ended up wondering, “How the hell did this happen?”
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? “Keep going to meetings, keep being thankful for my sobriety, keep asking for more sobriety, keep being honest with my sobriety, and keep reaching out to people.”
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? “Right now, it’s the podcasts. I can take them anywhere. I can listen to it and nobody even knows.” John listens to Recovery Elevator, SHAIR Podcast, and the Bubble Hour.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “Look for the similarities. We all want to stay sober.”
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “Just do it. You’re going to want to find a reason to not start, to give it one more day. Just do it. Just stop. Today. Right now. Just stop."

 

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

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