Info

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.
RSS Feed
Recovery Elevator | Stop Drinking, Start Recovering. | Alcohol, Addiction & Life in Sobriety
2017
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: 2017
Nov 20, 2017

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick

What is gratitude, and how can this help us get and stay sober? Service and Gratitude go hand in hand. 

Here’s Paul’s Holiday challenge:

Write 10 things you are grateful for 10 days in a row.  Be thankful for something you totally have taken for granted your entire life.  After 10 days when you have 100 items listed, review the list, and look for reoccurring themes.  Email your completed lists to Paul@recoveryelevator.com

Dan, with 66 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:10] Paul Introduces Dan.  I live a town called Guildford, about 30 minutes outside of London, I have 2 boys named Sebastian and Felix who are 4 and 7 years old, I live with my girlfriend, together we have 4 kids under the age of 9.  For fun I enjoy working out, going to the gym, swimming, and desperately trying to learn to play guitar.  I work in primary schools, and I deliver health and fitness workshops.

 

[15:58] Paul- 66 days ago, was this your first attempt at quitting drinking?

Dan- In all honesty, this is my very first attempt at stopping drinking.  One time 10 years ago, I quit drinking for January and February.  I don’t want to spend the money; I don’t want to feel crap.  I want to set the example for my children growing up. 

 

[23:00] Paul- Earlier you said you look at sobriety like a challenge, are you looking at this as an incredible opportunity?

Dan- Yeah, I am.  After reading Alan Carr’s book, and Annie Grace’s book, it just puts things in perspective.  You never used to have to have to have a bottle wine or beer to have fun, or enjoy yourself.  The way I sleep the past couple of months.  You feel so much better the way you start your day. 

 

[28:02] Paul-  What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

Dan-  At this point in time I really want to focus on my business, and my work.  I would really love to do something on YouTube, or something that is focused on the positive of giving up alcohol. 

 

 

[33:43] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Waking up on Christmas morning and clearing up the mess I made outside from getting sick on the way home on Christmas Eve. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  I had 1 beer after playing golf.  My cousin asked me if I wanted another, and that moment where I realized I was driving, and knew 1 more beer would put me over the limit.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I enjoy reading, and listening to podcasts.
  2. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Alcohol is shit, that’s it. 
  3. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  From day 1 start to focus on it as a challenge, and the benefits of it.  Don’t focus on what you are giving up.  Don’t focus on how hard anything is going to be.  Focus on the benefits of giving it up, and how it’s going to make your life better.
  4. You might be an alcoholic if... you drink for absolutely no reason whatsoever.  Not a celebration, not a sporting event, not a birth, not a wedding, if you sit there and drink at night watching crap TV, and you’re drinking a bottle of red wine.  You might need to have a little think.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

"This Naked Mind" - Annie Grace

Allen Carr's Easy Way

Sober Grid

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Opportunity to waive set up Fee

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Nov 13, 2017

Paul discusses reverse interventions.  They, “normal drinkers” don’t get it.  How can we expect normal drinkers to understand what we are going through?  What do you need to cover in a reverse intervention?  Let them know this isn’t easy for you.  Having the real conversation and being vulnerable.  Lay out your game plan.  Accountability is key.

Amy, with 11 years since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:40] Paul Introduces Amy.  I’m 54, a Midwestern housewife.  I have two grown sons, and husband of 34 years.  What I do for fun has changed quite a bit over the years.  I enjoy recovery, and spending time with my 4 dogs.

 

[23:35] Paul- You said when you finally discovered you had alcoholism, you started to recover.  What is your definition of alcoholism?

 

Amy-  My last drunk I ended up hospitalized.  I didn’t believe you could drink enough to kill yourself.  But I came real close.   My husband found me, and got me to the hospital, or I would have died from alcohol poisoning.  My doctor told me I had alcoholism.  They handed me a meeting list, and I immediately started going to 12 step meetings.  I finally felt like I landed on the planet I belonged in that I was seeking for 43 years. 

 

[27:02] Paul-  What did it feel like when you finally found your herd, you found your tribe?

 

Amy-  It so radically changed my life.  My husband calls me his second wife without the paperwork.  I didn’t interact with society.  I now seek out social situations.  I have more friends than I can handle.

 

[33:25] Paul-  Amy you mentioned something earlier you said “Give up the mind fight.”  Tell us more what it meant for you to give up the mind fight. 

 

Amy-  When I heard a man say two things.  I knew it was true.  I can drink; I can drink with the best of them.  I can’t say I can drink safely.  The other one I heard was once I take the first drink; I have no control over my decisions, or where it will take me next.

 

 

[43:33] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Driving my children and neighbor kids to Great America and home in a blackout.  It is over an hour on major highways from our home.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Second pregnancy, the day I brought him home, I wanted one glass of wine.  I got really drunk, and when I woke up, there was a newborn in the house.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  12 step meetings, personal relationships, and doing things like this out of my comfort zone.
  2. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Just try; cause you can always go back to hell.  Hell doesn’t close its door.
  3. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?  I don’t have a plan.  That’s one of the best things about sobriety. I wake up and go OKAY.
  4. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  The only thing I can say, is come join us.  It’s a wonderful thing.  Everything I was trying to get from alcohol I have gotten 10 fold in sobriety.  All is 10 times better in sobriety.
  5. You might be an alcoholic if... you wake up five years married thinking, “Did I really do that?”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Brenaim1@yahoo.com  (Amy’s email)

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Nov 6, 2017

Paul discusses Step One: “ We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.” from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. 

David, with 46 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:20] Paul Introduces David.  I’m a dad of 2 great boys aged 11, and 7.  We live in Atlanta.  I work at a software firm.  I have been there for quite some time.  I’m 42, and divorced.   For fun there is a lot of baseball, I help coach basketball.  Both my boys are in scouts.  I love to play and collect guitars.

 

 

[12:52] Paul- When did you realize that perhaps you didn’t drink normal?

David-  I have several memories of self-questioning my drinking habits going back a decade.  I have milestones in my life I questioned my drinking. 

 

[29:02] Paul- You are identifying yourself as a non-drinker.  Have you experienced a different case of the F-its like I have 3 years of sobriety, F-it, I might as well keep moving forward?

 

David-  I love this concept, I have not felt this feeling of you have come this far, you might as well keep going.  I feel like that day is going to come.  You have to be hopeful for the future.  I am doing this.  You have to balance that with healthy caution around relapse.  I can be proud, I can be hopeful, but I have to be cautious.

 

[34:28] Paul- I know from the retreat you met a lot of people who have the same life goal, how has that affected you moving forward?

 

David-  I described it when I started this journey.  I didn’t have any tools.  I had no institutional knowledge of what I was getting myself into.  It was through your podcast I was introduced to AA in a meaningful way.  What I learned from the retreat is that this is something where community helps.

 

 

[39:23] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? You can insert any viscous hangover here.  Missing a flight out of Vegas after a night of tearing it up.  Head throbbing, and having to rearrange flights and childcare back in Atlanta while my head was throbbing.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? When I figured out that the unit of measure was no longer 2 beers, it was a six-pack.  No longer 3 glasses of wine, it was the entire bottle. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? My number one internal dialogue is that I am no longer like that.  I am no longer that person.  It is almost a chant I give myself daily.  I’m plugging back in with my therapist.
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? While you’re working on your sobriety, your addiction is doing pushups.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Your litmus test is if you have you every asked yourself if you have a problem with alcohol, that is the test.  I know I did that hundreds of times over a decade.  Sick and tired of being sick and tired.  The management of chaos we all endure as we introduce chaos into our evening routine. 
  6. You might be an alcoholic if your favorite drink is “lots of it”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Alcoholics Anonymous- Big Book

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Oct 30, 2017

Anxiety as it relates to drinking is discussed.  Alcohol suppresses the nervous system.  It is a depressant.  If we depress the nerves for long periods through binge drinking, our body reacts once the alcohol is gone by releasing adrenaline to compensate.  This gives us severe anxiety in return.  Which totally unbearable, and creates a fear that grabs you right in the chest.

Aaron, with 16 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:12] Paul Introduces Aaron.  I’m 38; I live in Albuquerque NM, I work at a print shop.  I’m separated, I used to like to fish, and want to get back into that.  I like to be out in nature.  I have a miniature pincher named Packer. 

 

 

[13:29] Paul- How is it different this time?   Explain that feeling that something clicked.

 

Aaron-  My body was telling me with the anxiety and the insomnia.  It wasn’t fun anymore.  I was drinking miniatures while I was at work, and tried to hide all the time.  Tired of being tired.  I’m 38 years old, the party is over already.

 

[26:13] Paul- Talk about your experience with Opioids.

 

Aaron- I started off with the pills.  Hydrocodone etc.  Then I started doing oxy, and for a few years I was doing that.  I was going through withdrawals because I couldn’t get them.  I started going to the clinic and got on methadone. 

 

[30:28] Paul- 16 days ago you were sick and tired of being sick and tired.  What happened, and how did you do it?

 

Aaron- I started downloading and listening to podcasts.  I was trying to figure out what this was, and how to stop.  I jumped into it with both feet.   I went through the tough first few days of detox.  I stopped doing things that were triggering me.

 

[37:00] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Waking up in a Virginia jail, and couldn’t bond out because I was considered a flight risk. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? The time I was in San Diego and hit that show and ended up in jail in another state.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? I’m going to hit the podcast circuit.  I’m going to create a program that will work for me. 

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Stop beating yourself up.  Don’t try to think ahead too far.

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if get pulled over in your work car going the wrong direction down a one way road and you didn’t know until you read the police report the next day.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 Anatomy of an Epidemic- By Robert Whitaker

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Oct 23, 2017

Paul discusses anxiety and depression as interpreted through an episode of the Dharmapunx Podcast. 

Heather, with 269 days since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:50] Paul Introduces Heather.  I’m 37; I live in Los Angeles, CA.  I’ve been here for about 7 years.  I grew up in south Texas.  I work for a small cable network.  I love yoga, hiking, going to the movies.  I have an identical twin sister. 

 

 

[16:04] Paul- When did you realize perhaps that you don’t drink normally?

 

Heather- I think its been varying stages of that.  Moving from Texas to New York was an adjustment.  I got a job in a bar, and that was my life. 

 

[25:54] Paul- What was the impetus that really forced you to make that jump into sobriety?

 

Heather- I had been reading “A Happier Hour” and the light bulb went off when I was reading that book.  I was also reading a blog from tired of thinking about drinking.  I started a 100-day challenge.

 

[35:02] Paul- When did AA come into the picture?

 

Heather- I am still going.  I am kind of afraid of the steps.  Around day 60 or 70 I was feeling lonely about talking about it, and I was afraid to go.  I put it out there, and things happened. 

 

[40:28] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? One of my best friends husbands passed away.  Her father didn’t want any of us to be drinking, and I drank anyway.  I should have not drank, but I had to.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? One of the last conversations I had with my boyfriend when he said it will be okay and we will both stop.  But if we break up, I’m fine, and I can continue to drink.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? When I started the 100-day challenge, I want to keep clarity.  I’m going to work the steps, and go to more meetings, and build more of a sober community here.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Recovery Elevator, and a speaker meeting I attend in LA. 

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  What you gain is so much more than you are giving up.
  2. You might be an alcoholic if you know your boyfriend is, and you decided to move in with him after 9 months, and you still don’t think you have a problem.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode was brought to you by RXBAR. Visit RXBAR.com/recovery for 25% off your first order.

Dharmapunx Podcast Link

Tired of Thinking About Drinking

A Happier Hour- By Rebecca Weller

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Oct 16, 2017

This week’s topic is PAWS- Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms/Syndrome.  Paul explains what PAWS is, how to deal with it, and some of the signs to look for.

Josh, with 15 months since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:13] Paul Introduces Josh.  I am from Phoenix originally, now living in LA; I am a digital content producer.  I am 36 years old.  I like hiking and exploring with my miniature golden retriever Diego.

 

[10:30] Paul- You left AA in recovery determined to find a way to drink normally.  How did that go?

 

Josh- Once you’ve been introduced to recovery and then you go back out, it’s tough because you can’t enjoy drinking the way that you were.  I just wanted to learn to drink responsibly.  To me it felt like there were people with more serious problems than me. 

 

[19:35] Paul- Why did things start to change after you adopted Diego?

 

Josh-  It took me out of myself.  Talking to others about their dogs.  Going to the dog park, and meeting other people.  I kept myself busy in early sobriety.  Having Diego at home with me really helped me more than I can explain. 

 

[27:49] Paul- Talk to me about outpatient treatment, what was that like?

Josh- I didn’t feel connected to the group, it wasn’t a good experience because I wasn’t’ putting the work into it.  When I was finally ready in 2016, it was a really good experience.  I went 6 days a week for the first month. 

 

[35:07] Paul- Where are you at these days with 12 step programs?  Do you go to AA meetings?

Josh- I do.  I was anti- AA for a long time.  I don’t embrace everything about it.  What I admire is that it is organized so well.  There is a core connection of people there if you want it.  I was going to 5-6 meetings a week the first year.  I definitely get something out of it.  It is not everything to me.  I am working the steps.

 

 

[38:31] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? I blacked out in the middle of trying to go to Jack in the Box and moved my roommate’s car out to the street where it got towed.  We had to go to the tow yard and get his car.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Too many to mention.  One being at my friend’s house and drinking his entire liquor collection.  Another one would have been when I almost been fired from my work.  I told myself I wouldn’t drink at work anymore, and 6 weeks later I was.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?  My plan is to keep doing what works and stay connected.  I count my day’s everyday.  I take pride in each day as a separate milestone.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Diego, my dog.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?  “It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be.  I hope you live a life that you are proud of, and if you find you are not, I hope you have the strength to start over.”
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  This has to be the most important thing in your life. 
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you are out with friends at a bar, and you go to the bathroom, but you stop at the bar to have a shot by yourself, and then return to the table to resume to drinking.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Post-Acute Withdrawal (PAWS)

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Oct 9, 2017

Paul summarizes an article from National Geographic “The Science of Addiction.”  Nearly 1 in 20 adults worldwide are addicted to alcohol.  21 million Americans have a drug or alcohol addiction.  Making the disorder more common than cancer.  Addiction is a pathological form of learning.

Carey, with 40 days year since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:52] Paul Introduces Carey.  I am 30 years old; I’m an RN from Rochester New York.  I used to say I liked to do a whole lot of things, but I put a lot of it on the back burner when I was drinking. 

 

[14:45] Paul- Did you have a rock bottom moment?  What caused you to make this decision to get into sobriety?

 

Carey-  I feel like there are so many situations in which I should have chosen that time.  40 days ago was the time I decided to make the decision for myself.  I hated when people told me I should quit drinking. 

 

[19:39] Paul- Before 40 days ago, was that your first time tried to quit drinking?

 

Carey- Back in the day when I first started noticing issues, I was trying to narrow it down.  I went through the whole cycle.  After the wedding I had quit drinking for 10 weeks.  If I got into nursing school, I was going to celebrate with wine.  A few months after starting nursing school I got a DWI. 

 

[35:28] Paul- You were sick and tired of being sick and tired.  You used the word excited.  How has that shift in mindset?

 

Carey-  I was excited at the fact that I didn’t have to worry anymore.  I didn’t have to go out to dinner and worry if my second order of beer would be frowned upon.  I am excited about meeting other sober people. 

 

 

[42:39] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Let me count the ways.  One of the worst ones was when I got home from a concert, and drove to my friend’s house because I thought I left my phone in his car.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  I would say my DWI.  I also hate to admit that my dog was with me at the time.  That scared me for sure.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?  Right now I want to keep learning and getting out of my comfort zone.  I love Café RE, which has been amazing.  I want to explore the steps.   
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  The Recovery Elevator Podcast.  I am going to be sober today, and plan on being sober tomorrow.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?  Tell somebody else.  Do research, look into sobriety and come up with a game plan.  You are not alone.
  6. You might be an alcoholic if you don’t like being called an alcoholic.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Oct 2, 2017

I want to talk about the word Alcoholism, more specifically, the tail end of that word, the ISM- Incredible Short Memory, the painful acute memories are sobriety fuel.  We cannot do this alone. 

Adam, with 57 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:50] Paul Introduces Adam.  I’m 36; I live in New Hampshire, married with 2 awesome sons and a beautiful wife.  I love being outdoors.  I began drinking in my early twenties.  I was drinking to get away from stress problems.  It got to the point where I was drinking everyday. 

 

[15:05] Paul- What was different on July 17th?  Was it a shift in mindset? Did you go to an AA meeting?

 

Adam- It was more of a mindset.  Everywhere I looked there was something about recovery.  It was my mind putting it out there.  I created the accountability, and it made it harder to go back on.

 

[21:40] Paul- Was there some sense of discomfort before you quit drinking?  What was the source of pain?

 

Adam-  It wasn’t anything huge.  I called myself a high bottom drunk.  There wasn’t anything that set it off.  I was sick of relying on it everyday.  Waking up every morning sleepier than I should be.  It became too much a part of my life, and I didn’t want it there anymore. 

 

[23:56] Paul- What was it like the first 24 hours? The first couple of days, the first week?

 

Adam- It was not the easiest time in my life.  I had a little bit of the shakes, some headaches the first 3-4 days was the worst of it.  I remind myself how great I feel now.

 

[26:53] Paul- What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?  What do you want to achieve with this new life you’ve been given?

 

Adam-  I want to spend more time with my family Instead of playing with the kids, the first thing I would do would be to grab a drink.  They are 3 and 7 years old right now.  Be closer to them.  This time of their life I really want to remember.

 

 

[29:45] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Just realizing that everyday that was the first thing when I got home from work that I wanted to do.
  2. What’s your plan moving forward?  Just to keep enjoying life, get to know my kids better, and getting healthy.
  3. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? It’s the Recovery Elevator Podcast.
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? The accountability.  Creating that accountability and making it a real thing.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Suck it up and talk to somebody.  It has to be someone that you care about and trust and respect.  Once you make it a real thing, you will not want to let them down.
  6. You might be an alcoholic if you lie to your wife when you are sick as a dog, because you know she will say you don’t need that beer tonight.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Sep 25, 2017

New data has revealed that one in eight Americans are now alcoholics due to an alarming rise in alcohol consumption in women, elderly people and ethnic minorities.

Experts at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism say that the rise could constitute a public health crisis that is being overshadowed by the opioid epidemic and marijuana legalization. 

During an 11 year gap, the number of people who received a diagnosis of alcoholism shot up by 49 percent, meaning 12.7 percent of the population - or roughly one in eight Americans - are alcoholics. 


Megan, with 11 hours since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[5:15] Paul Introduces Megan.  I’m from Baltimore, Maryland.  I am 38, single, with a live-in boyfriend. 

 

[7:19] Paul- What forced you to reach out to me again, and give us a little background.

Megan-  The whole point of what you are doing is when you can relate to other people.  I love that you are an advocate for the acceptance part of it.  People are ashamed to come out so to speak.  I didn’t start drinking until late in college.  I liked the way it made me feel.  I wasn’t self-conscience.  It was never really a problem.   One day in my late twenties I realized I was drinking everyday. 

 

[23:49] Paul- Talk to me about your withdrawal symptoms.

Megan-  It’s usually worst the second and third day.  The shaking and the anxiety is the worse.  I can’t shut my brain off. 

 

[26:36] Paul- What’s your plan?  How are we going to do this?

Megan- I am going to get through today.  One day at a time.  Right now it is just getting through today.  I know that I want to get sober and stay sober.  Am I done yet?  I’m not entirely sure.  I want to be there, but I don’t know if I am.

 

[32:36] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Blacking out.  I started drinking after a run; I woke up the next day and had no memory of how I got home.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? About a month ago, I got up in the morning and was walking to the grocery store and I couldn’t walk.  I inched across the street and went back home.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I love podcasts.  The HOME Podcast, the Shair Podcast, Recovery 101.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Don’t beat yourself up.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? You are going to feel crappy.  Don’t make it worse on yourself by pouring poison into yourself.  It’s going to get a little bit better everyday.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if the liquor store on the corner knows exactly who you are, and lines up 4 mini bottles of Fireball everyday at 9:00 in the morning.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

It's a public health crisis: 1 in 8 Americans are now alcoholics By Abigail Miller for Dailymail.com

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Sep 18, 2017

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

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

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

 

SHOW NOTES

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

[30:16] Rapid Fire Round

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

 

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Sep 11, 2017

Paul summarizes the Retreat, which took place in Bozeman, Montana.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[13:22] Paul Introduces Kristin 238 days sober, Amy 11 years sober, Dave 12 days sober, and John with 18 and ½ years of sobriety.

 

 

[15:55] Paul-  What did you think the retreat was going to be like?

 

Dave- I didn’t have any set expectations.  It has been sharing, but so much more.  I have connected with every single person here. 

 

[16:50] Paul- What surprised you so far on this retreat?

 

Kristin-  I was surprised at how easy it was to talk to everybody here.  I am not extremely comfortable around strangers.  Since we have been in the online community the past year, it was easy to chat with everyone.

 

Amy- I enjoyed the camaraderie.  It is beautiful here.

 

[27:30] Paul- Tell us what made you decide to come, and a little about your story?

 

Kristin-  My drinking career didn’t start until 2001.  I realized about 5 years ago that I had a problem, and tried to moderate.  My bottom was New Years Eve.  I have not lost any friends in sobriety.  It’s been a wonderful 8 months.

 

Dave- I grew up in a household of Tea Totalers.  I got into a high stress job with expense accounts.   The “sick and tired of being sick and tired” resonated with me.  There is a new chip on my shoulder.

 

Amy- I started drinking when I was 13.  I had the epiphany that this was the missing link.  I didn’t think there would be this much joy in sobriety. You can’t love other people until you love yourself.  Everything I wanted alcohol to give me, I got sober. 

 

John- My drinking career began in high school.  My mom passed away when she was 47, many family members had alcohol related deaths.  I became a daily drinker from college to 40 years old.  January 5th of 1999 is when I got sober.  My biggest breakthrough was writing a letter to my mother who had passed away.  I stay sober due to the people in my community.

 

This podcast episode was brought to you by Hello Fresh. For $30 off your first week of Hello Fresh visit hellofresh.com and use the promo code recoveryfresh30

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Sep 4, 2017

Paul summarizes the article “America’s Drinking Problem Is Much Worse This Century” by John Tozzi

 

Alcohol abuse has shot up since 2001, and the number of adults who binge weekly may top the population of Texas. Americans are drinking more than they used to, a troubling trend with potentially dire implications for the country’s future health-care costs.

The number of adults who binge drink at least once a week could be as high as 30 million, greater than the population of every state save California, according to a study published on Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry. A similar number reported alcohol abuse or dependency.

Between the genders, women showed the larger increase in alcohol abuse, according to the report.

Kristi, with nearly 9 months of sobriety since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:09] Paul Introduces Kristi.  I live in northern California near Stanford; I am 44, married and have 2 boys.  I worked 25 years in software sales.  I have been spending most of my time volunteering.

 

 

[16:28] Paul- When did you start realize after your Mom passed away, that this might be going in the wrong direction?

 

Kristi- Honestly, around 38-39 I started to realize I was drinking differently than I had in the past.  I was working full time with 2 young kids, and I had to have 6-7-8 drinks at the end of the day. 

 

 

[20:23] Paul- What was your first AA meeting like?

 

Kristi- I was so overwhelmed.  It was 9:00 on a Saturday morning, and there were 300 people there.   I realized that all meetings weren’t this way.  I jumped right in, started going to meetings, got a sponsor, and worked the steps.  I was working on will alone.  I don’t think I realized the importance of a higher power, and letting go.  I managed to stay sober for quite awhile.

 

[28:43] Paul- You sound like you are a high bottom drunk, and have a lot more to lose, am I correct?

 

Kristi-  I didn’t get the DUI, or drive my kids drunk.  But I wasn’t present.  I can really sit and appreciate the moment now.  I am feeling good; I have a skip in my step.  When you live in gratitude, you can’t live in fear and resentment.

 

[32:07] Paul- What’s on your bucket list in sobriety, what do you want to accomplish in this life?

 

Kristi-  I would like to learn Spanish.  I would really like to write a book. 

 

[33:31] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?  My husband and I went to San Francisco.  I took a small bottle of vodka with me.  I got so wasted at the party I don’t remember conversations I had, and I woke up in the hallway. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Repeat times over and over again being drunk on a Tuesday for no reason.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?  Live in the present, and being of service.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I really like the book “Living Sober” and the Recovery Elevator podcast. 
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?   I don’t have a problem I can’t make worse by picking up a drink.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Do it, you will feel better.  You will live in a more honest and peaceful world.  Quit poisoning yourself.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you are hosting a party, and drinking wine with the guests, and sneaking off to have shots of vodka by yourself.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

America's Drinking Problem is Much Worse This Century- By John Tozzi

A.A. Literature Living Sober

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Aug 28, 2017

Self-Loathing is rampant in addiction, and it needs to be addressed and curtailed if we want to find long-term recovery.  Self-trash talk is a double whammy when we judge ourselves harshly.  We are both the attacker, and the attacked.  Dr. Kristin Neff’s book “Self Compassion” is summarized.

Tori with 16 days since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:25] Paul Introduces Tori.  I am from Gainesville Florida; I have lived here since I was 10.  I am 24 years old.  I am a proud mom to a Chi Wawa named Tucker.  I like to craft, and go to the springs. 

 

[14:39] Paul- What was the deciding factor to listen to the RE podcast, and contact the host?

Tori- My DUI was my bottom, the way I portrayed myself to the officer in December of 2015. 

 

[18:35] Paul- I’m going to read one sentence from the email you sent to me. “I don’t drink everyday, I don’t have withdrawals, what I do have is the inability to control myself once I start drinking”.  Talk to me more about that. 

Tori- During the workweek I like to keep my head on straight.  The culture in town is to drink, and to binge drink.  I have been doing these bar tours since I was 17. 

 

[24:34] Paul- What has it been like these past 16 days?

Tori- I have been preoccupied with work.  I was moving for one of the weekends.  The hardest day was when two of my best friends came over and brought wine.  I didn’t drink, and they didn’t care.  I haven’t had that breakthrough of clarity yet.  I kind of feel that I am in limbo.

 

[32:58] Paul- To this point, what have you lost to alcohol?

Tori- A lot of my dignity, you gain more dignity in sobriety.  Other things I have lost are trust with my parents.  I have lost my sense of safety.  I was taken to the back seat of a car and taken advantage of.  I was beaten up, and had a concussion; I lost a ton of money. 

 

 

[37:01] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? The DUI, it affected many more people than myself.  The sexual assault was the worst, but I try not to associate drinking with that.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Every single time I do something dumb.  Every time I lose a notch of my dignity. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? What I have been doing has been working.  I like listening to the podcasts.  Most of my friends probably all have a drinking problem.
  4. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Take it one day at a time; realize that you are better than your addiction.
  5. You might be an alcoholic if spend the night on a chair that is not yours in front of a house that you do not own or rent.  Or if you choose to not take the advice of the people that care about you the most, and continue with your bad habits.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Self-Compassion Dr. Kristin Neff

Dr. Kristin Neff- CMSC website

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Aug 21, 2017

Paul summarizes a talk by Tara Brach named “Healing Addiction: De-Conditioning the Hungry Ghosts”

 Addiction is addiction, it doesn’t matter what it is, it is applicable.  Tara talks about the “hungry ghosts” of addiction.  There is a sense that something is missing.  A feeling that this moment does not contain enough happiness.  How you live today is how you live the rest of your life.  When we don’t have basic needs met, we reach out for a substitute.  We must find a way to love ourselves.

Peri, with 81 days since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:11] Paul Introduces Peri.  I have been sober since May 8, 2016.  I am a bartender, I live in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I am a poet, and have been writing more in sobriety.

 

 

[12:58] Paul-  Describe your drinking habits, how much did you used to drink? 

Peri-  I think by the end I was drinking 20-30 shots of whiskey a day, and 5 beers.  I tried all types of rules with most of them meant to be broken.  I think I started to derail when I was 17 years old.  I knew by the time I was 21, I had a problem. 

 

[16:13] Paul- Talk to us about some of the things you have had to change?

Peri- A big thing for me is friendships.  Almost everyone I associated with drank like I did.  I had to cut almost everyone out of my life.  I had to start fresh like I knew no one in the city.

 

[20:19] Paul- You quit smoking and drinking at the same time, tell us about that?

Peri-  I quit soda at the same time too.  5 aspirin and a large Coke used to get me through the hangovers.  I had massive blood clots, so I had to quit both to avoid the health consequences.

 

[25:11] Paul- What’s on your bucket list in sobriety, what do you hope to accomplish?

Peri- Some days it is One Day at a time, others it is the moon.  I am saving up for a truck, I would like to travel more.  I would like to get off my blood thinners.  Healing my body would be a huge moment for me.

 

[29:45] Paul- What do you do when you have the cravings?

Peri- I eat a lot of ice cream.  Either Pistachio, or Peanut butter ice cream, sometimes Raspberry. 

 

[35:27] Paul- How is it today?  How are you on day 81?

Peri- I feel really great, doing an interview right now.  Meeting up with my friends, having some dinner.  I legitimately haven’t experienced a sober birthday in 10 years.  I am looking forward to remembering it.  I have been trying the meditation.  I have been researching alcoholism.  I have been pretty active in Café RE.  Occasionally, I will go to AA, but only when I need an extra boost.

 

 

[37:30] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? I don’t know, there were a lot.  I was hanging out with a shady group of people who had alcohol.  I fell, and these people left me on a curb with a big gash on my head.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? My last job I got fired from, because I was taking shots of alcohol in the bathroom before my shift.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? I’m going to keep digging in; reading, writing, and it will all figure itself out.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Café RE.  I listen to the podcasts, but the Facebook group is great to describe what I am feeling, and have the communication with the group.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. 
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Anything in your life that is a toxic influence, get rid of it.  It is not conducive to your sobriety.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you wake up on the sidewalk. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Healing Addiction: De-Conditioning the Hungry Ghosts

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Aug 14, 2017

Paul summarizes the book “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron. 

How can we live our lives when everything seems to fall apart—when we are continually overcome by fear, anxiety, and pain? The answer, Pema Chödrön suggests, might be just the opposite of what you expect. Here, in her most beloved and acclaimed work, Pema shows that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined. Drawing from traditional Buddhist wisdom, she offers life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into habitual ease and boundless joy.

 

Tyler, with 137 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:45] Paul Introduces Tyler.  I’m 33, live in Austin, Texas.  I am an editor for a national magazine, and I am an HIV pharmacy rep in Texas.  I have 2 standard Poodles named Jones and Indy (Counting Crowes reference, not the movies).

 

 

[12:57] Paul- When did you realize that maybe your drinking is not normal?

Tyler- I started about 3 years ago evaluating my own behavior.   I wanted to look into my own behaviors and recognize that I’m 33, and I am binge drinking 3 nights a week.  I took a 30-day sober challenge, and then I was wasted on day 31.

 

[17:06] Paul- Was it a question in your mind that you were getting worse?

Tyler- I still question whether I was or not (having a problem with alcohol).  Let’s just go ahead and say I have a problem with it.  My balance is none at all.  If I weren’t so exposed to alcoholism, it wouldn’t have showed me what it could do to a person.

 

[21:21] Paul- It sounds like you woke up one day and said “I have a drinking disorder.”  How did that feel when you reached that conclusion?

Tyler- It was terrifying, I was going slowly in the process.  I did go to an AA meeting my first month.  It is a wonderful program, and I will never close my door to that program.  It was organizing my thoughts around what I am, and what I’m not.

 

[29:19] Paul- Walk us through a typical day for Tyler.

Tyler- I am still figuring out how I do it.  I went to a wedding in Mexico at a resort, which had, it struggles.  I volunteer a whole bunch; I volunteer at an animal shelter, and at a local clinic.  I do meditate quite a bit for 20-30 minutes a day.  I am on a kickball team here in Austin.  The hardest part about my journey is navigating my same social circles sober.

 

[32:47] Paul- What have you learned most about yourself in recovery?

Tyler- I’m honestly a very intense person.  Alcohol used to water down my intensity.  I have to find other ways of chilling out. 

 

 

 

[35:23] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? The memory that I lost.  The worst memory is having zero memories.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? It boils down to that one last night.  It turned into an all night party. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? To stay sober.  We are getting married, and working on adoption.  Talking about it publicly, and being an open book for others helps me keep my head on straight.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  A Recovery podcast episode- RE 74: 50 Ways to Stay Sober This Summer.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Alcohol is literally shit, and why are you putting it in your body?
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  If you are thinking about getting sober, do it.  Lean to the side that says you have a problem, don’t run the other way.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you wake up with a wig on, and you don’t know how it happened.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

RE 74: 50 Ways to Stay Sober This Summer

Gay, Fabulous, and Drinking Myself to Death

"When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Aug 7, 2017

Paul  comments on a video show on stopdrinkingexpert.com titled “Alcohol will kill you”  If we can put “smoking kills” packaging of cigarettes, why can’t we put similar labels on alcohol?  This documentary takes place in the UK, but is contemporaneous throughout the globe.  They found that 50% of the people tested had elevated liver values.  The price of alcohol has become significantly cheaper than it was 30 or 40 years ago.  Fear does not harness long term sustainable sobriety.
www.stopdrinkingexpert.com
 
[8:26] Paul introduces Randy with a sobriety date of 12/30/2016.  I am 39 years old, with 4 kids aged 12, 10, 4, and 2.  I am from Indianapolis, IN, and currently relocating to the Denver area.  I am a restaurant manager who enjoys hiking, and spending time with my kids.  Drinking wasn’t really fun anymore.  I found myself drinking alone by myself most of the time.
 
[17:05]  Paul- Would you classify yourself as a high bottom drunk?
Randy- No one really believed that I was an alcoholic, even when I started going to AA, and getting into recovery.  The older I am getting the hangovers became too difficult to deal with.  People who aren’t involved in recovery, have a difficult time understanding what we go through.
 
[22:41]  Paul- Is AA the main vein for how you got sober?
Randy- I hit a streak of RE podcasts where AA wasn’t mentioned at all and I remember being excited that I didn’t have to go to any meetings to get sober.  Then I heard a few RE episodes where people started to get traction with their sobriety had success with AA.  I went to a few meetings before I found one I really liked and connected with the people there.  I found a sponsor, and have been working the steps and making progress.
 
[25:56]  Paul- What was it like when you first quit drinking?
Randy- I wasn’t sleeping great initially.  Sleep is amazing now.  The second day without drinking I woke up at 6:00 am, and was binge listening to podcasts and working out.  The first few days were rough for sure.  Finding those activities and things to do that replace drinking are important.  I joined the RE Facebook group within the first 2 weeks.
 
[30:53] Paul- Walk us through a typical day in sobriety now.
Randy- I am there for my kids more now.  I like to spend time with my sponsor at least once a week.  I always check in with the Café RE Facebook group.  I am trying to eat a little better, and exercise more.  I look forward to so many more things now, instead of trying to get everything accomplished so I can drink.
 
[35:37] Paul- Has it been tough being in the restaurant business through sobriety?
Randy- It has it’s challenges, but hasn’t been too bad.  Seeing the hangovers on my servers faces keeps me grounded in my recovery, and reminds me of what I don’t miss from drinking.
 
[38:06] Rapid Fire Round
What was your worst memory from drinking?  We went out with my little brother, and I tried to keep up with his friends.  We did shots of Irish car bombs, I was so hungover the next day.  We had to get up early and go to a “Fun Fair” at my daughters school.  All the parents were happy and engaging, I didn’t want to be there and just wanted to hide.
Did you ever have an “oh shit” moment”?  I remember coming home from work and finding only 8 beers in the fridge.  I was angry because I knew that wasn’t going to be enough.  I had to go to the liquor store and get more before I could start drinking.
What’s your plan in sobriety?  I want to keep moving forward in my sobriety.  Meditation is on my list, and I want to continue doing what has worked for me so far.
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  “This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace
What’s the best advice you have received?  Find what works for you.  Talking to people who are sober have all sorts of different paths, but end up sober.
What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners who are thinking of quitting drinking, or in early recovery?  If you are thinking about getting sober, then let’s do it!  I haven’t regretted a day of sobriety thus far.  If my life doesn’t improve, I can always go back to drinking.  If I don’t make changes now, I know I will regret them later.
You might be an alcoholic if you still pack a cooler to take to parties, but now it is full of La Croix and other sparkling waters.

Jul 31, 2017

Paul breaks down and discusses the article: “The Spiritual Consequences of Alcohol Consumption” by Zahrah Sita

Although it is mass produced, mass promoted, legal, and ingested by a multitude of people all over the world, most people don’t ever consider or understand the spiritual consequences of drinking alcohol.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the etymology of the Word alcohol. Etymology means the root of the word… where it is derived from.

The word “Alcohol” comes from the Arabic “al-kuhl” which means “BODY EATING SPIRIT”, and gives root origins to the English term for “ghoul”. In Middle Eastern folklore, a “ghoul” is an evil demon thought to eat human bodies, either as stolen corpses or as children.

The words “alembic” and “alcohol”, both metaphors for aqua vitae or “life water” and “spirit”, often refer to a distilled liquid that came from magical explorations in Middle Eastern alchemy.

Odette, with 7 days since her last drink, shares her story.

 

[5:45] Paul Introduces Odette. I have been sober one week, so still riding the “Pink Cloud”.  I am from Guadalajara, Mexico and currently reside in San Diego California.  I am 29 years old, I am married and have 2 kids, and I am a wellness and fitness coach.  For fun I love going to the beach, cooking, and going to concerts.

 

 

[8:00] Paul- Describe your drinking habits over the last 10 years, 5 years.

Odette- I started only drinking on weekends.  Then over time it turned into drinking everyday, and heavy drinking on the weekends.  I noticed a natural progression of my drinking habits.

 

[16:02] Paul- When was it you that decided you needed to quit drinking?

Odette- It had been on my mind for months.  I am a very optimistic person, and the past few months I was living from a place of fear. 

 

[19:23] Paul- What’s it been like the past week?

Odette- It’s been hard.  I have a 3 year old and an 8 month old.  Being grounded helps me kick the urge.  My number one assignment is to be a mother, a present mother.  I really just enjoyed being a mom.  Listening to podcasts every single day, exercise and self-care.  One day at a time.

 

[22:40] Paul- Have you ever had a rock bottom moment in regards to alcohol?

Odette- The morning after the Super bowl.  I spoke with my dad about not drinking anymore.  Pay attention to your own compass.  People perceive you differently than you are. 

 

[29:14] Paul- What advice can you give to someone struggling to recognize his or her own addiction struggles?

Odette- I think the best advice I can give is I wish I would have known two concepts.  If you know your why, it will help you surrender quicker.  Write out your vision. 

 

 

 

[33:18] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? That event we talked about, the Super bowl where I didn’t spend a moment looking at the screen.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I don’t think I had a clear moment; I was tired of listening to the little voice telling me it was time.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?  Accountability for sure.  I love listening to personal development.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Melody Beattie’s book: “The Language of Letting Go”.  I love the Recovery Elevator podcast, and Café RE.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? You can’t do it alone.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Own your truth, own your story.  Do an inventory on yourself.  It will help you to surrender. 
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you start creating rules for yourself around drinking.  Also if you have any parents that have struggled with addiction.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

http-//educateinspirecha#4A112C

https://www.eckharttolle.com/books/newearth/

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=the%20harmony%20tribe

http://melodybeattie.com/books/language-letting-go-hazelden-meditation-series/

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Jul 24, 2017

Rule Number One of podcasting is plug in the microphone.

Pete, with 488 days of sobriety shares his story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[2:19] Paul Introduces Pete.  I am 38 years old, and golfing is my favorite leisure activity.  I have an 8-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son.  I am in construction sales, mostly traveling around Ohio and surrounding states. 

 

[6:07] Paul- When did you realize you had a problem with alcohol Pete?

Pete- I’ve always known, or at least had the fear of having a problem.  I could drink a case of beer by myself in High school. 

 

[12:23] Paul- Was this a bottom you experienced, or where you done?

Pete- I hit a spiritual bottom.  Things that were important, no longer seemed important.  My wife, great job, and truck were all things that weren’t making me happy.  I realized that doing these things that I was taught would make me happy weren’t.  I was bankrupt spiritually and emotionally.  My wife opened the work bench, and the drawer was full of  empty and full booze bottles.  They were devastated.  I realized that suicide wasn’t’ an option.  That was the moment that made me change everything.

 

[17:25] Paul- What was the outpatient therapy like?  Walk us through that.

Pete- I went to a state certified program.  I attended with several other professionals who learned a great deal about addiction and recovery.

 

[24:44] Paul- What have you learned most about yourself these past 488 days?

Pete- I have learned that I like peace, calm, and serenity.  I accepted chaos because that is what I knew.  My life is really good, but I made it really bad by a lot of choices that I made. 

 

[28:18] Paul- Have you had cravings, and how do you overcome cravings them?

Pete- My cravings as of today are more “I would like a drink” but more thoughts than cravings.  In the beginning I had physical cravings.  I don’t have the impulse to drink now.  Alcohol was the medicine that fixed everything for me.

 

 

[30:25] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? The experience with my wife and daughter not being able to ride bikes because of my booze hidden in the drawer.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? For me it was when my mother in law died from alcoholism, in the nursing home my biggest thought was how do I get out of here and have a drink without anyone noticing.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? Continue to present in the moment, and doing, not thinking about things I don’t do, and then regretting them.  I just need to do the best I can.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Meditation and Prayer.  I’ve used the Headspace app, there is a meditation guru that lives in our village.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Follow direction.  Putting faith in a blind process.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  You are feeling the way you are supposed to be feeling at that time.  Talk to other people.  My feelings are normal; it’s okay to relearn.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if when you walk out of your recovery center, and you see one of your friends that you’ve been partying with forever and he says “Hey Pete, I was surprised to see you here.”  Then I thought about it, and It’s really not much of a surprise to see you here.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Jul 17, 2017

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”  - Amelia Earhart

Paul discusses his difficulties in quitting smoking, and it’s parallels to quitting drinking.  Alcohol is not your friend.  Stop drinking cold turkey, and don’t try to a taper off strategy.  Rip the Band-Aid off.  Get rid of the booze from your house.  At this moment, you are not stronger than your addiction.  One day at a time.  Thinking must be flipped.       Quitting drinking is an opportunity to get your life back, not a sacrifice.  Write down a list of pros and cons from quitting drinking.  Don’t worry about your weight initially.  Get through sobriety first.  Schedule personal time for exercise.  Life happens, and we need to build up our coping skills muscles without alcohol.  Accountability is the underlying theme of this entire podcast.  Celebrate the milestones, and be happy with your progress.

Leah, with 19 days since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:20] Paul Introduces Leah.  My last drink was June 3rd, so my sobriety date is June 4th.  I am 34; I have been married since 2010.  I have a 6-year-old daughter, and a 2-year-old son.  I’m not really sure what I do for fun; I’m still figuring that out.

 

 

[13:01] Paul- When did you realize that perhaps you had a drinking problem?

 

Leah- I grew up with drinkers.  My dad will still get wasted and he is in his 70’s.  I would watch him pass out at the table at 7:00, and that was normal.  It really hit home over the past few years.  I would go to bed drunk, and wake up foggy and disconnected from everybody.  I didn’t drink to relax; I drank to feel normal again.

 

[17:35] Paul- With 19 days of sobriety have you noticed an uptick of being mindful and present in the moment?

 

Leah- Absolutely.  I want to give a spin on my story as a mom.  It is hard to have moms admit that they are an alcoholic.  As a mom, I would watch other moms accomplish so many tasks, and didn’t know when they had time to drink.  Now I have all this energy to do things.  I took my 2-year-old running.

 

[20:28] Paul- 19 days ago was something building up?  Was there a rock bottom moment?

 

Leah- I didn’t want to quit drinking.  I wanted to change my life to accommodate drinking.  For the past 2 years we have had some family issues.  I am not the person I wanted to be, and it started to impact my happiness. 

 

[27:58] Paul- What was it like the first 24, 48,72 hours?

 

Leah- I had thought over the past year that I wasn’t physically addicted.  I had a habit, and I had to create a new habit.  Now I drink coffee when I get home instead of wine. 

 

[35:08] Paul- If you had an open schedule, would you go to an AA meeting?

 

Leah- Yes.  I am skeptical, but I have gotten to the point where I realized you can get something valuable from whatever is out there.  You can make anything work for you if you have that desire. 

 

[39:17] Paul- What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?  What do you want to accomplish with this new life.

 

Leah- Be present, be engaged, and mindful.  Get fit, and spend quality time with my family.  I would like to wake up earlier, and center myself.  Checking in with like-minded people will be important.  I would like to add meetings to my resources.

 

 

[42:55] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?  There was one night where I thought I was losing my mind.  Screaming matches with my husband.  I was losing the grip on reality.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Waking up with my hands shaking.  The times I would stop to get a “juice box” on my way to pick up the kids.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  Recovery Elevator podcast.  Something to hold onto when you need it.  Something you can grab when you need a reminder.
  2. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?  Writing a goodbye letter to alcohol.  My relationship with alcohol is over.  It’s time to break up.  If I need to go back, alcohol will be there.  I don’t want to go back.
  3. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  If you’re thinking about quitting, it’s probably something you need to do.  You’ll get there on your own time if need be.
  4. You might be an alcoholic if the running joke is you fall asleep on the toilet multiple times.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode

Thanks to Kathy Von Lintel for doing the show notes the past 6 months!

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Jul 10, 2017

Paul discusses the webinar, which took place in Café Re, and focused on why taking action is so hard.  It’s much better to focus on the action and not the results.  We are definitely in a results oriented society.  Focus on the journey and not the destination.  Success can follow a flawed effort, and failure can follow a flawless effort. 

If your happiness is predicated on your success, and if your success is predicated on a specific outcome, then you are setting yourself up for a high likelihood of frustration and disappointment.  If you instead let go the need for any particular outcome, you increase your chances for success and contentment.  View each attempt as practice for the next attempt. 

Dawn with a sobriety date of November 27th 2016, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:09] Paul Introduces Dawn.  I’m single, 42, and I’m from Poole in the U.K.   In the daytime I work in accounts, in the evening I’m generally working on my blog. I love going out to dinner with friends, and walking to work.  Set myself a challenge to do 10,000 steps a day.

 

[10:10] Paul- Tell us more about this experiment to live you life without alcohol.

 

Dawn- The plan was to give up alcohol for a year.  I was struck down with flu, and I gave up alcohol then, instead of waiting until the New Year.  I decided to write down my journey, and document it on my blog.  It’s been filled with positivity. 

 

[13:35] Paul- The way I’ve made it this far in sobriety, and been successful, is that I looking at it as an opportunity instead of a sacrifice.  Is that something that you are experiencing as well?  You’re looking at this as an opportunity instead of a sacrifice?

 

Dawn- Yeah, definitely.  I don’t think I realized how unhappy I was drinking.  I was more of a binge drinker than a drink everyday, drink in the morning type person.  My weekend would be properly drinking from Friday through Sunday.  Drinking copious amounts of alcohol to the point that I was sick the next day.  I don’t see that as a sacrifice, giving that up that kind of mentality, since it was so much binging and purging.

 

[14:53] Paul- When did you first realize that perhaps that you wanted to quit drinking?  Was it something that happened?

 

Dawn- I was conscience that I was drinking too much in one sitting, not remembering how I got home, kind of dangerous drinking really.  If I drove somewhere I would have nothing, instead of a single glass of wine.  Because if I had one, it wouldn’t stay at one.  Once I started, it was difficult to stop.

 

[18:06] Paul- Can you tell me about a time when you started drinking and you found the “off switch” a little difficult to find?  Was that progressive for you?  Did it become harder and harder to stop?

 

Dawn- Yeah, I was born without an “off switch”.  The first time I really remember getting drunk I was probably about 15 or 16.  Early twenties living with friends, drinking was a massive part of our lives together.  The men that I met were a massive part of that as well.  It didn’t spiral rapidly. 

 

[22:16] Paul- How are you staying sober now?   

 

Dawn- It’s a matter of changing everything.  I thought life would carry on the same.  Everything has changed.  I write a post for my blog at least once a week.  Trying to keep other people encouraged to carry on.  I used to always have a special drink as a reward for hard work.  I no longer do that.  I have a drink when I am thirsty.

 

[26:31] Paul- There’s a quote in recovery- You don’t have to change much, you just gotta change everything.  Is that how it went down for you?

 

Dawn- I still struggle with the social side of things.  I was the party animal.  It’s difficult to go from that to- it’s dark and I’ve got to get home.  I find it hard to socialize without alcohol.  I’m not good with big crowds.  I’ve come to terms that I won’t be that person again.

 

[28:40] Paul- What have you learned most about yourself in these past 6 months of sobriety? 

 

Dawn- I’ve never really believed in loving yourself.  Now I keep saying to people you have to love yourself.  I haven’t loved myself for 40 years.  I realized I’m not the person I thought I was.  In my previous job I wasn’t really helping people and I didn’t think I could. It’s being confident in myself, rather than what other people think.

 

[31:31] Paul-  How do you feel about alcohol being an addictive substance, and perhaps there is no void?

 

Dawn- For me, the feeling is what was addictive.  I was the crier.  Alcohol gave me an emotional release.  For me it gave me an emotional release, woe is me!  For a window of 15 minutes I would feel amazing, then I would go over the top.  Then you’re miserable.  I think really it was the way it made me feel for 15 minutes before the crying would start.

 

[33:27] Paul- What are your goals in sobriety?

 

Dawn- I’ve always wanted to go to Thailand.  Stop waiting around for something to happen.  I was too tired, and lazy, and in bed.  Now I’m full of energy, and I’m going to make it happen on my own in January.

 

[35:18] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Getting home, and waking up the next day at 4:00, and not remembering getting home in a taxi.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I was a drunk texter.  Sometimes I couldn’t even touch my phone.  They were my worst moments really working out who I had contacted the night before.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? Keep the blog going beyond being sober.  Maybe the hope rehab center in January.  Listening to podcasts more than music, listening to other people’s journeys.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I love the online forums.  Club soda, team sober UK, and listening to Podcasts.  It is amazing listening to other peoples journeys
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? The best thing to do is go for each day at a time.  Breaking it into chunks can work.  Un-break the habit.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Never give up.  I admire those who never give up.  I recommend writing down how you’re feeling.  I literally flooded my mind with sobriety.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you find yourself questioning that you might be an alcoholic, then you probably are.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

dawn@soberfish.co.uk

 

http://www.soberfish.co.uk

http://www.hope-rehab-center-thailand.com/

http://www.belvoirfruitfarms.com/

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Jul 3, 2017

Garrett, with 16 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 9:15 ] Paul Introduces Garrett.  I’ve had stretches of sobriety, I had 14 months, and I’ve had 3 years.  I live in Southern California, in Santa Clarita.  I work in outside sales, which is a non-structured job perfect for an alcoholic with hangovers.  I’m 43, married, like going to Dodger Games.  I have 2 kids, 1 in high school, and one in junior high.

 

 

[10:45] Paul- What was the impotence behind you quitting alcohol for 3 years, and then for 14 months?

 

Garrett- The hangovers for me are the body’s way of saying you’ve put a bunch of poison willingly in your body, and this is the result of it.  I would be laid out for a full day.  Thinking in the moment there is no possible way this could happen again.  The feeling in my stomach, I can’t move, or get out of the bed until 4:00 or 5:00 in the evening.  One of those times I stopped for 3 years, didn’t go to any program.  I lost weight, and started drinking again without any reason.  I would romanticize drinking, and once I got the buzz, there was no way I could stop now.  I would have to drink to continue with only a short window of feeling good.  The cost of that was being completely laid out the entire next day.

 

[13:35] Paul-  What was it like when you first drank after 3 years? Do you remember the first night?  Did you pick up right where you left off?

 

Garrett- No, not really.  It was a gradual thing, a slow buildup.  My elevator is kind of chaotic; it’s like the elevator at the tower of terror at Disney world.  At that point it was gradual.  I would wait for people to go to sleep, get a six-pack, and when that was gone, drunk drive to the liquor store and buy some more.  I would start with a bottle of wine, then I would go back to the store for tall boys.  I don’t know how many I would buy, but I would wake out, the room would start completely shaking, I would close my eyes, and that would be it.

 

[15:45] Paul-  Garrett you mentioned a word earlier that I would like to explore- Fascinating. You would tell yourself I’m only having a couple, but then just game on.   Can you tell me more about that fascinating part for you?

 

Garrett- It was complete and total amnesia every single time.  Forgetting the hangovers.  The amount of times I would lose not doing the things I wanted to do because I would be hung-over.  Because I’m not a bum in the street, I didn’t feel I was a true alcoholic.

 

[19:30]  Paul- Was there a rock bottom moment 16 days ago?   How come you quit drinking?

 

Garrett- It wasn’t a single rock bottom.  I have season tickets for the Dodgers.  If there was ever a sport made for sitting and drinking beer it is baseball.  The beer vendor at the stadium recognized me; I would have to go different vendors because I was embarrassed.   The drunk driving home from the games, then going to bars, then drunk driving home again.  I dented the garage with my car, and realized with a moment of clarity that this sh#t has got to stop.

 

[22: 01] Paul- Before I hit the record button you mentioned you felt like you were ping ponging back and forth between:  Am I an alcoholic?  Do I have a drinking problem?  Tell us more about that.

 

Garrett-  It was a stretch of a few days where I would just continually have a few days (of sobriety), and then I would be like “I’m not” because I would have a few days and that proves it.  The hangover goes away and I would think I’m not (an alcoholic) again. 

 

[ 24:00] Paul- Is it harder this time around, do you remember?

 

Garrett- This time I’ve got 16 days.  I’m trying to arm myself with some resources.  I’m in a Pink Cloud at the moment.  History does repeat itself, and I have a plan to address what I know is going to start coming down the road.  The key thing is accountability.  I never had accountability with another person.  I think if I were not anonymous, I wouldn’t have taken that first drink on the New Port Harbor cruise after 14 months of sobriety.

 

[27:57] Paul- You mentioned you had a bad experience with AA, tell me more about that.

 

Garrett-  I was raised Christian evangelical, about 10 years ago I broke with that, and I am an atheist now.  I saw a lot of the judgment, dogma and there was trust that was broken in AA.  That combined with the God thing I’m still wrestling with.  I need to focus on the positive.  I’m ready to explore going back to AA, maybe a different meeting time.

 

 

[30:14] PaulWith 16 days of sobriety, what have you learned most about yourself?

 

Garrett-  This time around is more of a sense of inner peace.  What I’m realizing now is that I don’t have to keep living the way I was living.  There’s no reason I have to pick up a drink again.  My life does not have to be how it’s been.  I’m choosing not to drink.  When cravings strike, I’ve been setting a timer on my apple watch to allow the 20 minutes to pass.

 

[34:10] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

 Waking up and having to tell my wife that I was too hung-over to go down to my mom’s house for Easter.  Then spending the entire day in a state of despair.

  1. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Back in college when I just got too hung-over and missed a final.  That was the first “oh-shit” moment.
  2. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward? Accountability.  Reaching out and talking to other alcoholics, and seeking ways to help each other.
  3. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Podcasts, Recovery Elevator, and the big book on my kindle.
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? You don’t ever have to drink again if you don’t want to.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  If you were thinking about getting sober… I would say: Do it, you’ll never feel better.
  6. You might be an alcoholic if:  Every night after you down many many bottles of beer, that you put those bottles of beer in a trash bag, put them in your trunk, and then the next morning drive them to a dumpster so that your wife doesn’t find out that there were all these empty bottles of beer in the trash can.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Jun 26, 2017

Mary, with 3 years since her last drink, shares her story….

We all think that the cities we live in should be on the “Nations Drunkest Cities” list.  The state of Wisconsin wins the prize for the largest number of cities on this list.  Listed below are a few of the favorites:

  • Greenbay, WI
  • O’Clair, WI
  • Appleton, WI
  • Fargo, ND
  • Missoula, MT
  • Iowa City, IA
  • Lincoln, NE
  • Milwaukee, WI

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[6:31] Paul Introduces Mary

 

Mary – I am 3 years sober, live in Louisiana and am married with 5 children.  I like to run and bike and am currently raising puppies.  I am a college student and am enjoying getting to know my new sober self.

 

[9:32] Mary tells the story of her younger 13 year old self

 

Mary – I was 13 years old and baby-sitting an infant.  I invited some friends over and we started drinking.  I left the baby in her crib and we drove around.  I backed the car into a ditch and hit a palm tree.  The police ended up bringing me home.

 

[12:23] Mary describes her drinking habits

 

Mary – I was a daily beer drinker and would try to abide by my rules of not drinking before 5 pm.  This never worked.  At night, if I couldn’t sleep, I would have a drink.  If I woke up later in the night, I would have another drink.  Pretty soon my window of “not drinking” had shrunk.

 

[14:00] Did you see any signs that you had a problem?

 

Mary – If I went out, I would immediately have to have a drink and was always looking for the next one.  I would start my night with some drinks at home.  In my 20’s and 30’s, I surrounded myself with other drinkers so it seemed normal.  My drinking really took off in my 40’s.  I started noticing I had a problem more when I became a mom.

 

[17:21] What was the progression like into alcoholism?

 

Mary – 1 drink was never enough.  I started focusing more on when I could have a drink.  Alcohol helped me cope with life.  I hated myself.

 

[18:03] Tell me about this self- loathing

 

 Mary – I used to think “this is as good as it gets?” I had accepted that my life was going to suck.

 

[18:45] Did you have a bottom?

 

Mary – I had grown sick and tired of drinking.  My family called me out as being drunk when I was slurring my speech.  A close friend of mine went to rehab.  I stopped drinking in order to support him.  As each day passed, I could not believe that I was still not drinking.  I went to Al-Anon in order to further support my friend.

 

[21:05] How did you do it?

 

Mary – I kept going to Al-Anon.  When I visited my friend, he took me to a meeting.  As I sat there listening, I realized I wanted what they had.  I worked the 12 steps.  My life has changed to being joyous and free.  It is freeing not having any more secrets.

 

[24:00] Paul and Mary talk about being sober emotionally

 

Mary – It felt good to get rid of all of my secrets.  I listened to other people in the program and did what they said.  I wanted to be happy and try to remain teachable.

 

[27:23] Describe a day in your life

 

Mary – I pray every morning and evening.  I also meditate (U-Tube 11th step guided meditation).  I reach out regularly to friends in the program.  I listen to AA recordings (Joe and Charlie AA tapes), read The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

 

[30:00] What is on your bucket list?

 

Mary – Continue to share my story, bring hope to others, and be of service to others.

 

[31:21] What have you learned the most?

 

Mary – That I am OK just the way that I am.  I am trying to have a good life and do the best I can.

 

[31:57] What are your thoughts on relapse?

 

Mary – For some people, it is an important part of their recovery.  I try to accept just this 1 day that I have and not “future trip.”  Relapse can be an important learning tool in recovery.

 

[33:00 ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? leaving that sleeping baby alone when I was 13 and driving around while drinking
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? at my daughter’s 16th birthday party, I was too drunk to drive but did anyway.  I hit the curb and flattened my tire.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? keep going to meetings, keep breaking the stigma
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? keep falling forward, everywhere I go, there I am.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Continue to move forward, talk about it, give voice to  your pain
  6. You might be an alcoholic if… you take the computer test “Are you and alcoholic,” and focus on your No answers.

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

www.southerrunningmom.wordpress.com

bmjopen.bmj.com (article on how women millennials are catching up to men in their alcoholism)

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

 

 

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

 

Jun 19, 2017

Becky, with 10 months since her last drink, shares her story…………

What I learned after spending the weekend with 12 other people at a lake house:

  • People did not care that I was not drinking
  • People were appreciative to have a designated driver
  • Drunk people have the memory of a goldfish
  • Hangovers still suck
  • Noticed potential problem drinkers
  • Everyone overshot their mark
  • Alcohol makes you act like an ass
  • The yawn game sucks
  • Snap Chat only exists because of drunk people
  • Sober check ins are a good idea
  • You can do sober weekends

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:30] Paul Introduces Becky.

 

Becky – I have been sober for 10 months and live in Indiana.  I work in the HR industry, am married and have 2 children.  I like to garden and cook.

 

[13:00] Tell me about hearing your friend Lisa on the RE podcast.

 

Becky – I was starting to listen to a variety of podcasts on sobriety and heard Lisa’s story.  I reached out to her via face book and she talked me through the process of AA.  I was able to ask her questions.  Something was guiding me.

 

[18:00] When did you realize you had a problem?

 

Becky – I was a binge drinker in high school but my drinking tapered off during my first marriage.  I soon fell into having a glass of wine every night as a reward.  I suffered from a major episode of depression and my therapist suggested I stop drinking. After the depression lifted, I continued drinking 1-2 bottles a night.  I tried moderating but could not stop.  I felt miserable inside.

 

[20:30] Tell me about your “yets”.

 

Becky – I would stumble around parking lots and pass out on the sidewalk.  Anything could have happened.  I would usually drink after a long day at work.  I knew my mother was an alcoholic but I had so much shame that I could not stop.  I suffered from black outs and self- loathing.

 

[24:21] How did you get sober?

 

Becky – I spoke with Lisa and told my husband.  During the first week, I went to meetings.  The first 30 days were tough both physically and mentally.  Shortly after 30 days, I started to feel better.

 

[27:16] How was your patience during the first 30 days?

 

Becky – I was anxious and very short on patience during the first 30 days.  The more I fought the craving, the worse it got.  I allowed the craving to wash over me instead of fighting it.  I was able to take a step back and just look at it.

 

[29:00] Paul and Becky talk about her hesitation with AA because of God

 

Becky – I was probably an agnostic before AA.  I did not know how I was going to bring God into my life.  But there were too many coincidences.  There had to be a type of HP intervening.  I just know that I could not do this by myself.  Some people choose G.O.D. (group of drunks)

 

[31:49] How important is it for you to be surrounded by others in recovery?

 

Becky – I could not have gotten sober without my local meetings.  I stay active in on-line support groups.  It is critical for me to be able to connect with others.

 

[33:41] Describe a day in your life

 

Becky – I meditate every day and journal.  I try and stay balanced between exercise and work.  I have also created my own blog for personal accountability (www.my2point0project.com).

 

[36:26] What have you learned the most about yourself?

 

Becky – I am more of a type “A” personality than I thought.  I want things done a certain way and have to learn to let that go.

 

[37:47] What is on your bucket list in sobriety?

 

Becky – I want to continue to wake up feeling good and strong.  I want to help others find jobs and help schedule interviews for them.

 

[38:45] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? not being sober when my father passed away
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? my decline was more slow and pervasive
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? go to bed sober tonight
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? SHAIR and Rich Roll podcasts, book “Being Sober” by Harry Haroutunian
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? I drink but we don’t
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? reach out, this is not a weakness
  7. You might be an alcoholic if…..you schedule your grocery shopping experience to not happen on Sundays – (because your state is dry on Sundays)

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

www.my2point0project.com

Book – Being Sober, author Harry Haroutunian

 

 

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

 

Jun 12, 2017

Dan, with 27 years since his last drink, shares his story……

The new Café RE Blue has been launched.  This face book group will cap @ 200.  If you would like to join, go to www.recoveryelevator.com.  Enter the promo code 1month to get the first month for free.

Getting sober can be confusing.  14 medical schools only offer 1 class on addiction so it is no wonder doctors do not always “get it.”  Just how do we navigate sobriety?  Since alcohol is legal and we are bombarded by an estimated 50 alcohol related ads a day, the path is not always clear.  We often think we are cured after having some consecutive days of sobriety but achieving emotional sobriety is where the real work happens.

The main point to remember is that recovery can take different paths.  What works for one may not work for another.  Since this disease tells us that we do not have a disease, we have to be ever mindful of that inner voice and realize that we do not have to have all of the answers.  Help is available, but you have to ask.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:27] Paul Introduces Dan

 

Dan – I have been sober for 27 years and am from New Hampshire.  I am a professional skier, film producer and love most things outdoors.

 

[12:06] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Dan – I was always a partier.  During high school, I was a daily pot smoker and weekend binge drinker.  I always wanted to be around people who were drinking.  I had this mental obsession with booze and drinking was a part of my life.

 

[15:23] Did your drinking progress faster as you continued using?

 

Dan – I was introduced to cocaine in the 8th grade.  My tolerance progressed and drinking and driving was just normal for me.

 

[17:11] Were you always chasing those euphoric feelings?

 

Dan – I was always chasing the rush of the party.  We would throw huge parties any time that we could.

 

[18:00] Did you have a rock bottom?

 

Dan – We got kicked off of a booze cruise after only 45 minutes.  I told everyone I was going to stop using but instead I hid it.  One of my friend’s mothers was in AA and she could tell that I was not comfortable in my own skin.  I went to a meeting and first learned of the term “stinkin thinkin”

 

[22:35] What finally worked?

 

 Dan – I was involved in a tragic storm accident in Russia that resulting in people losing their lives.  There was a lot of fallout from this accident.  Anger built up within me and soon I started drinking and using again.  I reached out to my friend’s mother and she got me into an outpatient center.  I also got into therapy and started going to more meetings.  I traveled for my job and got sober going to meetings all over the world. 

 

[29:18] What is your day like?

 

Dan – I am involved in a large sober community.  My Catholic faith continues to grow stronger and helps me every day.  I go to 2-4 meetings a month and like to read spiritual readings.

 

[31:14] What do you value most in recovery?

 

Dan – my relationships with God, family and friends

 

[32:00] What advice would you give to someone who is resistant to AA because of God?

 

Dan – you can attend AA without believing in God.  The more you attend the meetings, a light will begin to shine.  You will start to find peace and contentment within the AA program.  It is a program built on faith and love.

 

[34:06] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? totaling my mother’s car on Mother’s Day
  2. What’s your plan moving forward? living a full life and not tying myself down with negativity
  3. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? people
  4. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? alcohol is a time bomb just waiting to go off
  5. You might be an alcoholic if…….every time you are in trouble, you’ve been drinking

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

Jun 5, 2017

Jason, with 4 years since his last drink, shares his story…………….

Sign up now, there are only 3 spots left for the RE Retreat in Bozeman, MT (www.recoveryelevator.com)

Paul reviews the GQ interview with Brad Pitt.  Pitt states that he was boozing too much and learned that either you deny your feelings and stay where you are or you feel the feelings and evolve.  He did not want to live that way anymore.  Pitt is learning to accept the things about himself that he does not like.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:13] Paul Introduces Jason

 

Jason – I have been sober for 4 years and live in Big Sky, MT.  I am a firefighter/paramedic and enjoy outdoor activities.

 

[11:10] How did you meet your wife?

 

Jason – I had walked into a bar in the middle of a scuffle.  My “soon to be” wife was on the ground and bleeding from her head.  I felt the need to come to her rescue.  We have been married for 9 years now. 

 

[13:45] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Jason – I did not know I had a problem because all of my family were heavy drinkers.  One night I went out with friends and drank very heavily and then drove home.  The next morning I had the worst hangover of my life.  I really thought I was having a medical emergency, I felt so bad.

 

[16:46] What were your drinking habits like?

 

Jason – For the last 10 years, I would get off of work and start drinking.  I would spend the last 2 days of my days off sobering up.  We had lots of house parties where there was plenty of drinking.  My wife and I would also take yearly sailing excursions.  They would turn into 2 weeks of binge drinking.

 

[19:48] How did you get sober?

 

Jason – I reached out to a family friend who has been sober for 42 years.  At first I did not want to go any meetings but I had wanted my wife to stop drinking so we both ended up going to a meeting.  The meeting was a total mix of people and completely changed my life.

 

[23:59] How do you remain sober?

 

Jason – I go to AA meetings.  In early sobriety, I would just show up at meetings and listen.  Currently, I stay very involved with my sober community.  I also send out daily recovery related e-mails.  It helps me stay accountable.  If anyone else would like to be added to this e-mail list, send Jason and e-mail (jgras@sailingscubeadventures.com)

 

[29:52] Paul and Jason discuss being a grateful alcoholic

 

Jason – I have learned to be grateful and humble.  The program has allowed me to change.  It has been a journey through self-restoration.

 

 

 

 

[31:51] Paul and Jason discuss Sober Scuba Sailing Tours

 

Jason – My wife and I thought it would be a great idea to offer sober sailing excursions.  We are organizing a trip in June.  For more information on future trips, go to www.sailingscubaadventures.com and send Jason a message.

 

[39:42] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? that horrible hangover that made me feel like I was having a medical emergency
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? when my hangovers would last for days
  3. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? the Big Book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Tony Robbins “I’m Not Your Guru”
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? make your bed every morning, the miracle will happen
  5. You might be an alcoholic if…..you see a half full cocktail and think, “Now that’s alcohol abuse;” then you finish it yourself

 

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

Jason’s e-mail = jgras@sailingscubaadventures.com

www.sailingscubaadventures.com

Tony Robbins – I am Not Your Guru (available on DVD and Netflix)

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

 

Hold on tight as we follow Paul’s journey coming off his anti-depression meds.  Good luck Paul!

 

 

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

 

1 2 Next »