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

Hello, I'm Paul and I've come to the realization that me and alcohol no longer get along. When I start drinking, I cannot stop, despite how many times I tell myself I'm only going out for just a couple. I've lost that battle 99 out of 100 times. I've tried to set boundaries on my drinking like never drink alone, and not before 5pm but several times found myself drinking alone well before 5pm. When I'm not drinking, I feel fidgety, contentious and anxious which eventually leads me back to the bottle. After grappling with alcohol for over a decade and a summer from hell in 2014, I decided on September 7th 2014, I HAVE to stop drinking. The Recovery Elevator Podcast is a medium to help keep me sober in addition to helping others struggling with alcohol quit drinking and maintain a healthy recovery. Don't make the same mistakes I did in early recovery. Hear from guests who are successfully navigating early sobriety. It won't be easy, but you can do this.
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Now displaying: May, 2017
May 29, 2017

Kari, with 4 years since her last drink, shares her story……………….

Café RE is now on a waitlist to join.  Once the list gets to approximately 30-40 people, another group will be formed.  To be placed on the waitlist, go to www.recoveryelevator.com and click on the Café RE tab at the top of the page.  Enter the promo code RE1month to join.

Paul reviews the video “The 13th Step.”  The 13th step (where new comers are “preyed” upon by others in AA) is joked about in and out of the rooms.  The fact is that courts are ordering violent sexual predators to AA for a plea deal.  AA should not be a punishment but 40-60% of its attendees are court ordered.  This movie depicts AA in a negative light.  Sure, there are flaws with AA.  Every program has negative aspects and positive aspects.  I personally dislike movies that bash any recovery program.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 8:39 ] Paul Introduces Kari

 

Kari – I am 4 years sober and live in Montana.  I am married and enjoy skiing, hiking, biking and running.

 

[11:42] What were your drinking habits like?

 

Kari – I drank through high school but it really ramped up after college.  I was a binge and social drinker but would drink until I blacked out.  I would often try and regulate my drinking and could do this for a little while.  I would track my drinks on a calendar but was miserable when I tried to moderate.

 

[22:00] Did you have a bottom?

 

Kari – After my college boyfriend committed suicide, I just didn’t care to keep my drinking in check.  Another bottom was when I locked myself out of my truck after a concert.  My husband had to come and get me.  He was very angry and I came to the realization that my life and marriage would not continue if I was still drinking.

 

[29:17] How did you get sober?

 

Kari – I reached out to some friends who were in AA and attended my first meeting.  I immediately knew that I belonged.  I saw hope in these meetings and a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

[36:00] Describe what your day is like.

 

Kari – Every morning I do some type of reading about recovery (Today’s a Gift, Each Day a New Beginning).  I enjoy the beauty around me and it helps keep me grounded.  I say thank you every night.

 

[39:30] Paul and Kari discuss her recent sailing trip

 

Kari – Both my husband and I were nervous that we wouldn’t have fun.  We still enjoyed our fruit drinks without alcohol and kept up our tradition of drinking during the sunsets.  I was able to remember the entire sailing trip.

 

[42:40] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? when I was in college and went up to the rooftop thinking it would be a good idea to jump
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? when I realized I couldn’t control my drinking
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? sharing my story as often as possible
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? AA
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? there is nothing that says that you have to figure this all out on your own
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? no matter how bad you feel, you can turn your life around
  7. You might be an alcoholic if….you order 2 drinks and slide the first one to the side because it’s the first one that gets you

 

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!”

 

May 22, 2017

Steph, with 6 months since her last drink, shares her story

Café RE is now on a waitlist to join.  Once the list gets to approximately 30-40 people, another group will be formed.  To be placed on the waitlist, go to www.recoveryelevator.com and click on the Café RE tab at the top of the page.  Enter the promo code RE1month to join.

It is often said that our HP will not give us more than we can handle.  For the last 8-10 months, Paul has been suffering from depression.  Around this time, he received a link from his brother about the black dog aka depression (www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc).  God shout out? The video basically describes how depression creeps up on you whenever it wants to.  It is very exhausting trying to keep the symptoms of depression hidden from others.  Depression is like losing all of the joy in your life.  Your addiction can start talking to you and may say that 1 drink may help.  But this is only temporary.  Drinking will not help!

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:00] Paul Introduces Steph.

 

Steph – I am 6 months sober and feeling great!  I am 46 years old, married and have 2 daughters.  I currently live in Canada and enjoy cooking and gardening.

 

[9:25] When did you first realize that you had a problem?

 

Steph – I have known that I had a drinking problem for the last 25 years.  I would drink and drive, blackout, etc. and went to a few AA meetings in my early 20’s.  I was sober for 3 years.  I do not think that I was ready to give it up entirely yet and started drinking again.  My drinking started out slow but steadily got worse.  I worked in bars and surrounded myself with other drinkers.  After I had my children, I tried to moderate but would still drink to get through the stress of parenting.

 

[15:53] What was it like to start drinking again after taking some time off?

 

Steph – After my pregnancies, my drinking very rapidly increased.  I reached a point where I was physically addicted and had to drink to keep the symptoms of withdrawal away.  If I did not drink, I would get severe anxiety.

 

[18:35] Did you have a rock bottom moment?

 

Steph – I tried to quit cold turkey and ended up in the hospital.  My children saw me being put into an ambulance.  1 week later, I was drinking again.  I felt like I had severely damaged my brain chemistry with all of the alcohol and I could not sleep without sleeping pills.  I eventually felt suicidal.

 

[20:45] How did you get sober 6 months ago?

 

Steph – I had to start tapering off because I was so physically addicted.  My husband helped me by locking up all of the alcohol and only giving me limited amounts each day.  I slowly decreased the amount of vodka over 10-12 days.  I really wanted to get sober so I did not drive to any liquor stores myself.

 

[27:22 ] What did you do after those 10-12 days went by?

 

Steph – I took Kevin O’Hara’s “How to Quit Drinking” course.  I would also start my day with recovery books and podcasts.  I also got very involved with an on-line community.

 

[29:00] How has your physical and emotional state evolved since quitting drinking?

 

Steph – I was on an emotional rollercoaster in the beginning.  Now, I have learned to respond rather than react to things.

 

[29:41] Paul and Steph talk about her U-Tube videos and blog.

 

Steph – my blog can be found at https://bestirredblog.wordpress.com.  Another friend in recovery and I started doing video blogs which can be found on U-Tube, called The Way Back.  I also do group skypes with other people in recovery.

 

[31:20] What have you learned the most?

 

Steph – I am a lot stronger than I thought.

 

[31:45] What is on your bucket list in sobriety?

 

Steph – I would like to help other people get sober.

 

[32:37] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? all of the non-memories
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? when I tried to stop drinking and couldn’t
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? helping others
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? A Facebook group called “Onwards and Upwards”
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? get out of your comfort zone
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? put the same amount of time and energy into your recovery, that you put into your drinking
  7. If you decide to start a family with hope that it will help you moderate your drinking, you just might be an alcoholic.

 

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!”

 

May 15, 2017

Ashley, with 16 days since her last drink, shares her story…..

Do not forget the AALRM race in Bozeman MT, on 5/20.  This supports recovery.  You can also sign up to do a virtual run at www.recoveryelevator.com\run.  Enter promo code “recovery” for a discount. 

The Café RE private face book group will be capped at 300 members.  If you would like to join the original group, now is the time to sign up.  Go to www.recoveryelevator.com and enter the promo code RE1 to get your first month free.

Alcohol does not make us more intelligent.  We all know that drinking and drinking is not good.  When we start drinking, our mind starts to shift and suddenly is seems like a good idea.  We only have a short distance to drive, right?  The statistics show that we drink and drive 76 times before getting caught.  Drinking also causes us to say and do stupid things, like trying to coax a poodle to run across 5 lanes of traffic, or shout out that a girl had a funky looking toe at a bar.  It you would like to send an e-mail with the most unintelligent thing you have ever done while drinking, drop a line to info@recoveryelevator.com. 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:22] Paul Introduces Ashley.

 

Ashley – I have been sober for 16 days and feel more focused this time.  I am from Iowa, 32 years old and have 3 sons.  I am trying to find new sober hobbies.

 

[13:11] When did you first notice that you had a problem?

 

Ashley – I started drinking at the age of 12.  I would party with older people.  I was sneaking booze at the age of 14 and my family sent me away to a home.  By the time, I was 21, I had 3 children and 2 DUI’s.  I still did not think that I had a problem.  I later lost my license for 5 years.  I was home alone, couldn’t drive and my drinking really took off.

 

[16:11] Was it hard getting sober at such a young age?

 

Ashley – It has been really hard since everyone I know drinks.  I am trying to distance myself from my drinker friends and find sober friends.

 

[17:47] You were sober before.  What happened to cause you to drink again?

 

Ashley – I was doing a cleanse to try and lose some weight.  But then a concert came around and I drank there.  I stopped for a few weeks but went to a funeral where everyone was drinking.  I ended up doing a shot and it was game on from there.  I drank for 6 days straight after that. I just couldn’t say no whenever someone offered me a drink.

 

[21:11] Did you ever put any rules in place to try and control your drinking?

 

Ashley – I’ve tried every rule imaginable; from only drinking on the weekends, to never drinking at home, or only drinking after the children went to bed.  

 

[24:00] How did you get sober this time?

 

Ashley – I try and go to AA every day and I listen to podcasts.

 

[25:41] What are you going to do differently this time?

Ashley – I am distancing myself from my drinking friends and trying to make new sober friends.  I also am looking for on-line support in order to locate sober people in my area.

 

[27:54] Do you think you will ever be able to attend shows sober?

 

Ashley – Right now, no.  But I love music so eventually I would like to be able to go.  It is going to take some time.

 

[29:23] Did you ever go to any “dark” places while drinking?

 

Ashley – I had tons of blackouts and I lost my license for 5 years.

 

[29:23] Paul and Ashley talk about a time when she felt like drinking but managed to control the urge.

 

Ashley – I was recently home alone and starting getting those thoughts of drinking.  I watched a few videos on U-Tube and thought that if I drank, I would ruin my week again.

 

[33:05] What is a typical day like for you?

 

Ashley – I try to keep very busy with work.  I also plan what AA meeting I am going to attend and get up and go.

 

[34:52] What are your thoughts on a HP?

 

Ashley – I believe in God and would go to church occasionally as a child.  I am trying to get back into church. 

 

[35:49] What are you most proud of and how are your relationships now?

 

Ashley – I am most proud of being there for my children.  I am more active with them.  My relationship is much better with them.  My children see me being active and happy.

 

[37:33] Do you have anything on your bucket list?

 

Ashley – I want to be able to truly love myself and my life.  I want to be able to do things without booze.

 

[38:35] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? when I was drunk, I got jumped in an ally way   
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? not being able to stop drinking while attending that funeral
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? stay distant from my drinker friends, go to AA,  podcasts
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Verbal surgery podcast
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? do not think so far ahead
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? start right now, focus on today
  7. You might be an alcoholic if…… you go to your local gas station and the cashier is questioning why you do not have any beer

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

Check out the upcoming Machu Picchu trip in 2018.  Send an e-mail to info@recoverelevator.com

 

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

 

May 8, 2017

Laura, with 41 days since her last drink, shares her story…….

Do you ever feel duped by alcohol?  Throughout high school, we were all told to “just say no” to drugs but not much was ever said about alcohol.  The reality is that only 1 in 10 people with an alcohol problem get treatment.  The research shows that the number 1 most addictive drug is alcohol.  It kills more people than all other drugs combined.

In 2015, Paul started the RE podcast just to stay accountable for himself.  Now, the podcast has gotten so popular because so many people are still struggling.  Even though addiction is a chronic disease of the brain, the stigma attached keeps people from getting the help that they need.  The challenge for all of us in recovery is to be open about out alcohol use, and get it out in the open.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[13:29] Paul Introduces Laura.

 

Laura – I am 40 years old and have not had a drink in 41 days.  I am married with 2 boys and I live in Michigan.  I am a special education teacher and enjoy most outdoor activities.

 

[16:41] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Laura – I had been drinking pretty heavily since my 20’s.  Last summer when I wanted to stop, I could not.  During a routine physical, I mentioned to my Dr. that I had some liver issues and that perhaps I should go to rehab.  He advised against it stating that there were only drug abusers in there.  He suggested I see their social worker but she wouldn’t see me because I was still drinking.  I felt like I was going around and around.  I even tried Harm reduction which did not work.

 

[19:46] When you stopped drinking did your health problems go away?

 

Laura – not entirely but they have gotten better.  I exercise more since I am not drinking and that makes me feel better.  My rheumatoid arthritis is still there.  I thought that once I quit drinking, I would be pain free but that was not the case.  After 40 days of not drinking, I am starting to feel some relief from pain.  I have started reading “The All Day Energy Diet.”

 

[23:14] Paul and Laura discuss the Harm Reduction Plan.

 

Laura – you are supposed to moderate and keep track of how many drinks you have each day.  It wasn’t working for me.  I found it difficult remaining in contact with the other people in the group.  School started and things got crazy so I started drinking again every night.  I wanted to stop but just didn’t want to put the work in to do it.

 

[25:25] How did that feel when you wanted to stop but just wasn’t ready?

 

Laura – I could get a few days of sobriety under my belt but would always drink on that 3rd day.  I was a responsible drinker and would get everything done in my household by 8pm so that I could start drinking.

 

[30:00] So how did you get 41 days of sobriety?

 

Laura – I kept myself very busy or would go for a walk just to keep my mind off of it.  Every morning I try to exercise and it feels great to not have the guilt about drinking the night before.  After work if I get cravings, I will drink a cup of coffee.  I also enjoy reading sobriety books and once the summer starts, I would like to check out some AA and SMART meetings.

 

[32:14] Do you have anything on your sobriety bucket list?

 

Laura – I would like to run a 5K, travel, and spend more quality time with my children.

 

[32:59] What advice would you give to your younger sense?

 

Laura – Stop drinking when you are young.  Drinking is not realistic.  It is OK to experience your emotions.  Do not be afraid to feel them.

 

[33:03] What are your thoughts on relapse?

 

Laura – The thought of relapse scares me.  I do not want to lose control like that again.

 

[35:00] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?  I mistakenly hid my husband’s iPad instead of my son’s.  The next morning I could not remember where I had hidden it.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I was at a bar with my then boyfriend.  I made him so mad that he never spoke to me again and I have no idea what I had done
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? stay connected, trying some AA and SMART meetings and giving back to the community
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I am reading the 30 Day Sobriety Solution, the RE podcast and the RE Face Book group
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? take it 1 day at a time
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Use the resources that are out there and do not give up.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if….. you order 2 drinks at a time because the bartender is to slow

 

Interesting fact – India has passed a law that establishments that serve liquor cannot be close to federal highways.  They have 400 traffic fatalities a day and a big portion of these are due to alcohol.  You might be an alcoholic if you remove federal highway signs and replace them with city signs, so that your business is not affected by this new law.

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

Check out the new Recovery Elevator sobriety tracker

AALRM – run for recovery.  The link is at recoveryelevator.com/run.  Enter the promo code    recoveryelevator to receive a discount

Book – The All Day Energy Diet by Yuri Elkaim

 

 

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

 

May 1, 2017

Julie, with 92 days sober, shares her story………

Big alcohol companies like to blame the individual rather than the poison that they sell.  The liquor industry spends millions of dollars on advertisements that tell us we should drink responsibly.  If we do not drink responsibly, than we are to blame.  We should know when to say when, right?  The facts show that alcohol kills 85,000 people each year.  But to the companies selling the booze, money is the name of the game.  These companies make billions while avoiding high taxes because alcohol is not taxed as high as other beverages.

*********************************Don’t be duped by alcohol advertisements*****************************************

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:21] Paul Introduces Julie

 

Julie – I have been sober for 92 days and it feels really good.  I did not think that I could do it.  I am 35 years old and work as a nurse.  I enjoy music and going to concerts.

 

[11:00] When did you realize you had a problem with alcohol?

 

Julie – I have known for years.  I just could never get enough.  My first issue was with drugs so I did not focus on my alcohol problem.  I went to rehab for drug abuse in 2010 and stayed sober for 18 months after that.  The rehab helped with my drug use but then I turned to alcohol.  When I tried to quit alcohol, I had hallucinations and ended up spending 4 days in the psych ward.

 

[14:24] What happened after your 18 months of sobriety?

 

Julie – I had already started planning to drink.  I knew I was going to attend another concert and thought I could drink normally.  I ended up drinking so much that I blacked out and continued to drink for 5 more years.  I always told myself, “when _______  happens,” I will stop drinking.  But I never stopped.  I woke up each morning feeling defeated, angry and bitter.

 

[18:00] Was your rock bottom 92 days ago?

 

Julie – I did not have a bottom 92 days ago.  I was just tired of being sick and tired.  I kept wondering when I was going to lose my medical license.  I knew it was just a matter of time before this happened.  Then, I thought I would try to quit and when it didn’t work, I could at least say that I had tried.

 

[19:05] Paul asks Julie how she got sober 92 days ago.

 

Julie – I listened to a lot of podcasts and made it to 30 days.  I was feeling really good but still ordered a glass of wine while at lunch with my brother.  I did not even enjoy it.  I finally admitted to my family that I was done drinking.

 

[21:23] Paul and Julie discuss accountability.

 

Julie – My family has been super supportive of my sobriety.  I try to take it 1 situation at a time.  I still have not been completely honest with them about how much I was consuming but my parents are very encouraging to me.

 

[25:00] What else did you do?

 

Julie – My best friend has been sober for over a year and she has been supporting me.  I do a lot of reading and am constantly working at changing my mindset.

 

[27:47] How have your cravings been?

 

Julie – I try and distract myself by taking my dogs for a walk or keeping busy. I know that the cravings will pass.

 

[28:34] How did you feel during your first week of sobriety?

 

Julie – I was pretty apprehensive the first week.  I did not think that I could do it.  Once 30 days went by, I felt that I had a chance at making it.  I am more confident as each day passes.

 

[29:34] What advice would you give to your younger self?

 

Julie – You pay a price for everything that you do.  You do not know everything when you are young.  Drinking is not fun and games anymore.

 

[30:00] What have you learned in sobriety?

 

Julie – When I was drinking, I was not living in reality.  I was just going through the motions.  I have learned that it is possible to live sober and have a clear mind.  I did not want to accept that I would be drinking for the rest of my life and possibly losing my career.

 

[31:00] What are your rules in sobriety?

 

Julie – Attitude is everything and I am learning as much as I can.

 

[33:38] Do you have a bucket list?

 

Julie – I would like to get out of my comfort zone more, try meditation and yoga.

 

[34:47  ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? withdrawing while in the pysch ward
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? every day was an oh shit moment
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? staying active and reading
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? RE podcast and the private FB group
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? do not feel like you have to do it all at once
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? take the first steps and worry about tomorrow when it gets here
  7. You might be an alcoholic if….. you loathe the existence of everyone at the gas station because when they see you, they know that you cannot drink normally

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

Good Reads to Check Out: Blackout, This Naked Mind, Beyond the Influence

 

 

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

 

1