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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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Recovery Elevator | Stop Drinking, Start Recovering. | Alcohol, Addiction & Life in Sobriety
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Now displaying: June, 2017
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!”

 

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