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
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: July, 2017
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!”

 

1