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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: August, 2017
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.

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