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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: May, 2018
May 28, 2018

The path of sobriety is not always easy.  Many of us will stumble, fall, relapse and find ourselves back at square one.  It's not the end of the world.  When we relapse, we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and, if necessary, reinvent ourselves. 

Tamara, with 48 days since her last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[3:57] Paul Introduces Tamara.

Tamara is 31 years old, from Nashville, Tennessee.  For fun, she enjoys cooking, the outdoors, and spending time with loved ones. 

 

[7:00] When did you realize you wanted to quit drinking?

Her first drink was on her 21st birthday.  She drank through her 20s.  She had alcohol abuse in her family.  She thought her family was wrong by hiding alcohol from her. She thought it was fun.  The progression of her alcoholism snuck up on her.  She assumed it was healthy and normal.  She went through a big period of change that left her unsatisfied.

 

[15:30] Did you put any rules into place when you tried to quit drinking?

Yes.  She would try to limit other bad activities and use drinking as a reward.  She tried to abstain for a month with a friend.  She convinced herself to keep drinking.  Each year the rules would narrow until she stopped trying to do her cleanses.  She began to realize that she had a problem but she kept trying to fix other areas of her life, hoping it would fix her drinking.  Her ex told her about recovery elevator.  After listening she realized that she wasn't alone. 

 

[22:28] After drinking, what was it like without alcohol?

Weird.  She experienced physical withdrawal symptoms like anxiety.  Then she felt great.. experienced a pink cloud. 

 

[24:40] Has everyone in your life been on board with your lifestyle change?

No.  Her family and coworkers have been supportive but not everyone. 

 

[26:45]  What do you think brought on your relapse?  What did you take away?

She went on a work trip.  Everyone else was drinking.  She didn't yet have her recovery ingrained enough to handle the environment.  She now is working on a more holistic recovery strategy. 

 

[29:23] Walk us through a typical day in your recovery.

She tries to work on her recovery daily.  She says the prayer of serenity.  She meditates.  She tries to avoid negative news and media.  Her morning routine helps her stay in the right frame of mind to handle anything life can throw at her. 

 

[31:20] What have you learned about yourself in sobriety so far?

She learned that she deserves the things that she wants.  She sees more of the bigger picture now.  She's not afraid to relate to different kinds of people.  She focuses more on her values and ignores the noise.  She makes more of an effort to show up and work on herself first. 

 

[32:50] What's on your bucket list in sobriety?

She wants to work the steps.    

 

[33:30] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    She started cutting herself to help deal with the deep depression she was experiencing. It helped her feel in control of herself.  One night she cut herself too deeply and she had to go to the emergency room.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    She's going to continue to work it to her best ability. She wants to continue adding tools to her recovery portfolio. 
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    Cafe RE. The community in your online recovery community. 
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    “What is your motivation?” When there is no clear-cut ethical guide, she has to get to the bottom of her own intentions. 
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    You are not alone. The recovery community is huge and willing to share with you.  Share your story.  There is no shame. 
  7. You might be an alcoholic if...

    “when discussing oral surgery with your physician, your first concern is how quickly you will be able to drink wine afterwards.”

    “What's in the water bottle?  … vodka.. just kidding!  .. it's actually vodka.” 

 

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!”

 

May 21, 2018

Please listen with an open heart and open mind.

- Paul

May 14, 2018

Has addiction always been a problem? 

Alcohol has been around for thousands of years, but has alcoholism? In Gabor Maté's book, “In the realm of hungry ghosts” he states:

“The precursor to addiction is dislocation... the loss of psychological, social, and economic integration into family and culture.. a sense of exclusion, isolation and powerlessness.  Only chronically and severely dislocated people are vulnerable to addiction.  The historical correlation to severe dislocation and addiction is strong.  Although alcohol consumption and drunkenness on festive occasions was widespread in Europe during the middle ages, only a few people become drunkards or inebriates.  So what happened?”

Dislocation became more prevalent during the rise of industrial society in the 1800's.  As traditional familial or cultural roles weakened, alcoholism became more widespread. 

The effects of this can be seen not only in the US on both immigrant and native populations, but also in the native aboriginal cultures of New Zealand and the rising number of addicts in China as it struggles during periods of rapid growth.

Caroline, with over 1 year since her last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:50] Paul Introduces Caroline.

 

Caroline is from New Zealand, 40 years old, married and a mother of three.  She enjoys reading, she is the new owner of a pub. 

 

[11:15] When did you first suspect that you had a problem with drinking?

She started at 13 or 14.  She knew pretty early that she drank more than most.  As she got older she used drinking as a coping mechanism.  She surrounded herself with other drinkers.  Had an epiphany when she came upon the book “Mrs. D is Going Without” by Lotta Dann.  It changed her definition of an alcoholic and made her reassess her own drinking.  

 

[14:25] Did you ever try to quit prior to your successful attempt?  Did you moderate or put rules into place?

She tried it all.  She drank heavily in university.  As she got older, the hangovers became unbearable and her depression got worse.  She began to rethink her drinking in her late 30's.  She tried to moderate with restricting the day of the week or the type of drink and it only got worse. 

 

[16:00] Was your drinking tied in with your depression?  How were they linked?

She would always feel shame and embarrassment the days following a bout of heavy drinking. 

 

[17:17] Did you experience a rock bottom moment?

She had many.  One that stood out, she was studying and driving into town with a hangover for the 4th week in a row.  She realized that she can't moderate and that it was having larger consequences than she liked and she decided to quit.  She quit for 100 days, thought she was cured, relapsed and went back to drinking.  Then she woke up and realized she had a problem.  She wasn't going to wait for something more serious to happen before she quit.

 

[21:00] How did you quit?  What were your first few days like?

She thinks drinking stunned her emotional growth.  She had to relearn how to deal with stress and emotions.  She had to learn how to be kind to herself.  She had been previously been through some emotional trauma and the emotions bubbled up when she was sobered up.  She finally processed the emotions and did some soul searching and now she feels lighter. 

 

[26:06] Can you think of an example in early sobriety in which you had to try a new coping mechanism?

She always thought she wasn't good enough.  The night her husband was injured she was pregnant and she almost lost her daughter and husband on the same night.  When it bubbled up  she cried and released the feelings. 

 

[27:35] Walk us through a typical day in your sobriety.  How are you going to get to year 2?

She is more kind to herself.  She's made some friendship in online communities.  She is interested in developing and maintaining real life connections with sober and like-minded people. 

 

[28:45] Why is it important to have those real life connections?

She feels she can relax and be herself with no shame or judgment.  Everyone supports one another.  She laughs with her friends and truly enjoys being sober. 

[30:20] What have you learned most about yourself in sobriety?

That she's okay.  Her relationship with herself and her inner world has changed.  She is now more content and proud of herself. 

[31:08] What's on your bucket list going forward in sobriety?

To continue to develop real life friendships.  To focus on her health and family.  To raise her daughters with healthy inner dialogues.  To instill awareness in her family that there is another way.  To lead by example. 

[33:50] How did you end up buying a pub?

She wasn't looking for a pub specifically, but it was just something she always wanted to do.  They're changing it to be more of a family friendly place. 

[35:33] What will you do if you encounter an alcoholic in your restaurant? 

At first she was shameful about having a problem with drinking.  She met someone with a problem and just reached out to them to let them know they were available. 

 

[37:30] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    The lack of memories.   Her imagination would fill the gaps and it wasn't pleasant. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    The hangover after she relapsed after over 100 days sober.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    To continue to develop sober friendships. Keep pushing herself in positive directions. 
    To keep living life and stay fit and active.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    Living Sober, a free online sober community based in New Zealand.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    Make the decision. You accept the step to move forward.  It turns off the head chatter. 
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    Picture yourself in 5 years time as a drinker. Create a vivid detailed picture.. are you still drinking?  What are your relationships like?  How do you feel?  Now picture your sober future.  How are they different?

    You might be an alcoholic if...

    you gulp down a first glass of wine before pouring two glasses of wine to bring out to your husband. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – a book by Gabor Maté
Mrs. D is Going Without – a book by Lotta Dann
Living Sober – A free online sober community

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 7, 2018

When we are in the throws of an addiction to alcohol, the effects go beyond just us.  They affect our family and those closest to us. 

After running the podcast for 3 years, Paul has begun to notice patterns emerging.  One of the biggest patterns he noticed might be the key to successful sobriety:  Accountability.  Getting sober can be daunting, and the people around you are owed an explanation.  The act of saying it out loud not only makes it real, but makes others aware of what you are trying to achieve.  They can help keep you on track when things get difficult, and if your drinking has hurt anyone else in the past, it can be the first step towards forgiveness. 

Telling the people in your life that you are trying to get and stay sober is probably the most important thing you can do to affect your chances of success.

Amy, with 422 days since her last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:30] Paul Introduces Amy.

 

Amy is 33 years old, from Wisconsin, married with 3 kids.  She works in human resources in healthcare, but is about to leave her job and focus on her family full time.  She likes yoga, and the outdoors. 

[12:00] What are your plans now that you are sober?

She wants to get more involved in her community.

 

[13:00] When did you realize it was time to quit drinking?

She was having a hard time moderating, was losing control. 

 

[13:33] What rules did you have in place during your moderating phase?

She and her husband tried only drinking on weekends, only when at restaurants, only certain kinds of drinks, only on payday, etc.  It didn't work. 

 

[16:30] Is your husband supportive of your decision to get sober?

Yes.  He helps by not drinking around her and by keeping alcohol out of the house. 

 

[17:07] When did you start drinking?

In high school.  It got out of control in college.  She adopted a party girl personality.  She was drinking 4 beers a night.  It progressed into a problem once she went through her first divorce.  She felt hopeless and used alcohol to cope. 

 

[21:57] How did you decide to quit?

She was drinking daily, feeling terrible.  Some good things began to happen and she felt that it lifted her out of her funk.  She got a new job, which enabled her to pay down her debt and she started taking care of herself again.  She fell in love.  The drinking was still crazy and she couldn't control it.  She tried to take a break, but it wouldn't work.  She was writing a lot in her journal, then went on an 8-day binge.  She woke up from that and had hit rock bottom.  She decided to quit on that day.. the difference was that she was ready to accept her situation. 

 

[27:30] What was it like to reach the point of acceptance?

It was liberating.  Acceptance brought self forgiveness, which enabled her to start moving forward in a new way. 

 

[31:30] How did you do it?  How did you quit?

She started to binge listen to recovery podcasts, she read This Naked Mind.  She focused on being kind to herself.  She reached out to sober friends and family.  Connecting with close relatives and friends helped boost her confidence.  They helped her get through the first few weeks.  She began to see the bigger consequences of drinking on her health, career, relationships.  Her husband supported her fully. 

[34:37] At what point did you begin to see the benefits?

Day 2.  The first few weeks there were headaches, sleep issues, etc. She experienced the pink cloud.  She found out she was pregnant the month she quit drinking.  She started looking at the bigger picture.  She experienced normal activities as a sober person and was amazed at the difference. 

[39:46] What's on your bucket list?

She's excited to be a stay-at-home mother soon.  Many of her friends are reaching out to her in support of her sobriety. 

 

[42:33] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    Going to a concert and getting drunk, getting into a fight and walking around completely blacked out.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    She woke up one day with a damaged car but didn't remember what caused it.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    To really stay active in her community. To focus on her family.  To meditate more.  To exercise.  Hang out with the family.  Reading in the evening to wind down. 
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    Put your sobriety first. Before kids, marriage, career. 
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    Educate yourself about alcoholism. The truth will give you the confidence to go forward knowing what you have to do.  Life is too short to be drunk. 
  7. You might be an alcoholic if...

    You fear being a stay at home because you assume you will be drunk the whole time.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Today's podast episode is brought to you by Zip Recruiter and Casper.

Try Zip Recruiter today for free.

Get $50 off select mattresses by visiting Casper and us the promo code Elevator

This Naked Mind – A book by Annie Grace
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – A book by Gabor Maté
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!”

 

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