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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: Category: self-help
Feb 12, 2018

In this episode, Paul vents a little bit of his frustration and anger in recovery about AA and “big alcohol”. 

Without alcohol in our lives to help us deal with difficult emotions.. anger, resentment, and frustration (to name a few) often rise to the surface.  Paul expresses his concern for the abundance of alcohol in society, despite the overwhelming evidence that it is destructive and harmful. 

Katie, with 496 days since her last drink, shares her story:

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:00] Paul Introduces Katie.

Katie is 29 years old, originally from New York, but lived in Colorado for a while and now lives in Dallas, Texas.  Since quitting drinking and she is now into fitness.  She recently ran her first half marathon.   

[15:45] How did you realize you had a problem and how did you get sober?

Katie drank a lot in school.  After college, she moved to Denver.  She started going out every night, and developed insomnia.  Went to the doctor, was prescribed Xanax.  The medication eventually stopped working.  The insomnia continued.  She medicated on both ends of her sleep. 

 

[19:50] When did you realize the core problem wasn't being solved? 

In Dallas, the doctors tried to taper down her medications. 

 

[23:33] When did rehab enter the picture?

She felt alone and stuck.  She broke down in her apartment.  While moving, she found pills that she was hiding from herself.  While her father was helping her move, they went to therapy and had a break down in front her her therapist and her father.  Therapist told her she was still young and had a lot of life in front of her. 

 

[27:45] You realized you had a drinking problem while in rehab?

Yes. She was in denial about why she was going.  Thought it was just for rest.  Left sober, but with the intention of using her meds normally, or as prescribed.  In rehab, she slept well.    She was going to try to use meds to stay sober... realized she was an alcoholic. 

 

[30:35]  What was it like after?

Returning to Dallas was tough.  She had no support structure.  Started to make friends through the sober community.  Got into fitness.  Met a guy who was a big drinker, turns out he had been sober for a while and understood her situation. 

[37:00] How did you overcome the desire to relapse?

She lost a romantic partner, and it was difficult.  She insisted on making it to 1 year, though.  She realized that emotions are fleeting. 

[38:10]  What is your proudest moment in sobriety?

She's visiting her best friend from college.  They're celebrating sobriety together.  She's also found out that many other people are getting sober. 

[40:26]  What is something that you've learned about yourself in sobriety?

She's resilient.  She's been hitting her fitness goals more easily. 

 

[41:41] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    Woke up in a disgusting apartment with bug bites.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    The moment of clarity in rehab.

  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    Focus on the positive, and keeping the eye on the prize. Don't mess with the routine. 
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    Her gym. A tough workout, with intention setting. 
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    It's a lot easier to stay sober than it is to get sober.

  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    Just try it. You can always go back to the life with alcohol. 

  7. You might be an alcoholic if...

    You have a parking permit at the liquor store so you can park there without worrying about driving drunk.


 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Visit Rxbar.com/elevator and use the promo code elevator for 25% off your first order.

The Sober Truth – a book by Lance and Zachary Dodes, debunking recovery programs
From Death Do I Part a book by Amy Lee Coy, her story about overcoming addiction
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!”

Feb 5, 2018

“For us to be successful in sobriety, we must fill the void left by alcohol.”
-Russel Brand, Recovery:  Freedom from Our Addictions

Drinking plays a big role in our lives.  Many of our social gatherings revolve around it.  We use it to relax or to deal with difficult emotions.  When we quit drinking, a void is then created that can be felt across many areas of our lives.  What do we do with this?  Should we fill it?  With what?

When the void is present, some try to use willpower to ignore it or to muscle through or around it.  Unfortunately, studies show that willpower is a finite resource and can not be solely relied upon to quit successfully.  If the void (also known as the emotional and spiritual causes of alcoholism) isn't properly dealt with, one can become what is known as a “dry drunk.”  The behaviors, coping mechanisms, and mindsets of the alcoholic are still present; the only difference is the lack of alcohol consumption.

In sobriety, we find ourselves with more... more time, more energy, and more mental clarity.  It's important to fill this time and spend this energy in a healthy and productive way so that the reasons for the void's existence begin to disappear as we lay a healthy and solid foundation for living.  Find things you like to do, and more importantly, find the communities surrounding those activities and do your best to become a part of them.

Chrissy, with 2 and ½ years, talks about how she married her drinking buddy:

SHOW NOTES

[12:50] Paul Introduces Chrissy.

Chrissy has been sober for 2 and ½ years.  She's from Mill Valley, California.  48 years old.  District Sales Manager.  Mother of two teenage boys.  She has two dogs.  Married.

[14:42] When did you first realize you had a drinking problem?

She used to be in denial.  She married her drinking buddy.  Started dabbling to get out of her head.  Became a problem when she moved to a town where everyone drank.  Started drinking daily.  Lead to a health scare.

[17:10] What was it like to find out you had Grade A Liver Cirrhosis?

She lost a lot of weight. She was mistaken for someone who was pregnant.  Ignored swelling abdomen and yellow eyes.  Eventually couldn't ignore symptoms.  The doctor called her an alcoholic.  She says the doctor is a good place to go for help.

[20:50] Did you ever attempt to moderate or control your drinking?

She always tried to manage it.  She had an idea for a perfect medium buzz.  The health scare is what made her consider quitting.

[22:47] What was it like when you first quit?

It took a few weeks for her body to repair itself.  She now gets checked up regularly.

[25:30] What did you learn about yourself during this process?

Once the fog was lifted, she began to ponder why she drank.  Now she says it isn't important.  It's more important to stay sober.  Year 1 was “how do I stay sober?” and now year 2 is “how do I manage my emotions?”.  Year 3 is now easier and more relaxing.

[27:10] What was it like to cut ties with alcohol completely?

She felt like she was kicking her best friend to the curb.  She had to get it out of her immediate surroundings.  At first, she felt sad, was white knuckling it.  Now she feels that quitting drinking was the one thing that changed her life completely.

[31:17] What does a day in recovery look like for you?

A neighbor took her to a meeting.  Found a sponsor.  Podcasts.  Reading books.  Surrounding myself with sobriety.  Changed her priorities.. recovery, then family, then work.

[33:25] What was it like to marry your drinking buddy?

She used to blame him a lot for her drinking.  She noticed that he drinks less.  They did therapy together.  She's focusing on herself.  She's not sure whether or not her husband is an alcoholic.
[36:00] What advice do you have for someone in recovery which is with someone who drinks?

Changed her perspective.  Release me from the bondage of “self”.  She focuses on herself.  She sees her partner more with compassion.

[39:40]  What do you have to say to a person who is scared of quitting because they feel they might become depressed?

Reach out and get some help.  Any hospital will help you to quit drinking.  Get to a safe place... get over the hump, just for a few days.

[42:20] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

     

    After delivering a baby, all she wanted to do was get home and have a drink.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

     

    When a colleague told her that her eyes were yellow.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    Continue to stay in the middle of the herd. Continue to work with the sponsor, and keep going.

  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    Her community in recovery.

  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

     

    “If your ass falls off, pick it up and come to a meeting.”

     

  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

     

    If you're thinking about it, just go for it. If it's not for you, you'll know.

     

  7. You might be an alcoholic if...

     

    A worker at the grocery store mistakes your alcohol purchase as being for a large group of people.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery:  Freedom from Our Addictions by Russell Brand

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!”

Jan 29, 2018

Does anybody have experience with naltrexone, Antabuse (disulfiram), or Campral (acamprosate)?” 

These drugs are designed to help people deal with the physical side effects of quitting alcohol.  While readily available, most 12 step programs will not mention quit aids such as these.  In the Radio Lab episode “The Fix”, they mention that a very small percentage of people in the early stages of drinking ever qualify for receiving drugs to help them quit.  Many people will seek out an easy way to quit, and though these drugs may seem attractive, the only way to successfully move forward is by putting in the work. 

Disulfiram -  more commonly known as Antabuse, is intended to create negative side effects to break the positive association with drinking.  It will not help with the physical cravings of quitting.  The United States National Institutes of Health says “...it is unlikely that disulfiram will have any real effect on the drinking pattern of the  chronic alcoholic.”

Naltrexone – blocks brain opioid receptors.  Probably the most popular.  It alters the brain's neurochemistry to make alcohol less rewarding.  The alcohol molecule is similar to an opioid molecule and is received similarly in the brain.  Naltrexone blocks the high one gets from drinking. 

Acamprosate  - more commonly known as Campral, is newer than the other drugs in the US.  The complete workings of this drugs are currently unknown, but it appears to disrupt the activity of the gaba and glutamate neurotransmitter systems in the brain, essentially quickening the pace at which a brain affected by alcohol returns to normalcy.

Are these drugs a cure for alcoholism?  The common experience is no.  These pills only address the physical component of the disease, leaving the emotional and spiritual causes unchecked. 

Some key points from “The Fix” episode by Radio Lab: 

1 – Billy's Story – The drugs did what they were supposed to do, in that they helped him get his drinking under control, but they did not cure the underlying causes for his alcoholism.

2 – The separation between the addiction community and the medical community started in the 30s during the tuberculosis epidemic, eventually leading to the medical community relying on medicine and the recovery community relying on a higher power.

3 – According to Anna Rose-Childress, people prone to addiction are the fittest of the fit, evolutionary speaking.  They are rewarded from their environment in more subtle ways, which seems to backfire in today's  modern environment. 

Stephen, with 12 days since his last drink, shares his story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[13:33] Paul Introduces Stephen.  How long have you been sober?  Who are you? What do you do for fun?

 

Over 12 days. From  Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.  29yo.  Works as a graphic and web designer.  Recent graduate of Nutritional Medicine.  Engaged to be married.  Love fitness and reading self-help books. 

 

[15:00] When did you realize that you weren't drinking normally?

 

Realized he couldn't just have a quiet night.  One drink lead to many, which lead to a three day bender, which lead to difficulty stopping drinking. 

 

[16:00] How did your drinking progress? 

 

Tried staying drunk to avoid hangovers. 

 

[18:00] Did you experience a kind of rock bottom?

 

Not a rock bottom, but a realization that he had no self control as long as there was alcohol in his system. 

 

[18:55] Did you put any rules in place to moderate your drinking? 

 

Tried general strategies.  Only drinking at night, etc.  They went out the window quite often. Tried using Antabuse but couldn't afford it. 

 

[20:19]  What was it like using Antabuse? 

 

Was moderate successful. Quit for 3 months.  Doesn't cure the holistic problem. 

 

[22:50]  Are you still using medication to help you stay sober?

 

No.  Not working for him in the long run.

 

[25:00]  How did you pick your sobriety date?  What strategies are you using?

 

Figured it was a good year to step it up.  Trying to keep busy.  Noticed that I have an addictive personality.  Figured I'd meditate more and focus on my career. 

 

[28:11]  What have you lost to alcohol? 

 

Lost a lot of friends.  Made poor choices while drinking.  Lost a previous romantic relationship.  Lead to positive outcomes.  

 

[30:20] What advice would you give to your younger self in regards to drinking?

“You don't need to go out and hit up the nightclubs to have fun.”  I used to drink and play video games.  The association is still strong and tough to break.  

[31:45]  Have you tried AA?  

He considered it.  This year he may try it out to experience the community. 

[34:20]  Do you experience cravings?  If so, what do you when they arise? 

Tried waiting it out.  Reaches out to someone at church.  Avoids the internal conflict. 

 

[36:30] Rapid Fire Round

  • What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

Out at a pub, decided to go outside and sit on a bench.  Woke up in an ambulance.  Needed stitches from passing out and hitting his head. 

 

  • Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

 

Was on a 3 day bender.  Went for a drive and because of sleep deprivation was in a car accident. 

 

  • What’s your plan moving forward?

 

One day at a time.  Keep setting positive goals.  Stay fit.  Looking up.  

 

  • What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

 

Recovery Elevator is the biggest one.  Listen to podcasts, reads books.   

 

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

 

You're not alone, and you always have a choice.  

 

  • What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

 

Think of the long term benefits, especially your health.

 

  • You might be an alcoholic if...

 

get up early on a work day and have a double vodka, even before your decide whether or not you're going to work. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Radiolab – The Fix

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Traker 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!”

 

Jan 22, 2018

"Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon."  

This phrase is commonly heard in 12 step meetings.  When it comes to recovery, a half-hearted attempt could have disasterous results.  Recovery can be confusing.  Half measures might yield mediocre results in other areas of life, but due to the nature of the beast, unfortunatly the truth is that alcoholism can not be defeated while alchol is still being consumed, and thus requires one to quit drinking completely in order to successfully move forward without alcohol.

While this is true in the long run, most of us use half measures at the beginning to try and control our drinking.  This is normal and, though half measures in regard to quitting drinking leads to relapse, it may also lead one to the conclusion that they have to quit completely.  Sometimes the wrong train will take you to the right destination. 

 

Zoey, with 7 months since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:15] Paul Introduces Zoey.  How long have you been sober?  Who are you? What do you do for fun?

 

Over 7 months sober.  June 1, 2017 sobriety date.  Married.  Louisville, KY.  23yo.  Works at a freight facility.  Still learning what she likes to do for fun.  Has 2 dogs.  Likes music, reading, cooking. 

 

[9:40] What spurred you into sobriety?

 

Had a car accident while under the influence that she didn't remember. 

 

[12:00] Did you ever put any rules in place to try and control your drinking?

 

Yes.  Switching types of drinks.  Switched from beer to liquor to lower the quantity of drinks she consumed thinking she wouldn't be viewed as an alcoholic.  She would also force herself to run a mile for each drink she consumed. 

 

[13:25] Before your accident, were there signs that you were drinking too much?

 

Many.  Husband was afraid to be around her while she drank.  Also, she would jokingly mention that she was an alcholic in conversation, surprising herself. 

 

[14:45] Was this your first attempt to quit drinking after the accident? 

 

Yes.  She had a meltdown and wound up in a psychiatric hospital, was diagnosed and medicated.  She tried to stop because of her medication, but she couldn't last more than 5 days.  She also lied to doctors about her drinking. 

 

[17:45]  What's it like getting sober at your young age? 

 

Different than others.  To her, age didn't matter.  She believes she has hurt enough people and has felt enough pain for anyone at any age.  Her friends still drink so she had to remove herself from her social connections. 

 

[19:55]  How did you determine which friendships to keep and which to end?

 

She looked at the things they did together, whether or not there was any real connection beyond alcohol.   It wasn't difficult because the stakes were high.  If she couldn't get sober, her life wouldn't move forward in a healthy way. 

 

[22:28]  How did you get sober?  Did you go to a clinic? 

 

Both inpatient and outpatient.  On her 1st day of sobriety, she checked into a detox program for 6 days.  After, she attented a 5 week intensive outpatient program.  This was during the first month or so of sobriety.

 

[23:45]  What is outpatient treatment like? 

 

Very beneficial.  She says she wasn't an easy patient.  The program involved a lot of conversation and teaching, helping the patient decide what is best for the patient.  

 

[24:37] What is your point of view on the disease concept?

She finds it helpful to know that she have a disease that can be treated.  It is the answer she has been searching for.  Not all decisions about health come from a doctor, one can decide for oneself.  Also she isn't alone. 

[26:30]  What does your recovery portfolio look like now?  A day in the life. 

Coffee in the morning, then playing with dogs, followed by prayers and meditations.  Meditation helps a lot.  AA meetings at least every other night.  Reach out to support group when she needs help, which is often. 

[27:35]  How is it important to stay connected? 

Incredibly important.  There is also pain in sobriety, but more support from  a community.  Sobriety is only the beginning.  Someone can give advice while dealing with problems. 

[28:45]  How did you deal with your grandmother's passing while sober?

It was difficult.  She noticed she was more present with family. She reminded herself that relapse wasn't an option.  She didn't want to disappoint her family.  "I've got to stay sober so I can handle this and be there for the people that need me."  The stakes were high, as she was feeling suicidal.  Meetings helped.  Reading helped. 

[31:50]  How have your coping skills improved over the past months?

I no longer jump to conclusions, then run to alcohol.  I take a moment to think about and assess each situation when it arises.

[33:15]  Have you experienced cravings in your sobriety?  If yes, what do you do when they come? 

I haven't really had physical cravings.  Mental? Yes.  She is using the tools that she has been given to stay sober.  The challenge for her is mental. 

 

[34:30] Rapid Fire Round

  • What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

One night became suicidal.  Chased husband around with a knife. 

 

  • Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

 

When husband said he was afraid to be around me while I was drinking. 

 

  • What’s your plan moving forward?

 

Continue doing what works.  Stay in touch with other people and myself.  Don't give in and hit the F-it button.

 

  • What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

 

The Big Book from AA. 

 

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

 

Whenever times get hard, you can either a) hit the F-it button, b) fight what you're going through head on. 

 

  • What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

 

Go with your gut.  If you think it's time to quit it is.  "You can put your shovel down whenever you want.  You don't have to keep digging your hole deeper."

 

  • You might be an alcoholic if...

 

you have a very hard time choosing between a happy and sober life or a painfully alcoholic death. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Retreat in Machu Picchu  -  Retreat of a lifetime coming up in October. 17 people have signed up so far.

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Traker 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!”

 

Jan 15, 2018

Paul summarizes Step 3 from the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous.

 

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives

over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Step three in a nutshell means we are asking for help.  A God of our understanding can be anything.  We must be convinced that a life run on self will can hardly be a success.

Jenna, with over 3 years since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:39] Paul Introduces Jenna.  I live in Colorado, I work in IT, and I’m 38 and have a 10-year-old daughter.  I love hiking, running, and skiing.  I love to cook. 

 

[12:38] Paul- When did you start drinking?

 

Jenna- I actually didn’t start drinking until I was in college.  I didn’t drink in High School.  The first time I drank I was 12.  I discovered a bottle of alcohol, and poured it into a coke. 

 

[21:25] Paul-  What was it that led you to quit drinking?

 

Jenna- I had several bottoms before September of 2014.  I knew alcohol wasn’t working for me, but no one knew that alcohol was the cause of my anxiety and depressing and feeling horrible. 

 

[28:42] Paul- How liberating was it to be in that environment where your mom with nothing to hide?

 

Jenna-  She cooked me lots of healthy food.  It took me days to be able to eat.  That love and being cared for was huge.  She was there for me for whatever I needed.

 

[34:15] Paul- Talk to me about the timeline, and the patience.  What do you have to say on that?  It does keep getting better.

 

Jenna- That first year was amazing and hard at the same time.  I had to learn how to do everything without alcohol in a culture where everything revolves around alcohol.  Having accountability with my sponsor and my husband was huge in all of those times.

 

 

[43:21] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? That would be when we were in Vegas for my Grandma’s 90th birthday party, and I took my daughter to the bathroom, and I got lost.  I didn’t know how to get back to the restaurant and I was drunk.

 

  1. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Labor Day weekend of 2014.  We were going camping.  It was always my job to pack up the camper. I decided to drink before doing that, by the time we got out to the campsite 90% of what we needed was not in the camper.
  2. What’s your plan moving forward? I plan to keep growing personally and learning.
  3. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? What works for me is going to meetings, and connecting with other people. 
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Surrender, and ask my higher power for help.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  You can find your bottom at any time, just put down the shovel and quit digging (drinking).
  6. You might be an alcoholic if... when you are going through airport security your Ziploc bags of liquid shampoo bottles are filled with vodka.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Alcoholics Anonymous "Big Book" PDF

Step 3 Pages 34-41

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Opportunity to waive the set up fee.

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!”

 

Jan 8, 2018

The American Medical Association recognized alcohol dependence as a disease over 55 years ago. Alcohol dependence fits the disease model because it is a dysfunctional state with characteristic form.

Use of some drugs, including alcohol, may cause dependency. The medical term for this dependency, or addiction, is Chemical Dependency. In order for a chemical to be addictive it must possess three properties. It must be: 1) mind altering or mood changing, 2) euphorigenic, and 3) reinforcing, that is taking the chemical stimulates taking more of the chemical.

Kim, with 3 days since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[14:29] Paul Introduces Kim.  I am 43 years old, I have 2 kids, I am from Atlanta, I am a self-employed attorney.  I like to walk my dog, be out in nature, and exercise.  I come from a family of alcoholics. 

 

 

[19:34] Paul- Did you ever put any rules into place?  Like not drinking before 5:00?  Tell us more about that.

 

Kim-  I did actually.  I switched to wine, I don’t know if that counts as moderating.  I did cut back on the heavy stuff.  I tried not drinking when I noticed the emotions were flooding.  For me it’s been the amount I have been drinking when I did drink.

 

 

[32:18] Paul- We are both one of the “lucky ones” How do you feel about that?

 

Kim-  The one thing I have that my family members don’t have is self-awareness.  They are in denial.  I feel very very lucky that I have been able to recognize what I am doing, and that it is a problem.  At the same time it is everywhere.  I see it everywhere. 

 

 

 

[43:08] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Without a doubt it was that night.  It was the lowest I felt in my life.  I never want to be there again.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? It was 3 days ago.  We were having fun, watching football.  The next thing I knew I had a beer in my hand. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?  Accountability is big.  Actually calling somebody, I can see where reaching out can help break the cycle.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  Without a doubt it is the Café RE recovery group.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? When you are going through hell, don’t stop.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Don’t beat yourself up.  It perpetuates in a negative way.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if... you actually enjoy being sick with a cold or the flu because it actually suppresses your desire to get a drink for a while.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This podcast episode is brought to you by Zip Recruiter. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator to post jobs for free.

HIMS Website- Human Intervention Motivation Study

CBS News- Rehab that Puts Alcoholic Pilots Back in the Cockpit

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

 

Jan 1, 2018

It is January 1st, 2018.  Today represents the start of a new year.  The fact that you are listening to a podcast that is all about bettering your life sets you apart from all the rest.  Addicts and alcoholics need altruistic relationships in our lives with others who do not drink.

Tricia, with 1 year since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:38] Paul Introduces Tricia.  I live in Dallas Texas, I’m 36 years old, I am a Chef by trade.  I like to do crafty stuff, and I like to go running. 

 

[15:03] Paul- What was it like hitting that 1-year milestone?  What was that feeling?

 

Tricia- 1-year felt better than my birthday.  My soberversary felt so much more important than any birthday I had ever had.  Having one year was 10 times that feeling of excitement and accomplishment.

 

[26:43] Paul- Tell us more about that.

 

Tricia- I can quickly compare getting sober to starting an exercise routine.  Everyone wants a quick fix.  That never works.  There is no quick fix.  You have to do the things that make you uncomfortable and are hard.  You have to learn to have discipline.  AA is attraction, not promotion.  I can take what I want, and leave the rest.

 

[32:32] Paul- The majority of listeners have yet to step foot into an AA meeting.  What are your thoughts on AA?  What light can you shed upon the 12-step process?

 

Tricia- I have a lot of opinions on AA.  It’s a place where you can meet people in real life.  We all have the same disease.  It is neat to meet people who get you.  I love that part about AA.  There are 2 parts to AA: Going to meetings, and working the 12 steps.  If you just go to meetings and you don’t do the steps you are missing out. 

 

[36:42] Paul- Tell us a little about the retreat and what you learned from it.

 

Tricia-  I signed up early for the retreat as an incentive to stay sober.  The retreat in Montana was an adult experience kind of like camp.  Creating relationships with people who are just like you.  Everyone was so vulnerable right away.  It was magical.  You had to be there to know. 

 

 

 Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Start right now.  There is no right time, do it now.  It just gets harder the longer you wait.  You can’t do this alone, if you could, you would have done it by now.

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...you are always scheduling your day around your drinking.  Everything has a hard stop at 4:00 or 5:00 so you gotta start drinking.  You know exactly how many ice cubes are in everyone’s glasses because you watched Mad Men drunk.
  2. What’s on your bucket list?  I am going to be a speaker at the Dallas Meet-up.  I really would like to do more speaking engagements.  I am looking forward to the Peru trip. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Gourmaleo - Dallas based Paleo food delivery service

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Opportunity to waive the set up fee.

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Traker 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!”

 

Dec 25, 2017

Facts about Alcohol:  Less than 20% of people with alcohol abuse disorders actually seek treatment for their disease.  Excessive alcohol consumption costs the U.S. economy an estimated 250 billion dollars in lost productivity according to a study from 2010.  Alcoholic’s Anonymous success rates vary depending on the source.

Makenzee, with 1 year since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:05] Paul Introduces Makenzee.  I am from Boise Idaho.  I am 23 years old and I work in the emergency department at the hospital.  I love crafting, and fitness and nutrition.  I got married 9 months ago.

 

[13:15] Paul- When did you first realize you had a problem with alcohol?

 

Makenzee- I had a constant build up of sickness and hangovers on my days off.  I started to realize that my hobbies didn’t exist anymore.  I wasn’t really present in the moment.  It was miserable.

 

[16:57] Paul-  13 days ago, did you have a rock bottom moment?  Tell us why you quit drinking.

 

Makenzee-  It was hard to say one specific thing happened.  I was excruciatingly hung-over 13 days ago.  It lasted about two and half days.  I was going through some physical withdrawals. 

 

[25:22] Paul-  Let’s back up to Day 1,2, 3, 4, 5, how have you gotten this far?

 

Makenzee- Days 1,2,3,4,5 were…  I’m not going to sugar coat it, absolute hell.  My body was physically aching.  I had a hard time wrapping my head around the situation.  Yesterday was the first day I did not feel miserable.  It was very difficult the first few days.

 

[31:36]  Paul- What have you learned most about yourself over these past 13 days?

 

Makenzee-  I’m actually a good person.  I beat myself up a lot.  I realized everyone is not going to like me.  But I like me, and I am comfortable in my own skin.

 

[36:52] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Blacking out after my husband face timed me from overseas, and not remembering talking to him.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Waking up after our wedding night and not remembering the last half of it.
  3. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Café RE, and self-care.
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Facing it is the only way to overcome it.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Rip it off like a Band-Aid.  It’s terrifying; it hurts like hell, but just do it.  Your life will flourish.
  6. You might be an alcoholic if... you buy a plane ticket to Vegas instead of paying for a lawyer for your DUI.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator in Dallas January Social

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Opportunity to waive the set up fee.

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!”

 

Dec 18, 2017

Randy Craig, with 49 days since his last drink, shares his story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[2:53] Paul Introduces Randy.  I was born and raised in Casper Wyoming.  I went to school in Colorado, and worked there for a few years.  Music has been a part of my life since I was very young.  I like to read, play music, take my dog on walks.  My passion revolves around my music.

 

Randy tells his story in detail to Paul, and explains his journey up to this point.

 

 

[41:59] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?  Waking up in that Hospital in ICU.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  My first detox.   
  3. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Out of the Wreck I Rise” – by Neil Steinberg
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? It starts with you.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  If you are even questioning it, odds are you should try to stop it before it gets worse.  It is an awful disease. 
  6. You might be an alcoholic if...  I’m on my deathbed with an expired liver, and still have the energy to go to the bar. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode was brought to you by RX Bar. Visit RXbar.com/elevator and use the promo code elevator for 25% off your first order.

Randy Craig's Website

Out of the Wreck I Rise- Neil Steinberg

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Opportunity to waive the set-up fee.

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!”

 

Dec 11, 2017

The 3 basic camps of addiction can be broken into the following categories:

  1. The prevailing wisdom today is that addiction is a disease. This is the main line of the medical model of mental disorders with which the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is aligned: addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease in which alcohol use becomes involuntary despite its negative consequences.

The idea here is, roughly, that addiction is a disease because alcohol use changes the brain and, as a result of these changes, alcohol use becomes compulsive, beyond the voluntary control of the user. In other words, drinker has no choice and his behavior is resistant to long term change.

  1. Marc Lewis’ “The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease, has stirred controversy among addicts, their families, addiction researchers, and treatment providers. Lewis claims that the scientific facts don’t support the disease model of addiction. Rather, addiction, like romantic love and other emotionally loaded habits, develops through accelerated learning. Combining scientific views with intimate biographies of addicts who recovered, the book also shows how addiction can be overcome, through self-directed change in one’s goals and perspectives.
  2. Drawing on psychiatric epidemiology, addicts’ autobiographies, treatment studies, and advances in behavioral economics, Heyman makes a powerful case that addiction is voluntary. He shows that drug use, like all choices, is influenced by preferences and goals. But just as there are successful dieters, there are successful ex-addicts. In fact, addiction is the psychiatric disorder with the highest rate of recovery. But what ends an addiction?

At the heart of Heyman’s analysis is a startling view of choice and motivation that applies to all choices, not just the choice to use drugs. The conditions that promote quitting a drug addiction include new information, cultural values, and, of course, the costs and benefits of further drug use. Most of us avoid becoming drug dependent, not because we are especially rational, but because we loathe the idea of being an addict.

Greg, with 361 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[13:45] Paul Introduces Greg.  I’m 54 years old, I live In Las Vegas, I’m an attorney, and working in HR currently.  I have been married for 26 years, and have 2 daughters aged 22 and 18.  I love being outdoors.

 

[18:59] Paul- Can you describe your rock bottom moment?

 

Greg- The summer of 2016 I played on a work Softball League.  We won the championship.  I had a party at my house to celebrate.  I drank way too much, I blacked out, we ended up doing shots of tequila.  It was a bad scene.  The next morning it was the lowest I had felt in my life.  It was ruining my relationships.   

 

[26:43] Paul- When you came out, how liberating was that feeling?

 

Greg- It was awesome.  I felt like I had taken a huge first step.  I admitted to myself I had a problem.  It was liberating.  I have expanded my accountability network.

 

[37:01] Paul- You look at it like an opportunity and not a sacrifice.  Comment more on that.

 

Greg- It is really a celebration.  There were times in the past when I tried to give up drinking.  With that mentality it didn’t work.  I have gained peace and happiness, and joy and serenity.  I really look at recovery as something that I have been given.  I am going to make the most of it every single day. 

 

 

[41:18] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? It was definitely waking up the morning after the softball party.  That was the low point from there, I started heading back up.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? There was a time a few years ago when one of my kids had an event during one of my drinking nights.  I thought it is kind of twisted thinking for getting upset I was going to have to spend time with my family because it would interfere with my drinking. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? Doing this podcast has been great.  One day at a time.  I’m going to continue to go to Celebrate Recovery.

 

  1. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Focus on the similarities, not the differences.

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? If you think you might have a problem, reach out to one other person you trust.
  2. You might be an alcoholic if...you are nick named after a drink.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

"Beyond the Influence" - Katherine Ketcham

Gene Heyman "Addiction: A Disorder of Choice"

Marc Lewis "Biology Of Desire"

Article: "Is Addiction a Disease?"

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Opportunity to waive the set up fee.

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!”

 

Dec 4, 2017

Paul discusses Step 2 from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 

Mike, with 86 days his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:31] Paul Introduces Mike.  I live in Vermont; I’m 33 years old.  I work as a social worker; I hang out with my wife, my 12-year-old son, and play video games. 

 

 

[16:50] Paul-  Describe the progression, coupled with Father time, hangovers are getting worse and worse, talk about that progression.

 

Mike- Yeah, I would buy those little boxes of wine, then I would just buy the bottle, and the bottle would be gone.  It felt like I was in quicksand, when you are running in sand and can’t get any traction.

 

[20:21] Paul- It’s tough to get 86 days of sobriety, how did you do it?

 

Mike- Listening to the Recover Elevator was huge.  I felt like I was in the contemplation stage.  I’ve been thinking about quitting for years.  Listening to Recovery Elevator is what really helped motivate me jump right in.  I listen to “This Naked Mind” on audio book and really tried to “brainwash” myself, and felt like it worked.

 

[28:12] Paul- What advice would you give to your younger self?  If you could go back to your 16-year-old self, what would you say?

 

Mike- I would like to go to my 15-year-old self and smack the beer out of my hand.  I disagree with the stance that some people can drink normally.  Don’t be ashamed that it’s hard. 

 

 

 

[35:29] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? The day after St. Patrick’s Day party trying to piece together what happened.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I had a lot of times, the most recent time I drank, I had the house to myself and just laying there by myself.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? “This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace
  2. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Alcohol is shit.  It resonated with my bodies’ reaction to alcohol. 
  3. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  When we are in the contemplation stage of am I an alcoholic or not.  The real problem is alcohol is an addictive poison, and anyone can become addicted to alcohol.
  4. You might be an alcoholic if... you go to St. Patrick’s day party, spill red wine on the rug, you put your arm around another woman, and rub her back while standing with your wife, and you black, the last thing you remember is raising both fists to the sky and yelling “I’m the king of the world” 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

RX Bar - Visit www.rxbar.com/elevator for 25% off your first order.

Alcoholics Anonymous "Big Book"

"This Naked Mind" by Annie Grace

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code opportunity to waive the set up fee.

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!”

 

Nov 27, 2017

These 4 Strategies will help us get through any social situation.  Will power can only last us so long. 

  1. Accountability
  2. Play the tape forward
  3. Always have an exit strategy
  4. Stop and think.  Alcohol is a poison. 

Neal, with 20 months since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:20] Paul Introduces Neal.  I am in my late 50’s.  I have 2 boys, 2 grandchildren.  I do maintenance work, I like to go camping and spend time with our granddaughter who lives with us.

 

[11:50] Paul-  In 1990, was your wife leaving you what got you sober?

 

Neal-  Yes.  I was driving a taxi in Seattle at that time.  The AA world convention came to town.  It was a huge emotional relief.  I cried throughout the whole event.

 

[16:06] Paul- Let’s back it up to 2008 when you took that first drink after 18 years of sobriety.  Can you walk us through that?

 

Neal-  The pressures, and there were times I would tell my wife to bring home a 6 pack of beer.  One day she finally did.  It took 6 months for me to ramp up to where I was after that.

 

[25:04]  Paul-  Curiosity is killing the cat, what was the reason?

 

Neal-  I had to go on Antabuse in November of 2015.  I had to go to the pharmacy and take the white pill.  Antabuse and alcohol do not mix.

 

[29:43] Paul-  With nearly 20 years of sobriety logged, do you still get cravings, and if you do still get them, what do you do?

 

Neal- I don’t get any cravings.  Like I said, on that day when I read the obsession, the cravings, it was all lifted, it’s gone.  I try to remain calm.  Step back and take a deep breath.  I try to reflect how they affect me.

 

 

[33:34] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? I was at a former employers business and I asked my wife to come down to give me a ride home, she came down, and brought somebody else with her and I flew off the handle and was yelling and screaming, and they called the cops.  I wouldn’t come out, they couldn’t come in.  I finally came out, but it was scary.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? It was the last week of my drinking.  I laid in bed, and called in sick everyday. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? To keep connected with AA.  Keep going on, and enjoying my 2 grandchildren.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I have to say Podcasts.  I work alone a lot.  I listen to 10’s of 100’s of hours of podcasts. 
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Go to meetings, stay connected.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  One day at a time.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if... when you are opening that bottle to take a swig, at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00,  or 5:00 in the morning just to get another 45 minutes or hour of sleep.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code opportunity to waive the set up fee.

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!”

 

Nov 20, 2017

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick

What is gratitude, and how can this help us get and stay sober? Service and Gratitude go hand in hand. 

Here’s Paul’s Holiday challenge:

Write 10 things you are grateful for 10 days in a row.  Be thankful for something you totally have taken for granted your entire life.  After 10 days when you have 100 items listed, review the list, and look for reoccurring themes.  Email your completed lists to Paul@recoveryelevator.com

Dan, with 66 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:10] Paul Introduces Dan.  I live a town called Guildford, about 30 minutes outside of London, I have 2 boys named Sebastian and Felix who are 4 and 7 years old, I live with my girlfriend, together we have 4 kids under the age of 9.  For fun I enjoy working out, going to the gym, swimming, and desperately trying to learn to play guitar.  I work in primary schools, and I deliver health and fitness workshops.

 

[15:58] Paul- 66 days ago, was this your first attempt at quitting drinking?

Dan- In all honesty, this is my very first attempt at stopping drinking.  One time 10 years ago, I quit drinking for January and February.  I don’t want to spend the money; I don’t want to feel crap.  I want to set the example for my children growing up. 

 

[23:00] Paul- Earlier you said you look at sobriety like a challenge, are you looking at this as an incredible opportunity?

Dan- Yeah, I am.  After reading Alan Carr’s book, and Annie Grace’s book, it just puts things in perspective.  You never used to have to have to have a bottle wine or beer to have fun, or enjoy yourself.  The way I sleep the past couple of months.  You feel so much better the way you start your day. 

 

[28:02] Paul-  What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

Dan-  At this point in time I really want to focus on my business, and my work.  I would really love to do something on YouTube, or something that is focused on the positive of giving up alcohol. 

 

 

[33:43] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Waking up on Christmas morning and clearing up the mess I made outside from getting sick on the way home on Christmas Eve. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  I had 1 beer after playing golf.  My cousin asked me if I wanted another, and that moment where I realized I was driving, and knew 1 more beer would put me over the limit.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I enjoy reading, and listening to podcasts.
  2. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Alcohol is shit, that’s it. 
  3. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  From day 1 start to focus on it as a challenge, and the benefits of it.  Don’t focus on what you are giving up.  Don’t focus on how hard anything is going to be.  Focus on the benefits of giving it up, and how it’s going to make your life better.
  4. You might be an alcoholic if... you drink for absolutely no reason whatsoever.  Not a celebration, not a sporting event, not a birth, not a wedding, if you sit there and drink at night watching crap TV, and you’re drinking a bottle of red wine.  You might need to have a little think.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

"This Naked Mind" - Annie Grace

Allen Carr's Easy Way

Sober Grid

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Opportunity to waive set up Fee

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!”

 

Nov 13, 2017

Paul discusses reverse interventions.  They, “normal drinkers” don’t get it.  How can we expect normal drinkers to understand what we are going through?  What do you need to cover in a reverse intervention?  Let them know this isn’t easy for you.  Having the real conversation and being vulnerable.  Lay out your game plan.  Accountability is key.

Amy, with 11 years since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:40] Paul Introduces Amy.  I’m 54, a Midwestern housewife.  I have two grown sons, and husband of 34 years.  What I do for fun has changed quite a bit over the years.  I enjoy recovery, and spending time with my 4 dogs.

 

[23:35] Paul- You said when you finally discovered you had alcoholism, you started to recover.  What is your definition of alcoholism?

 

Amy-  My last drunk I ended up hospitalized.  I didn’t believe you could drink enough to kill yourself.  But I came real close.   My husband found me, and got me to the hospital, or I would have died from alcohol poisoning.  My doctor told me I had alcoholism.  They handed me a meeting list, and I immediately started going to 12 step meetings.  I finally felt like I landed on the planet I belonged in that I was seeking for 43 years. 

 

[27:02] Paul-  What did it feel like when you finally found your herd, you found your tribe?

 

Amy-  It so radically changed my life.  My husband calls me his second wife without the paperwork.  I didn’t interact with society.  I now seek out social situations.  I have more friends than I can handle.

 

[33:25] Paul-  Amy you mentioned something earlier you said “Give up the mind fight.”  Tell us more what it meant for you to give up the mind fight. 

 

Amy-  When I heard a man say two things.  I knew it was true.  I can drink; I can drink with the best of them.  I can’t say I can drink safely.  The other one I heard was once I take the first drink; I have no control over my decisions, or where it will take me next.

 

 

[43:33] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Driving my children and neighbor kids to Great America and home in a blackout.  It is over an hour on major highways from our home.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Second pregnancy, the day I brought him home, I wanted one glass of wine.  I got really drunk, and when I woke up, there was a newborn in the house.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  12 step meetings, personal relationships, and doing things like this out of my comfort zone.
  2. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Just try; cause you can always go back to hell.  Hell doesn’t close its door.
  3. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?  I don’t have a plan.  That’s one of the best things about sobriety. I wake up and go OKAY.
  4. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  The only thing I can say, is come join us.  It’s a wonderful thing.  Everything I was trying to get from alcohol I have gotten 10 fold in sobriety.  All is 10 times better in sobriety.
  5. You might be an alcoholic if... you wake up five years married thinking, “Did I really do that?”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Brenaim1@yahoo.com  (Amy’s email)

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!”

 

Nov 6, 2017

Paul discusses Step One: “ We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.” from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. 

David, with 46 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:20] Paul Introduces David.  I’m a dad of 2 great boys aged 11, and 7.  We live in Atlanta.  I work at a software firm.  I have been there for quite some time.  I’m 42, and divorced.   For fun there is a lot of baseball, I help coach basketball.  Both my boys are in scouts.  I love to play and collect guitars.

 

 

[12:52] Paul- When did you realize that perhaps you didn’t drink normal?

David-  I have several memories of self-questioning my drinking habits going back a decade.  I have milestones in my life I questioned my drinking. 

 

[29:02] Paul- You are identifying yourself as a non-drinker.  Have you experienced a different case of the F-its like I have 3 years of sobriety, F-it, I might as well keep moving forward?

 

David-  I love this concept, I have not felt this feeling of you have come this far, you might as well keep going.  I feel like that day is going to come.  You have to be hopeful for the future.  I am doing this.  You have to balance that with healthy caution around relapse.  I can be proud, I can be hopeful, but I have to be cautious.

 

[34:28] Paul- I know from the retreat you met a lot of people who have the same life goal, how has that affected you moving forward?

 

David-  I described it when I started this journey.  I didn’t have any tools.  I had no institutional knowledge of what I was getting myself into.  It was through your podcast I was introduced to AA in a meaningful way.  What I learned from the retreat is that this is something where community helps.

 

 

[39:23] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? You can insert any viscous hangover here.  Missing a flight out of Vegas after a night of tearing it up.  Head throbbing, and having to rearrange flights and childcare back in Atlanta while my head was throbbing.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? When I figured out that the unit of measure was no longer 2 beers, it was a six-pack.  No longer 3 glasses of wine, it was the entire bottle. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? My number one internal dialogue is that I am no longer like that.  I am no longer that person.  It is almost a chant I give myself daily.  I’m plugging back in with my therapist.
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? While you’re working on your sobriety, your addiction is doing pushups.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Your litmus test is if you have you every asked yourself if you have a problem with alcohol, that is the test.  I know I did that hundreds of times over a decade.  Sick and tired of being sick and tired.  The management of chaos we all endure as we introduce chaos into our evening routine. 
  6. You might be an alcoholic if your favorite drink is “lots of it”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Alcoholics Anonymous- Big Book

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!”

 

Oct 30, 2017

Anxiety as it relates to drinking is discussed.  Alcohol suppresses the nervous system.  It is a depressant.  If we depress the nerves for long periods through binge drinking, our body reacts once the alcohol is gone by releasing adrenaline to compensate.  This gives us severe anxiety in return.  Which totally unbearable, and creates a fear that grabs you right in the chest.

Aaron, with 16 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:12] Paul Introduces Aaron.  I’m 38; I live in Albuquerque NM, I work at a print shop.  I’m separated, I used to like to fish, and want to get back into that.  I like to be out in nature.  I have a miniature pincher named Packer. 

 

 

[13:29] Paul- How is it different this time?   Explain that feeling that something clicked.

 

Aaron-  My body was telling me with the anxiety and the insomnia.  It wasn’t fun anymore.  I was drinking miniatures while I was at work, and tried to hide all the time.  Tired of being tired.  I’m 38 years old, the party is over already.

 

[26:13] Paul- Talk about your experience with Opioids.

 

Aaron- I started off with the pills.  Hydrocodone etc.  Then I started doing oxy, and for a few years I was doing that.  I was going through withdrawals because I couldn’t get them.  I started going to the clinic and got on methadone. 

 

[30:28] Paul- 16 days ago you were sick and tired of being sick and tired.  What happened, and how did you do it?

 

Aaron- I started downloading and listening to podcasts.  I was trying to figure out what this was, and how to stop.  I jumped into it with both feet.   I went through the tough first few days of detox.  I stopped doing things that were triggering me.

 

[37:00] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Waking up in a Virginia jail, and couldn’t bond out because I was considered a flight risk. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? The time I was in San Diego and hit that show and ended up in jail in another state.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? I’m going to hit the podcast circuit.  I’m going to create a program that will work for me. 

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Stop beating yourself up.  Don’t try to think ahead too far.

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if get pulled over in your work car going the wrong direction down a one way road and you didn’t know until you read the police report the next day.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 Anatomy of an Epidemic- By Robert Whitaker

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!”

 

Oct 23, 2017

Paul discusses anxiety and depression as interpreted through an episode of the Dharmapunx Podcast. 

Heather, with 269 days since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:50] Paul Introduces Heather.  I’m 37; I live in Los Angeles, CA.  I’ve been here for about 7 years.  I grew up in south Texas.  I work for a small cable network.  I love yoga, hiking, going to the movies.  I have an identical twin sister. 

 

 

[16:04] Paul- When did you realize perhaps that you don’t drink normally?

 

Heather- I think its been varying stages of that.  Moving from Texas to New York was an adjustment.  I got a job in a bar, and that was my life. 

 

[25:54] Paul- What was the impetus that really forced you to make that jump into sobriety?

 

Heather- I had been reading “A Happier Hour” and the light bulb went off when I was reading that book.  I was also reading a blog from tired of thinking about drinking.  I started a 100-day challenge.

 

[35:02] Paul- When did AA come into the picture?

 

Heather- I am still going.  I am kind of afraid of the steps.  Around day 60 or 70 I was feeling lonely about talking about it, and I was afraid to go.  I put it out there, and things happened. 

 

[40:28] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? One of my best friends husbands passed away.  Her father didn’t want any of us to be drinking, and I drank anyway.  I should have not drank, but I had to.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? One of the last conversations I had with my boyfriend when he said it will be okay and we will both stop.  But if we break up, I’m fine, and I can continue to drink.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? When I started the 100-day challenge, I want to keep clarity.  I’m going to work the steps, and go to more meetings, and build more of a sober community here.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Recovery Elevator, and a speaker meeting I attend in LA. 

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  What you gain is so much more than you are giving up.
  2. You might be an alcoholic if you know your boyfriend is, and you decided to move in with him after 9 months, and you still don’t think you have a problem.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode was brought to you by RXBAR. Visit RXBAR.com/recovery for 25% off your first order.

Dharmapunx Podcast Link

Tired of Thinking About Drinking

A Happier Hour- By Rebecca Weller

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!”

 

Oct 16, 2017

This week’s topic is PAWS- Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms/Syndrome.  Paul explains what PAWS is, how to deal with it, and some of the signs to look for.

Josh, with 15 months since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:13] Paul Introduces Josh.  I am from Phoenix originally, now living in LA; I am a digital content producer.  I am 36 years old.  I like hiking and exploring with my miniature golden retriever Diego.

 

[10:30] Paul- You left AA in recovery determined to find a way to drink normally.  How did that go?

 

Josh- Once you’ve been introduced to recovery and then you go back out, it’s tough because you can’t enjoy drinking the way that you were.  I just wanted to learn to drink responsibly.  To me it felt like there were people with more serious problems than me. 

 

[19:35] Paul- Why did things start to change after you adopted Diego?

 

Josh-  It took me out of myself.  Talking to others about their dogs.  Going to the dog park, and meeting other people.  I kept myself busy in early sobriety.  Having Diego at home with me really helped me more than I can explain. 

 

[27:49] Paul- Talk to me about outpatient treatment, what was that like?

Josh- I didn’t feel connected to the group, it wasn’t a good experience because I wasn’t’ putting the work into it.  When I was finally ready in 2016, it was a really good experience.  I went 6 days a week for the first month. 

 

[35:07] Paul- Where are you at these days with 12 step programs?  Do you go to AA meetings?

Josh- I do.  I was anti- AA for a long time.  I don’t embrace everything about it.  What I admire is that it is organized so well.  There is a core connection of people there if you want it.  I was going to 5-6 meetings a week the first year.  I definitely get something out of it.  It is not everything to me.  I am working the steps.

 

 

[38:31] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? I blacked out in the middle of trying to go to Jack in the Box and moved my roommate’s car out to the street where it got towed.  We had to go to the tow yard and get his car.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Too many to mention.  One being at my friend’s house and drinking his entire liquor collection.  Another one would have been when I almost been fired from my work.  I told myself I wouldn’t drink at work anymore, and 6 weeks later I was.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?  My plan is to keep doing what works and stay connected.  I count my day’s everyday.  I take pride in each day as a separate milestone.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Diego, my dog.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?  “It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be.  I hope you live a life that you are proud of, and if you find you are not, I hope you have the strength to start over.”
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  This has to be the most important thing in your life. 
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you are out with friends at a bar, and you go to the bathroom, but you stop at the bar to have a shot by yourself, and then return to the table to resume to drinking.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Post-Acute Withdrawal (PAWS)

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!”

 

Oct 9, 2017

Paul summarizes an article from National Geographic “The Science of Addiction.”  Nearly 1 in 20 adults worldwide are addicted to alcohol.  21 million Americans have a drug or alcohol addiction.  Making the disorder more common than cancer.  Addiction is a pathological form of learning.

Carey, with 40 days year since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:52] Paul Introduces Carey.  I am 30 years old; I’m an RN from Rochester New York.  I used to say I liked to do a whole lot of things, but I put a lot of it on the back burner when I was drinking. 

 

[14:45] Paul- Did you have a rock bottom moment?  What caused you to make this decision to get into sobriety?

 

Carey-  I feel like there are so many situations in which I should have chosen that time.  40 days ago was the time I decided to make the decision for myself.  I hated when people told me I should quit drinking. 

 

[19:39] Paul- Before 40 days ago, was that your first time tried to quit drinking?

 

Carey- Back in the day when I first started noticing issues, I was trying to narrow it down.  I went through the whole cycle.  After the wedding I had quit drinking for 10 weeks.  If I got into nursing school, I was going to celebrate with wine.  A few months after starting nursing school I got a DWI. 

 

[35:28] Paul- You were sick and tired of being sick and tired.  You used the word excited.  How has that shift in mindset?

 

Carey-  I was excited at the fact that I didn’t have to worry anymore.  I didn’t have to go out to dinner and worry if my second order of beer would be frowned upon.  I am excited about meeting other sober people. 

 

 

[42:39] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Let me count the ways.  One of the worst ones was when I got home from a concert, and drove to my friend’s house because I thought I left my phone in his car.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  I would say my DWI.  I also hate to admit that my dog was with me at the time.  That scared me for sure.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?  Right now I want to keep learning and getting out of my comfort zone.  I love Café RE, which has been amazing.  I want to explore the steps.   
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  The Recovery Elevator Podcast.  I am going to be sober today, and plan on being sober tomorrow.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?  Tell somebody else.  Do research, look into sobriety and come up with a game plan.  You are not alone.
  6. You might be an alcoholic if you don’t like being called an alcoholic.

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!”

 

Oct 2, 2017

I want to talk about the word Alcoholism, more specifically, the tail end of that word, the ISM- Incredible Short Memory, the painful acute memories are sobriety fuel.  We cannot do this alone. 

Adam, with 57 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:50] Paul Introduces Adam.  I’m 36; I live in New Hampshire, married with 2 awesome sons and a beautiful wife.  I love being outdoors.  I began drinking in my early twenties.  I was drinking to get away from stress problems.  It got to the point where I was drinking everyday. 

 

[15:05] Paul- What was different on July 17th?  Was it a shift in mindset? Did you go to an AA meeting?

 

Adam- It was more of a mindset.  Everywhere I looked there was something about recovery.  It was my mind putting it out there.  I created the accountability, and it made it harder to go back on.

 

[21:40] Paul- Was there some sense of discomfort before you quit drinking?  What was the source of pain?

 

Adam-  It wasn’t anything huge.  I called myself a high bottom drunk.  There wasn’t anything that set it off.  I was sick of relying on it everyday.  Waking up every morning sleepier than I should be.  It became too much a part of my life, and I didn’t want it there anymore. 

 

[23:56] Paul- What was it like the first 24 hours? The first couple of days, the first week?

 

Adam- It was not the easiest time in my life.  I had a little bit of the shakes, some headaches the first 3-4 days was the worst of it.  I remind myself how great I feel now.

 

[26:53] Paul- What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?  What do you want to achieve with this new life you’ve been given?

 

Adam-  I want to spend more time with my family Instead of playing with the kids, the first thing I would do would be to grab a drink.  They are 3 and 7 years old right now.  Be closer to them.  This time of their life I really want to remember.

 

 

[29:45] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Just realizing that everyday that was the first thing when I got home from work that I wanted to do.
  2. What’s your plan moving forward?  Just to keep enjoying life, get to know my kids better, and getting healthy.
  3. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? It’s the Recovery Elevator Podcast.
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? The accountability.  Creating that accountability and making it a real thing.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Suck it up and talk to somebody.  It has to be someone that you care about and trust and respect.  Once you make it a real thing, you will not want to let them down.
  6. You might be an alcoholic if you lie to your wife when you are sick as a dog, because you know she will say you don’t need that beer tonight.

 

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!”

 

Sep 25, 2017

New data has revealed that one in eight Americans are now alcoholics due to an alarming rise in alcohol consumption in women, elderly people and ethnic minorities.

Experts at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism say that the rise could constitute a public health crisis that is being overshadowed by the opioid epidemic and marijuana legalization. 

During an 11 year gap, the number of people who received a diagnosis of alcoholism shot up by 49 percent, meaning 12.7 percent of the population - or roughly one in eight Americans - are alcoholics. 


Megan, with 11 hours since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[5:15] Paul Introduces Megan.  I’m from Baltimore, Maryland.  I am 38, single, with a live-in boyfriend. 

 

[7:19] Paul- What forced you to reach out to me again, and give us a little background.

Megan-  The whole point of what you are doing is when you can relate to other people.  I love that you are an advocate for the acceptance part of it.  People are ashamed to come out so to speak.  I didn’t start drinking until late in college.  I liked the way it made me feel.  I wasn’t self-conscience.  It was never really a problem.   One day in my late twenties I realized I was drinking everyday. 

 

[23:49] Paul- Talk to me about your withdrawal symptoms.

Megan-  It’s usually worst the second and third day.  The shaking and the anxiety is the worse.  I can’t shut my brain off. 

 

[26:36] Paul- What’s your plan?  How are we going to do this?

Megan- I am going to get through today.  One day at a time.  Right now it is just getting through today.  I know that I want to get sober and stay sober.  Am I done yet?  I’m not entirely sure.  I want to be there, but I don’t know if I am.

 

[32:36] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Blacking out.  I started drinking after a run; I woke up the next day and had no memory of how I got home.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? About a month ago, I got up in the morning and was walking to the grocery store and I couldn’t walk.  I inched across the street and went back home.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I love podcasts.  The HOME Podcast, the Shair Podcast, Recovery 101.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Don’t beat yourself up.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? You are going to feel crappy.  Don’t make it worse on yourself by pouring poison into yourself.  It’s going to get a little bit better everyday.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if the liquor store on the corner knows exactly who you are, and lines up 4 mini bottles of Fireball everyday at 9:00 in the morning.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

It's a public health crisis: 1 in 8 Americans are now alcoholics By Abigail Miller for Dailymail.com

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!”

 

Sep 18, 2017

Paul reads posts from members of Café RE answering the question: “What are some things that helped you in early sobriety? 

There are some emerging common themes from these responses.  Change, you don’t have to change much, you just have to change everything.  Accountability is the key, you can’t do this alone.  Alcoholism is a thinking disease.  You can’t think your way out of it.  Knowledge is not power unless you use it.

Marybeth, with 8 months since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:40] Paul Introduces Marybeth.  I’m 51; I live in southern New Hampshire.  I am married with 4 children, 2 of which have special needs so that takes up some time.  I like to visit with friends and family, downhill ski, and exercise.

 

[13:39] Paul- Tell us about your drinking habits, how much did you drink prior to November 26th, 2016?

Marybeth-  I was a big red wine drinker.  I did a sugar cleanse, and then I ended up sipping Tequila neat.  Then I switched back to wine.  I knew I would never be a morning drinker, or drink before 5:00.  I typically had 2 glasses of wine a night for years. 

 

[17:45] Paul- Was there a bottom moment, or were you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Marybeth- I attribute my sobriety to an accident.  I broke my ankle while I was walking and texting.  It was difficult to be on crutches, and drink at the same time.  I came upon the 30-day sober solution while I was in my cast.

 

[21:48] Paul- How important do you think accountability has been these past 8 months?

Marybeth- It’s been really great.  I couldn’t handle my alcohol, and was passing out early.  Now I can stay up late and have fun.  I was asleep and numbing my self with alcohol.  I was snared by it socially, and numbed by it unintentionally.  I wasn’t seeking to numb anything.

 

[29:05] Paul- What does your sobriety portfolio consist of?  Walk us through a typical day of sobriety.

Marybeth- I wake up everyday and meditate for 30 minutes.  I use the headspace app.  It is like exercising a muscle.  I connect with friends, and do things, which interest me.

 

 

[30:16] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? I was separated from my husband, and got into a car.  I put the car in drive instead of reverse and ran over the curb.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? When I broke my ankle.  I had a bloody Mary on board when that happened.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? I am going to continue with meditation, my wellness, helping others, and reading books.  Possibly attending an AA meeting.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? The Recovery Elevator Podcast.  I love listening in the car on the way to work.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? My dad was a recovering alcoholic.  He would always say don’t sweat the small stuff.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Just do it.  You can always go back to drinking if sobriety doesn’t work for you.
  7. You might an alcoholic if you are at a weight watcher meeting and all you are concerned about is if you have enough points left for wine at the end of the day.

 

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!”

 

Sep 11, 2017

Paul summarizes the Retreat, which took place in Bozeman, Montana.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[13:22] Paul Introduces Kristin 238 days sober, Amy 11 years sober, Dave 12 days sober, and John with 18 and ½ years of sobriety.

 

 

[15:55] Paul-  What did you think the retreat was going to be like?

 

Dave- I didn’t have any set expectations.  It has been sharing, but so much more.  I have connected with every single person here. 

 

[16:50] Paul- What surprised you so far on this retreat?

 

Kristin-  I was surprised at how easy it was to talk to everybody here.  I am not extremely comfortable around strangers.  Since we have been in the online community the past year, it was easy to chat with everyone.

 

Amy- I enjoyed the camaraderie.  It is beautiful here.

 

[27:30] Paul- Tell us what made you decide to come, and a little about your story?

 

Kristin-  My drinking career didn’t start until 2001.  I realized about 5 years ago that I had a problem, and tried to moderate.  My bottom was New Years Eve.  I have not lost any friends in sobriety.  It’s been a wonderful 8 months.

 

Dave- I grew up in a household of Tea Totalers.  I got into a high stress job with expense accounts.   The “sick and tired of being sick and tired” resonated with me.  There is a new chip on my shoulder.

 

Amy- I started drinking when I was 13.  I had the epiphany that this was the missing link.  I didn’t think there would be this much joy in sobriety. You can’t love other people until you love yourself.  Everything I wanted alcohol to give me, I got sober. 

 

John- My drinking career began in high school.  My mom passed away when she was 47, many family members had alcohol related deaths.  I became a daily drinker from college to 40 years old.  January 5th of 1999 is when I got sober.  My biggest breakthrough was writing a letter to my mother who had passed away.  I stay sober due to the people in my community.

 

This podcast episode was brought to you by Hello Fresh. For $30 off your first week of Hello Fresh visit hellofresh.com and use the promo code recoveryfresh30

 

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!”

 

Sep 4, 2017

Paul summarizes the article “America’s Drinking Problem Is Much Worse This Century” by John Tozzi

 

Alcohol abuse has shot up since 2001, and the number of adults who binge weekly may top the population of Texas. Americans are drinking more than they used to, a troubling trend with potentially dire implications for the country’s future health-care costs.

The number of adults who binge drink at least once a week could be as high as 30 million, greater than the population of every state save California, according to a study published on Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry. A similar number reported alcohol abuse or dependency.

Between the genders, women showed the larger increase in alcohol abuse, according to the report.

Kristi, with nearly 9 months of sobriety since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:09] Paul Introduces Kristi.  I live in northern California near Stanford; I am 44, married and have 2 boys.  I worked 25 years in software sales.  I have been spending most of my time volunteering.

 

 

[16:28] Paul- When did you start realize after your Mom passed away, that this might be going in the wrong direction?

 

Kristi- Honestly, around 38-39 I started to realize I was drinking differently than I had in the past.  I was working full time with 2 young kids, and I had to have 6-7-8 drinks at the end of the day. 

 

 

[20:23] Paul- What was your first AA meeting like?

 

Kristi- I was so overwhelmed.  It was 9:00 on a Saturday morning, and there were 300 people there.   I realized that all meetings weren’t this way.  I jumped right in, started going to meetings, got a sponsor, and worked the steps.  I was working on will alone.  I don’t think I realized the importance of a higher power, and letting go.  I managed to stay sober for quite awhile.

 

[28:43] Paul- You sound like you are a high bottom drunk, and have a lot more to lose, am I correct?

 

Kristi-  I didn’t get the DUI, or drive my kids drunk.  But I wasn’t present.  I can really sit and appreciate the moment now.  I am feeling good; I have a skip in my step.  When you live in gratitude, you can’t live in fear and resentment.

 

[32:07] Paul- What’s on your bucket list in sobriety, what do you want to accomplish in this life?

 

Kristi-  I would like to learn Spanish.  I would really like to write a book. 

 

[33:31] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?  My husband and I went to San Francisco.  I took a small bottle of vodka with me.  I got so wasted at the party I don’t remember conversations I had, and I woke up in the hallway. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Repeat times over and over again being drunk on a Tuesday for no reason.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?  Live in the present, and being of service.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I really like the book “Living Sober” and the Recovery Elevator podcast. 
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?   I don’t have a problem I can’t make worse by picking up a drink.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Do it, you will feel better.  You will live in a more honest and peaceful world.  Quit poisoning yourself.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you are hosting a party, and drinking wine with the guests, and sneaking off to have shots of vodka by yourself.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

America's Drinking Problem is Much Worse This Century- By John Tozzi

A.A. Literature Living Sober

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

 

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!”

 

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