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Recovery Elevator | Stop Drinking, Start Recovering. | Alcohol, Addiction & Life in Sobriety

Hello, I'm Paul and I've come to the realization that me and alcohol no longer get along. When I start drinking, I cannot stop, despite how many times I tell myself I'm only going out for just a couple. I've lost that battle 99 out of 100 times. I've tried to set boundaries on my drinking like never drink alone, and not before 5pm but several times found myself drinking alone well before 5pm. When I'm not drinking, I feel fidgety, contentious and anxious which eventually leads me back to the bottle. After grappling with alcohol for over a decade and a summer from hell in 2014, I decided on September 7th 2014, I HAVE to stop drinking. The Recovery Elevator Podcast is a medium to help keep me sober in addition to helping others struggling with alcohol quit drinking and maintain a healthy recovery. Don't make the same mistakes I did in early recovery. Hear from guests who are successfully navigating early sobriety. It won't be easy, but you can do this.
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Now displaying: Category: self-help
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

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

Aug 28, 2017

Self-Loathing is rampant in addiction, and it needs to be addressed and curtailed if we want to find long-term recovery.  Self-trash talk is a double whammy when we judge ourselves harshly.  We are both the attacker, and the attacked.  Dr. Kristin Neff’s book “Self Compassion” is summarized.

Tori with 16 days since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:25] Paul Introduces Tori.  I am from Gainesville Florida; I have lived here since I was 10.  I am 24 years old.  I am a proud mom to a Chi Wawa named Tucker.  I like to craft, and go to the springs. 

 

[14:39] Paul- What was the deciding factor to listen to the RE podcast, and contact the host?

Tori- My DUI was my bottom, the way I portrayed myself to the officer in December of 2015. 

 

[18:35] Paul- I’m going to read one sentence from the email you sent to me. “I don’t drink everyday, I don’t have withdrawals, what I do have is the inability to control myself once I start drinking”.  Talk to me more about that. 

Tori- During the workweek I like to keep my head on straight.  The culture in town is to drink, and to binge drink.  I have been doing these bar tours since I was 17. 

 

[24:34] Paul- What has it been like these past 16 days?

Tori- I have been preoccupied with work.  I was moving for one of the weekends.  The hardest day was when two of my best friends came over and brought wine.  I didn’t drink, and they didn’t care.  I haven’t had that breakthrough of clarity yet.  I kind of feel that I am in limbo.

 

[32:58] Paul- To this point, what have you lost to alcohol?

Tori- A lot of my dignity, you gain more dignity in sobriety.  Other things I have lost are trust with my parents.  I have lost my sense of safety.  I was taken to the back seat of a car and taken advantage of.  I was beaten up, and had a concussion; I lost a ton of money. 

 

 

[37:01] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? The DUI, it affected many more people than myself.  The sexual assault was the worst, but I try not to associate drinking with that.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Every single time I do something dumb.  Every time I lose a notch of my dignity. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? What I have been doing has been working.  I like listening to the podcasts.  Most of my friends probably all have a drinking problem.
  4. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Take it one day at a time; realize that you are better than your addiction.
  5. You might be an alcoholic if spend the night on a chair that is not yours in front of a house that you do not own or rent.  Or if you choose to not take the advice of the people that care about you the most, and continue with your bad habits.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Self-Compassion Dr. Kristin Neff

Dr. Kristin Neff- CMSC website

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

Aug 21, 2017

Paul summarizes a talk by Tara Brach named “Healing Addiction: De-Conditioning the Hungry Ghosts”

 Addiction is addiction, it doesn’t matter what it is, it is applicable.  Tara talks about the “hungry ghosts” of addiction.  There is a sense that something is missing.  A feeling that this moment does not contain enough happiness.  How you live today is how you live the rest of your life.  When we don’t have basic needs met, we reach out for a substitute.  We must find a way to love ourselves.

Peri, with 81 days since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:11] Paul Introduces Peri.  I have been sober since May 8, 2016.  I am a bartender, I live in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I am a poet, and have been writing more in sobriety.

 

 

[12:58] Paul-  Describe your drinking habits, how much did you used to drink? 

Peri-  I think by the end I was drinking 20-30 shots of whiskey a day, and 5 beers.  I tried all types of rules with most of them meant to be broken.  I think I started to derail when I was 17 years old.  I knew by the time I was 21, I had a problem. 

 

[16:13] Paul- Talk to us about some of the things you have had to change?

Peri- A big thing for me is friendships.  Almost everyone I associated with drank like I did.  I had to cut almost everyone out of my life.  I had to start fresh like I knew no one in the city.

 

[20:19] Paul- You quit smoking and drinking at the same time, tell us about that?

Peri-  I quit soda at the same time too.  5 aspirin and a large Coke used to get me through the hangovers.  I had massive blood clots, so I had to quit both to avoid the health consequences.

 

[25:11] Paul- What’s on your bucket list in sobriety, what do you hope to accomplish?

Peri- Some days it is One Day at a time, others it is the moon.  I am saving up for a truck, I would like to travel more.  I would like to get off my blood thinners.  Healing my body would be a huge moment for me.

 

[29:45] Paul- What do you do when you have the cravings?

Peri- I eat a lot of ice cream.  Either Pistachio, or Peanut butter ice cream, sometimes Raspberry. 

 

[35:27] Paul- How is it today?  How are you on day 81?

Peri- I feel really great, doing an interview right now.  Meeting up with my friends, having some dinner.  I legitimately haven’t experienced a sober birthday in 10 years.  I am looking forward to remembering it.  I have been trying the meditation.  I have been researching alcoholism.  I have been pretty active in Café RE.  Occasionally, I will go to AA, but only when I need an extra boost.

 

 

[37:30] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? I don’t know, there were a lot.  I was hanging out with a shady group of people who had alcohol.  I fell, and these people left me on a curb with a big gash on my head.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? My last job I got fired from, because I was taking shots of alcohol in the bathroom before my shift.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? I’m going to keep digging in; reading, writing, and it will all figure itself out.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Café RE.  I listen to the podcasts, but the Facebook group is great to describe what I am feeling, and have the communication with the group.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. 
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Anything in your life that is a toxic influence, get rid of it.  It is not conducive to your sobriety.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you wake up on the sidewalk. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Healing Addiction: De-Conditioning the Hungry Ghosts

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

Aug 14, 2017

Paul summarizes the book “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron. 

How can we live our lives when everything seems to fall apart—when we are continually overcome by fear, anxiety, and pain? The answer, Pema Chödrön suggests, might be just the opposite of what you expect. Here, in her most beloved and acclaimed work, Pema shows that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined. Drawing from traditional Buddhist wisdom, she offers life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into habitual ease and boundless joy.

 

Tyler, with 137 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:45] Paul Introduces Tyler.  I’m 33, live in Austin, Texas.  I am an editor for a national magazine, and I am an HIV pharmacy rep in Texas.  I have 2 standard Poodles named Jones and Indy (Counting Crowes reference, not the movies).

 

 

[12:57] Paul- When did you realize that maybe your drinking is not normal?

Tyler- I started about 3 years ago evaluating my own behavior.   I wanted to look into my own behaviors and recognize that I’m 33, and I am binge drinking 3 nights a week.  I took a 30-day sober challenge, and then I was wasted on day 31.

 

[17:06] Paul- Was it a question in your mind that you were getting worse?

Tyler- I still question whether I was or not (having a problem with alcohol).  Let’s just go ahead and say I have a problem with it.  My balance is none at all.  If I weren’t so exposed to alcoholism, it wouldn’t have showed me what it could do to a person.

 

[21:21] Paul- It sounds like you woke up one day and said “I have a drinking disorder.”  How did that feel when you reached that conclusion?

Tyler- It was terrifying, I was going slowly in the process.  I did go to an AA meeting my first month.  It is a wonderful program, and I will never close my door to that program.  It was organizing my thoughts around what I am, and what I’m not.

 

[29:19] Paul- Walk us through a typical day for Tyler.

Tyler- I am still figuring out how I do it.  I went to a wedding in Mexico at a resort, which had, it struggles.  I volunteer a whole bunch; I volunteer at an animal shelter, and at a local clinic.  I do meditate quite a bit for 20-30 minutes a day.  I am on a kickball team here in Austin.  The hardest part about my journey is navigating my same social circles sober.

 

[32:47] Paul- What have you learned most about yourself in recovery?

Tyler- I’m honestly a very intense person.  Alcohol used to water down my intensity.  I have to find other ways of chilling out. 

 

 

 

[35:23] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? The memory that I lost.  The worst memory is having zero memories.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? It boils down to that one last night.  It turned into an all night party. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? To stay sober.  We are getting married, and working on adoption.  Talking about it publicly, and being an open book for others helps me keep my head on straight.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  A Recovery podcast episode- RE 74: 50 Ways to Stay Sober This Summer.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Alcohol is literally shit, and why are you putting it in your body?
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  If you are thinking about getting sober, do it.  Lean to the side that says you have a problem, don’t run the other way.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you wake up with a wig on, and you don’t know how it happened.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

RE 74: 50 Ways to Stay Sober This Summer

Gay, Fabulous, and Drinking Myself to Death

"When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

Aug 7, 2017

Paul  comments on a video show on stopdrinkingexpert.com titled “Alcohol will kill you”  If we can put “smoking kills” packaging of cigarettes, why can’t we put similar labels on alcohol?  This documentary takes place in the UK, but is contemporaneous throughout the globe.  They found that 50% of the people tested had elevated liver values.  The price of alcohol has become significantly cheaper than it was 30 or 40 years ago.  Fear does not harness long term sustainable sobriety.
www.stopdrinkingexpert.com
 
[8:26] Paul introduces Randy with a sobriety date of 12/30/2016.  I am 39 years old, with 4 kids aged 12, 10, 4, and 2.  I am from Indianapolis, IN, and currently relocating to the Denver area.  I am a restaurant manager who enjoys hiking, and spending time with my kids.  Drinking wasn’t really fun anymore.  I found myself drinking alone by myself most of the time.
 
[17:05]  Paul- Would you classify yourself as a high bottom drunk?
Randy- No one really believed that I was an alcoholic, even when I started going to AA, and getting into recovery.  The older I am getting the hangovers became too difficult to deal with.  People who aren’t involved in recovery, have a difficult time understanding what we go through.
 
[22:41]  Paul- Is AA the main vein for how you got sober?
Randy- I hit a streak of RE podcasts where AA wasn’t mentioned at all and I remember being excited that I didn’t have to go to any meetings to get sober.  Then I heard a few RE episodes where people started to get traction with their sobriety had success with AA.  I went to a few meetings before I found one I really liked and connected with the people there.  I found a sponsor, and have been working the steps and making progress.
 
[25:56]  Paul- What was it like when you first quit drinking?
Randy- I wasn’t sleeping great initially.  Sleep is amazing now.  The second day without drinking I woke up at 6:00 am, and was binge listening to podcasts and working out.  The first few days were rough for sure.  Finding those activities and things to do that replace drinking are important.  I joined the RE Facebook group within the first 2 weeks.
 
[30:53] Paul- Walk us through a typical day in sobriety now.
Randy- I am there for my kids more now.  I like to spend time with my sponsor at least once a week.  I always check in with the Café RE Facebook group.  I am trying to eat a little better, and exercise more.  I look forward to so many more things now, instead of trying to get everything accomplished so I can drink.
 
[35:37] Paul- Has it been tough being in the restaurant business through sobriety?
Randy- It has it’s challenges, but hasn’t been too bad.  Seeing the hangovers on my servers faces keeps me grounded in my recovery, and reminds me of what I don’t miss from drinking.
 
[38:06] Rapid Fire Round
What was your worst memory from drinking?  We went out with my little brother, and I tried to keep up with his friends.  We did shots of Irish car bombs, I was so hungover the next day.  We had to get up early and go to a “Fun Fair” at my daughters school.  All the parents were happy and engaging, I didn’t want to be there and just wanted to hide.
Did you ever have an “oh shit” moment”?  I remember coming home from work and finding only 8 beers in the fridge.  I was angry because I knew that wasn’t going to be enough.  I had to go to the liquor store and get more before I could start drinking.
What’s your plan in sobriety?  I want to keep moving forward in my sobriety.  Meditation is on my list, and I want to continue doing what has worked for me so far.
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  “This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace
What’s the best advice you have received?  Find what works for you.  Talking to people who are sober have all sorts of different paths, but end up sober.
What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners who are thinking of quitting drinking, or in early recovery?  If you are thinking about getting sober, then let’s do it!  I haven’t regretted a day of sobriety thus far.  If my life doesn’t improve, I can always go back to drinking.  If I don’t make changes now, I know I will regret them later.
You might be an alcoholic if you still pack a cooler to take to parties, but now it is full of La Croix and other sparkling waters.

Jul 31, 2017

Paul breaks down and discusses the article: “The Spiritual Consequences of Alcohol Consumption” by Zahrah Sita

Although it is mass produced, mass promoted, legal, and ingested by a multitude of people all over the world, most people don’t ever consider or understand the spiritual consequences of drinking alcohol.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the etymology of the Word alcohol. Etymology means the root of the word… where it is derived from.

The word “Alcohol” comes from the Arabic “al-kuhl” which means “BODY EATING SPIRIT”, and gives root origins to the English term for “ghoul”. In Middle Eastern folklore, a “ghoul” is an evil demon thought to eat human bodies, either as stolen corpses or as children.

The words “alembic” and “alcohol”, both metaphors for aqua vitae or “life water” and “spirit”, often refer to a distilled liquid that came from magical explorations in Middle Eastern alchemy.

Odette, with 7 days since her last drink, shares her story.

 

[5:45] Paul Introduces Odette. I have been sober one week, so still riding the “Pink Cloud”.  I am from Guadalajara, Mexico and currently reside in San Diego California.  I am 29 years old, I am married and have 2 kids, and I am a wellness and fitness coach.  For fun I love going to the beach, cooking, and going to concerts.

 

 

[8:00] Paul- Describe your drinking habits over the last 10 years, 5 years.

Odette- I started only drinking on weekends.  Then over time it turned into drinking everyday, and heavy drinking on the weekends.  I noticed a natural progression of my drinking habits.

 

[16:02] Paul- When was it you that decided you needed to quit drinking?

Odette- It had been on my mind for months.  I am a very optimistic person, and the past few months I was living from a place of fear. 

 

[19:23] Paul- What’s it been like the past week?

Odette- It’s been hard.  I have a 3 year old and an 8 month old.  Being grounded helps me kick the urge.  My number one assignment is to be a mother, a present mother.  I really just enjoyed being a mom.  Listening to podcasts every single day, exercise and self-care.  One day at a time.

 

[22:40] Paul- Have you ever had a rock bottom moment in regards to alcohol?

Odette- The morning after the Super bowl.  I spoke with my dad about not drinking anymore.  Pay attention to your own compass.  People perceive you differently than you are. 

 

[29:14] Paul- What advice can you give to someone struggling to recognize his or her own addiction struggles?

Odette- I think the best advice I can give is I wish I would have known two concepts.  If you know your why, it will help you surrender quicker.  Write out your vision. 

 

 

 

[33:18] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? That event we talked about, the Super bowl where I didn’t spend a moment looking at the screen.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I don’t think I had a clear moment; I was tired of listening to the little voice telling me it was time.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?  Accountability for sure.  I love listening to personal development.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Melody Beattie’s book: “The Language of Letting Go”.  I love the Recovery Elevator podcast, and Café RE.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? You can’t do it alone.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Own your truth, own your story.  Do an inventory on yourself.  It will help you to surrender. 
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you start creating rules for yourself around drinking.  Also if you have any parents that have struggled with addiction.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

http-//educateinspirecha#4A112C

https://www.eckharttolle.com/books/newearth/

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=the%20harmony%20tribe

http://melodybeattie.com/books/language-letting-go-hazelden-meditation-series/

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

Jul 24, 2017

Rule Number One of podcasting is plug in the microphone.

Pete, with 488 days of sobriety shares his story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[2:19] Paul Introduces Pete.  I am 38 years old, and golfing is my favorite leisure activity.  I have an 8-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son.  I am in construction sales, mostly traveling around Ohio and surrounding states. 

 

[6:07] Paul- When did you realize you had a problem with alcohol Pete?

Pete- I’ve always known, or at least had the fear of having a problem.  I could drink a case of beer by myself in High school. 

 

[12:23] Paul- Was this a bottom you experienced, or where you done?

Pete- I hit a spiritual bottom.  Things that were important, no longer seemed important.  My wife, great job, and truck were all things that weren’t making me happy.  I realized that doing these things that I was taught would make me happy weren’t.  I was bankrupt spiritually and emotionally.  My wife opened the work bench, and the drawer was full of  empty and full booze bottles.  They were devastated.  I realized that suicide wasn’t’ an option.  That was the moment that made me change everything.

 

[17:25] Paul- What was the outpatient therapy like?  Walk us through that.

Pete- I went to a state certified program.  I attended with several other professionals who learned a great deal about addiction and recovery.

 

[24:44] Paul- What have you learned most about yourself these past 488 days?

Pete- I have learned that I like peace, calm, and serenity.  I accepted chaos because that is what I knew.  My life is really good, but I made it really bad by a lot of choices that I made. 

 

[28:18] Paul- Have you had cravings, and how do you overcome cravings them?

Pete- My cravings as of today are more “I would like a drink” but more thoughts than cravings.  In the beginning I had physical cravings.  I don’t have the impulse to drink now.  Alcohol was the medicine that fixed everything for me.

 

 

[30:25] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? The experience with my wife and daughter not being able to ride bikes because of my booze hidden in the drawer.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? For me it was when my mother in law died from alcoholism, in the nursing home my biggest thought was how do I get out of here and have a drink without anyone noticing.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? Continue to present in the moment, and doing, not thinking about things I don’t do, and then regretting them.  I just need to do the best I can.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Meditation and Prayer.  I’ve used the Headspace app, there is a meditation guru that lives in our village.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Follow direction.  Putting faith in a blind process.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  You are feeling the way you are supposed to be feeling at that time.  Talk to other people.  My feelings are normal; it’s okay to relearn.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if when you walk out of your recovery center, and you see one of your friends that you’ve been partying with forever and he says “Hey Pete, I was surprised to see you here.”  Then I thought about it, and It’s really not much of a surprise to see you here.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

Jul 17, 2017

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”  - Amelia Earhart

Paul discusses his difficulties in quitting smoking, and it’s parallels to quitting drinking.  Alcohol is not your friend.  Stop drinking cold turkey, and don’t try to a taper off strategy.  Rip the Band-Aid off.  Get rid of the booze from your house.  At this moment, you are not stronger than your addiction.  One day at a time.  Thinking must be flipped.       Quitting drinking is an opportunity to get your life back, not a sacrifice.  Write down a list of pros and cons from quitting drinking.  Don’t worry about your weight initially.  Get through sobriety first.  Schedule personal time for exercise.  Life happens, and we need to build up our coping skills muscles without alcohol.  Accountability is the underlying theme of this entire podcast.  Celebrate the milestones, and be happy with your progress.

Leah, with 19 days since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:20] Paul Introduces Leah.  My last drink was June 3rd, so my sobriety date is June 4th.  I am 34; I have been married since 2010.  I have a 6-year-old daughter, and a 2-year-old son.  I’m not really sure what I do for fun; I’m still figuring that out.

 

 

[13:01] Paul- When did you realize that perhaps you had a drinking problem?

 

Leah- I grew up with drinkers.  My dad will still get wasted and he is in his 70’s.  I would watch him pass out at the table at 7:00, and that was normal.  It really hit home over the past few years.  I would go to bed drunk, and wake up foggy and disconnected from everybody.  I didn’t drink to relax; I drank to feel normal again.

 

[17:35] Paul- With 19 days of sobriety have you noticed an uptick of being mindful and present in the moment?

 

Leah- Absolutely.  I want to give a spin on my story as a mom.  It is hard to have moms admit that they are an alcoholic.  As a mom, I would watch other moms accomplish so many tasks, and didn’t know when they had time to drink.  Now I have all this energy to do things.  I took my 2-year-old running.

 

[20:28] Paul- 19 days ago was something building up?  Was there a rock bottom moment?

 

Leah- I didn’t want to quit drinking.  I wanted to change my life to accommodate drinking.  For the past 2 years we have had some family issues.  I am not the person I wanted to be, and it started to impact my happiness. 

 

[27:58] Paul- What was it like the first 24, 48,72 hours?

 

Leah- I had thought over the past year that I wasn’t physically addicted.  I had a habit, and I had to create a new habit.  Now I drink coffee when I get home instead of wine. 

 

[35:08] Paul- If you had an open schedule, would you go to an AA meeting?

 

Leah- Yes.  I am skeptical, but I have gotten to the point where I realized you can get something valuable from whatever is out there.  You can make anything work for you if you have that desire. 

 

[39:17] Paul- What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?  What do you want to accomplish with this new life.

 

Leah- Be present, be engaged, and mindful.  Get fit, and spend quality time with my family.  I would like to wake up earlier, and center myself.  Checking in with like-minded people will be important.  I would like to add meetings to my resources.

 

 

[42:55] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?  There was one night where I thought I was losing my mind.  Screaming matches with my husband.  I was losing the grip on reality.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Waking up with my hands shaking.  The times I would stop to get a “juice box” on my way to pick up the kids.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  Recovery Elevator podcast.  Something to hold onto when you need it.  Something you can grab when you need a reminder.
  2. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?  Writing a goodbye letter to alcohol.  My relationship with alcohol is over.  It’s time to break up.  If I need to go back, alcohol will be there.  I don’t want to go back.
  3. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  If you’re thinking about quitting, it’s probably something you need to do.  You’ll get there on your own time if need be.
  4. You might be an alcoholic if the running joke is you fall asleep on the toilet multiple times.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode

Thanks to Kathy Von Lintel for doing the show notes the past 6 months!

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

Jul 10, 2017

Paul discusses the webinar, which took place in Café Re, and focused on why taking action is so hard.  It’s much better to focus on the action and not the results.  We are definitely in a results oriented society.  Focus on the journey and not the destination.  Success can follow a flawed effort, and failure can follow a flawless effort. 

If your happiness is predicated on your success, and if your success is predicated on a specific outcome, then you are setting yourself up for a high likelihood of frustration and disappointment.  If you instead let go the need for any particular outcome, you increase your chances for success and contentment.  View each attempt as practice for the next attempt. 

Dawn with a sobriety date of November 27th 2016, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:09] Paul Introduces Dawn.  I’m single, 42, and I’m from Poole in the U.K.   In the daytime I work in accounts, in the evening I’m generally working on my blog. I love going out to dinner with friends, and walking to work.  Set myself a challenge to do 10,000 steps a day.

 

[10:10] Paul- Tell us more about this experiment to live you life without alcohol.

 

Dawn- The plan was to give up alcohol for a year.  I was struck down with flu, and I gave up alcohol then, instead of waiting until the New Year.  I decided to write down my journey, and document it on my blog.  It’s been filled with positivity. 

 

[13:35] Paul- The way I’ve made it this far in sobriety, and been successful, is that I looking at it as an opportunity instead of a sacrifice.  Is that something that you are experiencing as well?  You’re looking at this as an opportunity instead of a sacrifice?

 

Dawn- Yeah, definitely.  I don’t think I realized how unhappy I was drinking.  I was more of a binge drinker than a drink everyday, drink in the morning type person.  My weekend would be properly drinking from Friday through Sunday.  Drinking copious amounts of alcohol to the point that I was sick the next day.  I don’t see that as a sacrifice, giving that up that kind of mentality, since it was so much binging and purging.

 

[14:53] Paul- When did you first realize that perhaps that you wanted to quit drinking?  Was it something that happened?

 

Dawn- I was conscience that I was drinking too much in one sitting, not remembering how I got home, kind of dangerous drinking really.  If I drove somewhere I would have nothing, instead of a single glass of wine.  Because if I had one, it wouldn’t stay at one.  Once I started, it was difficult to stop.

 

[18:06] Paul- Can you tell me about a time when you started drinking and you found the “off switch” a little difficult to find?  Was that progressive for you?  Did it become harder and harder to stop?

 

Dawn- Yeah, I was born without an “off switch”.  The first time I really remember getting drunk I was probably about 15 or 16.  Early twenties living with friends, drinking was a massive part of our lives together.  The men that I met were a massive part of that as well.  It didn’t spiral rapidly. 

 

[22:16] Paul- How are you staying sober now?   

 

Dawn- It’s a matter of changing everything.  I thought life would carry on the same.  Everything has changed.  I write a post for my blog at least once a week.  Trying to keep other people encouraged to carry on.  I used to always have a special drink as a reward for hard work.  I no longer do that.  I have a drink when I am thirsty.

 

[26:31] Paul- There’s a quote in recovery- You don’t have to change much, you just gotta change everything.  Is that how it went down for you?

 

Dawn- I still struggle with the social side of things.  I was the party animal.  It’s difficult to go from that to- it’s dark and I’ve got to get home.  I find it hard to socialize without alcohol.  I’m not good with big crowds.  I’ve come to terms that I won’t be that person again.

 

[28:40] Paul- What have you learned most about yourself in these past 6 months of sobriety? 

 

Dawn- I’ve never really believed in loving yourself.  Now I keep saying to people you have to love yourself.  I haven’t loved myself for 40 years.  I realized I’m not the person I thought I was.  In my previous job I wasn’t really helping people and I didn’t think I could. It’s being confident in myself, rather than what other people think.

 

[31:31] Paul-  How do you feel about alcohol being an addictive substance, and perhaps there is no void?

 

Dawn- For me, the feeling is what was addictive.  I was the crier.  Alcohol gave me an emotional release.  For me it gave me an emotional release, woe is me!  For a window of 15 minutes I would feel amazing, then I would go over the top.  Then you’re miserable.  I think really it was the way it made me feel for 15 minutes before the crying would start.

 

[33:27] Paul- What are your goals in sobriety?

 

Dawn- I’ve always wanted to go to Thailand.  Stop waiting around for something to happen.  I was too tired, and lazy, and in bed.  Now I’m full of energy, and I’m going to make it happen on my own in January.

 

[35:18] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Getting home, and waking up the next day at 4:00, and not remembering getting home in a taxi.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I was a drunk texter.  Sometimes I couldn’t even touch my phone.  They were my worst moments really working out who I had contacted the night before.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? Keep the blog going beyond being sober.  Maybe the hope rehab center in January.  Listening to podcasts more than music, listening to other people’s journeys.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I love the online forums.  Club soda, team sober UK, and listening to Podcasts.  It is amazing listening to other peoples journeys
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? The best thing to do is go for each day at a time.  Breaking it into chunks can work.  Un-break the habit.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Never give up.  I admire those who never give up.  I recommend writing down how you’re feeling.  I literally flooded my mind with sobriety.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you find yourself questioning that you might be an alcoholic, then you probably are.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

dawn@soberfish.co.uk

 

http://www.soberfish.co.uk

http://www.hope-rehab-center-thailand.com/

http://www.belvoirfruitfarms.com/

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

Jul 3, 2017

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

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 9:15 ] Paul Introduces Garrett.  I’ve had stretches of sobriety, I had 14 months, and I’ve had 3 years.  I live in Southern California, in Santa Clarita.  I work in outside sales, which is a non-structured job perfect for an alcoholic with hangovers.  I’m 43, married, like going to Dodger Games.  I have 2 kids, 1 in high school, and one in junior high.

 

 

[10:45] Paul- What was the impotence behind you quitting alcohol for 3 years, and then for 14 months?

 

Garrett- The hangovers for me are the body’s way of saying you’ve put a bunch of poison willingly in your body, and this is the result of it.  I would be laid out for a full day.  Thinking in the moment there is no possible way this could happen again.  The feeling in my stomach, I can’t move, or get out of the bed until 4:00 or 5:00 in the evening.  One of those times I stopped for 3 years, didn’t go to any program.  I lost weight, and started drinking again without any reason.  I would romanticize drinking, and once I got the buzz, there was no way I could stop now.  I would have to drink to continue with only a short window of feeling good.  The cost of that was being completely laid out the entire next day.

 

[13:35] Paul-  What was it like when you first drank after 3 years? Do you remember the first night?  Did you pick up right where you left off?

 

Garrett- No, not really.  It was a gradual thing, a slow buildup.  My elevator is kind of chaotic; it’s like the elevator at the tower of terror at Disney world.  At that point it was gradual.  I would wait for people to go to sleep, get a six-pack, and when that was gone, drunk drive to the liquor store and buy some more.  I would start with a bottle of wine, then I would go back to the store for tall boys.  I don’t know how many I would buy, but I would wake out, the room would start completely shaking, I would close my eyes, and that would be it.

 

[15:45] Paul-  Garrett you mentioned a word earlier that I would like to explore- Fascinating. You would tell yourself I’m only having a couple, but then just game on.   Can you tell me more about that fascinating part for you?

 

Garrett- It was complete and total amnesia every single time.  Forgetting the hangovers.  The amount of times I would lose not doing the things I wanted to do because I would be hung-over.  Because I’m not a bum in the street, I didn’t feel I was a true alcoholic.

 

[19:30]  Paul- Was there a rock bottom moment 16 days ago?   How come you quit drinking?

 

Garrett- It wasn’t a single rock bottom.  I have season tickets for the Dodgers.  If there was ever a sport made for sitting and drinking beer it is baseball.  The beer vendor at the stadium recognized me; I would have to go different vendors because I was embarrassed.   The drunk driving home from the games, then going to bars, then drunk driving home again.  I dented the garage with my car, and realized with a moment of clarity that this sh#t has got to stop.

 

[22: 01] Paul- Before I hit the record button you mentioned you felt like you were ping ponging back and forth between:  Am I an alcoholic?  Do I have a drinking problem?  Tell us more about that.

 

Garrett-  It was a stretch of a few days where I would just continually have a few days (of sobriety), and then I would be like “I’m not” because I would have a few days and that proves it.  The hangover goes away and I would think I’m not (an alcoholic) again. 

 

[ 24:00] Paul- Is it harder this time around, do you remember?

 

Garrett- This time I’ve got 16 days.  I’m trying to arm myself with some resources.  I’m in a Pink Cloud at the moment.  History does repeat itself, and I have a plan to address what I know is going to start coming down the road.  The key thing is accountability.  I never had accountability with another person.  I think if I were not anonymous, I wouldn’t have taken that first drink on the New Port Harbor cruise after 14 months of sobriety.

 

[27:57] Paul- You mentioned you had a bad experience with AA, tell me more about that.

 

Garrett-  I was raised Christian evangelical, about 10 years ago I broke with that, and I am an atheist now.  I saw a lot of the judgment, dogma and there was trust that was broken in AA.  That combined with the God thing I’m still wrestling with.  I need to focus on the positive.  I’m ready to explore going back to AA, maybe a different meeting time.

 

 

[30:14] PaulWith 16 days of sobriety, what have you learned most about yourself?

 

Garrett-  This time around is more of a sense of inner peace.  What I’m realizing now is that I don’t have to keep living the way I was living.  There’s no reason I have to pick up a drink again.  My life does not have to be how it’s been.  I’m choosing not to drink.  When cravings strike, I’ve been setting a timer on my apple watch to allow the 20 minutes to pass.

 

[34:10] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

 Waking up and having to tell my wife that I was too hung-over to go down to my mom’s house for Easter.  Then spending the entire day in a state of despair.

  1. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Back in college when I just got too hung-over and missed a final.  That was the first “oh-shit” moment.
  2. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward? Accountability.  Reaching out and talking to other alcoholics, and seeking ways to help each other.
  3. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Podcasts, Recovery Elevator, and the big book on my kindle.
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? You don’t ever have to drink again if you don’t want to.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  If you were thinking about getting sober… I would say: Do it, you’ll never feel better.
  6. You might be an alcoholic if:  Every night after you down many many bottles of beer, that you put those bottles of beer in a trash bag, put them in your trunk, and then the next morning drive them to a dumpster so that your wife doesn’t find out that there were all these empty bottles of beer in the trash can.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

Jun 26, 2017

Mary, with 3 years since her last drink, shares her story….

We all think that the cities we live in should be on the “Nations Drunkest Cities” list.  The state of Wisconsin wins the prize for the largest number of cities on this list.  Listed below are a few of the favorites:

  • Greenbay, WI
  • O’Clair, WI
  • Appleton, WI
  • Fargo, ND
  • Missoula, MT
  • Iowa City, IA
  • Lincoln, NE
  • Milwaukee, WI

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[6:31] Paul Introduces Mary

 

Mary – I am 3 years sober, live in Louisiana and am married with 5 children.  I like to run and bike and am currently raising puppies.  I am a college student and am enjoying getting to know my new sober self.

 

[9:32] Mary tells the story of her younger 13 year old self

 

Mary – I was 13 years old and baby-sitting an infant.  I invited some friends over and we started drinking.  I left the baby in her crib and we drove around.  I backed the car into a ditch and hit a palm tree.  The police ended up bringing me home.

 

[12:23] Mary describes her drinking habits

 

Mary – I was a daily beer drinker and would try to abide by my rules of not drinking before 5 pm.  This never worked.  At night, if I couldn’t sleep, I would have a drink.  If I woke up later in the night, I would have another drink.  Pretty soon my window of “not drinking” had shrunk.

 

[14:00] Did you see any signs that you had a problem?

 

Mary – If I went out, I would immediately have to have a drink and was always looking for the next one.  I would start my night with some drinks at home.  In my 20’s and 30’s, I surrounded myself with other drinkers so it seemed normal.  My drinking really took off in my 40’s.  I started noticing I had a problem more when I became a mom.

 

[17:21] What was the progression like into alcoholism?

 

Mary – 1 drink was never enough.  I started focusing more on when I could have a drink.  Alcohol helped me cope with life.  I hated myself.

 

[18:03] Tell me about this self- loathing

 

 Mary – I used to think “this is as good as it gets?” I had accepted that my life was going to suck.

 

[18:45] Did you have a bottom?

 

Mary – I had grown sick and tired of drinking.  My family called me out as being drunk when I was slurring my speech.  A close friend of mine went to rehab.  I stopped drinking in order to support him.  As each day passed, I could not believe that I was still not drinking.  I went to Al-Anon in order to further support my friend.

 

[21:05] How did you do it?

 

Mary – I kept going to Al-Anon.  When I visited my friend, he took me to a meeting.  As I sat there listening, I realized I wanted what they had.  I worked the 12 steps.  My life has changed to being joyous and free.  It is freeing not having any more secrets.

 

[24:00] Paul and Mary talk about being sober emotionally

 

Mary – It felt good to get rid of all of my secrets.  I listened to other people in the program and did what they said.  I wanted to be happy and try to remain teachable.

 

[27:23] Describe a day in your life

 

Mary – I pray every morning and evening.  I also meditate (U-Tube 11th step guided meditation).  I reach out regularly to friends in the program.  I listen to AA recordings (Joe and Charlie AA tapes), read The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

 

[30:00] What is on your bucket list?

 

Mary – Continue to share my story, bring hope to others, and be of service to others.

 

[31:21] What have you learned the most?

 

Mary – That I am OK just the way that I am.  I am trying to have a good life and do the best I can.

 

[31:57] What are your thoughts on relapse?

 

Mary – For some people, it is an important part of their recovery.  I try to accept just this 1 day that I have and not “future trip.”  Relapse can be an important learning tool in recovery.

 

[33:00 ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? leaving that sleeping baby alone when I was 13 and driving around while drinking
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? at my daughter’s 16th birthday party, I was too drunk to drive but did anyway.  I hit the curb and flattened my tire.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? keep going to meetings, keep breaking the stigma
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? keep falling forward, everywhere I go, there I am.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Continue to move forward, talk about it, give voice to  your pain
  6. You might be an alcoholic if… you take the computer test “Are you and alcoholic,” and focus on your No answers.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

www.southerrunningmom.wordpress.com

bmjopen.bmj.com (article on how women millennials are catching up to men in their alcoholism)

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

Jun 19, 2017

Becky, with 10 months since her last drink, shares her story…………

What I learned after spending the weekend with 12 other people at a lake house:

  • People did not care that I was not drinking
  • People were appreciative to have a designated driver
  • Drunk people have the memory of a goldfish
  • Hangovers still suck
  • Noticed potential problem drinkers
  • Everyone overshot their mark
  • Alcohol makes you act like an ass
  • The yawn game sucks
  • Snap Chat only exists because of drunk people
  • Sober check ins are a good idea
  • You can do sober weekends

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:30] Paul Introduces Becky.

 

Becky – I have been sober for 10 months and live in Indiana.  I work in the HR industry, am married and have 2 children.  I like to garden and cook.

 

[13:00] Tell me about hearing your friend Lisa on the RE podcast.

 

Becky – I was starting to listen to a variety of podcasts on sobriety and heard Lisa’s story.  I reached out to her via face book and she talked me through the process of AA.  I was able to ask her questions.  Something was guiding me.

 

[18:00] When did you realize you had a problem?

 

Becky – I was a binge drinker in high school but my drinking tapered off during my first marriage.  I soon fell into having a glass of wine every night as a reward.  I suffered from a major episode of depression and my therapist suggested I stop drinking. After the depression lifted, I continued drinking 1-2 bottles a night.  I tried moderating but could not stop.  I felt miserable inside.

 

[20:30] Tell me about your “yets”.

 

Becky – I would stumble around parking lots and pass out on the sidewalk.  Anything could have happened.  I would usually drink after a long day at work.  I knew my mother was an alcoholic but I had so much shame that I could not stop.  I suffered from black outs and self- loathing.

 

[24:21] How did you get sober?

 

Becky – I spoke with Lisa and told my husband.  During the first week, I went to meetings.  The first 30 days were tough both physically and mentally.  Shortly after 30 days, I started to feel better.

 

[27:16] How was your patience during the first 30 days?

 

Becky – I was anxious and very short on patience during the first 30 days.  The more I fought the craving, the worse it got.  I allowed the craving to wash over me instead of fighting it.  I was able to take a step back and just look at it.

 

[29:00] Paul and Becky talk about her hesitation with AA because of God

 

Becky – I was probably an agnostic before AA.  I did not know how I was going to bring God into my life.  But there were too many coincidences.  There had to be a type of HP intervening.  I just know that I could not do this by myself.  Some people choose G.O.D. (group of drunks)

 

[31:49] How important is it for you to be surrounded by others in recovery?

 

Becky – I could not have gotten sober without my local meetings.  I stay active in on-line support groups.  It is critical for me to be able to connect with others.

 

[33:41] Describe a day in your life

 

Becky – I meditate every day and journal.  I try and stay balanced between exercise and work.  I have also created my own blog for personal accountability (www.my2point0project.com).

 

[36:26] What have you learned the most about yourself?

 

Becky – I am more of a type “A” personality than I thought.  I want things done a certain way and have to learn to let that go.

 

[37:47] What is on your bucket list in sobriety?

 

Becky – I want to continue to wake up feeling good and strong.  I want to help others find jobs and help schedule interviews for them.

 

[38:45] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? not being sober when my father passed away
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? my decline was more slow and pervasive
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? go to bed sober tonight
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? SHAIR and Rich Roll podcasts, book “Being Sober” by Harry Haroutunian
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? I drink but we don’t
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? reach out, this is not a weakness
  7. You might be an alcoholic if…..you schedule your grocery shopping experience to not happen on Sundays – (because your state is dry on Sundays)

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

www.my2point0project.com

Book – Being Sober, author Harry Haroutunian

 

 

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

 

Jun 12, 2017

Dan, with 27 years since his last drink, shares his story……

The new Café RE Blue has been launched.  This face book group will cap @ 200.  If you would like to join, go to www.recoveryelevator.com.  Enter the promo code 1month to get the first month for free.

Getting sober can be confusing.  14 medical schools only offer 1 class on addiction so it is no wonder doctors do not always “get it.”  Just how do we navigate sobriety?  Since alcohol is legal and we are bombarded by an estimated 50 alcohol related ads a day, the path is not always clear.  We often think we are cured after having some consecutive days of sobriety but achieving emotional sobriety is where the real work happens.

The main point to remember is that recovery can take different paths.  What works for one may not work for another.  Since this disease tells us that we do not have a disease, we have to be ever mindful of that inner voice and realize that we do not have to have all of the answers.  Help is available, but you have to ask.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:27] Paul Introduces Dan

 

Dan – I have been sober for 27 years and am from New Hampshire.  I am a professional skier, film producer and love most things outdoors.

 

[12:06] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Dan – I was always a partier.  During high school, I was a daily pot smoker and weekend binge drinker.  I always wanted to be around people who were drinking.  I had this mental obsession with booze and drinking was a part of my life.

 

[15:23] Did your drinking progress faster as you continued using?

 

Dan – I was introduced to cocaine in the 8th grade.  My tolerance progressed and drinking and driving was just normal for me.

 

[17:11] Were you always chasing those euphoric feelings?

 

Dan – I was always chasing the rush of the party.  We would throw huge parties any time that we could.

 

[18:00] Did you have a rock bottom?

 

Dan – We got kicked off of a booze cruise after only 45 minutes.  I told everyone I was going to stop using but instead I hid it.  One of my friend’s mothers was in AA and she could tell that I was not comfortable in my own skin.  I went to a meeting and first learned of the term “stinkin thinkin”

 

[22:35] What finally worked?

 

 Dan – I was involved in a tragic storm accident in Russia that resulting in people losing their lives.  There was a lot of fallout from this accident.  Anger built up within me and soon I started drinking and using again.  I reached out to my friend’s mother and she got me into an outpatient center.  I also got into therapy and started going to more meetings.  I traveled for my job and got sober going to meetings all over the world. 

 

[29:18] What is your day like?

 

Dan – I am involved in a large sober community.  My Catholic faith continues to grow stronger and helps me every day.  I go to 2-4 meetings a month and like to read spiritual readings.

 

[31:14] What do you value most in recovery?

 

Dan – my relationships with God, family and friends

 

[32:00] What advice would you give to someone who is resistant to AA because of God?

 

Dan – you can attend AA without believing in God.  The more you attend the meetings, a light will begin to shine.  You will start to find peace and contentment within the AA program.  It is a program built on faith and love.

 

[34:06] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? totaling my mother’s car on Mother’s Day
  2. What’s your plan moving forward? living a full life and not tying myself down with negativity
  3. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? people
  4. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? alcohol is a time bomb just waiting to go off
  5. You might be an alcoholic if…….every time you are in trouble, you’ve been drinking

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

Jun 5, 2017

Jason, with 4 years since his last drink, shares his story…………….

Sign up now, there are only 3 spots left for the RE Retreat in Bozeman, MT (www.recoveryelevator.com)

Paul reviews the GQ interview with Brad Pitt.  Pitt states that he was boozing too much and learned that either you deny your feelings and stay where you are or you feel the feelings and evolve.  He did not want to live that way anymore.  Pitt is learning to accept the things about himself that he does not like.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:13] Paul Introduces Jason

 

Jason – I have been sober for 4 years and live in Big Sky, MT.  I am a firefighter/paramedic and enjoy outdoor activities.

 

[11:10] How did you meet your wife?

 

Jason – I had walked into a bar in the middle of a scuffle.  My “soon to be” wife was on the ground and bleeding from her head.  I felt the need to come to her rescue.  We have been married for 9 years now. 

 

[13:45] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Jason – I did not know I had a problem because all of my family were heavy drinkers.  One night I went out with friends and drank very heavily and then drove home.  The next morning I had the worst hangover of my life.  I really thought I was having a medical emergency, I felt so bad.

 

[16:46] What were your drinking habits like?

 

Jason – For the last 10 years, I would get off of work and start drinking.  I would spend the last 2 days of my days off sobering up.  We had lots of house parties where there was plenty of drinking.  My wife and I would also take yearly sailing excursions.  They would turn into 2 weeks of binge drinking.

 

[19:48] How did you get sober?

 

Jason – I reached out to a family friend who has been sober for 42 years.  At first I did not want to go any meetings but I had wanted my wife to stop drinking so we both ended up going to a meeting.  The meeting was a total mix of people and completely changed my life.

 

[23:59] How do you remain sober?

 

Jason – I go to AA meetings.  In early sobriety, I would just show up at meetings and listen.  Currently, I stay very involved with my sober community.  I also send out daily recovery related e-mails.  It helps me stay accountable.  If anyone else would like to be added to this e-mail list, send Jason and e-mail (jgras@sailingscubeadventures.com)

 

[29:52] Paul and Jason discuss being a grateful alcoholic

 

Jason – I have learned to be grateful and humble.  The program has allowed me to change.  It has been a journey through self-restoration.

 

 

 

 

[31:51] Paul and Jason discuss Sober Scuba Sailing Tours

 

Jason – My wife and I thought it would be a great idea to offer sober sailing excursions.  We are organizing a trip in June.  For more information on future trips, go to www.sailingscubaadventures.com and send Jason a message.

 

[39:42] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? that horrible hangover that made me feel like I was having a medical emergency
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? when my hangovers would last for days
  3. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? the Big Book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Tony Robbins “I’m Not Your Guru”
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? make your bed every morning, the miracle will happen
  5. You might be an alcoholic if…..you see a half full cocktail and think, “Now that’s alcohol abuse;” then you finish it yourself

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Jason’s e-mail = jgras@sailingscubaadventures.com

www.sailingscubaadventures.com

Tony Robbins – I am Not Your Guru (available on DVD and Netflix)

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

Hold on tight as we follow Paul’s journey coming off his anti-depression meds.  Good luck Paul!

 

 

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

 

May 29, 2017

Kari, with 4 years since her last drink, shares her story……………….

Café RE is now on a waitlist to join.  Once the list gets to approximately 30-40 people, another group will be formed.  To be placed on the waitlist, go to www.recoveryelevator.com and click on the Café RE tab at the top of the page.  Enter the promo code RE1month to join.

Paul reviews the video “The 13th Step.”  The 13th step (where new comers are “preyed” upon by others in AA) is joked about in and out of the rooms.  The fact is that courts are ordering violent sexual predators to AA for a plea deal.  AA should not be a punishment but 40-60% of its attendees are court ordered.  This movie depicts AA in a negative light.  Sure, there are flaws with AA.  Every program has negative aspects and positive aspects.  I personally dislike movies that bash any recovery program.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 8:39 ] Paul Introduces Kari

 

Kari – I am 4 years sober and live in Montana.  I am married and enjoy skiing, hiking, biking and running.

 

[11:42] What were your drinking habits like?

 

Kari – I drank through high school but it really ramped up after college.  I was a binge and social drinker but would drink until I blacked out.  I would often try and regulate my drinking and could do this for a little while.  I would track my drinks on a calendar but was miserable when I tried to moderate.

 

[22:00] Did you have a bottom?

 

Kari – After my college boyfriend committed suicide, I just didn’t care to keep my drinking in check.  Another bottom was when I locked myself out of my truck after a concert.  My husband had to come and get me.  He was very angry and I came to the realization that my life and marriage would not continue if I was still drinking.

 

[29:17] How did you get sober?

 

Kari – I reached out to some friends who were in AA and attended my first meeting.  I immediately knew that I belonged.  I saw hope in these meetings and a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

[36:00] Describe what your day is like.

 

Kari – Every morning I do some type of reading about recovery (Today’s a Gift, Each Day a New Beginning).  I enjoy the beauty around me and it helps keep me grounded.  I say thank you every night.

 

[39:30] Paul and Kari discuss her recent sailing trip

 

Kari – Both my husband and I were nervous that we wouldn’t have fun.  We still enjoyed our fruit drinks without alcohol and kept up our tradition of drinking during the sunsets.  I was able to remember the entire sailing trip.

 

[42:40] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? when I was in college and went up to the rooftop thinking it would be a good idea to jump
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? when I realized I couldn’t control my drinking
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? sharing my story as often as possible
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? AA
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? there is nothing that says that you have to figure this all out on your own
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? no matter how bad you feel, you can turn your life around
  7. You might be an alcoholic if….you order 2 drinks and slide the first one to the side because it’s the first one that gets you

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

May 22, 2017

Steph, with 6 months since her last drink, shares her story

Café RE is now on a waitlist to join.  Once the list gets to approximately 30-40 people, another group will be formed.  To be placed on the waitlist, go to www.recoveryelevator.com and click on the Café RE tab at the top of the page.  Enter the promo code RE1month to join.

It is often said that our HP will not give us more than we can handle.  For the last 8-10 months, Paul has been suffering from depression.  Around this time, he received a link from his brother about the black dog aka depression (www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc).  God shout out? The video basically describes how depression creeps up on you whenever it wants to.  It is very exhausting trying to keep the symptoms of depression hidden from others.  Depression is like losing all of the joy in your life.  Your addiction can start talking to you and may say that 1 drink may help.  But this is only temporary.  Drinking will not help!

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:00] Paul Introduces Steph.

 

Steph – I am 6 months sober and feeling great!  I am 46 years old, married and have 2 daughters.  I currently live in Canada and enjoy cooking and gardening.

 

[9:25] When did you first realize that you had a problem?

 

Steph – I have known that I had a drinking problem for the last 25 years.  I would drink and drive, blackout, etc. and went to a few AA meetings in my early 20’s.  I was sober for 3 years.  I do not think that I was ready to give it up entirely yet and started drinking again.  My drinking started out slow but steadily got worse.  I worked in bars and surrounded myself with other drinkers.  After I had my children, I tried to moderate but would still drink to get through the stress of parenting.

 

[15:53] What was it like to start drinking again after taking some time off?

 

Steph – After my pregnancies, my drinking very rapidly increased.  I reached a point where I was physically addicted and had to drink to keep the symptoms of withdrawal away.  If I did not drink, I would get severe anxiety.

 

[18:35] Did you have a rock bottom moment?

 

Steph – I tried to quit cold turkey and ended up in the hospital.  My children saw me being put into an ambulance.  1 week later, I was drinking again.  I felt like I had severely damaged my brain chemistry with all of the alcohol and I could not sleep without sleeping pills.  I eventually felt suicidal.

 

[20:45] How did you get sober 6 months ago?

 

Steph – I had to start tapering off because I was so physically addicted.  My husband helped me by locking up all of the alcohol and only giving me limited amounts each day.  I slowly decreased the amount of vodka over 10-12 days.  I really wanted to get sober so I did not drive to any liquor stores myself.

 

[27:22 ] What did you do after those 10-12 days went by?

 

Steph – I took Kevin O’Hara’s “How to Quit Drinking” course.  I would also start my day with recovery books and podcasts.  I also got very involved with an on-line community.

 

[29:00] How has your physical and emotional state evolved since quitting drinking?

 

Steph – I was on an emotional rollercoaster in the beginning.  Now, I have learned to respond rather than react to things.

 

[29:41] Paul and Steph talk about her U-Tube videos and blog.

 

Steph – my blog can be found at https://bestirredblog.wordpress.com.  Another friend in recovery and I started doing video blogs which can be found on U-Tube, called The Way Back.  I also do group skypes with other people in recovery.

 

[31:20] What have you learned the most?

 

Steph – I am a lot stronger than I thought.

 

[31:45] What is on your bucket list in sobriety?

 

Steph – I would like to help other people get sober.

 

[32:37] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? all of the non-memories
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? when I tried to stop drinking and couldn’t
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? helping others
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? A Facebook group called “Onwards and Upwards”
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? get out of your comfort zone
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? put the same amount of time and energy into your recovery, that you put into your drinking
  7. If you decide to start a family with hope that it will help you moderate your drinking, you just might be an alcoholic.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

May 8, 2017

Laura, with 41 days since her last drink, shares her story…….

Do you ever feel duped by alcohol?  Throughout high school, we were all told to “just say no” to drugs but not much was ever said about alcohol.  The reality is that only 1 in 10 people with an alcohol problem get treatment.  The research shows that the number 1 most addictive drug is alcohol.  It kills more people than all other drugs combined.

In 2015, Paul started the RE podcast just to stay accountable for himself.  Now, the podcast has gotten so popular because so many people are still struggling.  Even though addiction is a chronic disease of the brain, the stigma attached keeps people from getting the help that they need.  The challenge for all of us in recovery is to be open about out alcohol use, and get it out in the open.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[13:29] Paul Introduces Laura.

 

Laura – I am 40 years old and have not had a drink in 41 days.  I am married with 2 boys and I live in Michigan.  I am a special education teacher and enjoy most outdoor activities.

 

[16:41] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Laura – I had been drinking pretty heavily since my 20’s.  Last summer when I wanted to stop, I could not.  During a routine physical, I mentioned to my Dr. that I had some liver issues and that perhaps I should go to rehab.  He advised against it stating that there were only drug abusers in there.  He suggested I see their social worker but she wouldn’t see me because I was still drinking.  I felt like I was going around and around.  I even tried Harm reduction which did not work.

 

[19:46] When you stopped drinking did your health problems go away?

 

Laura – not entirely but they have gotten better.  I exercise more since I am not drinking and that makes me feel better.  My rheumatoid arthritis is still there.  I thought that once I quit drinking, I would be pain free but that was not the case.  After 40 days of not drinking, I am starting to feel some relief from pain.  I have started reading “The All Day Energy Diet.”

 

[23:14] Paul and Laura discuss the Harm Reduction Plan.

 

Laura – you are supposed to moderate and keep track of how many drinks you have each day.  It wasn’t working for me.  I found it difficult remaining in contact with the other people in the group.  School started and things got crazy so I started drinking again every night.  I wanted to stop but just didn’t want to put the work in to do it.

 

[25:25] How did that feel when you wanted to stop but just wasn’t ready?

 

Laura – I could get a few days of sobriety under my belt but would always drink on that 3rd day.  I was a responsible drinker and would get everything done in my household by 8pm so that I could start drinking.

 

[30:00] So how did you get 41 days of sobriety?

 

Laura – I kept myself very busy or would go for a walk just to keep my mind off of it.  Every morning I try to exercise and it feels great to not have the guilt about drinking the night before.  After work if I get cravings, I will drink a cup of coffee.  I also enjoy reading sobriety books and once the summer starts, I would like to check out some AA and SMART meetings.

 

[32:14] Do you have anything on your sobriety bucket list?

 

Laura – I would like to run a 5K, travel, and spend more quality time with my children.

 

[32:59] What advice would you give to your younger sense?

 

Laura – Stop drinking when you are young.  Drinking is not realistic.  It is OK to experience your emotions.  Do not be afraid to feel them.

 

[33:03] What are your thoughts on relapse?

 

Laura – The thought of relapse scares me.  I do not want to lose control like that again.

 

[35:00] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?  I mistakenly hid my husband’s iPad instead of my son’s.  The next morning I could not remember where I had hidden it.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I was at a bar with my then boyfriend.  I made him so mad that he never spoke to me again and I have no idea what I had done
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? stay connected, trying some AA and SMART meetings and giving back to the community
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I am reading the 30 Day Sobriety Solution, the RE podcast and the RE Face Book group
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? take it 1 day at a time
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Use the resources that are out there and do not give up.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if….. you order 2 drinks at a time because the bartender is to slow

 

Interesting fact – India has passed a law that establishments that serve liquor cannot be close to federal highways.  They have 400 traffic fatalities a day and a big portion of these are due to alcohol.  You might be an alcoholic if you remove federal highway signs and replace them with city signs, so that your business is not affected by this new law.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

Check out the new Recovery Elevator sobriety tracker

AALRM – run for recovery.  The link is at recoveryelevator.com/run.  Enter the promo code    recoveryelevator to receive a discount

Book – The All Day Energy Diet by Yuri Elkaim

 

 

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

 

May 1, 2017

Julie, with 92 days sober, shares her story………

Big alcohol companies like to blame the individual rather than the poison that they sell.  The liquor industry spends millions of dollars on advertisements that tell us we should drink responsibly.  If we do not drink responsibly, than we are to blame.  We should know when to say when, right?  The facts show that alcohol kills 85,000 people each year.  But to the companies selling the booze, money is the name of the game.  These companies make billions while avoiding high taxes because alcohol is not taxed as high as other beverages.

*********************************Don’t be duped by alcohol advertisements*****************************************

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:21] Paul Introduces Julie

 

Julie – I have been sober for 92 days and it feels really good.  I did not think that I could do it.  I am 35 years old and work as a nurse.  I enjoy music and going to concerts.

 

[11:00] When did you realize you had a problem with alcohol?

 

Julie – I have known for years.  I just could never get enough.  My first issue was with drugs so I did not focus on my alcohol problem.  I went to rehab for drug abuse in 2010 and stayed sober for 18 months after that.  The rehab helped with my drug use but then I turned to alcohol.  When I tried to quit alcohol, I had hallucinations and ended up spending 4 days in the psych ward.

 

[14:24] What happened after your 18 months of sobriety?

 

Julie – I had already started planning to drink.  I knew I was going to attend another concert and thought I could drink normally.  I ended up drinking so much that I blacked out and continued to drink for 5 more years.  I always told myself, “when _______  happens,” I will stop drinking.  But I never stopped.  I woke up each morning feeling defeated, angry and bitter.

 

[18:00] Was your rock bottom 92 days ago?

 

Julie – I did not have a bottom 92 days ago.  I was just tired of being sick and tired.  I kept wondering when I was going to lose my medical license.  I knew it was just a matter of time before this happened.  Then, I thought I would try to quit and when it didn’t work, I could at least say that I had tried.

 

[19:05] Paul asks Julie how she got sober 92 days ago.

 

Julie – I listened to a lot of podcasts and made it to 30 days.  I was feeling really good but still ordered a glass of wine while at lunch with my brother.  I did not even enjoy it.  I finally admitted to my family that I was done drinking.

 

[21:23] Paul and Julie discuss accountability.

 

Julie – My family has been super supportive of my sobriety.  I try to take it 1 situation at a time.  I still have not been completely honest with them about how much I was consuming but my parents are very encouraging to me.

 

[25:00] What else did you do?

 

Julie – My best friend has been sober for over a year and she has been supporting me.  I do a lot of reading and am constantly working at changing my mindset.

 

[27:47] How have your cravings been?

 

Julie – I try and distract myself by taking my dogs for a walk or keeping busy. I know that the cravings will pass.

 

[28:34] How did you feel during your first week of sobriety?

 

Julie – I was pretty apprehensive the first week.  I did not think that I could do it.  Once 30 days went by, I felt that I had a chance at making it.  I am more confident as each day passes.

 

[29:34] What advice would you give to your younger self?

 

Julie – You pay a price for everything that you do.  You do not know everything when you are young.  Drinking is not fun and games anymore.

 

[30:00] What have you learned in sobriety?

 

Julie – When I was drinking, I was not living in reality.  I was just going through the motions.  I have learned that it is possible to live sober and have a clear mind.  I did not want to accept that I would be drinking for the rest of my life and possibly losing my career.

 

[31:00] What are your rules in sobriety?

 

Julie – Attitude is everything and I am learning as much as I can.

 

[33:38] Do you have a bucket list?

 

Julie – I would like to get out of my comfort zone more, try meditation and yoga.

 

[34:47  ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? withdrawing while in the pysch ward
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? every day was an oh shit moment
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? staying active and reading
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? RE podcast and the private FB group
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? do not feel like you have to do it all at once
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? take the first steps and worry about tomorrow when it gets here
  7. You might be an alcoholic if….. you loathe the existence of everyone at the gas station because when they see you, they know that you cannot drink normally

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

Good Reads to Check Out: Blackout, This Naked Mind, Beyond the Influence

 

 

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

 

Apr 24, 2017

Coral, with 7 months since her last drink, shares her story……

Do we have to say it again?  Let’s drop the stigma regarding addiction.  The research shows that alcoholics have a genetic predisposition towards alcohol.  It is not a character defect, nor a moral weakness.  Yet, even after these results are published, about 20% of the general population, along with many psychiatrists still believe that it is a personal weakness.

Kenneth Bloom conducted early experiments on neurology and molecular genetics.  Hundreds of these experiments showed that alcoholism is hereditary.  Many adoption studies have also been done and they show that children with at least 1alcoholic biological parent were 3 to 4 times more likely to become an alcoholic, regardless of their non-alcoholic adoptive parents.

When an alcoholic drinks, our neurotransmitters go awry and our bodies break down booze differently than normal drinkers.  That’s the facts folks. 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[14:08] Paul Introduces Coral.

 

Coral – I am 32 years old and live in Idaho.  I work in an industrial plant.  I am married and have a 9 year old son.

 

[16:08] Did you think you had a problem with drinking?

 

Coral – My husband and I have been trying to conceive but after our IVF failed, I went on a 2 week bender, full of self- pity.  I would grab a beer first thing in the morning.  Drinking was not helping anything.  Now it just feels surreal to be sober.  I did not think that I could do it.  Drinking has always been a part of my life.  But being in a recovery program keeps me from getting stagnant.

 

[19:21] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Coral – There were plenty of times I told myself that I should slow down.  These slow down plans never worked.  I would try to limit hard liquor or not drink during the day.  Sometimes I was able to slow down but it never lasted long.

 

[22:11] Paul and Coral discuss her bottoms.

 

Coral – One of my worst memories was having some new friends over to my house for a BBQ.  I ended up tripping over something in the yard and fell into the fire pit.  I was burned over 10% of my body.  Even after this, I never looked at myself as having a problem.  It took a few months to re-cooperate after this accident.  I was on heavy pain medications and still drank while on them.  After 3 months, I went to the doctor to get a refill of my pain medication.  He would not refill my prescription and I ended up going through withdrawal.

 

[26:00] How did you quit drinking 7 months ago?

Coral – I started listening to podcastsand going to meetings.  I joined the Club Soda club on-line and I also started seeing a therapist.

 

[30:00] Paul and Coral discuss her relationship with her husband and his drinking.

 

Coral – My husband was also a drinker and struggles a little bit.  He has been very supportive of my recovery.  He has his own path in recovery and I have mine.   

 

[31:33] When did your thinking shift from “I can’t do this” to “I can do this?”

 

Coral – Probably around 90 days.  I had been denied a promotion that I thought I had in the bag.  I felt like jumping out of my own skin.  I decided to get in the car and drove many miles to a meeting.  I left the meeting wondering why I hadn’t gone to a meeting in so long.  It was so good to be around other people with this same problem.  Sobriety is my #1 priority now, otherwise I will lose everything.

 

[33:33] What have you learned the most about yourself?

 

Coral – I am still learning about myself.  Right now I am in the middle of the 4th step and it has been very eye opening.

 

[34:34] How have your cravings been?

 

Coral – I do eat a lot of sugar.  I gave up alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes at the same time.  So I need my sugar.  When a craving hits, I try to meditate, exercise or go to a meeting.

 

[35:40] How have your relationships changed?

 

Coral – My husband and I get along much better.  Instead of having arguments, we discuss things now.  I am also closer to my extended family since they are non-drinkers.

 

[36:43] What is a typical day like for you?

 

Coral – I usually say a prayer every morning and then head off to work.  I will go to a few meetings each week and enjoy spending time with my family.

 

[37:00] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? falling into the fire pit
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I had a major blackout while drinking as a teen.  Everyone told me I was running around screaming and I do not remember a thing.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? working the steps and helping others
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? SHAIR podcast, The Bubble Hour podcast and The Big Book
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? You are the average of the 5 people that you hang around with the most.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? If you think you have a problem, than you probably do.  You can still have fun without drinking.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if… you fall into a fire pit but still blame it on the misc. objects in your yard

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

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

 

Apr 17, 2017

Michael, with 32 years since his last drink, shares his story.

In a recent CNN interview with Jeremy Broderick, he talks about how the GOP replacement plan for Obamacare makes things worse for the addict.  Many treatment plans were covered under Medicaid as well as the Affordable Care Act.  Trump-care isn’t what is seems to be and pushes more for accessibility instead of universal coverage.  In the meantime, 200 people die a day while the government sorts this out.  It is estimated that for every $1.00 spent on treatment, $4.00 is saved on healthcare and for every $1.00 spent on education/prevention, $50.00 is saved on healthcare.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:18] Paul Introduces Michael

 

Michael – I am 60 years old with 32 years of sobriety.  I have 2 twin sons and I run health and wellness websites.  I like to walk, hike and meet like-minded people.

 

[10:48] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Michael – it was long before I was 28 years old.  I started drinking alcoholically at age 14.  I was in an accident and arrested for DUI at the age of 19.  My drinking slowed down a little when my uncle died but I picked up smoking weed instead.  Cocaine was finally my downfall.  I was starting to spend hours in blackouts and was continuously apologizing for things that I had done.

 

[13:14] What were your drinking habits like?

 

Michael – During nights’ outs, I could drink 20 bottles of beer.  We would go out to the bars starting at midnight and  drink until 7am.

 

[14:08] Did you ever put any rules into place to control your drinking?

 

Michael – I couldn’t start drinking early in the day because I would keep going.  I intentionally started drinking later in the day so that I had a chance to make it home safely.

 

[15:23] What drug do you think led you to cocaine? Pot or alcohol?

 

Michael – It was probably the pot.  I needed it when I first woke up in the morning just to be able to get to work.

 

[16:04] How did you do it?

 

Michael – I started going to meetings and was completely overwhelmed by the love of the community.  They enveloped me with their hugs and love.  Our motto was hugs, not drugs.  I went to 1 sober party after another.  There wasn’t any time to do drugs.  I learned to be careful who I surrounded myself with.  Build your community of sober friends.  Community is everything to me.  I never feel alone when I surround myself with people who are moving in the same direction.  There is no addiction sigma within these sober communities.

 

[22:29] Did you start with NA or AA?

 

Michael – I started with NA and we were a small group.  We were sponsoring 5-10 people at a time.  I received some advice that I should try an AA meeting in order to see what longer term sobriety was.  My first AA meeting had some old timers who basically told me to, “sit down and shut up.”  They taught us what real time recovery was.

 

[25:35] What is your advice for finding real recovery?

 

Michael – You’ve got to tap in to your resources.  There are many milestones that are going to happen to you in recovery.  Your world can still fall apart at any time.  You will always have to deal with emotional experiences.

 

[27:27] What advice would you give to your younger self?

 

Michael – When we are drinking, we tend to gravitate towards other drinkers.  Most of the rest of the population does not drink like we do.  It is OK to be with these normal/non-drinkers.  There is an entire world full of incredible people who do not care whether you drink or not.

 

[30:00] Tell us your thoughts regarding sugar addiction.

 

Michael – I think that sugar is the real gateway drug It is so subtle that you do not realize it is even happening.  Sugar is a powerful psychoactive drug.  You can become physically and mentally addicted to sugar.  We crave it when we need a mental break.  When we eat sugar, we temporarily feel better about ourselves.

 

[35:40] What is viral recovery.com?

 

Michael – It is my website where I advocate to change the stigma of addiction with healthcare.  I post what others are doing (such as Paul!) to change the attitudes surrounding addiction.

 

[36:51] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? I had been in a car accident and a telephone pole was literally sitting in the passenger seat of my car
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? every time I woke up in the morning with wet pants
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? spread the message and stay tight with your sober community
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? On-line recovery tools
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? my sponsor had me look up at the stars and asked me if I thought it was possible that the whole world just might not be about me
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? be kind to yourself, learn to self-care and be aware of not degrading yourself
  7. You might be an alcoholic if…..you look ahead through weeks of weddings, work parties, etc. and it’s exhausting trying to juggle and control your drinking.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

www.viralrecovery.com

www.sugaraddiction.com

www.facingaddiction.org – to sign the petition

 

 

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

 

Apr 10, 2017

Heath, with 40 days since his last drink, shares his story…..

*****Please review the RE podcast in iTunes*****

Can we taper off alcohol?  It is nearly impossible to cut back on alcohol because it is so addictive.  Our own addictive mind lies to us and tells us that we can cut back.  In all of the interviews done on the Recovery Elevator podcast, there has not been 1 interviewee who claimed they were able to moderate.  If you have, send a message to info@recoveryelevator.com.  Paul would love to interview you!

What happens when we try to taper down our alcohol consumption?  Each day gets more painful than the last as we try to limit our drinks.  We often try to implement rules to control ourselves but these never last.  The question to ask yourself is, “Where does alcohol stand on your priority list?”

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:00] Paul Introduces Heath.

 

Heath – I am 40 days sober, live in Atlanta and am 41 years old.  I enjoy running, working out and spending time with my 9 year old daughter.

 

[11:14] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Heath – I knew that I had a problem all of my life.  The last few years I have been trying to get sober.  I finally wanted to get sober for myself.

 

[12:19] Did you ever put any rules in place?

 

Heath – I could not drink around my wife so I needed to keep my drinking limited to 9-5.  I would occasionally go without drinking for a few weeks.  Being self-employed made it difficult to remain sober.  I turned to marijuana and Xanax to try and get through the day.  Once the Xanax ran out, I went back to drinking.

 

[16:19] Did you hit a rock bottom?

 

Heath – I had multiple accidents where I totaled cars but this time nothing big actually happened.  I thought to myself that either I have to deal with this now or deal with it later.

 

[17:31] How did you do it?

 

Heath – I kept very busy the first week of sobriety.  Exercise was super important and I started running every day.  I also go to SMART meetings.  I want to be prepared once the pink cloud dissipates.  When I go to SMART meetings, I try to look for similarities.  When I see that someone has relapsed, I immediately think that I do not want that to be me.

 

[24:23] How have your relationships changed?

Heath – I no longer carry any guilt.  My wife is still skeptical that I have quit for good but my daughter is super thrilled that I am sober.

 

[25:30] How have your cravings been?

 

Heath – When I first got a craving I raced right to the gym.  45 minutes on the elliptical machine stopped that craving.  Exercise releases the endorphins I need. 

 

[27:36] What have you learned about yourself?

 

Heath – I am not as anxious as I thought I was.  Once I got off the booze and Xanax, I was more relaxed than I had been before.

 

[30:00] What have you accomplished in sobriety?

 

Heath – I still feel very humble in sobriety.  I am looking forward to getting my relationship back with my wife and possibly starting to save some money.

 

 

[  ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? seeing the disappointment in my wife’s eyes
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Continuous moments!!
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? SMART meetings, exercise
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? SMART meetings and exercise
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Your drinking problem is never going to go away.  You are going to have to deal with it.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? do not give up trying, your chances of recovering go up the more you try
  7. You might be an alcoholic if….you use a sobriety app to keep you sober

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

Annie Grace “This Naked Mind” video course.  Find it at www.recoveryelevator.com/annie.  Enter promo code elevator50 to receive $50 off

AALRM = Run for recovery in Bozeman, MT on 5/20/17.  Sign up link below: https://runsignup.com/Race/MT/Bozeman/AALRMRunforRecovery

 

 

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

 

Apr 3, 2017

Lou, with 2 years since his last drink, shares his story…

5/20/17 – Join us for Run for Recovery in Bozeman, MT.  Not a runner?  Sign up for a virtual run @ RecoveryElevator.Com/Run.  Enter promo code recoveryelevator to receive $5.00 off.

Is quitting drinking a sacrifice?  We often fear that we are giving up on pleasure if we have to give up alcohol.  This is absolutely false.  If we are in the right mind set when we quit drinking, there will not be any void.  Instead, you will be giving up all of the shitty things that booze does to you.  Soberity is not a sacrifice but an opportunity.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:46] Paul Introduces Lou.

 

Lou – I have been sober for 2 years and live in NJ.  I am 27 years old and enjoy meditation, yoga and living for a higher purpose.  My work is my fun.

 

[9:17] When was your rock bottom?

 

Lou – My actual sobriety date was not my bottom. I fell in love with drinking during high school and college.  I was arrested for attempted burglary in college because I was trying to get into people’s houses during a blackout.  I made some bad decisions that were very shameful.  I started seeing where I could have been and comparing it to where I actually was.  I had been living for the weekends and the rave parties.  In 2014 I heard a whisper that said, “I’ve got to stop this.”  I started my journey towards personal development and connected with some young ambitious people.  I finally started to see that I had a higher purpose than drugs and alcohol.

 

[20:46] Paul and Lou discuss meditation.

 

Lou – I was hiking up in Joshua State Park when I decided to stop and meditate.  I started breathing and fell into a loving peace that I had never felt before.  I kept thinking, “You are fulfilled.”  The next day I started journaling.  Again, I felt the spiritual experience.  “Do I want what life has to offer?”  I decided, at that point, that I needed to quit drinking.  

 

[27:29] How did you quit drinking?

 

Lou – I wrote in my journal – On this day, I am done drinking.  Started with just 1 day at a time.  I kept having these spiritual energy experiences.  I felt a call for a higher purpose.  I quit my job without any notice which was totally out of character for me.  My co-workers sent the police to my house.  They were afraid that I was going to commit suicide.

 

[31:00] Did you use AA?

 

Lou – I did not go to AA.  I had such a spiritual shift that I was a completely different person and did not want alcohol at all.

 

[32:30] What advice would you give to your younger self.

 

Lou – Look at who you are surrounding yourself with.  Life is a natural high.  You can live an exciting life without drugs and alcohol.

 

[33:00] What do you value most in sobriety?

 

Lou – I am proud of being a non-drinker.  I do not feel labeled or an outcast anymore.

 

[34:07] What is your proudest achievement in sobriety?

 

Lou – I have written a book that tells my story.  “Find Your Truth” can be found on Amazon.  I like getting the message out to others that we all have a higher purpose.  Once you get addicted to the right things, life is amazing.

 

[36:32] What does a day in the life of Lou look like?

 

Lou – I do a lot of journaling, meditation, yoga, and work on my business.  I really do not think about booze at all.

 

 

[38:00] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? waking up in jail to my mother picking me up
  2. What’s your plan moving forward? spreading the message and being an example to others
  3. What are your favorite books? “Outwitting the Devil,” by Napoleon Hill and “Conservations with God,” by Neale Walsch.
  4. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? what you are searching for in the bottle, is there for you in something else.
  5. You might be an alcoholic if……you hide Hennessey bottles, consistently blackout, or are called Liquor Lou.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

www.louredmond.com

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!”

 

Mar 27, 2017

Chris, with 11 months since his last drink, shares his story……

Does alcohol relieve our fears?  Absolutely not.  It may initially feel like it does but what booze is really doing is taking away our survival instincts.  It removes our ability to face our fear (and fear is there for a reason).  We become the turtle hiding away in its’ shell.  Or worse yet, alcohol takes away our inhibitions which can put us in dangerous situations.  It doesn’t make us courageous.  We may feel like Superman after 1-2 drinks but who stops there?  Alcohol impairs our judgement and we end up attempting to fly like Superman, but without a cape.

SHOW NOTES

[8:58] Paul Introduces Chris.

Chris – I have been sober for 347 days and it feels great!  I am 45 years old and live in Portland Oregon.  I am married with a 12 year old daughter.  I like to travel, spend time with my family and watch stand-up comedy shows.

[10:27] When did you first realize that you had a problem?

Chris – I started noticing that I drank too much in my early 20’s but for the last 2 years I could not go without alcohol for a week.  When my sister got married, I was pretty much in a blackout the entire week.  My final bottom came after a vacation in Hawaii.  On the last day I went on a total binge and couldn’t even be out in public.  The day was entirely wasted and I had to sleep it off.  I told my wife that I needed help and could not do it alone.

[14:11] How did your wife react?

Chris – We had both been trying to cut back and since she works in the healthcare field, she knew of some phone numbers I could call.  I contacted the support line and was seen by a therapist the following day.  I honestly told the therapist how much I had been drinking and he informed me that I was destroying my liver.  This was a good thing for me to hear.  It made me realize just how bad my drinking had gotten.

[17:53] What type of treatment did you receive?

Chris – I saw a therapist pretty quickly and then told my wife how much I had been consuming.  She was surprised when I told her I had been hiding it.

[19:25] What was your first week of sobriety like?

Chris – The first few days were physically rough but after the 1rst month I felt great.  Mentally, it is still tough.  I still have days that feel fuzzy.  Drinking caused me to lose that spiritual light.

[21:33] How are your relationships now?

Chris – my relationship with my daughter is better than ever.  I am finding new layers to me by reading and doing self-help work.  My wife and I are working on our relationship.

[22:33] What have you learned about yourself?

Chris – I can survive discomfort and unhappy feelings without drinking.  It is OK to not feel good sometimes.

[24:45] What does a day in the life of Chris look like?

Chris – I check the RE face book page every morning.  I am learning to meditate but at least try and take some time to myself each day.  I also go to SMART recovery meetings once a week.

[27:00] What are SMART meetings like?

Chris – the meetings can vary.  Some follow the SMART handbook and they help you look at your priorities and choices.  Other meetings are more like open discussions.  You can talk about anything.  The basic premise is that you can control your reactions.

[30:00] Have you had any cravings?

Chris – They are a lot weaker and occur less frequently now.  I made changes to my life like not going to bars.  I also always have an escape plan if needed.  By planning ahead, I do not put myself in any drinking situations if possible.  If someone offers me a drink, I simply say “No thanks” or “Drinking isn’t working for me right now.”

[35:11] What are your thoughts on relapse?

 

Chris – This addiction is tough.  I am not sure why I haven’t relapse just that I haven’t for today.  I think relapse is more common when you are not fully ready to embrace sobriety.

 

[37:13] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? getting lost is a parking lot and not being able to find my way out.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? when I promised my daughter that I would quit drinking and then started again
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? stay engaged by listening to other podcasts (The Bubble Hour, That Sober Guy, Mental Illness Happy Hour)
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Be kind to yourself.  Don’t drink today, and if you did, don’t drink tomorrow
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? You are not giving up your identity when you quit drinking
  6. You might be an alcoholic if…..you nurse a beer all night so that it covers up your breath from sneaking vodka

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Book – The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

 

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

 

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