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Recovery Elevator 🌴

It isn't a NO to alcohol, but a YES to a better life! Best selling author Paul Churchill, along with Kristopher Oyen interview people who have stepped away from alcohol in their own lives. Each week this podcast does a deep dive into an exploration of what a booze free life might look like from various perspectives and opinions.  If you are sick and tired of alcohol making you sick and tired, we invite you to listen to Recovery Elevator. Check out what an alcohol free life can look like as others share their own stories of sobriety. If you are sober curious, newly sober, supporting a loved one or living your best life already in recovery, then you are in the right place. This podcast addresses what to do if you’re addicted to alcohol, or if you think you’re an alcoholic. Other topics include, does moderate drinking work, does addiction serve a purpose, what happens to the brain when we quit drinking, should you track sobriety time, is A.A. right for you, spirituality, and more. Similar to other recovery podcasts like This Naked Mind, the Shair Podcast, and the Recovered Podcast, Paul and Kris discuss a topic and then interview someone who has ditched the booze.
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May 13, 2024

Episode 482 - Anna

 

Today we have Anna. She is 49 from North Georgia and took her last drink on December 22nd, 2017.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

[02:09] Thoughts from Paul:

 

A few weeks ago, Paul made a post on the Recovery Elevator Instagram pages asking people what advice they would give to somebody who was about to quit drinking.

 

Thank you to everyone that commented on the video, there were well over 100 comments.

 

In this episode, he shares some of the comments and be sure to follow Recovery Elevator on Instagram if you don’t already.

 

The most common advice was don’t do this alone, reach out for help, and join a community.

 

We have partnered with Sober Link.  You can find some tips and can sign up for a $50 off promo code.

 

[11:16] Kris introduces Anna:

 

Anna lives in North Georgia and is a custodian at a middle school. For fun she enjoys hiking, camping and all things outdoors.

 

Anna first started drinking when she was 18 in college. Prior to that she was focused on being a runner and it was when an injury made her stop that she traded her running addiction for alcohol. She says that she was a blackout drinker from the beginning.

 

When asked by her now ex-husband why she drank Anna said it was because she wanted to. She believed it was a privilege to drink as long as she was keeping up with her responsibilities. At the time she didn’t believe that it wasn’t normal to be throwing up in the bathroom every day. She considered drinks as a reward for getting things done.

 

Anna got a DUI and was required to attend a recovery center. That put her back in contact with other people and she realized that she missed being social and doing things with other people. Her last day of drinking was when she went Christmas shopping and told herself that she wasn’t going to drink, but she did. The next morning, her kids told her they weren’t able to wake her up the night before. That’s when Anna realized she had lost the privilege and the desire to drink was gone.

 

About three weeks after that, she started attending AA and a group called FAVOR which had a kickball team. She enjoyed being able to do things with other people who didn’t drink. One of the reasons she was hesitant to quit drinking before was because she felt alcohol was involved in everything social.

 

Anna says that the 12 steps are a lifestyle for her. She enjoys the structure and routine of AA. After a few months, she got a sponsor and began to work the steps. Anna says that she enjoys being open minded about recovery and participating in things that are not AA. The first 90 days in recovery, Anna says she was very go with the flow. She feels she learned all she could from alcohol and was ready to learn the joy of recovery and getting to meet new people and learn new things again.

 

In sobriety, Anna enjoys traveling and meeting new people. She feels that life is meant to be experienced and she knows she has to take chances and meet new people. Anna feels she always has a group everywhere she goes. Sobriety gave Anna her confidence back and a sense of purpose. She feels that life challenges haven’t been nearly as hard since she is sober.

 

Anna’s favorite resource in recovery: “Café RE or AA, whatever I can get my hands on first if it’s just picking up and scrolling through Facebook or YouTube with listening to speakers.”

 

Anna’s parting piece of guidance: keep things simple, don’t compare yourself to other people, remember you cannot get drunk if you don’t pick up the first drink.

 

 

 

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Recovery Elevator

We’re the only ones that can do this RE, but we don’t have to do it alone.

I love you guys.

May 6, 2024

Episode 481 - Collective Truths

 

Today we have Susie. She is 52 and lives in Lubbock, TX and took her last drink on February 10th, 2024.

 

Our alcohol-free retreat in Bozeman, MT on August 14th – 18th is currently sold out. But if you are interested in being put on the wait list, please email kmac@recoveryelevator.com

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

[02:18] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul’s goal with the introductions each week is to find a topic that we can collectively resonate with. His goal is for as many of us as possible to say “yep” or to nod our heads while listening.

 

There are many different types of listeners to the podcast. Some had already ditched the booze, some long ago and some more recently. Another group is still in the process of quitting drinking. We also have another group of listeners who are here to support a loved one who is struggling with alcohol. We are so glad you are here with us.

 

Paul lists the many reasons why people listen and what they are looking for by doing so. Ultimately, we are all here to grow.

 

Go Brewing. Use the code ELEVATOR for 15% off.

 

[09:58] Paul introduces Susie:

 

Susie is 52 and lives in Lubbock, TX with her husband of two years. She has been a hairstylist for many years and considers it her passion. Susie enjoys reading, exercise, enjoying the outdoors and attending sporting events.

 

Susie first experimented with alcohol when she was in high school and didn’t care for it. There was very little drinking for Susie throughout college and her 20’s. In Susie’s 30’s, her husband and she began to drink socially on the weekends but his drinking increasingly got worse and eventually the divorced due to his anger issues and alcohol abuse.

 

For a long time, Susie didn’t use alcohol as a coping mechanism but had other issues that she feels were attempts to avoid her feelings such as an eating disorder and excessive exercise. Susie reflects that she didn’t really have an off switch when she drank for events, but typically wouldn’t drink for a while afterwards.

 

Shortly after marrying her current husband, some issues started to arise in their relationship and Susie found herself beginning to use alcohol to cope. She says it wasn’t much of an issue until she began to try and hide how much she was drinking. It started to create issues in her marriage and Susie would find her husband leaving her a few times, which created feelings of abandonment and rejection.

 

After an event that led to Susie being hospitalized, she attended an IOP but left and continued drinking.  Her husband asked her to go to inpatient rehab, so she did, but she continued to drink afterwards and ended up taking another trip to rehab a few months later.  Her husband eventually ended up leaving, which was very eye-opening for Susie. She started attending a women’s AA group which she enjoyed and learned a lot from.

 

Going forward Susie plans to continue attending AA meetings when she can, and she just joined Café RE where she plans to be an active participant. She and her husband are separated now but are attending counseling and Susie feels hopeful about their future. Susie surrounds herself with positive people at work and has friends from rehab that she checks in with frequently.

 

Things Susie has learned about herself on this journey: self-acceptance; loving yourself. No matter where you are, you’re okay just the way you are.

 

Susie’s best sober moment: spending time with her husband going to sporting events sober.

 

Susie’s parting piece of guidance: don’t ever give up on yourself, don’t isolate yourself, always surround yourself with people.

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

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Recovery Elevator

You took the elevator down; you gotta take the stairs back up.

You can do this.

I love you guys.

Apr 29, 2024

Episode 480 – AF Legends

 

Today we have Emily. She is 31 and lives in Raleigh, NC. She has been sober since March 17th, 2019.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

[02:26] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul shares with us a list of his favorite AF (Alcohol Free) legends.

 

Included in the list is a man named Barry he met on the Gold Coast of Australia who taught him it’s the little things in life that create the most beautiful textures in life.

 

Another AF legend is Bill Wilson who together with Dr. Bob would become founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.

 

Paul also includes the 480 rock stars wo have shared their story on this podcast. Our interviewees have realized that for them to be successful, they have to help others. Thank you to all of the interviewees on the podcast.

 

Included in the list is Paul’s dog Ben. He taught him unconditional love.

 

And above all else, Paul feels the number one AF legend is the universe. It has provided everything he has needed for wholeness, happiness, and wellbeing. Even when being handed a roundhouse kick to the kidney, the universe only does so with the goal of promoting growth or to illuminate a better path.

 

Exact Nature: https://exactnature.com/RE20

 

[10:46] Kris introduces Emily:

 

Emily is 31 years old, and lives in Raleigh, NC. She has a Husky named Yogi and she works in water treatment. For fun she enjoys attending music festivals and concerts.

 

Emily says she is an adopted only child and grew up with wonderful parents that were always supportive. It was a religious household and while Emily feels she learned some great values through that, as she got older, she wanted to rebel a bit. Drinking with the older crowd was how she chose to do that and feels that she always drank to get drunk and didn’t see the point of drinking otherwise.

 

After high school Emily would have rather gone to the military instead of going to college, which was what was expected of her. She decided to go to school and join the reserves instead. Shortly after turning 18, she got a DUI which ruined the military path for her. School became a big party for Emily, and she ended up failing out of school. Emily was watching her peers graduate, start families and begin careers and she wasn’t sure what she was doing. She feels that this led to her drinking more to cope with the lost feelings she had. She would end up having two more DUI’s before she was 23.

 

While dealing with the consequences of these DUI’s, Emily went to rehab in Texas for 30 days. It was the first time she realized that she might have a problem but still wasn’t certain. After leaving inpatient treatment she started an outpatient program and was living in a sober house. She ended up transitioning to California and was excited to have a new start. Gradually drinking started back up for Emily and she ended up moving back to North Carolina because of how expensive it was where she was living.

 

After serving her probation from the DUIs, Emily found herself drinking again, but says it wasn’t as much as before. She was beginning to start working on her health with nutrition and exercise. Emily says that alcohol wasn’t fitting into her goals, so it slowly tapered off. She had one last hangover after St Patrick’s Day and decided she no longer wanted to feel that way anymore.

 

While working on sobriety, Emily learned that a friend from rehab had passed, and she used it as fuel to keep going. She was looking for podcasts and found Recovery Elevator. Listening to people’s stories really helped her and she started participating in communities learning that she was not alone.

 

 

Emily’s favorite resource in recovery: people

 

Emily’s parting piece of guidance: Be proud of the days that you don’t give up and celebrate even the small wins.

 

 

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

RE merch

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Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

Recovery Elevator

We’re the only ones that can do this RE, but we don’t have to do it alone.

I love you guys.

Apr 22, 2024

Episode 479 - Identity Shift

 

Today we have Destiny. She is 29 and lives in South Houston, TX. She took her last drink on December 30th, 2023.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

Café RE just submitted its application to become a 501c3 non-profit organization. The team has been working on the application for about 8 months and we have been told, in another 4-6 months, Café RE will become a nonprofit.

 

We are going to be able to take our yearly service project to the next level, in which we can receive donations, then use those funds to make this planet a better place for all. Click the link below if you would like to check out Café RE.

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

 

[03:12] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul shares with us that nothing is static, and everything is constantly changing. The roles we play in life are no exception. You are always changing. There was a time when your identity was an infant, then a child. Paul shares the many identities that he has had over the years and that he no longer identifies as a drinker.

 

Identities of some of the largest beer brands in the history of the world are changing seemingly overnight and they are changing their identities for one reason only. That is because you are changing your identity. White Claw now has an AF option, only because enough customers have changed their identities and are beginning to ask for it and that’s the only reason why White Claw has this option.

 

As your identity changes in regard to alcohol, start asking for what your identity craves. Next time you are at a restaurant, ask if they have an AF drink menu or what their options are.

 

It is 100% okay to change your identity to a non-drinker in a seemingly drunk world.

 

Athletic Greens

 

[09:19] Paul introduces Destiny:

 

Destiny is 29 years old; she is married, and they have a three-year-old son and a German Shorthaired Pointer. For work, Destiny is a nurse where she sees a lot of the damage that alcohol can cause.

 

Destiny began drinking in her teens and it progressed from there. She worked in the restaurant industry for almost 10 years while attending nursing school. After graduating and starting to work in the ICU, she spent a lot of her time off drinking.

 

She had her son in May of 2020 and suffered with some postpartum issues. Added to the already stressful ICU, the pandemic was happening, and she got married. Destiny says there was always an excuse to drink, and she often found herself the drunkest person in the room and frequently had blackouts.

 

Destiny would be able to quit for small stretches of time and would attempt forms of moderation. Her husband would mention that she was drinking too much, and she would deflect and shift some blame on the situations around her that she felt called for drinking.

 

A rock-bottom moment for Destiny was when she realized that her marriage was beginning to suffer along with all of her goals in life. She says she would have plans that she wanted to but felt like there was a wall that she kept running into. She pictures the wall as alcohol and everything else was on the other side.

 

Destiny has not gone to AA but says she enjoys reading books, listening to podcasts, and surrounding herself with supportive people who themselves do not drink. She has been spending a lot of time at the gym, she and her husband have started counseling, and she has be going to therapy. When the cravings hit, she plays the tape forward and recalls how things will end if she does decide to drink.

 

Destiny’s best sober moment: playing fetch with her dog and her young son.

 

Destiny’s parting piece of guidance: if you’re thinking about it, you should probably do it.

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

RE merch

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Recovery Elevator YouTube

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Recovery Elevator

I love you guys.

Let’s go big because eventually we’ll all go home.

Apr 15, 2024

Episode 478 – Unlocking Curiosity

 

Today we have Cyndi. She is 54 and lives in Denver, Colorado. She took her last drink on December 10th, 2023.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

[02:08] Thoughts from Kris:

 

Kris shares how recovery has ignited his curiosity. While drinking, he didn’t step out of his comfort zone very much and feels he was perfection driven to offset the dumpster fire that was happening with his drinking. He didn’t feel safe not being good at things, so he never tried.

 

Since in recovery, Kris has taken up a plethora of hobbies, most recently welding. His garage now houses evidence of his hobbies and creating new things rather than the massive amount of empties from when he isolated in there with alcohol.

 

Kris now embraces his curiosity and lets himself fail as he learns new things.

 

When asked what they like to do for fun, many interviewees respond that they are still trying to figure that out and that’s normal as we can become immersed in the drinking life and it’s hard to find time for anything else.

 

What do you like to do for fun? What have you gotten back in sobriety? Or what would you like to be able to do? What’s holding you back? If you’re still in it, is there something that you could use as fuel or motivation?

 

Go Brewing. Use the code ELEVATOR for 15% off.

 

[8:56] Kris introduces Cyndi:

 

Cyndi is 54 years old and lives in Denver with her husband, cat, and dog. She has worked in the dental industry for the last 35 years and enjoys playing outside with her dog, hiking, camping, and cooking.

 

Cyndi’s first real exposure to alcohol was when she was 15. She was at a party where she worked and drank a lot of beer trying to keep up with everyone. Even though she was sick a few days afterwards, she was not deterred and found drinking fun.

 

Cyndi says she was “successful” at drinking for many years, but around 2019 she attended IOP but says it didn’t stop her. Her drinking soon created issues in the marriage, finding them separating from each other for periods of time and trying to use different tools to help Cyndi quit. After a particularly rough time, she started going to AA. She would be able to get a few months at a time and finally was able to achieve two years. Cyndi’s toxic job started taking over her life and she gradually stopped working on her sobriety which found her relapsing and starting the on again off again cycle again.

 

The relapse happens long before the first drink, Cyndi feels. Work started replacing meetings. Her husband was noticing that she was more tired and unhappy, and she was starting to spend more time isolating herself from him because she was drinking again. Eventually her drinking would lead to Cyndi losing her job and found her husband working on divorce papers. They ended up having a long talk about their situations and Cyndi started working hard on recovery again.

 

Cyndi ended up finding a much better job and she is now attending five meetings a week and has a new sponsor. This new job is much closer to where she lives and the meetings she likes to attend are on the same route as work. Cyndi has started therapy which she had never done before. Communication with her husband is better than it has ever been. Her faith is also stronger than it has ever been.

 

Cyndi’s plan in sobriety moving forward: to be proactive, have a check list of things that help her stay sober.

 

Cyndi’s parting piece of guidance: don’t quit quitting. Acknowledge your problem and get help one way or the other and just keep going.

 

[51:44] Outro:

 

Kris shares a song that he came across recently:  Hi Ren

 

Whether we’re fighting with ourselves, or others, when we’re in that dark place we can’t really win. BUT we can learn. We can find a way to be healthy and bring love and light into the world.

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

RE merch

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Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

Recovery Elevator

We’re the only ones that can do this, but we don’t have to do it alone

I love you guys.

Apr 8, 2024

Episode 477 – It Can Be Done

 

Today we have Jim. He is 44 and lives in Silicon Valley, CA. He took his last drink on February 20th, 2024.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

[02:27] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul is coming up on ten years without a drink. He has attended many social situations without consuming any alcohol. When he told people he wasn’t drinking, the question he got was “Wait, you’re not drinking?” said as more of a statement of astonishment than anything. As in the impossible was happening right before their eyes and they were surprised someone could still have a good time without drinking.

 

A major factor of why ditching the booze can be so hard is that the thinking mind will tell you it can’t be done. The biggest reason for this is that an alcohol-free life lies in the unknown. The mind and the ego crave the known.

 

But it can be done. If you are on day one, a series of day ones, Paul reminds us that yes, it can be done. But for how long? A morning, an afternoon? A week? A month? A year? We are only ditching the booze one day at a time. Addiction forces us to confront the thinking mind. Addiction forces us to tease out who is who in the thinking mind. It forces us to locate and meet ourselves.

 

Sober Link.  You can find some tips and can sign up for a $50 off promo code.

 

[08:55] Paul introduces Jim:

 

Jim lives in Silicon Valley and is a software engineering manager for a large tech firm. He is 44 and happily married for 21 years with three young kids. He enjoys skiing, learning woodworking, and completing task lists.

 

Alcohol was a non-issue for much of Jim’s life. He tried it a few times when he was in his early teens, but he didn’t enjoy it much. He didn’t drink in high school or college and then drank very sporadically throughout his 20’s.

 

In his 30’s, the company he worked for would have gatherings at the end of the week where alcohol was provided. Jim says this was where he started enjoying drinking. Over time it progressed and there were some negative consequences for Jim at work and he started suffering with anxiety and depression. At the time, Jim felt like he was living multiple lives.

 

COVID era was a difficult time for Jim. He was working from home and had little to do so he found himself drinking more. When work became busy again, the distractions at home drove Jim to rent an office where he was more isolated and drinking earlier and earlier in the day.

 

On the way to a bible meeting one day after having a few drinks, Jim realized this wasn’t a great idea and decided to check out an AA meeting instead. He says that he went to several different types of meetings over the course of the year before anything really stuck for him.

 

Jim feared telling his wife about his problem, but knew he had to do it. Her initial response was not believing that Jim really had an issue with alcohol but started to feel betrayed when she realized how much he was hiding from her. Jim was determined to tackle the addiction and created his own path. This includes listening to podcasts and journalling every day. He has had a series of stops and starts in his recovery but feels that was part of the learning process and utilizes past journal entries to remind him of why quitting is the best thing for him.

 

After a recent relapse he started to feel very hopeless and knew he couldn’t continue on this path. Jim has leaned into his faith and scripture in addition to his own past journal entries to help him gain the resolve to try sobriety again. He is a member of Café RE and has an accountability partner which has helped him a lot.

 

Jim’s best sober moment: when his wife told him how proud she is of how far he is come.

 

Jim’s parting piece of guidance: if you get stuck, it’s ok, but you just can’t stay there.

 

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

RE merch

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Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

Recovery Elevator

We all go home so we might as well go big.

I love you guys.

Apr 1, 2024

Episode 476 – Is Quitting Drinking Hard?

 

Today we have Tonya. She is 50 and lives in St Paul, MN. She took his last drink on August 21st, 2021.

 

Registration opens today for our annual retreat in the beautiful Rocky Mountains located outside of Bozeman, MT. This retreat is from Wednesday August 14th through Sunday August 18th, and it is going to be a blast! Click here for the full itinerary and to get pricing info.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

[02:30] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Is quitting drinking hard? It can be, yes but if you have a drinking problem, quitting drinking is way easier than riding alcohol off into the sunset of self-destruction. 

 

Here are some reasons why it can be a challenge:

 

1)    Your body has to detoxify itself form the chemical alcohol.

2)    You are going to have to learn some new routines and make new habits.

3)    You need to start building friendships where alcohol isn’t the foundation.

4)    Accept that boredom is a normal and healthy life experience.

 

Here are some glorious truths about quitting drinking:

 

1)    After 14-21 days you are going to get out of the brain fog and want more of the new “good-feeling” thing.

2)    No more checking message to see what you said the night before, you’ll remember the book you read, less sick days at work, and more money in your bank account.

3)    Your dopamine system rebalances.

4)    You are living life at face value and when we do that, we can start to build the life that no longer requires alcohol.

 

Go Brewing. Use the code ELEVATOR for 15% off.

 

[10:27] Kris introduces Tonya:

 

Tonya has been married for 21 years and they have two children who both attend the University of Minnesota. She recently left the corporate world to be an in-home professional organizer. She enjoys her work as well as cooking, tending her plants and in recovery she is always up for trying new things.

 

Tonya was born into a deeply religious family. They attended church daily along with going to school there. She says they were forced to pray for forgiveness everyday which left her feeling like a bad person.  

 

Tonya didn’t drink until college because she didn’t want to be like her father who was an alcoholic. There was typical college-age partying, but Tonya says she always went a little further than everyone else. Some of her behavior led to losing friends and being seen as a liability on their travels. As she got older and wanted to get married and have kids, she was able to slow the drinking down a bit, but still drank heavily while out of town for work.

 

Having postpartum depression after her daughter was born, Tonya found she was using alcohol to cope with life. Over time her family started becoming concerned about her drinking, so she went to rehab for the first time. She didn’t end up being able to quit and struggled with the AA program. She would attend rehab five more times and while she learned a lot about the psychology and science behind alcohol and addiction, she didn’t actually quit.

 

Shortly after her 2nd DWI, Tonya lost her job for reasons that didn’t include alcohol although she admits she was physically addicted and drinking on the job. Unable to find another job she ended up sinking into her drinking and says she spent a year doing nothing else. After nearly ending her life, she realized that she didn’t want to do that to her daughter. She was at the end of her rope and ready to give recovery and AA another try. Tonya started going to different AA meetings and got a sponsor. She is grateful that she found community because she knows she couldn’t have done it on her own.

 

Tonya’s favorite resource in recovery:  Everything AA app, the AA and RE communities.

 

Tonya’s parting piece of guidance: Time. Things will get better in time. One day at a time. Get involved in community.

 

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

RE merch

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Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

Recovery Elevator

We all go home so we might as well go big.

I love you guys.

Mar 25, 2024

Episode 475 – I See You Ceiba

 

Today we have Shari. She is 60 and lives in Santa Barbara, CA. She took his last drink on December 31st, 2022.

 

In two weeks on April 1st, registration opens for our annual retreat in the beautiful Rocky Mountains located outside of Bozeman, MT. This retreat is from Wednesday August 14th through Sunday August 18th, and it is going to be a blast! Click here for the full itinerary and to get pricing info.

 

Check out our RE merch. We have hats, sweatshirts, tank tops, t-shirts and more.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

[02:56] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul shares with us how the idea of Sober Travel first came to him. After a trip of a lifetime that went sideways for him, he knew the only way that he could do alcohol-free travel in the future was with alcohol-free travelers.

 

On the most recent sober trip to Costa Rica, Paul and other members of the cohort traveled to see a Ceiba tree that is at least 350-400 years old. He shares with us the history of the Ceiba tree and what they mean to the people that live around them.

They also got to witness live sea turtles hatching and were able to release them into the surf. Quitting drinking is like the release of the sea turtle. Your new life awaits, and anything is possible.

 

Thank you to Sober Link  and Athletic Greens for partnering with us on this event.

 

[09:46] Paul introduces Shari:

 

Shari is 60 years old and lives in Santa Barbara, CA. She has been married for 34 years and has furry children rather than human children. She works in consumer-packaged goods and operations and for fun enjoys cycling, hiking, and walking.

 

Shari took her first drink when she was 13 and it resulted in a blackout and being extremely sick. She went through her teen years drinking whenever she had the opportunity, which was always problematic.

 

Shari had multiple DUI’s by the age of 24 and with her second one was forced to go to AA and take a yearlong course in alcohol education. It was then that she realized she was an alcoholic. She didn’t want to go to AA but she did find some nice people there.

After a few stops and starts she was able to get and stay sober for 8 years and used hosting meetings as accountability to stay sober. Over time she started to slow down her attendance at meetings and started drinking again during a particularly stressful time in her life.

 

Shari was putting parameters around her drinking after she started again and was able to maintain it to a degree. She would have varying stages of abstinence, and this continued for the next 20 years. Shari says she didn’t work very hard at AA during this time, and limited the connections she was making with other people.

 

When she moved back to Santa Barbara 10 years ago, her parents health was deteriorating. Watching her father drink problematically reminded her that she didn’t want to go down that path. Shari started looking for other modalities to help her quit drinking. She started reading quit lit and joined The Tempest sobriety course with Holly Whitaker. She started listening to RE where the idea that we can’t do this alone really resonated with her.

 

Shari loves that there are so many more options in the recovery space now. She recognizes that everything she does these days is for her recovery. Therapy, exercise, eating right, connecting with people and reading – they all feed her soul and keep her grounded. Finding community and attending more meetings with fellow travelers on the journey was initially uncomfortable for Shari. But she knew she needed to get out of the comfort zone and join the conversations.

 

Shari’s best sober moment: the breathwork she participated in at Bozeman last year.

 

Shari’s parting piece of guidance: never quit quitting and you shouldn’t do it alone.

 

 

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Mar 18, 2024

Episode 474 – If You’re Serious About Change

 

Today we have Nick. He is 36 years old from Grand Rapids, MI. He took his last drink on January 19th, 2021.

 

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[02:41] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul likes Instagram because it’s a platform for artists, for teachers, for musicians, for dancers, and more to showcase their talents.

 

Paul shares with us audio from a video he found while on Instagram. Here’s the scene: It’s a busy city street at nightfall, when a gentlemen comes to a skidding halt on his electric motorbike wearing a microwave as a helmet. When his motorbike comes to a stop, he pushes the open microwave door button, and begins to speak. Check out the video here.

 

If you are serious about change, there will be shitty times, but trust the process because in the long run you’re going to be a better person.

 

The biggest gift Paul gets while doing Recovery Elevator podcast is witnessing the change made daily. This change, added up over many days, months and even years, results in quite the transformation.

 

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[08:40] Kris introduces Nick:

 

Nick is a real estate agent in Grand Rapids, MI. He enjoys outdoor activities in his free time. He has a boyfriend and a dog that he takes everywhere with him.

 

Nick says he started drinking in high school when he and his friends would pillage the parents’ liquor cabinets. He enjoyed alcohol because it freed his inhibitions. As someone who was coming to terms with being gay in a conservative city and kept it a secret for a while. The internal struggle drove Nick to enjoy checking out and alcohol was the way he chose to do that.

 

In his late teens, Nick started working in the food and beverage industry. He felt very welcome at the gay bars he worked in but didn’t have good role models. He knew in his early twenties that his drinking needed to eventually be addressed but wasn’t ready at that time. Nick says he was very functional but drank daily. He feels he was just surviving at that point in time.

 

Nick started thinking about quitting when he was in his early thirties. He says he was stuck there for a while trying to determine if he really had a problem. He started utilizing his ADHD medication to help him be able to drink more. The planning and rituals became exhausting. Drinking progressed beyond “only after the responsibilities are done” to finding reasons to start earlier.

 

Nick’s first stint at sobriety was in 2018 when he joined a local IOP and AA and was able to remain sober for about four months while learning a lot about addiction. His partner at the time drank heavily and eventually Nick gave up his sobriety. His rock bottom came when he was hiking with his dog hungover and realized how miserable he was and questioned if this was how he wanted to live his life. The next day he went back to AA.

 

After working the steps with a sponsor, Nick felt empowered. He says he went on a quest for sobriety and tried out other modalities. When a sober travel trip to Costa Rica with RE coincided with his one-year milestone, he decided to go and feels he gained a lot from that trip.

 

Within the past year Nick has changed careers and feels the best he has ever felt. Going forward, he plans to keep growing in his career and nurturing his sobriety.

 

Nick’s favorite resource in recovery: Recovery Elevator podcast

 

Nick’s parting piece of guidance: the harder you fight addiction, the more entangled you are so just let go.

 

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Mar 11, 2024

Episode 473 – An Easier Softer Way

 

Today we have Lee. He is 43 and lives in the United Kingdom. He took his last drink on August 17th, 2020.

 

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[03:41] Thoughts from Paul:

 

There are a million reasons why people drink. One reason is relief. Now thank you alcohol for providing myself relief when I needed it most. Then there came a time, and it wasn't overnight when the source of relief became less effective. Alcohol then provided no relief at all. Then it became a source of discomfort itself.

 

Now the most excruciating part of a drinking problem is when we reach for alcohol to seek harmony, but it only brings pain. Now the conscious mind knows the outcome, it knows it won't work. But in the unconscious, it is still inscribed like a commandment on a clay tablet that alcohol will deliver the goods.

 

So, listeners, the seed I want to plant with you today, that even though we live in a world full of messaging and imagery saying that alcohol will enhance your life, in reality, the truth is an alcohol-free life is the easier, softer way.

 

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[08:33] Paul introduces Lee:

 

Lee is from Birmingham, UK where he lives with his wife and two kids. He works for a paint manufacturer and for fun he enjoys exercise.

 

Lee’s first taste of alcohol was when he was 8 and he thought it was terrible. Around age 14 he attended a party where there was alcohol, and he enjoyed the buzz he got from drinking until the next morning when he felt hungover. It was a few years later before he started drinking regularly. Lee utilized alcohol to combat insecurities and be more social.

 

People told Lee that after he was married and had kids that he would settle down, but Lee says his drinking got worse. He says he selfishly thought about how he could go home and drink in the house alone while his wife may be staying overnight after the birth of their second child. Even after wrecking his car while drunk, Lee did not see that he had a problem. Instead of going to the hospital, he left for the shop to get more alcohol.

 

The drinking started putting a strain on his relationship with his wife. The cycle of arguments and Lee leaving the home for a few days only to return asking for forgiveness went on for about six months. After a particularly bad event where Lee couldn’t remember the events of the days he was gone from home, he had an anxiety attack. Lee finally admitted to himself that he had a problem and reached out to AA.

 

Lee started attending AA meetings via Zoom and was still drinking and just listening. He started to see what everyone had, and they seemed happy. At that point he decided to give quitting a try.

 

Lee says the first few months were horrific. He couldn’t concentrate and was very irritable. He kept going to meetings and listening to everyone tell him it was going to get better but struggled to see it. The next several months found him sleeping better and feeling 95-96% less anxiety. After 18 months to 2 years, he has been able to forgive himself for things I did when he was drinking. He feels he is no longer to try being sober, instead he is living a sober life.

 

Lee’s best sober moment: getting his family back and being more present with them.

 

Lee’s parting piece of guidance: take it one day at a time. If you can’t do that, do a half day, do an hour, you’ll get there eventually.

 

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Mar 4, 2024

Episode 472 – Shifting Seasons

 

Today we have Erin. She is 45 and lives outside of Boston. She took her last drink on December 26th, 2021.

 

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[01:52] Thoughts from Kris:

 

The transition out of winter is one of Kris’ favorites. He sees it as an awakening. He took the cue from Mother Nature and paused this season. No big decisions or changes. Just time to reflect on things. Now that nature is starting to wake back up, he feels it’s time for him to do the same.

 

Kris reflects on his first spring in recovery and how the nice weather worried him. He started connecting with multiple recovery groups, discovering his triggers, digging into his whys and was able to feel connected to something bigger than himself. Being a part of a recovery community is cool that way... we see the reward in our own growth, but we’re contributing to the growth of the whole as well.

 

Wherever you are this spring, that’s right where you’re supposed to be. Where you go from here is up to you. What tools do you have that you’re using? What tools aren’t you using? Is this a season to pick something up, or one to let some things go? Only you can answer these questions for yourself.

 

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[09:08] Kris introduces Erin:

 

Erin is 45 and lives about 13 miles outside of Boston. She works as a senior paralegal for a large corporation and works for Rover on the side where she takes care of other people’s animals.

 

Erin says her exposure to alcohol was limited to family drinking on holidays or special occasions, but she never tried drinking until she went away to college. What started as curiosity, ended up as binge drinking and partying multiple days of the week when she joined a sorority.

 

After getting married, Erin says the drinking was more casual on the weekends or when out and about. After a tough breakup in her early thirties, Erin found herself living alone, working two jobs, and going back to finish college.

 

During her second marriage, Erin says she and her husband drank a lot socially. Her husband was the life of the party when they were out, but home there was a very different scene that found Erin drinking in isolation to deal with it. She didn’t feel she had a way out as she was financially dependent on her husband at the time.

 

Eventually Erin was able to leave the relationship and started over single in a new town. She surrounded herself with people that drank like her, but deep down she knew she didn’t drink like everyone else. Alcohol became her best friend and her drinking got worse during the pandemic as she was isolated and now didn’t have the safety of working in the office.

 

Returning to the office in early 2021 was helpful to her mental health, but she still knew she was drinking too much on the evenings and weekends.

 

A cousin was sharing how great they felt at 60 days of sobriety which made her become sober curious. Planning to do Dry January with a friend, Erin found herself starting early after getting sick with COVID.

 

In the early days, Erin continued to go to the bar where her friends were, but she recognized that wasn’t good for her. Instead, she started walking more, listening to podcasts, and going to therapy. She was beginning to gain confidence and faith in herself.

 

Erin’s favorite resource in recovery: RE podcast, Wayne Dyer

 

Erin’s plan moving forward: continue therapy and connecting with others.

 

Kris wants to hear from you, listeners! What are you looking forward to this spring?  Do you feel something different this year compared to years past?

 

Email kris@recoveryelevator.com and let him know what this spring has in store for your or what you hope to see from it.

 

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Feb 26, 2024

Episode 471 – Progress and Perfection

 

Today we have Carl. He is 52 years old and lives in California. He took his last drink on August 22nd, 2014.

 

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[03:08] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Arriving at a perfect balance with progress and perfection is ungodly hard, and we all struggle with it.

 

No one is perfect and if you’re telling yourself, you should be doing more of ABC and less of XYZ, welcome to the party, welcome to the human condition. There is progress though, you are self-aware which is more than 1/2 the battle.

 

We have to have dualities, for example, tall to know short, you need silence to know sound. You have to have imperfection to know perfection. They are both equally important and you can’t have one without the other.

 

So, with progress not perfection, most of us are using someone else’s version of perfection to define ourselves. While your soul is remarkably perfect, this is no perfection in this perfectly imperfect world. Go do you, and remember we are all just walking each other home.

 

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[09:52] Paul introduces Carl:

 

Carl is 52 years old, and he is a graphic artist. Carl admits he didn’t have a lot of fun before recovery but now enjoys writing, painting, drawing, and podcasting. He is the creator of Sober Pod Recovery Podcast.

 

Carl had been in treatment as early as 15 years old and says that even while doing programs, he was essentially a dry drunk. He had other addictions and was able to get sober for five years before a relapse.

 

Carl married his childhood sweetheart who had a child from a previous relationship. Together they had three more children. He says he drank alcoholically and while he was functional, he pushed the limits and was mixing copious amounts of alcohol with other drugs. He would take the online tests and the conclusions would all lead to treatment.

 

Health consequences were happening for Carl, but he resigned myself to being the guy who drinks himself to death.  Towards the end he was able to string a few days together here and there, and since he had been able to quit a heavy meth addiction years earlier in life, he considered himself lucky to just be an alcoholic.

After two years of trying to quit drinking with little success, he joined a Reddit Quit Drinking page and shared some of his story. The feedback he found the next day after posing shared that he was likely doing damage to his family and that stung a little bit. Another person shared with him that he deserved to be happy, and Carl had never felt that way before.

 

Carl had gained 60 days of sobriety and then attended some AA meetings. It wasn’t a new scene for him but this time it was different, and he started going back. He was frustrated, acknowledging that in order to stay sober he was going to have to keep going. He didn’t want to be one of those people, but he decided to give it a try and work on the steps with sponsors.

 

Over time he was starting to feel more connected to the community and doing more service work. Reading became important to Carl, learning more and more about the path he wanted to go on. His creativity suffered initially in sobriety but says it has come back 100-fold. He reflects that AA should be used as a launching pad.

 

Carl’s perspective on the point of life: the meaning of life is to find what you’re good at, the purpose of life is to give it away to others.

 

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Feb 19, 2024

Episode 470 – Why Alcoholics Don’t Get Hangovers…?

 

Today we have Lara. She is 40 years old and lives in Northwest Arkansas. She took her last drink on August 8th, 2019.

 

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Upcoming events: We start our six-week Ditching the Booze course, the what, the why and the how. This course is for Café RE members only and use the promo code “OPPORTUNITY” to waive the set-up fee if you are interested in joining us.

 

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[04:12] Thoughts from Paul:

 

There was a great question during our Dry January class that asked “Why don’t alcoholics get hangovers?” Paul did a YouTube video about this but wanted to share more here.

 

Truth is, they do get hangovers, but they usually begin drinking before the full amount of alcohol can be metabolized in their system that they drank the day or night before. As tolerance develops with alcohol, the hangover gets pushed back later in the day the next day. A chronic drinker who drinks 10-15 drinks daily, won’t begin the hangover cycle at 8am the next morning, but more likely, they will experience the worst of the withdrawal effects later that day or evening.

 

Chronic drinkers are almost always experiencing a low to mid-grade hangover. In other words, they feel like shit all the time. First alcohol takes you to a place where you are no longer drinking to feel good, but to simply feel normal. They you are drinking to simply not feel like death. And then the worst place is when you are simply drinking not to die.

 

*HUGE ASTERISK* Alcohol is the most dangerous substance to detox from. If you have been drinking 5-8 drinks daily, for months or years, then it’s a very good idea to seek medical attention when detoxing.

 

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[09:26] Kris introduces Lara:

 

Lara is married and they have two dogs. After teaching preschool for 12-13 years she now teaches Pilates. She enjoys going to concerts and spending time outdoors.

Lara had limited exposure to alcohol until she went to college. While there, she found friends, and they drank regularly. What started out as being fun soon became a way for Lara to ignore her mental health issues that were creating a dark depression. After graduating and the issues getting worse, she ended up going to a psych ward for a few weeks and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She moved back home to live with her parents while she figured out what life was going to look like with the new diagnosis. She continued to drink in spite of the medications.

 

Lara went to grad school in Colorado and was surrounded by friends and the drinking felt normal. She wasn’t having major consequences until after getting married and she realized the drinking was happening all the time. Her husband ended up quitting drinking and while Lara supported him by quitting too, she didn’t feel that she had a problem.

 

Lara found herself reaching out to others to help support her as the spouse of someone quitting drinking. Over time she started realizing that recovery was her path as well.

Lara says that she has learned that she knows how to ask for help if she needs it now. She and her husband share a sobriety date and their life has done a 180. Alcohol is no longer an issue, and they just enjoy living life.

 

Lara’s favorite resource in recovery: Holly Whitaker’s book Quit Like a Woman.

 

Lara’s parting piece of guidance: Just find one person who you can talk to.

 

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Feb 12, 2024

Episode 469 - 10 Facts About Americans and Alcohol

 

Today we have Lisa. She is 66 years old and lives in Atlanta, GA. She took her last drink on November 16th, 2022.

 

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[02:51] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul shares with us ten facts about Americans and their drinking habits that he found in an article from the Pew Research Center.

 

The article shares with us statistics regarding what people are drinking and where alcohol consumption is the highest, along with statistics about age and income ranges.

 

The biggest takeaway from this article is the first stat that says, “Only 62% of U.S. adults say they drink” while 38% abstain completely. Not everyone is kung fu fighting. There is a voice inside the head that says, “Everybody drinks”, but right there we just debunked that myth. A lot of people don’t drink because they don’t want to. Many people don’t drink because their forced to. Whatever the reason is, about 40% of Americans don’t drink.

 

And although alcohol consumption is rising, we’re seeing the younger generations say no, like no previous generation has done so.

 

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[10:00] Paul introduces Lisa:

 

Lisa is a repeat guest from episode 411. She took her last drink on November 16th, 2022. She is 66 and lives outside of Atlanta. She has been married for 37 years and they have two adult children. Lisa enjoys working out, traveling, reading, and listening to podcasts.

 

Lisa grew up in a close family, but her parents had a miserable marriage. Her mother drank to deal with it and the drinking increased when Lisa was in middle school. Upon trying her first drink in high school, she didn’t have the “wow” moment at first but quickly found it gave her confidence and she felt accepted and less insecure with her friends.

 

After graduating college and entering the booming computer software industry, Lisa found herself drinking at a lot of parties, conferences, and sales meetings. She says her husband didn’t drink much. Aside from when she was pregnant, Lisa drank in a way that she considered normal.

 

In her 40’s, Lisa and her husband left the corporate world and started their own business. It was successful but very stressful. She says her drinking ramped up and she was beginning to try and hide the wine bottles from her husband.

 

After a fall Lisa had during a blackout, her doctor referred her to a counselor. She discovered AA and was able to stay sober for a year without doing the work. Soon after the year mark, Lisa thought she could moderate and started drinking again. She was successful with moderation at first, but after retiring, finding herself as the sole caretaker for her elderly mother, the drinking increased again.

 

One night Lisa found herself pouring a glass of wine that she really didn’t want and it was then she decided enough was enough. This time Lisa decided to get help. She went to AA and didn’t feel it was working for her. She discovered a Facebook group called SoberSis as well as Café RE. After her last interview, she was connected with a lot of other ladies that she is still connected with today.

 

Last year found Lisa tending to several health scares, several surgeries, and the unexpected loss of her parents eight weeks apart. Lisa says that gratitude, using the tools she has learned in the sober community as well as her faith and family has helped her remain sober through it all.

 

Lisa’s favorite ways to relax deep breathing and exercise.

 

Lisa’s advice for somebody struggling with life and alcohol: find a way to connect no matter how uncomfortable it is, we have to have connections.

 

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Feb 5, 2024

Episode 468 – A Day in the Life

 

Today we have Amber. She is 41 years old and lives in San Luis Obispo. She took her last drink on May 26th, 2020.

 

“First it is an intention; then a behavior; then a practice; then a habit; then second nature; then it is simply who you are".

 

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[03:04] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul shares with us what a typical day in sobriety looks like for him.

 

He starts his days with hydration, breathwork and/or stretching, reading and coffee. He takes time to connect with the universe and asks for guidance throughout the day.

 

Paul likes to reflect on what he is thankful for either in a journal or he sits in a comfortable location outside facing the sun while he closes his eyes and gives thanks. Even on shit days, he makes a point to thank the universe.

 

Reminding himself that the present moment is all that matters, spending time in nature, doing things that he enjoys, connecting with fellow sober peeps, and being creative are also very important to Paul.

 

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[12:13] Kris introduces Amber:

 

Amber is 41 years old; she has two boys and a partner in crime. She works as a 2nd grade teacher, in addition to being a running and sobriety coach. They live in San Luis Obispo, CA and enjoys hiking, mountain biking, running, and swimming.

 

Growing up, Amber says she was always shy and preferred to be in the background. She was introduced to alcohol in high school and discovered it helped her feel confident and have fun. She didn’t really enjoy the taste, but she loved the way it made her feel and she and her friends drank every weekend.

 

After going to college, Amber says her drinking only increased. She was recruited to be on the softball team with a full scholarship. The practice and academic schedule was challenging and her drinking increased from every weekend to nearly every day. She gained weight, she wasn’t studying, and her grades were suffering. Her performance on the team found her on the bench often and eventually she was cut from the team and lost everything.

 

Amber moved to San Diego and finished college there while working in restaurants. She says her drinking increased even more and she got a DUI a few years later. Shortly after that experience, Amber decided to join a teaching career and the stress of it found her relying on alcohol at the end of the day.

 

Amber says a turning point came after getting married and having two children back-to-back. She had many roles to fill but was still drinking two bottles of wine a night. Finally figuring out that she wanted more for her life, Amber filed for divorce and started taking better care of herself. She started running as an outlet for her emotions and found herself meditating, which she feels helped her make decisions. She looked at her sobriety as a fresh start.

 

Initially Amber was quiet about her recovery and felt she could figure it out on her own. Once she realized that wasn’t working, she found Celebrate Recovery, got a sponsor, and started doing the work. Once she started meeting more and more people in recovery she stopped feeling alone.

 

Amber left her teaching job and started her own business as a sober running coach. She started a sober running group Recovery Road Runners and they do a lot of fun things together and help other people stay sober.

 

Amber encourages people to find physical activities that they enjoy doing, maybe things they did when they were kids. She also suggests vision boards to think about where you want to be in the future and goals you may have.

 

Amber’s biggest fear when she quit drinking: “That I would never have any fun again, total lie. I have way more fun now.”

 

 

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Jan 29, 2024

Episode 467 – A Good Cry

 

 

Today we have Andrea. She is 47 years old and lives in Phoenix, AZ. She took her last drink on November 9th, 2021.

 

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[02:12] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul shares a quote with us that says, “decide what life you want to live and say no to everything else”.  This same quote can be applied to your thoughts. 

 

What comes to mind after reading this quote is the word “purge”. Saying no and letting go of things that don’t fit the life we want to live isn’t easy, but it is healthy and so is crying.

 

Emotional tears have many health benefits. They contain stress hormones and other toxins. Researchers have theorized that crying flushes these toxins out of your system.

A good cry also activates the parasympathetic nervous system which sends signals of calm and restoration to the body. In addition to this, crying dulls pain and releases oxytocin and endorphins. It is a way for the body to find a new emotional balance. A much better way than using alcohol.

 

If you're finding emotions hard to deal with in sobriety then give the body permission to purge them out in the form of tears. Go ahead and lean into the millions of years of universal intelligence the body possesses and have a good cry.

 

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[09:28] Paul introduces Andrea:

 

Andrea is 47 years old and lives near Phoenix. She has four children, two grandchildren and a Great Pyrenees. She works with people with substance abuse disorders and is working on a master’s in social work. For fun she enjoys jogging, hiking, DIY projects and documentaries.

 

Andrea and her family moved around a lot when she was going up which made it hard for her to keep friends. She had her first drink shortly after she discovered that her father was cheating on her mother. She felt the calming effects the first time and drank every change she could get during her teens.

 

Andrea started bartending when she was 19. This found her drinking a lot after work which was creating some issues in her marriage. She was able to abstain from alcohol during all of her pregnancies but would drink as soon as she could after.

 

The alcohol was creating issues in the marriage and when Andrea was 22, she went to rehab but didn’t stay quit after leaving. A few years later she lost her mother to cancer and Andrea says that’s the first time she drank to numb pain rather than just a socialization tool.

 

The first consequence Andrea had was losing her nursing license after an arrest. When they were about to extend her probationary period where she could not drink without hiding it, she decided she didn’t want to do it and turned in her license. Her heavy drinking would continue throughout her 20’s and 30’s.

 

After her divorce when she was 41, Andrea did start exploring whether or not she had a drinking problem. She was beginning to see the consequences to her health and was realizing she didn’t want this to be her legacy. She was gradually able to stack days together and eventually reached 90 days where she kept on going. The first year found Andrea continuing to read quit lit, listen to podcasts and attend a few AA meetings.

 

Her decision to work on her relationships after year one was cut short when she lost a daughter to a drunk driving accident. Instantly she reached out to some sober friends to help her keep from drinking. Andrea feels that her sobriety has been a gift throughout this and helped her be there for her other children and grandchildren.

 

Andrea has been attending AA, going to school, and making new friends in social situations she would have avoided in the past. Giving back is important to Andrea as she pursues her master’s in social work.

 

Andrea’s favorite sobriety resources: podcasts, quit lit, The Phoenix

 

Andrea’s parting piece of guidance: the sooner you ditch the booze, the sooner you can start living.

 

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Go big, because eventually we’ll all go home.

I love you guys.

Jan 22, 2024

Episode 466 – What Should I Do Now?

 

 

Today we have Rick. He is 46 years old and lives in New Hampshire. He took his last drink on September 9th, 2023.

 

This Saturday, January 27th we start our six-week alcohol-free ukulele course. We meet for six weeks with a group of rock stars exploring life without alcohol, and who want to learn a new hobby in recovery.

 

This course is brought to you by Kala Brand. If you need to pick up a ukulele, click the link and use the promo code ELEVATOR24 for a discount.

 

The collaboration between Go Brewing and Recovery Elevator is here! Pick up your limited edition RE Sunbeam Pils, using the code elevator at checkout for 15% off and free shipping on orders overt $40.

 

[02:45] Ponderings from Kris:

 

For many of us on this journey, we start in a survival state of mind. The early days are filled with some basic life skills. How do I not drink when I get home from work? How do I handle conflict with people in my life? What do I do when I’m bored, stressed, sad, angry, or how am I supposed to celebrate? Kris reminds us that it is normal to focus on these things.

 

After a while there is a shift to “what’s next?”. Recovering people before us have figured out that in order to keep what we have found in recovery; we have to give it away.

 

We have had our struggles, and some of us have been through some really challenging situations that led up to, or as a result of our alcohol usage, but we don’t have to let that keep us down! Who is better equipped to talk to someone struggling with substance abuse than a peer that has been through the same thing?

 

Kris feels that there is something beautiful about taking the dark parts of our lives and using it to bring light to someone in need. You are more than your story. You are more than the dark times. You are a walking example of hope. You are proof that the courage to change exists.

 

Athletic Greens: https://www.athleticgreens.com/recovery

 

[11:07] Kris introduces Rick:

 

Rick is 46 and lives in New Hampshire. He has been married to his wife for 19 years and they have three daughters. He works for a family car business. He enjoys cooking, spending time with his kids, and playing games.

 

Rick says his first experience drinking alcohol was when he was in France on a singing tour in high school. He recalls feeling very sick on the 7-hour bus ride across Europe the next day. Beyond a few other times at parties, Rick didn’t really drink much after that until college.

 

Having his first taste of freedom his freshman year, the focus was on partying and drinking. Rick says that after that it was the traditional drinking that is often part of the college experience.

 

When Rick started working in the family business, that’s when he says his drinking went from being on the weekends to drinking daily after work. Over time it progressed, and his wife would occasionally mention that it seemed like he was having a little too much. He would back off for a bit but never had the intention of quitting forever. He tried a lot of moderation techniques that didn’t work, and he would end up feeling bad about himself.

 

Over the last few years Rick has been listening to podcasts, quit lit and joined sobriety support pages online. He feels that listening to other people’s stories has helped him a lot. After a comment from his wife that made him look differently at his drinking, he decided to try and quit again. Changing his perspective and sharing his recovery with his wife gave him a sense of relief. Finding connections in recovery communities and with a local friend that is in recovery as well, has solidified his resolve.

 

Rick’s plan for sobriety moving forward: Stay engaged in community, join CafĂ© RE chats and check in daily on the Stop Drinking subreddit. Maybe host  a chat to give back.

 

Rick’s favorite resources in recovery: podcasts, audiobooks

 

 

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We’re the only ones that can do this RE, but we don’t have to do it alone.

I love you guys.

Jan 15, 2024

Episode 465 – Drink Responsibly?

 

 

Today we have Kevin. He is 44 years old and lives in Cleveland, OH. He took his last drink on April 28th, 2018.

 

I want to give a shout out to our DRY January REstore cohort. We’re 1/2 way there, you all are doing a fantastic job, I’ll see you all tonight.

 

On January 27th we start our six-week alcohol-free ukelele course. This course is brought to you by Kala Brand.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

[03:09] Thoughts from Paul:

 

One of the main goals at Recovery Elevator is to soften the stigma surrounding alcohol addiction and recovery. Another goal is to give listeners permission to shred the shame and recover our authentic selves along the way.

 

The phrase “Drink Responsibly” is such a cop out and doesn’t do anything but place blame on the drinker. Alcohol is the most addictive drug on the planet, and you won’t see other drugs proclaiming that you use the substance responsibly. We can do the “Drink Responsibly” thing way better and at the same time bring more people together in community from both sides of the aisle to heal.

 

A favorite NA beverage company of Paul’s, GO Brewing and Recovery Elevator have partnered up to release 180 six packs of their award-winning Sunbeam Pilsner. GO Brewing was started by a fellow member in the recovery space, Joe Chura. This is two companies who have a similar goal, uniting, in attempts to shred the shame around alcohol addiction.

 

Pick up your limited edition RE Sunbeam Pils, use the code elevator at checkout for 15% off and free shipping on orders over $40.

 

Andrew Huberman – What Alcohol Does to Your Body, Brain & Health

 

Exact Nature: https://exactnature.com/RE20

 

[10:20] Paul introduces Kevin:

 

Kevin is 44 years old and lives in Cleveland area, he is the head of coaching for the Reframe app and a former accountant. Kevin is married and for fun he enjoys attending his daughter’s sporting events, reading and just relaxing when he isn’t working.

 

Kevin says his drinking began in college where he was in a fraternity and played sports. His drinking transferred into his career where there was a lot of stress, happy hours, and deadline parties where binge drinking was a way to socialize.

 

Kevin and his wife got married when he was 23 and had their daughter when he was 27. His drinking increased as a way to cope with the high stress of his career. After some blood work found him diagnosed with fatty liver, he tried moderation and different attempts at taking breaks from alcohol.

 

Without much success at controlling his drinking on his own, Kevin eventually decided to look into therapy with his wife’s support. He developed a journaling practice and would talk with his therapist while working on quitting and made it 60 days. 

 

Several work and life events found Kevin trying to moderate the drinking again. He made the decision to commit to 61 days and then continued to extend the timeline. Kevin was reading a lot and listening to podcasts. His therapist helped him a lot as well. He started an Instagram page for himself, but after some time decided to go public and share more. He got a lot of positive feedback which fueled him to try and start recovery coaching. He became involved with Reframe app soon after.

 

Kevin’s best sober moment: his first sober concert with his daughter.

 

Kevin’s parting piece of guidance: practice. Find a platform that resonates with you and keep practicing.

 

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Go big, because eventually we all go home.

I love you guys.

Jan 8, 2024

Episode 464 – Doing Something Different

 

 

Today we have Danielle. She is 34 years old and lives in Northern Ontario. She took her last drink on August 20th, 2023.

 

On January 27th we start our six-week alcohol-free ukelele course. This course is brought to you by Kala Brand.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

[03:22] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul shares the history of Recovery Elevator, how launching the podcast gave him accountability and how the listeners helped it expand over the last 464 consecutive weeks.

 

The big message he wants to share here, however, is that if you are going to quit drinking or are seeking an alcohol-free life then you’re going to have to do something different. Probably something very different than what you’re currently trying. And it doesn’t have to suck.

 

You 100% can ditch the booze, and we are here to help. But do yourself a favor join Café RE, go to an AA meeting, check out Smart Recovery, take a sober ukulele class. There are more recovery pathways today than there ever have been, and we feel there is no right or wrong way to quit drinking.

 

We have partnered with Sober Link.  You can find some tips and can sign up for a $50 off promo code.

 

[10:54] Kris introduces Danielle:

 

Danielle just passed the 100-day mark at the time of recording. She is 34 and is married with two cats and two dogs. She lives in Northern Ontario, and she is self employed as a copywriter and website designer. She enjoys hiking, paddleboarding, reading, yoga and lots of writing.

 

Danielle says she started experimenting in high school around age 15. She wanted to be part of the crowd but as an introvert found it exhausting and preferred connecting with small groups at the parties. In college, she leaned more onto weed which she feels helped with her sleep and anxiety issues.

 

She met her now husband when she was 22. They were living in Australia for a time and up until this point Danielle was just smoking and drinking socially. Her husband was a daily drinker and Daneille started drinking wine when they would travel.

 

After moving back home, they made friends with their neighbors and would spend time after work drinking with them. She was drinking at home, drinking with the neighbors, and drinking at the farm where she had her horse. Her life revolved around when and where she could drink but she typically only felt comfortable drinking at home with close friends.

 

After a new job and a move to a smaller town, Danielle thought that the change in environment would help her cut back on her bad habits. She found the change isolated, and after her office closed, she was forced to work remotely. She and her husband were drinking earlier in the day. Throughout this time, they had good times but there began to be fights and behavior changes for both of them. Drinking was becoming less and less enjoyable and they found themselves talking more and more about what life would be like without alcohol.

 

Her journey to recovery found her listening to podcasts and starting to write about what she wanted to get out of quitting drinking. After a while, they both decided to join Café RE. One day Daneille and her accountability partner were talking about journaling and came up with the idea of a writing course to share with the RE community. Danielle says that using that as a form of service really helped her with her own recovery.

 

Danielle’s unexpected positives of ditching the booze: losing the anxiety she had for many years. The community she has gained in recovery.

 

Danielle’s favorite resources in recovery: podcasts, quit lit, chats in the community, journaling.

 

Danielle’s parting piece of guidance: you can’t shame yourself out of the addiction.

 

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You’re the only one that can do this, but you don’t have to do it alone.

I love you guys.

Jan 1, 2024

Episode 463 – Addicted to not Being Addicted

 

 

Today we have Zach. He is 34 years old and lives in Richmond, VA. He took his last drink on July 18th, 2023.

 

Our Dry January course RESTORE starts tonight, so get your register on, and join us at 8 PM EST for our first live session later this evening.

 

On January 27th we start our six-week alcohol-free ukelele course. This course is brought to you by Kala Brand.

 

Check out our sponsor Go Brewing. Use the code ELEVATOR for 15% off.

 

[04:14] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Today we are talking about change.

Research suggests that only 9% of people that make New Years resolutions complete them. Many quit well before February even starts. The main reason that these resolutions fail is our energies swing all the way to one side of the spectrum. In other words, we are out of balance.

 

With drinking, we find ourselves addicted to alcohol. Then the mind comes up with the idea that we need to not be addicted to alcohol, then we become addicted to the idea of not being addicted. This is equally out of balance. So that’s the word I want to plant with you today as we begin the new year is balance. On our sobriety journey, we cannot fight, or go to battle with an alcohol addiction.

 

So, in terms of quitting drinking and not going overboard in the theatre of war against yourself, let’s keep it simple. All you have to today is one thing, that is not pick up a drink. Are we quitting for a lifetime? God no. That would be out of balance. We are only quitting for today.

 

Café RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee

 

[10:36] Paul introduces Zach:

 

Zach was originally from California but currently lives in Richmond, VA. He has two sons who live nearby with their mother. He is a technical writer for the federal government. He enjoys the gym and spending time outdoors.

 

Zach grew up in a home where alcohol wasn’t very present. He attended a small college where it wasn’t very prevalent either. He took his first drink after finishing college and was a normal drinker throughout his 20’s.

Drinking didn’t become a problem for Zach until he was laid off of a job and his mental health started suffering. He was processing things from childhood and started having panic attacks and his sleep was an issue. He started drinking to help him sleep but over time it progressed to a daily habit.

 

Zach says he got a wake-up call when he and his wife split up. He was able to get a few months of sobriety, but he ended up back drinking after the divorce was finalized. He had relocated for a new job and didn’t know anyone. He had too much free time to drink heavily when he wasn’t spending time with his kids.

 

Zach was drinking at work and ended up having a meeting with HR where he finally told someone he had a problem. While he felt relieved to share this, he still struggled to quit and eventually lost the job. After his lease was up, he moved out of state to stay with some friends that were going to help him get back on his feet.

 

When he relapsed while the friends were out of town, Zach ended up trying Antabuse to help him quit drinking once and for all. He attended rehab and then went to sober living. After a while he decided he needed to move back closer to his kids and was able to find a place in Richmond with the help of a friend in recovery.

 

Zach tried a few different recovery modalities, but AA ended up working best for him. He got a sponsor who he has spoken to every day since they met. His sponsor has helped him realize that he cannot return to drinking. Zach is starting to see the benefits of not drinking, both physically and mentally. Community has been vital to Zach and his recovery.

 

Zach’s favorite resources: an app called The Big Book, and the RE podcast while at the gym.

 

Zach’s strategy to beat a craving:  a walk and a phone call.

 

 

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Dec 25, 2023

Episode 462 – To Have is to Give

 

 

Today we have Tana. She is 44 years old and lives in Washington State. She took her last drink on July 30th, 2020.

 

Registration for our DRY January course RESTORE is now open! It’s time to get your alcohol-free connect on and say adios to the booze. Our first session is Monday, January 1st at 5 pm PST or 8 pm EST.  The most common issue I hear is that people don’t have a network of others who don’t drink. Well, Our Restore is going to solve that and you’re going to learn all about alcohol, alcohol addiction, and how to beat it.

 

Paul shares an article where scientists say the mystery of how red wine headaches occur may be solved. Paul’s opinion is that it’s a waste of time, but here’s the link for curiosity’s sake.

 

Exact Nature: https://exactnature.com/RE20

 

[03:40] Thoughts from Paul:

 

In 1935, A.A. Founder Bill W, found that when he shared his experience, strength and hope to another individual who was struggling with alcohol, then Bill magically had the strength to remain sober. It shows the universal law of “to give is to have”.

 

Today I give you the message of Merry Christmas. To plant the seed, that to give is to have. To have is to give. Most of us have learned a way, or path that didn’t work. Or maybe it kind of worked but was or is incredibly painful. For me, this path required numbing agents, alcohol being the most potent one.

Now I know there are a couple thousand of you who listen to this podcast first thing on Monday morning when the episodes are released. Fantastic. How blessed I am to get you ear first thing in the morning. Ask not what Santa, or your family can give to you, but ask what you can give to them.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

[00:00] Kris introduces Tana:

 

Tana is from Washington state, and she works in healthcare and recently has found a new passion for teaching yoga. She has three children, two who have recently graduated college and a 10-year-old daughter. She recently separated from her husband. She enjoys backpacking, hiking, running and dance.

 

Tana and her siblings were raised by her father who recently passed away. Their mother was an alcoholic, and Tana knew from an early age that she was suffering. Her exposure to alcohol was limited to family members drinking socially.

 

When Tana was a teenager some home changes found her moving in with her mother. At this point she was exposed to her mother’s addictions firsthand and over time it made her depressed and wanting to rebel, so she began smoking cigarettes, but not really drinking. She moved out at 17 to start her own life.

 

After starting her own life, Tana had two children and got married. Over time she realized the relationship wasn’t good, so she left and just focused on her kids. Her only addiction issues were the cigarettes which she went to great lengths to hide out of shame.

 

A few years later, Tana remarried and when she was pregnant with her third child, she quit smoking, and her husband encouraged her to quit for good. Tana found running to be a good replacement for smoking, but after her daughter got older, she would no longer have time to run. Her drinking became her tool to cope.

 

Tana started to feel shame about her drinking and questioning it. She started listening to podcasts and discovering books that she thought may help her break the cycle and become the best mom she could be. When AA didn’t feel like a good fit, Tana found community in Café RE. She finally felt safe to be herself, make friends, attend meetups, and enjoys giving back to others.

 

Tana’s plan in recovery moving forward: keep learning and growing.

 

Tana’s parting piece of guidance: it’s different for all of us. It takes what it takes and for each of us that looks a little different. Just don’t give up – never quit quitting.

 

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You’re the only one that can do this RE, but you don’t have to do it alone.

I love you guys.

Dec 18, 2023

Episode 461 - Wait, You Drink Poison?

 

 

Today we have Gill. She’s 33 years old from Lexington, MA and took her last drink on November 9th, 2019.

 

Update from Ryan H on episode 457 – “I’m going on two weeks now and I’m definitely starting to notice a difference in my mood, digestive issues and weight.”

 

Registration for our intensive DRY January course RESTORE is now open! It’s time to get your alcohol-free connect on and say adios to the booze. The most common issue I hear is that people don’t have a network of others who don’t drink. Well, Our Restore is going to solve that and you’re going to learn a ton about alcohol, alcohol addiction, and how to beat it.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

[03:02] Intro:

 

Paul shares two Instagram accounts that will help you on your sobriety journey:

 

Drop the Bottle  - all about sobriety and ditching the booze.

 

A.L.A.D.D.I.N – not about sobriety, but it is entertaining and when it’s creator shares his art with the world, it gives others permission to do the same.

 

Athletic Greens: https://www.athleticgreens.com/recovery

 

[08:22] Paul introduces Gill:

 

Gill is 33 and lives right outside of Boston, MA. She has a husband and a cat. She loves playing video games, going to concerts and travelling. She teaches chemistry courses and labs at a college in Boston. She is also the host of the Sober Powered podcast.

 

Gill says she didn’t start drinking until grad school. She didn’t have opportunities in high school because she was bullied and didn’t hang out with people that drank. She started because she feared that if she didn’t then no one would like her. Once she tried it a few times and got her first buzz, she enjoyed it so much it became a regular thing for her.

 

Gill started having repercussions from drinking early on. She didn’t know her limits, had frequent opportunities to drink and would end up getting sick and having blackouts. Gill thought all of this was normal and that everyone drank like her. Gill says that her performance in school started suffering and there was multiple drink fueled fights with her boyfriend (who is now her husband).

 

Gill ended up leaving program and decided to start teaching instead. She learned that drinking helped with the stress she experienced while teaching. Over time she switched from wine to vodka to save money. Her tolerance increased, and she started struggling with hangovers at work.

 

Trying to moderate and make rules around her drinking was frustrating for Gill. People didn’t want her to quit and when she would bring it up others would downplay it and tell her she was fine.

 

Gill’s depression was getting worse, and she started waking up with uncontrollable anxiety often. Once she began having suicidal thoughts, she got scared. Gill decided to take a break for 90 days to lower her tolerance and thought she would be cured. During that time her suicidal thoughts and anxiety lessened. She completed the 90 days and started drinking again and the consequences quickly followed.

 

After her last rule was compromised, she realized she had to accept that she had to let alcohol go indefinitely. While it was scary at first, Gill says she also felt a sense of peace.

 

Gill didn’t think she needed meetings when she first quit but doesn’t recommend people try to do it alone.  After the pandemic started, Gill found she had the time to go to therapy, she started listening to podcasts, and doing a lot of research on the science around alcohol addictions. She wanted to share what she had learned with others, so she started her own podcast: Sober Powered.

 

Gill’s advice for the holidays: you don’t have to go to everything if you are worried that you’re going to drink or that you can’t stay sober, don’t go.

 

Gill’s go-to tool to get past a craving: walking, rage walking.

 

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I love you guys.

Go big because eventually we’ll all go home.

 

 

 

Dec 11, 2023

Episode 460 – The Friends We Keep

 

 

Today we have Kerry. She’s 40 years old from Williston, ND and took her last drink on January 7th, 2016.

 

Shoutout to our CafĂ© RE chat hosts!  Thank you for your dedication to the community, and for providing a space for us to share our experiences. You’re the best!

 

Exact Nature: https://exactnature.com/RE20

 

[01:29] Highlights from Kris:

 

It’s important that we surround ourselves with people who are going to enrich our lives. People who will meet us where we are, but also challenge us and encourage us to grow.

 

Kris shares some examples of great friends he has in his life and shares an article that outlines Five Types of Friends – friends we need and need to be.

 

Take a look at the people you have in your life. Do you think you have someone that fits in each of these categories? When was the last time you let them know what they mean to you? Use this as a reminder to tell someone you love them, and that you’re grateful for them.

 

If you find yourself today, feeling like YOU’RE alone, I promise you that you’re not. You’re people are out there.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

[10:15] Kris introduces Kerry:

 

Kerry and her partner live in Williston, ND and are raising four kids. She recently decided she was going to become a firefighter which stemmed from being an EMT and a nurse. She enjoys spending time with the kids and they are currently rebuilding a boat.

 

Kerry was exposed to alcohol throughout her childhood but didn’t really have any great interest in it. She feels that she was a people pleaser and didn’t want to get in trouble until senior year when she decided she could let loose and have some fun before going to college. She found alcohol gave her relief from the stressors in her life.

 

Going into college she and her friends were party seekers. She had excelled so much academically that she felt she could relax and have fun and not worry about responsibilities. Her idea of an addict was her dad who wasn’t obvious about it. She didn’t have the consequences he did so she didn’t feel she had any problems.  When she was 19 her parents put her into rehab because of drug use. While she was there the counselors recognized that her bigger issue was drinking. Kerry didn’t listen and continued to drink after leaving treatment.

 

Kerry’s parents got a divorce and she had moved back home. She used any excuse to drink to not deal with things. She was having consequences like DUIs and broken relationships. At the time Kerry was working with her mom at a family business where happy hours and daily drinking after work were part of the daily landscape.

 

Looking for a change, Kerry a boyfriend moved to Alaska and started a family. The drinking slowed down, but after that relationship ended and they shared custody of the kids, Kerry found herself going back to drinking.

 

After moving back to North Dakota, she continued to use drinking to self-medicate. People didn’t realize it because she was so good at taking care of other people and being a problem solver. Over time the drinking was getting heavier and heavier, and Kerry tried to create parameters to control it.

 

She tried quitting for a while but when she tested the waters again, she had consequences including another DUI where she realized she needed to get help to quit completely. She joined Lion Rock Recovery, which was all online, so she didn’t need to leave her family for treatment. It helped her focus on the reason she drank and deal with her mental health and gave her tools to use after the program ended.

 

Kerry’s plan in recovery moving forward: keep learning, keep doing crazy things like firefighting and getting more involved with recovery service.

 

Kerry’s parting piece of guidance: there isn’t a roadmap, and if one thing doesn’t work, you can try another.

 

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We are the only ones that can do this RE, but we don’t have to do it alone.

I love you guys.

 

 

Dec 7, 2023

Now the Holidays have been coupled with alcohol for as long as the Earth has been orbiting the Sun. I’m kidding, that isn’t correct, but you get the point. And if you’re struggling with alcohol or trying to get sober, the holidays can be the ultimate challenge. This episode should help. 

 

In this Holiday Collab Episode, we’ve got Gill from the Sober Powered Podcast. Casey from the Hello Someday Podcast, and Veronica from the Soberful Podcast. 

Dec 4, 2023

Episode 459 – Let’s Smile

 

 

Today we have Spencer. He’s 44 years old from Minneapolis, MN and took his last drink on September 23rd, 2023.

 

Registration for RESTORE is no open!  If you want to take a break for a month, or say adios for good, this course is for you. You’re going to learn all about alcohol addiction, what it is, what it isn’t, how to beat cravings, you’ll learn about many different recovery pathways, and the best part is you won’t be doing this alone.

 

Exact Nature: https://exactnature.com/RE20

 

[02:04] Highlights from Paul:

 

Start your day with a smile. It doesn’t matter if the smile is fake or real. The body doesn’t know the difference and the nervous system always responds positively with a smile.

 

Smiling increases mood-enhancing hormones. Smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin, while decreasing stress-enhancing hormones, including cortisol, and adrenaline. It also reduces overall blood pressure.

 

Another reason to smile is that research shows that smiles are contagious. Most people will find a way to reciprocate in a friendly manner. Smiling is a way to be of service because it makes other people’s days better.

 

Spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has said “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." 

 

Start your day with a 30 -second smile. And not for just one day or two,

but rock that smile every morning for the rest of this year and hopefully beyond. And don't forget to keep that smile going throughout the day.

 

Paul shares some dad jokes to help get us started.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored

 

[08:04] Paul introduces Spencer:

 

Spencer grew up in Minneapolis area. He is married with two kids. He enjoys playing blues and rock on his guitar and spending time on the river with his family. Spencer has been an electrician for 23 years.

 

Spencer says that alcohol was a big part of his family’s life while he was growing up. Both of his parents drank, and every event was centered around alcohol. Spencer didn’t try alcohol until he was around 15. He had a friend who’s parent worked nights, so their house became a party house and drinking happened frequently.

 

Spencer got married young and they both drank heavily. They had a daughter together and eventually they ended up getting a divorce. At the time Spencer blamed a lot of the issues on his ex. Once she moved out Spencer had some friends move in and says the drinking became daily and he was losing jobs. He eventually started having financial issues and lost his house.

 

It was shortly after he started dating a woman that didn’t drink like him that he realized that drinking might be a problem for him. He didn’t really make any changes until the birth of his son when he began to try moderating and added rules around his drinking.

 

Things were going well for Spencer and then he got a call from his son’s mother that she was a heroin addict. He ended up having to get custody of him and knew he had to stop drinking for his son. He was able to quit for a while but gradually let drinking slip back in.

 

Spencer was able to quit for a few years and started recognizing how big of an issue alcohol had been for him. He knew he wanted to quit but wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to do it.

 

New activities have replaced drinking for Spencer. He is working on his relationships with his kids and has been talking to them about alcohol and the issues within the family. Spencer is open about his sobriety with others. He listens to a lot of podcasts about addiction and enjoys online AA meetings and has plans to do the steps. Spencer knows how important connection will be going forward.

 

Spencer’s parting piece of guidance: If you think you have a problem, find someone that’s sober to talk about it, listen to podcasts, get connected.

 

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Remember Rule 22, keep those smiles going. Lighten up.

I love you guys.

 

 

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