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Recovery Elevator

It isn't a no to alcohol, but a yes to a better life! On the Recovery Elevator podcast, you'll learn from guests that life after alcohol is much better and it's an opportunity of a lifetime. Paul, Season 1 and Odette, Season 2, cover topics such as, does moderate drinking work, does addiction serve a purpose, what happens to the brain when we quit drinking, should you track sobriety time, is AA right for you, what the hell is spirituality, what this journey looks like, how science and spirituality are merging and what that means for addiction treatment, we talk about emotions and how to deal with them without alcohol, cravings, we talk about relapse aka "field research," how to build that in-person community and burning the ships! Similar to other recovery podcasts like This Naked Mind, the Shair Podcast, and the Recovered Podcast, Paul and Odette discuss a topic and then interviews someone who is embarking upon a life without alcohol.
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Oct 18, 2021

Episode 348 – We don’t plug in.

 

Today we have Kerry.  She is 31, from Philadelphia, and took her last drink on January 2,2021.

 

Recovery Elevator is going to be Denver Colorado at the Hilton Garden inn at Union Station.  New Dates: March 31 – April 2.   Register: https://www.recoveryelevator.com/denver/

 

Paul will be teaching a ukulele 101 course in February 2022.  https://recoveryelevator.com/events

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Humans don’t plug in like a phone with a charger, however we do recharge.  In the 21st century we are pulled in many different directions.  Addictions are adaptive behaviors that manifest in unhealthy, stressful environments, especially when we are running on empty.

 

Paul offers some practical ways for us to recharge including go barefoot on the earth/grass, eat live foods 2x a day, eat less frequently, sleep more, nap, read a good book, socialize with other sober people, get out in nature, do something that brings you joy, and JOMO (joy of missing out) – skip those stressful events.  Recharging takes practice.  Remind yourself that it is a gift you are giving yourself.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[11:30] Odette welcomes Kerry

 

Kerry took her last drink January 2, 2021.  She is a registered dietician, is married and has two cats.  Her side hustle includes several books and mocktails.  See: https://thesoberdietitians.com/  Instagram:thesoberdieticians

 

Kerry didn’t start drinking until college.   She did drink wine.   She was given an opportunity to write a mocktail book with her friend, Diana for pregnant women.  As with many, her drinking increased in 2020.  She was drinking daily.

 

Kerry read a lot  about the rise of alcohol use during the pandemic.  She and her friend, Diana were writing their 2nd book and began linking alcohol and health.  Kerry started looking at her own relationship with alcohol.  She completed a 30-day AF challenge.  She returned to drinking but drank mindfully.  She and Diana completed another 30-day challenge together.  They explored several AF options.  Diana quit drinking entirely and Kerry’s drinking diminished.  Kerry celebrated a friend’s engagement with champagne and that was her last drink.  She learned so much about alcohol as an author and realized she didn’t need alcohol anymore. 

 

Kerry didn’t love the feeling that came with drinking alcohol.  She realized that she couldn’t accomplish as much when she was hungover.  She also realized how prevalent alcohol is on TV or in movies.  We normalize problematic drinking.

 

She and her husband have enjoyed taking the sober curious journey together.  She misses red wine and pumpkin beer and hasn’t found a great AF alternative to either yet.   She is tempted to return to drinking, but her current plan is to stay AF.  She served AF options including a signature mocktail at her wedding. 

 

Kerry has become aware that ethanol is a carcinogen and has become more mindful about the ramifications of drinking while pregnant.  She is concerned that we promote red wine as being heart healthy when we can’t measure how much of the antioxidants enter the body.  She has made great connections with the sober and sober curious people on social media.

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette has been sober for nearly three years.  She recognizes she is imposing a fair number of expectations on herself specific to what her recovery should look like.  She encourages us not to beat ourselves up.  Use the tools that are working for you.

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Oct 11, 2021

Episode 347 – Can you heal in the same environment you became sick?

 

Today we have Frank.  He is 42, from Omaha, and took his last drink on May 22,2021.

 

Recovery Elevator is going to be Denver Colorado at the Hilton Garden inn at Union Station April 14th- 17th.  Registration goes live this Friday, October 15th. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/denver/

 

Highlights from Paul

Can you heal in the same environment you became sick in?  Yes, but you can’t use the same consciousness or thinking that got you into the mess in the first place.  There is a line that goes, when you quit drinking you don’t have to change much, you have to change everything.  The key is, not all at once.  Paul describes three critical changes:  awareness, boundaries and staying in the body (don’t disassociate). 

 

You are gaining strength.  Adversity makes you stronger.  You are healing and as you heal, those around you will heal as well.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[10:38] Odette welcomes Frank

 

Frank to his last drink May 22, 2021.  He is married with two children, and he works in medical staffing.  He is a foodie, loves sports and playing guitar.

 

Frank started drinking in high school.  It was a rite of passage at the time.  He never had an off switch and could always outdrink everyone else.  His tolerance increased.   In his mid 30’s he noticed the hangovers getting worse and he was eating shame meals.  By his 40’s the hangovers lasted two days and it wasn’t fun.

 

Frank was never a violent drunk. He was a raging jerk during recovery because he felt so terrible.  His hangovers became progressively worse.  He could barely get water down.  Frank was good at covering up his drinking.  He was sober for 30 days a few years ago and celebrated with a drink.  His drinking progressed from there.  

 

Frank’s turning point came during his anniversary dinner when his withdrawal symptoms were so intense, he was shaking, sweating, felt faint and nauseous.   He knew something had to change; he wrote a four-page letter to his wife, spoke with his counselor, and found Recovery Elevator.    His Dad and his brother were good sources during early recovery as they are both in recovery.  Listening to podcasts and playing the tape forward helped.

 

Managing through sober “firsts” this year (college football, golf, concerts, 3-day weekends) has been a win. 

 

A self-described weekend warrior, Frank enjoyed the sensation of alcohol, but never drank to escape anything; he just wanted to fit in.  He used koozie cup holders to avoid questions from his drinking buddies.

 

He is now open about his recovery and his friends and family check in regularly and have let him know how proud they are of him.  He now observes others drinking to excess and is relieved he doesn’t have to do that anymore. 

 

Frank said his relationships are all positive.  He loves waking up rested and he appreciates the memories he is creating with his kids.  Frank and his wife are doing better. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds us, “we are doing this”.  Alcohol works until it doesn’t.  It dims the good and the bad.  Learning to stay present during uncomfortable moments give us an opportunity to grow. 

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Oct 4, 2021

Episode 346 – There is no manual

 

Today we have Kathryn.  She us 58, from North Dakota, and took her last drink on February 19, 2002.

 

Highlights from Odette

There is no manual for recovery. We have tools, guidance, but no guaranteed formula for success. Learning to manage that uncertainty can be challenging, but it's normal.   Be gentle with yourself and others.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[07:18] Kris welcomes Kathryn Burgum, the First Lady of North Dakota.  Kathryn has over 19 years of sobriety. 

 

Kathryn’s first drink was at age 8.  There was lots of alcohol in her household and her parents were regular drinkers.    In high school, Kathryn struggled with anxiety and depression;  drinking was her nirvana because it gave her some relief. She had her first blackout in high school, and they continued for twenty years. 

 

Kathryn experienced many consequences due to her drinking; the loss of self-respect was at the top of her list.  Getting a DUI pushed her to begin recovery. 

 

Kathryn made several deals with herself about regulating her drinking. She never kept those promises, because if she thought about drinking, she did.   The only choice she had was to start drinking ….  In the end, she lost the choice about drinking.

 

As Kathryn’s drinking progressed, she was hung over every day.  She was unable to control her drinking.  When asked if she should be driving, she would respond that she was fine, because she didn’t want people to think she had a problem with alcohol. 

 

Kathryn worked in HR and drug tested employees.  When she got a DUI, it was published in the local newspaper.  Someone blew it up and posted it at work.  The shame kept her from admitting her problem.  She didn’t want to ask for help because she was concerned about what others would think.  

 

Kathryn recognized she was suicidal almost every time she drank; she had undiagnosed depression.

 

As a result of her DUI, she had to undergo a mandatory evaluation and went to outpatient treatment that was unsuccessful.  She went to Mayo Clinic for ten days and stayed sober for two years.  Over a period of 8 years, she quit and relapsed several times. 

 

Kathryn’s turning point came when she was walking and asked, “Is there anybody out there?  If there is, I need help.”  She has been sober ever since.  Slowly recovery became her life.  She found a community, began feeling better, and engaged a recovery coach.  She credits recovery with saving her life. 

 

Kathryn now takes medication for her depression, reads meditations daily and connects with her God. 

 

When her husband, Gov. Doug Burgum, announced that he wanted to run for governor, she had some concerns. They had candid conversations about boundaries during the campaign. 

 

Kathryn made a conscious decision to talk about her recovery because of the opioid crisis and it became a platform she and her husband share.  Recovery Reinvented is an annual free conference.

 

Every week Kathryn has an opportunity to help someone who is struggling with addiction.  Helping others helps her stay sober.  After 8 years of relapse, she was losing hope.  Through faith she knows there is always hope for sobriety and recovery. 

 

Recovery Reinvented 2021 is on 10/25/21.  Register to attend in person or online.  www.recovery reinvented.com.  

 

Kris’s Summary

What could your voice do?  We don’t know the impact that comes with sharing our experience.  I’m over the stigma; I am here to grow.

 

First Lady Kathryn Burgum can be found: Facebook (@FirstLadyND & @RecoveryND), Twitter (@FirstLadyND & @Recovery_ND), and Instagram (@firstladynd). Prior Recovery Reinvented speakers, award recipients, and segments can be found at  www.youtube.com/recoveryreinvented.

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sep 27, 2021

Episode 345– The Neuroscience of Addiction Part II

 

Today we have Stacy Jo, she is 34 years old, from Oregon and took her last drink on March 6, 2020. 

 

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul wants to know your interest in a alcohol-free Ukulele 101 course.  If you are interested please email info@recoveryelevator.com.

 

Paul provides part 2 of highlights of a podcast with Rich Roll speaking with Dr. Anna Lembke. Rich Roll Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jziP0CEgvOw. 

 

Dr. Lembke talks about how it’s a known fact that when we are in our addiction, we can’t accurately see the consequences or what’s taking place. With abstinence, we can look back and say, OH MY

 

The interview focuses a lot on dopamine and why addiction has been on the rise for 30 years.   Being smart or highly educated doesn’t make you immune to addiction, in fact, it might even backfire because you think you know everything.  More than 1/2 the world's deaths, under the age of 50, are attributable to addiction. Rates of alcoholism have gone up 50% for those aged 65 and up from the late 90’s to today and have gone up 80% in women. Traditionally the rates for alcoholics were 5:1 for men to women. With Millennials, it’s now 1:1. There are more burdens on women now than ever.

 

Dr. Lemke recommends a 30 day dopamine fast. But a huge warning of withdrawals for alcohol and benzodiazepines. How to do this? Well, we’ve got 345 episodes now on the HOW, but the trick is to go into the pain. Head into the storm (episode 341) and Forgive yourself.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[12:41] Stacy Jo took her last drink on March 6, 2020.  She lives in Eugene, OR. with her partner of 15 years.  Her primary hobby is anything that has to do with yarn.  She has worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years until the pandemic hit, she recently was just at the University of Oregon. 

 

Around the age of 20, after a breakup and miscarriage, Stacy Jo feels there was a switch in her drinking.  That was the same time her service industry career normalized and it all went hand in hand.

 

In 2018 Stacy Jo started some serious attempts to quit drinking but it wasn’t until the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 that she was able to get good footing. 

 

Stacy Jo joined Café RE when she was around 4 months sober and says she did it as a reward for herself. 

 

She says her partner hated her drinking, and that it became a pretty big division between the two of them.  Stacy Jo also got a Driving While Ability Impaired (right below a DUI) when she was 28. 

 

She feels like she slept the 1st three months of sobriety.  She treated herself like a toddler and allowed herself to sleep and snack. 

 

Stacy Jo is grateful for the pandemic and her restaurant shutting down.  It allowed her to get away from the normalcy that is part of the service industry and to have the space to get on solid ground. 

 

She does not get cravings any longer, but says she is not so cocky to say that she won’t again.  

 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds us that change starts with us.  Recovery is our responsibility. 

 

Remember you are not alone and together is always better. 

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Sep 20, 2021

Episode 344– The Neuroscience of Addiction

 

Today we have Bill.  He is 61, from Alabama, and took his last drink on April 29, 2021.

 

Events. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/events/   Ditch the Booze starts 9/21 at 8 PM EST.

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul provides part one of highlights of a podcast with Rich Roll speaking with Dr. Anna Lembke. Rich Roll Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jziP0CEgvOw. 

 

“Persons with severe addictions are among those contemporary prophets that we ignore to our own demise for they show us who we truly are.” Dr. Lembke says that drinking is not a choice but seeking help for an addiction is a choice. 

 

The interview focuses a lot on dopamine and why addiction has been on the rise for 30 years.  American society and economy are focused on an insatiable pursuit of pleasure.  Today’s marketers target the dopamine system; thus, we all struggle to find homeostasis.  Addiction can show up as alcohol, social media, food, etc.  Addiction is a low-grade discomfort we all have as humans.  She believes we are all wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain, which works in an environment of scarcity, not our current state of abundance. 

 

Paul reminds us we can’t study or think our way out of addiction.  Community is key!

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[11:43] Bill took his last drink on April 29, 2021.  He enjoys hiking, movies, sports, windsurfing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.    

 

Bill started drinking as a teenager.  He knew at spring break 30 years ago that he was a problem drinker.  He drank and got buzzed every five years but wasn’t addicted.  Thirty years later, Bill’s wife left, and he started drinking liqueur in the evening.  He slowly became addicted, and he drank every night. 

 

When Bill hit rock bottom, he found himself broke, living in an extended stay hotel.  He scraped the floor of his room and his car to get enough money to buy a few shots. 

 

In 2020, he joined Recovery Elevator and was a lurker until 2021.

 

Bill still has cravings and practices “doing 30 things” to keep him from drinking.  If the cravings continue, he goes to bed.  Loneliness is Bill’s biggest trigger.  Ice cream and cookies also get him through.

 

Bill said everything got better when he stopped drinking. He is back in the gym and loves waking up without a hangover. His medications work better.  The community of Café RE is crucial to Bill, and he is led and inspired by others in RE.  He loves being of service and is grateful to the suggestions of others that helped him when he wanted to drink.

 

Bill credits Tim Grover’s books, Relentless and Winning, with changing his mindset.  His takeaway was getting ‘obsessed’ with sobriety.  Meditation helps his anxiety and cravings.

 

A friend of Bill’s told him his greatest flaw was that he didn’t like himself.  He described how the “I suck” mentality brought him down.   Bill made considerable strides in self-love since he quit drinking. He listens to a podcast called Unbeatable Mind and has learned to say “I love you” to himself daily, over and over.  Bill believes having an accountability partner is critical to his success. 

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette shared about a Café RE member who shared at the Bozeman retreat.  The person said, ‘for a long time, I thought I didn’t matter, that my existence didn’t matter.  I recognize that I matter, I belong, and I can make an impact.’ 

 

Odette reminds us, we all matter.  We help each other become better and to heal.  We remind each other of our value.  The power of community is vital because it is rooted in love and non-judgment and a firm belief that we are whole.  We are whole, even when we stumble. 

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Sep 13, 2021

Episode 343 – A Brief History of Alcoholism and Treatment

 

Today we have Charlie.  He is 35, from Missouri and took his last drink on July 7, 2020.

 

Events. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/events/   Ditch the Booze 9/21 ; Regionals 11/12-14; Costa Rica (1/15-23).  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Addiction is a modern phenomenon.  Alcohol has been around for centuries.  Early “treatment” of alcoholics included being jailed, tortured, and often executed for being possessed by demons.  As treatment has evolved, we are moving toward FLOW states.  Our mental energies are redirected from addiction toward creating healthier neural connections.  In the 1930’s, alcoholism was classified as a fatal medical condition.  In 1935 Bill W co-founded AA.  In 1949 the Hazelden Foundation was born, thus creating our modern-day rehab and treatment structures. https://www.cornerstoneofrecovery.com/a-history-of-addiction-and-addiction-treatment/

 

Fortunately, people are recovering from alcoholism because the stigma is softening, and people are recognizing this is more a disease of disconnection and lack of community.  Check out this video of the Recovery Elevator Bozeman retreat.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFoqj3xeFUI

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[16:09] Charlie took his last drink on July 7, 2020He has been to 54 different treatment He just wrote a memoir.  He writes, blogs, and enjoys experiencing life. 

 

Charlie’s mom passed away when he was 13.  He didn’t know how to handle his emotions, so he turned to substances.  The emotional damage compounded over the years. 

 

Charlie’s drinking was a result of unresolved grief and trauma, emotional damage from a succession of stepmothers,  and lack of success as an actor.  Charlie drank and used drugs.  In 2017, his health became an issue.  He started exploring detox and learned about alcoholism.  In 2019 he was in his 15th IOP program, but still wasn’t surrendering.

 

He had to go back to Lincoln to address some legal issues.  He relapsed several times; he was emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.  In June of 2020, he was receptive to love and faith from his higher power.  He decided to implement what he learned at the facilities he experienced.  He relapsed again, but in July he realized alcohol wasn’t working for him.

 

Charlie maintained a job through most of his addiction which provided insurance and access to treatment.  He was privileged and knows he had access to therapists and treatment modalities many don’t.  He did build up a lot of medical debt.  

 

Charlie overcomes cravings or negative emotions with music, cleaning, calling friends, visiting family.  He also journals and meditates. He has learned to listen to his emotions and ask,  what do you need? 

 

Cognitively Charlie processed his trauma in treatment.  He didn’t process the trauma emotionally or spiritually until he had been sober for a few months.  Once he processed the trauma, he learned to love himself and heal the emotional trauma.  His relationships with his dad and his sister evolved in an amazing way.

 

Charlie began writing in 2018 but continued drinking until 2020.  His book has provided some built-in accountability.  https://www.amazon.com/At-Least-Not-Frog-Alcoholism-ebook/dp/B09B5MFT1X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_pb_opt?ie=UTF8

 

Charlie is a fan of gratitude list and believes that gratitude+humility=happiness.  He loves travel from beach to mountains and is grateful he can remember his adventures.

 

Odette’s Summary

Grateful Snacking is a company that makes delicious and healthy snacks to support our journey in recovery. Grateful snacking - https://gratefulsnacking.com/

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/
  • You can find more information about our events

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Sep 6, 2021

Episode 342 – Do Your Part

 

Today we have Michael.  He is 43, from N. Georgia and took his last drink on January 1, 2020.

 

Registration for Costa Rica (January 15-23) is open.  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul discusses three elements that are critical to doing your part in recovery.  Paul believes self-respect, self-love, and well-being are fundamental to healing.  Doing the work is essential, and it eventually becomes embodied in your circuitry.  Over time, we retrain the brain to stop self-harming with alcohol, pop tarts, and disrespect from others. 

 

The state of our world reflects our lack of connection with ourselves, our planet, and our community.  He believes a tipping point is upon us.  We can help the world by fixing our internal environment, our inner pollution that results in external contamination - that is our part.  The inner work (i.e., letting go of resentments) benefits others as well. 

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[11:01] Michael took his last drink on January 1, 2020.  He is from 43, married, and has two kids.  He is a graphic designer and enjoys painting, drawing, playing music, and running.

 

Michael started drinking in high school. He drank to fit in and didn’t really like alcohol.  He trained himself to drink.  He used alcohol to celebrate, and it felt good. He now realizes he was trying to become somebody he wasn’t.   In college, alcohol was everywhere, and he drank almost daily.  Michael noticed early on his drinking was an issue.

 

Post-college, Michael didn’t want the party to stop.  Free booze was a great excuse to overindulge.  Alcohol and celebration went hand in hand for Michael.  He began moderating when his children were about to be born.  Over time, Michael continued to try moderation, and the voice in his head continued getting louder.  He started looking at pictures from events he attended and realized there was no joy in his eyes because he wasn’t present for his own life.  Accepting love was a real challenge for Michael.  He quit drinking for an entire year but gradually returned to drinking. Michael now believes sobriety represents his authentic self, and that’s why he had to train himself to drink.  Podcasts and the book “This Naked Mind” helped him understand addiction.  Michael discovered Recovery Elevator, signed up and became part of the community. 

 

Recovery is fantastic for Michael.  He doesn’t need alcohol to be himself, confident, present, feel his feelings, true joy, true love, and his life is greater than he imagined it would be.  He embraces his inner light and beauty as a human being.  He loves his wife and his family and appreciates his RE tribe, who understand what it’s like to cope with addiction. 

 

Michael talks to someone in recovery every day. He focuses on exercise, working the steps, and writing music to support his recovery. 

 

Kris’ Summary

Kris spoke about learning the scientific reasons for addiction when he was in treatment.  He needed to understand that addiction was about more than poor personal choices. Kris believes you can’t intellectualize your way out of addiction.  Kris attended his first sober meet-up six weeks after he left treatment.  He witnessed what ‘fun in sobriety’ looks like.  A gathering of strangers came together to learn to live the life we were meant for can be fun and much more satisfying than addiction.  The healing spirit is amazing.  Shifting the energy we used to put into drinking toward a greater goal:  personal growth, showing up for others and community.  Kris appreciates everyone he has encountered in the RE community.  I am here; I am whole.  Feel it.  Believe it!

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/
  • You can find more information about our events

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Aug 30, 2021

Episode 341 – Head into the storm

 

On today’s podcast we’ve got Britt, she is 45, from California and she took her last drink on November 13, 2018.

 

Registration for Costa Rica (January 15-23) opens Wednesday 9/1.  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Solving human problems can be discovered in nature.  Lone bison run away from storms in the opposite direction.  Humans run away from cravings and tough life challenges.  Packs of bison walk through the storm together, shoulder to shoulder.  They know the quickest way to weather the storm is through.  It’s vital that we work alongside others to weather the storm of addiction.  Facing the storm together is fun.

 

[6:52] Paul shares a great story about his adventures with Britt and how much he admires how she has embraced her AF journey.  Paul loves how Britt burned the ships and showed how invigorating life can be sans alcohol. 

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code: RE20

 

[09:54] Britt took her last drink November 13, 2018.  She loves the outdoors, hiking and music.

 

Britt had a slow burn into active addiction.  She struggled with depression and agoraphobia in her teens.  When she hit 30, she lost 100 pounds.   Losing that much weight is a challenge.  Drinking helped her deal with those emotions.  She quit drinking after the loss of a friend and white knuckled for over a year.  She went back to drinking, but it progressed.  Reviewing her journals helped her to see she made multiple attempts to quit and moderate.  She made a geographic change hoping for a cure.  She believed her rock bottom came when she was drinking daily, then she went to work for a liquor store while looking for full time work.  Cognitive dissonance was in play for two years, and she never gave up.  While listening to podcasts, she tried a 30-day solution and it stuck.

 

Britt found that drinking gave her a tiny feeling of satisfaction that ultimately turned into shame and loathing.  Control has been a theme that she is continuing to explore.  Once she was able to stack some days, she leveraged journaling and Café RE retreats.  Meeting other people who were also ditching the booze inspired a new level of accountability that worked.  Personal integrity helped her to honor her commitment to quit drinking.  Britt learned that she leveraged food, exercise, and relationships to soothe herself.  Now she explores new parks or trails.  Meditation has been instrumental to her sobriety.  Addiction has humbled Britt, softened her relationships, and opened her to more meaningful connections.

 

[42:17] Britt shares a powerful journal entry.  Addiction isn’t in a place, and neither is recovery.  There is freedom in that.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds listeners that her life is messy with ups, downs, good and bad days.  Keep showing up and remember you help others by showing up. 

 

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Aug 23, 2021

Episode 340  – Give yourself a break

 

On today’s podcast we’ve got Mike, he is 36, from Fort Worth, TX and he took his last drink on September 20, 2020.

 

Highlights from Paul

 

We are incredibly hard on ourselves. The point of this episode is to give us permission to let much of that go, and to move the needle slightly on how you view yourself and the drinking.

 

Hating yourself for drinking, for not being able to quit drinking, for not holding the promises made to yourself, etc. isn’t productive.  The shame and guilt that accompany those statements isn’t either.

 

Dr. Gabor Mate congratulates someone who experienced depression. Why? Because depression and anxiety are mechanisms that kick in for us to go internal and find ourselves. Give yourself a break if you experience addiction, anxiety, or depression. Use them as levers to learn to know and love yourself. 

 

Check out Paul’s YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2mVZadRTkA&t=1s

 

Paul suggests not making self-love conditional or transactional.  He also suggests finding healthier coping strategies.  They are infinite.

 

Exact Nature re20@exactnature.com

 

[12:44] Mike took his last drink on September 20, 2020.  He is married and expecting a baby boy. 

 

Mike’s drinking began in high school.  His drinking progressed from a 12 pack of Coors Light to 2 12 packs of white claws a day.  In his late twenties, he started logging his drinks on his calendar. He got married and hoped his behavior would change.  He could go for a few months without drinking but was a dry drunk.  He was very focused on being manly and Mike’s version of that meant he struggled being honest with himself and others.  It was difficult to admit he had a problem.  On the outside, things seemed fine.  He was functional, but Mike’s identity was in the approval of others and how he was viewed by the world. 

 

He quit his job to enter rehab and entered a faith base rehab program.  When he returned, he was more prideful and selfish than ever before, and his marriage deteriorated.  He relapsed and projected his self-pity and hate onto his wife.  He knew he would drink himself to death or swallow his pride and admit himself to another rehab. 

 

Mike entered one of the toughest rehabs in the country.  There he learned the root cause of his drinking was about unresolved childhood trauma.  Mike was physically taken care of, but his family emotional model taught him not to show weakness.  In rehab, he was taught the 5 why’s model to deal with his unprocessed issues. 

 

Mike starts his day with coffee and prayer.  He’s in the best shape of his life and tries to treat his body as a temple.  He consistently and constantly surrenders every day.  He has learned to be well versed in apologizing and forgiving.  Mike says it’s not easy, but pride doesn’t go with you when you die.

 

Mike now defines being a man as being humble.  He talks about his feelings and tries to treat people the best that he can.  Mike is helping others through his Instagram channel.  Find him @fathfullysober.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette shared a passage from Melody Beattie. 

Stop doing so much, if doing so much is wearing you out or not achieving the desired results. Stop thinking so much and so hard about it. Stop worrying so about it. Stop trying to force, to manipulate, to coerce, or to make it happen.

 

Making things happen is controlling. We can take positive action to help things happen. We can do our part. But many of us do much more than our part. We overstep the boundaries from caring and doing our part into controlling, caretaking, and coercing. Controlling is self-defeating. It doesn't work. By overextending ourselves to make something happen, we may be stopping it from happening…

 

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Aug 16, 2021

Episode 339  – Does addiction serve a purpose?

 

On today’s podcast we’ve got Nate, he is 39, from Ohio and he took his last drink on October 9, 2015.

 

If you like the Recovery Elevator podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes and help eradicate the stigma. 

 

My favorite part of RE is back. And I hope to see you at an upcoming event. We’ve got Costa Rica January 15-23 and then we’re in Denver Colorado April 14th -17th.

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Is addiction a disease or not?  Paul says that addiction isn’t a disease, but a learned behavior that expresses itself in unhealthy environments.  In unhealthy, traumatic, or lonely environments, we develop adaptive behaviors such as excessive drinking to help us cope.  Check out Paul’s thoughts in more detail in the following video. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKY4l7ez5pw&t=35s

 

Crossing the river of addition means letting go of our resentments, fears, anxieties, jealousies, attachments, and choose love. If you ride that wave of pain long enough, it will give you two choices:  life or death.  Thanks to the stigma which helps keep paradigms in check, we label ourselves dysfunctional, or broken. Addictions represent things that need deep healing.

 

People in recovery understand that love and acceptance is more important than you should be wearing a mask, or you should get vaccinated… and if you don’t, we’re no longer friends. We work together for one common goal. The rest of society is not equipped with the tools and emotional intelligence to do so.

 

Addictions are wake up calls. Invitations, to step into your true authentic self. Addictions give us the fast track to see that love always wins. We get there by seeing what’s not working in life. I think an addiction exists to push us back to source. To creation. To love and light.

 

I encourage you to stop labeling your drinking problem as bad because it’s not. And that a major waste of time energy.

 

Exact Nature re20@exactnature.com

 

[13:11]  Nate took his last drink 10/9/2015.  He grew up in Ohio in a traditional Midwest family with a family.  He started drinking at an early age to fit in and numb some insecurities.  He realized he was gay at an early age, needed to accept himself in an environment that didn’t include role models or peers. 

 

He recognized consequences on drinking early on with a DUI and fights at parties.  When he graduated from college, his drinking shifted from social drinking to misery drinking.  Nate described an era of drinking and when it became problematic.  He was able to cling to career success, a great work ethic and worked in the restaurant business in a management role.  He worked from home, which fed his disease.  He took micro naps after starting his morning with vodka and chardonnay to continue working.  He began regressing and turning inward.  Nate avoided sharing his secrets.  He came out to friends in high school.  He lived an open life in college.  It was a ten-year period before he was living an open life. 

 

He remembers waking up with a stiff neck and that continued for several weeks.  While visiting his sister, he fell to the ground, his body went limp, he lost his vision.  He had a stroke at age 32 because of his drinking.  The doctors didn’t ask many questions about his drinking.  He spent 6 weeks in the ICU and had to learn to walk and learn to use his extremities again.  His vision returned. They asked no questions about addiction, alcohol, or drugs.  While in the hospital he thought daily about his first drink when he left the hospital and he stopped at the liquor store for champagne on his way home.  He continued drinking after his stroke.

 

His best friend went into treatment, and she modeled the attraction of sobriety for him.  He remembers catching himself in the mirror and he paused wondering where the last 15 years went.  His sister took him to a treatment center 30 minutes later.  Nate believes being able to make the decision himself and not be forced into it was important for his success.    He has been entrenched in 12 Step recovery since. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette described recovery as an opportunity, not a sacrifice.  Creating and fostering a gratitude mindset can help you cross the bridge from being mad or sad that you can’t drink anymore to one of gratitude.  Odette has a gratitude practice she uses every day.  

 

Remember you are not alone and together is always better. 

 

Sponsor

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Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

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Aug 9, 2021

Episode 338 – Old Narratives

 

On today’s podcast we’ve got Rebecca she took his last drink on October 22, 2019, she is from Madison Wisconsin, and  is 31 years old.

 

Finding Your Better You Highlights

When we don’t know the root of our triggers, when we don’t know the narratives that are ingrained in our brains and in our souls.  We think something is wrong with us. And when we think something is wrong with us, we feel shame. Part of taking responsibility of your healing is knowing yourself, so that you can get outside of this shame cycle and can walk the bridge over to self-empathy. When I know myself better, I can zoom out and see what was happening in my mind, understand myself better and allows me to manage my relationships differently. This makes me navigate my cravings better, because mine come when I feel this belief of, I am not considered.

 

Look within and find some narratives that are living inside of you? Stories that live in the past, yet they are being perpetuated in your present life. We can re-write those stories. But only until we detect them.

 

Insights from Rebecca’s Journey

 

[09:18] Kris introduces Rebecca.  Rebecca began drinking at age 14 and she hated it.   She was afraid of drinking because her dad was in law enforcement.  She noticed a shift in her drinking at age 25.  In 2011, her dad went to prison and that trauma had a huge impact on her life.  She was also a victim of domestic violence.  She thanks alcohol for getting her through terrible times and for the life she has now.  Rebecca’s drinking became all day drinking because she was isolated, alone, and bored.  She would binge drink to soothe loneliness.  She was falling apart, other than work. 

 

She began listening to recovery podcasts and reached out to her employee assistance office.  She entered a therapy group that helped with alcohol addiction and trauma. She was holding on some trauma from her past that became an excuse for drinking.  She was stuck in a Day 1 cycle and a shame cycle. She went to rehab and detoxed from alcohol and Xanax.  It was a very structured program that gave her some tools. 

 

Learning to connect was important for Rebecca.  She leaned in heavily on AA and found a local community of sober women.  She is now very engaged with Café RE which has helped keep her sober.  She constantly evaluates her program. She continues to suffer from anxiety and depression, but she isn’t alone anymore.  She really wants to give back and is now able to do so.  She always challenges the narrative recognizing that a bad day can be turned around.   Rebecca said, keep it simple! 

 

Kris’ Message

Kris is celebrating four years of continuous sobriety.   He shared a quote from Marianne Williamson, “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous.  Actually, who are you not to be?  Playing small does not serve the world.  We born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  As we let our own light shine, we give others permission to do the same.”  Take some time to recognize the work you are doing.  Resist the urge to minimize yourself.  You are a gift to this world.  You deserve happiness. 

 

It all starts from the inside out.

 

Sponsor

Exact Nature Use code RE20 at exact nature.com

Shout out to The Chocolate Moose, a Bozeman Retreat Sponsor.   https://www.thechocolatemoose406.com/ @thechocolatemoose406 on Instagram

 

 

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Aug 2, 2021

Episode 337 – The canary in the mine.

 

I was open with people about my decision.  I put myself out there to create a level of accountability. 

 

 

Today we have Katie. She is 38, from Ohio and took her last drink July 12, 2020.  This is her story of living Alcohol Free (AF). 

 

Events!

 

Alcohol-free travel is back! Recovery Elevator is going to Costa Rica January 15th-23rd and you should join us. We’ve got space for 34 AF rock stars, registration opens Sept 1. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/

 

You can find more information about our events here.

 

 

Paul’s Intro

 

Native cultures believed that a sick person is like the canary in the mine and it’s the sick person who represents an imbalance in the community. Or that something is off. They also believed this person should be thanked for raising the alarm that something needs to be corrected within a community. Almost like, yo, thank you for taking one for the team.

 

So Contrary to today’s culture where mental illness, autoimmune disorders, and addictions are prevalent and on the rise, these environmental conditions were rare in most cultures prior to modern times. So this is what native cultures did when there was a sick canary in the community. The whole tribe came together to help this person because they knew they were all connected, that they were all one. The entire community would shoulder the cost to bring in healers from other tribes. All these ceremonies were different of course, but from I can deduce the two main commonalities were this: Music and dancing. For at least 3-4 days.

 

Okay, let’s tie this into alcohol. It’s in my opinion those who struggle with a drinking problem are the canaries in the mines. Side note, I was the canary in the mine in the Canary islands. I went to this set of islands located off the northwest coast of Africa in 2007 and was drunk and hungover for the whole trip. I don’t remember much from that trip, but I recall popcorn being my lifeline one afternoon because that’s all I could. That’s how hungover I was. And fun facts about Canaries, yes they do come from the Canary islands. They have yellow feathers, and occasionally eat jalapeños.  Fun fact about Paul. I also occasionally eat jalapeños. We are covering some ground today team.

 

So in 2021, there have never been more sick canaries, and if we don’t ALL address this, then we’re toast as a species.

 

When I say we ALL need to address this, I mean problematic and normal drinkers. As in addiction/mental health is an external manifestation that something is highly out of balance internally with our species. This imbalance affects everyone. This is okay, it’s how we grow and evolve.

 

The good news is…. The Canary can heal. It will heal. You, if you’re listening to this podcast in hopes of quitting drinking, are the canary, and you will heal, just keep at it.

 

So how does the canary heal? I firmly believe there is no select methodology, or doctrine to follow. There is no right or wrong way to ditch the booze. There are infinite ways… But, there is one massive  commonality.

 

Ditching the booze in 21st century doesn’t quite look like 3 full nights of ceremonial dancing under a full moon with the whole community anymore, but there are similarities.

 

Let’s first check out what you don’t hear when someone celebrates and alcohol-free milestone.

 

“Well, guys, I knew I was “fucked” so I locked myself in my room, read every quit lit book, listened to podcasts, learned how the mind works, and beat it.” I’ve yet to hear that one. Nothing even close.

 

What you do hear is, “I’d like to thank my best friend susan, my mom and dad, my AF community, my dog, the big oak tree in my back yard (That’s an HP reference), and all my friends who were in my corner the whole time.” Or “I couldn’t have done it without… Mike, Jim, Michelle  Javier and my pet canary ralph.” Okay, I think that’s the last canary reference.

 

So, what does this mean? Let’s get to the point. 1. You can’t do this alone, and 2. You need community. This could be a close group or friends who know your desire to quit drinking, AA, Café RE, counselors etc. Ships need to be burned, or conversations with loved ones need to take place. Accountability is desperately needed. Even if you’re not, and I’m using air quotes, “successful” with your decision to quit drinking, you’re still developing tighter bonds and relationships in your life. According to Sebastian Junger, in his Book “Tribe” in times of crisis, people are wired to come together and help. This isn’t a kind gesture from our friends, and family, or even completely strangers; it’s biologically how we are wired. As I discussed in last episode, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin are released when we help others. So when a drinking problem reaches a pinnacle moment, and I’d classify this as a crisis as it was for me in 2014, the people around us want to help. They need to help, it’s good for them. They need these feel good chemicals also. Denying the loved ones in your life the opportunity to help you, is doing them a disservice.

 

So if you’re ready to get off the merry round of hell, aka a drinking problem, two main things needs to happen. 1. You need to ask for help, 2. Receive the help. Most likely both are outside your comfort zone, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. Let the drinking problem push you into connection. I feel that’s the main point of an addiction. Yes, addiction, or drinking problem serves a purpose. Everything does. That’s the topic of 339. Does addiction serve a purpose?  We must first become aware of the addiction. This is the first step in I think every program involving steps, and then, open up. Yes, open up. The addiction is trying to crack you open. To find a spot where the light can enter, if you allow it.

 

 

 

 

Let’s hear from Exact Nature. 

 

 

[8:42] Odette welcomes Katie

 

Katie took her last drink July 12, 2020.  She is excited about  her one-year milestone and she feels free of the prison on alcohol.  She is going sky-diving to celebrate.  Katie said life is still hard, but she has freedom and clarity of mind without drinking.  Katie is 38 and lives in NE Ohio.  She has two sons. She is an executive assistant to a CEO for a large company.  She loves all things fitness and reading.

 

 

[52:17] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

Sparkling water (lime flavor) with lots of ice and mint.

 

  1. What has been an unexpected perk along this journey?

Freedom and time that come with not planning how you will get your next drink. 

 

  1. What would you say to young people who are considering ditching the booze?

Don’t overcomplicate it, drinking is overrated.  You have more strength than you realize.  Everything in life you want to accomplish will be easier without liquor.  Having a clear head, mind and a simple life without the alcohol will be the beautiful things in your life. 

 

You might need to say adios to booze if ….

You stress months before the Christmas holiday about how you will cook the holiday meal and not drink all the wine in the house the night before. 

 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Very well, team RE, that wraps our interview for today. Before I say adios I want to share something with you all. I asked all of YOU on our instagram a question that I normally ask in our podcast interview and I got some amazing responses. The prompt was: What would you say to your younger self?

 

Here is what some of you had to say:

 

  • Live for yourself. No amount of alcohol will make him see you.
  • You are beautiful.
  • Don’t be afraid to show your true self.
  • You are loved, you are worth it.
  • You don’t have to be “THEM”
  • You are enough. It only matters what you think of yourself.
  • Drugs and alcohol don’t make you cool, being a good person does.
  • It’s ok to fail.
  • Learn to love yourself.
  • Being the wild party girl is not all its cracked up to be.
  • You are going to make mistakes. It’s inevitable. Handling the stress of it all will only be magnified a thousand if you drink about it.
  • I love you.
  • It wan’t your fault.
  • I see you and I am sorry you are hurting.
  • See yourself, hold yourself at a high value.
  • What you are chasing has been in your heart the whole time, not a bottle.
  • Everything you think alcohol is helping you achieve is false. You are being held back. You can accomplish so much more sober.
  • You are none of the things you say to yourself in your head.
  • Be as kind to yourself as you are to others.
  • You are allowed to feel the way you do and you don’t have to hide it to please those around you.
  • Let your hair grow long, let your laugh grow loud.
  • Take your intuition seriously.

 

WOW. What a list.

 

Remember that you are not alone, and together, is always better.

 

Recovery elevator, you deserve love, acceptance and belonging. We can do this.

 

 

Today’s Sponsor

 

BetterHelp 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

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  • You can find more information about our events 

 

The book, Alcohol is SH! T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

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“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

Jul 26, 2021

Episode 336 - Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin

 

I need to admit myself somewhere.  I could sit here until I’m blue in the face and until I have some humility, this is not going to work.

 

Today we have Susan, she’s 61, she’s from Pennsylvania and took her last drink Nov 19th, 2017.  This is her story of living Alcohol Free (AF). 

 

Events!

 

  • Due to Covid we had to cancel our Costa Rica sober travel trip, and an event in Denver. Those events are back on. We’ve got an AF trip to Costa Rica January 15-23rd 2022 that includes:  the cloud forest, the beach, chilling on a catamaran. Registration opens Sept 1 and we’ve got 33 spots available.  April 14th -17th 2022, we’ll be in Denver Colorado at the Hilton Garden Inn at Union Station. This event will be about moving energy with music that is performed LIVE. Expect connection, small group breakout sessions and the opportunity to be your most authentic self. Registration opens Nov 1. You can find more information about our events 

 

 

Paul’s Intro

 

Today I will share information on the 4 main chemicals we’re dealing with when we ditch the booze. I’m outline them, give a framework of how to work with these chemicals in a healthier way and a loose timeline of what to expect when you quit drinking and how these chemicals will come back into balance.

 

 

The four main players dance with an addiction are Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin.

 

Endorphins and dopamine are the chemicals of progress. Short-term feel-good chemicals. And Serotonin and oxytocin are the long-term chemicals.

 

Let’s cover the short-term molecules first: endorphins and dopamine

 

Endorphins - We often hear the word endorphins with exercise. And it’s true. This is the reason for the runners high. Endorphins have one purpose - to mask physical pain. Since the body doesn’t distinguish the difference between physical and emotional pain very well, this is why running, or physical movement helps us emotionally when we aren’t feeling good.  

 

Dopamine - This is the molecule we are mostly engaged with when dealing with an addiction. This is more accurately described as the learning molecule. Dopamine is viewed as an incentive for progress. The good feeling, we get when we do something necessary for survival. Addictions highjack the dopamine system. Alcohol raises the dopamine in our brains by over 100-200% and cocaine raises it by 300%… temporarily. Then there’s a major crash.

 

Dopamine is highly addictive, and it should be. Human beings walked thousands of miles over the ice shelf of eastern Asia to the Americas because of dopamine.  The dopamine system worked great for humans, until the world modernized faster than the system could adapt.  Alcohol completely over runs this system

 

Long-term chemicals - These chemicals control our long-term feelings.

 

Serotonin - The selfless chemical.

Oxytocin - The love molecule and the connection molecule.

 

Let’s cover how we can work with these as we ditch the booze and then I’ll give you a loose timeline of when these chemicals should start naturally emerging in your system again.

 

Endorphins - Keep running, keep gardening. This is a much healthier way to override the physical and emotional discomfort of quitting drinking. Also, laugh, laugh, laugh.

 

Dopamine - It’s important we retrain the brain to release dopamine with other activities. Pick a short-term goal. Maybe it’s learning the guitar, maybe it’s finding a species of bird in the wild, or a snake. Science shows that a spike of dopamine is released when we help other people. Dopamine is a big reason we’ve done this podcast 336 straight Monday’s.

 

Once we have the dopamine system cued to healthier stimuli then within time serotonin starts to naturally emerge. With this comes a sense of belonging. If we stick with it long enough, oxytocin will emerge on the scene.

 

The long-term chemicals are contagious. This is why we love inspiring movies that motivate us to perform our own selfless acts. This is why we cheer people on at marathons or say heck yes when we hear someone has hit an AF milestone.

 

Here’s a loose timeline for this:

 

Endorphins: within the first 24-72 hours.

Dopamine: within six months, depending on your habits. 

Serotonin: 3-9 months.

Oxytocin: 6-12 months.

 

This is all given that you’re doing the work.

 

PAWS in recovery is post-acute withdrawal symptoms. I like to call them healing symptoms because it’s the body, mind, soul, and spirit recalibrating itself without alcohol. Trust the process, stick with it, we got your back.

 

Let’s hear from Betterhelp.  betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR

 

 

[13:52] Odette welcomes Susan

 

Susan’s last drink was on November 19, 2017.   She feels great and every year is better.  Susan is 61 and single but was previously married.  She has a daughter and two grandchildren.  She is from Pennsylvania.  She moved to Los Angeles and lived there for thirty years.  She has also lived in Colorado and is now back on the East Coast.  She works for a medical device company.  She loves to read novels, cooking, exercise, the beach, bike riding and TV. 

 

[15:49] Tell us about your history with drinking

 

Susan described 44 years of drinking.  Her first drink was at age 14 and she would sneak drinks with friends.  In high school she fell in love with the bad boy of the school and did a 360 in one day.  She went from straight A’s and first clarinet to a party girl.  After her first pill and sips of beer, her inhibitions disappeared.  She partied like everyone else.  She married this bad boy very young, and they divorced at 21.  She moved to California and got involved with another guy. They drank together with friends.  She remarried and tried to clean up her home and life to have a family.  Giving up weed was easy, but she struggled relinquishing wine.  At 30,

she admitted herself to a treatment center called Schick for a weekend and participated in an intensive outpatient program (IOP).  She went to a few AA meetings and was able to stay away from alcohol for four months.  When she returned to drinking, her drinking progressed.  She was raising her daughter, working and what many would describe as a functioning alcoholic.  She drank nightly, but not a lot.  Over the years, she made a few attempts to quit, tried counseling and AA again, but nothing was working.  She decided to accept it for what it was because she didn’t have the time to do what you must do to quit.

 

[21:19] What was the tipping point that made you enter treatment?

 

Susan’s father was an alcoholic, and she watched his drinking become progressive.  She knew it could happen to her and didn’t want to become like her father.  The rest of her life was healthy.  She exercised and ate healthy foods and wondered how long she could continue drinking.  She described feeling like two people.  She was Miss Goody Two-Shoes during the day and at night she was drinking. 

 

Susan always had faith and knew that God was protecting her but didn’t want to push the limits and hurt others.  It took a while after that realization for her to attempt quitting.  She had some false starts where she would try but wasn’t ready.   When her second grandchild was about to arrive, she knew she had to quit because she was fearful her first granddaughter would associate Mima with wine. 

 

She spoke with her therapist and said she felt therapy was not enough and entered an intense outpatient program because she knew until she had some humility, it wouldn’t work.   Her IOP was very diverse and encountered many people with several stories.  During IOP she would screw up every week.  She admitted it and, on the 19th, she called her sister (who is in recovery) who calmed her down.  Her sister mailed her a book called Acceptance* and she hasn’t had a drink since.  She described her moment of acceptance, surrender and her daily routine of prayer and meditation. 

*(https://www.my12stepstore.com/Acceptance-A-Way-to-Serenity.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwi9-HBhACEiwAPzUhHH_MXOMZLl8LTD-oZE98nSxHE2hhktBhXfpmEifPluupg-Mn8uIruxoCJUgQAvD_BwE)

 

[31:22] What were the first 90 days like?

 

Susan described having time to focus on herself.  She then took over as the nanny for her grandson and her daughter was able to trust her with the baby.  She gradually returned to work with part-time work.  At a year after she became sober, she returned to corporate America.   It continued to get easier with time.  She enjoyed podcasts.  Her dog had some health issues yet survived for six months.  When he passed, she was tempted to drink, but overcame the temptation.   She tries to mix up her recovery with AA meetings, podcasts, and anything to keep it interesting.  She loves Café RE because it gives her the flexibility of both worlds (AA and podcasts).  She now has a strong desire to help others in recovery.  The peace and freedom that comes with recovery has become the best way for her to live, she can’t imagine anything better.

 

[40:21] What was behind drinking for you?

 

When looking at fears and resentments, she gained a new perspective.  She realized that something else may have been going on in the moment.  She learned to stop holding bad feelings and looking deep into the causes of certain things.  She uncovers new things regularly.  She is accepting, simplifying, and lowering her expectations.  It took her years not to want more.  She has more work to do and is open to the work. 

 

[40:24] Do you still get cravings?

 

Susan doesn’t get physical cravings but does have memory triggers.  While Christmas shopping last year, the memory of having wine at Christmas came into her head.  She did some thinking, played the tape forward and it passed quickly.  She does have a fear of dating because she has been single through her recovery.  Self-care or “me time” will remain a priority for her to maintain sobriety. 

 

[47:11] What are your rituals in sobriety?

 

Susan gets up at 5 AM and reads a novel, then does her recovery reading including daily reflections and prayers.  She frequently listens to podcasts.  She watches to Joel Osteen regularly because he gives her hope that there are good people in this insane world.  Susan is a listener in AA meetings, she is an optimist, and she learns from others.  She has become a host for AA meetings and wants to give back. 

 

[52:17] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

Sparkling water (lime flavor) with lots of ice and mint.

 

  1. What has been an unexpected perk along this journey?

Freedom and time that come with not planning how you will get your next drink. 

 

  1. What would you say to young people who are considering ditching the booze?

Don’t overcomplicate it, drinking is overrated.  You have more strength than you realize.  Everything in life you want to accomplish will be easier without liquor.  Having a clear head, mind and a simple life without the alcohol will be the beautiful things in your life. 

 

You might need to say adios to booze if ….

You stress months before the Christmas holiday about how you will cook the holiday meal and not drink all the wine in the house the night before. 

 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette recently returned from Guadalajara and while she was there, she celebrated her father’s 12th sober birthday.  They attended an AA meeting together and she heard him tell his story.  She saw herself in his words.  We all walk alongside each other.  We the same lessons to learn, hurt to heal and joy to find.  Seeing her dad as a parent and fellow in recovery was challenging, but she left the meeting hopeful that we are all human, doing the best that we can.  Odette is grateful for the Café RE community that helps each other navigate the world, feel understood and gives us a sense of belonging.

 

Remember you are not alone.  If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.

 

 

Today’s Sponsor

 

BetterHelp 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

The book, Alcohol is SH! T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

Jul 19, 2021

Barela took her last drink 42 days ago (at the time of this recording). This is her story of living alcohol free (AF).

 

 

A former Recovery Elevator interviewee, Jody, is hosting her own sobriety courses. This is called “The Sobriety Shift” and is a 12-week transformational program for women for are already sober, but want to elevate their life. You can find out more information here.

 

 

From Paul: “All emotions are created equal”

 

You need all emotions to give you the barometer for good and bad or to define what emotion even is. Being able to feel both sides of the emotional spectrum is important. Some ying vs yang emotions are: Hope and fear, gratitude and anger, pride and shame, desire and repulsion, love and hate.

 

 

When we view all emotions as equal, we don’t double down on them: we don’t get mad that we are mad, or anxious that we are anxious. When you label an emotion as “bad” you have a higher chance of drinking over them. By viewing them as equal to “good” emotions all emotions are able to pass through us without being strengthened or intensified. Everything has a purpose to help us evolve.

 

 

Today’s show is sponsored by Betterhelp.

 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 1,000,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR.

 

 

 

[12:10] Odette introduces Barela.

 

 

Barela is 43 years old and from Salt Lake City, UT. She is a mother to her Yorkie named Kiki. By day is a victims advocate for a non-profit and by night she is your Queer grocery clerk that helps you find your produce. For fun she loves true crime podcasts, going for long walks with her dog, hikes with friends, reading, painting, meditation and puzzles. Because of the pandemic she’s been focusing on a lot of solo projects.

 

 

[14:48] Do you notice that solitude is different now that you’re sober?

 

 

Barela said yes, she’s always enjoyed her own company, but she’s now more active and productive with her time. She’s more creative because alcohol isn’t in the way of her focus. Every morning is a great morning for her.

 

 

[15:38] Can you give us a background on your drinking?

 

 

Barela said she started drinking when she was 16. Her mom bought her alcohol to keep her in the house, rather than being out. She didn’t like the taste at first. When she moved to Portland and was in a band alcohol became more a part of her everyday life. It escalated quickly in the last 10 years. At around age 28 she started blacking out. In the beginning they didn’t scare her, but at the end it changed. The cycle of getting drunk, being hung over, ibuprofen, hair of the dog, get drunk… repeat became her life. Getting alcohol became an obsession in her life.

 

 

[19:51] Were you surrounded by people who were drinking like you?

 

 

Barela said yes, she was hanging out with people who normalized all of this. Her last black out was December 19, 2019 and she’s gone through some big shifts in friendships because a lot were of those were drinking friendships only. She lost some jobs due to drinking as well. After some geographical drinking changes which didn’t work, she moved back to Salt Lake City. Her bottom was when she was making her grandmother dinner, drank a fifth of Old Crow and she woke up in bed with a broken ankle.

 

 

[24:27] What happened after your bottom?

 

 

Barela said she declared “I can’t drink anymore!” but she also saw how she had been simply adjusting her bottom as she drank. Being bed ridden after breaking her ankle brought this into stark reality. She journaled about all the relationships her drinking was affecting, including the one with herself. She knew she needed to leave the service industry. Stepping outside of that she found work with the domestic violence coalition and working at the grocery at night.

 

 

[27:56] What was that time period after that like?

 

 

Barela said she slept a lot and ate whatever she wanted. Lots of self-reflection. She also burned the ships to her friends for accountability.

 

 

[29:41] How do you build accountability into living alone?

 

 

Barela said she’s superstitious and the idea of drinking again is truly scary to her. She knows that alcohol will always be there but she’s made a life she loves away from alcohol.

 

 

[31:36] Did you used to have a witching hour and did you have to change your habits around it?

 

 

Barela said she drank all the time, so she didn’t have a witching hour exactly. There was always a reason to be drinking, no matter what time it was. 

 

 

[33:05] How were you sleeping before you quit?

 

 

Barela said sleeping has never been a problem. Barela talks about how she started detecting patterns within her relapses and trying to protect her energy and setting boundaries.

 

 

[39:10] What are some tools you use every day to protect your sobriety?

 

 

Barela said waking up, doing her gratitude prayer and then thinking about her goals. Making her bed and setting daily intentions. Listening to podcasts. She recently discovered The Seltzer Squad podcast.

 

 

[40:37] What is your go to strategy when you do get a craving?

 

 

Barela said she talks to herself. She tries to locate what the feeling is and why she’s feeling that way. If the craving is particularly strong she will play the tape forward.

 

 

[42:21] Does your grandmother know you’re not drinking anymore?

 

 

Barela said she hasn’t been there for about 8 months; she hasn’t told her directly. She hasn’t burned the ships with her grandmother or her aunt who also lives in that home. She’s not sure why, but she hasn’t yet.

 

 

[45:52] What has been an unexpected perk on this journey?

 

 

Barela said her intuition has been more on point. She pulls Tarot cards and having better intuition has helped her there. She’s also been working on remote viewing as well (locating objects with your mind). She’s saved a ton of money and can do nice things for herself. She feels empowered and happy. She noticed she looks better. Everything is better.

 

 

 

 [50:18] Rapid Fire Round 

 

  1. What would you say to your younger self?

Trust your intuition. If it feels heavy in your heart, go against it. Only bad things happen after 1am, so go home.

 

  1. What’s your favorite NA beverage?

Liquid Death and her friend makes her own tinctures which she adds to it.

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Talenti Banana Caramel Crunch

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance would you give to listeners thinking about ditching the booze?

Believe in yourself, you can do it. Keep thinking about that person you want to be without alcohol. Keep reaching out.

 

 

You may have to say adios to booze if... 

 

when you are constantly finding yourself waking up with a MARI (mysterious alcohol related injury).

 

 

Odette’s find thoughts:

 

A sober perk: she’s found friendships with people who she wouldn’t normally be friends with. Finding people who feel in the same way you do and making those connections is powerful. Through sharing Odette has found more in common with others than she thought. What an unexpected surprise! 

 

Upcoming events, retreats and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021) registration opens March 1! This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

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

 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator –you took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up-

I love you guys.”

Jul 12, 2021

Episode 334

 

 

You’re not giving something up, you are getting so much more in return, it’s just amazing. 

 

Kevin is 53, from South Carolina and took his last drink on October 6, 2019.  This is his journey of living alcohol free (AF).   

 

Today’s show is sponsored by Better Help. 

 

Kevin’s interview is with Kris. You guys are going to love Kris’s style. He’s a grounded, laid back guy from North Dakota who fully gets the importance of connection. Just like you all gave me a chance, and Odette, please focus on the similarities, not the differences and welcome Kris.

 

Speaking of Kris, we’ve made 10 YouTube Videos, and some of them are funny, at least that’s my opinion.  and our last video was my top 10 favorite recovery books. Go over to YouTube and type Recovery Elevator in the search bar.

 

I just finished the book “Breath” by James Nestor. The breath is the true foundation for all recovery work. It turns out, 5.5 breaths per minute is the optimal rate. That’s 5.5 seconds on the inhale, and 5.5 on the exhale for a total of 5.5 per minute. So next time you’re caught up in email apnea, pause and focus on the breath.  I highly recommend this book. 

Breath by James Nestor  https://amzn.to/3zOJ1GZ.

 

Why did Adele cross the road? To say hello from the other side.

 

Okay, let’s get started -

 

Today I want to talk about the incredible feature film on trauma and addiction by Dr. Gabor Mate. The film is called “The Wisdom of Trauma.” This film needed to be made and will move the needle in a healthy direction in terms of how we view addiction.

 

Film:  https://thewisdomoftrauma.com/   

Book:  “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” - Dr. Gabor Mate https://amzn.to/3xOAZx1

 

This film covers what addiction is. It covers how it happens, when the driving forces behind an addiction take hold in life and it also has practical ideas on how we should address addiction as a society and as the individual struggling with an addiction. On this podcast, you’re most likely listening to address a drinking problem, but all addictions, for the most part are interchangeable, and the mechanisms are mostly the same.

 

Okay, no surprise here, he talks about trauma. And he is noted for saying that all addictions, start with trauma, and the baulk of that happens in adolescence. The start of addiction doesn’t happen when you lose your job, but in infancy. Always. We often think that trauma must happen in Afghanistan, or a physically abusive parent but it also happens when we aren’t hugged enough as a child or us not getting something we needed when we were young. Parents in the 20th and 21st centuries are pulled in so many directions, that unfortunately, this is common. It’s the kiddos that pay the price.

 

Please don’t take any of this energy and steer it towards your parents, etc. They did their best. That’s not a healthy way to take this information.

 

This is an emotional film. I cried during parts of it.  

 

He says that trauma happens when you disconnect with yourself, when you don’t have anyone to talk with. When kids are alone with their hurt. Another way to say this is there wasn’t a healthy way to move the energy. It got stuck. Humans talking about it, is the equivalent of a duck flapping its wings in nature, and we couldn’t do that as a child. So, the body hangs on to the energy. But it’s not fun energy to hang on to. In the western world one of the dominant ways this excess of energy manifests itself is through inflammation in the body.

 

He then talks about how we look at addiction as a poor choice. We, meaning society, and the individual.  Thank you, Mrs.  Regan for adding a couple of thick layers of pinyon pine to the stigma with the “Just say no” campaign from the 80’s.  That didn’t help much. Gabor, then reframes it by saying, the addiction wasn’t a poor choice, it was the solution. I agree completely. In fact, I’d take it even further and say kudos you found a way to survive. It’s now time to find healthier ways to cope since alcohol, will mess you up spiritually, mentally, and physically in the long run. Do not beat yourself up for having a drinking problem, you found a way to survive. And now it’s time to find a healthier way to connect.  That’s all we’re doing here.

 

I like how Gabor calls out capitalism and most modern economies as fueling addictions. We are primed to feel we need to purchase something external for short term inner wholeness. For long term wholeness, this process must be replicated 100’s and 1000’s of times. This is great for the stock market, but not great for mental health. There’s one word to summarize this. It’s MORE. We are always looking for more. This is a major pickle in modern societies that we have address ASAP. He talks about how this addiction is destroying the earth. We don’t have fix the earth, fix climate change or global warming.   We must fix ourselves and the individual level. Planet earth will be fine when we’re gone. Our current way of living, which Eckart Tolle calls insane, is how we are conditioned. It’s crazy, and unsustainable. This paradigm is shifting. You all are part of this paradigm shift.  

 

Dr. Mate talks about how we are treating stress and addictions with more stressors. Most western illnesses are treated with steroids and cortisol creams. It’s not curing or treating anything.

 

He talks about the two ways society treats or views addicts.

  1. That it’s a choice, just say no, and if do say yes, you are warned with catchy commercials, then the user is punished. The penal system at the macro encourages intense shame guilt at the inner the micro level.
  2. That it’s a disease, and not a choice. He feels this is a better approach, since people can then get treatment like any other disease but ignores why people really get addicted which has nothing to do with a disease. Dr. Gabor Mate is clear on his stance about if a drinking problem is a passed down genetic disease that runs in the family. He says it is not. He believes these adaptive behaviors, addictions, are learned and formed to survive in an environment that isn’t conducive to wholeness or happiness. That’s a lot to unpack. Seriously. Feel free to hit the pause button on your podcast player. I’m on board with this approach. In fact, I’ve switched my tune while doing the Recovery Elevator podcast. At first, I thought addiction was a passed down genetic disorder.  But now feel these behaviors are coping mechanisms that allow us to survive in environments that are full of static, car alarms, incorrect passwords, identify theft, violence, backstabbing, sexual abuse, spam phone calls,  and more. And we all must deal with this incoherent energy. Yes, I do believe this inharmonious energy is passed down generationally and we all must deal with it, not just the addicts. In fact, in most native cultures, when one person in a community was sick, the whole community came forth to help. The whole community would even brunt the financial costs because they knew, a sick person within a community, wasn’t an outlier, but a representation that something was out of balance within the community. And today, in modern, society, we’ve got a lot of sick people, with depression being the number one cause of disability worldwide. Dr. Mate says that in the USA, the richest country in the world, 1/2 of its citizens have chronic illnesses, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, addictions etc. Another way to say that, is we got big houses, big guns indeed, but we’re disconnected and need help. This is also the point of an addiction. A fear, or a marker of sorts that something is out of balance and needs attention.

 

So how do we treat this? Dr. Mate says, the modern medical paradigm separates the mind from the body and separates the person from the environment. I think he would agree that we need to use the mind to come into the body, and not leave it or disassociate with it. I know he would agree that we must recognize there’s an in imbalance. Sure, it’s the first step in all 12 step programs, but science shows this also. You can’t make change in anything, until a consciousness is there to witness it, or say “yes, this is here, and I’m going to deal with it.” There is not a right or wrong way to address an addiction, but what I’ve learned here at RE, is that community must be a component of this. A HUGE component. As in the blades of a helicopter. Or the propeller on a prop plane, or the wheels on a car.

 

We’ve all heard what you resist persists. Thank you, psychologist Carl Jung. At the individual level, we must recognize something is out of balance. At the group level, we do the same - and it can be a lot of fun.

 

At the individual level, you’re doing it. You’re listening. Which means you’re open to a whole new way of living. This is what gets me excited about Recovery Elevator. Its exploring new ways to live, that don’t require alcohol to be happy. And we are all figuring this out together.

 

Before we hear from Kris and Kevin, Let’s hear from Betterhelp.

 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 1,000,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR

 

[12:55] Kris introduces Kevin

 

Kevin took his last drink on October 6, 2019, he is creeping up on two years and he feels great.  Not every day is great or happy, but he feels better equipped to handle what life throws at him. 

 

[14:02] Give us a little background on you.

 

Kevin is 53 and lived in Long Island for most of his life.  He now lives in Bluffton, South Carolina.  He is not married, has an awesome girlfriend, and has dogs named Ben and Jerry.  He loves to read; he loves the outdoors, and he loves to work. 

 

[15:39] Tell us about your relationship with alcohol and how did that evolve over time?

 

Kevin said it had a lifespan.  He started drinking in 8th or 9th grade experimenting.  He moved to Long Island in 4th grade.  He made a lot of friends, but never felt like he fit in.  In the late 80’s he was drinking heavily.  At the time, he didn’t think it was a problem.  College was a continuation – binge drinking on the weekend.  He drank through snowstorms, nice weather, hiking, etc.  He thought it was normal because everyone else was doing it. 

 

[17:25] Did you have any consequences from your early years of drinking?

 

Kevin’s parents were strict.  His parents knew he was drinking, and his older brother never drank.   He became the project for his older brother.  After college he got married and his drinking slowed down a bit.  Being married and becoming a new Dad, living in a high rent district was stressful.  Kevin describes himself as high functioning.  He had a nice house, nice family and on the weekends, he drank a lot.  In 2009, he got a DUI.  He reflected on rock bottoms and his wife (an attorney) was able to help.  He avoided additional jail time and he slowed down his drinking for a time. 

 

[20:06] You described having a nice house and a job, did your high functioning ever lead you to believe you didn’t have a problem?

 

Kevin said, he looked great on paper.  He had a business, a nice house, he supported charities, he was on the little league board and was a “good dude”.  He knew he had a problem with alcohol.  He was a fun drunk and was a great guy to hang out with.  At 3 AM, he was sweating, his heart was racing, and he knew something wasn’t right. 

 

[22:15] Walk us forward, tell us more

 

Kevin tried to maintain the status quo.  He and his wife got divorced.  He believes his wife deserved better and alcohol had an impact but wasn’t the only factor in their divorce.  The alcohol affected his ability to rebuild the marriage.  His drinking reached a new level post-divorce.  He spent a lot of time on his own.  He frequented sports bars and the “type” of drinking escalated.  He felt a lot of guilt and shame.  The salve of alcohol didn’t last for more than 20 minutes.  He knew something was wrong.  Kevin put lots of rules on himself – only drink…. He would make a rule, break it, and invent three more.  Only this, only that ….. Annie Grace’s book first got him to explore quitting.  Annie’s podcast mentioned Paul Churchill.  Kevin has met Paul a few times and says, Paul ruined drinking for him. 

 

Value Bomb – when you are in it, it’s so subtle.  It takes a different form than you a realize. 

 

[27:52] Paul ruined it for you, so what happens next?

 

Kevin was driving home and hit a rumble strip and he thought to himself – I’ve got good kids, good friends, and a great business.   Two days later he went to a street festival, and he had a beer or two and he decided on 10/6/2019 he knew, this is it!  He had dozens of days one’s day 6’s and day whatever’s.   He knew it was over. 

 

Value Bomb – Your resets are not for nothingness.  They help you establish the willingness to move forward. Dig in, keep learning, it’s all growth.

 

[30:57] What did the first 30/60/90 days look like for you?

 

Kevin leaned in heavy on Café RE.  He took the advice.  He took naps when he needed them.  He cut back on work a bit. He cut back on engagements.  He learned to set boundaries.  He learned to leave respectfully.  He learned to prepare and had he faked a few gin and tonics.  He embraced NA beer.  He avoided drinking. The cravings dissipated over time.  Kevin craved situations more than the alcohol – college football, Superbowl.  He had the willingness.  Preparation was key.  As people  became aware he wasn’t drinking, it became easier.  After a little practice, it became easier every time.  Setting boundaries was huge.

 

Value Bomb – we grow and learn what situations we want to be in an those we don’t.  It’s okay to let go of certain situations. 

 

[36:43] How did drinking impact your relationships?

 

Kevin said his parents were never drinkers, so there wasn’t much of an issue.  In his first marriage, he acknowledges drinking made him less patient.  Drinking takes up a lot of your money, your health, and your time.  Kevin now has great relationships with his parents, his sons, and his ex-wife.  He has been able to repair those important relationships and have deeper conversations.  His relationship with his employees evolved and he learned to take a genuine interest and helps others.49:22

 

[40:22] Walk us though what your recovery looks like now. 

 

Kevin is an early riser.  He carves out 90 minutes every morning and he reads, meditates, and writes.  He spends time with his dogs, goes to work and spends time with friends in the evening.  He travels to New York to spend time with his kids.  Café RE keeps him connected to the community. 

 

 

[41:45] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What was your AHA or OSM (oh sh!t moment) about controlling drinking?

Driving home from a brew pub and hitting the rumble strip became his AHA moment. 

 

  1. What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?

My plan is to keep doing what I’m doing.  It’s not a linear trip.  He has dip days.  He is going to Café RE meet ups.  The zoom chats help, and he offers words of encouragement.  Staying connected is key. 

 

  1. Regarding sobriety, what’s the best advice you ever received?

Be kind to yourself.  Look at yourself like your dogs look at you.  Loathing yourself isn’t productive.  The journey has a lot of whacky dips and bumps.  Be kind to yourself. 

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance do you have for listeners?

You must want to do it and you must do it for yourself.  Figure out your why.  It can’t be just for your spouse or your kids. You aren’t giving something up.  You are getting so much more in return. 

 

You may have to ditch the booze if …

 

Kevin didn’t want to rupture or end his relationship with his kids, the most wonderful relationships in his life. 

 

Kris’s closing comments

 

Kris talks about the scale going up after he quit drinking.  He talked about the big dreams that come with sobriety.  Patience is key to getting healthy and achieving your goals.  Manage your expectations.  Let the work do its work.  It’s okay for some things to take a back seat.  Embrace positive affirmations and gratitude.  Love yourself, you are doing amazing things.  Kris said as he listened to other guests, he learned and has he learned he healed.  He is grateful to other guests and his Café RE family.  kris@recoveryelevator.com

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021) registration opens March 1! This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

 

 

Jul 5, 2021

Episode 333

 

Link to join the Open House Café RE Chat this Saturday, July 10th, at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87017557542?pwd=RFRZNGZ6SXpRS0NtdTRaNFhuZzJFQT09

Meeting ID: 870 1755 7542
Passcode: recovery

 

Help people create a life so good for themselves, they would never want to go back.  What lies beyond recovery for you, what is the next chapter?  I didn’t get sober so I could just settle. 

 

Tamar is from Ontario, Canada and took her last drink on June 17, 2012.  This is her journey of living alcohol free (AF).   

 

Today’s show is sponsored by Better Help. 

 

You might be an alcoholic if... you report your car stolen, only for it to be found at the house you were drinking at the night before. This is from Miguel Reyes, the host of the Staying Fit ODAAT podcast.

 

Today is July 5th, you can still sign up for our Intensive Dry July course. You’ve still got 11/13 sessions left.  Go to Recovery Elevator.com/restore. We’ve got a KILLER group from all over the globe, and It’s been a lot of fun so far.

 

RE now has merch! In fact, I’m wearing an RE hoodie now. Thank you, Stephanie Smale, for all the hard work. RE.comm/merch for your AF threads.

 

 

Okay, let’s get started -

 

Today, I was going to talk about something else. More specifically that “all emotions are created equal.” A topic, that I still plan on covering, but as I opened my computer and begin writing this intro, I recognized that this is episode 333. Now apart from loving Dan Brown’s Da Vinci code, I was never really into numbers, symbols, shapes, nor the placement of stars and planets at the time of my birth… But as my journey progresses, I’ve become more curious, interested and more importantly open, to all this stuff. So, let’s move forward with an open mind, as we are dipping a toe in the spirituality and higher power waters of recovery… which can be somewhat divisive but also fascinating because I’ve learned there’s a part in all of us, that wants to know, what’s really going on behind the scenes… And spoiler alert, I won’t be answering what’s the purpose of life, but do hope to tie some mathematics and mysticism into living an alcohol-free life.

 

Let’s talk about the number 3, first, then 333.

 

With mystics, mathematicians and physicists, the number 3 is considered the perfect number, the number of harmonies, wisdom and understanding. ... It was also the number of times – past, present, future; birth, life, death; beginning, middle, end – it was the number of the divine. Some guy was resurrected three days after his death, forget his name, but I know it’s significant to many.

 

The ancient Greek philosopher, Pythagoras, postulated that the meaning behind numbers was deeply significant. ... In his eyes the number 3 was considered as the perfect number, the number of harmonies, wisdom and understanding.

 

“If you only knew the significance of 3,6,9, multiples of 3, then you have the key to the universe.” Nikola Tesla.

 

The frequencies of the 7 energy centers or chakras are all divisible by three. For example, the heart area has a frequency of 639 HZ, which means the wave form goes up and down 639 times in one second. This number, along with all the other energy centers, is divisible by three. The earth, which vibrates at 432 HZ, which is also the key of almost all NEW AGE music, is also divisible by three.  

 

Number 3 is the foundational number of trinities, the triangle, with three sides. Mind, body, and spirit. Having it tripled, 333, is like saying trenta when ordering a coffee at Starbucks. It’s supercharged.

 

The three-sided triangle - Is the symbol of AA.

 

The unifying language of the universe is math and 3 is the root of many and this special number governs much of the physical world at the quantum level.

 

What does it mean to see 333?

 

We’ve all heard of guardian angles. So, angels, can’t speak to you directly to you, at least in my experience, but apparently, they send messages using the number 3, and when you have triple that, as in 333, it’s time to listen up. So maybe this episode, is a message to YOU, from your guardian angel.

 

333 means that it’s time to focus on acknowledging your inner truths, and head out into the world with more purpose. Inner truth (if you’re listening to this podcast),  means it’s probably time to ditch the booze or stick with that decision. There’s a voice inside, that’s been saying, Yo, we don’t need this.

Internally there’s a beautiful “tipping point” that is going to take place if not already. That’s when the voice, or energy around your alcohol-free life, overpowers, or is greater than the voice representing the addiction. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never drink again, but it’s a good indicator that A -  alcohol has been ruined for you and will never work in the same capacity and B. You’re shedding an old skin.

 

333 also signifies a period of intense growth. If you’re on this journey of learning how to live life without alcohol, then yes, you’re in the “trenta” range when it comes to growth. This growth is intense. It’s the most profound type of inner growth we can go through in this human life.  Keep in mind that all growth takes place outside your comfort zone, so if you feel catapulted outside your comfort zone at this moment, that’s okay. After all bouts of chaos, order follows. This is the way the universe works. Be patient, things will settle.

 

333 is a symbol of maturity, or maturation. I’ve heard, and there is some truth to this, that you stop emotionally growing when alcohol dependency locks in.  The flip side of this, is through an addiction you learn a whole different set of invaluable life lessons… Seriously, don’t forget that. I firmly believe this. When you reintegrate into society, you’ll notice you’re equipped with a set of skills that most people don’t have. They are superpowers. Qualities of intense resilience come to mind.

 

333 is a symbol that it’s time to eliminate things in your life that no longer bring you pleasure of happiness, The key in this sentence is no longer.  Alcohol, for most of us was a great life companion. There was a time when it did bring us pleasure and happiness. Those times, like high school, are over. This can also apply to people, places, and things. As you grow, evolve, some people, places, and things.  As you grow and evolve, some things will no longer be a match for you, making it increasingly uncomfortable to be around these incoherencies.

 

It’s rumored that seeing the number 333 means that what you’ve been asking for, is on the way. The first thing that comes to mind here is to “Be clear on what you’re asking for when you put that out into the universe.  Internally, for most of us, there’s a part of us that wants to quit drinking and a part of us that doesn’t want to quit drinking.  Try to catch those inner messages of dissonance as you become aware of them. 

 

What you’ve been asking for is on the way or may be already here.  The next part is for you to walk through the door, to do your part, to do the work.

I’ve been asking for a Top Gun sequel for 30 years. The new release date is November 19th, 2021. Come on lucky 333, I need this.

 

Whether you believe in 333 or not, that doesn’t really matter.

 

333 means the ascended masters are near you.

 

Ascended masters? What the hell does that mean? Well, we’re not going to figure that out here, nor is this podcast really about that, but it’s important to be open to the idea that someone, something out there, is rooting for us. An entity, or spirit has our best interest in mind, even though the remake of Top Gun has been postponed 5 times. Regardless, humanity needs help now, and if a number, replicated 3 times, signifies this, then I’ll take it.

 

Before we conclude, I do want to mention the odds, of us chatting about existence, quitting drinking and you being you, are quite low. In fact, the odds, of you being you, in this moment, are about 1 in 400 trillion.

 

According to astro-physicists, the odds of planet earth, sustaining life, and you being here are the same as flipping a coin and having it land on heads, 10 quintillion times in a row. As Laura McKowan, would say, “we are the luckiest.” Simply being here, means we’ve already won the greatest lottery of all time. . And we didn’t come here for life to perpetually suck.  We’ve got your back guys.

 

Mental health matters, and as we continue to live through this pandemic and slowly go back to resuming activities such as going back to work or attending some social gatherings, it’s important to have someone that can help us process all our emotions and life stressors. Betterhelp will assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist. Betterhelp provides a broad range of expertise available which may not be locally available in many areas. The platform is super easy to navigate - you can login into your account at any time and interact with your counselor by sending them a message. You’ll get timely and thoughtful responses, plus you can schedule weekly video or phone sessions. Betterhelp is more affordable than the traditional offline counseling and financial aid is available.

 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR

 

[11:35] Odette introduces Tamar

 

Tamar took her last drink on June 17, 2012.    

 

[12:02] How do you feel?

 

It’s amazing.  I remember when I first came into recovery, I thought, I can’t drink forever?  If you had asked me nine years ago if I’d be here, I’d tell you you’re insane!

 

[12:40] Give us a little background on you.

 

Tamar is a podcast host, performance consultant, life coach, best-selling author, and a champion for people in recovery.  Her passion is to help people in recovery create a life so good for themselves that they never want to go back to their old way of living.   She lives east of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  She has no kids but has a niece and nephew  who she loves to get hopped up on sugar and send them home to their parents.  She is married and her husband is in recovery as well.  She loves being outside, hiking, snowboarding, and golfing. 

 

[14:56] Tell us about your relationship with alcohol

 

Tamar said she had a great upbringing.  Her family moved around quite a bit and as a result, she was very shy.  She was always looking to get a gold star from her dad.  She began seeking external sources of love.  When she got drunk for the first time, her life went from black and white to color.  She felt she could be in control, funny and more secure.  It was the solution for the good and bad times.  She barely graduated from high school because she wanted to drink all the time.  In college, her school was next to a pub, and she would skip class and go to the pub, so she was put on academic probation.  She was a black out drunk, nearly every time.  When she was introduced to other drugs, she wasn’t afraid.  She hoped the drugs would amplify her drinking.    Her dream careers were to continue being the beer girl at the golf club or work for a brewery.

 

 

[18:59] Did you connect the dots that you experience was related to alcohol?

 

Tamar said, she thought this is how life is.  She surrounded herself with people who drank like she did.    She started using drugs, losing jobs and became a chronic yo-yo dieter.  She slipped into a depression but couldn’t see the problem with alcohol.  She was blaming the world.  Her Dad tried to intervene and point out her challenges, but she wasn’t ready to hear it.

 

[21:19] What happened afterwards?

 

Tamar said, she started to feel shame.  She was in a toxic relationship.  For two months, she drank and used for two months straight.  She focused on society’s expectations (get married, have children).  She met her future husband who was also an alcoholic.  She stopped using hard drugs, but her drinking escalated.  They worked together and only got along when they were drinking.  Meeting society’s expectations made her miserable.  She hit bottom, she was severely depressed, unhappily married, and overweight.  She had a moment of clarity and wanted to give it another chance.  She decided to make a change and stop digging.

 

[25:37]  How did that catapult you into action?

 

Tamar said it was right before New Year’s, so she resolved to get a gym membership.  She was working out by herself, then decided to hire a personal trainer.  It never occurred to her to investigate how to love yourself.  She knew the personal trainer from high school, and they became close friends.  She rigidly logged all her food, and, on the weekends, she only had nine beers.  She would drink NyQuil so she would pass out,  she reported to her trainer, “I only had nine beers”.  Her trainer took her bungee jumping and shared she (the trainer) was in recovery.  She went to dinner with her husband and brought a bottle of wine.  That one bottle turned into a case of wine, a case of beer and a $200 bar tab and she didn’t remember the rest of the weekend.  She texted her friend, saying she needed help.  Her friend introduced her to the world of recovery.

 

[30:17] When you reached out to your friend, what were the next steps?

 

Tamar said, she stopped that weekend.  Her friend brought her to an AA meeting, and she said she wasn’t like them, she was classy.  Her friend encouraged her to look for the similarities vs. the differences.  With a new attitude, she was shocked at how much she could relate.  She went to someone’s four-year celebration and was impressed with how good his life became.  She is happy to be alive, particularly knowing how self-destructive she was.

 

[33:51] What happened afterwards?

 

Tamar said going through the 12-steps really helped her.  She learned her life was her fault.  She cried more in her first year in recovery than she had ever in her life.  She had used alcohol to mask everything, so her first step was to learn how to manage her emotions.  She learned it was ok to not be okay.   She started cleaning up her life.  It was about building a foundation.   Now there isn’t one part of her that wants to have a drink.  Early on, she was frustrated with people who questioned her decisions, but she thinks that tough love saved her life.    She surrounded herself with people who would be honest with her.  The first year was hardest, she lost 75 pounds, but she acknowledged you can get lazy and fall back into not doing the work. 

 

[37:37]  What tools did you use to help you get through the days?

 

Tamar said she changed everything.  She stayed away from bars for the first six months.   She stayed away from anything that triggered her.  She didn’t connect with friends because they were drinking buddies.  She tested the water by bringing diet coke to parties and had an emotional hangover.  Learning what to do and what not to do became her top priority until she was strong enough and her foundation was built.  She developed a healthy routine.  Today it doesn’t bother her to be around people who are drinking.

 

[41:14] How did your depression and eating issues evolve as you got sober?

 

Tamar said food is still a challenge for her – she loves food.  She listened to a podcast and the host, an MD, pointed out the similarity between the carbs/sugar and alcohol. After losing 75 pounds, she felt like she had graduated.  She still slips into anxiety and depression.  She finds herself going back to old behaviors.   Now she eats clean, and her body responds well.   She is good 80% of the time and 20% of the time she allows herself fries.  She is very co-dependent and began working on her personal development.  She wanted to grow.  She investigated her food issues.  She learned what foods she could eat, what foods worked, etc.  She hired a food code.  She started a podcast so she could be accountable.  She hired a coach who helped her with different strategies around food.  She has learned to give herself grace.  Sobriety helps you to look at other aspects of your life.  You can apply the same tools to other addictions. 

 

[47:13] What has been an unexpected perk or joy about this journey?

 

Tamar said she realized her past was a gift.  When complacent, she stopped taking action.  Surrounding herself with people who had what she wanted encouraged her to move forward.  She is now coaching.  She is a performance consultant.  She didn’t get sober so she could just settle.  Even when the days are dark, she can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

 

[50:25] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. If you could talk to your younger self, what would you say.

Keep being open minded and willing to learn.  Don’t shut yourself off for new experiences and don’t wait until you are ready. If something aligns with your purpose, take action and do it.

 

  1. What are you excited about right now?

She is excited to wake up every single morning at 4:30 AM so she can do what she loves each day. 

 

  1. What is your favorite NA beverage?

Diet Coke.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?

Podcasts, books (self-help and biographies).

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance do you have for listeners?

Find people who have what you want.  She is grateful she found those people in early recovery.  It’s never too late to stop.  Ask for help.  Connect.  It’s okay to not be okay. 

 

You may have to say Adios to booze if …

You keep thinking about booze and justifying your reasons for not drinking.    

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette spoke about the Disney movie, Luca.  The movie reminded her that we need to silence the voice that doesn’t want us to do the hard thing(s).  We are not our thoughts.  We have the power to detach and tell it to be quiet.  Seeing our thoughts for what they are is healthy, just don’t let them drive the car.  Remember you are not alone and together is always better.  This isn’t a no to alcohol, it’s a YES to a better life. 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021) registration opens March 1! This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

 

 

Jun 28, 2021

Episode 332 – Find More Joy

 

One of the biggest things that kept me drinking as I long as I did was that shame circle.  I would drink, do something stupid, embarrass myself, feel terrible and then drink again because I couldn’t handle my feelings. 

 

Brett is 27 years old, lives in San Francisco, CA and took her last drink on January 2, 2020.  This is her journey of living alcohol free (AF).   

 

If you love our intro and outro music then check out the artist DJ NYE on Spotify, and that link is in the show notes. Also in the show notes are links to download, for free, our intro and outro music, That’s with my voice sampling and ET Tolle’s voice samplings.

 

DJ NYE on Spotify.

 

Intro and Outro Music.

Intro Paul: https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/recoveryelevator/RE_Paul_Intro.mp3

Intro Eckhart Tolle: https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/recoveryelevator/RE_ET_Intro.mp3

Outro Paul: https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/recoveryelevator/Paul_RE_Outro.mp3

Outro Eckhart Tolle:https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/recoveryelevator/Eckhart_Tolle_Outro.mp3

 

 

Today is June 28th. This Thursday, July 1st, is the start date of our intensive 13 session course for the month of July. We meet three times per week, Monday, Thursday and Sunday. Mondays and Thursdays are classroom style format, with intimate breakout rooms and Sundays are for guest speakers, Q&A, and we’ve for an AF Beverage workshop hosted by Kate (episode 315). We polled previous course participants and 72% of them remained alcohol free for the duration of our last course. How cool is that. You’ll have course assignments and daily discussion prompts in your WhatsApp groups. This course is all about connection and having fun. Go to Recoveryelevator.com/restore or click the link in the show notes, to sign up and for more info.

 

And don’t forget that land tortoises are the longest living animals on the planet and that TIB is still the best band in the world. One of those is fact, the other opinion but for the most part undebatable.

 

 

Okay, let’s get started -

 

I’m going to cover two things today. 1. The importance of purposefully adding more joy into your life and 2. Recently while traveling, I came across the most vicious sports mascot ever. I still get goosebumps when I think of the deadly mascot.

 

Okay, let’s talk about joy. And this may seem like common sense, but it’s not because so many of us postpone, skip, or have forgotten about joy altogether. Like the “how to” part.  And now seems like a good time to insert a quote about joy.

 

“Joy does not simply happen to us - we have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” - Henri Nouwen

 

Let’s look at a sample to do list.

  1. Drop package off at post office.
  2. Return mortgage papers to lender
  3. Take Ben to Vet
  4. Edit website copy for upcoming event.
  5. Play piano.

 

Now this may or may not be my to do list,  and yours may be similar,  And I’m referring to the order. I’ve got playing the piano last. We tell ourselves we need to get all the grown-up tasks done first. Kids, job, house, feeding the family, pets, why didn’t my sprinklers turn on last night, then last on that list is US.

 

Here’s my HARD ask of you. Make a point to do something every day that you find joyful. And here’s the important part. Do it first. Before all the other stuff that has the potential to zap all the creative energy out of you.

 

About 3 months ago, I stared taking piano lessons. I went from chop sticks to now I can the Scientist and Clocks on the piano by Coldplay. Can’t sing them yet because that’s some major rubbing your tummy and patting your head type sh$t, but I’m working on it. At first, I would practice piano at the end of the day, when my mind was sometimes ready for a nap, and the mind is in high beta brain waves… borderline stressed from the day.   It worked, but some days I had to force it. Then I flipped the to-do list. I started playing the piano first thing in the morning. Before all the adulting took place. Here’s what I found. When we do something we enjoy, there’s a natural creative energy that arises, that makes things tolerable, even pleasant. Here’s the important part. This energy, consciousness, will then overlap into the next task or project. I quickly found I was more effective at all remaining tasks for the day, and they all became more joyful. So, I try to practice piano or music every morning. This flip has had a big impact on my quality of life.

 

Let’s tie this into sobriety. When we are doing something we enjoy, we enter into a flow state where time and our problems seem do disappear. Flow states, or when we are fully mentally immersed in a task, are healthy because we aren’t thinking about how the F, we’re going to quit drinking. Another way to say this, is the neural connections that fortify an addiction begin to soften and something else is strengthened, be it gardening, reading, hiking, or whatever. Again, our mental energies aren’t “in” the addiction, or the “story.” You’re like - “A crap, this guy is back with his getting out of the story stuff again.” And for the record, this will be the 245th time I’ve said you can’t think yourself out of an addiction.

 

Joy solo is great, for example playing the violin. But if you have the option, play the violin with another violinist, or a cellist - bonus points.

 

You know how most dogs are a nudge away from playing? That’s how human beings are as well, we’re just living a life that’s been filled with so much muck and noise that we must make a point, and effort to get back to this natural state.

 

If you’re like, “Hey Pablo” I recently quit drinking, and I have no clue what I like to do for fun anymore. Well, that’s the work. Find out again. Rule 22. Have fun and lighten up.

 

Okay, one more thing I want to cover, and I’m trembling with fear while I write this. On my way back from our Atlanta Meet-up, thank you Alan (episode 267) for such an awesome weekend, I saw a bunch of large dudes, in the security line at the airport. They were all wearing matching jackets,  and sweatpants, so I assumed they were part of a sports team that probably involves physical contact. On the crest of the jacket was the logo… the mascot. When I finally saw it, I stopped dead in my tracks. It was as if I was frozen, unresponsive. No, it wasn’t a ferocious eagle, hawk, wolf, shark, or bear, it something much worse, much deadlier, something that would perhaps cause the other team to not even take the field. I can image players on the other team saying, my uncle died from that beast,  their mascot has destroyed my family, and so forth. So, what’s the mascot? It was Martini glass. It was the professional Los Angeles Rugby team “The Giltinis.” If you want to pick a mascot that leaves a devastating wake of wreckage on society,  well then, they nailed it, because my google search of has an “eagle” or “hawk” ever killed a human being, came up with nil. But alcohol on the other hand….

 

Okay, now let’s here from Betterhelp and then we’ll here from Brett.

 

Today’s show is sponsored by Better Help. 

 

Mental health matters, and as we continue to live through this pandemic and slowly go back to resuming activities such as going back to work or attending some social gatherings, it’s important to have someone that can help us process all our emotions and life stressors. Betterhelp will assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist. Betterhelp provides a broad range of expertise available which may not be locally available in many areas. The platform is super easy to navigate - you can login into your account at any time and interact with your counselor by sending them a message. You’ll get timely and thoughtful responses, plus you can schedule weekly video or phone sessions. Betterhelp is more affordable than the traditional offline counseling and financial aid is available.

 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR

 

 

 

[10:38] Odette introduces Brett.

 

Brett took her last drink on January 2, 2020. 

 

[11:07] How are you feeling?

 

Brett says she is feeling good.  Drinking feels like a very long time ago in a good way.

 

[11:40] Give us a little background on you.

 

Brett is originally from Rhode Island, but currently lives in San Francisco.  She is in tech consulting.  She is 27 and in a relationship.  She loves going to the Farmer’s market, reading non-fiction, NA drinks, attending to her MANY plants and she hopes to adopt a dog this year. 

 

[13:04] Tell us about your history with drinking

 

Brett had her first drink at 12 or 13 and was pre-gaming with her sister for her high school senior prom.  Her sister and a friend were drinking a clear liquid and laughing and getting a bit gigglier. She looked up to her sister, she was so cool, and Brett wanted to be part of the crowd.   At 14-15, alcohol became a social thing.   She went to a small Quaker school and early exposure to alcohol came from older siblings. Peer pressure was a big thing. Alcohol was a staple at all the parties. 

 

Brett thought everyone was blacking out and it wasn’t until age 21 that she understood you could drink without blacking out.  Her parents would pick her up from parties, then ground her and make her write essays on alcohol, how it was made, where it came from, etc. 

 

[16:41] Where was your heart and your emotional state?

 

Brett said the cycle of shame kept her drinking for a long time.   She would drink, do something stupid, embarrass herself, feel terrible and then drink again because she couldn’t handle her feelings.  She was going through a lot as a kid and has since been diagnosed as bipolar 2.  She was experiencing all those symptoms as a kid and didn’t know what to do with them.  She was scared and wondering what was wrong with her, but not sure what.  She was also rebellious.

 

Value Bomb – Emotional regulation is something we don’t learn about early enough.

 

[19:34] What happened after high school?

 

Brett said during her junior year, her dream was to get as far away from Rhode Island as possible (a geographic).  She applied to Hawaii Pacific University but ended up at Loyola in Baltimore because nobody from her school was going there.  It was the party school and Brett had a fake ID and she was the party girl.  She had good friends, nothing bad happened and she achieved a 4.0 GPA.  She transferred to Northeastern and found a good group of drinking friends.  She had her first depressive episode and called her mom during  a complete panic attack.  The school psychiatrist suggested she had bipolar 2.  She was in denial.  She tried to manage her ups and downs with alcohol and cocaine.  She really hurt some people during her episodes and needs to make amends.

 

[23:02] Can you walk us through what a bipolar cycle is like for you?

 

Brett said, bipolar is difficult to diagnose for many reasons and it presents differently for different people.  Her alcohol and cocaine use augmented the ups and downs and made diagnosis more challenging.  Brett’s experience was feeling exhausted, tired, and unable to get out of bed.  She would rather pee in a cup than go to the bathroom.  She had muscle soreness and lots of tears, crying for no reason.  Suicidal ideation would come 2-3 days in, and she would circle a drain of worthlessness.  The booze turned the dial up and made the episodes longer. She also had blips of hypomania including high bursts of energy, talking fast and urgent shopping among other things.  She wasn’t ready to hear about her diagnosis, but had challenges functioning and felt shame and guilt as a result.  She went to a dual-diagnosis rehab, which was very freeing for her.

 

[28:36] What led you to rehab?

 

Brett said she frequently texted her family members accusing them of not loving or caring about her.  In 2020, she messaged her parents, and her parents became alarmed.  Her mom called, bought her a plane ticket, and offered to come pick her up.  Her Mom was researching rehab programs.  Brett had severe withdrawal symptoms and called the rehab to understand the rules.  She described getting to the airport 12 hours early because she had no concept of time.  She did go to the ER to address her withdrawal symptoms.  A few days later they were in the car on the way to a rehab in Massachusetts. 

 

Brett said the life she built for herself in 15 months of sobriety is what she always wanted when she was drinking and using.  She had been drinking and using for 15 years.  She appreciates how wild, weird, and wonderful that is.

 

[34:20] How long were you in rehab?

 

Brett said for two weeks, and she would go back if she could.   The food was amazing, and the staff was talented and supportive.  She said it saved her life and she enjoyed most of it.  Insurance only covered two weeks.  Brett wondered why things had to get so bad that she to put her life on hold to get better.  Figuring out the fundamental things has prompted her to check in with herself daily.  She said we can’t be afraid to prioritize ourselves. 

 

[40:00] How was leaving rehab and what was it like for the next 30 days?

 

Brett said after treatment she went home to her parents’ home for over a month.  She took time away from work and it was a safe bubbled space.  She explored AA and Smart Recovery meetings.  She returned to work part time.  Upon returning to San Francisco, she entered her bedroom and the whole room was in shambled.  There were bottles and mess everywhere because she was in a blackout when she left.  It was hard, but not triggering.  She took it slow and found a therapist and a psychiatrist.  After the pandemic hit, she turned to Instagram.  She found Carla and Sober IRL (https://www.soberirl.com/) and that kickstarted her desire to stay sober.   She continued the medications that were prescribed at rehab and the medication journey was a short one. 

 

[43:30] What tools worked for you?

 

Brett said in the beginning fear of withdrawal was a huge motivator.  As she got more time, AA meetings, podcasts (Café RE and Recovery Happy Hour), reading (This Naked Mind, The Four Agreements) and the Instagram community helped.  Brett said when you put yourself out there, people take you into their arms and help you find your people. 

 

[46:36] What helped you overcome cravings?

 

Brett said she didn’t have any physical cravings.  The itchiness with herself can be triggering and she learned to play the tape forward in rehab.  She leverages her sponsor, exercise, and leverages TIP exercises (https://dialecticalbehaviortherapy.com/distress-tolerance/tipp/) and baths/showers and cries.  Saying out loud she wants a drink and getting it out of her head gives it less power. 

 

[49:42] What is your favorite NA beverage?

 

Brett said her current favorite is the Mikkeller Limbo Raspberry NA beer.

 

[53:10] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. If you could talk to your younger self, what would you say.

I’m proud of you, it’s going to be okay.

 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment

Sleep is restful

 

  1. What’s an unexpected perk of being sober?

More money, disposable income

 

  1. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Ben & Jerry’s Tonight dough

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance do you have for listeners?

Just do it, you are worth it! 

 

You may have to say Adios to booze if …

You have accumulated so much debt, you must Venmo borrow from yourself to get alcohol. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reflects upon a recent reading of Gabor Mate where he says, ‘we continue to treat people who struggle with addiction poorly.  If you think about it, addiction is not a problem.   Addiction is a solution to a problem: our trauma, our suppressed emotions, our unhealed pain.’  Odette is grateful that Recovery Elevator is part of the solution.  We see you and we are here for you.  It all starts from the inside out.  

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021) registration opens March 1! This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

 

 

Jun 21, 2021

Episode 331 – we hear from Laura!

 

Community is so important.  It is so important to connect with ourselves, our source energy, or other people.  All those things get disconnected with addiction. Reconnecting with the world is an important part of recovery.

 

On today’s podcast we have Laura who is from Austin, TX and took her last drink on September 16, 2019.  This is her journey of living live alcohol free (AF).

 

 

Headlines

 

  • Laura’s Amazing Journey [16:04]– you will hear about Laura’s story, and she has some great insights for all of us along this journey to gaining or maintaining sobriety.

 

  • Paul Churchill is back! He is using his Kermit the frog impression.   He missed us all and is so grateful to Odette and all of us for giving him a break this past year. Listen to his insights about his key learnings during the last year [11:20]. Paul describes being sick, mentally physically and spiritually.   He is dedicated and energized to continue Recovery Elevator (RE).

 

  • Season Three!
    • 52 episodes – Paul will do 46 intros; Odette will do 6 and welcome Chris who will do an interview every month

 

  • RESTORE
    • 13 session alcohol free Dry July course!
    • com/restore
    • 75-minute sessions on Monday, Thursday and Sunday with homework sessions including:
    • Calming the mind
    • Building accountability
    • Dealing with intense emotions
    • How to have fun without alcohol
    • Addressing unhealthy thoughts
    • Sound Healing
    • AF Free beverages and more!
    • Day 1 or more and Patrick and Odette are coaching with Paul.

 

  • Odette Rocked It and she is still here!

Paul gave many stats about how a podcast survives in a pandemic.  Paul also learned so much from listening to Odette take the from seat on the podcast.  His discoveries among many include:

 

  • Focus on wholeness
  • Be honest
  • Be vulnerable
  • Time has its own timeline
  • Understanding your relationship with food
  • Expand your team (you are not in this alone)
  • Have Fun! Sobriety is not a curse. 

 

 

Laura’s Story

 

[16:04] Odette welcomes Laura

 

Laura’s last drink was September 16, 2019.   Laura feels great and has ups and downs and is present and grateful.  She lives in Austin, Texas where she owns a spa and does bodywork and energy work.  She is working with Supernatural Recovery.  She is a single mom to an 8-year-old daughter and loves meditation and yoga. 

 

[17:40]  Tell us about your path with drinking

 

Laura grew up in an alcohol abusive family.  She started smoking pot and LSD at 14.  She didn’t want to drink because of her parent’s drinking.  She was raped at 16 and started drinking to overcome her panic attacks.

 

She was imprisoned, tortured, and sexually abused for two years.  She escaped from her abuser at 18, went to college and her PTSD symptoms became really apparent.  She was hospitalized until she could become mentally stable.  She continued drinking for 20 years.  She was often functioning and often not, it swung back and forth.  She didn’t have any rock bottom moments, she lived in rock bottom for several years.  After several false starts she was able to stop drinking in 2019.

 

[20:57] What was your inner dialogue when you started using alcohol?

 

Laura realized if she was drunk enough, she didn’t have a panic attack.  She was doing things that weren’t healthy, but it was how she survived.  She is also in recovery for an eating disorder.  As part of that journey, she realizes she developed a lot of maladaptive coping mechanism that were survival instincts to help her disassociate.

 

[23:27] How was sharing your abuse with the world?

 

Laura said she didn’t share very much.  She minimized her early trauma.  Integrating her alcohol recovery with heavy trauma therapy has helped her and as her sobriety time increases, more memories surface surfaced.  The heavy trauma therapy helped her understand why it was so difficult for her to get sober.  Her trauma and alcoholism to hand in hand. 

 

[25:29] Have recurring memories of trauma been a trigger for you?

 

Laura said sobriety has been an awakening process.  She has discovered some radical truths and uncovering new information about her trauma and her family of origin.  Her therapist has helped her reconcile those awakenings.

 

[26:35] How did you approach your healing journey?

 

Laura wrote a book about her journey which is part of Supernatural Recovery.  There are four cornerstones including:  caring for your physical body (nutrition, hydration, exercise), trauma relief (body work, energy work, plant medicine, acupuncture), calming your nervous system (finding new ways to handle your body when her nervous system was activated), forgiveness and self-compassion which been the part of it.  She is learning how to enjoy her life and avoid negative relationship patterns.

 

[29:20] How did you discover these alternative tools?

 

Laura said because of her body work practice, she is connected to many resources in the Austin recovery community. She learned to release trauma and find new ways to live her life. 

 

[31:14] How was early sobriety for you? 

 

Laura said she did not have a pink cloud.  She cried all day every day for the first 90 days.  Hiking daily, getting outside and the Recovery Elevator podcast were very helpful so she could be vulnerable and honest.  At about 90 days, yoga helped her to feel better.  When she began working with a somatic process, it helped her to become stronger and more committed.  The book, The Energy Codes was helpful and has become a cornerstone of her program. 

 

[34:53] Tell me about the relationship between your alcohol recovery and your eating disorder?

 

Laura said she played addiction whack a mole for some time.  Healing isn’t linear and learning to avoid self-abuse has ups and downs.

 

[37:20] What role does community have in your healing?

 

Laura said community is so important.  Reconnecting with your source energy, people, and the world when you are recovering is important.  She dipped her toes in AA and the 12 Steps, and found it wasn’t for her.  The Austin based yoga recovery community has yoga and meditation classes that have been instrumental to her recovery.  Café RE was important to her in the early days.

 

[38:55] Do you still go to therapy?

 

Laura said yes!  She began therapy before she got sober.  Her therapist specializes in empaths and highly sensitives.  When Laura wanted to stop drinking, worked for a year and a half.   She had several false starts, and her therapist helped her get to the other side.  Her therapist has inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in counseling.

 

[40:42] What has recovery made possible for you?

 

Laura said what she is building with Supernatural Recovery and writing a book that is about to get published.  Education is a part of her journey.  She has a better handle on her emotional reactions.  Service is also gift in her recovery.

 

[42:30] Do you still get cravings?

 

Laura said yes and she currently uses fancy olives.  In her early days she would take a shot of apple cider vinegar.  Calming her body and spending time in nature help.  The disease is to disconnect, and the medicine is to stay present.  Breathwork also helps.  Yoga has helped her train her mind to be her friend. 

 

[44:45] What reactions from others have you experienced since you quit drinking?

 

Laura said people in her life were relieved, happy, and proud.  She has lost some friends along the way because she wasn’t a happy, fun drinker. Sometimes people can’t come with you on any awakening journey.  At the end of the day, you must choose yourself.  Letting go with gratitude helps avoid bad blood. 

 

[46:58] Have you been able to identify any triggers?

 

Laura said her triggers are emotional, worrying about her daughter and getting hungry.  When she thinks she might want a drink, she now can recognize the trigger, let go of the thought and solve it with self-care.  Her daughter is learning to use those tools as well. 

 

[49:14] What does a day in your life look like?

 

Laura said after dropping her daughter at school, she runs or walks, takes clients, yoga, works on her website or editing her book. On the weekends she spends time outside and hikes with friends. 

 

Teaching her daughter about self-care and handling your emotions is important.  Her recovery has made her strong and help others heal.

 

[53:57] When does your book come out?

 

It is slated to be published through the Balboa press within the next 4-5 months.  She is excited share the broad menu of recovery with others.

 

[55:15] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. If you could talk to your younger self, what would you say?

It’s going to be okay.  You are an incredible, strong person.  You are going to get through this and help others.

 

  1. What is your favorite NA beverage?

Kin Euphorics

https://www.kineuphorics.com

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?

Supernatural Recovery, Café RE, and yoga.

 

  1. What’s an unexpected perk of being sober?

Her skin, her eyes are brighter and that increases her confidence.

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Have compassion for yourself.  The healing journey is not linear.  If you are trying and you haven’t made it yet, realize the more you beat yourself up, the harder it gets.

 

You might need to say Adios to booze if …

When a bottle is half empty and you go to the store because you are worried about running out. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette says a heartfelt thank you to those that help with the podcast, the listeners and to Paul for giving her the opportunity to be your host.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021). This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Jun 14, 2021

Episode 330– You change and grow and evolve and that’s a good thing. 

You get better, wiser, stronger and make better decisions.  You can’t be afraid of that.

 

Tricia took her last drink on November 14, 2016.  She is from Dallas and is 40 years old.  This is her journey of living alcohol free (AF).

 

Today’s episode will be a bit different.  Tricia chatted with Paul previously on episodes 100 and 212.  We will focus on life beyond the bottle and what happens after you have some sober time under your belt.

 

https://www.recoveryelevator.com/re-100-binge-drinking-problem-2/

https://www.recoveryelevator.com/re-212-the-body-tells-us-where-to-go-next/

 

Today is the final episode of Season 2.  Season 3 of the Recovery Elevator podcast begins June 21st.  We are focused on having fun, staying authentic, spicy chili mango, ice cream and helping others along the way. 

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message.

 

Odette has encountered many people who feel stuck.  They are struggling with letting go of booze.  It’s hard to let go of alcohol in a society that encourages drinking.  It is normal and part of cognitive dissonance.  You can step out of that societal pressure that encourages alcohol consumption.    It’s when we resist that it feels the hardest.  Choosing to see this journey as an opportunity instead of a sacrifice helps is the first step to breaking free.  Choosing to see we are the lucky ones. 

 

Alcohol makes false promises.  When we engage differently with the world, we learn we are detaching from booze and the matrix.  We must be part of society, but we have power to choose and create new experiences.  We outgrow our old selves and fitting in with others.

 

Remember you have the power to break free from the matrix.  You have the power to heal, make new friends, make different decisions, and focus on a better life.  Lean into new beginnings.  You matter!  You can find peace in your decision to stop drinking. 

 

 

 

[10:28]  Odette welcomes Tricia

 

Tricia took her last drink on November 14, 2016.  She describes herself as a high functioning drinker.  Her family had addiction issues.  Tricia talked about being co-dependent and she was a perfectionist and over achiever.  Success validated her.  She worked in a service industry and as a chef.  She worked hard and drank hard.  She was protective of her drinking because she didn’t want anyone to know about her drinking.  She was obsessed with making it look like everything was fine.  She was a blackout drinker.  She was scared about that progression.  She was unable to quit for more than a month at a time.  She got divorced and used alcohol to cope and avoid her feelings.  Her anxiety peaked and her drinking became out of control.  One Monday she went through three days of withdrawal after a weekend of binge drinking.  She reminds everyone not to quit cold turkey if they are physically addicted because it can be life-threatening.  She started listening to podcasts, Recovery Elevator and heard stories that sounded like her.  She began looking for resources and she went to an AA meeting.  She worked the steps, got a sponsor, and went to therapy.  Not all of them stuck, but she liked being able to do it her way.  Tricia has found freedom in recovery. 

 

[20:10] Is it easy to forget how bad your problem was?  How do you make yourself remember?

 

Tricia said she forgets, but not in a way that makes her want to drink.  She knows it was terrible and doesn’t want to go back.  The freshness of early sobriety, her first 90 days are hard to remember.  Recovery is a big part of her life which makes it easier to remember. 

 

[23:19] What are some of your later lessons of sobriety?

 

Tricia said people pleasing and inner child work are old habits to break.  Initially your focus is not drinking.  In time you find new things to work on and it never gets old.  People pleasing is a tough one to overcome.  Separating herself from her feelings was huge.  Alcohol was 20% of her issue, the other issues emerge as you gain sobriety.

 

[26:25] What is your currency now?

 

Tricia said joy and peace.  At night, if she is sleeping easy and she isn’t ruminating, she knows she is doing something right.  Breathwork and meditation help.  Her focus was on achievement and what she could earn.  When she finds joy in things and what makes her happy, she is at peace.  You make choices about how you live life, and it brings you freedom.  Stopping and being mindful of what she is thinking is the work.  Small, steady work on your thoughts is important.

 

[30:50] How do you protect your energy?

 

Tricia said identifying energy sucks are critical.  She is mindful of her reactions to things.   Identifying ‘her part’ is important.  Identifying what she can control helps.  There are days when she didn’t sleep well or didn’t eat and she doesn’t do as good a job as she would like, but she gets an opportunity to try again the next day.  Tricia recognizes she will disappoint herself and others.  She does the best she can and embraces her humanity.  We are all doing the best we can, and listening is important. Getting counsel from people who know you well is helpful.  She likes to remember that not everyone is thinking about you.  Tricia says, find your team – people who know your story.  Don’t live someone else’s life.  Think about yourself the way your dog loves you!

 

[41:15] How do you manage your relationship with anxiety?

 

Tricia said she has struggled with anxiety since age 7.  She had physical panic attacks at age 20.  Medication has helped, but she didn’t have any tools.  Anxiety can be progressive.   She was blocking out days at a time because of anxiety, not alcohol.  Now she lives with anxiety and pretends it’s a roommate.  She knows how to keep it in check.  Giving up alcohol is the best thing you can do.  Tricia focuses on trying to prevent anxiety and meditation, exercise, journaling, a therapist are great tools.  Routine is important including good sleep.

 

[45:32] How is being tuned into your body helpful?

 

Tricia said, the body keeps the score.  It holds onto trauma, memories, etc.  Through breathwork, she is learning to connect to her body.  It checks her into her body, and she can feel when she is getting triggered, stressed, or tired.  Expressing uncomfortable emotions is so important, otherwise it shows up as anxiety or a drinking problem. 

 

Book Reference:  The Body Keeps the Score   

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18693771-the-body-keeps-the-score

 

[50:12] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

  1. What is something unexpected in your journey?

How fun it is.

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Tricia can’t eat ice cream, but she loves peach pie.

 

  1. What has recovery made possible for you?

Meeting myself and who I really am.

 

  1. What parting advice would you give to young listeners?

Ask questions about your relationship with alcohol.  Push back.  If you drink, you will miss out.  Holding on to booze keeps you missing out. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette challenges us to take out our journal and write out what the most beautiful and authentic version of your life looks life.  If the unknown is hard to process, give your brain some direction.  Write it down, fill in those fear gaps with hope.  Feel free to email me at odette@recoveryelevator.com.

 

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

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

 

Jun 7, 2021

Episode 329 – I started to notice the expectations putting an expectation on things or a timeline or predict  reactions.  I try to do what I can every day and try not to put expectations on things anymore. 

 

Dane took his last drink on October 11, 2020.  He is from Washington State, and he is 32 years old.  This is his journey of living alcohol free (AF).

 

Season 3 of the Recovery Elevator podcast begins June 21st.  We are focused on having fun, staying authentic and helping others along the way. 

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message.

 

Odette spoke about her beloved Peleton and the arsenal of “why’s”. and thought shifts.  The instructor encouraged Odette to dig into her arsenal of why’s and keep going.    Odette reflected on Simon Sinek’s book,  Start with Why.

 

Odette reflected on her time in rehab.   She focused on why she was recovering from food addiction.  She knew having a family was her why and

 

Actions can be driven by fear or manipulation or love and inspiration.  Simon says few people or companies can articulate why they do what they do. 

 

Charisma has nothing to do with energy, it come from clarity of WHY.  Energy comes from good sleep or caffeine.  Charisma comes from loyalty, energy does not.  Our purpose is to stay on the path of an alcohol-free life.  Odette wants to stay sober so her kids can have a health, not perfect role model.  Odette wants to have healthy relationships and break toxic patterns in society .  Odette has many why’s and she leans on those whys when her tank is empty.  Hard days are part of a good life.  Dig into your arsenal of WHY’s. 

 

 

[7:56]  Odette introduces Dane

 

Dane took his last drink on October 11, 2020.  He lives in Washington State. He is a buy and hold real estate investor.  He subcontracts with janitorial work.  He is 32 and single.  He has a son arriving in June.   He was an only child, so he is hoping to make it as fun as possible.  He loves to travel, seeing culture, history, and food.  He loves cross fit, yoga, the river, boating and is returning to meditation. 

 

[10:49] Tell us about your history with drinking?

 

Dane said he started drinking in high school  He and a friend drank a fifth.  In junior year, beer was the drink of choice.  In college he was mixing drinks and he noticed things going downhill.  He had a rock bottom moment; he was in a car accident.  He was transported to Portland and was in the hospital for 30 days.  He was de-gloved.  After a year of healing, he returned to college to get his degree.  For two months he didn’t drink.  When he started again, he would black out and it went downhill from there. 

 

[14:13] Were you questioning your relationship with alcohol when your accident occurred?

 

Dane said the night of the accident, he didn’t drink any more than usual.  A psychology class prompted him to think about how much he drank.  He moderated and binge drank on the weekends.  Everybody drank in college, so it didn’t seem like a big deal.  

 

[16:08] What happened after college?

 

After college, Dane moved to Seattle for a large city experience.  He binged with his friends on the weekends.  He began to distance himself from his friends so he wouldn’t drink as much.  He went home to visit him family.  His business and his family inspired him to move back to Eastern Washington.

 

[17:40}. When did you attempt to stop drinking?

 

Dane said he and his girlfriend had an argument.  He didn’t remember any of it.  He drove back to his house and awoke with shame, guilt, and anxiety.   He tried to quit before, but generally avoiding his friends and moderating. He knew the life he wanted to have wouldn’t exist without drinking.

 

[19:47] What was your thought process about quitting?

 

Dane said once the car accident happened it put a bull’s eye on him.  It put him on the map with an alcohol problem.  People asked him about quitting or moderating. 

 

When people asked him about quitting, he wanted the details so he could understand it.

 

Dane googled how to quit drinking or famous people who quit drinking.   He knew for five years, he needed to quit, he just didn’t know how.

 

[24:06] What happened on October 10th?

 

I had an argument with my girlfriend and I couldn’t remember any of it.  The first three days were recuperation.   He continued looking at other nondrinkers.  Dane found Café RE, and a weight was lifted.  He knew he was not alone.   As he continues getting tools, he knows his life is better. 

 

He realized he was a good person but didn’t show his best character when drinking.  

 

[27:34] How did you handle early sobriety?

 

Dane said he was always a binge drinker, and he listened to podcasts and focused on podcasts, yoga, and healthy food.   He is tempted with a cold beer or a shot, but he goes back to what he may feel, do, or say.

 

Dane often thought he didn’t have a problem because he wasn’t a daily drinker. 

 

A lot of times the hard things are hard.  We think backwards. 

 

He lets people know he isn’t drinking. Many people ask him how many days he has. 

 

Dane gave a shout out to P

 

[37:27] Do you have a favorite non-alcoholic drink?

 

Dane said Topo Chico and Fred Meyer’s Selzer water.  He loves the feeling.  He also does some NA beers.  He goes to water quickly.

[38:55} Have you noticed any changes in your daily routine?

 

Dane said he is sleeping a lot more.  He acknowledges his body is healing and he needs the sleep.  Day to day he works out and goes to one of his properties.  He is working on meditation. 

 

Dane is managing his expectations and tries to limit them.

 

 

 

 

[43 21:] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

  1. What is a lightbulb moment you have you had in this journey?

I feel better physically and mentally

 

  1. What would you say to your younger self?

Try the experiment but acknowledge your goals for your body and your spirit.  

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Ben & Jerry’s tonight dough.

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance would you give to listeners who are considering ditching the booze?

 

You are going to feel shitty, but you must let go of alcohol as the crutch. 

 

You may have to say Adios to booze if …

If you almost die, almost lose your arm….

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette challenges us to build our list of why’s.  Find all the reasons why you want to stay committed to ditching the booze. 

 

This isn’t a no to alcohol, but a yes to  a better life. 

 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

 

May 31, 2021

Episode 328 – the quality of my relationships with other people in the world is limited by the quality of my relationship with myself.

 

Adam took his last drink on December 13, 2019.  He is from Massachusetts, and he is 37 years old.  This is his journey of living alcohol free (AF).

 

Season 3 of the Recovery Elevator podcast begins June 21st.  We are focused on having fun, staying authentic and helping others along the way. 

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message.

 

Odette spoke about early sobriety and thought shifts.  Early sobriety can be exhausting because your body is resetting, and your thoughts are playing tug-o-war.  You have permission to be tired in early recovery.  The mental work is exhausting.  Odette referenced Melody Beattie and the Language of Letting Go.  Letting go of fear is at the core of codependency.  Fear can help you protect yourself.  In recovery, waving goodbye to fear allows you to embrace safety, trust, peace, and acceptance.  Pay attention to healthy fears and let go of the rest.  We can trust and love ourselves. 

 

Sometimes what is best for us feels wrong.  We oversee letting go of what doesn’t serve us anymore.  Peace begins within you.

 

[8:15]  Odette introduces Adam

 

Adam took his last drink on December 13, 2019.  He lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife and two young children.  He is a lawyer.  He loves running, hiking, reading, and playing with his two girls. 

 

[9:51] Tell us about your history with drinking?

 

Adam said his first love was marijuana.  He smoked during high school.  His mother died suddenly when he was in college.  He stopped smoking pot when he went to law school due to the conflict with legality.  Slowly alcohol crept into his life.  After a few years, he muted his feelings and pressures at work with alcohol.  He quickly started moderating.  He moved to Massachusetts and intended to stop drinking, but he was isolated, and his drinking escalated. 

 

[12:28] What was your mindset around alcohol?

 

Adam said for him it was always numbing.  He liked to drink alone.  He struggled with family issues including shame, vulnerability, and food issues.  He took on some of the behaviors he saw in his family.

 

[14:00] Did You have food issues as well?

 

Adam said he did struggle with weight as well.  In junior year of high school, he lost 70 pounds.  He loves running and that has helped him manage his emotions.  He has been choosing mediation in the past year.   

 

[15:21] How did your drinking evolve?

 

Adam said by 2014, he went to his first AA meeting.  He spoke to his therapist about drinking, but he wasn’t ready to deal with it.  He developed a pattern of lying about his drinking and he would get caught.   He tried to control his drinking by buying nips. 

 

He wanted a state of numbness without heavy consequences.  He described an out of body experience about starting to drink and drive and hide bottles before he got home. 

 

[17:45] Was your shame progressing?

 

Adam said it was terrible.  He felt like a total failure.  He was taking risks, putting his daughter in danger.  The weight of the shame was huge. 

 

Things came to a head when his wife was pregnant with their second child.  He recalled lying about sobriety time and taking coins for a year of sobriety when he hadn’t achieved it.  He brought the coins into the meeting and told them he had lied.  He was accepted, given hugs and it opened the door for him to transition from shame to guilt.  He was still drinking and hiding.  Anticipating coping with a newborn prompted him to ask for a bigger level of help.  He went to rehab to get well.

 

[22:51]  Did returning the coins change how you approached drinking? 

 

Adam said it opened the door to imperfection.  He read “the Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown.  He learned that the quality of relationships with other people in this world were limited by his relationship with himself. 

If he couldn’t learn to love himself, his relationship with his wife would suffer.   He knew he needed to take 30 days away to have the space and room to learn to love himself. 

 

[24:58] How were things when you returned home?

 

Adam has found freedom from his self-imposed “control” cage.  When he returned home, he had a lot of trust to rebuild.    He spent 15 hours a day changing his mindset while in rehab.  When he returned home, he realized life went on.  In the beginning he resisted several things.  His wife asked him to put a breathalyzer in the car because she was concerned about him driving the children while intoxicated.  Today he embraces that completely, but at the time his ego resisted the suggestion.  He had to learn to ask for advice versus selling his excuses to others.  He and his family have been safe for over a year.  He has rebuilt trust and freedom with his family. 

 

[30:53] How were the first few months?

 

Adam said he had very few cravings.  He is active in AA.  He attends four virtual meetings a week.   He belongs to a gratitude group and shares three things he is grateful for every day. 

 

[32:55] What role does exercise play in your recovery?

 

Adam ran when he was drinking.  He works out now.  He uses the peloton app and looks forward to running when the weather improves. 

 

[33:39] Tell me about your meditation practice.

 

Adam dabbled in meditation for a while.  In treatment, he focused on developing a meditation practice.  He embraced the mantra, “I am worthy of receiving all of the love the universe has for me.”

 

He had some life changing moments with meditation, mantras and breathwork.  Things just clicked.   Adam meditates daily for a minimum of ten minutes.  He loves how he can change how his body feels just by breathing.  He knows it is worth it to try new things and invest in himself.  Willingness is critical for him. 

 

[37:55] How have your relationships evolved in recovery?

 

Adam referenced AA’s promises and said he could not have designed what his life is like now.  He wakes up after disjointed sleep and realizes how lucky he is to experience his daughters.   The last year (COVID) has been a gift with a new child, homeschooling, juggling careers and has helped his marriage. 

 

[40:51] Is parenting triggering for you?

 

Adam said he doesn’t want to drink, but he often wants to escape.  He leverages meditation to help him overcome those temporary challenges of parenting.

 

[42:44] What is your response when someone offers you a drink?

 

Adam feels very comfortable.  He brings his own drink anytime he goes out, so he doesn’t risk having to look around for something. 

 

His wife had a glass of wine after a year of not drinking (due to pregnancy) and didn’t like how she felt.  She is joining Adam to be alcohol free.

 

The only thing Adam misses is the escape. 

 

[46:33] What is something unexpected that has happened during your journey?

 

Adam said he experiences more joy daily than he thought was possible.

 

[46:44] What are you looking forward to?

Adam loves live music, specifically Fish and the Grateful Dead.  Both bands have a big sober following.  He wants to go to a concert and attending a fellowship meeting during a set break to experience live music and sobriety. 

 

 

 

[47:54] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What would you say to your younger self?

You are worthy of receiving all the love that the universe has for you.

 

  1. What has recovery made possible for you?

Everything.  Addiction is giving up everything for one thing and recovery is about giving up one thing for everything. 

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Ben & Jerry’s oatmeal cookie.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?

 

The book, The Four Agreements.  His sponsor and his sober community have been tremendous assets.

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance would you give to listeners who are considering ditching the booze?

 

There is nothing in this world that is worth more than an investment in yourself.  Once you do that, you will have a life you can’t imagine. 

 

You may have to say Adios to booze if …

If you find yourself drinking at an in-person AA meeting. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette challenges listeners to take out your journals and explore this prompt.  When do I feel at peace? Is it easy to stay there?  What do I run toward when I find myself unable to stay at peace?

 

Creating a new mindset takes more than quitting drinking.  Learn more about yourself.

 

Check out our YouTube channel for a recipe for Tamarind limeade – lots of laughs!

You are not alone, together is always better.  Peace begins with you.

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021). This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

 

May 24, 2021

Episode 327 – trying to stop and think about, is alcohol serving me?  I don’t have to decide right now, I need to get back to basics.

 

Chloe took her last drink on June 7, 2020.  She is from the UK and is 32 years old.  This is her journey of living alcohol free (AF).

 

Odette gave a shout out to Brainwashed Coffee that is one of the sponsors of the Bozeman retreat.  They also donate 50% of their proceeds to those in addiction recovery. 

https://www.brainwashedcoffeeco.com/  Promo Code:  elevator for a 20% discount.

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message.

 

Odette spoke about growing up with her brother, Charlie and playing lots of video games.  Odette talked about trust and video games.  Trust is earned.  The more you do the next right thing and protect your sobriety, you get to the next level, just the way you level up when playing video games.  Facing recovery with fun instead of fear helps you recognize your increasing skills that come with practice. 

 

[6:09]  Odette introduces Chloe

 

Chloe took her last drink on June 7, 2020.  She said it has been a crazy journey.  Chloe is 32 and lives in the UK.  She has a dog, and she loves walking the dog, running, anything active.

 

[7:16] Tell us about your history with drinking?

 

Chloe started drinking at age 15.  She was a binge drinker like many of her friends.  She didn’t see it as a problem until her mid to late twenties.  She started listening to the Recovery Elevator podcast.  She reached one-year of sobriety and had a relapse that was lengthy.  As of this recording she has 8 months of continuous sobriety.

 

[8:19] What put you on the trajectory to quit drinking?

 

Chloe said she wanted to drink more than she could get away with.  As her moderation journey continued, her drinking got worse.  She got depressed and was in a bad relationship.  She attempted suicide and was put into an inpatient program for depression.  She was sneaking alcohol while in the program but didn’t relate the correlation between drinking and her depression, she found AA and discovered she could have a happy life without drinking.

 

[11:01] Did the doctors treating your depression ask about your drinking?

 

Chloe said she played down her drinking.  She thought everyone did that.   Alcohol was such a crutch, and it was something she looked forward to, so it was hard to get her head around stopping. 

 

[12:30] How did you end up at your first AA meeting?

 

Chloe said the more she tried to moderate, the more out of control her drinking became.  She answered yes to every question on an alcohol quiz.  She was able to relate to what people in AA said.  They were able to have a happy, functional life without alcohol.  It helped her change her thinking about drinking and her depression.

 

[14:49] What happened after your first AA meeting?

 

Chloe stopped drinking for a bit, then relapsed.  She went into a second treatment program and got sober.  She worked the steps.  She achieved a year of sobriety.  She started drinking after getting into a relationship with someone new.  He was a drinker and she wanted to share that experience.  Over the next 18 months, her drinking became progressively worse.  Her thinking was muddled.  She read Paul Churchill’s book; Alcohol is Sh*t!  She realized she didn’t need to figure out if she was powerless, yet.  She needed to get back to basics and keep trying.  Even one day of sobriety is progress. 

 

[18:08]  Did the desire to fit in influence your relapse? 

 

Chloe said she thought she could have fun with alcohol and stop again.  She didn’t realize how insidious it is to continue starting and stopping over and over. Sobriety is precious.  She felt crazy.   She would listen to sobriety podcasts, then drink at night.  She learned a lot of lessons through drinking. 

 

 

 

[21:54] Did you share your sobriety with people outside of AA?

 

Chloe said she did share her quest for sobriety with the person she was in a relationship with.  She had to get support when she returned to sobriety.  She has great friends in AA and her family is supportive as well.

 

[23:02] Did sobriety help your depression?

 

Chloe said about six months into sobriety she noticed the feelings of joy and gratitude that she hadn’t experienced before.  The depression was gone.  Her life had meaning and a reason to go on. 

 

[24:46] What motivated you to quit again?

 

Chloe said it was during lockdown and things were bad.   Lockdown accelerated her drinking.  She drank three bottles of wine a day, passed out and kept repeating it day after day.  Her last night of drinking, she drank so much, she got into a fight and got violent with her partner at the time.  She called the police, and they took him away.  The next morning, she realized she was the one with the problem and it couldn’t happen again.  The risk was no longer worth it.  She felt done and resigned. She threw everything she had at sobriety.  She went back to AA and attacked sobriety, stacked days and she is grateful it’s working.  The first few months were tough, now she doesn’t have to work so hard to stay sober.

 

[28:11] Do you realize how amazing it is that you pulled it together?

 

Chloe said her self-esteem was strengthened.  She knows she can do hard things and other things she didn’t think were possible. 

 

[30:21] Did you start going back to meetings?

 

Chloe said, not immediately, but now she can attend in person meetings.  She has friends in AA, she connected to people on Instagram, listened to podcasts and joined Café RE. 

 

[31:32] How do you manage cravings?

 

Chloe said she is learning not to freak out.  She doesn’t overthink the craving.  It’s normal. Cravings are just a thought.  She plays the tape forward,  exercises and reaches out to friends.

 

[33:55] Do you get any negative feedback from others about your sobriety?

 

She said, not this round.  In the last round a co-worker said he didn’t trust anyone who didn’t drink.

 

[34:45] Have you overcome the concern about having fun sober?

 

Chloe had to rethink her mindset about sobriety and looks at it as a joyful, amazing journey of growth and possibility vs. misery and deprivation.  She has more energy, more enthusiasm, more interests, more people in her life. 

 

[37:34] Have you been able to identify triggers?

 

Chloe said stress and celebrations are her biggest triggers.  She recognizes that drinking is no longer a celebration.  The pause is so important.

 

 

[38:58] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What would you say to your younger self?

Keep trying no matter what.

 

  1. What is your go to response when someone offers you a drink?

She hasn’t faced that because of lockdown.  Her planned response is, yes please, I’ll have a sparkling water.

 

  1. What has recovery made possible for you?

Everything.  When she was drinking, she was doing nothing.  She is training for a marathon, starting a new career and happily single.

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

All ice cream.  She hasn’t had a bad one!

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance would you give to listeners who are considering ditching the booze?

 

Keep putting in the action, stacking the days and the result will come.

 

You may have to say Adios to booze if …

If you are listening to podcasts about sobriety. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

We have your back.  We are your safe container.  The journey comes with different levels.  Hit the save button when you get stuck. Take a breath, ask for help.   Nothing great is ever done on our own, sobriety takes a village.  Have fun along the way and trust the process. 

 

Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.  We can do this!

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021). This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

 

May 17, 2021

Episode 326 – playing forward and playing it present -- if I drink again,  why would I want to go down that path?

 

Erik took his last drink on March 9, 2019.  He is from upstate New York.   This is his journey of living alcohol free (AF).

 

This quarter’s Recovery Elevator donation went to “The Phoenix.” 

thephoenix.org

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message.

 

Odette is training for a marathon.  She reached out to her fitness coach Paul from RecoveryFit1 to get some guidance on training, cross-training, etc.  She has noticed the training for the race is re-training her brain, rewriting her story and building her confidence.  Crossing the finish line of a marathon is scary for Odette.  During her childhood, she participated in the rally portion of the mini-Olympics.  She fell and as a result her team was in last place.  From then on, she told herself she was not a runner. 

 

Odette recognizes we often get stuck in our stories because those stories are all we know.  We need to believe we can do things differently. She is using visualization techniques to overcome her old stories.   What stories are we telling ourselves about our alcohol-free journey?  Are those stories holding you back or keeping you stuck?  How can you re-write your story?

 

[8:53]  Odette introduces Erik

 

Erik took his last drink on March 9, 2019.  His journey includes ups, downs, and stability.  He grew up in upstate New York and lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida,  He is 42, single and living it up in the sunshine state.  Erik loves binge watching TV (COVID), meet-up.com, brunch, dinner, event planning, relaxing and baths. 

 

[11:23] Tell us about your history with drinking?

 

Erik took his first drink at junior prom and found his dad’s secret stash of Manhattan’s.  He didn’t drink much until college.  He remembers the Bridge Street Run and he got completely wasted and was on camera when the local news covered the event.  His drinking progressed from there.  He moved to Los Angeles and in 2010 he got his first DUI.  He knew his drinking was a problem and he started looking at his drinking more closely. 

 

His DUI stemmed from a party that included friends from college.  At 3 AM, he remembers driving home and avoiding someone on the side of the road.  He passed an accident and almost ran over the cops.  His recollection was foggy because he was so intoxicated.  He exited the freeway on Hollywood Blvd., was arrested and the cops took him back to the scene of the accident so he could see where he almost ran the cops over. 

 

His friends came to pick him up and told him, ‘It’s ok, it happens to everyone’. 

 

[17:55]  What happened after the DUI?

 

Eric looks at his drinking career through the lens of his DUI’s because he’s had three in ten years.  He went to AA after the first DUI.  He took one of the quizzes about problem drinking.  His gut knew he had a problem, but he ignored it and went along with his friends who said it was not a big deal.

 

He moved to Florida and picked up where he left off.  His 2nd DUI was in 2013.  He remembers going out, ripping his jeans from dancing and drove from West Palm Beach to Ft. Lauderdale.  He was driving 80 MPH in a 35 MPH zone.  He blew a .15 and went to court. 

 

Five years later he got his third DUI.

 

[21:16] What was your drinking like between the DUI’s?

 

After the first DUI, it scratched the surface of concern, but he kept drinking.  Erik describes himself as a celebratory binge drinker.

 

He went to AA for four months without drinking and believed moderating would work for him.  He was able to moderate successfully until the shut off valve in his brain didn’t shut off. 

 

In 2018, Erik got his third DUI.  He had a breathalyzer in his vehicle and was still positive (for alcohol) the next day.  Erik took a cab to work.  Erik never wants to be like that again.

 

[27:39]  What other elements of your life (at the time) could be attributed to alcohol?

 

Erik said from 2016-2018 he was a mess.  He was on anti-depressants and drinking and the combination and progression were not good.  Erik knew peer pressure was a big deal for him.  He learned to distance himself from people who drink.  He acknowledges his choices and recognizes he needs to say no to others in an

 

[30:02] Did you have a rock bottom when you had your last drink?

 

Erik said the weekend after his third DUI he was drinking, and he drove a friend to the airport at 5 am.  He went to AA for six months.  He chaired meetings, read the books.  His attorney helped him to stay out of jail by wearing an ankle monitor.  He was unable to get into treatment because he already had six months of sobriety.  Erik had to hack the system to get treatment.  He got really drunk to make sure he could get into treatment vs. jail.

 

[37:54] How was your life after treatment?

 

Erik described treatment being a gift.  There were some downsides, including losing his privacy.  When he left rehab, he was required to wear an ankle monitor.  He had a falling out with his sponsor.  He made a choice to drink to stay out of jail.   He became forthcoming with his therapist and social worker.  AA was a blessing for him.  He found Recovery Elevator during COVID, and he sees many similarities to AA.

 

Some days are hard and other days are beautiful.  Sobriety is work.  It’s a daily chore, but it’s so worth it for him.  It works if you work it and work it because you are worth it!

 

Erik thirsts for Recovery Elevator to become bigger.  He loves the meet ups and the chats, and it has been great for him. 

 

[46:39] How do you relate to alcohol now?

 

Erik said his ankle monitor came in handy.   It helped him through several situations including a funeral, a long layover at an airport.  Erik knows he can have fun without alcohol, and he can be in public spaces without drinking.  He is learning about who he is and who he wants to be.  Time heals all wounds, and you get more comfortable with sobriety with time.

 

Playing it forward and playing it present helps him stay sober. 

 

 

[51:01] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What has this journey made possible for you?

It has allowed me to get to know myself and look inside and see who I want to be as a human being and how I want to interact with the universe.

 

  1. What is your go to response when someone offers you a drink?

No, thank you.

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Rocky Road

 

  1. What is an unexpected perk of this journey?

I have more patience and I’m more in the moment.  You experience sunrises and sunsets differently.  Florida is beautiful year around and he loves being in the moment. 

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance would you give to listeners who are considering ditching the booze?

 

Stick with it.  Listen to your gut.  We’ve all had plenty of day 1’s.  Don’t minimize your sobriety.  Be thankful for what you have and keep coming back.

 

You may have to say Adios to booze if …

You have to check your car for damage after a night of drinking or can’t remember where your car is.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

One of our team members, Alan Copeland is going to share about Café RE.  Check out Alan’s episode 287.  Alan has been with Café RE since January 1, 2020.  He helps onboard new members.  Café RE includes:

  • Connection with like-minded people
  • Podcast
  • Over 20 online chats per week
  • Accountability partner
  • Facebook group
  • In person meet-ups with sober people (have fun without drinking)
  • Courses including Restore, Ditch the Booze
  • Book club
  • Movie Club
  • Yoga
  • Fitness class
  • Member listing
  • Recovery Buffet (AA, Smart Recovery, Recovery Dharma friendly – we support the menu of options for recovery)
  • $24 monthly membership fee
  • Cancel anytime, rejoin anytime

 

Alan believes RE can help you overcome loneliness.  You quickly understand there are like-minded people who are here to support you.  Lifelong friendships are built in Café RE.  We focus on the similarities.  We don’t follow a specific program we are open to multiple options for recovery. The light will always be on for you here at Café RE. 

 

Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.  We can rewrite our stories. 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021). This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

 

May 10, 2021

Episode 325 – I used to drink at people when I was upset and those were bad nights.  I believed alcohol calmed me down and got me out of the anger. 

 

Gillian took her last drink on November 9, 2019.  She is from Boston and loves playing video games.   This is her journey of living alcohol free (AF).

 

https://www.getgruvi.com/  discount code:  recoveryelevator

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message.

 

Odette has been thinking about death.  She has anxiety about dying.  She read a chapter in the Untethered Soul.  The author, Michael A. Singer said having an active relationship with death is healthy.   “It is truly a great cosmic paradox that one of the best teachers in all of life turns out to be death.  No  person or situation could teach as much as death has to teach you.  While someone could tell you, you are not your body, death shows you.  While someone could remind you of the insignificance of the things that you cling to, death takes them away in a second. Death makes us all the same.”  Keeping death at the forefront of our mind helps us stay in the moment.  We can stop focusing on the future or dwelling on the past and appreciate every moment. 

 

Full presence with her children gives Odette great joy.  In the moment, Odette is learning to appreciate what she has.  She knows we can avoid thinking about death, but it’s inevitable. 

 

When we choose sobriety, we remove a huge block that prevents us from being in the moment.  Odette still has other blocks, yet she is motivated to stay sober by those moments when she can understand what being fully present is.  The more time she spends away from alcohol, the more presence is available to her.  Value what you have, honor where you are and be grateful!

 

[10:25]  Odette introduces Gillian

 

Gillian took her last drink on November 9, 2019.  She lives in Boston,  she is a biochemist and for fun she reads, plays video games and hangs out with her husband and kitty. 

 

[11:29] Tell us about your history with drinking?

 

Gillian started drinking at age 22.  She was a late comer to drinking.  She had a glass of wine at 18 and had such intense shame about drinking.  She drank more in grad school and started with Bud Lite, and her drinking quickly escalated.  She was frequently sick and within a year she was a daily drinker.  Her tolerance doubled.  She tried to moderate for five years.  Eventually, she realized moderation would not work.

 

[13:27]   Tell me more about the shame your experienced with your first drink?

 

Gillian is a rule follower.  She had trouble liking who she was.  She didn’t like or accept her body.  At 18 she was feeling shame about food she ate.  It was a difficult time in her life. 

 

[14:39] Tell me more about your moderation attempts.

 

Before Gillian was a scientist, she was a teacher and she used alcohol as her fuel.  She learned that when you drink, the stress goes away, and you feel better.  She switched to Vodka and made cosmos daily.  She knew she was drinking too much.  She used a rubber band for the number of drinks, had her husband pour drinks, she bought strong wine, bought weak wine.  She ended several friendships because she thought she was drinking too much with them.  In her journal her goal was to limit to 25 drinks a week.  She abandoned that quickly. 

 

[17:18] Why were you so firm on making moderation work?

 

Gillian said she couldn’t imagine a life without alcohol.  She thought it would be the death of fun.  All her friends drank. It was fundamental to her socializing.  She continued to try moderation.  She went to a therapist and was told she wasn’t an alcoholic.

 

[18:58] Did your husband know you were struggling?

 

Gillian said she talked with her husband a lot about her moderation attempts.  He knew they were well thought out.  He loved her and wanted to support her but felt uncomfortable saying she should quit. 

 

[20:48] How is your relationship now that you have been sober for over a year?

 

Gillian said her relationship is much better.  They were having a lot of issues before she quit.  She says it’s like they are dating again.  They talk about their lives and their thoughts.  They connect so much better.  Her husband is a normal drinker.

 

[22:45] What made you decide to quit?

 

Gillian said her mental health declined for the last four years of her drinking.  She developed anxiety and was up all night with panic attacks.  She continued drinking and eventually she developed suicidal thoughts, which scared her.  She challenged herself to not drink for 90 days.  She did the 90 days and on day 91, she got drunk.  She drank for a few more months and the suicidal thoughts and anxiety returned.  She quit for good in November because she was afraid, she might act on her thoughts.

 

[25:42]  You had good insights about the outcome of continued drinking.  Does that ring a bell?

 

Gillian said she believed people would label her as a loser, a weak person.  She wanted to go to parties and wineries and did not want to be the only one who wasn’t drinking.

 

Anger has been her biggest struggle.  She would get overcome with rage.  She was mad at her husband and family.  She has processed the anger, and no longer has rage attacks. 

 

Gillian said she drank at people when she was upset.  She believed alcohol calmed her down and helped her deal with the anger.  It was exactly opposite.

 

[28:37] 15 months in has your motivation shifted?

 

Gillian said she uses data.  She knows if she returns to drinking, anxiety and suicidal ideation will return.  All the gains she has made in sobriety would disappear if she returned to drinking.  A recent quote she likes is, “Addiction is giving up everything for one thing.  Recovery is giving up one thing for everything.”

 

[30:45] Did anything happen on November 9 that was different?

 

Gillian said it was the 11-year anniversary of a traumatic event.  She started the day with a boozy brunch, then bought a bottle of wine, then another and by 6 pm she was destroyed.  She made the decision to quit at 5:30 in the morning.  She felt calm when she made that resolve and she celebrates the 9th, not the 10th. 

 

[32:46] How did you celebrate your one-year?

 

Gillian and her husband went to an Airbnb in Maine with a cool hot tub.  They had a great time, talked a lot, and made new memories.

 

[33:59] How were the first thirty days for you?

 

Gillian said quitting at the start of the holiday season was difficult.  She went to lots of parties sober.  She was the only one not drinking.  She doesn’t have cravings because her acceptance is so strong.  She struggles with people questioning her drinking.  She made new friends who were not big drinkers.  She did experience a lot of night sweats. 

 

[37:53] Did you feel strong after the holiday season?

 

Gillian said it gave her lots of confidence.  She feels like a pro now.  There were a few times she cried.  The pride has rushed in and she started going to Starbucks to treat herself when other partygoers were getting drunk or weird.  She has set lots of boundaries in sobriety which feels good.  She now respects herself.  She deserves people who care about her and want the best for her.

 

[40:03] When did your career shift happen?

 

Gillian said that during a moderation attempt, she realized teaching was too stressful.  When she moved over to science, it was a good shift with the goal of being able to moderate her drinking. 

 

[41:32] What happens when you have challenges in life? 

 

Gillian now bakes cookies.  The act of baking helps her calm down.  Her husband is incredibly supportive.  Playing video games and therapy help.

Seeing others drink wine can be triggering.  She feels jealous.  Her company sent wine as gifts, but she was able to avoid those gifts. 

 

[43:39]  How vocal are you at work about being alcohol free?

 

Gillian doesn’t tell people about her sobriety.  She was able to avoid the wine deliveries by telling someone who was part of the fun committee.  She was able to request an alcohol-free alternative.  She has given feedback that mocktails should be included at work cocktail parties.  She has given feedback without “outing” herself.  A wine delivery could be disastrous for someone in early sobriety, so she is courageous about giving feedback. 

 

[46:50] Tell me about your anxiety?

 

Gillian said the anxiety is completely gone. 

 

[47:33] What about sleep?

 

Gillian said she sleeps like a teenager.  She was so sleep deprived at the end of her drinking.  Sleep is now great, and it still surprises her how good it feels.  It took a few months to get out of the disrupted sleep cycle.  She feels amazing now. 

 

[49:02] How has your body image changed?

 

Gillian said she has always struggled with body image.  In May, she realized she was looking good.  Now she can look in the mirror and likes what she sees.  It has been an unexpected perk of sobriety. 

 

[51:26] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What would you say to your younger self?

It’s okay, you are doing fine.

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Coffee Oreo.

 

  1. What has been a lightbulb moment for you in this journey?

I realize my story is not unique to me.  It’s good to not be special.  I am not alone.  It was good to know that others had similar experience.

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance would you give to listeners who are considering ditching the booze?

 

If you are worrying that you might have a problem, you know deep down that you do.  It’s ok that you do.  Its better on the other side.

 

You may have to say Adios to booze if …

You are obsessing about moderation every single day and you spend most of your time thinking about your drinking.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

One of our team members, Alan Copeland wrote a poem he is going to share with you today. 

 

Connection is The Key

 

For so long I was looking for the key that would open the door to a better life, a new life. One that wasn’t spiraling into oblivion.  

 

A dark abyss of anxiety, depression, self-loathing, and fear. The bottom was as far as I could keep falling - no rope to grab - no hand to grasp.  

 

A true free fall with gravity doing what gravity does.  A downward spiral.

 

Where is that key?  What’s on the other side of that door? Will I ever find what it’s like to be free from this room that’s closing in on me?  

 

Can I buy the key?  

 

That’s it….I’ll buy it!  

 

Wait...where do I buy it?  

 

Amazon?  

 

Apple? Is there an App?  

 

Google will tell me, right?  

 

Or how about I make the key!  Yeah….I’ll make it to fit the door. I really can do this alone.

 

Wait….how will I make a key when I can’t even find the door!?

 

I was all alone and to feel truly alone is paralyzing. 

 

Being alone in addiction and pending sobriety is a fear that I’ve never experienced before.  Please, please...someone help me find the key.

 

I never found that key.

 

Luckily, it found me. And finally, I opened the door. The door to a better life, a new life.

 

Connection is the key.

 

To say I’m grateful for connection doesn’t give it the credit it deserves.

 

The key was with a group of individuals that I had never met, never would have met and in many cases - still haven't met.   

 

Connection is the key.

 

True connection is something I had never defined or thought about.  

 

When you can share experiences, challenges and growth with another person that is also battling the raging bitch of addiction...well...that’s a connection that’s hard to put into words.  

 

I have now experienced true connection. The ability to tell a person, “I see you”, “I hear you”,  “I understand you” and “you are loved”.  

 

Connection is the key.  

 

The key to learning who I am….who I REALLY am. 

 

It’s not easy, but when you have someone to lean on, someone who catches you when you fall, someone who “feels the feels” with you, cries with you and the best of all...laughs with you. Authentic self to authentic self. We realize - we can’t do this alone.

 

Connection is the key.  

 

Connection is powerful.  

 

Connection is the opposite of addiction.  

 

Have you found the key yet?  If not...don’t look now….it might have just found, you.

 

Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.  Connection is the key.  We can do this.

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021). This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

 

May 3, 2021

Episode 324 – I guess it’s my pride.  It’s ego which is not a good thing.  It’s almost a year and I realized, OMG, it’s the best year of my life.

 

Bobbie took her last drink on December 16, 2019.  She is from upstate New York.    This is her journey of living alcohol free (AF).

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message.

 

Odette was inspired by Brian who hosted one of the Café RE chats.  Evolution of sobriety isn’t always linear or a straight shot.  We assume it will be an upgrade.  However, sobriety can be messy.  You can feel stuck and get into victim mentality. 

 

Odette compared sobriety to a puzzle.  Sometimes it can feel like we are going backwards.  When looking at the puzzle, we grab different pieces.  Sometimes the piece doesn’t fit, but we make a mental note and later in the journey, the puzzle piece fits.  Traveling backwards is common because the tool or lesson may have not made sense at the time, but it does later in the journey. 

 

Everything has a purpose and it’s there for a reason. We don’t always see the bigger picture.  We need to accept that unlike a puzzle …. the journey never ends.  There is no destination, it’s about the journey.  It’s not about being (un)loveable, morality, making mistakes, it’s about discovering our wholeness. 

 

We don’t quit quitting.  It’s about resilience. 

 

[11:59]  Odette introduces Bobbie

 

 

Bobbie took her last drink on December 16, 2019 She lives in snowy upstate New York.  She has family in Connecticut.  She has two business that she launched in 2020.  She loves volleyball, reading, puzzles, Zumba and is learning how to adjust the fun in our new environment. 

 

[13:54] Tell us about your history with drinking?

 

Bobbie started drinking at 15.  She remembers the first time she got caught for drinking.  Her biological father was an alcoholic.  She knew she shouldn’t drink because she didn’t want to be like her father. 

 

Growing up, Bobbie spent a lot of time with people in recovery because there was a lot of addiction in her family.  She went to Al-Ateen and many AA picnics.  She believes that she developed an addiction to gambling because she was trying to avoid an addiction to drinking.  She resented having to go to these events because it wasn’t her problem.  Now her view has evolved.  She didn’t embrace anything 12-step until 2017.

 

[17:32]   What was your trajectory of drinking vs. gambling?

 

Bobbie said she was a truck driver in her early twenties.  She didn’t party when she was driving.  She drank to excess on the weekends which she felt was normal because everyone was doing it. In her thirties she drank with her husband (he was the DD).  She was gambling in the background, but her drinking was a problem.  In 2017 she went to rehab and focused on gambling first. 

 

She went to rehab on her own accord.  She had an executive level job, but all her perceived obstacles were removed.  She owed it to herself to address her addictions.  She was getting in trouble at work events.

 

[21:06] How long were you at the rehab center?

 

Bobbie said she was in rehab for 28 days.  Rehab left quite an impression.  She was in the gambling wing.  Her freedom was removed because she couldn’t even choose when to take a shower.  It felt like a cross between summer camp and jail.  She knew she needed to focus on herself and didn’t want to ever lose her freedom again. 

 

[23:51] How did you handle being in the gambling wing versus the drug and alcohol wing of rehab?

 

Bobbie said that they were not allowed to interact with people in the drug and alcohol wing.  Everything was separate.

 

Before entering rehab, Bobbie interviewed for a job.   She left rehab at 28 days (vs 30) and went to after care.  She was called out frequently for drinking.  The aftercare team didn’t hold back.  In 2019 Bobbie decided not to use alcohol as a coping mechanism.  She discovered Café RE in 2018 and knew she needed to focus on her drinking. 

 

Bobbie was frustrated that alcohol was a problem when she was doing all the work for her gambling addiction.  She broke up with a guy and was drunk texting her ex and recognized her texts were mean and venomous.  Having another personality was a rock-bottom moment.

 

Bobbie signed up for the Recovery Elevator Asia trip.  She knew she needed to be sober for 30 days and joined the trip with a little over 30 days of sobriety.  She was following the rules versus deciding not to drink.  When she returned from Asia, she learned that her biological father and grandmother had passed away within a week of each other.  She hosted her father’s funeral the day before the world shut down because of COVID.  She was at a bar when she got a text about her father’s death.  She knew she had to decide how to cope with overwhelming emotions.  She was afraid to drink because she was concerned, she wouldn’t stop. 

 

A friend she met on the Asia trip inspired her to achieve a year of sobriety.  She realized it was the best year of her life because she started a podcast, opened a second company and was so much more productive without drinking. 

 

Bobbie recognizes her journey is different than many others in Café RE because she wasn’t as intentional about not drinking as many others, it happened almost as a side-effect of her gambling addiction. 

 

[35:47] What made you decide to take the Café RE trip?

 

Bobbie said she knew she needed the trip to quit drinking.  A friend helped her pay for the trip.  When she left rehab, she didn’t make the decision to quit drinking.  The sober trip helped her explore her curiosity about sobriety and laid the foundation for the tools she needed to explore sobriety.

 

Bobbie said she was mesmerized by the RE community and by Paul Churchill.  Paul inspired her to start her gambling podcast and was her first guest. 

 

[41:55] What do you do now when you have a craving or a trigger?

 

Bobbie said everything has happened for a reason.  She believes she can overcome anything.  In a few situations (golf, road trips, etc.) she has urges, but now she has a conversation with herself that people can love and accept her without alcohol.  She focuses on what she has learned along the way.  She doesn’t want to return to a destructive life.  She hasn’t committed to quit drinking forever.  She is focused on her goals and sees alcohol as an obstacle to her achieving those goals.  She has gratitude for her drinking career because it withheld some of her opportunities in corporate America.  She is now helping others with addiction.  She feels like she won.

 

[45:52] What other tools are helpful for you?

 

Bobbie is active in Gambling Anonymous (GA).  She meditates and does a daily reflection every day.  She likes Recovery Dharma through Café RE.  She has integrated self-care into her everyday life. 

 

Bobbie wasn’t sure what she was supposed to feel and began to understand that resentment over her father helped her move from resentment to neutral and she is working on forgiveness. 

 

The value of community and accountability have been helpful.   Her obligation and accountability to others has helped her push through difficult moments.  She tries to practice what she preaches in her podcast. 

 

[51:02] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What would you say to your younger self?

It’s all going to be fine. It all has purpose and will take you where you are meant to be.

 

  1. What has recovery made possible for you?

Everything – from relationships, work, business, transparency, vulnerability – everything.   

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

All of them. 

 

  1. What advice would you give to listeners who are thinking about ditching the booze?

It’s so worth it.  It may not feel like it in the moment, but stick with it, it’s so worth it. 

 

You may have to say Adios to booze if …

Your friends are surprised there is coffee in your cup instead of Long Island iced tea. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette challenges us to think about one of the puzzle pieces in your sobriety journey that didn’t make sense recently that now makes sense.  Share what you have learned with a friend. 

 

You are not alone, together is always better!  Odette believes in you!

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021). This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

 

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