Matt from California shares how he has made it over 5 years sober. He went to seek treatment for PTSD and realized he was also an alcoholic.
In this episode I discuss the not so smooth transition from a free community to a paid community. Below is is the post I placed in the group trying to clarify the point of the transition.
“I woke up this morning and binge listened to the Recovery Elevator podcast, and later that day I went to my very first AA meeting/Told my spouse/reached out for help...” I have received probably 75 of these messages.... Recovery Elevator is not about me, it’s not about the people in this group, it’s about the people who are still struggling.
I’ll be the first one to admit, I am flawed. I am far from perfect. I am fully aware I have made several mistakes and (“spoiler alert”) I will make many more mistakes moving forward. I think my biggest mistake thus far is not being able to communicate my vision for Recovery Elevator and why this transition is taking place. Sure it’s about sustainability, and the time commitment is not feasible over time. However, our #1 goal, the mission, the force that continues to find the RE team at the same coffee shop every Friday morning at 7am for almost a year now is to shred the shame. Does that sound familiar? What that means in one word is Stigma.
The stigma surrounding this disease is just as lethal if not more potent than alcohol itself. It was this stigma that led me to a failed suicide attempt in the summer of 2014. I hated myself for not being able to drink like a normal person and was ashamed. I was even more upset when the suicide attempt didn’t work. I woke up that morning pissed off and angry. I wasn’t happy to be taking in precious breaths of air with a new outlook on my 2nd chance on life. I was devastated I had to keep on living my life of misery from the disease. Can anyone think of another disease where we let ourselves and loved ones get to the most critical point before treatment or help arrives? Many times, that assistance arrives at a car crash when it’s too late (my friend in 2006) and our friends don’t get a second chance. Why do alcoholic bottoms have to be so low???? The Stigma.
A gentlemen, who removed himself from the group (We didn't), brought up some great points last night and I’m very glad he did. Before this message goes any further, I want to remind people that I have stated multiple times that Recovery Elevator is not affiliated with any 12 step or other recovery programs in particular Alcoholics Anonymous. I am just about to complete my own 12 steps and I plan on passing on that “service” with a sponsee when I finish. This person mentions RE is preying on people with monetization goals. It doesn’t any ivy league business degree to make that connection. If I want a fighting chance at battling this stigma, I am going to need resources.
This may come as a surprise, but I’m definitely not the first one to prey on alcoholics and here are some examples: Budweiser, Miller, Coors, Pabst, Jose Cuervo, Jack Daniels, Crown Royal, Smirnoff, Boones, Corona, rehab facilities, and many more are also targeting alcoholics. Battling the the stigma with resources will be tough, but shredding the shame with a cash flow of -$200 a month is a near insurmountable task. Think of the monthly fee going to the struggling alcoholic and not Recovery Elevator. Perhaps in 2014, if I saw a Recovery Elevator sponsored Facebook ad instead of a Bud Light Lime ad, I wouldn’t have bolted to a liquor store before they closed at 2:00 AM. A profitable sober travel company? I must be missing something, is there anything wrong with that? When I was 24, I went on what seemed to be a very profitable, packed booze cruise in Cabo, Mexico, and my actions on that boat were probably more shameful than trying create a sustainable operation which provides services to people like myself. I personally would have loved to go on sober adventure travel. Imagine being on an airplane and in the in flight magazine you see an add for a 7 day sober trip through the Grand Canyon. Am I supposed to not create a sober travel company due to traditions Recovery Elevator has never aligned themselves with?
In my opinion, I wish the market was already saturated with Sober Travel companies, but unfortunately it’s not. Take a guess anyone why? The stigma. Look at the monthly fee as a fund for a common goal or the passing of the basket. I will not be getting rich off this, but for imaginative purposes, what if I did?? What if I became as rich as Bill Gates and I was open and proud about being an alcoholic. What if I even donated millions of dollars to recovery organizations. Does it really matter if I get rich or not doing this?
This is my last post about this transition because my time needs to be spent trying to reach struggling alcoholics and not on people who are making the stigma even more inflammatory. I am going to give you a choice to make the transition at whatever price you would like, $1, $5, $8 or $10. If you have already signed up at $5 and would like to change to $1 per month, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make the change. If you do have negative comments, call me personally at 970-376-7558 and we can chat about why a Sober Travel ad during the Super Bowl is such a terrible and shameful thing.
Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery Elevator Private Forum.
Come join the ultimate Recovery Elevator meet-up in Peru where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian Hearts, working with local alcoholics, and why not hike the 38 mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while were down there!
This episode was brought to you by Sober Travel and Sober Nation.