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Recovery Elevator

It isn't a NO to alcohol, but a YES to a better life! Best selling author Paul Churchill, along with Kristopher Oyen interview people who have stepped away from alcohol in their own lives. Each week this podcast does a deep dive into an exploration of what a booze free life might look like from various perspectives and opinions.  If you are sick and tired of alcohol making you sick and tired, we invite you to listen to Recovery Elevator. Check out what an alcohol free life can look like as others share their own stories of sobriety. If you are sober curious, newly sober, supporting a loved one or living your best life already in recovery, then you are in the right place. This podcast addresses what to do if you’re addicted to alcohol, or if you think you’re an alcoholic. Other topics include, does moderate drinking work, does addiction serve a purpose, what happens to the brain when we quit drinking, should you track sobriety time, is A.A. right for you, spirituality, and more. Similar to other recovery podcasts like This Naked Mind, the Shair Podcast, and the Recovered Podcast, Paul and Kris discuss a topic and then interview someone who has ditched the booze.
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Now displaying: 2017
Jan 9, 2017

Mona, with 2 weeks since her last drink, shares her story…….

Paul starts the show by answering some “fan“ mail questions about God and AA.  Many listeners wonder how they can participate in AA without accepting a higher power.  When the pain of drinking outweighs everything else, you just may be willing to try anything.  Statistics show that alcoholism is on the rise but attendance at AA meetings is stagnant or even on a slight decline.  Attendance at AA meetings may be on the decline because it is a religious based program and also because of the stigma involved (don’t be a hater!).

In a recent article found on TheInfluence.org, http://theinfluence.org/american-gulag-the-five-ways-hundreds-of-thousands-of-people-are-coerced-into-rehab-and-aa/ , it is discussed how people are being forced into AA or rehab, either by employers or the Courts.  Legally, however, a person cannot be forced into AA because it is considered a religious program.  Experience shows us that you will be more successful in a program that you choose voluntarily.  So whether it is AA, SMART, Life Ring, or your own personalized plan, find a program that makes you want to live and love life.  Work that program as if your life depended on it (because quite frankly, it does!).  

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 10:08 ] Paul Introduces Mona 

 

She currently lives in Chicago.  She is 23 years old, loves to read and create playlists.  Mona is still figuring out all of the new things she likes to do now that she does not drink.

 

[ 13:43 ] When did you realize you had a problem?

 

Mona – it has been about 4 years in the making.  When I was 19 years old, I drank way too much and was super hungover.  I was totally embarrassed because my parents witnessed this.  I quit alcohol for the next 30 days but knew that I was not completely done with it,

 

[ 16:21 ] Did you ever put any rules in place to try and moderate your drinking?

 

Mona – for 2 years I tried to manage the amount of drinks I would have in 1 sitting. I set my limit at 4 and after that I would just leave the bar.  I realized I had a problem when I was putting so much energy into trying to moderate.

 

[ 20:13 ] What was your bottom?

 

Mona – I did not really have a rock bottom.  I remember my parents had paid for this great trip to the Grand Canyon and the entire trip I was trying to keep control of my alcohol intake in front of them.  The Grand Canyon was so beautiful and it just showed how messy my life had become because of alcohol.

 

[ 21:57 ] How does it feel to be sober at 23 years old?

 

Mona – I feel proud but also overwhelmed at the thought of never drinking again.

 

[ 23:15 ] How did you do it?

 

Mona – I tried will power at first and I was also seeing a therapist who I was finally honest with.  So far the temptation to drink has not been too bad.  My holiday work party was slightly difficult and I left early.  I also started telling my close friends that I had stopped drinking.

 

[ 26:30 ]  What do you think would happen if you started drinking again?

 

Mona – nothing productive would happen.  I would be totally stagnant in my life and in my job.  I would not be happy at all.

 

[ 28:38 ] What is your plan moving forward?

 

Mona – I am experimenting with creating my own plan of recovery.  I want to explore all of my options.

 

[ 32:52 ] What do you want to achieve in sobriety?

 

Mona – I would like to have deeper and more authentic relationships.  I want to become connected to who I really am and to go after the jobs that I really want.

 

[ 35:07 ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? After doing drugs and drinking, I had a horrible fight with a guy I was interested in.  I ended up stumbling back to my apartment and just feeling totally empty.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Seeing the Grand Canyon and comparing its’ beauty to my “not beautiful” life
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? Creating my recovery plan
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Look for the similarities , not the differences
  5. What is your best advice for the newcomer? If you are continually thinking about alcohol or listening to recovery podcasts, have the courage to try out sobriety
  6. You might be an alcoholic if……you empty a bottle of perfume and fill it with alcohol in order to bring it on the airplane in your carry on

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Book of the Month – The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

http://theinfluence.org/american-gulag-the-five-ways-hundreds-of-thousands-of-people-are-coerced-into-rehab-and-aa/

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

 

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

 

Jan 2, 2017

Shaun, with 2 months since his last drink, shares his story

One of the most common questions we get asked as alcoholics is, “What do you drink now that you no longer drink alcohol?”  Or, “How do I fit in at social functions now?”  There are plenty of tasty non-alcoholic drinks to choose from, so when water is just not cutting it, check out the list below:

Shirley Temple (don’t’ forget to double up on the cherries!)              

Ginger Beer (Cock N Bull brand)                  

Sugar Free Red Bull

La Croix (basically flavored soda water)

Soda water with a splash of cranberry

World Market is the place to go if you are looking for a large selection of ginger beer.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 11:48  ] Paul Introduces Shaun

           

Shaun is 30 years old and currently living in Bozeman, MT.  In his free time, he plays hockey, snowboards and coaches little league flag football

 

[ 13:13 ] Paul asks Shaun to describe his bottom

 

Shaun – I was drinking all day and through the night.  I proceeded to drive home after fighting a friend for my keys.  I drove down a very dangerous canyon and hit the guard rail with my car.  The police eventually pulled me over.  I woke up in the hospital and my father was there, looking very disappointed with me.

 

[ 18:00 ] When did you realize the gravity of your drinking situation?

 

Shaun – Even though I knew right away how bad it was, it still just seemed surreal.  A few weeks went by before I realized this wasn’t a dream.  I went about 3 weeks without a drink.  I started drinking again at my 30th birthday party and went on a 6 week bender.  I then started to just slow down on my own.  I was suffering from deep depression, had walked away from my job, and realized that I was not attaining the goals I had set out for myself. 

 

[ 21:54 ] What do you think would happen if you started drinking again?

 

Shaun – I would be right back to where I was before.  I really do not want to know.

 

[ 23:00 ]  What were your drinking habits like?  How much did you drink?

 

Shaun – I was your typical college drinker.  When I started drinking, I was ready to party.  My drinking escalated when I moved to Bozeman.  

 

[ 25:47 ]  What was your depression like while drinking?

 

Shaun – My depression was usually triggered by the hangovers.  I would think to myself, “What could I have done instead of drinking?”  I would feel worthless about myself the next day.  Alcohol just kept the depression going.  Without alcohol, mild depression is still there but overall I feel more even keel and it is easier to deal with.   

 

[ 27:39 ]  How about anxiety?

 

Shaun – My anxiety was also heavily triggered by booze.  It is still with me now, but has lessened greatly.  Normally after a night of drinking, I would feel totally anxious and would end up with the “screw it’s,” it’s time to drink this away.

 

[ 29:00 ]  How did you get sober?

 

Shaun – I just took it day by day.  I would think that today may suck but tomorrow will be better.  I told many of my friends that I had stopped drinking.  Some of these friends understood, while others are still waiting for me to start drinking again (they are no longer friends).  I also tried to keep focused on my goals and my profession.  Alcohol does not fit within my goals anymore.

 

[ 32:00 ] What is your plan moving forward?

 

Shaun – I will continue to surround myself with positive peers, see my therapist, and basically build a new friend base that does not revolve around alcohol.

 

[ 34:00 ]  What is it like getting sober at a young age?

 

Shaun – It is very hard.  Beer seems to follow all activities but I am trying to make new sober friends.  You have to work through the uncomfortable feelings of being in a situation and not drinking. 

 

 

[ 39:35  ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? After a birthday party, I punched my buddy in the head and he proceeded to throw me down the stairs.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? When I would make jokes about being an alcohol and suddenly stop laughing because I knew it was me.
  3. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Hitting the gym
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Just take it day to day.  Win the fight for that day.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Just start.  Start talking to people about your problem.
  6. You might be an alcoholic if……you make jokes about being an alcoholic but stop laughing because you know you are talking about yourself.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

If you are in the LA area on 1/22/17, Paul will be talking at a “This is My Brave” event.  The event will be held at the Moss Theater in Santa Monica.  Just google the event to search for tickets.

 

 

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

 

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