Info

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.
RSS Feed
Recovery Elevator
2021
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: February, 2018
Feb 26, 2018

“Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting”

You can't always believe what you hear.  Just because we believe that everybody was kung fu fighting, doesn't mean that everyone was actually kung fu fighting.  In fact, upon further research, it turns out that no one was kung fu fighting in the original music videos for this song. 

The same applies to “Everybody drinks”.  When we drink, our beliefs about everyone drinking around us probably don't reflect reality.  We feel that we have no choice because, in our minds, we are surrounded by drinking.  Studies show that over one third of adults refrain from drinking alcohol and even more drink very moderately. 

In sobriety, we have an opportunity to redefine “normal”.  We are relieved to let go of the trapping idea that we are forced to consume alcohol to fit in. 

Anna, with over 17 years since her last drink, shares her story..

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:40] Paul Introduces Anna.

Anna is from Marin County.  She's a writer.  She has a cat, a boyfriend and a recovery podcast/company. 

 

[14:30] What are you working on right now? 

She realized that the publishing business was not for her.  She's now focusing on building her own audience and connecting with them and helping them directly. 

 

[21:25] When did you first realize you had a problem with drinking and/or drugs?

She realized she had a problem when she began using drugs in her apartment alone.  It got very dark and she didn't want to get sober but she realized that she had no other choice. 

 

[24:15] What kind of role did alcohol play in substance abuse? 

She never realized she had a problem because she was more focused on cocaine.  In rehab they tried to tell her that drinking was connected and she didn't believe them, which lead to relapse.

 

[27:26] Which drug had more of a grip on you at the time? 

 

It turns out it was both, even though she thought it was only cocaine. 

 

[28:00] Talk to us about alcohol being the gateway drug for you. 

While under the influence are alcohol, she lost her ability to say no to the other drugs. 

 

[31:15] What have you learned from your long term sobriety?

She learned how sensitive she is.  She learned that emotions are fleeting and won't last forever.  She's learned how to accept people for how they behave. 

 

[33:50] What role does self-loathing or self-love play in sobriety?

 

She believes that alcoholism is about ego-centrism and the spotlight effect. We assume everything is focused on us.  She learned that we can change our behavior and rewire our bad habits.  Forgive yourself for your mistakes, and break down the negative thinking. 

 

[39:16]  What would you say to someone on day 1?

Go to a meeting, connect with a sobriety community. 

[41:08]  How are you continuing to stay sober? 

She goes to a couple meetings a week.  She goes to therapy, she meditates, she exercises. 

[42:28]  What do you still want to accomplish in sobriety going forward?

She believes in visualization. 

 

 

[43:10] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    She accidentally snorted special K thinking it was cocaine.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    Nothing special happened that day, but she just acted and got sober.

  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    She loves “Blackout” by Sarah Hepolah. “Everything is horrible and wonderful”.  Also an accountability group. 
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    Re-frame depression as discomfort. Life is a process of getting comfortable with discomfort.  We get what we want out of life when we stop insisting on it. 

  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

  7. You might be an alcoholic if...

    You spend more time obsessing over alcohol or drugs.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode was brought to you by Casper. Visit Casper.com/elevator and use the promo code elevator for $50 off select mattresses.

Letting Go – David Hawkins

Light Hustler Anna's website
Blackout, Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget – A book by Sarah Hepolah
Everything is Horrible and Wonderful – A book by Stephanie Wachs
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!”

 

Feb 19, 2018

Many of the stereotypes surrounding alcoholism don't match up with reality.  The image of the homeless guy holding the bottle in a brown paper bag and living under a bridge doesn't correctly represent the average alcoholic, despite the image's popularity.  Recent data shows that only 3-5% of alcoholics are homeless or on the street. 

As a group, alcoholics have enhanced dopamine receptors.  They tend to be overachievers, over-workers, over-thinkers, and over-creators. They come from many demographics and many age groups.  When Paul compiled the data for the RE podcast, he wasn't surprised to find a diverse pool of listeners, both married and single, educated and uneducated, rich and poor.

Kim, with less than 1 year since her last drink, shares her story:

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:42] Paul Introduces Kim.

5 months sober.  From Buffalo NY, lives in Chicago, 36yo, works in digital marketing.  Loves billiards, volleyball, spa and travel.  Currently working towards a masters in digital communication. 

 

[15:00] When did you begin to realize you had a problem with alcohol?

She fell ill and ended up in the hospital with a bleeding stomach.  The doctor recommended that she quit.  She quit briefly but ended up relapsing and found herself back in the hospital again.  Second doctor also recommended sobriety. 

 

[18:40] What was it like when the second doctor told you it was life or death?

The second doctor gave her lots of attention and encouraged her to get into AA.  She was humbled and blown away by the personal touch.  The doctor's previous patient was someone in the later stages of alcoholism and he warned her not to follow the same path.  She then got 8 months of sobriety after. 

 

[20:27] Did you end up going to your first meeting? 

She did.  She gave it a shot but it didn't feel like a good fit.  She didn't connect with the people. 

 

[21:44] How did you come to relapse after the 8 month period?

She took a trip to Mexico, and saw everyone around her drinking, which enabled her to justify having a few drinks.  She decided she was treating herself. 

 

[22:40] How was the rest of the vacation?

She didn't have any problems in Mexico, but she convinced herself that it wasn't a big deal and she opened the door to alcohol coming back in to her life.  She gradually slipped back in to her old habits. 

 

[24:25] What happened after you begin to let alcohol back into your life? 

She spent a lot of time hungover.  She spent a lot of money at IV ME

 

[25:16] Were you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

She was feeling run down and depressed.  At this point she knew better and she was disappointed in herself. 


[26:20] During your Labor Day holiday, were you drinking by yourself? 

Yes.  She felt left out and depressed.  She doesn't remember doing her Fantasy Football League draft. 

[28:33]  What was the next day like for you?

She called an Uber, but made it turn around because she didn't feel up to it.  Later that night she went to her therapist and he helped her see that she was choosing her behavior. 

[30:00]  Were you fully honest with your therapist? 

Yes, he knew about her behavior. 

[30:42]  Have you figured out why you were drinking?

She thinks it's because she wants to fit in and be included. 

[33:33]  What would you consider your rock bottom moment?

Definitely in the hospital.  Repeating the process, paying the money again even though she knew what the problem was.  This time she wanted it to be different.  She needed to know her other options.  She ended up finding Smart Recovery.  She began exploring other options she had never considered.  She finally clicked with a sponsor and has even flown out to visit her in person. 

[36:27]  What was the Dallas Cafe RE retreat like for you?

She loved it.  She found validation.  It made her feel more comfortable.  She found that there are other people just like her. 

[39:30]  What are your thoughts on Smart Recovery? 

It's more science based.  It focuses on thinking and behavior, goal setting.  It focuses on short term goals.  Everyone shares in the meeting. 

[40:53]  What is your proudest moment in sobriety?

 

Sharing her story to help others.  She's blogging and making videos and she's getting feedback.  She has a recovery website:  Brighter Mornings

 [41:49]  What was it like to publish for the first time?

She planned the release.  The accountability was scary for her.  She became excited at the thought of reaching people that might be struggling with alcohol. 

[43:15] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    Waking up at an ex's house, not knowing how long she had been there or what she was doing there.

  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    Sitting in the I.V. Me facility, running out of money.

  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    To continue to research. Build a community. Keep her sobriety blog and brunch club. 
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    The Happy Hour. The Naked Mind.  Smart Recovery.  Recovery Elevator.  Meeting new people in person and online from the sober community. 
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    It's not changing something, it's changing everything.

  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    Don't question it. Just do it.  It's not easy, but it's worth it. 
  7. You might be an alcoholic if...

    If you call into your job hungover on day 3.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Brighter Mornings Kim's recovery website

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!”

 

Feb 12, 2018

In this episode, Paul vents a little bit of his frustration and anger in recovery about AA and “big alcohol”. 

Without alcohol in our lives to help us deal with difficult emotions.. anger, resentment, and frustration (to name a few) often rise to the surface.  Paul expresses his concern for the abundance of alcohol in society, despite the overwhelming evidence that it is destructive and harmful. 

Katie, with 496 days since her last drink, shares her story:

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:00] Paul Introduces Katie.

Katie is 29 years old, originally from New York, but lived in Colorado for a while and now lives in Dallas, Texas.  Since quitting drinking and she is now into fitness.  She recently ran her first half marathon.   

[15:45] How did you realize you had a problem and how did you get sober?

Katie drank a lot in school.  After college, she moved to Denver.  She started going out every night, and developed insomnia.  Went to the doctor, was prescribed Xanax.  The medication eventually stopped working.  The insomnia continued.  She medicated on both ends of her sleep. 

 

[19:50] When did you realize the core problem wasn't being solved? 

In Dallas, the doctors tried to taper down her medications. 

 

[23:33] When did rehab enter the picture?

She felt alone and stuck.  She broke down in her apartment.  While moving, she found pills that she was hiding from herself.  While her father was helping her move, they went to therapy and had a break down in front her her therapist and her father.  Therapist told her she was still young and had a lot of life in front of her. 

 

[27:45] You realized you had a drinking problem while in rehab?

Yes. She was in denial about why she was going.  Thought it was just for rest.  Left sober, but with the intention of using her meds normally, or as prescribed.  In rehab, she slept well.    She was going to try to use meds to stay sober... realized she was an alcoholic. 

 

[30:35]  What was it like after?

Returning to Dallas was tough.  She had no support structure.  Started to make friends through the sober community.  Got into fitness.  Met a guy who was a big drinker, turns out he had been sober for a while and understood her situation. 

[37:00] How did you overcome the desire to relapse?

She lost a romantic partner, and it was difficult.  She insisted on making it to 1 year, though.  She realized that emotions are fleeting. 

[38:10]  What is your proudest moment in sobriety?

She's visiting her best friend from college.  They're celebrating sobriety together.  She's also found out that many other people are getting sober. 

[40:26]  What is something that you've learned about yourself in sobriety?

She's resilient.  She's been hitting her fitness goals more easily. 

 

[41:41] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    Woke up in a disgusting apartment with bug bites.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    The moment of clarity in rehab.

  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    Focus on the positive, and keeping the eye on the prize. Don't mess with the routine. 
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    Her gym. A tough workout, with intention setting. 
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    It's a lot easier to stay sober than it is to get sober.

  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    Just try it. You can always go back to the life with alcohol. 

  7. You might be an alcoholic if...

    You have a parking permit at the liquor store so you can park there without worrying about driving drunk.


 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Visit Rxbar.com/elevator and use the promo code elevator for 25% off your first order.

The Sober Truth – a book by Lance and Zachary Dodes, debunking recovery programs
From Death Do I Part a book by Amy Lee Coy, her story about overcoming addiction
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!”

Feb 5, 2018

“For us to be successful in sobriety, we must fill the void left by alcohol.”
-Russel Brand, Recovery:  Freedom from Our Addictions

Drinking plays a big role in our lives.  Many of our social gatherings revolve around it.  We use it to relax or to deal with difficult emotions.  When we quit drinking, a void is then created that can be felt across many areas of our lives.  What do we do with this?  Should we fill it?  With what?

When the void is present, some try to use willpower to ignore it or to muscle through or around it.  Unfortunately, studies show that willpower is a finite resource and can not be solely relied upon to quit successfully.  If the void (also known as the emotional and spiritual causes of alcoholism) isn't properly dealt with, one can become what is known as a “dry drunk.”  The behaviors, coping mechanisms, and mindsets of the alcoholic are still present; the only difference is the lack of alcohol consumption.

In sobriety, we find ourselves with more... more time, more energy, and more mental clarity.  It's important to fill this time and spend this energy in a healthy and productive way so that the reasons for the void's existence begin to disappear as we lay a healthy and solid foundation for living.  Find things you like to do, and more importantly, find the communities surrounding those activities and do your best to become a part of them.

Chrissy, with 2 and ½ years, talks about how she married her drinking buddy:

SHOW NOTES

[12:50] Paul Introduces Chrissy.

Chrissy has been sober for 2 and ½ years.  She's from Mill Valley, California.  48 years old.  District Sales Manager.  Mother of two teenage boys.  She has two dogs.  Married.

[14:42] When did you first realize you had a drinking problem?

She used to be in denial.  She married her drinking buddy.  Started dabbling to get out of her head.  Became a problem when she moved to a town where everyone drank.  Started drinking daily.  Lead to a health scare.

[17:10] What was it like to find out you had Grade A Liver Cirrhosis?

She lost a lot of weight. She was mistaken for someone who was pregnant.  Ignored swelling abdomen and yellow eyes.  Eventually couldn't ignore symptoms.  The doctor called her an alcoholic.  She says the doctor is a good place to go for help.

[20:50] Did you ever attempt to moderate or control your drinking?

She always tried to manage it.  She had an idea for a perfect medium buzz.  The health scare is what made her consider quitting.

[22:47] What was it like when you first quit?

It took a few weeks for her body to repair itself.  She now gets checked up regularly.

[25:30] What did you learn about yourself during this process?

Once the fog was lifted, she began to ponder why she drank.  Now she says it isn't important.  It's more important to stay sober.  Year 1 was “how do I stay sober?” and now year 2 is “how do I manage my emotions?”.  Year 3 is now easier and more relaxing.

[27:10] What was it like to cut ties with alcohol completely?

She felt like she was kicking her best friend to the curb.  She had to get it out of her immediate surroundings.  At first, she felt sad, was white knuckling it.  Now she feels that quitting drinking was the one thing that changed her life completely.

[31:17] What does a day in recovery look like for you?

A neighbor took her to a meeting.  Found a sponsor.  Podcasts.  Reading books.  Surrounding myself with sobriety.  Changed her priorities.. recovery, then family, then work.

[33:25] What was it like to marry your drinking buddy?

She used to blame him a lot for her drinking.  She noticed that he drinks less.  They did therapy together.  She's focusing on herself.  She's not sure whether or not her husband is an alcoholic.
[36:00] What advice do you have for someone in recovery which is with someone who drinks?

Changed her perspective.  Release me from the bondage of “self”.  She focuses on herself.  She sees her partner more with compassion.

[39:40]  What do you have to say to a person who is scared of quitting because they feel they might become depressed?

Reach out and get some help.  Any hospital will help you to quit drinking.  Get to a safe place... get over the hump, just for a few days.

[42:20] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

     

    After delivering a baby, all she wanted to do was get home and have a drink.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

     

    When a colleague told her that her eyes were yellow.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    Continue to stay in the middle of the herd. Continue to work with the sponsor, and keep going.

  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    Her community in recovery.

  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

     

    “If your ass falls off, pick it up and come to a meeting.”

     

  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

     

    If you're thinking about it, just go for it. If it's not for you, you'll know.

     

  7. You might be an alcoholic if...

     

    A worker at the grocery store mistakes your alcohol purchase as being for a large group of people.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery:  Freedom from Our Addictions by Russell Brand

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!”

1