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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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Now displaying: August, 2018
Aug 27, 2018

Paul, with 28 days since his last drink, shares his story...

The article mentioned in the episode introduction:  Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God - Wall Street Journal

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:57] Paul Introduces... Paul.


Paul is from St. Paul, Minnessota.  He's 67 years old, retired.  He is married with 2 kids, and 2 grandchildren.  He hosts an internet radio show.  He enjoys cooking and films. 

 

[13:18] Describe your drinking history.

In his 20s, he feels that he was a normal drinker.  Sometimes to excess with a bad hangover, but usually a moderate amount.  During his first marriage, his wife didn't drink as much.  He started to experiment with stronger mixed drinks.  His second wife died of breast cancer, and he was a caretaker for her.  He used drinking to deal with the pain.  He married again a third time and didn't feel compelled to drink too much.  It started to creep back in.  His office culture encouraged drinking after work.  He gradually switched from beer to whiskey.  He tried to moderate but not drinking during the day.  He began concealing his drinking from his wife.  He's tried to quit a few times in the past few years.  His habits got progressively worse. 

 

[19:10] What was different about this last attempt to quit?

After a doctor's appointment, he was shocked at his high blood pressure.  He kept drinking.  He started to suffer from diabetes.  His doctor said it was okay to drink a little bit each day.  He used that as an excuse to ramp back up.  He had quit before with determination, but this time it felt different.  He is exploring the painful periods of his past, and trying to find out the connection to his drinking.  He thinks it has something to do with being verbally abused as a child.  The alcohol has helped him relax.  He thinks his anxiety is wearing off gradually. 

 

[28:00] Describe your present relationship with anxiety. 

He feels as if something bad is going to happen, irrationally.  He feels an unease, an inability to relax.  A few months ago, he was going to go on a trip to Ireland.  He had a lot of anxiety about the trip and it worried him.  He just started drinking again to manage the anxiety. 

 

[32:10] How did you achieve 28 days this time around?

He did some research.  He found an article by Roger Ebert about his struggle.  He did more research and found Cafe RE.  He's learning new ways to deal with his emotions that don't involve drinking. 

 

[34:53] What's on your bucket list in sobriety?

He would like to travel.  He wants to learn how to ride horses.  He wants to take some guitar lessons.  He wants to put more work into his radio show.  He plays vintage and eclectic music. 

 

 

 

[38:32] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    He was surprised to have blackouts. He found it unsettling and scary.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    His wife mentioned something he said and he didn't remember saying it.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    He wants to follow up with smart recovery and AA. He will continue to journal.  Continue to engage with Cafe RE. 
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    “Today is the best day to quit.”
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    Share it with someone. Make yourself accountable.  He shared with his wife and his kids and it's made a difference.  Be kind to yourself.  Don't believe what other people tell you about yourself unless it's good.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if...

    “..if you're researching whether or not you're and alcoholic.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Science increasingly makes the case for God – An article in the Wall Street Journal
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!”

 

Aug 20, 2018

Jason, with 178 days since his last drink, shares his story...

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier

 

“It’s difficult to believe in yourself because the idea of self is an artificial construction. You are, in fact, part of the glorious oneness of the universe. Everything beautiful in the world is within you.” – Russell Brand

 

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford

 

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” – Zen proverb

 

“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” – Agnes Repplier

 

“If things go wrong, don’t go with them.” – Roger Babson

 

“Recovery is not for people who need it, but for people who want it” – Anonymous

 

“When the past calls, let it go to voicemail. Believe me, it has nothing new to say.” – Unknown

 

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard

 

“If you can quit for a day, you can quit for a lifetime.” – Benjamin Alire Sáenz

 

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

 

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” – Rosa Parks

 

“When was the last time you woke up and wished you’d had just one more drink the night before? I have never regretted not drinking. Say this to yourself, and you’ll get through anything.” – Meredith Bell

 

“The Pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow” – Anonymous

 

“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost

 

“Your heart is leading you in the right direction. Quiet the mind and follow. “ – Paul Churchill

 

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth

 

“Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it.” – J. Petit Senn

 

“Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.” – Bernard Williams

“What is addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.” – Alice Miller

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:50] Paul Introduces Jason.

Jason is 46-year-old social worker from Connecticut  He's married with two children.  He likes the outdoors, soccer, kayaking, fishing,and hiking. 

 

[14:00] Give listeners an idea of your drinking background.

He started drinking in high school.  It escalated when he went into the navy.  After the navy, his drinking settled into a regular pattern which slowly escalated as well.  In mid 30's his drinking started to feel like it was getting to be a problem.  He had a previous 5 year period of sobriety.  He was trying to be health conscious.  He has heart disease in his family.  He tried to stay on top of it.  Around 38, his physical wasn't so great.  He was referred to a cardiologist.  He thought cutting alcohol out would improve his health.  He stopped on NYE of 2010.  He felt a lot better so he kept going.  He did not work a program.  He was hung up on the stigma of being an alcoholic.  He thought that after 5 years he didn't have a problem, and he was feeling healthy and he thought that maybe he could be a normal drinker again.  After relapse, he kept it under control for a while, but shortly thereafter it started escalating again quickly and he began to fall back into the same patterns.  He had a difficult summer, drinking most days, and he realized that he was a better person during his stint in sobriety and decided to go back to being sober. 

 

[27:38] Did you find it difficult to stop the second time? 

He could see how bad it would get if he didn't stop.  He was hiding drinks, and every week seemed to get worse.  He knew he was worse than he had been previously.  He thought that his previous bout of sobriety meant he could do it again.  He just had to get back to sobriety.  He feels our society surrounds you with pro-drinking messages.  

 

[32:07] How were you able to quit this time around?

The first few weeks were difficult, more difficult than he remembered from before.  This time it felt more ingrained into his routine, making it more difficult.  This time he is consuming more sobriety media and it helps him keep his mind right. 

 

[34:00] Do you think you are addressing more dimensions of sobriety this time?

Last time he was too focused on the physical part.  This time he's addressing the mental and spiritual sides of his life.  He's building a meditation practice and doing yoga.  He he has more tools this time than before.  He's trying not to think about the time line as much.  He's trying to stay in the present and focus on what's right in front of him. 

 

[36:37] What's something that you've learned about yourself in sobriety?

Honest really helps.  Also, there's nothing to be ashamed of.  Dependence happens to some people quicker than others, but it's nothing to be ashamed of.  He's taking things more gradually and slowly. 

 

[37:22] Have you experienced any cravings?

Definitely, in the first few months.  He just tries to ride it out.  They're only about 20 minutes long.  He tries to distract himself realizing that they will pass. 

 

[38:56] If you could go back and change anything about your getting sober, what would it be?

He thinks he could have talked to and with more people. 

 

[39:20] What's on your bucket list in sobriety?

He wants to travel more, and spend more time with his kids. 

 

 

[40:00] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    When he was in the navy, he blacked out and had to walk around ashamed.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    It's a cumulative thing. His many mornings feeling terrible.  Hearing about conversations he didn't remember. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    To keep taking it slowly. To focus on his meditation and yoga practice.  Be open and honest with people in his sobriety. 
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    Recovery Elevator podcast. On Instagram:  Drybe club
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    You do not have to drink.

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

    If it's something that's on your mind, just do it. Reach out to people, be honest and find resources. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Drybe Club an Instagram page about sobriety
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!”

 

Aug 13, 2018

Chris, with 96 days since his last drink, shares his story...

In sobriety, it's possible to become more in tune with the inner workings of our minds.  By stopping the intake of a numbing substance, our minds and bodies become more sensitive, and with that sensitivity comes a glimpse into the processes and systems that run under the hood. Our emotions and how we handle them (or, in early sobriety, often we will see how our emotions are handling us!), the physical sensations that return as our body heals, and how our subconscious mind has an impact on our every waking moment.

In practices like meditation, we can begin to see how our thoughts can interrupt our every waking moment.  As we examine further, we can see that thoughts have a big impact on how we see ourselves, the world and, ultimately thoughts can make up who we are.

To learn to manage your thoughts, follow Paul's first steps: 

- Trust that your body knows best. - Your mind is a secondary organ to your body.  You may think you are in control, but the mind is a tool that works for the body, not the other way around.

- Learn to quiet the mind. - In the early stages of recovery, especially, it's important to recalibrate your sense of stillness.  Chances are in the throws of addiction you have lost your center.

- Don't get hooked – When you become aware of a thought entering your mind, simply notice it for what it is and let it float by.  You can use a safe word to remind you to come back to the present moment.  “Here”, “Stop”, “Thoughts..”

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:48] Paul Introduces Chris.


Chris is 37 years old, lives in Arizona.  Chris is married with two kids, has two dogs, is a musician and likes to ride his motorcycle. 

 

[14:33] When did you first realize that you had a problem with drinking?  Why did you decide to quit?

He realized that alcohol had a hold on him.  He couldn't stop.  It was affecting everything.  He felt like the party was over.  He went to get beer after his kids were asleep.  Suddenly he realized that if he had gotten a DUI, no one would be able to take care of his kids.  He asked a friend in recovery to help him get cleaned up.  He started going to AA.  He would get 30 days and then relapse.  He worked at a bar and was drinking non stop.  It started to take a toll on his body. 

 

[18:56] When did your attempts to quit begin to get some traction?

He would try to moderate.  He switched to wine.  They moved to Arizona, and he wanted to use the chance to get clean.  He found himself isolated and depressed, and anxious.  He used his exercise to earn his drinks.  He kept repeating the cycle. 

 

[21:23] What are your thoughts on the “geographical cure”?

He thought he was going to start over in a new place, and leave the negativity behind.  He started working quickly after the move.  Anxiety started to set in, he felt uncomfortable being alone and bored.  He turned to alcohol.  Alcohol was the ice breaker in social situations.

 

[22:47] What would you consider to be your rock bottom moment?

He feels that he had many.  Every time he would wake up feeling ashamed was a rock bottom moment.  He felt that he couldn't escape alcohol's grip and he was scared.  He wanted to quit but felt that he couldn't.  The night would start with one beer and end after multiple. 

 

[24:30] What changed this last time to ensure your success so far? 

He had researched a medicine called kambo.  He had read that it would help him quit alcohol.  He found someone in his local area and he signed up to try it.  The scrape the venom off a frog from the amazon.  The practitioner lights the tip of the incense stick, then marks your arm, then applies the venom to your arm.  He didn't hallucinate, but had intense bodily sensations.  It's a giant purge.  He puked like crazy and felt a sharp pain.  He found a blockage, and puked it out.  He did another purge that evening and hasn't craved alcohol since. 

 

[31:39] Have you noticed any other improvements in other areas of your life? 

He's less stressed.  He tries to block negative energy.  He lets things roll off and relaxes. 

 

[33:19] Did you try any other resources to quit?

He tried AA.  He didn't click with his local group.  He liked the online group better.  The plant medicine was sort of a last resort for him.  He thinks it was a reflection of the amount of desperation he had at the time. 

 

[36:00] What's your proudest moment in recovery?

He was around 50 days in sobriety.  He took his son to a Metallica concert without drinking.

[36:45] What's on your bucket list in sobriety?

Continuing down the path.  He wants to be of help to anyone trying to get sober.  He is into the plant medicine world. 


[39:20] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    A huge fight with his wife. He threw glasses at the wall. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    Continuing down the path. Staying active in the online group. 
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    Cafe RE Blue. Talking with more people. 
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    It's easier to stay sober than to get sober. Don't take yourself too seriously. 

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

    Just do it. Go for it.  Take your time, get comfortable.  Find the path for you. 

  7. You might be an alcoholic if...

    “If you have to put venomous frog poison in your skin to get sober..”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

You Are the Placebo – A book by Dr. Joe Dispenza

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!”

 

Aug 6, 2018

Jodi, with over 100 days since her last drink, shares her story...

You’d think that when dealing with something as simple and common as water, there couldn’t be any confusion.  Water is water, right?  It turns out that not all waters are created equal. 

Water comes in many forms and despite what you might think, the differences aren't just regional nomenclature.  There are distinct differences between these types of water, and while they are somewhat slight, they’re enough to merit their own name.  Here’s what you need to know:

Mineral Water

Sparkling mineral water comes from a natural spring which contains various minerals, like salts and sulfur compounds. It's defined by its "constant level and relative proportions of mineral and trace elements at the point of emergence from the source." Minerals aren't added to this water and neither is carbonation (with the exception of San Pellegrino, which has additional carbonation added by the bottler). That means that the bubbles in these bottles are completely natural. You would typically drink this water as is (not mixed in a cocktail), since it's a tad expensive and has a slight mineral-y taste.

 

Seltzer Water

Seltzer water is just plain water that has been artificially carbonated. This water, which contains no sodium salts, gets its name from the German town of Selters, which was renowned for its natural springs. Seltzer water was first introduced as a cheap alternative to sparkling mineral water -- and it still is an economical option today.

 

Club Soda

Seltzer water and club soda are very similar, but there is a notable difference between the two. Unlike seltzer, mineral-like ingredients are added to club soda to enhance the flavor. If you look on the list of ingredients, you'll likely see potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate listed.

 

Tonic Water
Just because it contains the word water in its name and is carbonated doesn't mean that tonic water is in the same category as bubbly waters. Unlike the other carbonated options, tonic water has a distinct flavor and it certainly can't be swapped out for carbonated water. Tonic water is a bitter drink, a result of the addition of quinine, which pairs particularly well with gin. Also unlike the other waters, Tonic contains calories -- about 130 for 12 fluid ounces.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:05] Paul Introduces Jodi.

 

Jodi is 34-year-old artist and musician living in Detroit, Michigan, with her dog.  She has a podcast called “Detroit Craft Academy”.  She went to art school for photography originally. 

[12:20] How has sobriety affected your personal relationship with your art? 

It's been a little difficult.  She had a romanticized definition of what an artist was in her mind that involved drinking.  She feels it was learned.  She no longer buys into it.  She's realizing that her art is now better with a sober mind. 

 

[14:25] When did you first realize you had a problem with drinking, and how did you quit? 

She grew up straight edge.  She started drinking with a guy she met.  She enjoyed alcohol after she tried it.  She feels that she's always had an addictive personality, which worsened after she started drinking.  She was always at the bar before and after class during school.  She began hanging out with musicians.  She began to black out, and felt that she was time traveling.  She would have to investigate to find out the events from the previous night.  She had a stint of sobriety for two years as her boyfriend turned out to be an addict.  She started again at 22 and hid it from her partner.  She tried to go to AA. 

 

[20:25] Did you experience a rock bottom?

She had many.  She didn't consider them rock bottoms because she wasn't ready to address the fact that she had a drinking problem, and she also thought that it was typical artist behavior.  She associates her addiction with “Large Marge” from Peewee Herman. 

 

[22:29] What was different about this particular attempt to quit that's been successful so far? 

Before quitting she had been dealing with depression and a relationship with an addict.  She experienced some trauma.  She started seeing a counselor.  The counselor didn't know that she had a drinking problem.  Alcoholism runs in her family.  Alcohol dulled the emotions she didn't want to feel and enhanced the positive ones, but the depression didn't go away.  She tried many things to get rid of it but they didn't work.  She tried to quit drinking for a month and felt amazing.  This time something different happened.  She recently tried a sensory deprivation chamber.  She heard a voice tell her to quit drinking.  She feels her consciousness shifted.  She calls it the voice of silence.  She told everyone she knew that she quit drinking, creating accountability.  Everyone has been supportive.  She started changing her group of friends.  She started going to AA.  It's been great.  Every meeting has been different. 

 

[38:44] What have you learned about yourself in sobriety so far?

With her shift in consciousness, she is trying to be open minded.  She's learning how to break down her strict boundaries.  We are bigger than the boxes in which we put ourselves.  She's open to not pleasing everyone. 

 

[40:25] How is your depression now that alcohol is removed from your life?

She still suffers from depression, but she changes how she responds to it.  Before she would turn to drinking, and now she tries to face it.  She's finding different ways to deal with it.  She goes for walks, calls her sponsor, focuses on art.  She's considering medication. 

 

[42:42] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    All the holes in her memory. Playing detective to figure out what happened the night before. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    She realized that her only desire to go out was because she wanted to drink, and she had to drink to have a desire to go out.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    One day at a time. She journals a lot. 
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    Cafe RE, honestly.

 

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

    Don't beat yourself up if you fail. You won't see the successes if you concentrate on the failures. 
  2. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    Tell everyone. Tell the bartender to punch you if you order alcohol.
  3. You might be an alcoholic if...

    “you lose your car, and then go to the police to help you find your car, and drop you off, and you think it might be a trap.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you by Zip Recruiter. Right now, listeners can try Zip Recruiter for free by visiting Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

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!”

 

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