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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: December, 2018
Dec 31, 2018

Warren, with 48 hours since his last drink, shares his story…

12 reasons why sober is better:

1 - Look your best.  
2 - Look and feel properly rested.
3 - Alcohol fixes things you didn’t notice were broken. 
4 - Make the most of your time. 
5 - Build better relationships.  The opposite of addiction is connection.
6 - More confidence.  You can do anything you put your mind to. 
7 - Less fear!
8 - Save your money. 
9 - Be more present. 
10 - Avoid unnecessary disasters. 
11 - Create the future you want. 
12 - Improved memory


SHOW NOTES

 

[8:20] Paul Introduces Warren.

 

Warren is 40 years old, from Martinsville, Virginia, and has been sober for 48 hours.  He’s married with two children.  He is the executive director of a domestic violence outreach program.  He also owns a sound company.  He enjoys fishing and camping, and the outdoors.  He thinks you shouldn’t always believe what you think.  He’s struggled with worrying about what other people think. 

 

[12:09] Give us a bit of background about you drinking. 

He started drinking relatively young.  His parents both drank, and were very social.  They were involved in politics.  He and his cousin found some champagne and they drank until they blacked out.  He always felt different from everybody else.  When he put substances in his body, it made him feel right.  So he would drink/use every chance he got.  Once he had a son he began to drink heavily.  He attempted to quit drinking.  He was in a car accident.  When he got out of the hospital, he began to drink again and also use other drugs.  His gf/wife was fed up.  He tried to quit cocaine, and it just made him drink more.  One thanksgiving he woke up in his yard covered with blood (it was from a deer) and it freaked him out.  He went into an outpatient program.  They recommended AA.  He got into it.  He stopped going to meetings and started smoking pot.  His wife left him and he tried to commit suicide.  He went into another program.  He decided to get back into AA.  He got into another relationship with someone in AA, and it ended badly which made him stop going.  He was in debt.  After two hours of sobriety, he decided that he had it under control.  He relapsed, and when he did it was as if he had never stopped.  He felt like when he controlled his drinking, he didn’t like it, and when he liked it he couldn’t control it. 

 

[23:50] What’s your plan for getting past it?

To try and stay connected with people.  He might go back to school.  He wants to help people somehow.  He studied social work, which paid but was a heavy responsibility.  He recognizes that if he can’t find balance he is at risk of losing his job.  He’s thought about getting back into AA again.  He is worried about the stigma.  He’s worried about anonymity.

 

[25:57] What are some lessons you have learned about yourself so far in this journey?

He now believes that there is an all powerful god that cares about him.  When he got to chapter 4 in the big book, he realized that his idea of a higher power wasn’t helpful.  He associated prayer with drinking.  He needed to see that prayer can exist without drinking. 

 

[28:59] When you get cravings, what do you do?

Right now he is trying to binge listen to the podcast.  Helping other people stay sober helps him stay sober as well.  There is no one correct answer. 

 

[30:47] What would you like to talk about right now?

How blessed he’s been since he started recovery.  He’s in a new world where he can help other people and even though he doesn’t know the plan for his life, he’s okay as long as he stays present and awake.  He has learned that the problems arise when he thinks too much, or when he focuses on himself.  As long as he is useful to other people, it’s easier. 

 

[33:47] When are you going to get your help and how?

He’s been researching counselors in the area.  He agrees that he needs to focus on helping himself help himself.  He wants to relieve the pressure that he puts on himself.

[36:22] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    The mornings when he would wake up and he would have no memories. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    Gradual moments over the last 18 months or so.  Watching the rules he set for himself continually break.  When he realized the progression is real. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    To “Fill my bucket”.  To do what’s best for me.  One day at a time with no substances.  

  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    You have got to take care of yourself.  You can’t help anybody else if you’re all jacked up. 
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    Don’t wait too long.  The longer you wait the harder it is to stop.  Surround yourself with a community of people who are sober and will show you how it’s done. 
  7. You might be an alcoholic if

    “You wake up naked in the living room and you’re lying on the floor with no idea how you got there.”  

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android
Have you filled a bucket lately - A book by Carol McCloud

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

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

 

 

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

 

Dec 24, 2018

Jeff, with over 38 days since his last drink, shares his story…

During this festive holiday season, we will, no doubt, we encouraged to drink at one point or another.  We can’t think ourselves out of long-term addiction, but in the moment, there are tools we can use to help gives us the ability to say no.  Follow the drink, and play the tape forward.  There is plenty of data behind us to help us make an informed decision.  If I have this drink, what will happen?  Remember why you quit in the first place and remember all of the positive benefits you have experienced from sobriety. 

We all know alcoholic beverages can pack in the calories, but does alcohol have any nutritional value?  It’s safe to say that a Twinkie has more nutritional value than any alcoholic beverage.  By not drinking, you are not denying yourself of any vital nutrients.  In fact, alcohol inhibits general digestion in a big way. 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:57] Paul Introduces Jeff.

Jeff has been sober for 38 days.  Jeff is 27 years old, from Quebec City, Canada.  He has a corporate job and also works in digital marketing.  He is trying to transition to doing his digital job full time.  He owns a dog and enjoys sports and reading.

 

 

[10:30] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

He started when he was 13 years old.  He never felt in control.  He was shy and insecure.  Marijuana was his drug of choice for a long time.  When he would try to quit smoking marijuana, he found himself drinking more.  When he would travel for sports he would notice that eventually he would revert to the same substance abuse patterns. 

 

[13:10] Did you experience a rock bottom moment?

Most recently, a few days before his quite date.  He went to a bar with the intention of only having a few drinks but ended up staying the entire night, consuming many drinks and then driving home afterward.  He feels that one can’t quit until the subconscious figures out there is a problem.  He needed to re-evaluate his relationship with alcohol.  He started with a 30 day sobriety challenge.  He recorded a video of himself to help remind him of why he was quitting.  He watched a lot of sobriety videos on YouTube. 

 

[21:30] Did you follow a program for your 30 day sobriety challenge?

Yes, he followed a program from James Swanick.  He sets a daily reminder to help keep him grateful and motivated. 

 

[27:27] Elaborate more about the idea that sobriety has to be a choice for a better life.

Make sure that you don’t just stay home.  Don’t deprive yourself of pleasures.  You need the brain to realize that it can be sober if all sets of circumstances.  He went to a hypnotherapist.  He convinced him that everything had to be a conscious choice, and that there were choices happening in his life that he didn’t consider.  He had to switch the words from “have to“ to “choose to”. 

 

[32:06]  Have you had any cravings or challenges in early sobriety?

He keeps listening to podcasts.  He is doubling down on what is working.  He is reminded of his gratitude and how much energy he has.  He hasn’t experienced any cravings.  His toughest moment was during a doubt of depression caused by a relapse dream.  He reached out to the Cafe RE community and got support right away.  Just talking about helped him a lot.  Cravings are normal and just talking about them will make them go away. 

 

[35:26] What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?

He wants to execute his business ideas.  He wants to share his story.  He wants to help other people quit alcohol and drugs.  He loves traveling and sports.  Sobriety gives him the energy and emotional intelligence to reach his full potential.  

 

[36:48] What have you learned about yourself in the past 30 days?

Being vulnerable is being courageous.  He has tried to act tough in the past and now he realizes that reaching out and asking for help is the better path to take.  This is what true courage is about. 

 

[38:25] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    Just waking up so feeling so terrible and realizing that he could have lost everything. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    On his first day of sobriety, recording a video of why he wanted to quit, and the emotional outpouring that came with it. 
     
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    Keep doing what’s working.  He tries to keep his thinking positive so he doesn’t look for something to help him cope with the pain that comes with negativity.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    Cafe RE.  He enjoys connecting with the community.  Also sobriety videos on YouTube. 
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    To not associate with the word “alcoholic”.  He preferred to say that he was a sober person with a drinking problem.  He’s still understanding that he has an issue but it helps point him in the right direction. 

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

    Rewire your subconscious.  Also stack your resources.  Don’t put all of your sobriety eggs in one resource basket.  Create accountability. 
  7. You might be an alcoholic if

    ...it’s Sunday night and you have consumed 14 beers.  You talk to your mother on the phone and she can’t tell that you’ve been drinking.” 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

30 Day No Alcohol Challenge - a 30 day sobriety challenge by James Swanick
Beyond the Influence - a book by Katherine Ketcham
Connect with Cafe RE
- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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!”

 

Dec 17, 2018

Walter, with 2½ years since his last drink, shares his story…

The Cure to Addiction…

Is it possible?  Are we close to a cure?  No.  AA was founded in 1935, and since then we still don’t know what causes it or how to treat it.  A holistic cure will attack/treat the root causes.  

The Rat Park experiment by Bruce Alexander points to the conclusion that the causes of addiction are social and environmental, rather than genetics or chemical dependency.  In the study, the addictive tendencies were eliminated when the stress was reduced and the environment changed. 

Johann Hari’s Ted Talk says that the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety, it’s connection.  Addiction is not about the pleasurable effects of substances, rather it is a symptom of the user’s inability to form deep connections with other human beings. 

The phenomena that is addiction will likely die out in a global community whose only borders are the sky. 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[16:19] Paul Introduces Walter.

Walter is 47 years old, in Waco, TX.  He’s been sober for over two years.  He works in real estate.  He is divorced and has a son.  He likes hiking, movies and reading.  He feels more present with his son now that he is sober.  His son had just turned 3 when his wife left. 

 

[19:22] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

He came from an alcoholic family.  Both his dad and uncle both died from alcoholism.  His mom got sober when he was 15, right around the time he started to drink.  He was a binge drinker.  He went to a party school in Colorado.  He moved back in with his parents and began to drink alone.  He drank his way through his 20’s.  In his 30’s, he married his drinking partner.  They had a child.  She didn’t want to be a mom.  He wanted to clean up.  They split.  The first 90 days were tough.  He also quit smoking.  He relapsed but hasn’t relapsed since then.  He is now serious about sobriety.  He’s active in AA.  He just went to Peru with Cafe RE. 

 

[25:15] At what point did your drinking partner relationship turn? 

They were a rebound relationship.  They had a lot in common.  She was a great adventure partner.  They had a similar relationship with alcohol.  They helped each other hide drinking from other people.  He feels the presence of his son saved his life. 

 

[29:40] Did you try to moderate?  Did you experience a rock bottom moment?

He definitely tried to moderate.  He always knew about recovery because of his mom.  When he drank at a friend’s house he woke up and realized he had a problem.  He and his wife got divorced.  They made it painless, and were both fair.  They focused on their son and his needs.  He’s glad he didn’t stay married to another alcoholic. 

 

[34:11] How did you know that this time would be different?

Every previous time before this one, sobering up in a jail or spending time in a hospital, he always thought it was bad luck.  He still felt in control.  At first he went to AlAnon because he thought his wife was the one with the problem, then he realized that he was also an alcoholic.  He came out to his mother and spilled everything to her.  He needed to tell people he was an alcoholic. 

 

[37:45] What did early recovery look like for you?

He didn’t know of any other options other than AA, so he jumped in pretty quickly.  He started to work the program, and he feels lucky that he has met some great people.  Reconnecting with men in sobriety has been good.  He has found hope and resilience. 

 

[40:49] What was the Peru trip like for you?

It was an awesome opportunity on so many levels.  He didn’t really know most people when he arrived.  He got to know everyone there a little bit at a time.  It was not an easy hike but it was worth the trip. 

 

[45:48] What is your recovery like after 2 years?

He is addressing his underlying fears that lead him to drinking.  His feelings of not being good enough or not being loved.  He still deals with a negative inner dialogue.  He feels more self aware.  His interactions with people have changed.  He used to live for comedic validation.  He’s more accepting of himself and the present moment. 

 

 

[50:50] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    Waking up in jail on his 5th wedding anniversary. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    drawing a blank
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    Keep taking it one day at a time.  Keep doing what’s working.  Keep looking for opportunities to be present for people. 
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    AA, and sober traveling.  He loves meeting like minded people. 
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    Focus on what you can control.  Accept what you can’t.  Know the difference. 
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    It’s ok, just keep trying.  When you’re ready, it will happen.  You don’t have to hit bottom first. 
  7. You might be an alcoholic if

    “...if you get arrested on your 5th wedding anniversary.”  “...if you’re using a fake ID to buy booze so you can drink by yourself before you’ve turned 21.” 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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!”

 

Dec 10, 2018

Asaph, with over 6 weeks since his last drink, shares his story…

A link to the mentioned Russell Brand podcast episode with Gabor Maté. 

Gratitude, what is it good for?... everything. 

Gratitude is a topic that needs to be continually covered in recovery.  It’s a box in recovery that will never be checked, because it is ongoing. 

How do we create a mindset of appreciation?  Apply some conscious attention to the things in your life that are there for you, whether it be people, or your left elbow.  Don’t take things or people for granted.  Remove or avoid the sources of negativity in your life. 

Gratitude is good for our brains.  It positively stimulates the hypothalamus.  We can’t function without grace.  We are wired to be a grateful species. 

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things in our lives, but what about the not so good times?  Gratitude can help us get through life’s challenges.  In fact, we can even become thankful for them.  Challenges and obstacles become our teachers and often send us on paths we wouldn’t always go down on our own. 

We can, and must, find joy in everything. 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:58] Paul Introduces Asaph.

Asaph is 37 years old from Windsor, Ontario.  Sober for over 6 weeks.   He was raised in a cult called “The Children of God”.  He lived in India, and had 5 children.  He and the wife split, and that’s when he began to drink heavily.  He’s a waiter, though he pursues art as a professional career. 

 

 

[16:15] Give us a little background about your drinking.

He began to hit the bottle hard when his marriage fell apart.  He was around age 31 when he had his first drink.  He left the cult around 28.  He remembers alcohol being a guide, allowing him to be himself.  When he explored recovery, he learned that he had a lot in common with other people.  He tried to moderate, etc.  He would black out and swear that he would never drink again.  He found himself going against his word. 

 

[23:13] Did you experience a rock bottom moment?

He feels that he had many.  He realized that rock bottom was a moment when one decides that enough is enough. 

 

[25:20] How did you finally end up quitting?

His sister helped him sign up for rehab.  She convinced him that he had a problem.  He had many relapses.  He realizes that he can learn from them. 

 

[30:30] What are some of the lessons you have learned in relapse?

We need one person to be 100% vulnerable and honest with.  He needed to get out of his own head a bit.  He finds it spreads into other relationships as well. 

 

[32:45] What is a typical day in your recovery look like?

He listens to recovery podcasts.  He enjoys Cafe RE.  He recognizes when he wants to feel isolated. His default setting is alone.  He needs human contact to keep a more positive perspective. 

 

[35:51] Have you figured out why you drank?

It was his default coping mechanism for everything.

 

[37:10] What have you learned about yourself in recovery?

His recovery is directly connected to his entering the public world.  Drinking became the way he discovered the outside world.  He wants to get his business up and running.  He feels like he can do anything that he puts his mind to. 

 

[39:40] Have you had any cravings and what do you if they appear?

He believes cravings don’t last more than 20 minutes.  They used to paralyze him because he thought they were forever. 

 

 

[40:50] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    Woke up half drunk and he knew that he was powerless to a bottle of vodka by his bed.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    When he lost his driver’s license.  He looked back in hindsight and he realized that something worse could have happened.  The moment was gradual. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    He will continue to do what works.  He uses Cafe RE.  He wants to surround himself with people and books that continue to inspire him. 
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    A million little pieces by James Grace.  Black Castle.  My Fair Junkie. 
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    The idea that you can put the shovel down whenever you want to.
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    If you relate to a lot of the bullet points when you google what a alcoholism is like, you probably have a drinking problem. 
  7. You might be an alcoholic if

    .. you are drinking in the middle of the night because you feel you can’t go without it.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android
Russell Brand Podcast - the mentioned episode with Gabor Maté

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!”

 

Dec 3, 2018

Patrick, with 10 years 2 months since his last drink, shares his story.

SHOW NOTES

[10:50] Paul introduces Patrick

Patrick is 37 years old, and is from Brooklyn, New York.  He’s been sober since August 23, 2008.  He is married and has no children.  He works as a stand up comedian, recovery coach, and a video editor.  He likes to try to squeeze in a good meal between shows, visit friends, and snowboard.  He would like to get better at rollerblading.

[14:08] Give us a little background about your drinking habits

He did not drink until his freshman year in college, because he has a family history of alcohol abuse.  When he tried alcohol for the first time, he loved the way it made him feel.  Alcohol became problematic within his first year of drinking.  When he was drunk, he became unpredictable: he was the guy who took off his clothes and climbed buildings.  Despite getting warnings from counselors, he continued to drink for the next 8 years.

[30:40]  What finally made you make that decision to go into sobriety?

While at a baseball game, he told his friends that he wasn’t going to drink.  His buddy said, “but you can have just one,” and Patrick said, “of course I can have just one.”  6 hours later, he was ejected from a bar for being too intoxicated.  The next morning, his girlfriend told him that he had to move out.  That became his sobriety date.

[41:00]  In the last 10 years, have you noticed any cross addicitions?

He definitely needs to look out for working too much and not eating in a healthy way.  When stressed, he turns to ice cream.  He’s realized that since he was a kid, he’s tried to change how he feels on the inside by using things on the outside.

[44:10] Is there something that you have done differently while getting sober?

He would have gone to 12 step meetings immediately.  Learning the idea of doing the next right action sooner.

[ 48:48 ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

The trip to Italy when he became “a monster” and his girlfriend threatened to leave early.

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

He was moving out of an apartment a few years before he got sober, and he realized that no one, neighbors, roommates was unhappy that he was leaving

  1. What’s your plan moving forward?

Staying true to sharing his story through his comedy

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

 

The phone.  Calling other sober people and being available.

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

Show up with integrity.

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

If you’re going through hell, just keep going.  This too, shall pass.

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

If you’re doing “sober October” for the 10th year in a row, and you rarely get through a few days of it, you might be an alcoholic.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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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