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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: February, 2019
Feb 25, 2019

Juan, with a sobriety date of May 29, 2018, shares his story.

Congratulations to Kirk S. in Florida for hitting 1 year of sobriety. 

This Friday, March 1st, registration for the Recovery Elevator Retreat in Bozeman goes live.  Space is limited for this retreat.  You can find more information about events here

After the interview with Juan, Paul will discuss detoxing from alcohol and how dangerous it can be. 

Paul talks about cravings.  What they are, what they represent, and what to do when we experience them.  Also, are all cravings the same?  In simple form, a craving is a desire to regulate our inner state with an external substance or behavior.   

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:25] Paul Introduces Bill.

 

Juan, with a sobriety date of May 29, 2018, is 32 years old and is from Los Angeles, CA.   He is a personal assistant, and single.  For fun Juan likes to play music (he is in a band), go to the movies, hike, workout.   

 

[10:25] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Juan started drinking at the age of 19 to ‘fit in’.  He had recently come out as a gay man and drinking helped him feel more confident and comfortable in his own skin.  Touring with his band all over the country and world, drinking was the way he got rid of his performance anxiety.  Around age 25 things started to get messy.  Towards the end of his drinking his anxiety was through the roof.  

 

[13:25] Tell us more about your anxiety.   

 

At first drinking would calm his anxiety, but once he ‘went over the threshold’ he would start to get paranoid.  The worst part was the fear he would have when waking up in the morning.  His self-esteem was at an all time low.  In May of 2017 Juan hit this internal rock bottom, got into a horrible physical altercation with a friend and knew something had to change.     

 

[18:35] Walk us through what happened after May 27, 2107.    

 

He went through a ‘dry drunk’ stage.  He just stopped drinking, started avoiding going out, avoiding certain people and situations.  It wasn’t easy and he was not feeling the benefits right away.  He felt like he was on a diet and depriving himself.  He did this for about 4 months and then felt like his relationship with alcohol had changed, and he decided to drink again.  By his birthday in February his drinking was back to where it was when he quit.       

 

[22:15] Continue from where you are back to drinking and your anxiety is back.   

 

On May 28, 2018 he decided to try sobriety again.  This time he would do it differently.  He started to read books and watch movies about alcoholism.  After about a month and a half, and at a friend’s suggestion, he went to his first AA meeting.  Although he was nervous and uncomfortable, he immediately felt like he found what he needed.  He got a sponsor and attends about 4 meetings a week. 

 

[25:20] Tell us about your first AA meeting.    

 

His first meeting was very small and intimate.  It was a lot to take in and he left thinking he would go back, but still feeling confused.   He continued going once a week for a while, ducking in and out, until it felt more comfortable. 

 

[26:40] What advice do have for someone that is saying there is no way they could go to AA? 

 

If you are open and ready AA can work for you. 

 

[29:10] Walk us through a typical day in your recovery.

 

Juan wakes up earlier, prays, makes a gratitude list, goes to work, 4 evenings a week he catches an AA meeting.  Everyday in sobriety is different but he tries to something of service for someone every day.  He always tries to keep connection with someone throughout the day. 

 

[31:40] What has been the biggest hurdle you have had to overcome in the past 7 ½ months?

 

It has been in just that last few weeks, he is transitioning out of his job that he has had the 9 years.  It’s the first time in 9 years he is unsure about where he will be working.  Although it is a scary time for Juan, he feels a lot calmer than he thought he would and is taking it one day at a time.  He doesn’t think he would’ve been able to handle this situation before sobriety. 

 

[35:05] What was harder, coming out of the closet as a gay man, or coming out of the closet as an alcoholic?

 

Definitely coming out of the closet as an alcoholic. 

 

[37:15] What is it like playing music and being on stage in sobriety? 

 

At first it was difficult because of stage fright.  But now being nervous and being in the moment is a good thing. 

 

[40:08] What have you learned about yourself in this journey?

 

He is more confident and enjoys people more. 

 

[41:15] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What is your favorite guitar rift to play?

 

The intro rift in Smashing Pumpkin’s - Today

 

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

The fight he got into with his friend.    

 

  1. Did you have an ‘oh-shit’ moment?

 

Coming home with friends in an Uber and feeling so alone and desperate. 

 

  1. What is your plane moving forward?

 

Continuing with his step work, finding new sober friends and hopefully finding a whole new career.   

 

  1. What is your favorite resource in recovery?

 

AA is the go-to for me. 

 

  1. Regarding sobriety, what is the best advice you have ever received?

 

Letting go of control. 

 

  1. What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

 

Contrary action, doing what you don’t want to do. 

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

 

Your bandmates on tour lock you in a basement because you are that out of control and everyone is scared of you. 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside.”

Feb 18, 2019

Bill, with a sobriety date of October 8, 2018, shares her story.

We want to thank Mike Noll for his commitment to doing the podcast show notes for the previous 35 episodes and welcome Kerri, from California, to the position, who will take over doing the next 26 episodes.    

We still have a couple spots left for our Nashville event coming up this February 22 – 24.  Registration for Bozeman Retreat will open up on March 1, and registration for our Asia Adventure will open up on July 1.  You can find more information about events here

Paul shares the news he is writing a book, which he hopes to launch by July 1.  As that date gets closer, he will be asking for volunteers to be part of the launch team so be on the lookout for that opportunity if that is something you would like to be a part of.

After doing something long enough some trends start to appear.  In Ep. 52, after 1 year of podcasting, Paul did a summery of what he learned during the 1st year.  In this episode he will cover the 4 themes that people successful in sobriety have fully embraced. 

  1. Community
  2. Accountability
  3. Thinking
  4. Trust

 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:15] Paul Introduces Bill.

 

Bill, with a sobriety date of October 8, 2018, is 49 years old and is from northern New Jersey.   He does investment research for an insurance company.  Bill has been married for a little over 20 years and has two kids.  Bill finds fun in outdoor activities such as camping and fishing.   

 

[12:56] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Bill started drinking at an early age and drank all throughout college and through his 20s.  He got married, finished grad school, their daughter was born, and things seemed fine.  Although he was drinking during this time there was nothing significant that made him feel as if he had an alcohol problem.  His son was born in 2005 and there were complications.  They soon realized his son was not meeting his milestones or developing like their daughter had. When his son was 14/15 mos. old, after watching a Home Improvement episode about a family with 4 autistic children, they just knew what their son’s problem was. The day that the doctor confirmed their fears is the day that Tom feels he became an alcoholic.  That was in 2006 and when the progression started.  

 

[18:53] When did you decide you needed to evaluate your alcohol consumption?

 

Things started to unravel for Bill in April of 2017.  After a mini-breakdown and a call to a sister, who called their father, an intervention was set up.  He started seeing a counselor who was the only person he was honest with, including himself.  At this time, he was not drinking, but white knuckling it.   By May he was drinking again.  He tried moderation and no matter what he tried it always failed. 

 

Fast forward to October 8, 2018, at the gym Bill pulls up podcasts, types in alcohol addiction and finds the RE podcast for the first time. 

 

[29:30] When did you finally get honest with yourself?    

 

The point of surrender was driving home the evening of Sunday, October 7th.  He finally said he had had enough. 

 

[32:34] Who are the first 3 people you ”burned the ships” with?

 

The first person he told was his best friend.   The second person he told was his cousin, who actually confronted him about his drinking.  The third person was the most difficult.  That was his wife and that was just two weeks ago. 

 

[38:36] Back to October 8, what were the things you put in place to get you to 90 days? 

 

The first few weeks he broke his days into 3 parts, the mornings, the afternoons, and the evenings.  All he was wanting to do was make it through the day to make it to bed.  The biggest differentiator is instead of pushing the cravings away he acknowledges them.  

 

[43:00] Talk to us about the progress you have made in accepting your son for who he is. 

 

He has gone from the feelings knowing that his son wasn’t going to be the baseball star to now recognizing the potential he does have.  His son has made great strides.  He tries to live in the present and not look too far into the future and celebrates his son’s accomplishments daily. 

 

 

[46:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

When his daughter wanted to watch the first Star Wars with him one Sunday night and he drank so many Vodka Cranberries during the day that he got violently ill after the 1st five minutes of the movie. 

 

  1. Did you have an “Ah-Ha” moment?

 

The mini-breakdown I had in April 2017. 

 

  1. What is your plan moving forward?

 

Reminding myself that I need to make progress each week and I can’t be complacent. 

 

  1. What is your favorite resource in recovery?

 

Recovery Elevator podcasts.

 

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

 

Burn the ships. 

 

  1. What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

 

Alcohol is but a symptom. 

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

 

Your 14 year old daughter says to you, at 10:45 in the morning, “Hey Dad, aren’t ya hitting the bottle a little too early?”, and you simply ignore her and walk away with the glass of wine in your hand. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

 

You can find more information about these events here

 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Blinkist
This episode is brought to you in support by Blinkist. Right now, my listeners can try Blinkist for free. Visit blinkist.com/elevator for your seven day free trial. 

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

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside.”

 

Feb 11, 2019

Crystal, with 84 days of sobriety, shares her story.

This is a special podcast episode!  It marks 4 consecutive years of podcasting…208 straight Mondays in a row. 

Paul talks about how Recovery Elevator and the RE community has saved his life, and shares ways we can all help others stop drinking.

 

SHOW NOTES

[11:00] Paul Introduces Crystal.

Crystal has been sober for 84 days and lives in San Antonio, Texas.  She is a life style/transformation coach.  She is 30 years old and recently single.  For fun Crystal likes to workout.    

 

[12:56] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Crystal considered herself a binge drinker.  She tried to moderate her drinking by only drinking on the weekends, as her drinking was starting to affect her work and relationships, but that led to going hard core on the weekends. 

 

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

 

That was a couple of years ago when she realized she didn’t drink like other people.  She always wanted more to drink, always wanting to be buzzed or drunk.  One drink was never enough.  It was in 2018 that she realized that she really had to make a change.    

 

[19:38] You started your sobriety journey in January 2018, walk us through that. 

 

She became sober curious in January 2018, but feels like it didn’t stick at that time because she wasn’t doing it entirely for herself.  She was sober for a few months but eventually lost her “why” and fell back into her old habits.  There was a moment in 2018 that she felt like she had no control and that was a scary moment for her. 

 

[21:33] Do you feel like there were times in the last year that you were running on willpower alone?    

 

She definitely thinks it was on willpower alone and was trying to do it on her own.  

 

[24:04]  You mentioned when you first got sober you didn’t think of it in terms of being sober the rest of your life, talk about that. 

 

She thought it was going to only be a temporary thing and that she would learn how to moderate it.  She realized that she couldn’t moderate it, that only having a one or two drinks would never be enough. 

 

[26:13]  What did you change 84 days ago?

 

The first couple weeks were difficult for her.  She got connected with friends at church and let her family know.  She shifted her focus and became really honest with herself. 

 

[30:11] What have you learned about yourself in these last 87 days?

 

She learned she could have a personality without being drunk.  She learned that she could have fun and accomplish a lot more without being drunk. 

 

[31:48]  Why do you think you drank?

 

She thinks she started drinking because it gave her liquid courage in the social scene and then it just turned into a habit.  She feels it was a coping mechanism this last year as she was dealing with her breakup. 

 

[33:43]  Walk us through a typical day in your sobriety. 

 

Working with her clients daily helps her as well.  Working out, meditating, staying in the Word, staying connected helps her on a daily basis. 

 

 

[39:20] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

The moment when she realized she could not control her drinking. 

 

  1. Tell us about a time when you could not control your drinking.

 

Just having the feeling that she couldn’t stop was definitely her A-ha moment that she realized that she needed to make a big change.

 

  1. What is it like being 30 and getting sober?

 

It’s a challenge but what she has found that helps her is connecting with other sober people. 

 

  1. What is your favorite resource in recovery?

 

The community aspect, podcasts like Recovery Elevator, filling my mind with positivity and being around like minded people. 

 

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

 

Being reminded that her feelings were valid, and so is her story. 

 

  1. What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

 

Stay connected, embrace the journey, and know that there are going to be good days and bad days.  Know that being sober is not weird. 

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You’re downloading multiple sobriety trackers trying to decide which one works best for you. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

 

You can find more information about these events here

 

This episode is brought to you in support by Robinhood. Right now, Robinhood is giving my listeners free stock such as Apple, Ford or Sprint to help build your portfolio. Signup at elevator.robinhood.com

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Robinhood
This episode is brought to you in support by Robinhood. Right now, Robinhood is giving my listeners free stock such as Apple, Ford or Sprint to help build your portfolio. Signup at elevator.robinhood.com

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

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside.”

 

Feb 4, 2019

Tom, with a sobriety date of June 6, 2018, shares his story.

Events – I am excited about the upcoming events for Recovery Elevator.  As already mentioned on the podcast we have Nashville on Saturday, February 23rd.  We also have the Bozeman Retreat from Aug 14-18th.  The Bozeman Retreat was a huge hit in 2017 and it is back on the calendar for this year.

Guys, what I am particularly excited about these days is sober travel.  We are putting together the sober travel itineraries and the next one we are doing is an Asia trip in late January 2020.  This will be a 12 day trip, flying into Bangkok, Thailand and then making our way over to Siem Reap, Cambodia where we will make our departure.  Experiencing the culture, service work, and recovery workshops will all be a part of this trip. 

You can find more information about all these events at recoveryelevator.com/events. 

We’ve all heard of FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out.  Today I want to talk to you about JOMO – the Joy Of Missing Out.  The Joy Of Missing Out is the emotionally intelligent antidote to FOMO, and is essentially about being present and content where you are at this moment in life.  Instead of constantly trying to keep up with the Jones’, JOMO allows us to be who we are in the present moment, which is the secret to finding happiness.

At the end of the episode I have a bunch of ”You might be an alcoholic if…” lines.  Listeners I would love to hear your own “You might be an alcoholic if” lines.  Email them to info@recoveryelevator.com and put YMBAAI in the subject line. 

SHOW NOTES

[6:55] Paul Introduces Tom.

Tom, who considered himself a high-functioning alcoholic, is 50 years old, lives in Seattle, Washington, and has a sobriety date of 6/4/18.  He is married, has two children, and a pug named Violet.  He works in the high tech field. 

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

He had his first drink when he was 14, and although he didn’t really like it his friends were doing it, so he kept doing it.  Drank a lot in high school, it was almost like a sport.  The first 10-15 years he feels he was a regular drinker, that he could take it, or leave it.  He began binge drinking in college.  The last 20 years he was drinking every day, but didn’t think he had a problem. 

[16:50] When did you know that something was not right with your drinking?

That started about 2 years ago when he started getting numbness in his fingers, enough times that he went to the doctor about it.  The doctor asked him what his drinking was like.  About a year ago he had a major stressor in his life and the way he dealt with it was by drinking.  Up until that point he always thought he drank for relaxation. 

[24:30] Walk us through your early part of sobriety.

Tom says the first 4-5 were hard and talked about the drinking dreams he had.  He changed his whole routine and became what he called a "sobriety savage”.  He attends AA at least once a week but is not sure it is something he wants to continue to do for the rest of his life. 

[35:25] What have you learned most about yourself in these past 7 months?   

That you are never too far gone. 

[38:50] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

When he went on a church camping trip and he got so drunk that he packed up the family early and snuck away the next morning. 

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

 He had never told anyone this; about a year ago he went out driving at 3:00 AM and was driving in a manner that he was basically putting his life in God’s hands.  He spun out, the car stopped, and he finally came to his senses and balled like a baby.  

  1. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

Keep it simple.  Live in the moment.  Continue going to AA.  Really connect with people. 

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

His son telling him to go to AA. 

  1. What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

 Do what you need to do to keep yourself sober and keep yourself safe.  You don’t need to know everything at that moment.

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

You can’t recall which Netflix shows you have binged, or plan to binge, even as you are possibly watching them. 

 

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

 

 

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