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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: April, 2019
Apr 29, 2019

Sami, with a sobriety date of July 21, 2018, shares her story.

 

On today’s podcast Paul discuses surrender.  What does is really mean to reach a point of surrendering?  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  Surrendering simply means yielding to your next stage in life.  As Paul mentioned on a previous podcast, addictions are no more than sign posts in life, and surrender is when we fully accept them and make, what is most likely to be the most important change in our life, quitting alcohol. 

 

Once we reach that moment when we realize that there are no more ways to moderate, when we clearly see that any attempt at moderation results in a dumpster fire, we usually find ourselves saying things like; f*ck it, I quit, I’m done, or I can’t do this anymore.  If you’ve ever muttered those words then congratulations!  You’ve hit what Paul calls the ‘now what’ milestone, which is huge.  This is when we enter into a moment of clarity and surrender. 

 

Surrendering is not a one and done thing.  Surrendering is something you will repeatedly do as you continue on your journey in sobriety.

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:35] Paul introduces Sami

 

Sami is 28 years old.  She lives in Prescott, Az.  She has a 9-year-old son, 2 wiener dogs, and a cat.  For fun Sami likes to hike/wander around the woods, do yoga and is into crystals. 

 

[13:00] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Sami says she comes from a whole family of alcoholics.  She had her first beer at the age of 14.  She remembers being jealous of her older brothers, at the age of 13, because they could party and she was too young.  During her teenage years she smoked pot more than she drank.  When Sami was 17 her mom, who had a drug problem, passed away.  At the age of 19 Sami got pregnant with her son. 

 

When Sami turned 21, she went out to the bars, got wasted, felt horrible the following day, and said she would not do that again.  And she didn’t, for about a year.  She split up with the father of her son, reconnected with a high school girlfriend, and started going out.  She says her drinking progressed from, ‘I’m not drinking alone.”, to bringing home beer to drink alone.  She tried to hide being an alcoholic behind liking craft beer. 

 

When her son started asking her how many beers she had had she realized that drinking may be an issue. 

 

[19:00] When your son started asking you that question did you stop and think…this might not be right?    

 

When he would ask her that she would get irritated. 

 

[19:55] What through the next couple years up until your sobriety date in July 2018. 

 

Eventually she was drinking every day, and also driving.   Drinking and driving with her son in the car.  April 14, 2014, she went to visit a girlfriend and they hung out by the pool drinking.  On her way home, swerving along the way, she pulled over to ask her son if he was OK.  He replied he was, she continued, and about a mile from home she saw the flashing lights in her rear-view mirror.  She was handcuffed, taken to jail.  Her dad came and picked her son up.  It was the worst night of her life…her rock-bottom.  

 

[25:40] Bring us up to July 21, 2018.   

 

She got her DUI and had a restricted driver’s license.  She still didn’t fully get it.  After the DUI and after drinking she asked a friend to go get her cigarettes and he got in an accident on the way.  She blamed herself for the accident…if she hadn’t been drinking, she would not have asked him to go.  This was her last drink.  

 

[28:55] Walk us through what happened after July 21, 2018.   

 

 Sami had to humble herself to ask for help getting herself to work and her son to school.  She had to get comfortable staying at home.  She started to learn more about alcohol and started to feel better 

 

 [32:15] Talk to us about how you got through the intense cravings in the early months. 

 

She had cravings but she learned that they are fleeting and that they would go away.  She started to realize that so many of the things she thought would not be enjoyable without alcohol were in fact more enjoyable.  

 

[35:25] How has your life changed without alcohol?

    

For the better.  She has more confidence and likes herself more.  She is a better mom and her relationship with her son is better. 

 

[37:45] What does a typical day in your sobriety look like? 

 

She wakes up, gets her son to school and herself to work.  Gets off work and goes home.  Goes to yoga some evenings.  She draws, reads and does a lot of art projects.  She stays away from things that may trigger her.  She surrounds herself with girls that are good for her sobriety.  She spends time with her family, who are also sober and understand. 

 

[40:24] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

  1. When was your oh-shit moment?

 

I would say it was Christmas 2017.  I drank a bottle of Jameson and got so wasted I don’t remember if my son had any fun. 

 

  1. What is you plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

I’m really excited about re-doing things that I have totally screwed up, like my son’s birthday.  Continuing my yoga practice and continuing finding myself. 

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in sobriety?

 

The Recovery Elevator podcast.  Tell Better Stories on Instagram. 

 

  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

One day at a time.  If you’re going to drink again, play the tape forward. 

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

 

If you wake up in the morning and half to ask your 8-year-old son, “what the hell happened last night?”. 

 

 

 

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-out.”

Apr 22, 2019

James, with a sobriety date of November 12, 2016, shares his story.

 

Recovery Elevator is on Instagram!  Please follow Paul and Ben here .

 

On today’s podcast Paul discuses relapse.  For some, and Paul has only met a few, relapse isn’t part of their story.  But for the vast majority it is, and it isn’t something to be ashamed of.  Spontaneous sobriety is rare.  Paul feels that the word ‘relapse’ is another word in recovery, similar to the word ‘alcoholic’, that needs to be thrown out.  The word ‘relapse’ has implications of failure. 

 

When we drink again, after having made the internal declaration not to, we are simply doing more field research, learning lessons along the way.  If you find yourself in a continuous cycle of field research, self-compassion is key.   Stop placing success and failure parameters on whether you drank last night or not.  When we start addressing what we are using alcohol to cover up than relapse will become less frequent and even a thing of the past. 

 

When you do find yourself on stable footing, beware of the 3 most dangerous words on this journey…I got this. 

 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

**Listeners you can listen to James’ first interview back on episode 105 when he had 74 days of sobriety, today he has 850 days. 

 

[8:05] Paul introduces James

 

James is 31 years old and lives in New Jersey with his wife and their pomsky, Milo.    He works in Manhattan.  For fun he likes to golf, go to the gym, and hang with his wife and pup.     

 

[10:50] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

James started drinking when he was 13, stealing beers and wine coolers from the liquor cabinet.  In high school he was not a big drinker, although he remembers how drinking helped make him feel comfortable. 

 

He started college, on a golf scholarship, became good friends with one of his teammates that was a Christian, started going to bible study and church and didn’t drink his entire freshman year.   Later, one of his teammates from England, was graduating so they threw a party and James drank.  He picked up right where he left off and the next three years of college he was binge drinking and dabbled in drugs. 

 

The spring semester of his senior year his coach called him in to his office and told him not to come to practice anymore, that he was coming in smelling like liquor and bringing the rest of the team down.  This was the first time that he realized his drinking was affecting other people. 

 

[13:44] Can you tell us what it felt like to have someone on the outside call you out on your drinking. 

 

Immediately James was embarrassed and ashamed.  He walked out of the office feeling sad and like he had let everyone down.  He was able to curb his drinking enough to not be a burden and make it through the last 3 months playing golf. 

 

2010 James was in Barcelona, caddying at a nice country club, the 2nd day he caddied he met a man that offered him a job which he took a week later.  This was the beginning of the end.  From the time he graduated at 21 years old to 28 years old, when he got sober, it was a quick progression of drugs and alcohol.  In the span of 5 years James lost his Grandfather, his uncle and his Dad.  Instead of dealing with the losses he used alcohol and drugs. 

 

At 27 he was arrested for possession of cocaine, theft, and disturbing the peace.  This leads to an intervention by his family and his Mom gives him the option to go to rehab or see a therapist.  He picked the therapist.  He went through a number of therapists and his girlfriend of 2 years left him during this time.    

 

[22:40] What did it feel like that moment when you told yourself you were done. 

 

He immediately felt a sense of relief.  He reached out to a friend from college, that he used to party with, but from his posts on Facebook knew that he had gotten sober.  At this time neither his family, or his girlfriend, would talk to him.  He went to see his friend from college the next day.  Talking to him helped, and he also started 12 weeks of IOP.  Everyday he would ask himself, is this going to honor my father.  He knew he had to make some changes and he firmly believes his father died to save his life. 

 

[24:45] Once you surrendered, how did you make it one week, one month, how did you do it?

 

One day at a time.  James says he was never a half-in guy, so once he decided to get sober, he dove in.  He found the RE podcast, started reading a lot, went to AA, and was going to IOP and therapy 3 times a week.  Very early he burned the ships with everyone, which he says was very therapeutic.  He could finally breath and no longer had all the guilt and the shame. 

 

[28:00] What was the transition from drinking/partying like you did, to the clean and sober life, like?   

 

James said it was hard, but that it was almost like he was going back to the person he was the whole time, and it was a relief.  In the last 6 months he shifted from playing the victim and feels he is becoming exactly who he is supposed to be. 

 

[33:05] Talk to us about your year 1 and year 2 and the differences between the two.      

 

James says he definitely had the classic pink cloud and felt great.  At the end of year 1 he started to struggle a bit but after he hit the year mark, he felt rejuvenated.   He booked the trip to Peru with Café RE and between months 13-15 things took another turn.  Things felt dark and he was asking himself if this was what he got sober for.  It was then he had a conversation with a friend, and with Paul, about ayahuasca and stayed in Peru to attend a ceremony.  James says it wasn’t a magic bullet but that ayahuasca, hiking Machu Picchu, and getting married in October, is what changed his attitude about everything. 

 

[35:15] On a group chat we were on you said one of the lessons you learned was that you no longer have to be the biggest guy in the room, talk to us about that.    

The first night, of the first ceremony he did, there was a gentleman there from New Zealand who was bigger than James.  (Who is 6’3” and 220 pounds, which he had always identified himself by.)  During the ceremony James was weeping and this gentleman came up behind him, put his arms around him, held him like a baby, and told him to just let it all out.  It was at this time he let go of feeling like always had to me the biggest guy in the room.  He was supposed to do 3 ceremonies but after the first one he told the shaman that he had gotten what he needed and didn’t do the remaining 2. 

 

[39:30] Talk to us about Cardamone Coaching.

 

Even as a kid James knew he wanted to help people.  Wanting to become a recovery coach was something he discussed with Paul while in Peru.  He realized fear was what was holding him back and that that was all bullshit, so he got certified to be a recovery coach.  His goal is to help people in recovery by using his own experience. 

James’ coaching website is: https://www.cardamonecoaching.com/ .

 

[45:06] I saw your registration come in for the Bozeman retreat, what are you looking forward to at this retreat?

 

Going back to Bozeman, it’s a change of pace from New York City.  Seeing some of the same people and meeting new people.   The retreats have changed James’ life.  

 

[47:25] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

  1. What is you plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

Continue doing what I’m doing, stay the course, one day at a time, and helping people. 

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in sobriety?

 

Reading, I must have read 35 books in the last 2 ½ years, reading has really opened me up to different things. 

 

  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

It gets better and you never have to feel this way again if you don’t pick up a drink or a drug. 

 

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

 

You are good enough

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

 

If you get arrested outside of a nightclub with drugs in your pocket, a stolen credit card and no shoes on. 

 

 

 

 

You can sign up for a FREE 5-day Recovery Elevator video course here

 

 

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:

Babbel
This episode is brought to you by the language learning app Babbel and right now, my listeners can try Babbel for free. Download the app, or text Elevator to 48-48-48
 
Green Chef
For $50 off your first order, go to www.greenchef.us/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

 

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

Apr 15, 2019

Brad, with a sobriety date of August 31, 2018, shares his story.

Paul talks about the ‘now’ and ways we can ground ourselves while we find ourselves taking this thing one day at a time.  At some period in our journey we will find ourselves logging our days in our tracker like it ‘ain’t no thing’.  Then there are other days when we wake up and keeping the mind in check can be a constant struggle.   Paul shares some of his own favorite personal techniques that he uses to ground himself. 

  • Acknowledge what is really happening.
  • Think in terms of “we” rather than “I”
  • Take your shoes off and walk barefooted outside.
  • You are nature…take time to go out in your natural setting, nature.
  • Slow down.
  • Do not multitask
  • Pay close attention to the body
  • Go from saying, “I can get through this’, to saying, “I AM getting through this”.
  • Go with the gut.
  • Last one is I tell myself “Dude, Paul…this isn’t you!”

If you have a grounding technique that you use, that isn’t listed here, email it to Paul and put “Grounding Techniques” in the subject line. 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:10]  Paul introduces Brad

 

Brad is 31 years old and is from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He is a traveling salesperson and sells health care products to providers.  He is married and has a daughter.  For fun he likes to golf and recently has joined a kick boxing gym.  

 

[14:15] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Brad was a good kid all through high school.  At 17 he had a job as a barback where he learned a lot about alcohol.  He was pretty much alcohol free all through college.  When he was 20 years old he went to England and that is when he started to drink, not having too many sober days while there. 

 

Later, at 21 years old, he is back in the states working as a resident assistant and is spending as much time as he can at the bar.  Later he moved back home into his parent’s basement and was sneaking off to the bars, rather than spending time with them, as much as he could.  This is where he met his wife.   

 

They got married and, on their honeymoon, because he had had so much to drink, he almost drowned himself.  He continued to drink the duration of the honeymoon.  Fast forward to his wife being pregnant with their daughter, a lot of changes taking place in their relationship and he is no longer the focus of it. 

 

After his daughter was born, he was laid off from his job.  He spent a lot of his nights, while helping care for his daughter, drinking heavily.  In January of 2018 his grandfather committed suicide.  Brad found another job and then there was a spiral from June to August, 2018.  August 31, 2018, he got pulled over for drunk driving.  He hit his bottom in a jail cell.  The next day his dad took him to his first AA meeting.  After appearing in front of a judge he his charges where dropped. 

 

[19:40] Talk to us about a couple moments where the writing was on the wall (before your sobriety date).

 

He missed a flight home because he was drinking in the airport bar.  Spending too much time drinking after golf. 

 

[23:15] Did you ever try and quit before your sobriety date?

 

He tried to moderate, but never felt that the problem was great enough to quit. 

 

[26:25] Walk us through the 3 options you gave yourself after your DUI.

 

Laying on the cot in jail, after just calling his wife who was driving all over Fort Wayne looking for him, he realized he had 3 options.  He could run, he could figure out his life was meaningless, or he could get help.  So he picked getting help.  Getting to a meeting the next day and, if his wife didn’t divorce him, he could live in his parent’s guest bedroom until they figure it out.  For 2 months after that he was going to AA meetings every day, making living amends to his wife every day, and going to work.  On day 4 he found the Recovery Elevator podcast. 

 

[31:25] Talk to us about burning the ships with your mom, dad, and wife. 

 

His wife was pissed, his parents were in shock.  He told them how he missed flights because of drinking, and how he needed to have a drink to help him sleep.  His parents were in tears, but supportive.  His wife told him that if he ever drank again, she was taking their daughter and would be gone.

   

[33:37] How did it feel when you let your parents and your wife know what’s going on with you?    

 

A small weight was lifted, but there was an extreme sense of guilt.  It felt freeing but he also knew he had a lot of work to do. 

 

[34:45] Talk to us how the charges were dropped and then the bomb you got about the charges on January 31, 2019. 

 

He appeared in court, expecting the worst, and was told ‘case dismissed’.  That was not one of the options he was prepared for.  His attorney told him to go live his life.  His new life was to not touch alcohol, continue with his sobriety and his meetings, and that’s what he did.  Sometime later he got a call from a friend, who is an attorney, that infored him that his case was back up.  His case had been refiled.  He was booked, back in and out of jail, sober this time.  He was ready to accept responsibility.  He called his employer and told them that he may need something to ‘blow into’ so he can drive.  He realized that he may lose his job over this.  He was fighting and was doing it sober. 

 

[39:26] I feel like this is going to be a good thing for you Brad, how do feel about it?

 

Brad agrees.  It has made him live day to day.  It has made him mad at alcohol.  He has stopped focusing on himself and more on his wife.  It has helped him get through his 4th and 5th step. 

 

[41:45] How did you get and stay sober?

 

He did a lot of candy eating.  He did his best at doing the 90 AA meetings in 90 days.  He tried not to put any pressure on his wife to forgive him.  He tried to show what he wanted through his actions and not his words.  He goes to a therapist/marriage counselor.     

 

[43:47] What do you feel you were using alcohol to cover up?

 

He says he’s awkward and that there was some abuse growing up.  Possibly some depression.  Mostly it was just to find connections with other people.    

 

[47:50] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

  1. When was your ah-ha moment?

 

When I was in an airport boozing with a pilot. 

 

  1. What have you learned about yourself on this journey?

 

That it is OK to ask for help and OK to be vulnerable. 

 

  1. What is you plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

I want to be a resource to help people. 

 

  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

Stop kicking your own butt. 

 

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

 

Never be afraid to reach out, you are never alone. 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

 

If you switch from Maker’s Mark to vodka on the back nine because you think you play better with vodka in your system than whiskey.   

 

 

 

 

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:

 

 
This episode is brought to you by the language learning app Babbel and right now, my listeners can try Babbel for free. Download the app, or text Elevator to 48-48-48

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

 

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

Apr 8, 2019

Libby, with 112 days of sobriety, shares her story.

Paul talks about a trend he noticed in the airport bookstore.  Amongst the ’20 best sellers’ there were several books with clear, unambiguous titles.  Our society is collectively starting to wake up and are looking for ways to unf*ck ourselves.  He says that all of these books, including the one he is currently writing, are not fulfilling a trend or a niche, but that it’s a movement. 

https://newrepublic.com/article/153153/age-anxiety

Paul recently read an article titled the Age of Anxiety in the New Republic,

According to studies by the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 20 percent of Americans experience an anxiety disorder in a given year; over 30 percent experience an anxiety disorder over the course of their lifetimes. And the rate is rising: The American Psychiatric Association, in a May study drawing from a survey of 1,000 American adults, diagnosed a statistically significant increase in national anxiety since 2017.

But listeners listen closely, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with you.  Never has been, never will be. This anxiety is a good thing. This collective state of unrest will eventually show us the way.

This jittery national mood has given rise to what Rebecca Jennings at Vox has dubbed “anxiety consumerism”—the rise of a plethora of products, from fidget spinners to essential-oil sprays, to weighted blankets.  Perhaps the most well-known product to fall into this anxiety consumerism category is alcohol.

Those who struggle with addiction are the trailblazers in the collective unf*ck yourself movement. Not just for those who grapple with addiction to alcohol, but for everyone. 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:15] Libby how long have you been sober? 

 

She has been sober since October 23, 2018, giving her 112 days of sobriety. 

 

[7:40] In these last 112 days what is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered? 

 

She says that the cravings and the obsession to drink in the first couple months was definitely the toughest time. 

 

[9:00] Paul Introduces Libby.

 

Libby is 32 years old and lives in Louisville, Kentucky.  She is an interior designer and is currently waiting tables at night.  She has been married for 5 years, has no kids, has a dog named Boomerang, and a cat named Brice.  For fun she works out, does crafts, is decorating her house, and enjoys hiking when the weather is nice. 

 

[11:05] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Libby had her first drink at 15 and throughout high school she drank on the weekends.  By early 20s she was drinking daily, but still highly functional, holding two jobs.  She was coasting by until 2017 when she got fired from a job.  Libby says this is when her drinking ‘got wheels’. 

 

[12:30] What led you to seeking out alcohol to alleviate the pain?

 

She was fired suddenly, in a hateful way, and she had never gone through anything like that.  She was devastated and started drinking all day.  After a couple of weeks, she was experiencing morning tremors, or shakes, which she had never experienced before.  By the end of 2017 she was drinking in the mornings just to function.  During this time, she tried out AA a couple times and decided she just wasn’t ready.

 

[14:50] What was it like when you went to the AA meeting?

 

Before going into her first AA meeting Libby had the shakes so bad that she had to have a shot of alcohol.  She didn’t really have any intention to stop drinking, she just wanted control over it.  She wanted to stop drinking during the day and get control of her life again and just be a functional drinker.  Fast forward to 2018 and she had managed to cut back on her drinking, only drinking at night.  That lasted a couple months.  In April 2018 she found herself drunk at work and went home and told her husband that she needed to get into a treatment program, that drinking had taken control again. 

 

The next day, after drinking, she tried to get into an inpatient treatment program.  The first place turned her away because they didn’t take her insurance, the second place allowed her to stay for 3 days for ‘medical detox’ and then released her due to her insurance as well.  After being dry for 3 days she thought she had things under control, but she picked up right where she left off. 

 

[21:40] Take us through the next steps in your journey.

 

Not having a day job Libby was able to drink all day.  After about 2 weeks her husband, tired of coming home and finding her drunk on the couch, packed his bags and left.  He called her best friend and told her that Libby was in trouble, but that he didn’t know how to help her.  Her best friend made some phone calls and found a free center, The Healing Place, that would take Libby.  She stayed there for 4 days while she detoxed and went home.  Back at home she stayed sober for 11 days and then again was right back to where she left off.  After showing up at work drunk and hitting what Libby calls her first bottom, she went back to The Healing Place and stayed for 30 days. 

 

[26:35] Take us from when you got out after your 30 days up to your sobriety date. 

 

After about 74 days of sobriety, meeting with her sponsor and going to 3 AA meetings a day Libby found herself at the liquor store buying a bottle without giving it any thought.  Looking at this as a ‘slip’ she got right back on the wagon and back to her meetings.  Sober for another 46 days she then relapsed, drinking for 6 days straight.  This was her 2nd bottom, this binder ended on October 22, 2018 and she has been sober ever since. 

 

 

[28:40] How do you look at those ‘relapses’?    

 

As lessons, she learned that they start in her head first.  Now when her thoughts start going in that direction, she recognizes it and has a new method to deal with it. 

 

[33:15] Why do you think you drank?

 

She said that in the beginning it was just because she enjoyed it.  During her 20s she had a lot of trauma and it helped her feel better.  Drinking became a habit, then she physically depended on it. 

 

[34:40] Paul and Libby discuss what steps she can take to protect her sobriety while her husband continues to drink. 

 

[40:55] I’ve seen where sobriety thing is contagious, what are your thoughts on that?

 

Libby agrees, attraction rather than promotion. 

 

[42:50] What have you learned about yourself in this journey?

 

She has learned she is a lot stronger than she thought she was. 

 

[43:30] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

  1. What was your absolute worst memory from drinking?

 

Libby describes her last couple days of drinking.

 

  1. What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

I am going to continue working the AA program and working with my sponsor and I want to eventually help other people stay sober. 

 

  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

Don’t believe the lies. 

 

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

 

Give AA a shot.   

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You drink mouthwash in the morning to try and get rid of the shakes before work. 

 

 

 

A pint of beer takes 15 minutes off your life

https://www.ksbw.com/article/wine-beer-early-death-extra-glass/26532630

For someone in their 40’s every glass of alcohol above the suggested weekly threshold of 5 shortens their life by 15 minutes. Alcohol is shit.

 

 

 

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:

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-out.”

Apr 1, 2019

Ashley, with 192 days of sobriety, shares her story.

Paul talks about how alcohol is the invitation.  What is this invitation?  It’s called addiction.  Depending on how you RSVP you could have a life filled with infinite joy.  The fact that you are listening to this podcast right now is a good clue as to how you’re going to RSVP.  At first the invitations may not show up with enough frequency to connect the dots.  But, sooner or later, these invitations will start to show up more frequently, once a year, once every 6 months, once a week, once a day in every aspect of our lives.  For many that struggle with addiction they ignore this invitation their entire lives and it is not pretty.  If we stick to this long enough it will become clear that our addiction is the best thing that has happened for us. 

For those of you listening, you have earned your invitation.  Keep in mind the pain and suffering required to initiate this positive change in behind you.  This thing called life, if it hasn’t already, is about to get good.  So how will you RSVP to this invitation? 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:30] Paul Introduces Ashley.

 

Ashley lives in Chicago, IL with her sister and their 2 dogs.  She is single and is 31 years old.  She recently finished cosmetology school and is currently an apprentice to become a hair stylist at a salon in the city.   For fun Ashley likes to cook, enjoys music and going to concerts, power lifting, meditation, and is back playing soccer. 

 

[14:30] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

She was 13/14 years old the first time she got drunk, in her neighbors’ basement.  She remembers going home and telling her mom that she had been drinking, and that she got sick.  During high school she hung out with a lot of different crowds so went to, and drank at, a lot of parties.  She says she knew right away that she had a problem.  From the moment she would start drinking she would fixate on how she could drink more. 

 

When she got into college, she hit the ground running with partying.  She did a lot of partying and blacking out, had a lot of fun and didn’t get into any sever trouble, which she says, she thinks is why she continued to drink like she did.  In the back of her mind she was telling herself that once she was done with college things would change and she would grow up. 

 

After college she moved to Chicago and continued to drink on the weekends (Thursday-Sunday), which felt normal to her.  When she was 25, she woke up one morning, grabbed her phone, and Googled “what is an alcoholic?”. 

 

At 27, after a relationship that ended badly, she found herself in a super dark place.  She was depressed, having panic attacks, eating disorder flair ups, drinking, and drugging.  She managed to pull herself out of that dark place, and to prove to herself that she didn’t have a problem she didn’t drink for 30 days. 

 

[22:15] What was it like when you did prove it to yourself and not drink for 30 days?    

 

She felt she had it under control, although she continued to do drugs.  Then she slowly started drinking again until she was drinking more than she was before the 30 days.  She started blacking out every time she drank. 

 

After a really bad incident with her ex she walked into AA.  She made it 65 days before she went back out for another year and ½.  That year and ½ it got even worse, she was drinking hard and using a lot of drugs. 

 

On July 23, 2018 she came clean with her doctor and walked back into AA where she found an amazing group of women and her home group.      

 

[28:37] Comment a little more about honesty. 

 

Because of her issues with depression and anxiety her whole life she had been in/out of going to therapists.  She said she always lied to them about her alcohol/drug use.  After also being diagnosed bi-polar she knew she had to come clean with her doctors. 

 

[32:15] Why do you think you drank?

 

She said that to begin with, alcoholism runs in her family.  She wanted to escape from the feeling of having to micromanage her up/down feelings all the time and that unfortunately she thinks she was just made for it. 

 

[36:00] How did you do it?  You talked about AA, what else did you do to get sober?     

 

She stopped going to the places where she always drank, like concerts and bars.  She sought out a higher power.  She started running.  She made sure she got to her AA meetings and listened to the podcast, of course. 

 

[38:00] Tell us how you got through your week-long family reunion during the early days of your sobriety.

 

With about a week of sobriety she tried to look at the trip as a way to take advantage of the beautiful nature, instead of a big party.  She listened to podcasts and hiked.  With only a week of sobriety she wasn’t comfortable telling her family yet, and she was terrified of failing if she did. 

 

[42:15] After burning the ships on FB you mentioned you got reactions you didn’t expect, what kind of reactions did you expect??

 

She thought that people really wouldn’t care, or that they would think that it would change who she is.  She didn’t expect all the positive response. 

 

[43:30] Talk to us about some wins in sobriety. 

 

She can fly with out hitting the airport bar first.  She can go to concerts and remember everything.  She can go out with friends and have fun without drinking. 

 

[44:50] What is something you learned about yourself during this journey? 

 

She is super sensitive and can feel others emotions which used to be scary, but now that she is sober, she has learned how to use it to help other people. 

 

 

[46:38] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

  1. What was your absolute worst memory from drinking?

 

My mom had surgery one time and we were in the recovery room and I was so hungover, and probably still drunk, from the night before that I threw up all over the hospital room. 

 

  1. What was your ‘oh-shit’ moment, indicating that alcohol had to go?

 

The morning I woke up and just knew I couldn’t keep doing this. 

 

  1. What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

To keep building a network.  Keep working the steps and stay in AA.  To keep on doing what I’m doing, one day at a time. 

 

  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

To take everything one day at a time.    

 

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

 

Avoid things that are triggering to you and strive to do things that are healthy and look for self-care.

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You constantly find yourself keeping tabs on other peoples’ drinking. 

 

 

 

 

 

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-out.”

1