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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: July, 2019
Jul 29, 2019

Arlina took her last drink on April 22, 1994 and has been alcohol free for 25 years.  This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul discuses an article that a listener sent him regarding the term, ‘sober curious’.  This article was published in the New York Times and can be found here

What is sober curious?  The term is pretty straight forward, it refers to those that are curious about exploring a life without alcohol.  But it can be unpacked even more.  To some, sober curious may mean that they never had a drinking problem, but they had a problem drinking.  In the article the author describes the sober curious as young professionals that are kind of, just a little bit, addicted to booze.  

Paul feels that that bulk of this demographic of sober curious people are what would be referred to as high bottom drunks.  They are beginning to experience consequences from their drinking and they are becoming curious to what a life without alcohol would look like. 

 

SHOW NOTES

[9:30] Paul introduces Arlina.

Arlina is 50 years old and had her last drink on her 25th birthday.  She grew up in Silicon Valley.  She is married and has 2 sons.  Arlina has a podcast, enjoys yoga, hiking and going for walks.  She is soon to be the owner of a bulldog puppy. 

[15:05] Give us a background on your drinking.

Arlina says she feels her drinking was garden variety.  She started drinking at a young age, between 8-10 years old, and says she didn’t realize how bad she felt until she felt good from drinking. She says from her first drink to her last she wanted to be anybody but herself.  

[19:00] Was there a rock bottom moment that led up to you having your last drink on your 25th birthday? 

Arlina says she had a series of rock-bottom moments.  She never knew what emotion to expect when she would drink, she would either be crying or fighting.  Even after a night out with her sister, in which Arlina got drunk, punched her windshield a couple times, breaking it, kicked her sister (who was driving) in the face, her sister getting help from the neighbors, the police being called, and waking up with that incomprehensible demoralization, it took hearing that her sister had gone to Al-anon for her to connect her drinking with alcoholism.  Arlina wrestled with that thought for 2 years. 

[23:20] Talk to us about when you finally reached that conclusion.

Arlina says it was a very humbling experience because she had defined alcoholism as something so negative.  Hating who she was anyway and then adding alcoholic and drug addict to it was overwhelming.  What had been her solution had become her executioner.      

[25:55] What was it like in early sobriety?

Arlina says it was overwhelming, but that she was relieved of the obsession to consume alcohol the day after her birthday.   She discovered she was kind of high maintenance.  She needed a morning routine, turning her life and her will over to God, and had to nurture a conscious contact with God throughout the day.  She attended a lot of meetings a week and service played a large part.   

[31:22] Let’s talk about the why behind your drinking.  Do you agree that alcohol is but a symptom? 

Arlina agrees 100% that alcohol is but a symptom.  She says she las learned that the brain will try and protect you from your pain, and if you can’t get out of it, it will develop a distraction, and that could be alcoholism or any other addiction.  Time does not heal all wounds; pain waits and lessons are repeated until they are learned. 

[37:27] Earlier you talked about chasing a feeling, how do you chase that feeling without alcohol. 

Arlina says the feeling that she was chasing was relief.  She likes to feel happiness and joy and she finds that in the service work she does.  When she can do something to alleviate someone else’s suffering she feels like she is fulfilling her purpose and that is when she feels the most joy. 

[42:00] Talk to us about your podcast, The ODAAT Chat.   **Arlina also has a website by the same name and you can find it here.   

Arlina originally started a sales podcast, but says it was really on her heart to do one on recovery.  She was conflicted because in the 12 traditions it says to maintain our anonymity at the level of press, radio and film.  Following the tragic death of a friend, who had attended a 6 AM meeting called ODAAT, she decided to be bold and follow her heart.  The podcast has added some pressure but also has brought joy to Arlina. 

[46:40] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

Puking my guts out at a San Francisco Giants game in front of a whole bunch of fancy people.

  1. Year 26, how’s it going to happen?

It’s going to happen one day at a time.  This morning I went for a walk and broke out an amazing book called Jesus Calling and read that.  I drew my Gabby Bernstein card and I use the Headspace app to do some meditation and I find if I do that routine in the morning my day goes so much better. 

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have ever received?

Follow your heart.    

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

Open your mind and your heart and you’ll be amazed before you are halfway through.

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

You end up in an AA meeting. 

 

 

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:

 

BetterHelp 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/style/sober-curious.html

http://odaatchat.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.”

Jul 22, 2019

Odette, took her last drink on December 17, 2018.  This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about control and how it relates to the level of an addiction.  The more our drinking gets out of control the more we try and control our external environments.  This is the main driver why control is such an important concept to deepen with so we can become aware of the level of control we placing on the external environment. 

We are left with 2 choices.  Option 1 is to do nothing, and that is not what this podcast is about.  That leaves us with option 2.  Get ready to saddle up.  Once an addiction is been acknowledged it can no longer be ignored, and it cannot be addressed without making major life changes.  Changes like a new self-image, your perception, a new consciousness, your ideas and beliefs, your entire life’s foundations.  That’s a lot of change, and as humans we resist change. 

SHOW NOTES

[8:10] Paul introduces Odette. 

Paul first chatted with Odette on episode 128, which came out on July 31st 2017, when she had 1 week of sobriety, he encourages you to go back and listen to that episode.  Today, Odette hit a big milestone…she has 6 months of sobriety. 

Odette is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, but has been living in San Diego for almost 10 years.  She is married and a mom to 2 toddlers, Max and Sienna.  She works fulltime at WeWork.  Odette loves bowling for fun, says it's probably her favorite thing, and she will fight anyone who says that it's not a sport.  She also loves to try new teas and lately you will find her doing puzzles. 

[11:50] Give us a background on your drinking.

Odette says she’s been in the recovery world for a decade.  Her dad is a recovering alcoholic and he's about to hit his 10 year, so she was first exposed to recovery through him.  She likes to say that his addiction has become the biggest gift, not just to herself, but to her entire family. Odette also developed an eating disorder, which she says is her first addiction, if it has to be labeled.  Odette says that although she’s been in the recovery world for a while, in terms of drinking, she thinks she falls into the ‘gray area drinker’ category.  She doesn’t have a catastrophic story to tell in terms of her relationship with alcohol.

Because of this it’s been a real journey for Odette to figure out if she really belonged here or if she didn’t belong here, if she really had a problem with drinking.  What really changed things for Odette was something that she keeps telling people.  You don't have to have a serious drinking problem to have a problem with drinking, and she definitely knew that she had a problem with drinking.

[16:05] In regards to alcohol and your eating disorder, what is your thoughts on addiction whack-a-mole?

Odette thinks addiction whack-a-mole is a thing and that it is really important that we become ambassadors of being graceful to ourselves.   The addictions become more manageable now, not because it's easier, but because there's this sense of awareness.  Odette says she still sometimes eats when she’s not hungry, and that things that are part of her eating disorder chapter still come up, but she is aware of it now.  She realizes that she just didn’t want to feel the feelings, so she ate.  

[21:43] Talk to us about the time between when you were first on the podcast until now?

Odette struggled a lot, because, she says she is a binary person, and is like a lot of others in recovery who are in that gray area.  And not just with drinking but the gray area of life.   She loves fitting in boxes and labeling herself, and that is something that she really been trying to detach from these last 6 months.  She stopped questioning where she belonged and if she belonged and started asking herself different questions, like how she was feeling when she drank or if she was trying to cope with something.  She had to get a little creative with her questions because she was getting the same results when asking the same old questions. 

[26:55] Talk to us about the unknown and how you leaned into it.

The unknown is very scary for Odette.  She knew, as she was stacking days this third time around, that fear was going to creep up on her.  So she grounded herself with people who have really good messages around fear because she didn’t expect that fear to go away.  She learned to develop a different relationship with her fear. 

[34:33] Let’s talk about the concept of internal vs. external, where do you feel you are?

Odette feels like it’s shifting, and that she is discovering a lot of things.  She also believes a lot of it is linked to her eating disorder because she did not have a connection with her body was feeling at all.  Odette has been focusing on the internal and the physical. 

[36:40] Share with us how fun it is to meet up at our retreats, like our one coming up in Bozeman next month. 

Odette says she stopped calling them retreats and has started calling them “sober camp”, because they are just that much fun.  Bozeman will be Odette’s 3rd retreat and says that they are such amazing fuel and that the connections and friendships she has made are now like family.    

[37:50] Talk to us about a time, in the last 6 months, that it got tough and you overcame it without alcohol? 

The last 3-4 months have been extremely challenging for Odette.  As all the layers are coming off Odette says it feels very raw and at times very heartbreaking.  She has done a lot of reconciling the last 5 months with decisions from the past.  She says she is not living in the past, but reconciling with what has brought her to where she is right now. 

[42:30] Talk to us about the emotion, Joy, and when it first showed up for you. 

Odette used to have so many highs and so many lows it was though she was on a roller coaster.  Nowadays she aims for contentment.  She lets things pass her by and finds joy in the smallest things.  She finds herself getting teary eyed just looking at her daughter or while listening to a song while driving.  For Odette joy is found in the simple things and the quietness. 

[47:05] What themes are you exploring right now in your recovery?

Intention is a big one, and not being tied to an outcome.  Odette feels like she was tied to external outcomes in the beginning and she is distancing herself from that now.  Also, she says she is learning to let go of control.   

[51:00] Walk us through a day in your recovery.

Odette is an early riser and wakes up between 4:30-5:00 AM.  Exercise is one of her biggest tools in her tool belt so she tries to get in some sort of it first thing in the morning.  She does daily reading each morning and spends some quality time with her family.  She goes to work, listens to a podcast or Marco Polo’s with someone, and spends her lunch outside because nature is another big tool in her tool belt.  After work she is busy being mom, making dinner and lunches.  She has a BBT rule…bed by ten.  Her weekends are slower and way less structured. 

[55:44] Rapid Fire Round

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have ever received?

You can’t do this alone…but you have to be your own cheerleader. 

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

Trust your gut. 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

You burn all the ships and you still drink. 

 

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 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.”

Jul 15, 2019

Mark, took his last drink on April 19th, 2019 - This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul shares the status on his upcoming book release!  Alcohol is Sh!t should be launched the end of July – to mid-August.  Graphics for the front cover, the back, and the eBook are done.  Thanks to everyone that voted on the tagline and subtitles…this is what we came up with; How to ditch the booze.  Reignite your life.  Recover the person you were always meant to be. 

Paul also talks about calming the mind through meditation.  The word meditation comes from the word meditacioun, which means to ponder, and it has been around for a very long time. 

What is meditation?  Meditation is about letting thoughts go.  It is about loosening the energetic ties to the past and the future.  It is about being present and focusing on what is, the reality you are currently witnessing.  Meditation is about lowering brain waves to a more relaxed state.  Meditation is a skill and it takes practice. 

What meditation is not.  Meditation isn’t not thinking.  It isn’t about obtaining or getting anything, or discovering who you are.  It is not going into a trance.  Meditation isn’t selfish, it all starts from the inside out. 😉

SHOW NOTES

[15:50] Paul introduces Mark. 

Mark lives in Perth, Australia, which is one of the most remote cities in the world.  For work he is a financial professional.  He is 43 years old, married with 2 daughters.  For fun Mark likes to camp, exercise and read.    

[18:45] Give us a background on your drinking.

Mark started drinking in his teens and he says he pretty much to a liking to it right away.  It made him feel like a different person and got him out of his shell.  In his early 20s he went to college and continued drinking there.  There was about 3-4 years during his 20s that he got really serious about running and would quit drinking for 49 weeks a year while he was training. 

Mark says that once he stopped taking his running so serious, stopped the training, and got a job that there was a turning point and his drinking started to creep up to just about every day.  Mark was in his 30s now. 

In 2017, at the age of 41, Mark had his real first attempt at sobriety. 

[20:50] Was there a rock bottom moment in 2017 that propelled your attempt at sobriety?

There wasn’t a rock bottom moment for Mark, he says it was more like a series of bad nights.  He started to realize that his drinking was involuntary and he felt like it was something that was just happening to him. 

After one night in particular where he drank 2 bottles of wine and getting to work late feeling horrendous, he decided he had just had enough.  After doing some googling on cutting back and found a website called Hello Sunday Morning, where people posted about cutting back.  The website encouraged doing a 3 to 12-month time of no drinking.  Mark decided to try the 3 months and after successfully doing that and feeling good he decided to go for the 12 months. 

Looking back now he says it was a really good year.  He got healthy and got a lot done at home and at work.  But something was missing.  

[22:22] Go back a little, when did you start to realize that it was getting harder to stop once you started?

Mark drank beer and wine and would find himself drinking whenever he would meet up with someone.  And he didn’t just drink one or two, he drank hard.  It was almost as if he was running his life around alcohol.  He would never meet someone at a café, he would always meet people at a pub or bar. 

[24:15] So you’re cruising through 2017 dry, on willpower, how much time did you get?

Mark says he didn’t make it the 12 months.  He made it until mid-August, the same time he and his wife bought their home.  He celebrated that purchase with a bottle of champagne.  He says as soon as he had that bottle of champagne the wheels came off.  He also felt that because he went 8-9 months without drinking that he had changed his relationship with alcohol.  About a month after drinking the bottle of champagne he was back drinking just as hard as before. 

[26:00] Once you were back to drinking hard a month later did you stop and think ‘oh shit’? 

He really didn’t.  He just got back into it and by 2018 he was telling people that after his dry year he was back to drinking and that he had a different relationship with alcohol, which he now thinks was a supreme exercise of self-deception.  

[26:50] When did this self-deception end?

Mark says really only this year, around April 30th.  After sharing a bottle of wine with his wife on April 29th she went to bed and he went outside with another bottle of wine.  He started to think about what he was doing and started to get angry.  He thought about what a great year 2017 had been and now there he was by himself drinking himself to oblivion.  It was a feeling of self-disgust.  He went back into the house and said, to himself, that he was done, again. 

[28:45] What do you think was different that time?

Mark says its really hard to explain, but that he realized that there was no sense of joy drinking that bottle of wine. 

[29:45] Talk to me about how you realized that there were no hopes in moderation

In 2017 when he was reading blogs on that website a lot of people talked about AA.  He didn’t really like the idea of AA because of the religious aspect and the surrendering part.  Now fast-forwarding to 2019 he started to understand what the surrender thing was about.  He has decades showing that moderation does not work for him. 

[32:30] What was that first week like after April 30, 2019?

It was just a different feeling that this time it’s not a 12-month test of willpower.  This time Mark just had to accept that it was over between him and alcohol.  He says it felt liberating to just admit that he’d had enough and that he didn’t want to be involved with alcohol anymore. 

[34:25] Talk to us about the accountability you set up this time. 

His wife was the first person he told, and he waited a few weeks before even doing that.  He was nervous and shaking but she told him she was proud of his and has been supportive.  He has also told some guys at work and has found support there as well. 

[39:48] Have you had any intense cravings since April 30, 2019?

Mark says that the cravings have not been bad, surprisingly, but he does drink non-alcoholic beer and wine and he feels it helps. 

[46:00] What is on your bucket list in sobriety?

To enjoy each day and the simple pleasures that come with being sober. 

[46:55] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

Getting really, really, passing out drunk on my 40th and being told the next day that my oldest daughter, who was 5 at the time, was just standing there looking at me with a sense of distress. 

  1. When was your ‘oh-shit’ moment?

That moment out in the backyard when I was sitting there with a 2nd bottle for no good reason at all.

  1. What’s your plan moving forward?

I have more accountability to put in place, a few more people to talk to about it.  I really do want to engage more with other alcoholics. 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

I’m on a blog website called Booze Musings and I have a few things on my reading list.      

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

When I think about drinking just play the tape forward.  Remember who you are.  If I want that, then I can’t have this.   

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

When its your shot for beers you buy yourself 2.

 

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.”

Jul 8, 2019

Melissa, with a sobriety date of October 29, 2018, shares her story.

Paul shares one of his favorite emails.  Dale from Pittsburgh says…Paul, you son of a bitch.  You have completely ruined alcohol for me.

Your experience with alcohol may no longer be the same after listening to the podcast!  Don’t worry about the how…that always solves itself. 

SHOW NOTES

[11:00] Paul introduces Melissa. 

Melissa says that sobriety is the most badass gift she has given herself.  The biggest milestone.  She is from Vancouver Canada.  She is 44 years old and has a 12-year-old son and a 1-year old rescue dog.  Melissa has been a business owner for the last 5 years.  For fun she likes to walk in the forest. 

[16:20] What is something you want to try out in sobriety? 

Scuba diving!      

[17:30] Give us a background on your drinking.

Melissa had her first drink when she was 15.  She got drunk the first time she drank and the kids at school thought she was cool.  Her parents got divorced when she was 16 and she took the roll of mom to her younger siblings.  In high school she started dating guys that were older and was going to night clubs.  When she graduated high school, and turned 18, she started bartending.  In 1998 she moved to the Cayman Islands and lived there for 5 years.  She drank a lot and her drinking progressed.  When she was 27 years old, she moved back home.  She got married and they had a son.  As she got older, she started to become verbally abusive when she drank.   That’s when the blackouts started to happen. 

January 2010 they separate, her son is 3 years old at the time.  A few months later, while she is volunteering a police officer approaches her and takes her back to her house.  Once she is home she finds out that her brother hit a tree while snowboarding and died. 

[29:50] bring us up to speed to your sobriety date.

2011…she gets together with a new man.  He was an enabler and he let her drink the way she wanted to drink.  On October 29th, after begging him to give her another chance, she walked into an AA meeting. 

[35:40] What was that first meeting like?

Melissa says she was a mess.  Two old-timers took her under their wings and she will never forget them.  She went to meetings every single day for the first month.

[36:35] What did it mean to surrender?

Melissa realized that she was powerless.  The mental obsession was too much and she gave up. 

[46:42] What have you learned about yourself? 

The most important thing Melissa has learned about herself is that she has so much to give. 

[47:28] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

Waking up in the middle of the floor and not know what I drank. 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Definitely the podcast and AA.    

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

Trust the process. 

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

You’re not alone. 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

Your 7-year-old son begs you to go to the wine shop after school so he can get the free puck that comes with the bottle of wine you drink. 

  

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.”

Jul 1, 2019

Sara, with a sobriety date of January 16, 2019, shares her story.

On today’s episode Paul shares an internet meme that he saw and loved…

“Only in my pain, did I find my will.

         Only in my chaos, did I learn to be still.

         Only in my fear, did I find my might.

         Only in my darkness, did I see my light.”

Starting to see a theme, Paul added a few lines…

         Only through my self-loathing was I able to love myself.

Only through my fears was I able to see how little it has ever served                   me. 

Only through guilt was I able to see that all humans make mistakes, and I’m human.

Only through shame did I realize I don’t owe anyone in life an explanation, ever again.

Only through my failures was I able to see what I was doing wrong and then make the necessary corrections. 

Only through blacking out was I able to recognize the misery with living without light. 

Only with a crushing headache after a heavy night of drinking was I able to appreciate a clear mind.

Only through my addiction was I able to see the path that I didn’t want to take and clearly see that path that I did want to take. 

The trend we are seeing here is called ‘the backward law’.  It when we experience the suffering before we experience the bliss on the other side.  This is also Newton’s first law of motion. 

If you ignore the nudge to quit drinking it will quickly become an elbow to the shoulder, a kick to the groin, then a full Andre the Giant body slam. 

SHOW NOTES

[10:00] Paul introduces Sara. 

Sara with a sobriety date of January 16, 2019, has been sober for 4 months, 22 days.  She is from Melbourne, Australia.  She is 36 years old.  Sara is single and is studying counseling and coaching.  She loves to read nonfiction books on human behavior, phycology, self-development, and relationships. 

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

Sara started drinking at the age of 13.  She says from the beginning she couldn’t moderate and that alcohol gave her a sense of belonging.  Over the years she found herself gravitating towards friendships with people that liked to drink.  All her friends liked to party but she had a vague feeling that wasn’t a healthy way to live. 

[14:31] When did you first have the notion that it wasn’t a healthy way to live? 

Sara says it was a long time before she realized it wasn’t a healthy way to live but she did know was that the repercussions from her drinking were terrible straight off the bat.  Every time Sara drank, she would do something she was ashamed of.  She never had an off switch and never had a time when she was a ‘normal’ drinker. 

[15:25] Talk to us about your 20s. 

By the time she was 17 Sara had a calendar on the wall and was ticking off days that she didn’t drink.  She could only get 2 days straight and found it frustrating why she couldn’t get more.  This caused her to feel shame and inadequacy as a human.  In her 20s she was a bargirl.  She would go to the bars with her friends or alone.  At 21 she felt the desperation of not knowing what to do about her drinking, she found herself on her knees at a park begging for help.  Her prayers were not answered and she continued to drink and continued to do geographicals within Melbourne. 

At 28 Sara decided to go overseas.  She was struggling with her purpose in life and thought she would find herself and sort her drinking out.  Instead of finding herself she just found a whole lot of bars. Looking back on that time it feels like wasted time because instead of seeing the world she just drank.  

[20:25] When did you decide to go back to Australia and that maybe quitting drinking was part of the grander scheme of things?

Sara had actually gone to AA when she was 23 and had given up drinking for about 6 months, so she knew AA existed, so she ended up going back to AA in Scotland and England.  She had stints of 6 months and 3 months sobriety and says that was some of the most joyous times of her travels. 

[20:55] What do you think happened after those 6 most joyous months?

Sara says her headspace happened.  It told her she was cured and that she had evolved in those 6 months, and could drink moderately. 

[21:45] So did you then make it back to Australia, is that where you got sober?          

In 2012 Sara returned to Australia.  Once back in Australia she pulled away from the pub crowd and was spending more time with just her friends or at home, so she was getting in less trouble but her drinking became more of a daily thing.  In the last couple of years alcohol was the only thing that would make her happy. 

[25:10] Was there a rock bottom moment on January 15, 2019?  Tell us what it was like on January 16?

No, Sara was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  She says she started out on the pink cloud and that lasted about 2 months.  She went to an AA meeting on day 1 because she knew that the times she had the longest stretches of sobriety was when she was active in AA.  She is still active in AA. 

[27:15] What was the first month like? What was different this time?

She said she was not running on fear but that there was a healthy fear there that reminded her she needed to do what she could.  Instead of looking for the differences at meetings she was looking for the similarities. She realized that she was not reaching her full potential when drinking alcohol. 

[30:30] What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

To become more of a dedicated student with her counseling.  She loves to dance and wants to get back into doing that. 

[37:08] What results are you seeing from the communication between your adult self and your child self? 

Old beliefs are getting brought up and Sara is able to see why she responds in certain ways to certain triggers.  She is hyperaware of her triggers now and is addressing them. 

[39:10] Why do you think you drank?

Sara’s says her parents met in rehab so she feels there is some genetics that come into play, along with some childhood trauma.  Alcohol helped her feel like she belonged. 

[43:15] What are your thoughts on relapse? 

Sara feels that relapses are par for the course and her relapses taught her so much, she didn’t realize that at the time, but looking back now she recognizes it. 

[44:43] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

The no memory memories.  The moment of dread and horror while trying to piece the night together. 

  1. When was your oh-shit moment?

I was in Scotland and I was gifted a free week’s trip on a yacht.  I hadn’t been drinking for 6 months and I decided I would drink at sea.   The first 6 nights were fine…night 7 found her sneaking onto a cruise liner, stealing bottles of alcohol, getting caught, and waking up in a 90-year-old lady’s home but not knowing where she was. 

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

I want to thrive and lead a joyous and fulfilling life. 

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

One day at a time. 

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

Get really honest with yourself, ask yourself, “how long have I been trying to moderate? And has it been working?”

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

It’s 3 AM and your ex-boyfriend’s housemate finds you outside of the house, ¾ ways up a tree, and when he asks you what you are doing you say, “I’m being a ninja”, and you proceed to fall out of the tree onto the ground and laugh like a maniac. 

 

 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 ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

 

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