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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, 2020
Apr 27, 2020

Kirby took her last drink March 25, 2018. This is her story.  

On today’s episode Paul shares more stories from listeners, and Café RE members, sharing their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic. We’d love to hear how you are doing through this as well. Email your story to info@recoveryelevator.com.

Paul shares the details about his free guided meditation. To find those meditations, go here.    

 

[16:41] Paul introduces Kirby.   

 

Kirby is 30 years old and lives in Charleston, SC. She is single and lives with 2 other family members and her 3 cats. For fun Kirby likes to try new things, even things she thinks she won’t be interested in. Spending time outside brings her joy. Her favorite alcohol free concert was Ryan Caraveo.

 

[19:40] Give us a background on your drinking. 

 

Kirby thinks her first drink was around the age, of 13. She doesn’t exactly remember, but has been able to piece it together through asking friends. Her first black out happened at the age of 16, which she considers the starting point of drinking. At 19 she began working at a sports bar which allowed her to keep drinking, even under age. When she turned 21, she posted to Facebook that she wanted to hit “burned out liquor head status” and drank for the next 30 days straight.

 

[21:38] What happened after those 30 days? Did you have withdrawal symptoms or return to normal drinking or did signs of addiction show at this time?

 

Kirby said she doesn’t really remember because drinking at that level, the memories are really fuzzy. But she believes she went back to normal drinking for her, which was only on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturday and sometimes Sundays. Kirby and her friends said that shots “don’t count.” So while she was drinking 5-6 beers, she was also having 5-6 shots.

At the age of 26 was when the drinking took a turn. Kirby got out of a relationship and started to burn the candle at both ends. Drinking 8 -10 beers a night, matching that with shots. Here is when she figured out that if she didn’t do shots, she wouldn’t black out, meaning she wasn’t drunk.

 

[24:04] Was blacking out just to go away and not feel / be empty for a while?

 

Kirby said definitely, and that also part of the fun was piecing back together the night before. Sitting with friends and putting the night back together based on who remembers what.

At this time she also began to put rules into place for her drinking because she knew that once she started she wasn’t going to stop drinking.

  

[27:20] When was the first time you said Uh-oh about your drinking? 

 

Kirby said that the first time she felt something was wrong with her drinking was when she woke up in October 2017 with 13 broken bones in her wrist and had to have surgery. To this day she has no recollection of how this happened.

 

[33:22] What happened on March 25, 2018?   

 

Kirby says the process started 4 days before that. She began searching for recovery options. The next day while she was drinking, “Sober Kirby” showed up in the middle of a blackout and declared to her family that she needed to stop drinking and start going to AA meetings. The next day her family told her the story back to her.

 

[40:55] What were the responses when you started burning the ships?

 

 Kirby said that a lot of people believed it was a phase, but she kept the forward momentum to hold onto sobriety.

 

[46:34] Talk to us about the difficult time you had at the Recovery Elevator Live event in Nashville.

 

Kirby said she made the goal to travel every month the year of 2019. Not having anything planned for February, she joined Café RE and pulled the trigger and bought the Nashville ticket. She considered turning around even on her drive to TN. At the event, she has an awakening that hurt people, hurt people and this gave her a moment of clarity: everyone has pain. Kirby opened up and found compassion in other people.

 

[54:56] What is an excuse you used to tell yourself as to why you couldn’t quit drinking?

 

Kirby said because she wouldn’t be fun anymore, she wouldn’t have friends anymore.

 

[55:20] Rapid Fire Round 

 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

Realizing I didn’t have to drink anymore vs I couldn’t drink anymore.

 

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?

Watching the sunrise over the mountains on her 30th birthday

 

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Black coffee or blackberry Bubly or Firebrew.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Café RE Facebook group, Recovery Elevator podcast, Recovery Happy Hour Podcast, speaking/connecting with other sober people.

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

Traveling to all 50 states, she has 8 left!

 

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

Why not start today?

 

You might need to ditch the booze if... 

 

If you get a new chat system at work and you can add your own emojis and you add a carbomb and a bud light lime logo as your first emojis.

 

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats.  

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020 

You can find more information about our event here. 

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Betterhelp

Visit https://www.recoveryelevator.com/betterhelp and join the over 700,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at https://www.recoveryelevator.com/betterhelp

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 – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”  

 

 

 

Apr 20, 2020

Tom took his last drink February 16, 2019.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul shares stories from listeners, and Café RE members, sharing their experiences during this Covid-19 pandemic.   We’d love to hear how you are doing through this as well.  Email your story to info@recoveryelevator.com

Paul also reminds us to cut ourselves a break, practice self-love and compassion.  He asks that you love yourself, regardless of where you are on this journey.  For some free guided meditations, go here.  

 

[18:55] Paul introduces Tom. 

 

Tom is 64 years old and lives along the shore of Lake Erie, near Cleveland, OH.  He is married and has 2 adult children, a son and a daughter.  For work Tom is a graphic artist, and for fun Tom loves to cook, which led him to vegetable gardening, which is also a loved pastime of his.  Tom is also a big history buff.       

 

[26:55] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Tom started drinking in high school and found it helped him overcome his shyness.  He continued to drink regularly for about 18 years.  He didn’t drink every day, was more of a binge drinker.  Drinking made outgoing and he liked it. 

 

In 1991 Tom got a DUI while driving home from a wedding.  Up until that point Tom had never thought about quitting drinking.  After getting the DUI he just stopped.  He stopped for about 14 years.         

 

[28:25] What happened after 14 years?

 

Tom said after 14 years he just started easing back into it, drinking occasionally.  That continued from about 2005 to 2017.  In 2017 Tom realized that his drinking was causing more anxiety than it was solving, and he became sober-curious.      

 

[34:00] Was there a time during those 5 months of day 1s that you just wanted to give up?     

 

Tom said it was more a frustration because it was ridiculously consistent and he couldn’t seem to break the habit.  In February of 2019 Tom got the flu and missed a couple days of work, during which he drank, while trying to hide it.  Tom’s wife called him out on it and on February 17, 2019, Tom joined Café RE and hasn’t had a drink since.       

 

[39:00] What was it like when you reached out for additional accountability?

 

Tom said he thought, why should he do this alone, so after listening to the Recovery Elevator podcast he joined Café RE.  He started getting posting videos and connecting with other members.  The connections led to in-person meetups which are one of the biggest parts of Tom’s sobriety and life.         

 

[47:47] What can you say to people out there that are struggling and can’t make it past day 1? 

 

Tom says that when you are getting started you have to change everything that you are doing.  He also suggests going for a walk until the cravings go away. 

 

[55:22] What excuse did you used to tell yourself as to why you couldn’t quit drinking?

 

Tom said it was more of the excuse, why should he, rather than why he couldn’t.    

 

[56:20] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

 

That drinking wasn’t a solution for anxiety, it was more of a cause for anxiety. 

 

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?

Meetups, absolutely meetups.

 

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Virgin Canadian Whiskey and Diet Coke. 

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

 

Meeting more people from Café RE. 

 

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

 

Really connect, connect, connect on a personal level. 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

           

You order a cello while drinking and you don’t play a musical instrument. 

 

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about our event here.

 

The book, Alcohol is Sh!t, is out.  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version 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 – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”

 

 

Apr 13, 2020

Derek took his last drink August 22, 2019.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about what a Nolo drink is, non-alcoholic beers, and kombucha…and whether, or not, we should stay away from them if they have trace amounts of alcohol.  He also talks about the roll, if any, that cannabis and plant medicine play in recovery. 

Paul also explains about some of the changes taking place with Café RE.  Sone of the changes is, starting on May 1st, 15% of the membership fees will dedicated towards a partnership with a non-profit organization that is geared towards helping those affected by addiction.   

The link to the article where Paul gets his information from can be found here

 

[15:35] Paul introduces Derek. 

 

Derek is 35-year-old and is from New York City, currently living in Philadelphia, and is a real estate agent.  Derek loves riding his bike and playing ping pong.     

 

[18:42] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Derek started drinking when he was 13 years old, drinking on the streets of New York.  Derek realized that he loved the feeling of being out of control. When Derek was 17 years old his father was killed in the World Trade Center and he used alcohol to cover up those feelings.  Alcohol helped him get through those brutal moments and became like his best friend.  He says he continued to drink like that up until 6 months ago (his sobriety date) and those feelings are all coming back up.          

 

[21:00] When did you start to realize that alcohol was not working for you? 

 

Derek said it was about 3 years ago.  The negative started to outweigh the positive.    

 

[23:14] What happened when you realized this?     

Derek said he started keeping track on a calendar of his drinking days, verses his non-drinking days.  He tried to slow down.  He started making negotiations with himself, like not drinking during the week, only drinking beer.  One very drunk night he realized that he just had to stop, that moderation did not work for him.     

 

[27:35] Why do you think willpower flew out the window when you were drinking?

 

Derek said that when he took that first sip he was no longer in control.  He said it was like a monster that lived inside of him and every time he let it out, he was no longer in control.       

 

[32:33] Talk to us about that moment you stopped drinking, and how you did it. 

 

Derek said the first couple days were easy because he had such a bad hangover, but the first weekend was tough because he didn’t know what to do, that he had not gone a weekend without drinking in years and years.  He said what he started to do was start to do the things he enjoyed again.  He started to play the piano and guitar again, started to workout again.     

 

[35:30] How did you do it after the first week?

 

Derek says he started watching YouTube videos of people that had gotten sober.  He found the Recovery Elevator app…and then the podcast.        

 

[37:20] What are some of the emotions you are facing now that you are no longer drinking?

 

Derek said that in a way he had never dealt with losing his dad in the way he had.  He recently got married and could not share that with his father.    

 

[38:10] What is important to you in life?

 

Derek says his health is one of the most important things to him.  He said that also that just who he is, is important to him.  Drinking made him a liar and selfish, and that has changed a lot.  He now tries to be a better person overall. 

 

[38:50] What are some strategies you use now, instead of drinking?

 

Derek says that exercise is big, he wakes up early to exercise.  He has started using a steam sauna, ping pong, biking, outdoor activities.  Derek also said that talking to other people that have similar stories, that he had just attended his first meeting. 

 

[39:40] What roll has your wife played in this?

 

Derek said that his wife stopped drinking with him and that she has been his biggest supporter. 

 

[43:30] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

 

That I am stronger than I thought I was. 

 

  1. What’s an excuse that you used to tell yourself for why you couldn’t quit drinking?

 

My friends, my social circle…what would I do, I wouldn’t have anyone.

 

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Coffee or seltzer. 

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

Your podcast, I’m not just trying to blow smoke, it’s really helped me a lot.    

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

 

To stay alcohol free is the number one thing, and I would like to travel again. 

 

 

  1. What are your thoughts on relapse?

 

It’s never going to happen to me. 

 

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

 

Just do it. 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

           

You think you might need to ditch the booze. 

 

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about our event here.

 

The book, Alcohol is Sh!t, is out.  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version 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 – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”

 

 

 

Apr 6, 2020

Raj took his last drink May 11, 2014.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul zooms out and talks about the journey.   If you are listening to this podcast you are an active participant in the center of the ring.  Your conscious decision to ditch the booze places you in the center of the ring.  Who is the critic when you’re in the ring grappling with alcohol?  You are, but you can rewire those thoughts and become your greatest cheerleader. 

Watch the video of the little girl not giving up here

 

[16:05] Paul introduces Raj. 

 

Raj is 54 years old and is from Las Angeles.  He is divorced and has a 13-year-old son.  Raj is an avid cyclist and says it keeps him sober. 

 

[22:20] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Raj says he didn’t really drink until college and even then, it was a very slow progression.  In 1991 Raj started having adverse consequences to his drinking, such a getting a DUI and not getting hired for a job.  In 2010, and the following 3 years, his drinking totally spiraled out of control.        

 

[25:50] During this progression were you able to step back and see the writing on the wall? 

 

Raj said he definitely did not.  He said he lived in denial for over 20 years. 

 

[26:46] Get us up to speed to May 2011.      

 

Raj said he always performed well in his career; his drinking didn’t affect it.  But in the summer of 2010 Raj had a serious biking accident and broke his ankle and was prescribed an insane amount of Vicodin.   In a period of 4 months he watched his work productivity go to hell, actually getting put on probation at work.   

 

Because work was always something that he could keep together, Raj said he lost it at this point.  His drinking and drug use took off.  That led to another DUI in May of 2011, which led him to the doors of AA.  

 

[29:25] Fill in the gaps between your first AA meeting and May 2014?

 

Raj said he started going to AA and got a sponsor, but didn’t really do the steps.  In 2012 he convinced himself that he didn’t have a drinking problem, but was still having blackouts and waking up in the hospital not knowing how he got there. 

 

In November of 2012, after a locking himself in his hotel room while at a work retreat, causing a huge scene at the airport, and landing in the hospital again Raj was fired from his job.  This led Raj to The Betty Ford treatment facility and Raj says this was his rock bottom moment.  

 

Two more rehabs, another DUI, and Raj finally got sober in May of 2014.      

 

[34:20] What happened next?

 

Raj said he started taking AA seriously, got a new sponsor that was pretty much an AA hard ass that took Raj through the 12 steps.  Raj says he was just ready.  He had to become humble, and willing to ask for help.   

 

[38:05] What is an excuse that you used to tell yourself for why you couldn’t quit drinking?

 

One was he had a wine cellar, he had to drink all the wine.  How would he deal with stress and anxiety?    

 

[38:55] How do you deal with stress without alcohol?

 

Raj uses biking and exercise, AA meetings, talking to his sponsor, and spending time with his son. 

 

[49:50] What do you think was one of the hardest things about quitting drinking?

 

Raj said it was trying to get the message down to his subconscious that he was no longer drinking. 

 

[55:50] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

 

That we can’t do this alone.   

 

  1. What’s a memorable moment a life without alcohol has provided you?

 

My son was in a play at school and I was able to be present and witness it, and was able to tell him what an amazing job. 

 

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Club soda.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

The Big Book or AA is a terrific resource.  Café RE UP, AA meetings when I am on the road especially. 

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

 

There are a bunch bike challenges that I want to do. 

 

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

 

If you’re struggling at staying sober don’t give up. 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

        

If you are driving drunk 300 miles with your 3-year-old child in the car. 

 

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about our event here.

 

The book, Alcohol is Sh!t, is out.  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

BetterHelp 

BetterHelp 
Visit https://www.recoveryelevator.com/betterhelp and join the over 700,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at https://www.recoveryelevator.com/betterhelp

 

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 – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”

 

 

 

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