Info

Recovery Elevator

It isn't a NO to alcohol, but a YES to a better life! Best selling author Paul Churchill, along with Kristopher Oyen interview people who have stepped away from alcohol in their own lives. Each week this podcast does a deep dive into an exploration of what a booze free life might look like from various perspectives and opinions.  If you are sick and tired of alcohol making you sick and tired, we invite you to listen to Recovery Elevator. Check out what an alcohol free life can look like as others share their own stories of sobriety. If you are sober curious, newly sober, supporting a loved one or living your best life already in recovery, then you are in the right place. This podcast addresses what to do if you’re addicted to alcohol, or if you think you’re an alcoholic. Other topics include, does moderate drinking work, does addiction serve a purpose, what happens to the brain when we quit drinking, should you track sobriety time, is A.A. right for you, spirituality, and more. Similar to other recovery podcasts like This Naked Mind, the Shair Podcast, and the Recovered Podcast, Paul and Kris discuss a topic and then interview someone who has ditched the booze.
RSS Feed
Recovery Elevator
2023
February
January


2022
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2021
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: 2020
Jul 6, 2020

Sara took her last drink on December 02, 2018. With 18 months sober (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).

 

Odette opens today talking about re-writing memos. Take a look at the memos you write to yourself every day. Those memos we repeat to ourselves as fact. There are thousands of stories we have written as memos in our lives. Odette encourages us to take out a sharpie and re-write the memo. Change your mind, change your opinion.

 

[6:24] Odette introduces Sara.

 

Sara lives just outside Minneapolis, MN. She is 37 years old, married, and has one daughter. They just adopted a puppy. She works in communications and for fun she likes to go for hikes and walks with friends, hang out with her daughter and eat her husband’s food (he’s a great cook!).

 

[12:58] Can you give listeners a background on your drinking?

 

Sara said she didn’t drink in High School. She went to a party school for college and started to binge drink on weekends. When she first started drinking, she liked the permission that alcohol gave her to be extroverted. Towards the end of her 20s the binge drinking tapered off, but that was when she began daily drinking, first a couple of glasses of wine on the weekend, soon became 7 days a week. While she quit when pregnant with her daughter, she did feel deprived. And once her daughter was born the daily drinking quickly resumed. The anxiety resumed in full force and because Sara didn’t feel like she had a problem with a capital P, this was all normal.

December 2, 2018, Sara found a book by Annie Grace and went from never considering quitting, to leaving alcohol behind all in the same day.

 

[20:16] How was it early in your journey?

 

Sara said at first she cried once the decision was made. She allowed herself to grieve the loss while at the same time being excited. The first 1-3 days she practiced going into social situations, being right before the holidays she had lots of opportunities to practice. Sara always had a treat for herself to keep the feelings of deprivation at bay.

 

[30:43] How was the dynamic with your husband? Did you burn the ships immediately?

Sara said she told her husband right away. She thinks he didn’t believe her at first, she wouldn’t have believed herself at first either! However, he was supportive of her decision. Sara experienced some guilt when she stopped drinking because she felt like she was taking away something from him that was an activity they enjoyed together. They had to work to find new things to connect over.

 

[35:04] What’s in your recovery toolbelt these days?

 

Social connection is the #1 action item in her toolbelt. Sara said that she walks with her friends, she needs face to face meetups. Sobriety podcasts are 2nd. They keep her motivation up. And 3rd is “No treat is off-limits.” Sara knows that she has to protect her sobriety at all costs. She also uses meditation to monitor and identify uncomfortable feelings inside.

 

 

[40:37] If you could talk to Day 1 Sara, what would you say to her? 

 

This is going to teach you more about yourself than you ever thought you could learn. It will be worth the challenges.

 

 

 [40:00] Rapid Fire Round 

 

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

 

The awkwardness you feel at the beginning of any social gathering will be gone in 15 minutes whether or not you drink.

 

  1. What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?

 

Remembering Christmas Eve and making memories with their friends and the kids.

 

  1. What are you excited about right now?

 

The upcoming summer in Minnesota. Casual family time.

 

 

 

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

 

Don’t cut out alcohol without adding in other things you’re excited about.

 

 

You may need to ditch the booze if... 

 

If you download a habit tracking app to make sure you’re sticking to your allotted amount of alcohol per day. And when it tells you that you’re over, you just delete the app instead of questioning the habit.

 

Odette’s challenge this week:

Write down 10 negative memos that come to mind. Don’t think about them too much, just write them down. Then re-frame and re-write them and keep them close. Read them often and remind yourself of your power. Share on Instagram and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five! Or email them to odette@recoveryelevator.com

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

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

 

Resources: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – Let’s walk this path and let’s walk it together - we love you guys,” 

Jun 29, 2020

Hannah took her last drink on April 16, 2020. With 45 days sober (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).

 

Paul has created a new meditation. It’s 20 minutes long and is specifically geared towards cravings. You can get it here for free.

 

Odette opens talking about the upcoming long weekend, which is the 4th of July. She asks “how can we leverage the current state of the world / the current pandemic and our desire to not drink this upcoming holiday weekend?” A celebration that is centered around food and also drinking, what does this mean for our own choices. There is an assumed permission slip that allows you to start drinking at whatever time you want. Given the state of the world and smaller gatherings happening, it might prove to be easier to not drink.

 

Here’s a list of how to not drink this weekend

  • Bring your own drinks, make it special!
  • Tell someone you don’t want to drink. It’s ok to ask for help
  • Let yourself have fun.
  • Have one goal for the day- Don’t drink.
  • Leave if you’re uncomfortable.

 

[9:00] Odette introduces Hannah.

 

Hannah lives in Las Vegas. She is 30 years old. She has worked in the medical field in the past but will begin teaching soon. For fun recently she’s been doing puzzles. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and working out.

 

[12:33] How have you been feeling in these early days?

 

Hannah said she previously had some time away from alcohol under her belt, but had started drinking again. So, she was prepared for stopping again. This time it was emotional, but no physical withdrawal symptoms. She feels good and is looking forward to this path.

 

[14:12] What happened that made you decide to drink again?

 

Hannah said in January 2019 she tried to do dry January again, but only made it about 15 days. She restarted February 1st and this lasted for her until almost September. While she was for a time able to moderate her drinking, once quarantine began the drinking became a daily thing and she was feeling pretty awful, mentally, and physically.

 

[16:02] What started you on this path to wanting to live AF? What’s your drinking background?

Hannah said she took her first drink around 14 or 15. When she was 17, she lost her mother to addiction and alcohol became her outlet to escape. She had a year of partying harder than any teenager should have. Two weeks after she turned 18, she found out she was pregnant and sobered up, promising her child a better life. She did eventually return to alcohol. While she was succeeding on the outside, she was drinking a lot. Around 25 years old she was experiencing high anxiety and was noticing how alcohol wasn’t serving her.

 

[20:38] Did you have a rock bottom moment or what pushed you to take action?

 

Hannah said there wasn’t a true rock bottom moment, but there were a lot of moments that weren’t the smartest: falling, driving drunk, drunk injuries. It was just the understanding that alcohol was what was causing her to feel bad all the time. The shame spiral was real.

The end of 2018 was a heavy drinking period for Hannah and she did 15 days of dry January 2019 but drank. And in February 2019 was her first attempt at living AF.

 

[28:07] Does your son notice the difference in you drinking vs not drinking?

 

Hannah said he hasn’t ever said anything directly, but she knows he noticed when she was drinking in the past. As he gets older she wants to share more with him about her stopping drinking.

 

[30:26] Walk us through a day in your life now. What’s in your recovery toolbox?

 

Hannah said that she tries to wake up and get a workout in before work. Waking up early and doing something for herself helps make her day better. This also helps her identify her emotions for the day. After work she and her boyfriend will cook, listen to audiobooks, keeping herself busy is important.

 

[32:28] Has it been easy having an honest conversation with your boyfriend about your drinking? (Her boyfriend still drinks)

 

Hannah said it's been difficult; she was emotional in the beginning when she first stopped drinking and had to watch him drink a beer or two. He however has been very supportive. He checks in with her and is often the sober person with her. They no longer keep alcohol in the house.

 

[34:59] What’s your favorite NA drink?

 

Pamplemousse La Croix.

 

[35:25] What have you learned about yourself in this journey?

 

Hannah said over the years she has developed some coping mechanisms, but there’s still more work to be done. She wants to work on being more open and honest with those close to her. Expressing her feelings honestly and talk and not keep it all inside will be helpful.

 

[36:20] What gets you excited in life right now?

 

Hannah said that being there for her son as he gets older. Also, a new career in teaching is exciting. Being fully present.

 

[38:05] Did you get any pushback from friends when you decided to stop drinking?

 

Hannah said when she first went AF in 2019, a few friends gave her pushback about it. But this time around she’s trying to be more honest with friends. In the moment there are always people who question why she’s not drinking.

 

[39:22] If you could talk to Day 1 Hannah, what would you say to her? 

 

Just wait it out. Life is so much better without alcohol.

 

 

 [40:00] Rapid Fire Round 

 

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

How quickly I can progress without alcohol.

 

  1. What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?

Being in the moment and not being hungover.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

Recovery Elevator podcast, Café RE, talking to more people who don’t drink, Sober Happy Hour, Quit Lit,

 

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

If you think you have a drinking problem, you probably do. Only you can decide that.

 

 

You may need to ditch the booze if... 

 

If you go to the store, buy a bottle of wine, pour ½ down the drain so you won’t drink it all, drink that and then return to the store to get another bottle of wine.

 

Odette’s challenge this week:

Take a picture of your 4th of July contribution. Share on Instagram and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five!

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

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

 

Resources: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – Stay cool, stay weird, stay safe and stay healthy- we love you guys,” 

Jun 22, 2020

Jamieson took his last drink on August 7, 2019. With almost 10 months sober (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol-free (AF).

 

Odette opens the podcast talking about “permission slips” and specifically giving yourself permission to feel certain things. She quotes Brene Brown, “For personal permission slips, you are in charge of your own behavior – so you're giving yourself permission to feel or act a certain way. It is setting an intention for how you want to behave in difficult situations.”

 

Here are some permission slips Odette gave herself after her first week as the new voice of the podcast: to be scared, to make mistakes, to ask for help, to feel uncomfortable, to fail, to succeed, to try again, to love myself. Writing these out she gained courage, the courage to run towards what she wants.

 

[5:23] Odette introduces Jamieson.

 

Jamieson is 28 years old and lives in Kansas City, MO. He works in special education and is starting grad school in the fall. He is single. For fun, he enjoys making music, reading, playing video games, hiking, going camping, and traveling.

 

[7:49] Can you give us a background on your drinking?

 

Jamieson said he started drinking when he was around 13 or 14 years old. But at the time it was a shot glass worth of wine at dinner every night. The first time he was drunk was when he was 16 or 17.

 

He never really felt like he ever had a normal relationship with alcohol, but problematic drinking began around the age of 21. In college he was always trying to be cool like everyone else, alcohol was an easy resource to make him feel cool and ease his social anxiety.

 

[10:50] What happened after you noticed your drinking increasing?

 

Jamieson said it became very consistent and an everyday thing. At the age of 22, he went without alcohol for one year. After a year of being a dry drunk, he decided he didn’t have a problem and returned to drinking. He continued drinking until his last drink in August 2019.

 

[13:58] After your year sober, and return to drinking, did you know in the back of your mind that eventually, you would stop drinking?

 

Jamieson said in the back of his mind, he always knew something wasn’t quite right about his drinking. The quiet voice in the back of his mind slowly crept into the forefront of his thoughts and he couldn’t ignore it any longer.

 

[14:51] Was there an event that made you go sober again?

 

Jamieson said it was a combination of things. Between multiple rock bottoms/events and seeing his younger brother struggle with alcohol as well, he realized he needed to cut alcohol out.

 

[20:15] What was your plan on the day of your last drink?

 

Jamieson said to himself “let’s just see how long I can go” and at about 2 weeks’ time, he was feeling pretty good and went to a Refuge Recovery meeting. That was a turning point for him.

 

[24:50] You mention that Buddhism has really changed your life, can you chat about that?

 

Jamieson said he’s been interested in Buddhism for a long time but was never able to fully dedicate himself to it while drinking. Mindfulness and meditation are not friends with alcohol and substance abuse. Meditation has been a key component in his sobriety.

 

[31:47] What else is in your recovery toolbelt?

 

Jamieson said podcasts and focusing also on leading a healthier lifestyle/routines. Being on top of himself for the little things like making his bed and brushing his teeth daily. He’s also begun practicing yoga.

 

[34:29] Did you feel like there were new triggers for you when COVID began?

 

Jamieson said it had a big impact on his routine. His school was on Spring Break at the start and they didn’t return afterward. He said it was abrupt and unexpected at how quickly it happened. His routine was a large part of his “staying sane” in sobriety. The lack of routine pushed him to seek out more meetings.

 

[37:04] What are your thoughts on self-awareness growing?

 

Jamieson said he has noticed he’s much more self-aware since he stopped drinking. He has learned more about addiction and specifically alcohol addiction and his compassion has grown towards others. He finds himself being less judgmental.

 

[39:32] What’s a narrative in your life that you would like to re-write?

 

Jamieson said he felt for a long time his issues with substance abuse, anxiety, and depression were his fault. He was messing up his own life because he wasn’t a good person. Jamieson has worked on forgiving himself over the past 9 months. Through Refuge Recovery and Buddhism he has learned that it’s not your fault you are this way, but it is your responsibility to deal with it.

 

[44:32] You’re so young, how has stopping drinking changed your social dynamic?

 

Jamieson said his social life was getting worse with his drinking. All of his friends have been supportive. He finds he’s able to appreciate spending time with his friends and his family now.

 

 

 [48:15] Rapid Fire Round 

 

  1. If you could talk to Day 1 Jamieson, what would you say to him?

Be patient with yourself and know you are stronger than these problems and alcohol.

 

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

Realizing that I don’t have to wake up every day feeling like garbage.

 

  1. What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?

Every time I do something I couldn’t do while drinking.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

Refuge Recovery, Buddhist based recovery platforms, Recovery Elevator podcast, yoga, and AA.

 

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

If you’re struggling with drinking and think you have a problem, start looking into literature and different communities that are out there. When you find a community you like, put yourself in there. Try it for a little while without any promises.

 

 

You may need to ditch the booze if... 

 

You’re so hungover and sleep-deprived you are barely capable of picking someone else up from rehab.

 

Odette’s challenge this week:

Write yourself a permission slip. Snap a photo of it, share on Instagram, and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five!

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

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 to waive the set-up fee.

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – We took the elevator down, we gotta take the steps back up, we can do this- love you guys,” 

Jun 15, 2020

Kris took his last drink on August 9, 2017. At just over 1000 days (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol-free (AF).

 

Odette opens the podcast talking about beginner emotions, also called day one emotions. “You can be brave and afraid at the same time.” Feeling scared and uncertain is natural and part of the process. Embrace those feelings and you can go far.

 

[5:26] Odette introduces Kris.

 

Kris is 38 years old, married with 2 children and a dog. They live in central North Dakota and he is a power plant operator. For fun he loves photography, videography, staying warm in the winter, and camping in the summer. ND summers are the best.

 

[8:28] What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

 

As kids, Kris and his brother would always go for vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, roasted salted peanuts, and Smarties as a topping.

 

[10:00] Can you give us a background on your drinking?

 

Kris said he started drinking in high school, he was shy and quiet in High School and this brought him out of his shell. He felt like he could be himself. He joined the Air Force out of high school and alcohol continued to help him forge bonds with others.

While he was stationed in Korea, he says he began using alcohol for more than just fun and instead used it to cope with depression. They lived by “work hard, party hard” while stationed there. He felt lost when he came home and struggled with his identity.

He says the last few years of his relationship with alcohol was really a disaster. He didn’t want to stop, he was hiding his drinking and his relationship with his wife was falling apart.

 

[22:48] What happened after your wife told you that you had to stop drinking?

 

Kris and his wife separated after that and he experienced an “Oh sh*t” moment. At the same time, he began having a willingness in his life to make and action change. He signed up for a treatment program.

 

[25:34] How did you feel after you realized that you had to do this? When did the decision to get sober become yours?

 

Kris said it was during treatment. Working with counselors he learned that he needed to take responsibility for everything. He also met with a pastor who encouraged him to start praying every day. He began asking God to help guide him. He learned the burden of his past doesn’t have to hold him back from his future.

 

[30:50] Do you still have cravings? How different is from the beginning and how is it still similar?

 

Kris said for the most part he only has moments where he romanticizes drinking. He reminds himself that it’s never one drink. Exploring the truth of what it is, sets him straight. He notices that it’s more about behaviors than actual cravings. Being short with his kids or tense with his wife. Because he now actively works on these things, he’s able to more quickly correct the action. Both Kris and his wife, in their relationship, work on these things. They are both more tolerant of each other.

 

[40:34] Walk us through a day in the life right now. What does working your recovery in this type of crisis look like?

 

Kris is considered an essential worker, so he’s still going to the office every day and his wife is a teacher, so she is homeschooling their children. Kris says his recovery is very similar, he just isn’t getting to as many face to face meetings as usual. He’s recently begun working with a sponsor again, so they are connecting a lot. He’s staying connected with Café RE, his sponsor, posting videos, showing support to others through the Facebook pages and Marco polo’ing. 

 

[43:23] How do you keep this journey fun?

 

Kris chooses the tone for his life. He celebrates the milestones with his family, he stays connected with his friends in the sober community, he goes to events, and this past fall he hosted his own independent Café RE meetup. He surrounds himself with the people he loves and can be himself and let loose now that alcohol isn’t a part of the equation.

 

 [46:36] Rapid Fire Round 

 

  1. If you could talk to Day 1 Kris, what would you say to him?

Take it easy and you are loved.

 

  1. What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?

Being in the water swimming with my family and seeing their smiles.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

Recovery Elevator podcast, Café RE, That Sober Guy (Shane Ramer), Transitions Daily, Saddleback Church, Elevation Church and a good sponsor.

 

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

Be honest with yourself about where you are at. We can do hard things, but we don’t have to do them alone. Try to find a community, you are not alone.

 

 

You might be an alcoholic if... 

 

If you’ve urinated in more corners of your house than you care to actually mention.

 

 

Upcoming events, retreats and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

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 to waive the set-up fee.

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – We took the elevator down, we gotta take the steps back up, take that road less traveled, we can do this- love you guys,” 

Jun 8, 2020

Paul opens today’s episode talking about the short term & long term plans for Recovery Elevator:

Paul is taking a break from the podcast and he will be focusing on the Recovery Elevator YouTube channel and creating meditations.

1-3 year plans: Recovery Elevator Retreat Center

Long term goals: adding more Café RE groups

Let’s all start putting thinking bigger and putting Big Energy out into the universe for Recovery Elevator.

 

[12:09] Paul welcomes Odette, the new voice of Recovery Elevator.

 

Odette’s last drink was 12/17/18. She is from San Diego, originally from Mexico and is married with two kids. They love the outdoors as a family. Odette enjoys learning about tea, puzzling and cooking. She often runs and uses her indoor bike for exercise.

 

[16:08] Paul: What have you been up to since Episode 231?

 

Odette is grateful for her recovery during this time of Covid-19. During her first year sober it’s all about relearning habits, restructuring life and setting new routines. Her year two has been about uncovering a lot of deeper seeded emotions and being more honest with herself.

 

[19:15] Paul: Can you cover what brought you to wanting to live an alcohol free life?

 

Drinking felt like a déjà vu of Odette’s previous addiction. (She is also in recovery from an eating disorder.) She had already walked this path and could her inner voice telling her that if she kept drinking the way she was, it would end badly. Her rock bottom was an emotional rock bottom.

Odette has always felt like she wanted to be normal and because drinking is normalized in our culture she didn’t initially want to step away. Choosing to do the thing that is not considered normal would again put her in a spotlight. However, she knew internally this was the path she needed to take. For more on her story go listen to episode 128 & 231.

 

[23:00] They talk about Odette’s path with the podcast.

 

Odette likes relating to people. She will share when she hears her own story in others. She enjoys sharing books she’s reading and things she is listening to. Sharing a-ha moments.

 

[24:09] Paul: What are some topics you will cover moving forward?

 

Practical tips and recovery tools. Focusing on her recovery toolbelt and listening to what’s working for other people. Spiritual concepts and how those can be brought into our lives. Fun facts, history and what she can learn from others. Hearing from others and having the audience suggest topics.

 

[25:23] Paul: Same format?

 

For now, Odette plans to stay within the same format of an introduction and then having an interviewee. She loves talking and sharing and is really excited to take this forward, she is nervous at the same time. This is about a movement of living alcohol free and she wants to honor the path Paul has established.

 

[28:00] Paul: Talk about evoking Rule 22 on this journey.

 

Odette’s father was silly when raising his own family. She grew up with flawed parents, yet they showed her there was always a path of fun to be found. The life she’s living isn’t a dress rehearsal, it’s the only you she has and it’s too short to not have fun.

 

[30:06] Paul: Spanish or English?

 

English. But there may be an opportunity in the future for episodes in Spanish.

If you want to share your story you can email odette@recoveryelevator.com

 

[32:32] Odette turns the tables and interviews Paul. Can you talk about your decision to step down?

 

Paul acknowledges that he needed to take a break. He thought he needed to start over again, instead of asking for help and delegating a lot of what he’s been doing. The community that he has created came to him with suggestions on how Recovery Elevator can keep moving forward. With some restructuring there is now a path.

 

[37:20] Odette: Overall how do you feel?

 

Paul says he feels incredible. That past year and a half has been the most spiritual he has ever experienced. And even more, the past 3 months he found his body cleansing itself of anything that didn’t need to be there.

 

[39:13] Odette: Tell us about some of the most fun experiences in your travels this past year.

 

Watching a woman connect with an elephant in Thailand. The elephant laid down on its side and the woman laid on top. Watching the elephant breathing and the two of them connecting was powerful.

While in Australia someone from an AA meeting asked if he wanted to go feed the seagulls. Paul put aside his serious side and went to feed seagulls for an hour and a half.

 

[41:51] Odette: What’s flowing through your creative side right now?

 

Music has been creeping back into Paul’s life over the past 5 years. He’s been making meditation music. Also 3D meditations where you are walked through your future self, in the present moment. Focusing on the Recovery YouTube channel as well.

 

[46:20] Odette: Will we hear from you during your break?

 

Yes, Paul would love to pop in from time to time.

 

[52:30] Paul: Where do you think we can take this?

 

Odette says we can start small: have a podcast in Spanish for example. As large as: Traveling across the globe for service projects. A recovery center.

She sees this growing in all directions. The opportunities are endless.

 

 [55:08] Rapid Fire Round 

 

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

Odette: I can’t accept myself if I don’t start with myself. I can’t ask for help, if I’m not helping myself first

Paul: We don’t fight an addiction that’s been trying to guide us.

 

  1. What’s your favorite AF drink?

Odette: all Tea, anything with ginger, grapefruit Bubly.

Paul: Cold tonic with square ice cubes and tiny peach slices.

 

  1. What’s on your bucket list in this AF life?

Odette: to run a marathon and working in the recovery field.

Paul: finding a new home base, follow the body.

 

  1. Favorite recovery resources?

Odette: Café RE, Eckart Tolle, Pema Chödrön, Glennon Doyle, friends and Marco Polo.

Paul: You, Café RE, the listeners, meditation.

 

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

Odette: What you resist, persists.

Paul: Use the mind and locate the body.

 

This episode brought to you by:

Gruvi, use this link and enter the promo code: Recovery Elevator for 15% off your order.

 

Upcoming events, retreats and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

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 to waive the set-up fee..

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

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

Jun 1, 2020

Brian took his last drink September 18, 2019. At 213 days (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF).

 

End of Season 1

 

After 276 consecutive Mondays & 5 years, Paul is stepping down from the podcast and is handing Recovery Elevator over to a new and talented voice. He recaps his next steps and an overview of what the last 5 years has brought him. With 2076 days at the time of recording, Paul is filled with gratitude for all you listeners. Because of you, he is filled with enough. We are all in this together.

 

Don’t forget, you can rate and review the podcast and tell Paul the change this podcast has affected in your own life.

 

[13:36] Paul introduces Brian.

 

Brian is 45 years old, married and lives in Easley, SC. He is married with two children. He was in the Army for 17 years before moving to the South. For fun Brian likes to golf, ski, snowboard, BBQ his own meats. He also does podcasting and some PA events.

 

[17:20] Give listeners some background on your drinking.

 

Brian didn’t drink until he had almost graduated High School. He drank and got drunk the very first time. He said that was a theme throughout his drinking. He drank to get drunk each time. He went through military training and service and returned home to finish college in Baltimore. He was asked to leave after 2 years due to a 0.0 GPA the previous semester.

 

[21:16] When did your drinking progress?

 

Brian said there were waves of drinking. It picked up in his 20s after leaving college. Bartending made it easy to drink a lot. In 1999 he had to call out of his job a few times due to hangover. At that time, he saw there was a problem with his drinking and got sober for about 8 months from alcohol. In 2004, he tried to quit alcohol again for about 7 months. In 2007 he got into some legal trouble but during that his now wife became pregnant with their first child. He says his daughter saved his life.

Thorough out this time, Brian says he would often be spoken at work about his behavior during events that involved alcohol. And in 2020 at an executive weekend event, he spent the entire weekend drunk. He said he was spoken to a few times throughout the weekend and that next week was his last drink with his cousin.

 

[30:55] Let talk about your last drink.

 

Brian said it was in his mind that something needed to change. He ordered a craft beer, and it didn’t taste good. He ordered a second, it didn’t taste good. At that moment he knew something was going to change.

 

[35:15] What was September 19, 2020 like?

 

Brian was familiar with the sober fellowship in his area and he began attending meetings immediately. However, this time, he felt very good about his decision to stop drinking. There was a sense of relief and peace that his suffering was over.

20 years of ups and downs and trying to get sober, culminated in this last drink in September 2019.

 

[40:43] In the first 60 / 90 days how did you get past some cravings?

 

Brian said that while he didn’t have cravings exactly, he had thoughts about drinking. Many of them situational. He’s forcing himself to remember the bad and not romanticize the good. Playing the tape forward helps to remind him of the bad. Seeing how that one romantic moment turns into a day of regret the next day. This time getting sober, Brian knew he needed to do something different and approached it in that manner. He put more effort into his getting sober.

 

[46:26] Do you recognize the profound leaps and bounds you have made over these past 7 months?

 

Brian said he has put the work into himself to try and find out who he is. Removing the masks worn and breaking down the facades of who he thought he was to find out who he truly is in this life. He tries to meditate every single day for 30 – 60 minutes a day and has been reading a lot more, both of which center him. All of this to try and put aside the ego.

 

[48:34] Comment on some other experiences where you have said “that’s no longer me / who I am”

 

Brian has seen a change in his personal relationships. In the past he was short to show his temper and is choosing to not be that person any longer. He now finds his stoicism a strength, while when he was drinking it was a weakness. While still drinking he bottled up his feelings which would then tumble out while drunk in an overexaggerated manner. And now while sober, he’s allowing himself to feel the feelings and understand more what they are telling him. Brian lets himself be sensitive and he can respond rather than react.

 

 [52:50] Rapid Fire Round 

 

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

I never knew who I was until these last 7 months.

 

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

Rekindling my relationship with my kids.

 

  1. What’s your favorite AF drink?

Seltzer water. Cranberry lime specifically. And Kombucha.

 

  1. What’s on your bucket list in this AF life?

Pilots license.

 

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

Keep going. Even if you slip up, don’t beat yourself up. Every moment is a new moment to change.

 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if... 

 

If your fraternity renames the yearly Biggest Partier award after you and disqualifies you from winning it.

 

Future Episodes:

Please give this new voice a chance, please listen for at least a few episodes. Please let us know your thoughts. Paul has asked this person to honor the mission of the podcast, shedding the stigma surrounding addiction. And also to honor the path this new direction takes.

 

Upcoming events, retreats and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

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 to waive the set-up fee..

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 gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this- I love you guys,” 

May 25, 2020

Belle took her last drink June 30, 2012. With almost 8 years of sobriety (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol free (AF).

On today’s episode Paul opens discussing what alcohol promises and does not deliver. Many people are trying to fill a void by using alcohol, but it will never be enough. The journey you take and the reward you earn on this life being AF is the eternal knowing that you are enough and are fulfilled.

 

[7:58] Paul introduces Belle.

 

Belle is 53 years old, married and lives in Paris, France. She is a caterer.

 

[11:06] Because of the formal nature of the culture in Paris, is the recovery culture more secluded?

 

Belle says that because she interacts mostly with English speakers (UK, American, Australia, Canada) her insight into the recovery world in France isn’t that well-informed. But she does state that there isn’t the overindulgent alcohol community that you find other places and in nearby countries. “It’s not socially acceptable to be hammered outside your home.”

 

[16:58] Why is French onion soup so good in Paris?

 

It’s situational, exhaustion, dehydration and fantasy of France.

 

[18:40] Give us a background on your drinking

 

Belle felt alcohol talking to her around the age of 21. She thought everyone had that voice. For the next 15 years she felt she was keeping drinking in check by only buying what she would drink that day and not have other alcohol in the house. At 36 she was having 3 glasses of wine a night and found it hard to go a night without. Belle began putting into place unconscious moderating techniques to keep in control. She got married in 2005 and having that partner there opened the door to more drinking but with someone else there, so it appeared less harmful.

 

In March 2012, she tried quitting drinking for 1 month, just to prove that she could. She got 7 days.

 

[25:59] Can you expand on the feeling you had when you realized it was actually really hard to quit drinking?

 

Belle says it was embarrassing because there was no one to tell or talk about it with. She didn’t associate herself with alcoholics because of her high bottom drinking. She just thought she lacked self-discipline.

Belle tried again with Dry July in 2012 and on day 9 knew again, this was going to be harder than anticipated. So, she started a WordPress blog to talk about the struggle. People began commenting on her blog posts and she in that moment she wasn’t alone.

 

From that blog grew her 100-day Sober Challenge, her penpal support system and a business venture.

 

[39:28] What are some of the lessons you have learned from doing this project?

 

Belle says everything she’s learned are from her penpals. They taught her that while her story may be unique to her, the core experience of quitting drinking is the same for everyone.

 

[48:37] Talk to us about the anonymity [of your project] and how you are anonymous.

 

Belle said that without anonymity she wouldn’t have been able to share the truth. People responded to her approach because it allowed them to also share the truth while being anonymous. Belle believes that you get sober and then you go on with the rest of your life and there exists the life you build on top of being sober. She believes that you don’t have to tell everyone or anyone else about your sobriety.

 

[52:25] Let’s talk about your book.

 

Belle’s book is titled Tired of Thinking About Drinking: Take My 100-Day Sober Challenge. Her subscribers wanted her to write a book, so she did.

 

[52:29] Do you think there will ever be a day you will shed the anonymity?

 

If Oprah calls and asks Belle to share her experience working with 3000 people, yes. She would probably do that. Otherwise, no.

 

[56:03] Rapid Fire Round 

 

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

That I’m not alone. And most people have identical experiences.

 

  1. What’s your favorite AF drink?

Just tonic or tonic and grapefruit juice.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Her subscribers.

 

  1. What’s on your bucket list in this AF life?

Own a bakery.

 

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

It’s in the act of reaching out that things change.

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...  

If you can’t quit drinking for 100 days, then you have a problem. The answer is in the question.

 

Belle’s website and all the information shared: www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com 

 

Upcoming events, retreats and courses:

 

  • We are into week one of Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. And will be offering this a few more times coming up. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

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

 

This episode sponsored by:

Tiger Tail, use this link and enter the promo code: ELEVATOR15 for 15% off your order.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. 

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- I love you guys” 

May 18, 2020

Jeff took his last drink February 8, 2020. With 65 days of sobriety (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF).

On today’s episode Paul opens discussing emotions. How it’s ok to feel all of them and how they help us to grow. In order to shift stagnant energy inside all of us, we have to talk about our emotions. It’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to vent out your emotions and break off little pieces of frustration.

Are you looking to explore deeper your decision to live alcohol free and are already a Café RE member? If so, sign up for the six week course starting May 19th entitled: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set up fee.

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

[12:08] Paul introduces Jeff.

Jeff is 29 years old, lives in Tampa, FL. He is a plumber. He doesn’t have a family, yet! He likes to hang out with his dog Bo and go fishing, camping and attend sporting events.

[13:58] What’s your favorite alcohol free drink?

Cherry Coke.

[15:13] Give us a background on your drinking

Jeff started drinking around the age of 15 with anything he could get his hands on. He remembers being 5 years old and having a sip of his father’s drink. He is the youngest of 3 and when he would visit his older siblings in college, their friends would slip his drinks, as young as at the age of 11. Drinking was just what you did when you got older, it was part of being an adult. Everyone seemed to enjoy drinking, so he should too. In college he joined a fraternity and it again drinking was just what everyone did, it was part of the culture of college and he went along for the ride.

However at the age of 22, Jeff realized that stopping drinking might be the better choice for him.

[19:52] What were the circumstances at 22 that made you think to stop drinking?

Jeff said it was the physical effects of alcohol on his mind and body. He always felt like he could be doing more in life and alcohol was holding him back. 

[21:45] Fill in the gaps from age 22 to 29 (7 years) as you were building awareness around your drinking.

Jeff began working as a Sam Adams beer rep out of New Orleans/Baton Rouge, LA. At any given time there were 15 cases of beer in his home. Part of the job was sampling beers, so loading up a cooler full of beer every day and sampling with 10 different customers wasn’t out of the norm. The idea that something Jeff felt was in his way, but also his paycheck was difficult to reconcile.

In 2015 Jeff began trying to moderate his alcohol intake. He didn’t keep much alcohol in the house, but he found when he did drink, he couldn’t stop.

[23:46] Can you talk more about when you say, “Once you start it’s hard to stop”?

Jeff described his drinking like a firework. Light the fuse, it shoots up, it’s great for 8/9 hours and then it blows up. His emotions would often get out of control. The days following his drinking were awful emotionally as well. No energy or mind power to do anything.

[25:22] Was there a rock bottom moment?

Jeff said the first rock bottom moment was in 2012. After a day of drinking, he completely lost it; throwing away his wallet, trashing the apartment he shared with a roommate, quitting his job via email with 2 hours notice.

65 days ago, after three weeks of not drinking, he had a beer and the next day got sick. He knew it was the alcohol and used those 4 days being sick as a springboard to make the change to fully living a life without alcohol.

 

[27:28] After those initial 4 days, how did you do it?

One day at a time. Jeff said he would call old friends, not to talk about drinking, but just to talk. He would exercise, cook and focus on doing all the things he wanted to do that alcohol was holding him back from doing. Also journaling and feeling his emotions again.

[30:34] Talk to us about how you are embracing your emotions?

Jeff said he is trying to learn what emotion he is actually feeling at a particular time. Is this happiness? Why am I feeling happy? Jeff is giving himself permission to have these feelings. He’s focusing on gratefulness.

[35:47] Where do you want to go in this AF life?

Jeff said he’s trying not to look too far ahead in life. That’s been a problem for him before. He’s focusing on being present and happy. He wants to grow and have a family and grow his business. Jeff said, “If you drink today, you are taking away tomorrow’s happiness” and he wants to be happy.

[38:08] What has it been like getting sober a little earlier in life?

Jeff said that so far, it’s been easier than expected. However, he doesn’t discount the near decade of knowing he needed to try and live an AF life. There are no distractions right now during stay at home orders. He admits this might be a bigger test once COVID-19 is over.

[43:10] What are your thoughts on relapse?

Jeff said it does mean you’re a failure, it’s all about how you handle the relapse. The past is the past and you can start over in the present.

 

[44:11] Rapid Fire Round 

 

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

December 2019, driving home after a party, Jeff drove through a construction zone. The police were called, and he was let go. Avoiding jail was a wakeup call.

 

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

Constantly being present and recognizing emotions.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Recovery Elevator podcast, other online stories of people overcoming addiction.

 

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

Give it a try. If you can do it for 1 day, you can do it for 2.

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...  

You are 19 years old, get kicked out of a football game, on your way home call up a family member to curse them out, break into your RA’s room and finally wake up to the police carrying you to your own room

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats: 

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!  

 

This episode sponsored by:

Tiger Tail, use this link and enter the promo code: ELEVATOR15 for 15% off your order.

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set up fee. 

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. We can do this.” 

May 11, 2020

Carrie took her last drink April 7, 2020. With 7 days of sobriety (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).

 

On today’s episode Paul discusses the idea that you don’t have to quit drinking in order to quit drinking and what that means to different people and himself. When you give yourself permission to be happy in the now, the need to drink goes away. By not delaying happiness in life, an alcohol-free life emerges. If you have more questions about this, please email Paul directly here.

 

Are you looking to explore deeper your decision to live alcohol free and are already a Café RE member? If so, sign up for the six week course starting May 19th entitled: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee.

 

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

 

[12:30] Paul introduces Carrie.

 

She is 42 years old, lives in Centralia, MO. She is a single mom of 2 boys. She sells cars for a living. Carries likes to read, spend time at baseballs games, spend time with her kids, to bike and be outdoors. She is looking forward to rediscovering new way to spend her time.

 

[16:29] Give us a background on your drinking

 

 

Carrie took her first drink at the age of 13 and was in treatment for alcohol twice before she was 18 years old. From the age of 18 to 27, she gathered 9 years of sobriety. After that time, she wanted to reach out and connect with other young people and thought she could pick up and drink without consequence. In 2015 after her son was born, was when she noticed her drinking was becoming unmanageable. She said her drinking got “way worse”, to the point of drinking in the mornings.

 

[23:43] Talk to us about the last two years of your drinking.

 

Carrie said she has always tried to moderate her drinking, but it was never possible. In March of 2020 her boss called her into his office and asked if she had a problem with alcohol, which she replied “no.” However a week later she walked back into his office and said she does have a problem and she wants help. While she did lose her job, she freed herself of the secret.

  

[27:38] Is something different this time around?

 

Carrie stated that yes, this time feels different. After getting through the withdrawals and praying that she wouldn’t die, she realized that this time around was the worst withdrawal she had experienced. She decided this was the last time she would ever go through this. Using those physical symptoms to propel herself forward.

  

[32:54] What are you struggling with most right now?

 

Carries says that seclusion is the hardest. She only interacts with her children and isn’t able to spend time with friends and family. She misses her church and the ability to worship with other people in the same room. She finds video meet ups helpful, but just not the same thing.

 

[35:25] What are some concepts/mantras you are putting in place to help you continue past these 7 days?

 

Carrie says that she keeps telling herself she is stronger than alcohol and she wants to be free from alcohol. Repeating that to herself over and over.

 

[41:07] What’s on your bucket list for this AF life?

 

She is looking forward to interacting with her children again. She is also looking forward to traveling again.

 

[43:17] Do you think you’ll be sober in 30 days?

 

Carrie: “Yes I do.”

 

[46:28] What advice would you give to your younger self?

 

Carrie doesn’t think that her younger self would have listened to any advice. Carrie of today would simply say “It’s going to be a rough road, but it will be ok in the end.”

 

 

[48:01] Rapid Fire Round 

 

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

When she lost her job due to alcohol, that she needs to quit drinking.

 

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

Easter with her kids. She was able to hide eggs and baskets again.

 

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

Water.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Recovery Elevator podcast, AA meetings, reading about addiction.

 

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

You are stronger than alcohol and if you surrender to the addiction to alcohol, you can get past this.

 

You might need to ditch the booze if... 

 

Your 18 year old comes into the closet you are hiding in and takes the bottle of vodka and dumps is down the drain.

 

Paul shares a poem written by a listener:

 

“12 Steps to Addiction” 

 

A long time ago, I met a friend.   

Oh, it was a god send. 

 

Together, 

Streams of blood turn into a rushing river, 

Shaking loose an ancient rigidity.  

Like a hot fired fever. 

Cracking a cast of insecurity. 

 

Oh paint my vision in saturated tones, 

Warm my blood, loosen my bones. 

Tell me stories that aren’t true, 

The biggest lie you told, 

Is that the only truth is you. 

 

I’m tightly steered  

by your white knuckled grip. 

“I will make it better” it whispers in sips. 

I buy another round of your intention.  

To cure a mental infection, 

Septic fears of imperfection,  

Impermanence, 

Loneliness,  

And rejection. 

 

Im being taught to say goodbye, 

To friends I used to see. 

These people surrounding you, you say, 

“They are not like you, and not like me. 

They are empty vessels floating by.” 

I agree, 

Because I no longer float,  

My mind runs until it can fly. 

 

I keep running running running,  

But now I can’t catch up, and I can’t escape. 

I’m talking, I’m laughing,  

Sounds from my mind unheard,  

Like a cold air’s breath, they dissipate. 

 

I am alone. 

 

You implanted these thoughts, 

Rewired my synaptic circuits, 

Into a million tiny knots. 

I need you to keep making this true. 

And when I wake up at four, 

I need more. 

 

I ignore the conscious mind, 

breathing notes of despair, 

In my ear and around my neck. 

I’m unaware of the gun to my head,  

And all the ways I’ve been mislead. 

 

While I drink your poison,  

It is me that you usurp. 

I joyfully bask in your calm, dimming light, 

Until I’m met with a darkness. 

Thoughts reduced to a dizzying fog, 

Words falling into meaningless, 

Forgetful monologue. 

 

Oh, I want more of this story you sold. 

But you no longer talk.  

Your skeleton sits with me in silence, 

As I desperately chew on your bones.  

Your eyes are barren stones.  

I will use them to build a memorial, 

To every drop of poison I tasted. 

All the valuable time I wasted. 

 

A long time ago, I met a friend. 

It was a godsend.  

I was introduced to my vulnerability, 

Reduced to an insanity, 

Succumbed to this power, 

 Quietly, stealing my vitality. 

 

A godsend, 

Who will make me climb a mountain, 

To find my own cure. 

A challenge I didn’t expect to endure, 

To ensure that I don’t lose breath, 

Running towards my destruction,   

Towards a construct, an embodiment, 

Of everyone else’s description, 

Of who I should have been. 

 

Ultimately I’ve become lonely. 

Constructed a fraudulent personality, 

Succumbed to a common abnormality, 

I carry this world uninspired. 

This void you left, 

Is making me so,  

Goddamn, 

Tired. 

 

-Mia  

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats:

You can find more information about all our events 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: 

For 15% off your Tiger Tail order go to https://www.amazon.com/tigertaildog and use the promo code ELEVATOR15 at checkout.  

In today’s episode Paul introduces listeners to a new company called Monument, an online treatment platform for those looking to change their relationship with alcohol.

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. 

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – Go Big, Because Eventually, We All Go Home.” 

May 4, 2020

Ruth took her last drink March 21, 2020. With 13 days of sobriety (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol free (AF) during a worldwide pandemic.

 

On today’s episode Paul discusses the sale of alcohol / liquor stores remaining open worldwide during COVID-19 and its effects. ODAAT: it’s not just for those who are living an AF life anymore. The quarantine is an invitation to examine our lives and find new pathways to joy.

 

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

 

[13:25] Paul introduces Ruth.   

 

They start by discussing the email Ruth had sent to Paul directly to ask him what his own thoughts were about living alcohol free during COVID-19.

 

[15:56] What were you feeling when you sent me this email?

 

Ruth became aware that the pandemic was going to be a test for a lot of people. She wanted to let people know that this isn’t a time of hopelessness . For her, this is a time to be grateful because of choosing to stop drinking.

 

She is 40 years old, grew up in Denver, CO but now lives in Switzerland. She is a single mom. While currently out of work, she normally is a manager at a small restaurant. For fun Ruth likes to be outside hiking or running. She enjoys a good movie and reading.

 

[24:53] Give us a background on your drinking. 

 

Ruth began drinking as a teenager. She first got drunk at the age of 14 with some classmates. She drank for fun as a teen, had a boyfriend that was of age and could purchase alcohol. Ruth got pregnant with her first child at the age of 20 and that stopped alcohol in its tracks. She drank very moderately through her 20s. In her early 30s Ruth noticed that drinking seemed to calm her anxiety, stressors and worries. The association of alcohol and the calming of anxiety stuck with her. In 2014 she moved to Switzerland and began a new romantic relationship that was “very boozy.” Her drinking ramped up quickly, drinking daily and often early in the day.

 

[30:43] Was there a time during the escalation of your drinking that you questioned this path?

 

Ruth remembered even during the moderate drinking in her 20s, if she couldn’t have a beer or the stores were closed, it created a grumpy feeling. And at the same time, she felt that wasn’t the proper emotion to be experiencing.

 

[33:25] Can you think of a definitive moment when you said “I need to quit drinking?”

 

Ruth indicated that there were several attempts, but the catalyst was the breakup from her most recent relationship. She said to herself “if you can survive this breakup, you can stop drinking.” Ruth learned about how a breakup and alcohol withdrawal create similar feelings/reactions within the brain.

 

  

[40:30] Thirteen days ago was your day 1 and in the email you sent me you said it was the hardest day 1. Talk to us about this particular day 1.

 

Ruth said that because she had had 42 days of sobriety before the pandemic started and then drank at the beginning of the pandemic to quiet the noise of everything happening in the world, everything that comes along with drinking was magnified. Thinking about having to break the cycle of drinking again, and in the extra stressful time of COVID was overwhelming. However, she found herself back in a place of joy within 3-4 days, once the chemicals left her body.

  

[45:30] What is something you’ve learned about yourself along the way?

 

Ruth said that she had a lot of unrealized strength and through that found herself again.

 

[48:00] How are you filling your time currently?

 

Ruth said reading, listening to podcasts, cooking from scratch, running, walking, yoga, watching Tiger King and taking it easy on herself.

 

[49:21] Rapid Fire Round 

 

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

Realizing her relationship was toxic as well as alcohol is toxic and how they were parallel.

 

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

Spending time with a family member recently and being 100% present.

 

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

Sparkling water and coffee.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Recovery Elevator podcast, This Naked Mind, the stopdrinking subreddit

 

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

Go to the Greenfield Festival in with her son sober and sober camping trips.

 

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

Don’t give up. Never quit trying to give up alcohol, no matter how many day 1s you have. Find and use all resources. It will eventually take if you keep trying.

 

You might need to ditch the booze if... 

 

You go out for a couple drinks and wake up with confetti in the bed and you have no idea where it came from or how it got there.

 

You can read more about what the World Health Organization (WHO) says about using alcohol as a coping technique during this time of lockdown here

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats:

You can find more information about our events 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 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.”

 

 

 

Mar 30, 2020

Lucas took his last drink November 13, 2018.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about crisis.  In some languages the word ‘crisis’ is coupled with the word ‘opportunity’.  Everyone experiences crisis’ in life, but we are the fortunate ones that are forced to reach out for help.  We are then in this together…think the movie, The Breakfast Club. 

 

[11:15] Paul introduces Lucas. 

 

Lucas is 32 years old, was born and raised in the DC metro area.  He is married, no kids yet.  Lucas is a UPS driver.  He has a dog that they rescued from a shelter.  For fun Lucas likes to work out, go to sporting events, and concerts. 

 

[17:00] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Lucas started drinking when he was 13 years old.  By the time he was 15/16 he says he would routinely blackout from drinking.  It was at that time he started to realize that it was something he perhaps should look at.  Even though he was aware that he may have a problem at this young age his drinking continued to progress through his 20s and college. 

 

Lucas said he really started to see the effect that his behavior had on his life in his late 20s, early 30s.     

 

[28:44] How powerful was it to bring your wife along with you on your journey? 

 

Lucas said that it has been vital to his sobriety, that it was so critical because it (sobriety) has been such a hard, and courageous, thing to do.     

 

[33:33] Talk to us about what you meant when you said, “moderation in all in my mind”.      

 

Lucas says that moderation is not an attainable thing for him, that it is a word that was made up to make him feel better and convince himself that he could continue to have alcohol in his life.  Once he realized that moderation wasn’t a thing it was freeing.

 

[39:55] Talk to us about quitting Adderall?

 

Lucas said that Adderall was something he started taking in college and not because he really needed it, but because he liked its mood-altering qualities.  Once he quit taking it, he realized that it actually was making him less productive and less organized. 

 

[44:10] Walk us through a sample day in a life without alcohol.

 

Lucas said he is a creature of habit.  He wakes up, lets the dog out, reads meditation passages, goes to the gym, goes to work, goes home, sometimes reads, cooks dinner, visits with his wife when she gets home from work and is in bed by 10/11 PM. 

 

[51:00] What is an excuse that you used to tell yourself for why you couldn’t quit drinking?

 

Lucas would tell himself that he didn’t have a problem. 

 

[51:35] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

When I realized how much time I was spending pursuing the feeling that I was never going to obtain again.

 

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

 

Lime flavored seltzer water.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

AA, my meditation books, and “In the Rooms”, which is online AA meetings. 

 

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

 

I need to travel the world. 

 

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

 

To remind yourself how vulnerable, dangerous, and susceptible we all are when we live in unreality. 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

           

You find yourself asking if you have a drinking problem. 

 

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.”

 

 

 

Mar 23, 2020

Renee took her last drink January 2, 2020.  This is her story.

If you have ever wanted to attend a Recovery Elevator event you should get yourself to Denver in June for the Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - June 11-14th, 2020.  This event will be, essentially, the closeout event for Recovery Elevator.  You can find more information about our event here.

On today’s episode Paul talks about Rule 22.  What it is.  Why it is important to make this rule a part of your life ASAP. 

Rule 22 = Lighten up.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Laughter really is the best medicine.  Life is never as serious as the mind wants us to believe. 

 

[12:00] Paul introduces Renee. 

 

Renee is 40 years old and live in Greendale, WI.  She is a hair stylist and is currently working at a children’s hair salon.  She is married and they have 2 kids, a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old.  Renee also has a 20-year-old son from a previous relationship.  For fun Renee likes to hike, camp, go on vacations, paddleboard and jigsaw puzzles. 

 

[17:25] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Renee started drinking as a teenager, around the age of 15.  She says she did it to fit in and have fun.  She met her husband, in a bar, in her early 20s and they pretty much drank together every weekend.  It wasn’t until 2007 that Renee started drinking more than just on the weekends.  After getting married they were drinking 3-4 days out of the week.  Renee got pregnant early on and while she couldn’t drink due to being pregnant, her husband continued to drink.  That made Renee mad because she wanted to drink.  Renee did start drinking again, in the hospital, after giving birth to her children. 

 

 

[20:30] Was drinking again, as soon as you had your baby, something that you had pre-planned? 

 

Renee said she could not wait to drink after her baby was born.    She did the same exact thing during and after her 2nd pregnancy a few years later.    

 

[24:18] Why do you think your husband came clean about his drinking?    

 

Renee said he told her because he couldn’t do it anymore.            

 

[24:40] What was your response?

 

Renee was pissed off when he first told her.               

 

[28:35] When did you both recognize that alcohol was almost the driving divider?

 

Renee says it was in October of 2019 when her husband told her about his drinking.  They started to put all the pieces together and realized that everything bad that had happened between them was caused by alcohol, in some way, or somehow.    

 

[30:40] Has there been a moment when one of you was about to drink and you had that conversation where you lean on each other, and you both made it through?

 

Renee said yes, that there had been a couple of those moments. 

 

[30:05] Was January 2 a planned date?

 

Renee said yes, it was a planned date.  She went to work that day and was cutting hair with shaky hands. 

 

[35:40] How did you get through the last 45 days? 

 

Renee says that they bought a new treadmill, have been binge watching Netflix, just finding things to keep their minds off of it.  But that it was really hard at first. 

 

[38:53] How has working with a counselor helped with your anxiety and depression?

 

Renee says it helped a lot.  She didn’t have any anxiety after the first couple weeks.  It just started to get a little better and better until now, when she says she has none.      

 

[40:40] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

I realized that alcohol has basically affected everything in my life. 

 

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

 

Recently we got a lot of snow here and we took the kids sledding. 

 

  1. What is some advice you’d give to your younger self?

 

To try and surround myself with people who aren’t party people. 

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

Well definitely your podcast, lots of reading. 

 

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

 

We want to do a lot more traveling. 

 

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

 

If you are thinking about drinking, or if you are thinking that you drink too much, you probably do. 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

           

You do a drunken cartwheel and wake up in the morning to find your whole hand is black and blue because you broke your middle finger. 

 

 

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.”

 

 

 

Mar 16, 2020

Janine took her last drink on October 6, 2019.  This is her story.

If you have ever wanted to attend a Recovery Elevator event you should get yourself to Denver in June for the Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - June 11-14th, 2020.  This event will be, essentially, the closeout event for Recovery Elevator.  You can find more information about our event here.

On today’s episode, Paul talks about your comfort zone, why it’s important to have one, why it is so important to get outside of it, and how it is possible to get too far out of it.  The true authentic you doesn’t exist in your comfort zone.  Stepping outside your comfort zone even once, makes it easier that you’ll do it again. 

As for ditching the booze, here are some strategies in regards to the comfort zone.  Instead of quitting forever, aim for one day, or 50% of the days in a month.  Burning the ships?  Go at your own pace.  90 meetings in 90 days too much, aim for 1 a week, then 2 a week.   

 

[20:00] Paul introduces Janine. 

 

Janine is 32 years old and is from Pensacola, FL.  She is married and has a 9-month-old daughter.  Janine is a former kindergarten teacher.  For fun she likes to go to the beach with her family, walking her dog and spending time with her daughter. 

 

[24:00] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Janine took her first drink when she was 17-years-old and she immediately loved the feeling it gave her.  Through college she feels she drank like every other college student.  Janine says her drinking didn’t take off until she started her teaching career, and that gradually over the years she was drinking more and more. 

 

When she met her husband, and knew that it was something serious, she says she knew that she was going to have to do something about her drinking.  

 

 

[26:45] Talk to us about the methods you used to try and control your drinking. 

 

Janine said she tried them all.  Switched from liquor to wine/beer.  Still getting backout drunk after switching to wine she tried drinking a glass of water after every glass of wine.  Not drinking during the week, but even when that worked, she was still getting blackout drunk all weekend.      

 

[28:15] Was there a time when fear came in and you didn’t think you could stop? 

 

Janine said yes, that that is exactly what happened.          

 

[30:30] Can you tell us a little about postpartum depression?

 

Janine said for her she felt like she lost some of her identity, her whole life now revolved around another human being.  She had days when she would look in the mirror and not even recognize herself.  Her emotions were all over the place.  Janine ended up going to her doctor and getting on antidepressants, but was still drinking.             

 

[35:00] Tell us what happened next. 

 

After trying to modify, by having no alcohol in the house, Janine said she went and bought 2 bottles of wine and drank them one night after the baby was in bed.  She got blackout drunk, sent strange texts, and spent the next day crying and filled with anxiety.  She couldn’t deny it anymore, she knew she had a problem and couldn’t control it. 

 

Later that day her dad, a recovering alcoholic himself, called Janine.  She says his first words were, “I just felt I needed to call and hear your voice.”.  Janine said she just lost it and opened up to him for the first time.      

 

[40:30] What was that first AA meeting like and what happened after that?

 

Janine said she was terrified to go that first meeting, but that after the meeting people came up and were very friendly.  She said she was also comforted by the fact that there were other teachers there.  She was still feeling like her life was over that first week.    

 

[44:14] Was there a challenging moment when you wanted to drink, and how did you get past it?

 

Janine said she had several in the beginning.  She said when those times came up, she would call a friend, or call her sponsor. 

 

[45:25] How has the relationship with your husband changed? 

 

Janine says her husband fully supports her and has also quit drinking.  She feels like their relationship has gotten a lot deeper.       

 

[54:30] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

I would say when I made that last attempt to control my drinking by not having alcohol in my house

 

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

 

Spending my daughter’s 1st Christmas completely sober. 

 

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

 

I am a big fan of water. 

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

I enjoy this podcast; I don’t get to attend AA meetings as much as I would like but I also enjoy reading. 

 

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

 

I am actually thinking about taking up blogging. 

 

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

 

If you know in your heart that you can’t control your drinking anymore, don’t listen to the lies that your mind is telling you. 

 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

           

You get blackout drunk while watching Dateline. 

 

 

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 – It All Starts from the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

 

 

 

Mar 9, 2020

Aaron took his last drink October 6, 2019.  This is his story.

If you have ever wanted to attend a Recovery Elevator event you should get yourself to Denver in June for the Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind - June 11-14th, 2020.  This event will be, essentially, the closeout event for Recovery Elevator.  You can find more information about our event here.

On today’s episode Paul talks about it being possible for things to coexist in your life, you can feel calm and accomplished while you still have things to do.  It is important to recognize both parts equally.  When you are in the middle of a tough emotion you can chose to ride it out on the surface, which would be the mind, or deep down, which would be the belly area of the body.  Do you best to get out of the mind and stay in the belly, preferably with belly breaths.   

 

[13:00] Paul introduces Aaron. 

 

Aaron is 54 years old and lives in Pittsburgh, PA.    He is a chiropractor and loves health, fitness and exercise.  Aaron has a 65-acre farm and plays rugby. 

 

[17:50] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Aaron didn’t drink until his dad passed away from heart failure when Aaron was a junior in college.  His friend left some wine coolers at his house and he decided to give them a try and he liked the way they made him feel.  He continued to drink through college and alcohol made him the life of the party. 

 

Aaron moved to Florida after graduation, he was 21 years old and had a teaching degree.  He was only drinking on the weekends at this time and started playing rugby.  He says drinking and rugby go hand in hand. 

 

Aaron graduated from chiropractor school and continued to only drink on the weekends.  This was his drinking pattern through his 30s and 40s.  It was in his late 40s that he realized that he hadn’t gone a week without drinking, even if it was only on the weekends.  He thought he might have an issue with alcohol but he didn’t think it was a big deal. 

 

[29:55] Talk to us about how you tried to hide it before you fully got on board on stopping. 

 

Aaron says that this went on for years.  He was hiding beers in cereal boxes.  He was waking up in the middle of the night with pounding headaches.  Aaron said his wife started to notice what he was doing and started to call him out.  He started getting sick and having headaches after just 2 beers.    

 

[33:33] Get us up to speed to before your sobriety date. 

 

Aaron says in 2018 he stopped drinking for 6 months, but then at a bar one night said, “I got this.”, and had an IPA.   That started another year of drinking for Aaron.  In October of 2019 he said he has got to stop (drinking) and that time he meant it.        

 

[39:22] What has been working for you these last few months?

 

Aaron said he listened to the Recovery Elevator podcast.  He told his wife and kids.  Aaron has started to tell other people that he just isn’t drinking anymore.           

 

[42:05] What has been the biggest thing you have learned about yourself along the way?

 

Aaron says he thinks he saw himself as being compulsive and having a problem and then thinking he can break the problem.    

 

[47:40] What got you through your brother’s death without taking a drink? 

 

Aaron said he had no desire to drink at all, he knew that his brother’s death was caused by alcohol.  He no longer has a mental or physical desire for alcohol.      

 

[51:30] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

When I saw my kids drinking and having problems that I had. 

 

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

 

When we go out to restaurants and I order water with lemon.

 

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

 

Seltzer water. 

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

I only have one, I listen to Recovery Elevator over and over and over. 

 

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

 

I just want to have family functions without beer. 

 

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

 

Just keep listening.

 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

           

When you are having drinks out at the restaurant and you go to the bathroom and your pee is clear and you say to yourself, yes…it’s kicking in, because you know now that the beer is kicking in.    

 

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 – It All Starts from the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

 

 

 

Mar 2, 2020

Tara took her last drink February 4, 2019.  This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about the top 10 reasons for quitting drinking.  Number one; your authentic self will begin to emerge.  Number two; you don’t have a headache due to lack of aspirin in your system.  Number three; you’ll begin to find out who you aren’t.  Number four; you’re open to signs from the universe.  Number five; you can start to see the insanity of the mind.  Number six; your brain will start to produce regular amounts of melatonin.  Number seven; welcome back oxytocin.  Number eight; you’re part of something much bigger.  Number nine; you stop hoping.  Number ten; you have a chance to start working on the one big lesson you’ve signed up for in this lifetime. 

 

[19:15] Paul introduces Tara. 

 

Tara is 46 years old and lives in Seattle, WA.    She is a preschool teacher, founded her own preschool 25 years ago.  She is married to her high school sweetheart and has 2 adult children.  For fun Tara loves to dance.    

 

[22:30] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Tara says there were 3 scary moments that caused her to pause and think that alcohol could be a problem.  The first was when she was 15 years old and she was at a wedding and the bar was opened up to her.  This was a formal wedding and Tara jumped into the pool.  She was the only one in the pool. 

 

Tara’s second scary moment was also in high school.  She was at a party drinking hard alcohol and decided to get into the hot tub.  Tara says she got so sick that she threw up blood. 

 

Tara’s third scary moment came when she was in her forties and was on an annual girl’s trip to Palm Springs.  She drank like she normally did, with no off switch, and she fell and hit her head.  All Tara could think about when that happened is that that was how her dad died. 

  

[38:25] Talk to us about right before you quit drinking. 

 

 

Tara says she went to a party and started drinking, and instead of calming her anxiety like she felt alcohol usually did, her anxiety amped up.  It made her question how much she was going to have to drink to feel that ‘warm blanket’. 

 

[42:50] Your Dad is listening right now, what do you have to say to him?

 

Tara said she just wants to let her Dad know that she loves him, and she’s proud of him.      

 

[45:20] How did your relationship with your husband change after you quit drinking?

 

Tara says that her bond with her husband is even stronger and deeper now.        

 

[49:00] What has been your biggest challenge this last year?

 

Tara says is the ones that kind or catch you out of nowhere.    

 

[50:40] What’s an excuse you used to tell yourself of why you couldn’t quit drinking? 

 

Tara said it was telling herself that she didn’t drink every day or that she didn’t drink by herself.    

 

[51:20] What are your thoughts on relapse? 

 

Tara says that on a personal level she doesn’t see it happening to herself.    

 

 

[54:40] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

I’m happier without alcohol.

 

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

 

A trip to Costa Rica and no drinking whatsoever.

 

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

 

I like iced tea or Bubly water with a little mint in it. 

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

I love to listen to your podcast, and many others.

 

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

 

A lot more travel, and I hope to go to Thailand.

 

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

 

Just stick with it. 

 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

        

You put a bikini on at a formal wedding and jump into the pool when nobody else is in the pool.    

 

 

 

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 – It All Starts from the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

 

 

 

Feb 24, 2020

Vinny took his last drink 9 ½ years ago.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about change.  Whether you like it, or not, you are always changing.  You’re either building new circuits or adding new blockages to your energy field.  With an addiction it’s either gaining momentum or you’re lessening the energetic bonds of the addiction.  You must make time to always do the work. 

 

[15:45] Paul introduces Vinny. 

 

Vinny is 61 years old and lives in Bangkok.  For fun Vinny like to read, watch a good TV series, going to meetings and helping people.    

 

[19:20] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Vinny discovered alcohol in his late teens and continued to use it for 10 years. The next 10 years involved alcohol and smoking marijuana.  He added crack to the mix and became a crack addict for the following 5 years.  He went to 2 treatment centers and didn’t get clean until 2004.  He hit his bottom while living (homeless) in Las Vegas.  He managed to get sober after that and it lasted 3 years. 

  

[22:45] What in your message you want to get out?

 

Vinny says that recovery can be simple.  Simple means it’s not complicated.      

 

[27:13] How can thinking get us into more trouble?

 

Vinny says that most of us do not think, or see, very clearly.  He says we act based on the false evidence we see in front of us, so obviously if we are not relating to reality, we are always going to make the wrong choices.    

 

[30:05] What do you see is the biggest challenge that someone on this journey will face?

 

Vinny says he thinks that people have the illusion that they have to do it all themselves.      

 

[38:05] What do you think addiction is and where do you think it comes from?

 

Vinny says he doesn’t know where addiction comes from, and that it doesn’t matter. 

 

[44:00] Talk to us a little bit about self-loathing. 

 

Vinny says self-loathing is shame. 

 

[46:35] Talk to us about burning the ships and being honest with others. 

 

Vinny says that sometimes we are not even aware that we aren’t honest with ourselves. 

 

[52:30] Do you think that someone can become recovered?

 

Vinny says if you want to use the word recovered in the present moment, yes.  If recovered means you are cured, then no. 

 

[54:50] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Pepsi-Cola 

 

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

 

The energy here at my job, on a Saturday afternoon, seeing 30 recovering people connect with each other.

 

  1. What’s some of the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

Don’t take yourself too seriously. 

 

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

 

Take responsibility for yourself. 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

           

You are a healthcare provider and you are taking care of somebody that needs you, and you have ran out of booze at 3 o’clock in the morning, and you abandon him and go and get booze. 

 

 

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

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

Recovery Elevator in Costa Rica: From Jungle to the Beach - October 8 - 18th, 2020

You can find more information about our events 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:

 

ZipRecruiter

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.  We can do this.”

 

 

 

Feb 17, 2020

Sofi took her last drink on April 28, 2014.  This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about tough love.  If you are saying you want to quit drinking…but…”you can’t because…fill in the blank ”, or “you can’t because you don’t want to…fill in the blank”, in other words, you want to quit but don’t want to put in the work, well here’s some tough love for you…that doesn’t work. 

 

[11:00] Paul introduces Sofi. 

 

Sofi is 30 years old and it from London.  She has 4 older sisters.  For fun Sofi enjoys exercise and hanging out in nature while listening to podcasts. 

 

[15:00] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Sofi says she has always had an addictive personality.  With alcohol Sofi noticed a change around the age of 14.  She was at a boarding school so all her drinking took place on the weekends.  Sofi says that the wheels came off when she went to university.

 

Freshman year she was going out every night. By her 2nd year of university, when most of her friends had slowed down, Sofi continued her drinking ways. 

 

Sofi never finished university and at the age of 21 was in her fist rehab.  That began a revolving door for the next 4 years…rehab, relapse, rehab, relapse. 

  

[21:00] 13 treatment centers, was there ever a time when you just felt like the next one wasn’t going to work?

 

Sofi says she liked rehab.  She liked that when she was there, she met people that thought like she did.      

 

[25:50] What does ‘you can’t think your way out of this problem’ mean to you?

 

Sofi said she had learned all the tools in all of her rehab stays, but because she didn’t know how to use them, she kept relapsing and going back.  It wasn’t until she had a moment of clarity that it all came together and made sense. 

 

[31:15] Talk to us about what you learned in those first 3 years, and then in the 2 years after that.

 

Sofi says she was learning to live through the highs and lows during the first 3 years.  She also learned, through the AA community, that she wasn’t such a bad person and how to make things right with her family.  The biggest thing that Sofi has learned, and is still learning, is that she does not need to punish herself.    

 

[34:05] How do you address self-loathing?

 

Sofi says she at the place where she accepts herself, most of the time.    She tries to treat herself as she would treat someone else. 

 

[36:15] Talk to us a little bit about your experience here at Hope Rehab.

 

Sofi says it is such a fun environment.  Hope Rehab is teaching people how to enjoy life sober.  There is a big emphasis on exercise. 

 

 

[41:15] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

Going on holiday with my family again, for the first time sober.

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Hard to narrow it down, but anything sour. 

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

It’s easily other people. 

 

  1. What’s on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

I’m living it now, going around the world and seeing as much of it as I can. 

 

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

 

Stay connected. 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

           

You have started drinking secretly.   

 

 

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

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

Recovery Elevator in Costa Rica: From Jungle to the Beach - October 8 - 18th, 2020

You can find more information about our events 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:

 

Hope Rehab

https://www.hope-rehab-center-thailand.com/

 

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

 

 

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.  We can do this.”

 

 

 

Feb 10, 2020

Lisa took her last drink on December 16, 2017.  This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about moderate drinking, and whether or not it works.  For almost everyone, when we first decide to quit drinking, we try to moderate.  The question isn’t, can I still have alcohol in my life, but…do I want to be a moderate version of my authentic self?

Are there success stories of moderate drinking?  Sure.  But they don’t work out in the long run. 

 

[18:30] Paul introduces Lisa. 

 

Lisa is from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She is 40 years old and has 2 kids, a 21-year-old and 18-year-old.  Lisa has been a single mom for 13 years.   She is a RN and does patient care part time and education full time.  For fun Lisa loves going to the gym, and when the weather is nice, she likes to hike.      

 

[22:00] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Lisa started drinking at the age of 14.  She wasn’t a huge drinker, but whenever she could drink, she did, and she always wanted to get wasted.  At 27 she was newly divorced with 2 kids, and had come out of a very unhealthy relationship.  Sad and depressed she moved in with her parents and that’s when her drinking ramped up. 

 

Fast forward to 2017, at 37 years old, her son has left for college and she is feeling a little empty nest syndrome, is sad, is drinking and blacking out every weekend.  Her last month of drinking she was drinking and driving, hanging out with people she wouldn’t normally hang out with, drawing lines in the sand and quickly going over them. 

 

On December 17, 2017, she was up north with her twin sister, was nursing a really bad hangover, and says she looked at her sister and said she was done. 

 

Within the following week Lisa had called a girlfriend who took her to 3 AA meetings by the end of that week. 

 

[28:38] Was there a moment of clarity?

 

Lisa says yes.  She went up north with her sister to see a Christmas light show, still extremely hungover and getting sick during the ride, and as she got out of the car and saw the convention center, she just knew she was done.  Within an hour of saying she was done drinking Lisa says her spirit felt lighter.    

 

[32:35] What roll has your sister played on this journey?

 

Lisa says her sister has played a vital role, and that her sister herself is 1 year sober.  At 3 months sober Lisa, sitting in her closet crying, called her sister who gave her the advice she needed to hear…to not “go back out” (drink). 

 

[36:30] Talk to us about how you did it, what’s working for you?

 

Lisa works a 12-step program and has a sponsor.  She says that really early on she would look for ladies at meetings that had smiles on their faces.  If she was asked to do something, she did it, she volunteered at a lot of events.  Lisa loves bringing meetings into a detox.  She also surrounds herself with friends that don’t drink. 

 

[45:45] What did you expect sobriety to feel like, and what does it actually feel like?

 

Lisa says she didn’t expect life to be like it is.  She expected her life at 2 years sobriety to be top notch.  She catches herself being resentful that she doesn’t have all that she expected would come with 2 years sobriety, but when she focuses on all she does have and all that God has given her, her life looks a lot prettier.    

 

 

[52:30] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

When I saw the look in my daughter’s eyes when she thought I was drinking again. (Lisa was drinking a mocktail.)

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Club soda with cranberry and a splash of lime.

 

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

The Recovery Elevator podcast, the RE Facebook group, making connections with people in Minnesota, AA and I sponsor a couple women. 

 

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

 

Don’t take yourself so damn seriously. 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

           

If you are talking to the bartender, who you know is sober, about how much you want to quit drinking, at bar closing while intoxicated. 

 

 

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

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

Recovery Elevator in Costa Rica: From Jungle to the Beach - October 8 - 18th, 2020

You can find more information about our events 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:

 

ZipRecruiter

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.  We can do this.”

 

 

 

Feb 3, 2020

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

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

On today’s episode Paul talks about 2 things.  Number one is about how it is the simple things in life that matter the most.  Number two is, watch out for addiction whack-a-mole, or transfer addiction, with an emphasis on technology and smart phones. 

 

[16:15] Paul introduces Andrew. 

 

Andrew is 47 years old and lives in Sidney, AUS.  He is divorced and enjoys spending time by the water.      

 

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

 

Andrew was about 15 years old the first time he drank and he realized that, when he drank, he didn’t quite behave the same way as everybody else.  He says that he felt that alcohol calmed him down. 

 

[23:00] When did you first recognize that alcohol was causing more damage than good?

 

By age 19 Andrew had 4 drunk driving charges.  Andrew thought that spending 5 days in jail, after running through a roadside sobriety test, was a holiday because he had been working so hard. 

 

[24:30] How did you keep a lid on from age 19 to 46?

 

Andrew says he didn’t keep a lid on his drinking.  He managed to work really hard at the jobs he had, working in the restaurant business.  He says he was constantly getting fined at work, and driving to work drunk.  Andrew says he was allowed to get away with this behavior at work because the restaurants would be doing so well under his management. 

 

[35:20] Did you feel you still needed some field research after your ban from the grocery store?

 

Andrew says that this was the beginning of trying to find any way to get out from how he was.  He was swimming in the ocean but this behavior increased for the next 6 months.  After cutting his drinking back, but still drinking about 10 beers a day, he had a seizure, at the train station.  This led to a 5-day hospital stay. 

 

[44:10] What can you say to listeners out there that feel that they are too far gone?

 

Andrew says that there is no such thing as too far gone. 

 

 

[55:19] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

Probably the first time I was told, you can have alcohol, or you can have everything else. 

 

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

 

Meeting my girlfriend.    

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Sparkling water.

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

I have one travel journey I’d like to take. 

 

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

 

Seek out people who have already survived and listen to what they have to say. 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

           

27 years after almost ran over a police officer on the side of the road you get banned from your local supermarket.   

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

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

Recovery Elevator in Costa Rica: From Jungle to the Beach - October 8 - 18th, 2020

You can find more information about our 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

 

 

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.  We can do this.”

 

 

 

Jan 27, 2020

Scott took his last drink on December 2, 2018.  This is his story.

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

Registration is now open for the 2020’ Recovery Elevator LIVE event, Dancing with the Mind.  The event will take place June 11-13 in Denver, CO.  You can find more information about our events here.

On today’s episode Paul talks about control.  He also talks about an article, by Anna Ronan Shaw, that he read.  The article is titled Addiction Isn’t a Sin, It’s an Adaption, and you can find it here.  Paul shares his take, that addictions represent part of our personalities that are in the most need of healing. 

 

[11:25] Paul introduces Scott. 

 

Scott is 48 years old and lives in Denver, CO.  He is a bicycle mechanic.  For fun Scott likes to ride bikes, exercise, and hang out with his dogs, Willie and Waylon.    

 

[22:00] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Scott started drinking in Jr. High/High School.  Within a couple of years Scott got 2 DUIs, 9 years later he got his 3rd DUI and lost his license for 5 years. 

 

In January 2004 Scott decided to go to rehab.  After making some phone calls he entered rehab on January 3, 2004, and stayed for 28 days.  Once out of rehab Scott immersed himself into recovery and AA.  In 2005 Scott was cleaning a family members house and found a vile of cocaine.  He says that within seconds he had it lined up, and up his nose.  He looked at that relapse as a lesson, reminding him how powerless over drugs/alcohol he was.  He continued his AA and recovery journey. 

 

In 2008 Scott says he said the 3 most dangerous words an alcoholic can say, “I got this”.  He gradually left the support of his AA community and the farther away he got the emptier his “sobriety toolbox” got. 

In 2012 Scott bought his first house and thought it would be cool to sit on his porch and drink NA beers.  Because of his 2 surgeries, and not liking pain pills, Scott started to smoke pot to help the pain.  In October of 2013 Scott’s father got in a really bad bicycle accident.  In the ambulance ride to the hospital with his father Scott saw a liquor store across from the hospital.  As soon as Scott’s father was settled in the hospital Scott headed for the store.  Without thinking about the 9 ½ years he had been alcohol free Scott got drunk that night. 

 

[32:33] What happened between then and 2018? 

 

Scott says his dad really never recovered from the accident.  He had multiple surgeries that were all unsuccessful.  On November 27, 2016, Scott’s father committed suicide.  After that Scott says he couldn’t use, or drink, enough.  He had no stop button. 

 

Scott sought out help from a therapist, who referred him to a doctor that agreed to help him stop drinking.  He prescribed meds that Scott waited a couple weeks before taking.  On December 3, 2018, Scott took his first benzo and hasn’t drank since. 

 

 

[48:45] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

I think when I finally surrendered.  When I accepted that I am an alcoholic and a drug addict, and that that’s not a bad thing. 

 

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

 

I would have to say that panel in Montana. 

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

A raspberry Italian cream soda with Topo Chico.

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

I want to be a sponsor and I want to help newcomers at my meeting. 

 

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

 

There is no good day to start this, except today. 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

           

You have a little bit left in a whiskey bottle and you decide to try to drink it all at once so you slam it down, and you throw up in your mouth and swallow that, and keep drinking the bottle and finish it. 

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

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

Recovery Elevator in Costa Rica: From Jungle to the Beach - October 8 - 18th, 2020

You can find more information about our events here.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Care/of

For 50% off your first Care/of order, go to TakeCareOf.com and enter the code elevator50

 

 

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.  We can do this.”

 

 

 

Jan 20, 2020

Bianca took her last drink on October 3, 2018.  This is her story.

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

Registration is now open for the 2020’ Recovery Elevator LIVE event, Dancing with the Mind.  The event will take place June 11-13 in Denver, CO.  You can find more information about our events here.

On today’s episode Paul talks about the process of rediscovering what you like to do, after ditching the booze, and to let it happen organically.  He encourages you to engage in activities where you find yourself in a ‘flow state’, or ‘in the zone’.    Instead of focusing on new hobbies and fun activities, try to find things where you almost lose yourself. 

 

[7:30] Paul introduces Bianca. 

 

Bianca is 22 years old and is from Austin, TX.  She recently graduated from college and is working for a temp agency while she looks for that full time job.  Bianca lives with her girlfriend.  For fun Bianca spends her time reading and in nature.    

 

[13:40] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Bianca didn’t really drink while in high school, but in college she went wild.    She tried to moderate during her freshman year by documenting everything she did that involved alcohol.  That didn’t work.  The following year, 2016, she started doing drugs along with drinking.  Bianca does not remember much from her junior year.  By the beginning of her senior year (2018) she had a lot of things on her plate and her drinking was still up there. 

 

Bianca says she had a lot of little rock bottoms that finally accumulated into her big rock bottom, which happened on October 3.

 

[17:40] What happened on October 3? 

 

Bianca and some friends went out to get something to eat.   What started out as just one drink escalated to the point that one of her friends took her wallet away from her.  They went to a liquor store after that, and Bianca ended up at home, alone, taking shots.  She met up with her friends a little later, still sneaking double shots.   Bianca stumbled home and after mixing more drugs with the alcohol she passed out.   The following morning she woke up hating herself.      

 

[25:00] What was that first month like?

 

On October 4th Bianca texted the hotline and did what they told her to do, she got rid of her booze and hid her drugs.  She says the first few days and nights were tough.  She would come home from class and cry.  She was having intense nightmares and the shakes.  She now feels like she gets a clarity upgrade every 3 months. 

   

[28:10] What was is like getting sober at 22?    

 

Bianca says she actually got sober at 21 and celebrated her 22nd birthday sober.   She says it was hard, that there is a big drinking culture in Austin, TX.      

 

[32:00] What was harder, coming out as gay, or as someone with a drinking problem??

 

Bianca says both were hard.  She came out as gay at a very young age.  The hard part about telling someone she had a problem with drinking was the shame she felt.            

 

[33:20] What are you working on right now?

 

Bianca says she is really working on her self-worth and showing up for herself.     

 

[36:20] Have you ever explored why you drank?

 

Bianca said she has explored that with her therapist.  She says growing up her family fell into the victims, of victims, of victims.  She wasn’t taught very good coping skills.    

 

[39:20] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

That I’m responsible for my recovery and nobody else. 

 

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

 

The ability to really feel my emotions and to be surprised. 

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Water.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?

 

Definitely my sponsor, for sure.  Meetings and AA literature. 

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

Travel overseas sober. 

 

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

 

I would tell you all to slow down, as slow as you can go, and to feel your emotions. 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

 

You buy over $200 worth of alcohol and it is confiscated within 3 days by a good friend. 

 

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats. 

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

Recovery Elevator in Costa Rica: From Jungle to the Beach - October 8 - 18th, 2020

You can find more information about our 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

 

SkillShare

Get two months of premium membership for free at www.shillshare.com/elevator

That’s two whole months of unlimited access to thousands of classes for free.

 

 

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.  We can do this.”

 

 

 

« Previous 1 2 3 Next »