Info

Recovery Elevator

It isn't a no to alcohol, but a yes to a better life! On the Recovery Elevator podcast, you'll learn from guests that life after alcohol is much better and it's an opportunity of a lifetime. Paul, Season 1 and Odette, Season 2, cover topics such as, does moderate drinking work, does addiction serve a purpose, what happens to the brain when we quit drinking, should you track sobriety time, is AA right for you, what the hell is spirituality, what this journey looks like, how science and spirituality are merging and what that means for addiction treatment, we talk about emotions and how to deal with them without alcohol, cravings, we talk about relapse aka "field research," how to build that in-person community and burning the ships! Similar to other recovery podcasts like This Naked Mind, the Shair Podcast, and the Recovered Podcast, Paul and Odette discuss a topic and then interviews someone who is embarking upon a life without alcohol.
RSS Feed
Recovery Elevator
2021
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: March, 2021
Mar 29, 2021

Episode 319 - When I was stressed out at work or stressed by a social situation, alcohol would fix it temporarily, until it didn’t.  Now I’m accepting moods, feelings and phases come and go and it’s all okay.

 

Korie took her last drink on March 21, 2019. She is from Texas and is 32 years old.  This is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).

 

A request from Recover Elevator

 

We have a request; we would like to hear more from you!  Please consider making a one-minute video sharing your, “you might need to ditch the booze if… story”.  Hold your camera sideways, make it less than a minute and send it to: info@recoveryelevator.com.  Make it authentic to yourself and your journey.  We will post your video on Instagram.  If you share your Instagram handle, we will post that as well. We look forward to seeing more of you on our page.  Instagram:  @recovery elevator.

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message

 

Rediscovering your life beyond recovery.  You are all unique.  We are more than a drinking problem; we are more than recovery.  The life we now enjoy would disappear if we returned to drinking.  It is easy to feel  uniqueness –submerged in recovery.  In sobriety we don’t know when things will get better, but they do.  Sobriety is a piece of your whole life.  We all have the opportunity to learn and re-learn who we are. 

 

Maintenance is important to secure your sobriety.  If you stay the course, you get to graduate.   You always focus on maintaining sobriety, but it’s not all day every day, it becomes a piece of your broader life.  There are so many benefits to being present in sobriety – you can have your cake and eat it too.

 

[8:12] Odette introduces Korie

 

Korie said her last drink was 3/21/19.  She grew up in Austin, Texas and is 32 years old.  Korie was abroad and lived in Japan and Singapore and came to the US when she was 6 years old.  She is engaged and just bought a home outside of Austin.  Pre-quarantine, Korie was a social butterfly.  Now, she stays home more than she used to and loves getting outside, running, reading, drawing and anything artsy.

 

[11:46]  Tell us about your history with drinking.

 

Korie doesn’t remember her first drink of alcohol.  She would have a sip or two of her Mom’s wine and thought it was disgusting.  In high school she was in a few programs that required her to sign a contract saying she wouldn’t drink or party.  She followed the rules.  In college she remembers drinking, getting dizzy, self-control was gone, and she didn’t want it to stop because she liked the feeling.  She didn’t drink often. 

 

She worked in the restaurant industry which breeds lots of drinking.  It felt normal, until it didn’t.  When she graduated from college, she moved to Spain to become an Au Pair and drank a lot there.  She remembers staying out all night, being hung over and thinking she may have a problem and her drinking wasn’t normal.   The nightlife continued when she returned to the US.  She remembers getting drunk, getting sick and making bad decisions?

 

[15:13]  What thoughts were you having about your drinking?

 

Korie felt pretty justified because she judged her drinking based on what other people were doing.  She knew it wasn’t who she wanted to be

 

It started to feel not right.  When she left the restaurant industry, she recognized it wasn’t normal to drink every night.  She had a broader circle of friends to compare herself to.  She was working as a virtual concierge and was calling in to work, saying she was working from home, but just too hungover to go in.  She realized she was still drinking like she had in her twenties.  She never wants to experience an emotional rock bottom again. 

 

[18:46] Did you ever talk to anyone about your drinking?

 

Korie said a former boyfriend spoke to her about her drinking.  She got defensive and thought he was a bit paranoid.  Looking back, she realizes he was right to be concerned.  At 24, Korie verbalized concerns to her best friend, but kept drinking.  She started asking questions to people who went to AA. 

 

[20:48]  Did you ever attempt moderation?

 

Korie took a few weeks off of drinking before she stopped altogether.  On March 21 she had three glasses of wine and realized she couldn’t stop.  She knew the urge was so great and knew she was powerless over the urge.  She stopped then and that was it, she was done.

 

[22:40]  Have you asked yourself why you drank or why it was so hard to stop?

 

Korie said it was a variety of things, but the feeling of not belonging and trying to numb that feeling was at the top of the list.  Toward the latter part of her drinking, she began to feel less than when comparing herself to her friends and alcohol helped … until it didn’t.  Korie’s self-esteem has substantially improved since she quit drinking.  Her skin is clearer, she feels healthier, happier and she isn’t so self-conscious anymore.

 

When Korie was stressed out at work or stressed by a social situation, alcohol would fix it temporarily, until it didn’t.  Now she is accepting moods, feelings and phases come and go and it’s all okay.  Korie works hard at being accepting of others. 

 

[30:17]  How did things change for you after you quit drinking?

 

Korie said she felt different, it was black and white, and she knew she couldn’t drink anymore.  She listened to several podcasts, read some blogs  and followed sober people on Instagram.  She decided to check out an AA meeting near her home and it was all women.  It was exactly what she needed at the time and she appreciated everyone’s honesty.  Nobody glossed over their emotions.  In addition, she started going to Sans Bar which is an alcohol-free bar.  She was scared, but met the owner, Chris Marshall, and felt welcomed.  She was very connected with the sober community in Austin until Covid hit.  Now podcasts and connecting with friends keep her sober.

 

[35:26]  What do you do when you get a craving?  What tools work for you?

 

Korie doesn’t get cravings often and has learned she is usually hungry when she gets a craving.  She eats and drinks water.  When it’s an emotional craving, she turns off her technology, goes for a walk or connects with friends.  Vocalizing the craving gives it less power and the cravings pass within 20 minutes.

 

 

[36:36]  How did your family and friends react to your new lifestyle?

 

Korie told her best friend who was supportive and didn’t make a big fuss.  Their friendship became closer.  Some of her friends were surprised and asked why she quit drinking, but she never heard anything negative.  Her friends make sure to have AF beverages.  Her parents have been very supportive, particularly her Dad.  Her mom respects her choice but doesn’t completely understand it.  Dating after sobriety was a challenge.  Several dates ended quickly.  Her fiancé is supportive and asks lots of questions; he is a great partner.

 

[40:02]  Did you experience fear of missing out (FOMO)?

 

Korie said absolutely, but within a few weeks she would hang out at Sans Bar.  She went out, drank soda water with lime, and loved that at midnight she went home, instead of to the next bar.  Post quarantine, she has no FOMO at all.

 

[41:45] Has your sleep improved?

 

Korie said she slept through the night immediately and she stopped grinding her teeth.  Her dog interrupts her sleep occasionally, but her sleep is dramatically improved.

 

[42:25]  What do you say when people offer you a drink?

 

She says no, thanks.  Early on she said, I don’t drink – as a way to be accountable.  Now she just asks for a Coke or a Topo Chico.  Most people don’t bat an eye. 

 

[43:04] What is your favorite AF beverage?

 

Coffee with almond creamer – iced or hot.  She also loves sparkling water.

 

[43:33] Do you have any triggers?

 

Korie said work stress is her biggest trigger, particularly at the end of the day.  She takes a step back and practices calming the trigger or craving. 

During the summer when it’s hot, or after a run, she often craves alcohol.

 

[45:34]  Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What are you excited about right now?

 

Korie is excited to talk to Odette and get her story out there.  She is hoping to help others and excited about getting her two-year chip.

 

  1. What books are you reading?

 

Korie is reading the John Adams biography and she loves American history.  She also reads the Bible regularly.

 

  1. What is a lightbulb moment for you in this journey?

 

I am ok just the way I am and people like me when I’m not drinking.

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

 

Moose tracks.  It can be found in the Northwest.  It’s chocolate fudge, peanut butter cups and chocolate chips in vanilla ice cream.

 

  1. What piece of guidance would you give listeners who are considering ditching the booze?

 

It’s worth it and your life doesn’t stop.  It’s so worth it.

 

You might have to say adios to booze if …

 

You are so hungover, that the next day you are throwing up at 8 PM.

 

Mentions:

 

http://thesansbar.com/

 

 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

You are more than this struggle, not just your drinking struggle, but any struggle.  Leverage recovery to your advantage to build a foundation and you can be whoever you want to be.  Recovery is a lot of work, particularly in the beginning.  Keep your head up, don’t get discouraged and remember it gets better.

 

You are not alone and together is always better.  You are a bright star in the universe.  Shine on!

 

 Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021). This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

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.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

 

Mar 22, 2021

Episode 318 - No matter what comes your way, you are exactly where you are supposed to be.  So, live with it, don’t try to change it and do the next right thing.

 

Tony took his last drink on October 24, 2020.  He is a 42-year-old Canadian.  This is his story of living alcohol-free (AF)

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message

 

Recently Odette has been asking listeners, what is a perk of getting sober? The answers have included, no hangovers, improved sleep, wallet and overall health.

 

Odette also asked listeners about the ripple effect, the not so obvious outcomes of living AF.  The responses included:

 

  • Ability to manage my finances
  • Ability to help others who are struggling
  • Stronger and more meaningful relationships
  • I am present and more productive participant of my life
  • I understand and feel gratitude
  • I am more aligned with the person I work so hard to be
  • I am a better employee
  • Building confidence
  • Better hand-eye coordination
  • Path of emotional discovery
  • Running and being active
  • Understanding my authentic identity and not being so self-conscious when sharing my authentic self with the world
  • I learned to ski
  • Anything is possible when you are not hungover
  • Patient
  • Nicer
  • House is cleaner
  • Tackling projects
  • New friends
  • People in sobriety are not boring, they are cool and fun
  • Repairing relationships
  • Procrastinate less
  • Better parent, more firm, able to hold boundaries and be kinder
  • More playful
  • Don’t need a shield (glasses) to hide anymore
  • I’m a morning person
  • I have fun
  • I binge eat less
  • I’m proud
  • I am more organized

 

Sobriety tools become life tools that help us become better versions of ourselves.  Odette is more forgiving of herself and others.   Her standards, for herself and others have changed.  She is less of a perfectionist.  She has more grace toward herself and others.  She is more connected to her humanity and doing her best, day by day.  She says what she really means, vs what she thinks she needs to say.  She is okay with not being liked by everyone and aware of her tendency to be a people pleaser.

 

What are your unexpected perks of sobriety?

 

[8:50] Odette introduces Tony.

 

Tony took his last drink on October 24, 2020.  He is from St. Paul, Alberta, Canada. Has 3 children: a son (18), a daughter (15), a daughter (10) and a stepson (23).  He is currently a full-time student since his career came to a halt when he entered rehab last year.  Tony enjoys anything outdoors, particularly tobogganing, snowboarding, skiing …anything outside.

He is currently separated from his wife.

 

[12:34] Tell us about your history with drinking.

 

Tony lost Mom when he was 13 in a tragic car accident.  His first drink was shortly after that and by15 he remembers getting blackout drunk.  Drinking made him feel bullet-proof.   It helped him avoid the pain of grief.

 

He did well in school, he was an honors student.  After graduating from high school, he followed his Dad’s working on the road.  He would binge drink occasionally.

He got into the oilfield business.   He said, you earn a lot of money, work hard and play hard.  When he was on the road, he and his colleagues would party.  His drinking was normalized because everyone did it.  He and his high school girlfriend had a son. 

 

When he returned home, his drinking was chaotic.  He drank more, passed out regularly.  His drinking felt normalized, because everyone was doing it. 

 

His Dad offered him a job as a crew supervisor.  He was trying to taper his drinking because his son was around, and his daughter was on the way.  As he went into management he isolated more, which led to drinking when he got back to his hotel.  He would average 5-6 beers a night.

 

He also began engaging with other women while he was on the road.  He got caught and within four months, his girlfriend was done with him. He immediately jumped into another relationship; it was perfect because they both drank to excess.  His drinking continued to escalate. 

 

[18:02] You have mentioned your drinking was normalized.  Did you have conversations with yourself about your drinking?

 

Tony said he believed his behavior was normal.  He followed his father’s example.  He saw his Dad as the best Dad in the world, his Dad never brought his problems home or drank after work.  Tony went to more extremes than his father.  He needed the alcohol to feel normal.

 

[19:46] How did your relationship unfold?

 

Tony was married within seven months and he got married to spite his first girlfriend who was the mother of his first two children.  They welcomed a child after a year.  Within 14 months, his wife asked for a divorce.  He entered a 12-step program to save his marriage, but it about saving the relationship, not his own development.  His wife filed for divorce and he went back to work on the drilling rigs.  He went home and his doctor started him on Ativan.  He drove home, blacked out and was in a head on collision with a semi-truck.  He lost his arm in that accident.  His wife never came to the hospital.  He was devastated, but his drinking ramped up.

 

Tony started looking for a relationship, drinking 5 night a week, trying to rehabilitate after losing his arm and he was offered a job with his Dad’s company.  His drinking continued to escalate, and he started losing days.  On the surface he was highly functioning, making lots of money.  He didn’t think his drinking was a problem. 

 

[23:52] How was your heart feeling?  Did you enjoy drinking?

 

Tony said he was transitioning from enjoying drinking, but once he was intoxicated, he was going through the motions.  Most of his happiness was just pretending.  He also realized his arm was never going to grow back.  He gave up on life.  Within two years, he met his current wife and they really hit it off.  He was honest about his journey and he was happy initially.  His co-dependency continued to emerge.  He proposed and got married.  His drinking slowed down, but he wasn’t happy with his life, his promotions, his income, his car, nothing was ever enough.  A friend invited him and his wife to a music festival and Tony let loose.  After that, his drinking ramped up.  He was the life of the party and everything felt real again.  He got a job working for the government so he could be home.  The money wasn’t great, and he started drinking every night in the garage.  He often fell asleep in the garage.  The alcohol stopped working, so he started smoking marijuana.  Marijuana became a pattern, but within 5 months it stopped working.  He started doing hard drugs, specifically cocaine.

 

He recognized in 2019 that he needed to go to rehab because he was addicted to cocaine.  He hid his cocaine addiction well from his family.  He discussed it with his wife and went to a treatment center in January of 2020 with the intention of getting clean and saving his family.  Upon discharge, he worked his program and got a sponsor.  He returned to work and within 45 days he relapsed.  He went to Fort McMurray (a hot bed for addiction) and when he returned home, he picked a fight with his wife, drank 40 ounces of Scotch, destroyed the house and had suicidal ideations.  He had a plan to kill himself with heroin but was pulled over by the Royal Canadian police and woke up in a jail cell.  While in jail, he had chest pains and was hospitalized. The doctor advised he was having an allergic reaction to the alcohol.  After he was released, he lost his job.   Tony continued to have suicidal ideations.  He asked his son to take him to the hospital and he was admitted to the psych ward and was sent to a treatment facility.  He opened up and got honest.  After he was released, he decided to go back to school.  He moved to BC, enjoyed school, isolated himself and relapsed.

 

On October 23rd, he took his last drink/drug.  He had a gun on one side and a phone with his sponsor’s number on the other side.  Within a few hours, he called his sponsor and began working his program and the steps.  He now lives in Medicine Hat and he says every time he tells his story, it gets a little bit lighter.

 

[37:03]. What has been the contributing factor to your resilience?

 

Tony said his resilience comes from his Dad.  His Dad is his hero; he always gets up after he falls down.  He quit drinking and never picked up again.  He made it through many challenges and helped Tony to realize who he is.

 

Tony has pushed his Dad away several times which he attributes to addiction.

 

[39:34] You have said that your life is re-starting, does that give you hope?

 

Tony said that in the last 75 days he has never been happier.  He had lots of time not drinking before, but he wasn’t working a program.  He is so glad he never picked up that gun and he his son are now best friends.

 

Tony is proud that he has been able to put the substances down and rebuild his life. 

 

[41:18]. Tell me how your body has responded to sobriety?

 

Tony said he was fortunate because he detoxed before going to treatment.  He never went on benders, so the physical detox wasn’t terrible (the cold sweats, shakes, etc.).  In sobriety, he lost 20 pounds, he is hiking and tries not to beat his body up.  He tries to get good sleep and helps his body and feels amazing.

 

[43:54]. Tell me about your spirit.  How have you healed emotionally?

 

Tony has two sponsors (NA and AA).  He speaks with one for 30 minutes minimum, daily.  He also talks to another addict or alcoholic daily.  He believes it is important to stay connected.  He goes to AA and NA meetings.  He sees a therapist once a month and a trauma counselor once a month.

 

His sponsor has told him, no matter where you are, it’s where you are supposed to be.  Deal with it, don’t try to change it and do the next right thing.

 

[48:18]. Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What are you excited and hopeful about right now?

Completing my schooling so I can enroll in an additions counseling program.

 

  1. What would you tell your younger self?

Don’t give up on yourself.  You will have bad days, but there are more good ones.

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Vanilla with chocolate syrup and sprinkles.

 

  1. Do you like Tim Horton’s (coffee)?

Yes, but I prefer McDonald’s coffee.

 

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

No matter what you are not alone.  Give those that reach out to help you a chance.  Let them love you until you can love yourself.

 

You might need to Ditch the Booze if ….

 

You are drinking Jack Daniels and Coke out of your prosthetic arm.

 

Odette’s Weekly Challenge

 

Odette continues to find unexpected joys in being sober.  She is learning to slow down.  While she still has a full plate, she isn’t looking for extra things to fill up her time.  She likes herself, so she doesn’t have to hide anymore.  She chases the pauses and feels her feelings instead of chasing the highs.  She knows she is not perfect and has learned to appreciate her progress.

 

Remember you are not alone and together is always better.  This journey is full of unexpected surprises.  Enjoy the ride!

 

 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021) This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

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.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

Mar 15, 2021

Episode 317  - Lean into the support from people who want to help you.  Dig into yourself.  There is an endless well of spirit, heart, and capacity that we all have. We just need to tap into it—everything you need you have.

 

Lunita took her last drink on October 10, 2020. She is from San Diego.  This is her story of living alcohol-free (AF)

 

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

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message

 

There is a myth of sobriety, that sobriety is not fun.  Odette finds joy when people debunk this myth.  Some of her favorite badass sober stories include:

 

Bradley Cooper – sober at 29 years old.   He attributes his career success to his sobriety.

Brad Pitt – credits his sobriety to Bradley Cooper.  

Florence Welsh – sobriety does not doom you to boredom. 

David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister in the early 1900’s, backed the licensing bill. 

Dax Shepherd says he wouldn’t have anything he has without his sobriety.  His guests and podcast sponsors are a lot of fun.

Anthony Hopkins recently hit 45 years, sober saying, “Hang in there.  Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about yesterday.  Young- people, don’t give up.  Just keep in there”

Cristiano Ronaldo, a Portuguese soccer player, is sober.  His father passed from alcohol abuse, and Cristiano has changed his life trajectory and is a role model of sobriety for his family.

 

Al Pacino, Jamie Lee Curtis, Robert Downey, Jr., Eminem, Chrissy Teigen, Keith Urban, Kelly Osbourne, Ben Affleck, Gillian Jacobs, James Franco, John Travolta, Shakira, J.Lo, Stephen King, Eva Mendes, Tom Cruise,  Natalie Portman, Elton John, Zac Efron, Tyra Banks, Daniel Radcliffe, Demi Lovato, Chris Martin (Coldplay) among many others are on the sober team.

 

We are not alone, we are not boring, quite the contrary.  Sobriety is the gateway to authenticity.  How do you feel about joining the alcohol-free club and staying in it with us?

 

[8:57] Odette Introduces Lunita

 

Lunita is Latina like Odette.  She hit reset on  October 10, 2020.  She is an American-born bi-cultural person from San Diego and a single mom.  Her father is from Panama, and her mother is from Mexico.  Her daughters are 9 and 11.  She is a yoga teacher and healing arts practitioner.  She loves nature, plant medicine, yoga, and she is a poet, writer, painter and loves anything to do with arts and the body. 

 

[11:42]  Tell us about your history with drinking?

 

Lunita took her first drink at 14 in Mexico, where the lines are a little more blurred.  As she looks back at that time, drinking gave her a sense of calm and inner knowing that she had never felt before.  Her nervous system was soothed by alcohol.  She was a highly sensitive child, and her parents didn’t know how to manage her gifts. 

 

She drank through her teenage years into her twenties.  Occasionally she would blackout.  She liked drinking.  She said alcohol took her from a highly sensitive introvert to a comfortable, fun drunk.  It awakened her artistic side.  She didn’t want to stop because it was fun. 

 

Fast forward, Lunita got pregnant, got married, had two children, and drinking became her coping mechanism for managing parenting as a young adult.    She was a part of the mommy wine culture.  She realized she was drinking every night.  After she and her husband separated, her drinking became dark.  She drank every night while trying to hold it together for work and her daughters.  She hated her life and felt terrible and disconnected from herself every day.  Her husband and best friend made comments about her drinking, but she didn’t want to stop. Drinking became a medication, a chemical dependency.  Alcohol was sinking Lunita.

 

In her thirties, she was cornered by a cousin, then her best friend who caught her sneaking drinks or blacking out. 

 

[17:19]  How did you respond to the comments from other people?

 

Lunita said she was telling herself it was ok.  She would get defensive or appease others with slogans like “mommy happy hour”  “5 o’clock somewhere”.  She was presentable, so she didn’t think there was a problem. 

 

She found herself being very inconsistent.  She was eating clean, practicing yoga,  running, drinking green smoothies, but drinking every night.  She was aware of the dissonance, but she still didn’t want to stop drinking.

 

[20:52}  Tell me about the shift within you.

 

Lunita said she started drinking hard liquor instead of beer or wine because she could get drunk faster, with fewer calories.  Her body reacted right away.  The hangovers became worse, she lost her appetite, and the fun of drinking turned into darkness.  She began to experience rock bottom moments in relationships or at work.  She was no longer in denial but wasn’t sure what to do.

 

Four years ago, her friend said, “you’ve got to do something.” She was sober for two years.  Since then, she’s had some resets.  She knew it was die or get sober.

 

[24:06] Have you identified the reasons why you would drink again, and what tools have you added along the way?

 

Lunita said community, healing, yoga, meditation, and plants allowed her to release alcohol from her life for two years.  She felt alive, vital, and fresh.  Then she said she thought she could pursue healthy drinking with wine or beer, no hard liquor.  She wasn’t blacking out, but she noticed a gradual backslide with her relationships and her work.  The old habit wasn’t serving her anymore.  She had a brief period of drinking again but was sober for six months.  In October, she reset her self-talk and said, I am not doing anything that doesn’t serve me.  That became a massive shift for her, from her highest self.   She doesn’t choose anything that doesn’t suit her anymore.

 

She now focuses on activism about alcohol.  She believes it is a privilege to have a functional relationship with alcohol.  Now that she is sober, the work she is offering the world makes a difference.

 

[31:16]  Tell me more about this time being different?  How do you deal with cravings or discomfort?

 

Lunita said she deals with discomfort by leveraging therapy.  As a human, she wants to do her own work while continuing to help others.  Her therapist has been crucial.  Accountability through community has been instrumental for her.   She said that having a sober partner has made an enormous difference for her, and she appreciates his support.  Community is huge for Lunita, and her yoga practice, breathwork, herbs, and running are pivotal.  They help healthily regulate her nervous system.

 

Lunita drinks embarrassing amounts of Pellegrino, teas, tonics, and elixirs to overcome cravings.

 

[35:21]  You described yourself as a sensitive person, an empath.  How has the acceptance of your true essence shifted your ability to be authentic to yourself?

 

Lunita said it had been a journey and a stubborn need to overcome the distortions, toxic family structure, the lies she told herself, and accept she is not like anyone else and isn’t meant to be.  Her reclamation of herself came from sobriety and being sober.  She avoided talking about recovery during her first two years of sobriety because of the shame.  Now she knows some of the most radical, authentic beings have issues with addiction.  She is learning to make space for herself, rebel for herself, and heal herself so she can be an example for her daughters.

 

[41:46] Tell me about your relationships and how they have shifted over the years?

 

Lunita said the law of quantum physics means our vibe attracts people who are with us.    She was attracting certain people who were looking for a healing, medicine, or heart.  Those relationships were not serving her because they were one-way relationships.  Now she has an amazing partner because she is serving her highest self.  She attracts people who participate equally in relationships with her.  She was dating the same version of who she was.  When she started honoring her true self, all of her relationships changed.  She now attracts beautiful heart-centered people.

 

[46:39}  Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What are you excited about right now?

I am completely myself – for better or worse.  In every relationship, in every moment, I am myself.  It is such a relief.

 

  1. What would you say to your younger self?

Your weirdness is magic.  You don’t have to try to be cool, Do YOU.

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Chocolate chip cookie dough

 

  1. What piece of guidance would you give to listeners who are thinking about ditching the booze?

You are so much braver and more capable than you think.  If I can do it, you can do it.  Seek support from people who want to help you.  Dig into yourself.   There is an endless well of spirit and heart.  We just have to tap into that – it’s there.  I promise everything you need you have.

 

You may have to say adios to booze if ….

 

If you are hiding bottles.

 

Odette’s Weekly Challenge

Search for sober people in your interest bubbles (sober Mom’s, sober artists, sober photographers, sober writers).  We are all out here; you just have to look closer.  Denzel Washington said, “I made a commitment to completely cut out drinking and anything that might hamper me from getting my mind and body together.  The floodgates of goodness have opened upon me:  spiritually, emotionally, and financially. 

 

You are not alone, together is always better.  Welcome to the sober club.  I promise it's going to be fun. 

 

 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021) This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

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.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

 

 

 

Mar 8, 2021

Episode 316 – When I get an urge or a craving, I'll be better next time this creeps up.

 

Paul took his last drink on February 29, 2020.  He is from Long Island and is 30 years old.  This is his story of living alcohol-free (AF).

 

Today's sponsor is Firebrew.  They are also sponsoring our Bozeman retreat.  

 https://www.mindyourmanna.co/  Discount Code:  RE10off

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette's weekly message

 

What is the difference between being sober and being in recovery?  The definition of sobriety is the condition of not having any measurable levels or effects from alcohol or other drugs.  Sobriety is also considered to be the natural state of a human being at birth. 

 

Recovery signifies you know you have a problem and are trying to fix it.  It doesn't mean you resolve your issues right away.  You recognize something is wrong, which is a critical part of getting help. 

 

https://7summitpathways.com/blog/what-does-it-mean-in-recovery/#:~:text=What%20Being%20in%20Recovery%20Means,synonymous%20with%20%E2%80%9Cin%20remission.%E2%80%9D

 

When you are in recovery, you feel a kinship to others in recovery, make decisions based on how they will impact your recovery, adjust friendships and relationships based on how they affect recovery, and never let down your guard. 

 

Can you be sober and not in recovery?  Yes, abstaining is the first part.

 

A recovery mindset allows you to grow and develop your self-awareness.  It helps you question your relationships and boundaries.  Recovery is for everyone. You don't have to be an "alcoholic." Recovery is about being open to change and adjustments in your life – asking for help.

 

Many of us abstain for some time before we are ready for recovery.  The recovery mindset allows for growth, new connections, and community.

 

Are you ready to step into the arena of recovery?  We are here and ready for you.

 

[7:43]  Odette introduces Paul

 

Paul took his last drink on February 29, 2020.  He is from Long Island, NY, and lives in Brooklyn.  He is a Physical Education teacher and a personal trainer.  He trains for fun, is getting into karate, and likes getting out into nature, which isn't easy in Brooklyn.

 

Paul opened his training business during COVID. He leveraged COVID as an opportunity to pivot the world of fitness and adapt to the new normal.

 

Paul started drinking toward the end of high school.  Cannabis was his first substance, not alcohol.  When he went to college, his drinking dialed up.  In his mid 20's cannabis wasn't helping anymore, so his drinking escalated and became a problem.

 

As Paul reflects, his Dad overdosed when he was twelve, and his mother now has twelve years of sobriety.  Childhood issues contributed to his desire to numb out. His substance abuse was a symptom of early childhood trauma. 

 

[12:23] How was your childhood?  Were you trying to cope or escape from tragedy?

 

Paul said he is an extrovert.  He is open about his childhood experiences. It helps him to open up.  When Paul's mom re-married and had a baby, postpartum depression kicked in, and she shut out the world by drinking.  Paul said he was naïve and tried to take the bottle away from his mom.  He frequently cared for his brother.  His stepdad lost his temper with his mom's drinking, leading to his stepdad's arrest.  Ultimately, his mom checked into treatment and now has 12 years of sobriety.  Paul leveraged boxing as a way to escape and found solace in fitness.

 

[16:33] Did you notice that you developed a care-taking aspect of your personality?

 

Yes, Paul is a caretaker, particularly with the fitness routine and teaching elementary school. He goes out of his way to help people.

 

[18:12]  Our families can recover together.  Do you think about changing the trajectory of your ancestry?

 

Paul said a driving factor for him was seeing the lows his mom experienced when drinking, and he knew he didn't want that for himself or his kids.

 

Paul sees two sides to the coin.  Life is not easy. Addiction is not a surprise; it can harden you.  You have to find the why and the bigger picture to overcome addiction.

 

His last drink was the first confirmed case of COVID in NYC

 

[21:02]  Tell me about the progression of fitness and drinking in your life.

 

Paul went back a bit and said he experimented with other drugs in college, and they began to play a role in his life.  His mom always reminded him that addiction ran in the family.  When Paul did a semester abroad in England, his substance abuse became a problem.  He played rugby, but his drinking took over.  When he returned to the US, he started bartending, drinking, and doing cocaine.  Within six months, he lost his best friend to an overdose, then his Uncle to a drunk driver.  He didn't realize he was drinking through his grief.  He wasn't responsible.  He lost his bartending job and ran out of money.  He had to move back home.  After a fight with his mom, he went out drinking, got a DWI, and was locked up for 24 hours, which was a rock bottom for him. 

 

He turned things around and started applying to graduate programs and was accepted by a non-profit organization that paid for his Master's in Physical Education.  He moved into New York City.

 

[27:06]  Were you drinking all this time?

 

Paul said he does well with a full plate.  He was still drinking, but not nearly as much.  He took a month off after his DWI.  He had three jobs and was in a Master's program.  He was too busy for drinking to be an issue.  When he graduated from his Master's program, he decided to give personal training a shot.  He got a hernia and lost business because he couldn't train clients.  He started drinking a lot.  In 2017, he walked out of work on New Year's Eve, lost his phone, wallet, and had to call his mom to pick him up – another rock bottom moment.  He subsequently completed a teaching certification program and started teaching PE.

 

[29:58]  Did you think by adding responsibilities, you could avoid the rock bottom moments?

 

Paul said he has always been resilient – he bounces back quickly.  He made changes immediately. 

 

[30:36] What did your mom say when she picked you up?

 

Paul believes his mom knew he wasn't ready yet.  She didn't press him about recovery; she was quiet but told him he needed to figure it out.  Then he met his girlfriend.  He had three bad experiences in a row, which led him to quit drinking.  He went to a few AA meetings, started reading quit lit, and within a month, he went into Smart Recovery, and eight months later, he is on this podcast. 

 

Looking at his drinking patterns objectively made it easier for him to decide to quit.  Quitting during COVID was odd, but he is mindful of getting through cravings.

 

[38:41]  How did you establish a routine during shut down?

 

Paul said he trained to fight.  He bought a punching bag, kettlebells and he has a very structured routine including mediation, yoga, infrared sauna, cold showers, and daily routine builds his confidence. 

 

[40:10]  Did your performance improve when you quit drinking?

 

Paul realized he was leaving a lot on the table.  He ran an ultra-marathon in the summer and is aiming toward a 500-pound deadlift in Q1 2021.  He continues to study physiology and has learned a lot about what alcohol does to your entire body, from sleep deprivation, poor recovery, and stress.  He knows that drinking kept him from realizing his potential as a boxer.

 

Paul said fitness is his thing.  He doesn't romanticize drinking like artists, writers, or musicians.  Drinking hinders fitness performance. 

 

[44:48]  Do you work with people in recovery as well?

 

Paul works with all types of clients and is starting to incorporate individuals in recovery and expand that outreach.  He trains people he wants to help and loves working with kids.

 

[48:10]  What do you do when you get a craving?

 

Paul said he tries to turn it on its head and thinks of it like building a new muscle.  Café RE helps him a lot.  Family parties stressed him out because he was focused on not drinking.  He attends several Café RE meetings a week to surround himself with like-minded people and create accountability.  Quitting drinking isn't easy, but it's simple – just don't have a drink.

 

[51:52]  Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What would you say to your younger self?

You're going to be good.  Take what life throws at you and keep moving forward

 

  1. What has recovery made possible for you?

Finding more joy and discovering what joy is for me.

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Chocolate chip cookie dough

 

  1. What are you excited about right now?

My business.  Fitness will train differently post COVID, and he is excited about what's to come.

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance would you give to people who are considering ditching the booze?

Try to picture a  life without alcohol before you submit to it.  Incremental improvement goes a long way.

 

You might want to say Adios to booze if ….

 

If you have to drink a six-pack before a bartending shift or if you lose your car.

 

Learn more about Paul on Instagram: recoveryfit1

 

Odette's Summary

Recovery is an opportunity when you reframe and shift your mindset.  The way we label things has a direct impact on our experience.  Let this journey back home be full of fun, mysteries, and new discoveries.  Your life is waiting.  Remember that you are not alone and together is always better. 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021) This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you'll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

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.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

"Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys"

Mar 1, 2021

– I can’t even imagine picking up a drink to solve something anymore.  It doesn’t even cross my mind.

 

Kate took her last drink on August 11, 2018.   She is 42 and lives in New Jersey.  This is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).

 

Today’s sponsor is Better Help.

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

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message

 

Odette has been thinking about the process of change.  When she is having a down day, she wonders, am I doing recovery right?  Am I making progress?  Is the work worth it?  It’s muddy and contradictory, particularly with our labeling minds.  

 

We think bad days mean we are doing something wrong, and negative emotions are guides in the wrong direction.   On hard days, Odette uses more tools, which probably means she is making more progress.

 

Holly Whittaker posted on her Instagram page a sketch that highlights the Hourglass of Change.  It shows there is a range of emotions from start to goal.  Odette thinks we need to learn to appreciate the hourglass of change, label-less, and accept more.  Negative emotions have a place in our chapter of change.  When Odette looks for peace instead of euphoria and moves gently with her feelings, she remembers compassion is critical.  We need to have compassion for ourselves and others. 

 

Let us remember that we are all on the same path, wanting to connect with others and feel like we belong.  If sobriety is kicking you in the butt right now, don’t be so hard on yourself. Take it as a sign of progress.  You are on the right track.  You are right where you are supposed to be.

 

[7:30] Odette introduces Kate

 

Kate took her last drink on August 11, 2018.   She is 42, lives in New Jersey, and works for Recovery Elevator.   

 

Kate said she was born and raised in New Jersey.   She, her husband Jay, and their cats keep life interesting.  Kate works in the art world.   She is crafty and knits, sews, and cross stitches.  She loves to exercise and get outside.

 

[8:54] Give listeners some background on your history with drinking

 

Kate said she took her first drink at 14.  She was severely inebriated and blacked out.  The only other time she drank in high school, she blacked out.  Kate went to college in Pennsylvania, and drinking was part of the culture.  She was in a sorority, and everyone drank on the weekends.  Her drinking seemed normal and what everyone was doing.

 

After college, she started to notice some demons.

 

Kate recalled in early childhood being asked to sit on the choir director’s lap at church and kiss him.  She was taught to respect her elders.  Looking back, she realizes her life then took an awkward turn.  She developed an eating disorder.  When she started drinking, the eating disorder went away.  In college, she became the ultimate party girl.  She worked in galleries and auction houses, and drinking was encouraged. 

 

She moved to the UK in 2007 and was there for four years.  She contrasted the drinking culture in the UK versus New York.  Kate knew she had found her people.  Her drinking ramped up.  After her divorce, she would drink to obliteration with vodka.  She learned geographic changes don’t work.

 

[12:51] Odette asked what was going on in her brain about her drinking.

 

Kate said she knew from her first drink that she shouldn’t drink.  Alcoholism runs in her family. Her father has five years of sobriety.  Every day was a struggle to continue keeping up appearances and be a high-functioning professional while drinking copious amounts of alcohol at night. 

 

14:10 Did you talk to anyone about your eating disorder, drinking, or what happened during your childhood?

 

Kate said she was raised in a family where appearance meant everything. It went to the extreme that she and her siblings were wearing matching outfits for every holiday.  Kate believes the 3 of them were struggling with who they are.

 

Kate told her mother about the choir director, and she didn’t believe her.  Her friend’s mother found out about what was happening and sat down with Kate and talked it through.  The kissing stopped, but she had to stay in the choir and see him weekly.  At 14, the choir director turned it back on her in front of the entire chorus.  She was embarrassed as a teenager.  As an adult, she is mortified that it was allowed to happen.

 

[16:37] Tell me more about what happened when you were in the UK?

 

Kate said she moved back to the US because she was engaged to another man.  When she lived in the UK, she was sexually assaulted by someone she was dating.  This became a turning point.  Within six months, she fled back to New York and got a job at a gallery.   She then met another man who was a master manipulator, and they would drink a lot together.  During Hurricane Sandy, they were stuck together.  She tried to break up with him, and he would manipulate his way back.  Kate’s drinking escalated due to the confusion associated with the manipulation.

 

[18:21] Did you notice you were drinking more?  Was your tolerance increasing?

 

Kate said yes.  A bottle of wine an evening was a standard routine.   After a friend’s 40th birthday, she was so drunk it required two people to get her into her home.  At 5 AM the next morning, she was passed out on the floor of her apartment, fully clothed, and she had urinated on herself.  That was her first attempt to quit drinking, and it lasted about 90 days.  When she went back to drinking, it progressed to 2-3 handles of vodka a week.  She was working remotely most of the time, which masked much of her drinking.  Her company is versed in recovery, and they encourage recovery.

 

[20:29]   Did your drinking effect your relationship?  How did that change when you quit drinking?

 

Kate said her husband is a heavy drinker as well, and they fueled each other as drinking partners.  As her recovery has evolved, it has put some strain on her marriage.  Kate and Jay didn’t discuss their drinking because they both had a problem.  They are trying to rediscover who they are as a couple and learn to communicate.  Kate said her husband is a rough and tumble guy who has lived a hard life, which puts him in a gender norm that he doesn’t talk about his feelings.  Now that she is sober, Kate talks about all of her feelings.  She has sought out other friends to express her feelings, and she wishes she and her husband could speak more openly.   They have never talked about why she stopped drinking.  Jay hasn’t seen all of the new dimensions of Kate that have evolved due to her sobriety. 

 

[24:37]  Tell me a little bit more about what happened after those 90 days?

 

Kate said start, restart, try again.  She never moderated.  It was black and white; there was no in-between.  She walked into her first AA meeting at 24 years old but didn’t want to admit she had a drinking problem.  From 2017 to 2018, Kate knew if she had continued drinking, it would kill her.  She had many day one’s – she couldn’t put together stretches of time.

 

[26:40] What happened in August?

 

Kate said in July of 2018, she was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  After forty “day one’s,” she put her wine down before her friend’s baby shower and said, we’re done.  She googled recovery podcasts and found Recovery Elevator episode 2.  She clicked play and connected with Paul’s sober date.  It was the first time she heard similarities about how she drank and how other people spoke about their drinking.   In August 2018, she signed up for Café RE.  She discovered a community that was pursuing the same goal.  The encouragement from like-minded people made a difference. 

 

Kate did an Instagram live with Heather of Ditch the Drink, and it was so beautiful for Kate to see her recovery friends and her “regular” friends together.   

 

[32:01] Do you still get cravings?

 

Kate said she does not get cravings.  She likes inclusion to have an AF drink in her hand because it’s about being “part of” the event, not the alcohol in the glass.

 

[33:02] What do you do when you go to a party, and someone asks what you want to drink?

 

Kate brings her own, or she will grab a seltzer.  If she is ever asked, are you sure you don’t want just one? she offers to burn down their house. 

 

[34:10] Have you started healing, and what tools do you use?

 

Kate said she had two incredible therapists.  Her first therapist got her through her divorce,  allowing the story to unfold itself on Kate’s timetable.  She lets Kate start and stop as needed. 

 

She also had solo sessions with her couple’s therapist, who has a very different style.  He has been teaching her she is valid, worth it and her thoughts and ideas are not stupid.  Kate’s father believes she is too sensitive, which hurts deeply.   Her therapist helped her understand that being sensitive is okay.  She now understands her sensitivity is what makes her who she is.  It inspires her ability to break out into song, making up new lyrics.

 

Odette believes that Kate’s sensitivity is her superpower.

 

[38:00]  Tell me more about why recovery is important in your company?

 

Kate said the owner of the company had personal struggles with addiction, and several employees are sober.  The company cheerleads Kate’s recovery, and her boss was supportive of her work with Café RE. 

 

Odette commented about the stigma about recovery in the corporate world and how much Kate’s company gives her hope.

 

[40:58] What are you excited about right now?

 

Kate said she is excited about everything.  She is excited about finishing a cross-stitch stocking and how her company is moving forward in 2021. 

 

[42:30] Rapid Fire Round 

 

  1. If you could talk to Katie when she was younger, what would you say?

OMG, you are so f*ing pretty and worth it.  You are a beautiful person, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

 

  1. What is a lightbulb moment for you on this journey?

I can’t even imagine picking up a drink to solve something anymore.  It doesn’t even cross my mind. 

 

  1. What has recovery made possible for you?

Recovery has made everything possible.  Kate has saved $30,000 since she quit drinking and now has to buy Odette coffee.

 

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

You have to find a community.  Kate has discovered her recovery family in Café RE. It’s her #1 resource. 

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Rum raisin and peanut butter ripple, but not at the same time. 

 

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

This is the best decision you will ever make in your life and stop waiting.

 

You might want to say adios to booze if …

You are so drunk at your wedding that you fall asleep at the dinner table.

 

 

Odette’s Summary

Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.  We took the elevator down. We’ve got to take the stairs back up.  We can do this.  I love you guys.

 

Affiliate Link for Endourage:

For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout. 

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon:

Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

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.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

 

1