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Recovery Elevator

It isn't a no to alcohol, but a yes to a better life! On the Recovery Elevator podcast, you'll learn from guests that life after alcohol is much better and it's an opportunity of a lifetime. Paul, Season 1 and Odette, Season 2, cover topics such as, does moderate drinking work, does addiction serve a purpose, what happens to the brain when we quit drinking, should you track sobriety time, is AA right for you, what the hell is spirituality, what this journey looks like, how science and spirituality are merging and what that means for addiction treatment, we talk about emotions and how to deal with them without alcohol, cravings, we talk about relapse aka "field research," how to build that in-person community and burning the ships! Similar to other recovery podcasts like This Naked Mind, the Shair Podcast, and the Recovered Podcast, Paul and Odette discuss a topic and then interviews someone who is embarking upon a life without alcohol.
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Now displaying: August, 2021
Aug 30, 2021

Episode 341 – Head into the storm

 

On today’s podcast we’ve got Britt, she is 45, from California and she took her last drink on November 13, 2018.

 

Registration for Costa Rica (January 15-23) opens Wednesday 9/1.  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Solving human problems can be discovered in nature.  Lone bison run away from storms in the opposite direction.  Humans run away from cravings and tough life challenges.  Packs of bison walk through the storm together, shoulder to shoulder.  They know the quickest way to weather the storm is through.  It’s vital that we work alongside others to weather the storm of addiction.  Facing the storm together is fun.

 

[6:52] Paul shares a great story about his adventures with Britt and how much he admires how she has embraced her AF journey.  Paul loves how Britt burned the ships and showed how invigorating life can be sans alcohol. 

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code: RE20

 

[09:54] Britt took her last drink November 13, 2018.  She loves the outdoors, hiking and music.

 

Britt had a slow burn into active addiction.  She struggled with depression and agoraphobia in her teens.  When she hit 30, she lost 100 pounds.   Losing that much weight is a challenge.  Drinking helped her deal with those emotions.  She quit drinking after the loss of a friend and white knuckled for over a year.  She went back to drinking, but it progressed.  Reviewing her journals helped her to see she made multiple attempts to quit and moderate.  She made a geographic change hoping for a cure.  She believed her rock bottom came when she was drinking daily, then she went to work for a liquor store while looking for full time work.  Cognitive dissonance was in play for two years, and she never gave up.  While listening to podcasts, she tried a 30-day solution and it stuck.

 

Britt found that drinking gave her a tiny feeling of satisfaction that ultimately turned into shame and loathing.  Control has been a theme that she is continuing to explore.  Once she was able to stack some days, she leveraged journaling and Café RE retreats.  Meeting other people who were also ditching the booze inspired a new level of accountability that worked.  Personal integrity helped her to honor her commitment to quit drinking.  Britt learned that she leveraged food, exercise, and relationships to soothe herself.  Now she explores new parks or trails.  Meditation has been instrumental to her sobriety.  Addiction has humbled Britt, softened her relationships, and opened her to more meaningful connections.

 

[42:17] Britt shares a powerful journal entry.  Addiction isn’t in a place, and neither is recovery.  There is freedom in that.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds listeners that her life is messy with ups, downs, good and bad days.  Keep showing up and remember you help others by showing up. 

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/
  • You can find more information about our events

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Aug 23, 2021

Episode 340  – Give yourself a break

 

On today’s podcast we’ve got Mike, he is 36, from Fort Worth, TX and he took his last drink on September 20, 2020.

 

Highlights from Paul

 

We are incredibly hard on ourselves. The point of this episode is to give us permission to let much of that go, and to move the needle slightly on how you view yourself and the drinking.

 

Hating yourself for drinking, for not being able to quit drinking, for not holding the promises made to yourself, etc. isn’t productive.  The shame and guilt that accompany those statements isn’t either.

 

Dr. Gabor Mate congratulates someone who experienced depression. Why? Because depression and anxiety are mechanisms that kick in for us to go internal and find ourselves. Give yourself a break if you experience addiction, anxiety, or depression. Use them as levers to learn to know and love yourself. 

 

Check out Paul’s YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2mVZadRTkA&t=1s

 

Paul suggests not making self-love conditional or transactional.  He also suggests finding healthier coping strategies.  They are infinite.

 

Exact Nature re20@exactnature.com

 

[12:44] Mike took his last drink on September 20, 2020.  He is married and expecting a baby boy. 

 

Mike’s drinking began in high school.  His drinking progressed from a 12 pack of Coors Light to 2 12 packs of white claws a day.  In his late twenties, he started logging his drinks on his calendar. He got married and hoped his behavior would change.  He could go for a few months without drinking but was a dry drunk.  He was very focused on being manly and Mike’s version of that meant he struggled being honest with himself and others.  It was difficult to admit he had a problem.  On the outside, things seemed fine.  He was functional, but Mike’s identity was in the approval of others and how he was viewed by the world. 

 

He quit his job to enter rehab and entered a faith base rehab program.  When he returned, he was more prideful and selfish than ever before, and his marriage deteriorated.  He relapsed and projected his self-pity and hate onto his wife.  He knew he would drink himself to death or swallow his pride and admit himself to another rehab. 

 

Mike entered one of the toughest rehabs in the country.  There he learned the root cause of his drinking was about unresolved childhood trauma.  Mike was physically taken care of, but his family emotional model taught him not to show weakness.  In rehab, he was taught the 5 why’s model to deal with his unprocessed issues. 

 

Mike starts his day with coffee and prayer.  He’s in the best shape of his life and tries to treat his body as a temple.  He consistently and constantly surrenders every day.  He has learned to be well versed in apologizing and forgiving.  Mike says it’s not easy, but pride doesn’t go with you when you die.

 

Mike now defines being a man as being humble.  He talks about his feelings and tries to treat people the best that he can.  Mike is helping others through his Instagram channel.  Find him @fathfullysober.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette shared a passage from Melody Beattie. 

Stop doing so much, if doing so much is wearing you out or not achieving the desired results. Stop thinking so much and so hard about it. Stop worrying so about it. Stop trying to force, to manipulate, to coerce, or to make it happen.

 

Making things happen is controlling. We can take positive action to help things happen. We can do our part. But many of us do much more than our part. We overstep the boundaries from caring and doing our part into controlling, caretaking, and coercing. Controlling is self-defeating. It doesn't work. By overextending ourselves to make something happen, we may be stopping it from happening…

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events including Costa Rica and Denver  

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Aug 16, 2021

Episode 339  – Does addiction serve a purpose?

 

On today’s podcast we’ve got Nate, he is 39, from Ohio and he took his last drink on October 9, 2015.

 

If you like the Recovery Elevator podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes and help eradicate the stigma. 

 

My favorite part of RE is back. And I hope to see you at an upcoming event. We’ve got Costa Rica January 15-23 and then we’re in Denver Colorado April 14th -17th.

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Is addiction a disease or not?  Paul says that addiction isn’t a disease, but a learned behavior that expresses itself in unhealthy environments.  In unhealthy, traumatic, or lonely environments, we develop adaptive behaviors such as excessive drinking to help us cope.  Check out Paul’s thoughts in more detail in the following video. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKY4l7ez5pw&t=35s

 

Crossing the river of addition means letting go of our resentments, fears, anxieties, jealousies, attachments, and choose love. If you ride that wave of pain long enough, it will give you two choices:  life or death.  Thanks to the stigma which helps keep paradigms in check, we label ourselves dysfunctional, or broken. Addictions represent things that need deep healing.

 

People in recovery understand that love and acceptance is more important than you should be wearing a mask, or you should get vaccinated… and if you don’t, we’re no longer friends. We work together for one common goal. The rest of society is not equipped with the tools and emotional intelligence to do so.

 

Addictions are wake up calls. Invitations, to step into your true authentic self. Addictions give us the fast track to see that love always wins. We get there by seeing what’s not working in life. I think an addiction exists to push us back to source. To creation. To love and light.

 

I encourage you to stop labeling your drinking problem as bad because it’s not. And that a major waste of time energy.

 

Exact Nature re20@exactnature.com

 

[13:11]  Nate took his last drink 10/9/2015.  He grew up in Ohio in a traditional Midwest family with a family.  He started drinking at an early age to fit in and numb some insecurities.  He realized he was gay at an early age, needed to accept himself in an environment that didn’t include role models or peers. 

 

He recognized consequences on drinking early on with a DUI and fights at parties.  When he graduated from college, his drinking shifted from social drinking to misery drinking.  Nate described an era of drinking and when it became problematic.  He was able to cling to career success, a great work ethic and worked in the restaurant business in a management role.  He worked from home, which fed his disease.  He took micro naps after starting his morning with vodka and chardonnay to continue working.  He began regressing and turning inward.  Nate avoided sharing his secrets.  He came out to friends in high school.  He lived an open life in college.  It was a ten-year period before he was living an open life. 

 

He remembers waking up with a stiff neck and that continued for several weeks.  While visiting his sister, he fell to the ground, his body went limp, he lost his vision.  He had a stroke at age 32 because of his drinking.  The doctors didn’t ask many questions about his drinking.  He spent 6 weeks in the ICU and had to learn to walk and learn to use his extremities again.  His vision returned. They asked no questions about addiction, alcohol, or drugs.  While in the hospital he thought daily about his first drink when he left the hospital and he stopped at the liquor store for champagne on his way home.  He continued drinking after his stroke.

 

His best friend went into treatment, and she modeled the attraction of sobriety for him.  He remembers catching himself in the mirror and he paused wondering where the last 15 years went.  His sister took him to a treatment center 30 minutes later.  Nate believes being able to make the decision himself and not be forced into it was important for his success.    He has been entrenched in 12 Step recovery since. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette described recovery as an opportunity, not a sacrifice.  Creating and fostering a gratitude mindset can help you cross the bridge from being mad or sad that you can’t drink anymore to one of gratitude.  Odette has a gratitude practice she uses every day.  

 

Remember you are not alone and together is always better. 

 

Sponsor

Exact Nature Use code RE20 at exactnature.com

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021
  • You can find more information about our events including Costa Rica and Denver  

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Aug 9, 2021

Episode 338 – Old Narratives

 

On today’s podcast we’ve got Rebecca she took his last drink on October 22, 2019, she is from Madison Wisconsin, and  is 31 years old.

 

Finding Your Better You Highlights

When we don’t know the root of our triggers, when we don’t know the narratives that are ingrained in our brains and in our souls.  We think something is wrong with us. And when we think something is wrong with us, we feel shame. Part of taking responsibility of your healing is knowing yourself, so that you can get outside of this shame cycle and can walk the bridge over to self-empathy. When I know myself better, I can zoom out and see what was happening in my mind, understand myself better and allows me to manage my relationships differently. This makes me navigate my cravings better, because mine come when I feel this belief of, I am not considered.

 

Look within and find some narratives that are living inside of you? Stories that live in the past, yet they are being perpetuated in your present life. We can re-write those stories. But only until we detect them.

 

Insights from Rebecca’s Journey

 

[09:18] Kris introduces Rebecca.  Rebecca began drinking at age 14 and she hated it.   She was afraid of drinking because her dad was in law enforcement.  She noticed a shift in her drinking at age 25.  In 2011, her dad went to prison and that trauma had a huge impact on her life.  She was also a victim of domestic violence.  She thanks alcohol for getting her through terrible times and for the life she has now.  Rebecca’s drinking became all day drinking because she was isolated, alone, and bored.  She would binge drink to soothe loneliness.  She was falling apart, other than work. 

 

She began listening to recovery podcasts and reached out to her employee assistance office.  She entered a therapy group that helped with alcohol addiction and trauma. She was holding on some trauma from her past that became an excuse for drinking.  She was stuck in a Day 1 cycle and a shame cycle. She went to rehab and detoxed from alcohol and Xanax.  It was a very structured program that gave her some tools. 

 

Learning to connect was important for Rebecca.  She leaned in heavily on AA and found a local community of sober women.  She is now very engaged with Café RE which has helped keep her sober.  She constantly evaluates her program. She continues to suffer from anxiety and depression, but she isn’t alone anymore.  She really wants to give back and is now able to do so.  She always challenges the narrative recognizing that a bad day can be turned around.   Rebecca said, keep it simple! 

 

Kris’ Message

Kris is celebrating four years of continuous sobriety.   He shared a quote from Marianne Williamson, “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous.  Actually, who are you not to be?  Playing small does not serve the world.  We born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  As we let our own light shine, we give others permission to do the same.”  Take some time to recognize the work you are doing.  Resist the urge to minimize yourself.  You are a gift to this world.  You deserve happiness. 

 

It all starts from the inside out.

 

Sponsor

Exact Nature Use code RE20 at exact nature.com

Shout out to The Chocolate Moose, a Bozeman Retreat Sponsor.   https://www.thechocolatemoose406.com/ @thechocolatemoose406 on Instagram

 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021
  • You can find more information about our events including Costa Rica and Denver  

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Aug 2, 2021

Episode 337 – The canary in the mine.

 

I was open with people about my decision.  I put myself out there to create a level of accountability. 

 

 

Today we have Katie. She is 38, from Ohio and took her last drink July 12, 2020.  This is her story of living Alcohol Free (AF). 

 

Events!

 

Alcohol-free travel is back! Recovery Elevator is going to Costa Rica January 15th-23rd and you should join us. We’ve got space for 34 AF rock stars, registration opens Sept 1. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/

 

You can find more information about our events here.

 

 

Paul’s Intro

 

Native cultures believed that a sick person is like the canary in the mine and it’s the sick person who represents an imbalance in the community. Or that something is off. They also believed this person should be thanked for raising the alarm that something needs to be corrected within a community. Almost like, yo, thank you for taking one for the team.

 

So Contrary to today’s culture where mental illness, autoimmune disorders, and addictions are prevalent and on the rise, these environmental conditions were rare in most cultures prior to modern times. So this is what native cultures did when there was a sick canary in the community. The whole tribe came together to help this person because they knew they were all connected, that they were all one. The entire community would shoulder the cost to bring in healers from other tribes. All these ceremonies were different of course, but from I can deduce the two main commonalities were this: Music and dancing. For at least 3-4 days.

 

Okay, let’s tie this into alcohol. It’s in my opinion those who struggle with a drinking problem are the canaries in the mines. Side note, I was the canary in the mine in the Canary islands. I went to this set of islands located off the northwest coast of Africa in 2007 and was drunk and hungover for the whole trip. I don’t remember much from that trip, but I recall popcorn being my lifeline one afternoon because that’s all I could. That’s how hungover I was. And fun facts about Canaries, yes they do come from the Canary islands. They have yellow feathers, and occasionally eat jalapeños.  Fun fact about Paul. I also occasionally eat jalapeños. We are covering some ground today team.

 

So in 2021, there have never been more sick canaries, and if we don’t ALL address this, then we’re toast as a species.

 

When I say we ALL need to address this, I mean problematic and normal drinkers. As in addiction/mental health is an external manifestation that something is highly out of balance internally with our species. This imbalance affects everyone. This is okay, it’s how we grow and evolve.

 

The good news is…. The Canary can heal. It will heal. You, if you’re listening to this podcast in hopes of quitting drinking, are the canary, and you will heal, just keep at it.

 

So how does the canary heal? I firmly believe there is no select methodology, or doctrine to follow. There is no right or wrong way to ditch the booze. There are infinite ways… But, there is one massive  commonality.

 

Ditching the booze in 21st century doesn’t quite look like 3 full nights of ceremonial dancing under a full moon with the whole community anymore, but there are similarities.

 

Let’s first check out what you don’t hear when someone celebrates and alcohol-free milestone.

 

“Well, guys, I knew I was “fucked” so I locked myself in my room, read every quit lit book, listened to podcasts, learned how the mind works, and beat it.” I’ve yet to hear that one. Nothing even close.

 

What you do hear is, “I’d like to thank my best friend susan, my mom and dad, my AF community, my dog, the big oak tree in my back yard (That’s an HP reference), and all my friends who were in my corner the whole time.” Or “I couldn’t have done it without… Mike, Jim, Michelle  Javier and my pet canary ralph.” Okay, I think that’s the last canary reference.

 

So, what does this mean? Let’s get to the point. 1. You can’t do this alone, and 2. You need community. This could be a close group or friends who know your desire to quit drinking, AA, Café RE, counselors etc. Ships need to be burned, or conversations with loved ones need to take place. Accountability is desperately needed. Even if you’re not, and I’m using air quotes, “successful” with your decision to quit drinking, you’re still developing tighter bonds and relationships in your life. According to Sebastian Junger, in his Book “Tribe” in times of crisis, people are wired to come together and help. This isn’t a kind gesture from our friends, and family, or even completely strangers; it’s biologically how we are wired. As I discussed in last episode, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin are released when we help others. So when a drinking problem reaches a pinnacle moment, and I’d classify this as a crisis as it was for me in 2014, the people around us want to help. They need to help, it’s good for them. They need these feel good chemicals also. Denying the loved ones in your life the opportunity to help you, is doing them a disservice.

 

So if you’re ready to get off the merry round of hell, aka a drinking problem, two main things needs to happen. 1. You need to ask for help, 2. Receive the help. Most likely both are outside your comfort zone, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. Let the drinking problem push you into connection. I feel that’s the main point of an addiction. Yes, addiction, or drinking problem serves a purpose. Everything does. That’s the topic of 339. Does addiction serve a purpose?  We must first become aware of the addiction. This is the first step in I think every program involving steps, and then, open up. Yes, open up. The addiction is trying to crack you open. To find a spot where the light can enter, if you allow it.

 

 

 

 

Let’s hear from Exact Nature. 

 

 

[8:42] Odette welcomes Katie

 

Katie took her last drink July 12, 2020.  She is excited about  her one-year milestone and she feels free of the prison on alcohol.  She is going sky-diving to celebrate.  Katie said life is still hard, but she has freedom and clarity of mind without drinking.  Katie is 38 and lives in NE Ohio.  She has two sons. She is an executive assistant to a CEO for a large company.  She loves all things fitness and reading.

 

 

[52:17] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

Sparkling water (lime flavor) with lots of ice and mint.

 

  1. What has been an unexpected perk along this journey?

Freedom and time that come with not planning how you will get your next drink. 

 

  1. What would you say to young people who are considering ditching the booze?

Don’t overcomplicate it, drinking is overrated.  You have more strength than you realize.  Everything in life you want to accomplish will be easier without liquor.  Having a clear head, mind and a simple life without the alcohol will be the beautiful things in your life. 

 

You might need to say adios to booze if ….

You stress months before the Christmas holiday about how you will cook the holiday meal and not drink all the wine in the house the night before. 

 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Very well, team RE, that wraps our interview for today. Before I say adios I want to share something with you all. I asked all of YOU on our instagram a question that I normally ask in our podcast interview and I got some amazing responses. The prompt was: What would you say to your younger self?

 

Here is what some of you had to say:

 

  • Live for yourself. No amount of alcohol will make him see you.
  • You are beautiful.
  • Don’t be afraid to show your true self.
  • You are loved, you are worth it.
  • You don’t have to be “THEM”
  • You are enough. It only matters what you think of yourself.
  • Drugs and alcohol don’t make you cool, being a good person does.
  • It’s ok to fail.
  • Learn to love yourself.
  • Being the wild party girl is not all its cracked up to be.
  • You are going to make mistakes. It’s inevitable. Handling the stress of it all will only be magnified a thousand if you drink about it.
  • I love you.
  • It wan’t your fault.
  • I see you and I am sorry you are hurting.
  • See yourself, hold yourself at a high value.
  • What you are chasing has been in your heart the whole time, not a bottle.
  • Everything you think alcohol is helping you achieve is false. You are being held back. You can accomplish so much more sober.
  • You are none of the things you say to yourself in your head.
  • Be as kind to yourself as you are to others.
  • You are allowed to feel the way you do and you don’t have to hide it to please those around you.
  • Let your hair grow long, let your laugh grow loud.
  • Take your intuition seriously.

 

WOW. What a list.

 

Remember that you are not alone, and together, is always better.

 

Recovery elevator, you deserve love, acceptance and belonging. We can do this.

 

 

Today’s Sponsor

 

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

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021
  • 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.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light - I love you guys”

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