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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: October, 2021
Oct 25, 2021

Episode 349 – The Inner Voice.

 

Today we have Tara.  She is 37, from Canada, and took her last drink on February 20, 2019.

 

Café RE’s annual on-line conference called Regionals starts 11/12-13/2021.  This is a Café Re members only free event. This will include yoga, sound healing, meditation, and break outs rooms.  Go to:  www.recoveryelevator.com promo code: opportunity.

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul talks about his inner voice and how it failed him as he was trying to stack days in early sobriety.  Inner narration can tell you in your own voice that it is okay to drink.  It’s a subconscious voice.  Paul advises that the first step is to be aware of the voice.  Then you need to create distance between that voice and the first drink.  Inner narration isn’t you, it’s a bundle of thoughts.  Over time, you can let the space build between the thought and the drink so you can change your thinking.  Gaze at the stars, look up and take a breath. 

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[10:37] Odette welcomes Tara

 

Tara took her last drink February 20, 2019.  She lives in Montreal and has learned to enjoy life – everything she does is for fun.  She is a voice actress and podcaster.

 

Tara described her relationship with alcohol as a product of self-loathing and rejecting herself.  She took her first drink at 12. She was well adjusted and had her needs met at the time.  She didn’t drink again until 15 when she was unhappy, depressed and feeling alienated.  Alcohol filled a need to replace herself.  A major shift happened when she was 18 and she took her drinking to another level – drinking in the morning and drinking alone.  Alcohol became her primary relationship until she got sober.  Alcohol was linked with everything she did.  She had a lot of self-pity and thought the world was against her.  She felt like she belonged at the bottom.  Pain felt normal, like home. 

 

Tara went to 12 different inpatient rehabs.  She would start to feel better and didn’t know how to deal with feeling better.  Learning to care for herself emotionally was a big challenge.  Even some basic tasks were a challenge.  She escaped through relationships with men or would obsess about her looks to avoid facing herself. 

 

She took pride in not being a good person.  She became a villain in her own story.  She put her family and friends through a lot.  She relapsed frequently and made false promises to herself and other people.  She is amazed her family is still supporting her recovery.  During her last stay in rehab, she was there for 12 days and had to leave because she had been so many times.  Post rehab she went through the motions and went to meetings, got a sponsor, and did the things she was told to do without running the show.   Her parents breathalyzed her which helped her become accountable. 

 

Early recovery was a challenge.  Tara felt like a fraud and didn’t have confidence in her own ability not to relapse.  Her brain was in a constant frenzy, and she had a partner who was struggling with addiction.  She felt privileged to be able to do full time recovery for several months.   She has learned to have a sense of humor about cravings or crazy thoughts.   She focuses now on how she shows up in the world.  She has expanded her spiritual practice and is learning to be consistent.  Tara has learned to enjoy her own company.  Her goal is to show up in her life in a way she can be proud of every day.

 

Odette’s Summary

What does bravery mean to you?  You can choose to ride or not ride a roller-coaster. The brave choice is the one that rings true to you; the choice that aligns with your values, inner knowing and truth.  Choosing to live an alcohol-free life is a huge act of bravery.  Sobriety can be lonely, but bravery means standing up for yourself and advocating yourself, even when peers may pressure you to do otherwise. 

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • 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 

 

Oct 18, 2021

Episode 348 – We don’t plug in.

 

Today we have Kerry.  She is 31, from Philadelphia, and took her last drink on January 2,2021.

 

Recovery Elevator is going to be Denver Colorado at the Hilton Garden inn at Union Station.  New Dates: March 31 – April 2.   Register: https://www.recoveryelevator.com/denver/

 

Paul will be teaching a ukulele 101 course in February 2022.  https://recoveryelevator.com/events

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Humans don’t plug in like a phone with a charger, however we do recharge.  In the 21st century we are pulled in many different directions.  Addictions are adaptive behaviors that manifest in unhealthy, stressful environments, especially when we are running on empty.

 

Paul offers some practical ways for us to recharge including go barefoot on the earth/grass, eat live foods 2x a day, eat less frequently, sleep more, nap, read a good book, socialize with other sober people, get out in nature, do something that brings you joy, and JOMO (joy of missing out) – skip those stressful events.  Recharging takes practice.  Remind yourself that it is a gift you are giving yourself.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[11:30] Odette welcomes Kerry

 

Kerry took her last drink January 2, 2021.  She is a registered dietician, is married and has two cats.  Her side hustle includes several books and mocktails.  See: https://thesoberdietitians.com/  Instagram:thesoberdieticians

 

Kerry didn’t start drinking until college.   She did drink wine.   She was given an opportunity to write a mocktail book with her friend, Diana for pregnant women.  As with many, her drinking increased in 2020.  She was drinking daily.

 

Kerry read a lot  about the rise of alcohol use during the pandemic.  She and her friend, Diana were writing their 2nd book and began linking alcohol and health.  Kerry started looking at her own relationship with alcohol.  She completed a 30-day AF challenge.  She returned to drinking but drank mindfully.  She and Diana completed another 30-day challenge together.  They explored several AF options.  Diana quit drinking entirely and Kerry’s drinking diminished.  Kerry celebrated a friend’s engagement with champagne and that was her last drink.  She learned so much about alcohol as an author and realized she didn’t need alcohol anymore. 

 

Kerry didn’t love the feeling that came with drinking alcohol.  She realized that she couldn’t accomplish as much when she was hungover.  She also realized how prevalent alcohol is on TV or in movies.  We normalize problematic drinking.

 

She and her husband have enjoyed taking the sober curious journey together.  She misses red wine and pumpkin beer and hasn’t found a great AF alternative to either yet.   She is tempted to return to drinking, but her current plan is to stay AF.  She served AF options including a signature mocktail at her wedding. 

 

Kerry has become aware that ethanol is a carcinogen and has become more mindful about the ramifications of drinking while pregnant.  She is concerned that we promote red wine as being heart healthy when we can’t measure how much of the antioxidants enter the body.  She has made great connections with the sober and sober curious people on social media.

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette has been sober for nearly three years.  She recognizes she is imposing a fair number of expectations on herself specific to what her recovery should look like.  She encourages us not to beat ourselves up.  Use the tools that are working for you.

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • 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 

 

Oct 11, 2021

Episode 347 – Can you heal in the same environment you became sick?

 

Today we have Frank.  He is 42, from Omaha, and took his last drink on May 22,2021.

 

Recovery Elevator is going to be Denver Colorado at the Hilton Garden inn at Union Station April 14th- 17th.  Registration goes live this Friday, October 15th. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/denver/

 

Highlights from Paul

Can you heal in the same environment you became sick in?  Yes, but you can’t use the same consciousness or thinking that got you into the mess in the first place.  There is a line that goes, when you quit drinking you don’t have to change much, you have to change everything.  The key is, not all at once.  Paul describes three critical changes:  awareness, boundaries and staying in the body (don’t disassociate). 

 

You are gaining strength.  Adversity makes you stronger.  You are healing and as you heal, those around you will heal as well.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[10:38] Odette welcomes Frank

 

Frank to his last drink May 22, 2021.  He is married with two children, and he works in medical staffing.  He is a foodie, loves sports and playing guitar.

 

Frank started drinking in high school.  It was a rite of passage at the time.  He never had an off switch and could always outdrink everyone else.  His tolerance increased.   In his mid 30’s he noticed the hangovers getting worse and he was eating shame meals.  By his 40’s the hangovers lasted two days and it wasn’t fun.

 

Frank was never a violent drunk. He was a raging jerk during recovery because he felt so terrible.  His hangovers became progressively worse.  He could barely get water down.  Frank was good at covering up his drinking.  He was sober for 30 days a few years ago and celebrated with a drink.  His drinking progressed from there.  

 

Frank’s turning point came during his anniversary dinner when his withdrawal symptoms were so intense, he was shaking, sweating, felt faint and nauseous.   He knew something had to change; he wrote a four-page letter to his wife, spoke with his counselor, and found Recovery Elevator.    His Dad and his brother were good sources during early recovery as they are both in recovery.  Listening to podcasts and playing the tape forward helped.

 

Managing through sober “firsts” this year (college football, golf, concerts, 3-day weekends) has been a win. 

 

A self-described weekend warrior, Frank enjoyed the sensation of alcohol, but never drank to escape anything; he just wanted to fit in.  He used koozie cup holders to avoid questions from his drinking buddies.

 

He is now open about his recovery and his friends and family check in regularly and have let him know how proud they are of him.  He now observes others drinking to excess and is relieved he doesn’t have to do that anymore. 

 

Frank said his relationships are all positive.  He loves waking up rested and he appreciates the memories he is creating with his kids.  Frank and his wife are doing better. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds us, “we are doing this”.  Alcohol works until it doesn’t.  It dims the good and the bad.  Learning to stay present during uncomfortable moments give us an opportunity to grow. 

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • 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 

 

Oct 4, 2021

Episode 346 – There is no manual

 

Today we have Kathryn.  She us 58, from North Dakota, and took her last drink on February 19, 2002.

 

Highlights from Odette

There is no manual for recovery. We have tools, guidance, but no guaranteed formula for success. Learning to manage that uncertainty can be challenging, but it's normal.   Be gentle with yourself and others.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[07:18] Kris welcomes Kathryn Burgum, the First Lady of North Dakota.  Kathryn has over 19 years of sobriety. 

 

Kathryn’s first drink was at age 8.  There was lots of alcohol in her household and her parents were regular drinkers.    In high school, Kathryn struggled with anxiety and depression;  drinking was her nirvana because it gave her some relief. She had her first blackout in high school, and they continued for twenty years. 

 

Kathryn experienced many consequences due to her drinking; the loss of self-respect was at the top of her list.  Getting a DUI pushed her to begin recovery. 

 

Kathryn made several deals with herself about regulating her drinking. She never kept those promises, because if she thought about drinking, she did.   The only choice she had was to start drinking ….  In the end, she lost the choice about drinking.

 

As Kathryn’s drinking progressed, she was hung over every day.  She was unable to control her drinking.  When asked if she should be driving, she would respond that she was fine, because she didn’t want people to think she had a problem with alcohol. 

 

Kathryn worked in HR and drug tested employees.  When she got a DUI, it was published in the local newspaper.  Someone blew it up and posted it at work.  The shame kept her from admitting her problem.  She didn’t want to ask for help because she was concerned about what others would think.  

 

Kathryn recognized she was suicidal almost every time she drank; she had undiagnosed depression.

 

As a result of her DUI, she had to undergo a mandatory evaluation and went to outpatient treatment that was unsuccessful.  She went to Mayo Clinic for ten days and stayed sober for two years.  Over a period of 8 years, she quit and relapsed several times. 

 

Kathryn’s turning point came when she was walking and asked, “Is there anybody out there?  If there is, I need help.”  She has been sober ever since.  Slowly recovery became her life.  She found a community, began feeling better, and engaged a recovery coach.  She credits recovery with saving her life. 

 

Kathryn now takes medication for her depression, reads meditations daily and connects with her God. 

 

When her husband, Gov. Doug Burgum, announced that he wanted to run for governor, she had some concerns. They had candid conversations about boundaries during the campaign. 

 

Kathryn made a conscious decision to talk about her recovery because of the opioid crisis and it became a platform she and her husband share.  Recovery Reinvented is an annual free conference.

 

Every week Kathryn has an opportunity to help someone who is struggling with addiction.  Helping others helps her stay sober.  After 8 years of relapse, she was losing hope.  Through faith she knows there is always hope for sobriety and recovery. 

 

Recovery Reinvented 2021 is on 10/25/21.  Register to attend in person or online.  www.recovery reinvented.com.  

 

Kris’s Summary

What could your voice do?  We don’t know the impact that comes with sharing our experience.  I’m over the stigma; I am here to grow.

 

First Lady Kathryn Burgum can be found: Facebook (@FirstLadyND & @RecoveryND), Twitter (@FirstLadyND & @Recovery_ND), and Instagram (@firstladynd). Prior Recovery Reinvented speakers, award recipients, and segments can be found at  www.youtube.com/recoveryreinvented.

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • 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 

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