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Recovery Elevator

It isn't a NO to alcohol, but a YES to a better life! Best selling author Paul Churchill, along with Kristopher Oyen interview people who have stepped away from alcohol in their own lives. Each week this podcast does a deep dive into an exploration of what a booze free life might look like from various perspectives and opinions.  If you are sick and tired of alcohol making you sick and tired, we invite you to listen to Recovery Elevator. Check out what an alcohol free life can look like as others share their own stories of sobriety. If you are sober curious, newly sober, supporting a loved one or living your best life already in recovery, then you are in the right place. This podcast addresses what to do if you’re addicted to alcohol, or if you think you’re an alcoholic. Other topics include, does moderate drinking work, does addiction serve a purpose, what happens to the brain when we quit drinking, should you track sobriety time, is A.A. right for you, spirituality, and more. Similar to other recovery podcasts like This Naked Mind, the Shair Podcast, and the Recovered Podcast, Paul and Kris discuss a topic and then interview someone who has ditched the booze.
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Now displaying: February, 2022
Feb 28, 2022

Episode 367 – Why geographical cures won’t work.

 

Today we have Aaron. He is from San Antonio and took his last drink on May 22, 2019.

 

Ukulele:  https://kalabrand.com/elevator

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul advises listeners that if you aren’t doing the inner work, your problems will follow you, whether you move, change jobs, or change relationships. That’s why geographic cures don’t work. He speaks about some of his geographic solutions and why they helped temporarily, but eventually, he discovered he was the problem and had to buckle down to do the deep inner work. Paul highly recommends getting out of toxic situations. 

 

Paul describes the inner work as connecting with yourself, learning to love yourself, setting boundaries, making decisions that benefit your sobriety, and standing up for yourself. Ultimately, inner work often causes you to leave toxic situations, relationships, jobs, etc.   When you learn to respect yourself, you will choose environments that are conducive to your wholeness. 

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator

                                                                             

[11:54] Aaron is 27, lives in Texas, and works in finance for a corporate bank. He is a family guy, loves hiking, getting outside, food truck Friday’s and hanging out with his nieces and nephews.   

 

Aaron was raised by an amazing single mother and had a great childhood. His world was rocked when his mom died of breast cancer when he was twelve. Entering high school after losing his mom left him feeling disconnected from family, people, places, and himself. He started drinking his sophomore year, and alcohol gave him confidence, popularity, and connection. He moved to the Midwest to live with his sister and encountered a new environment, including harsh winters. Boredom led to more drinking, pot use, and the wrong crowd. 

 

Aaron spoke heartfeltly about the role shame played in his delay in maintaining continuous sobriety. Resentments and anger fueled his drinking. He was 24 when he first attempted sobriety. Eventually, an early morning AA meeting became the key to stacking days. He started working out and listened to the Recovery Elevator podcast during his workout. His mom became a higher power for him as he got sober. Sharing his story with you today is Aaron’s way to give back and offer hope. 

 

Aaron discovered some co-addictions along the way, including co-dependency and disordered eating,

 

Value Bombs

 

  • You don’t have to have a hard physical bottom to get sober.
  • You can get sober because you want a better life
  • You can stay sober because you have a better life.
  • A solid morning routine and discipline led him to stacking days.
  • Discipline has taught him to choose what matters most: his health, career, and family.
  • Aaron’s relationships are now pure and genuine because he made a change.
  • Sitting with his feelings and journaling have helped him live life on life’s terms.
  • Sobriety is an opportunity, not a sacrifice.

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette reminds us that baby steps are progress. She reminds us we are too hard on ourselves and encourages us to remember the small things we are doing that move us in the right direction. Baby steps add up and create a compound effect. Those baby steps are decisions and small actions culminating in meaningful differences. Take inventory of the small things you are doing that move you in the right direction, and be proud! Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.

 

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 

 

Recovery Elevator – we took the elevator down; we need to take the stairs back up. I love you guys.

Feb 21, 2022

Episode 366 – Walking each other home

 

Today we have Hailey. She is 29, from Portland, OR, and took her last drink on September 3, 2019.

 

Connect with Cafe RE

 

Highlights from Paul

 

  1. Focus on the similarities, not the differences – if you believe you are unique, your inner voice can sabotage your efforts.
  2. Create a plan or strategy that will help you in those challenging moments when you want to drink. Have it with you and use it.
  3. Be mindful of the inner voice that can cause you to self-implode. Awareness helps you override negative inner thoughts.
  4. Walk each other home – listen to others, help others, and shine the light on a new way of living. As you heal, you will help others heal as well. Say thanks to those that walk you home. When you find love, enjoy life.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator

                                                                             

[11:35] Hailey has been sober for 2 ½ years and describes sobriety as different in the third year.   She has been in the restaurant business forever. She lives in Oregon and has done several interesting things in the restaurant industry, including opening some restaurants in the Dominican Republic. She got sober in Minnesota and pivoted into the NA beverage business. She works for a non-profit that supports restaurant industry individuals in addiction crisis. Hailey loves longboarding but admits it's difficult in the rain.

 

Hailey tried alcohol and pot at age 12. She did a lot of experimenting with drugs at music festivals while her parents worked their food cart. She opened a cocktail catering company and developed an addiction to cocaine to get more done. Achievement and praise are Hailey's first addictions. She described taking it further than others to get uncomfortably high. She was reckless. She continues to feel she doesn't get enough done in a day. Her industry perpetuated that feeling. 

 

She recalls marking the day it was one year from recognizing she had a problem and not doing anything about it. She wanted to get sober quickly and realized she had to take a break from her life to get sober. A friend connected her with a professional interventionist who helped her get into Hazelden.

 

Hailey's secret sauce for recovery is a robust gratitude practice coupled with things that make her proud. Hailey spent 31 days inpatient, followed by a month of outpatient treatment. She was convinced that her only problem was cocaine, not alcohol. Studying addiction instilled a healthy fear, and she became willing to work the steps. She went to meetings, sold her business assets, and took a part-time job to focus on recovery. "Ben's friends" (https://www.bensfriendshope.com/) and the right sponsor took her recovery to another level.

 

Hailey was very protective of her recovery during the first two years. With a solid foundation, she frequently explores other recovery venues. Service is vital to her success, and Hailey shares her story with Ben's friends to provide experience, strength, and hope to others in her industry. She relies on consistency over intensity.

 

Kris's Summary

Kris speaks to consistency over intensity and avoiding risky behaviors to maintain his sobriety. Building a life he loves so much that drinking doesn't have a place in it is at the core of his recovery. He learns more about his faith as he digs into his spiritual practice. Kris continues to learn and grow his recovery portfolio. He focuses on what he needs right now. Accountability keeps him on track. 

 

Kris encourages listeners to look at your recovery with curiosity instead of judgment. Complacency is dangerous in recovery. Show gratitude for the tools that work for you. Find the practices that build you up and bring you joy. 

 

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 

 

Recovery Elevator – you deserve a beautiful life. I love you guys.

Feb 14, 2022

Episode 365 – So Who Do I Connect With?

 

Today we have Joshua. He is 36 years old and from North Carolina. His last drink was on October 31, 2020.

 

https://kalabrand.com/

 

Highlights from Paul:

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! The opposite of addiction is connection. Paul shares that reality is a mirror reflecting your inner world. The most important connection we have is the connection we have with ourselves. If we don’t love, treat ourselves with respect or stand up for ourselves, that will appear in our outer world. Connecting with yourself allows you to become your own healer. Once your inner connection/relationship is healthy, that will be reflected in your external connections.

 

Paul recommends splitting your internal and external actions 50/50. Connect with yourself first (via meditation, journaling, yoga, etc.), then connect externally (Café RE chat, Marco Polo chat, a family member).

 

Johan Hari’s Ted Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY9DcIMGxMs

 

BetterHelp: www.betterhelp.com/elevator

 

[10:45] Odette introduces Joshua

 

Joshua is from North Carolina, loves music, and works as an optician. 

 

“Should” never helped Joshua quit drinking. Focusing on what he wanted from his life helped him shift his thinking and made an alcohol-free life possible. 

 

Joshua’s first drink was a Zima at a party in high school. He was generally a good kid and had a strong desire to belong.   He recognized that alcohol did something for him early on before it did something to him. The first time he recalls getting drunk, he felt a euphoric escape. Alcohol was liberating and medicating. In college, a sneakiness appeared in his drinking. He wasn’t aware of alcohol being problematic until 2014.

 

After divorcing, pent-up resentments led to accelerated drinking for Joshua. His drinking progressed. He attended his first AA meeting in 2017. After several false starts, AA helped him get 18 months of continuous sobriety. He stopped working his program and returned to drinking. He began to observe his drinking, and by Halloween, a dream helped him realize he wanted to be his best, and alcohol wasn’t part of that vision.

 

Joshua credits AA for helping him and describes AA as binary; he has a realistic view of their history and acknowledges that many options are available for recovery today.     Therapy helped him with harm reduction and to be less black and white.

Josh says quitting alcohol is hard, but the complications of drinking make your life exponentially harder. He is happier, more grateful, and knows the perceived benefits of alcohol were a lie. Life still has its ups and downs, which are easier to manage.

 

Odette’s final thoughts:

 

You are enough. You are everything you need. You are loved. You are worthy. You are whole and complete, and you deserve a peaceful life. 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

 

  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Sponsors:

 

BetterHelp: www.betterhelp.com/elevator

 

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 –lighten up!

Feb 7, 2022

Episode 364 – Booze Cruise

 

Today we have Ben. He is 41 from England and took his last drink on September 26, 2021.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul shares some highlights from Recovery Elevator’s recent trip to Costa Rica. The group wound up on a booze cruise, remained sober, and had more fun dancing, swimming, and connecting than others who were drinking. The group trusted Paul and had a blast.

 

Anxiety and depression often happen when we feel disconnected. Paul described driving through Montana in a location where people waived to one another on the road. That simple gesture was a form of mini-connection; it feels good and elevates dopamine levels in a healthy way. When you perform an act of kindness, it always provokes another. Paul suggests waiving at someone at a stoplight and reminds us that the opposite of addiction is connection. 

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator

                                                                             

[11:29] Ben looks at not drinking as an opportunity, not a punishment. The work inspires him, and it feels like a reward. 

 

Ben is a musician; he’s single and age 41. He loves reading, movies, exercise, board games, video games and aspires to get into amateur dramatics. He no longer needs alcohol to have fun, experience life, and do the things he can write songs about. His mindset is now hopeful and optimistic vs. trapped and hopeless. 

 

Ben started drinking as a teenager at a party. He was under lots of pressure because he was into rock music, had long hair, and nobody approved. Drinking gave him an escape. He never drank when he played because he enjoyed the euphoria of performing. It was “game on” at the afterparties. He developed an eating disorder, which led to binge eating, drinking, and then starving. Hypnotherapy helped his eating disorder, giving him a sense of peace. Writing down what he ate to address his eating disorder helped Ben identify patterns in his drinking. 

 

As his drinking progressed, it began to impact his performances. He often drank on the tour bus all night and partied into the next day. Anxiety, paranoia, and confusion crept into his daily life. He was constantly looking for something fun and continued drinking to avoid reality. He began drinking alone, which impaired his ability to enjoy music. Consequences began to emerge. Ben explored AA, and he was initially put off by those who continued coming to meetings after decades of sobriety. During his first share, he broke into tears. He was shaken to discover how much alcohol meant to him. His drinking progressed, and he became reckless. At some point, he recognized he was powerless over alcohol. 

 

In 2021, Ben had three scary incidents that involved his work, health, and a friendship. He was scared sober. Initially, it wasn’t difficult. Finding a new addiction or habit was his initial plan. He spent hours playing computer games and was grateful because those hours were time he wasn’t drinking. Ben treats his sobriety like the levels of a computer game, adding new behaviors with each progression.  

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette speaks about “The Happiness Trap,” a book she is discussing with her therapist. It debunks the myth that we are supposed to be happy all the time. The daily actions we take allow us to feel joy, pain, and boredom. Even uncomfortable actions propel us toward a life we want.  

 

 

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 

 

 

Recovery Elevator – embrace the journey of becoming. I love you guys.

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