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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: May, 2022
May 30, 2022

Episode 380– What is Sober?

 

Today we have Shrene. She is 46, from Arizona, and took her last drink on September 10, 2019

 

AF Photography Class for beginners will start in August.  Details to follow.

AF Ukelele Course #2 starts in June.

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul talks about the word sober.  For this podcast, sober refers to alcohol, because alcohol is what got Paul behind the microphone to launch Recovery Elevator.   Paul suggests not getting too attached to any idea of what sober looks like.  It’s not about the substance, but the freedom you have from the substance.  Try not to judge others for their definition of sober, because it’s rarely black and white.  When you judge others, you judge yourself and create separation.  Defining sobriety can be a fool’s errand.

 

Sobriety is living authentically.  Sobriety is not being a slave, to a substance, behavior, or action.   Sobriety is living your life how you want to live, living with a connected head and heart, recognizing  beauty, art, sunsets,  a different vibration.

Sobriety is hope, taking off the chains, meeting yourself, a manageable life.

Sobriety is “downgrading additions.” Sarah Hepola - Blackout   https://www.amazon.com/Blackout-Remembering-Things-Drank-Forget/dp/1455554588

 

If you remove alcohol and aren’t ready to say goodbye to everything else, go slow, take your time, and listen to your body. There is no right or wrong way to do this, and there is no generally accepted definition of sobriety.

 

At Recovery Elevator, we accept all versions of sober.  We accept all versions of you.

 

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month

                                                                             

[12:04]  Shrrene is married with two children, two dogs and is a lunch lady who makes lunch for 700 kids daily.

 

Shrrene remembers drinking as early as age three to four.  She drank through her high school years.  She stopped drinking when she got married at age 16 and she stopped drinking until after her son was born at age 26.  She was a casual drinker.

 

At 40, she started drinking daily.  She would sneak her drinking, hide bottles, and hide in her closet to drink.  She quit during her pregnancy.  She had open heart surgery at 39, then had a stroke.  At age 41 she had a second open heart surgery but continued to drink.  Her husband brought an AA Big Book home from an Al-Anon meeting.  Her husband joined Celebrate Recovery and she joined him for meetings.  She began to moderate but went back to field research regularly until 2019.  Shrrene got sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Prayer was instrumental for getting the desire to drink lifted.  Now she doesn’t have a desire to drink, other than the fleeting thought and she plans to stay active in recovery and help others.

 

Shrrene slowly started talking to her husband, in AA meetings, journaling and learning to share.  Journaling helped when she was too afraid to talk to others and it is a tool that still serves her today. 

 

Attending AA and CR meetings were helpful, but Shrrene was reluctant to share.  When she learned to open up, she felt less alone.  She found the similarities in the stories of others.  She encourages listeners to keep trying and never give up. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds us “we can do hard things”.  We can’t do hard things and be hard on ourselves. Chose yourself, chose kindness and be your own cheerleader.

 

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 are here for you, don’t quit quitting.

I love you guys.

May 23, 2022

Episode 379 – Service

 

Today we have Aaron. He is 40, from South Carolina, and took his last drink on September 15, 2021.

 

Jeff was interviewed for the podcast on episodes 104 and 377, has a book out, and is now leading sober travel trips. See links below.

 

Finding Bishop Castle: A Road Trip to Recovery -- https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Bishop-Castle-Road-Recovery/dp/0578882612/ref=sr_1_1?crid=350FVMX9SZBRI&keywords=finding+bishop+castle+jeff+bowersox&qid=1649339640&sprefix=Finding+Bishop+%2Caps%2C213&sr=8-1#customerReviews

 

Afterglow Recovery -  https://ourafterglow.com

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul talks about the benefits of service and climate change in recovery. Service gets you out of your head and out of your story. Dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin are released when we help others.

 

Climate change could save us as a species by forcing us to work together and develop a collective strategy. Alcoholics can help because there’s one thing we can do that others can’t, and that’s meeting as a group, putting all our differences aside, and talking about healing, recovery, and LOVE.

 

Paul wants climate change to unite us instead of dividing us. He is encouraging Recovery Elevator listeners to plant a tree, take a picture and tag us on Instagram @recoveryelevator.

 

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under the shade you don’t expect to sit.” Nelson Henderson

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month

                                                                             

[15:06]  Aaron has been sober for seven months and is married with two kids. He has an athletic household. He loves cooking, sports, and power yoga. 

 

Alcohol wasn’t part of his life until his senior year of high school.   When he went to college, binge drinking was the norm. Alcohol came with comradery for Aaron. All his memories with his friends involved alcohol. At 23, he totaled a car after drinking to excess. He quit for a month after the accident. When he started working, he got an outside sales job involving entertaining customers. Both his work and his social life revolved around drinking. At times it felt like an obligation. His tolerance built up, and it never occurred to him to stop.

 

His wife noticed and began to comment on his drinking. Aaron said to drink as he wanted meant being drunk. He saw a therapist specializing in addiction who helped him see several things. 

 

Aaron’s 40th birthday was enough of a nudge to get him to address his drinking. His wife bought him a ten pack of hot yoga classes, and he went to his first one on his birthday. 

 

Odette and Aaron discussed the dynamics of alcoholism running in the family and how to talk to children, siblings, and cousins about being mindful of the patterns that can develop.

 

Accountability has been a big part of Aaron’s sober journey. His cousin has become his accountability partner, and they talk about the ups and downs of sobriety with each other.

 

Odette and Aaron talk about the differences in sobriety that are new. Managing customers has worked well in sobriety. Aaron remembers his deliverables more readily and has found that as many customers want to be home with family as they want to party. Grieving your old life is allowed and makes sense.   Ditching the booze makes room for new experiences. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds listeners that you keep us going. We want to hear from you about what you would like to hear from us in the podcast, social media, and newsletters. You can reach Odette at info@recoveryelevator.com.

 

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 –It all starts from the inside out.

I love you guys.

May 16, 2022

Episode 378 – Finding Grace

 

Today we have Susan. She is 46, from Ohio, and took her last drink on June 14, 2019.

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Odette

 

"Whatever courage got you here is going to take you far." You are brave, and you have courage. Learn to trust yourself. Define far for yourself. The unfolding of healing takes time, have patience with yourself. Odette has two sentences of a poem on her forearm: "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." Those words are a reminder of her strength, courage, and perseverance. 

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month

                                                                             

[09:20]  Susan has been sober for nearly three years. She is speaking on the podcast to get out of her comfort zone and overcome some complacency in her sobriety.

 

Susan is married and lives in Ohio with a stepson and two dogs. She works for an investment company and loves the outdoors, the beach, paddle boarding, running, and Jeopardy.

 

Susan grew up in a house of addiction and described it as WWIII. Her father was an abusive alcoholic. Her parents tended to numb out and not deal with anything. She realizes now many of her behaviors result from a trauma response. 

 

Susan was often the caretaker for her mom, so the roles were reversed. She partied a fair amount in her twenties. Her mom died, and her sister was diagnosed with lung cancer. Her sister and brother-in-law died within seven months of one another. Susan retreated into her addiction. All the grief and pain from losing her sister was overwhelming. 

 

Addiction was like a cocoon for Susan. It became so uncomfortable, and she had to stop. Susan tried naltrexone, but she wasn't ready to quit. Shame kept her drinking for some time, and in retrospect, Susan regrets that she didn't ask for help.

Alan Carr's book podcasts and terror helped her to quit for good. Two months into sobriety, she attended Recovery Elevator's Bozeman retreat.    At Bozeman, Susan learned that community is essential. Susan struggled to share her recovery with her drinking friends.   She often said she was "on a cleanse." 

 

Susan describes recovery as a radical act of self-love. Her progress in the last 3-years eclipses her progress in the previous ten. She is learning to get uncomfortable with being uncomfortable.    Meditation, gratitude practice, and Women for Sobriety zoom meetings are essential sobriety tools for Susan.    She suggests getting clear on your "why" to reinforce your commitment to recovery.   Susan believes you are worth it and deserve to be happy and have some peace.

 

Kris' Summary

 

Kris encourages you to share your story. Contact Kris:  Kris@recoveryelevator.com

 

Kris describes his daughter's work to win a photography merit award. Even with life's ups and downs, her consistency reminds him of the consistency needed to maintain sobriety. Managing struggles, triumphs, and learning to grow through challenges is how you stack days and keep your commitment.    Sometimes our plans work out perfectly, while others kick us in the face. We don't know what's around the corner. Meet every challenge with love, patience, and grace. 

 

You are the only one who can do this, but you don't have to do it alone. 

 

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 –It all starts from the inside out.

I love you guys.

May 9, 2022

Episode 377 – Your favorites

 

Today we have Jeff. He is 47, from the Dominican Republic, and took his last drink on December 4, 2016.

 

Bozeman Retreat:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/bozeman/

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Listeners provided highlights of some of their favorite episodes of the Recovery Elevator podcast.

 

330 – Learn to love yourself as your dog (or cat) loves you. You have a certain amount of energy and days in your life, and it is your choice on what to spend it on.

 

207 and 220 – Tom Topp inspired a listener to see social anxiety as a similarity. Another listener helped her learn that the body does heal from elevated liver enzymes without alcohol.

 

Another listener couldn't name one episode but instead said, sharing your story and recovering out loud helps shred the shame of addiction. It made me realize that I'm not alone, and together we can fight and overcome this!

 

370 Stephanie – a listener, learned to put the same energy into her recovery that she did into drinking.

 

Odette speaking about her relapse was also powerful

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month

                                                                             

[15:21]  Jeff feels great, thanks to five years of sobriety. He is married and splits time between Colorado and the Dominican Republic. He has a concierge service for people in recovery to enjoy a beach vacation without the triggers of alcohol. Jeff's services help sober experience sober fun.

 

Jeff experimented with alcohol as a teenager and described alcohol as a warm hug. He married at 18 and put alcohol on the sidelines to become a provider. In his mid-thirties, Jeff spiraled into self-pity. After DUI's and jail time, it took him several years to embrace recovery. He remarried and was a grey area drinker, until his drinking was problematic again. 

 

Codependency caused Jeff to take on identities for other people. In sobriety, he started to get to know himself. When triggered, he asks his wife for help. Jeff listened to ninety episodes of the Recovery Elevator podcast in thirty days. Stubbornness helped to make sobriety stick. Writing is a great tool for Jeff and posting in Café Re provides him with great feedback.

 

Collecting the sober moments retrains the synapses in your brain to have different responses to triggering events.

 

Odette's Summary

 

You can handle this. 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 –It all starts from the inside out.

I love you guys.

May 2, 2022

Episode 376 – You can be right, or you can have peace – Part 2

 

Today we have Ronda. She is 56, from New Orleans, and sober for 2.5 years.

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

We are all human, with faulty machines in the dome. It's okay to be right or want to be right, especially in the moment. Sobriety teaches us that we must choose peace. We don't have to choose peace immediately, but eventually, we must, or we develop resentments. Resentments, for many of us, can kill us. Why?   Resentments separate us. Disconnect us. And what's the opposite of addiction—connection.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month

                                                                             

[10:23]  Ronda and Odette discussed the sobriety journey and celebrating the decision to quit vs. the date of your last drink. Ronda is from New Orleans and recently moved to Colorado. She has three grown children, and she is an anesthesiologist. She loves sailing, hiking, and traveling.

 

Ronda's first addiction was an eating disorder. She coped with stress and shame with food. She recovered from the eating disorder at age 30, and alcohol became a problem. She got a DWI in her mid-forties. Ronda said she ignored all the signs. She didn't want to have a drinking problem. The culture in New Orleans portrays day drinking and excessive drinking as the norm, so it made denial easier.

 

Ronda was more of a binge drinker than a daily drinker. Her kids started noticing her drinking. Her middle daughter was vocal about her concerns early on. So, Ronda began to hide her drinking. Ronda and the kids evacuated to Phoenix during Hurricane Katrina. Her problem with drinking started then, and it took her ten years to get help.

 

After getting a DUI, Ronda had to go through a program to align with the recommendations of the medical board. Even her colleagues said, "it could have been me."

 

When visiting her daughter in sober living, Ronda got sloshed at the airport and faced her daughter's disappointment when she landed. When her daughter stopped protecting Ronda, it was another AHA moment that she had a problem. After her daughter went to rehab, Ronda started moderating when her kids were with her. 

 

There are multiple ways to get sober, and Ronda tried everything and found a mix of programs that worked. Ronda leveraged AA, The Tempest Sobriety School (run by Holly Whittaker), Recovery Elevator, and Café RE in early recovery. With a heavy emphasis on self-care, Ronda was able to find her true soul, her wounded inner child, and the ego that were all within herself. Learning to take care of herself allowed Ronda to stack days and helped her to deal with shame. Plant-based medicine was a pivotal moment in her recovery journey.

 

Ronda was molested as a young child, and it was one of many childhood traumas that contributed to her addiction. Shortly after confronting her abuser, she took her last drink. It was a burden off her shoulders that she didn't have to hide anymore.

 

Joy has permeated Ronda's life. She has learned new skills, confronted her past, and found many ways to have fun, including mediation, music, dancing, nature, bubble baths, community, and board games (particularly Bananagrams). Morning routines are critical to Ronda's sobriety routine. She removed herself from social media other than her recovery groups.

 

Odette's Summary

 

Odette talks about shame, day counts, and restarting. Committing to sobriety should add value, not shame, to your recovery. It's not about the date. It's about staying on the journey. 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.

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