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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: July, 2022
Jul 25, 2022

Episode 388  - Identity

 

Today we have Liz.   She is 55, from Bend, OR, and has been sober for five months.

 

Ditch the Booze Mindfulness and AF Photography. www.recoveryelevator.com/events

 

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

 

Highlights from Kris

 

After returning from a trip to DC, Kris realized that connecting his identity to his accomplishments is something he left behind. Presenting his achievements as a “Who I Am” was typical for Kris when he was in active addiction. Kris hoped that showing others the good in him might help him to see the good in himself. Approval seeking was directly linked to his self-worth and what others thought of him. This created conflict because Kris felt like he was leading a double life: the list of accomplishments he shared with others and the poor self-esteem that felt more like the “real Kris.”

 

Ultimately, Kris hit a tipping point that led to his recovery. During those early days, he identified with the bad things he had done while drinking. With treatment, counseling, and spiritual support, Kris learned that he was responsible for his harmful behavior but eventually realized that what he did wasn’t who he was. He had to clean up, but he gained clarity on what he did vs. who he is. 

 

Kris found a new identity in recovery. The greater good prevails, and instead of looking for an atta boy, he tries to connect to how he can be part of something bigger.

 

Kris asks listeners where they find their identity? Does it bring you peace? Can you make shifts in your identity without shame?

 

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

                                                                             

[10:45]  Liz has been sober for five months.   She is from California, has two dogs, works for a healthcare start-up, and enjoys entertaining, cooking, gardening, and music.

 

Alcohol was part of Liz’s life from an early age. She described a lot of drama and trauma in her childhood. She developed a fear of drinking while observing her parent’s drinking. 

 

Liz and Kris talked about the behaviors we develop in childhood because of trauma and learning to give yourself grace as you reconcile those behaviors and learn healthier ones. They discussed how shame doesn’t support your recovery. They also talked about surrender being an essential step in recovering yourself. 

 

Liz relies on Recovery Elevator and Café RE, meditation, self-care, recovery tools, and community to support her sobriety. 

 

Kris’s Summary

 

Kris talks about embracing challenges and turning them around to support the greater good.   Move forward with grace, love and encouragement. Learn to love yourself and share that love with others.     If you feel stuck in your story, know you are not alone. Keep it simple and focus on the next right here. We are here for you.

 

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’re the only one who can do this, but you don’t have to do it alone.

I love you guys.

Jul 18, 2022

Episode 387  - Why Some Make it, and Some Don’t

 

Today we have Becca.   She is 43, from Montana, and took her last drink on September 18, 2017.

 

Sober Travel Update – Costa Rica 2023. Stay tuned for dates. www.recoveryelevator.com/events

 

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

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul believes that taking responsibility for your drinking or choosing not to be a victim increases your likelihood of “making it” L.” listening to this podcast means that you are open to new ideas, pathways, resources, and a new outlook on life. Paul suggests telling yourself that you will make it or are already there. Awareness that you have a drinking problem is the beginning, then ownership of the solution. 

 

Paul believes a drinking problem is an invitation to a new life. Never quit quitting. Paul says yes, you are going to make it. You are already making it. 

 

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

                                                                             

[11:07]  Becca has been sober for nearly five years.   Becca worked for 18 years as a chef/bartender. She rescues dogs, loves art, and reading. She went from food addiction to alcohol in her early twenties. She had a gastric bypass in 2005. She pre-gamed a bottle of booze before going out with her friends. She was able to lose 268 pounds and kept it off, but she was able to drink a lot of alcohol.

 

Becca describes several signs on the way to quitting drinking. She eventually went to Great Falls for inpatient treatment. After 17 years of constant drinking, the strict rehab included a lot of self-discoveries, and she had to earn privileges. The physical withdrawal was difficult because she was having seizures. Becca transitioned over to sober living. Shame was part of her inner dialogue. After eight months of sober living, she began working out. She opened her first business.  

 

Becca’s life is so much better. She would rather be involved in a national disaster than go back to her rock bottom with alcohol. Recovery isn’t black and white. Routine is important, but she has learned to embrace the challenges that come with everyday life. She can hear the birds and the river in ways she hadn’t before. 

 

Daily reflections, post-it reminders, journaling, embracing nature, equine therapy, and surrounding herself with healthy support have been critical to maintaining sobriety. At five months sober, Becca was able to testify against someone who beat her up. She moved to Gardiner, MT, and fell in love with the area. 

 

She studied coffee, created her own coffee recipe, and is proud to serve the best coffee on earth. She has strained out the things she no longer needs. Check out Bear’s Brew in Gardiner, MT, if you head to Yellowstone. 

 

Paul’s Summary

 

Paul hates the term “making it” and knows that comparison is a trap. Internal goals can be problematic because of the ego. The gifts of recovery include: being present, enjoying the moments, and knowing that you have already made it. All pathways lead the way home. Paul embraces problems and tries to heed the lessons that come with them. 

 

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-

Go big because eventually, we all go home.

I love you guys.

Jul 11, 2022

Episode 386  - The One Mistake People Make When Quitting Drinking

 

Today we have Shad.   He is 46, from Indiana, and took his last drink on March 19, 2021.

 

 

 

Café RE Open House Chat: July 16, 2016, at 12 ET.

Join Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83057111516? pwd=NlJyaFdtZ0RBYnhMaytxbkdRU2tMdz09

Meeting ID: 830 5711 1516

Passcode: recovery

 

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

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Don’t quit drinking without learning coping strategies, understanding why you drink in the first place, and get some tools for your recovery toolbox. Don’t sell yourself short on how rich your life can be without alcohol. Say yes, to as many recovery opportunities as you can. Books, podcasts, quit lit, retreats, spiritual teachers, music, chats, meetings. Some of it is work. These investments of time into yourself will pay HUGE in the future. A whole new world awaits you after the bottle.

 

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

                                                                             

[10:50]  Shad has been sober for 433 days.   He is married with five children, three grandchildren, and three dogs. He loves skateboarding, archery, trail running, and anything outside. He describes nature as his church, particularly above the timberline.

 

Shad experienced severe child abuse in early childhood and was from a family with a history of addiction to drugs and alcohol. His grandfather was a friend, a father figure, and a heavy drinker. Shad created chaos with alcohol. After his divorce, he doubled down on alcohol; then, he tried to drink himself to death after his grandfather passed. Shad lost his brother to a drug overdose.

 

Consequences were minimal for Shad. His first wake-up call was waking up to an empty gallon bottle of whiskey. A year later, running inspired him. He started running longer distances. The stride, footfalls, and measured breathing were meditative for Shad. He still had not dealt with his emotions. He stopped drinking in 2014, ate clean, started ultra-running, and completed a 100-mile run. His ego kicked in, and he drank again because he thought he could handle it now. He got drunk on the eve of his wedding and again on his wedding day. Shad didn’t believe he had a drinking problem; he thought he had a depression problem. Running replaced alcohol for those 2.5 years. After his honeymoon, he tried several attempts at moderation. It worked until it didn’t, then he went downhill fast. 

 

Shad describes himself as addicted to everything – he can’t have just one. Gradually his drinking progressed. His middle son developed a drinking problem observing his Dad. The guilt of his son’s drinking drove him to drink more. Covid became another excuse to isolate and drink. After a night of extreme drinking, he told his wife he tried to kill himself with bourbon. She agreed to get him some help. Shad began reaching out. He found a community that didn’t judge him but supported him.   A friend introduced him to a group called, Punks in Recovery. Shad embraces many avenues of sobriety, including AA and ACA, and he is open to whatever works.

 

Kris’s Summary

 

Kris talks about reflecting on his goals and tools and evaluating what works and doesn’t. He encourages listeners to look without judgment at what went well and what could have gone better. Shame doesn’t have a place in recovery. Leverage gratitude and do the next right thing. Growth takes time. Let it do its job.

 

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

I love you guys.

Jul 4, 2022

Episode 385  - You’re Free

 

Today we have Steve. He is 34, from Boston, MA, and took his last drink on February 18, 2021.

 

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

 

Bozeman Retreat

Upcoming Courses:  AF Photography and AF Mindfulness

Service Project

Courses: https://www.recoveryelevator.com/cafere/

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

 

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

 

Highlights from Paul

 

An elementary view of freedom is free will or doing what you want. A more rewarding form of freedom includes commitments, discipline, and boundaries for extended periods. Freedom also includes sleep, routine, forgiveness, being present, being of service, overcoming fear, and adding value. Freedom gives you choices; the most important choice is to be your authentic self.

 

                                                                             

[8:40]  Steve has been sober for over a year. Steve’s parents were born in El Salvatore, and Steve is first generation American. In college, he stumbled upon neuroscience. He enjoys running, boxing and music. A classmate passed, and the grief and mystery around his death felt impossible to process at the time. Alcohol put noise cancellation on his thoughts, his anxiety, and the reality of death. Steve never grieved. Over the years, his drinking progressed from weekends to weekdays to whenever he wasn’t working. He learned quickly he couldn’t have 1-2 drinks. Moderation didn’t work. Last year on his birthday, he drank to excess in front of his parents, siblings, and partner. He resolved you quit drinking. You get to keep everything else or give up everything and keep drinking. 

 

Steve attempted moderation. Eventually, he went to therapy to learn how to navigate his feelings, anxiety, and urge to drink. He realized he had a family history of alcohol abuse and anxiety. On a particularly bad day, his friends expressed concern and suggested some things to explore.    After his first Café Re meeting, Steve felt more comfortable with his thoughts; that was his Day 1. The RE community gave Steve the push he needed. Listening to others, he felt accepted, nourished, and supported. He described never feeling more human and letting vulnerability take center stage. Day count fell aside, and it became “no matter what.”

 

Steve’s non-negotiables started with not letting alcohol influence his work. Now it’s about being present and letting life happen. 

 

 

Paul’s Summary

 

Declare freedom over alcohol. Never quit quitting.

 

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 –go big because eventually, we all go home.

I love you guys.

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