Info

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.
RSS Feed
Recovery Elevator
2022
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2021
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: September, 2022
Sep 26, 2022

Episode 397  - The Ultimate Connection

 

Today we have Santino.   He is 43, from Massachusetts, and took his last drink 43 days ago.

 

We have many upcoming events:

 

AF Photo Class

Restore

Regionals

Ukulele

Costa Rica

For Info:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/events/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul shares that our actions are felt for seven generations in our lineage.  When you quit drinking, do the inner work, the ripple effect can last 150 years.

 

Eckhart Tolle defines love as recognizing oneness in a world of duality. The ego craves separation, judgements. When we are drinking, we are reinforcing that divide. The worst side effect of alcohol is isolation. But when we drop the bottle,  we give ourselves a chance to find love, or maybe let love find us.

 

Congratulations Dusty and Lotus on your recent nuptials.

 

Love yourself and love yourself first.  Love in recovery can be rediscovering nature, it can be planting a garden, it can be zipping around on a one wheel, it can be learning a new instrument, picking up an old instrument. It can be laughter.

 

Make sure to stay tuned to the end of the episode. Our outro music is from one of our Café Re members, Ron.

 

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

                                                                             

[9:50]  Santino works for a nonprofit homeless organization; he is married with a son and enjoys being a father.

 

Being present, in the moment and the ability to remember the moment are the early perks of sobriety for Santino.   His first taste of alcohol was at age 10.  He took a sip of his Dad’s drink and enjoyed the taste. 

 

Paul and Santino discussed how college culture and military culture both celebrate drinking.  Santino said his drinking was normalized because of the culture of drinking in the military.    His wake up calls around drinking came when he left the military.  He got his first DWI and went to court ordered AA.  He drank before and after the meetings. 

 

Santino noticed a pattern of lying, about all kinds of things, but particularly about what he was drinking, when and how much.  AA is now part of his life.  He has learned to say “alcoholic” to be accountable for what was happening with him.  He is well informed about withdrawal and his most recent experience was painful and a reckoning.  Santino encourages listeners to be honest with themselves.  Give yourself grace AND accountability.  He did a 72 hour fast.  He listens to the Recovery Elevator podcast.  He burned the ships with his childhood friend, his sister and his wife. 

 

The Uvalde shooting had a major impact on Santino and became an impetus for him to quit drinking. 

 

[55:20] Paul’s Summary

 

Paul introduces Ron who is a musician  who wrote and performed today’s outro music. 

 

[56:51] We walk each other home.

 

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.

Sep 19, 2022

Episode 396  - The Brain and Alcohol – Genetic Predisposition

 

Today we have Rene.   He is 33, from California, and took his last drink January 18, 2022.

 

Register for RE’s AF Photo Class:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/afphoto/

 

SoberLink:  https://www.soberlink.com/recovery-elevator

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Alcohol has many biochemical and neurochemical effects on the brain. There are dramatic changes in the neurons that control the release of serotonin when we consume alcohol. Serotonin is the feel-good chemical and 80% of it is created in the gut. When we mix alcohol and serotonin it gets converted into acetaldehyde. This acetaldehyde acts as a toxin.

 

Alcohol changes the relationship between the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenals.  The adrenals release chemicals called epinephrine and cortisol, which are involved in the longer-term stress response.

 

People who consistently drink are more stressed out at baseline. They have more cortisol released form their adrenal glands even when they are not drinking. Consequently, they feel more stressed and more anxiety when they are not drinking. Many scientists agree that stress is the number one contributor to disease.

 

When we overload the brain with alcohol, it’s almost too much to process and the activity of neurons in the hippocampus, which is involved with memory formation, are strained and then they completely shut off – that is a blackout.  You can still be functioning, some high functioning, but the memory forming part of your brain, the hippocampus, clocks out.

 

Many believe that alcoholism is hereditary.  Recent studies, including one of twins conducted by Dr. Gabor Mate indicate genetics may not be as much of a contributor as we once thought.  Epigenetics indicate that environment influences gene expression and gene mutations.  Science is beginning to accept that environmental factors cause or influence addictions.  The ten-fold increase in alcoholism supports that theory.  

 

Dr. Andrew Huberman’s podcast provides much more detail on the science behind many of these theories.  Take a listen if you would like to learn more: 

https://open.spotify.com/episode/2ebY3WNejLNbK47emgjd1E?si=bf71f9f038bc4826

 

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

                                                                             

[14:37]  Rene has been sober for over six months. He is 34 and a single Dad He is an entrepreneur and enjoys going to the gym, exploring the outdoors, hiking and the beach.

 

Rene is first generation American, and his family is very supportive.  He grew up around drinking, it was normalized. 

 

He got drunk once during his senior year of high school.  He didn’t drink again until after he broke up with his first girlfriend years later. Drinking became a reward, then it became a daily habit.  Working in the restaurant industry, drinking was expected.  He was fired once for drinking. 

 

It didn’t occur to Rene that drinking was a problem.  He began counseling and the counselor recommended AA.  Rene found it easy to see the similarities; he felt like he found his people.  He was planning to join the military when he learned he was about to become a father.  Eventually, he won sole custody of his daughter which dashed his hopes of joining the military.  The combination of issues sent him back to drinking.  He controlled his drinking for over a year, and it worked until it didn’t.

 

Rene went back to AA and got a sponsor and a fitness coach.  Consistency helps him maintain his sobriety.  He is feeling mentally and physically strong.

 

 

[57:35] Kris’s Summary

 

Seasonal shifts can put you on edge.  Share your experience: kris@recoveryelevator.com.

 

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.

Sep 12, 2022

Episode 395  - Can you have fun without alcohol?

 

Today we have Jim.   He is 50, from New York, and has been sober since June 19, 2022.

 

Curious Elixirs:  https://curiouselixirs.com/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul and our listeners would like to hear from prior podcast guests. Please send us a note (approximately 200 words) to let us know how you are doing. We would love an update on your sobriety journey.     Email:  info@recoveryelevator.com

 

Yes!   You can have fun without alcohol. Paul just finished hosting the Bozeman retreat, and it was FUN. One of the highlights was an ecstatic dance party. Imagine 60ish sober people dancing on a basketball court in the afternoon.   There was also a silent dance party on the last night. Paul loved watching and participating in pure joy and fun. 

 

Sober fun is a learned skill, but it’s worth it.   You learn to have fun without an external substance. Life is like a movie. Consider yourself the director. You can guide or nudge it any way you want. Leave room for other actors in your life and let them act their way. It makes the experience rich. If you are not having fun, check your inner narrative. At times we let external rules guide us when we have fun. Forget those rules and have fun now.

 

Stay tuned to the end for a poem written by one of our listeners, and today’s outro music was written and performed by Michael P, a member of Café RE.

 

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

                                                                             

[10:02]  Jim has been sober for two weeks. He had almost two years and drank, and now he is back on track. He’s had 699 sober days in the last 700. Jim is married with two kids and loves reading on his front porch. 

 

Jim attributes his recent field research to not using his tools.

 

Growing up, Jim drank in high school with his buddies. The quest for beer was their primary goal. College was more of the same. After college, it didn’t feel as good. Drinking is part of his work culture and was celebrated. His first attempt at sobriety was at age 25. He stayed sober for three months, then returned to drinking. It was part of his job, his social circles, and his life always included drinking. Alcohol pushed back his fears.

 

In his early 40s, he started to realize he had a problem but didn’t know how to go about quitting. He didn’t love AA. By 45, he knew his drinking had become unsustainable. Drinking was like a low-grade hum that perpetually played for him. He began drinking alone at home, where nobody would bother him, and he could drink like he wanted. 

 

Gradually he began exploring sobriety. He would accumulate a few months and do more field research. He read “This Naked Mind.”  When the pandemic hit, he decided to make more efforts to maintain sobriety. He joined Café RE in July of 2020, which was his turning point. Earlier this year, he started traveling more for work. He now realizes he stopped using his tools, including Café RE. He only drank for one day. It was scary; he was a wreck and knew he couldn’t do this anymore. 

 

Jim writes every day. It helps him get the thoughts out of his head and on paper.

 

[49:33]  Paul’s Summary

 

Paul reads a poem, “Connection,” by Kelley A, Café RE Go Group.

 

[51:05] Outro Music, The Light Inside, by Michael P. 

 

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 the only ones who can do this, but we don’t have to do it alone.

I love you guys.

Sep 5, 2022

Episode 394  - Fixin’ to Grow

 

Today we have Kristie.   She is 47, from Michigan, and has been sober since May 2020.

 

Ditch the Booze/Mindfulness and AF Photography 101:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/cafere/

 

Highlights from Kris

 

Return to school is here and is the catalyst for conversations about expectations. Growing up, the letter on the report card was the measure of success. Kris has begun to consider praising the work instead of the result. 

 

Neuroscientists have identified two different mindsets:  the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. A fixed mindset looks at intelligence as static. The effort is pointless – you’ve got it, or you don’t. It’s all about the result. The growth mindset is more about a learning goal. The effort is seen as a path to mastery. 

 

What is your goal in recovery? Language matters. Think about the metrics. If you are fixed on being alcohol-free and have a slip, you might feel like a failure. Embrace the growth in yourself and let that be enough. 

 

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

                                                                             

[11:29]  Kristie has been surise for two years. The word sober doesn’t resonate with Kristy. She wants to be fun and exciting and enjoy every moment. Kristie believes that language creates our reality. Through journaling, she came up with the word surise – it brings her energy, light, and love. Kristie believes surise is yours – the opportunity to be your authentic self.

 

Kristie is from West Michigan and is an academic advisor. She is married and has two daughters. She loves traveling, the beach, the woods, nature, and connecting with people.

 

Growing up, her parents rarely drank, but they did smoke. After her parents’ divorce, she assumed much responsibility for her younger brothers. She was the conduit between her parents. She was involved in theater, student government, and dancing. 

 

Kristie went to college and was ready to rescind the role of the responsible oldest child. Earning a degree was essential to Kristie. She went to school and partied and enjoyed drinking and being social. She adopted the work hard, play hard mentality and always drank to get a buzz. She put herself into some risky situations and was raped. Alcohol helped numb the pain, and she learned to carry on.

 

Kristie met her husband in college, and drinking was part of their relationship. Drinking was a coping mechanism for the stress of parenting. Over the years, her drinking progressed from beer to wine to vodka.   After her father died, Kristie’s drinking became very dark. Drinking was a reward, a way to avoid loneliness, and it served many purposes.

 

Several years ago, Kristie’s husband announced that he was planning to quit drinking.   He did, and she couldn’t follow suit. After her father-in-law died, they were both drinking again and went backward. Kristie read “This Naked Mind” and listened to Annie Grace’s podcast. Paul Churchill was Annie’s guest, and something clicked for Kristie. She could hear herself in other people’s stories. She joined Café RE in 2020 and went to her first women’s AA meeting. She quit drinking for several months and returned to drinking when the pandemic began. In May of ’20, she found a small group of RE members all over the US, and they held each other accountable. 

 

Kris’s Summary

 

Look at your mindset. Ask yourself without judgment, are you holding on to absolutes? What is your measure of success? Do you find joy in the results or the process? Wherever you are is okay. Show yourself grace. Change the narrative. Surrender to the process. Let go of old ideas.

 

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 the only ones who can do this, but we don’t have to do it alone.

I love you guys.

1