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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: December, 2022
Dec 26, 2022

Episode 410 – What’s the Point?

 

Today we have Justin who is 37 from New York

 

Check out the AF drink recipes curated by Kate on the Recovery Elevator blog

 

NYE Sober Prom in San Diego on December 31st. We have Athletic Brewing, Sip Clean, Sound Soda and Crumbl Cookies sponsoring this event, open to Café RE members only.

 

Whether you are on day 1 or day 1000, there is still time to join REStore. We start this Sunday, please join us! 

 

Highlights from Paul:

 

Many of us have asked the question “what’s the point of life?” The response is always a near derivative of love. It’s safe to say that the core religions can be summarized with one teaching. The Golden Rule. The mystics recognized, we are all one, what you do to another you do to yourself and if you treat your fellow human being with respect and dignity, you in turn will experience the same.

 

We have learned that we cannot find the point of it all at the bottom of a bottle.  And when we hear The Golden Rule, we often think of the other person, but what about being kind to ourselves? Treat others as you’d like to be treated, but you need to treat yourself how you want to be treated. And only then, can we have a shot at learning about what this miracle we call life is all about.

 

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

 

[10:00]  Kris introduces Justin:

 

Justin has been sober since September 9th, 2020. He lives in Harrison New York. He is getting married next year, has two cats and two dogs. He loves running, traveling, and listening to podcasts and audiobooks.

 

When he was growing up, his first exposure to alcohol was his family having wine at the holidays and his dad drank beer. He remembers his father as inconsistent, and was very aware of the amount of beer that his father drank and was attuned to what was going on.

 

Justin first drank in around 7th grade but didn’t like where it was heading. Later he had a small circle of friends that he would drink heavily with late in high school. After transitioning to college alcohol was the gateway to making friends. He started making rules around his drinking early on and used it as a coping tool. He never felt he had a problem because he knew what a problem looked like.

 

After college, Justin continued to try and create rules around his drinking. Alcohol was more of a social connector and bars were everywhere and he couldn’t imagine life without drinking – it was normalized but he knew he was different, and that drinking wasn’t right for him.

 

It was when Justin had his first experience dating someone that didn’t drink that he realized it was possible to go out and be fully present and aware. He recognized that this was the person he wanted to be but was still dependent on alcohol. When he had 10 days of sobriety for a personal development course, but could not continue, he knew he had to address the problem. He started listening to audiobooks which helped him recognize what led to his addiction. He had a shift where he realized that he no longer wanted to use alcohol to cope with life. While running he started listening to recovery books and podcasts. He was able to start stringing sober days together and realized that he wanted to be a non-drinker. He started looking at his recovery scientifically and evaluated his sober vs. non-sober time.

 

He says his biggest tools involve audiobooks, podcasts, playing the tape forward and connection is the most important. You can connect with Justin in the links below:

 

Alternative Direction Coaching

This Naked Mind - Justin

CoachJustin450@gmail.com

 

[60:00] Thoughts from Kris

 

Radical honesty has been important for Kris and urges us to ask ourselves a few questions without judgement.  Honesty can help us accept where we are and get the help that we need. 

 

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

You’re the only one who can do this RE

But you don’t have to do it alone

I love you guys.

 

Dec 19, 2022

Episode 409 – The Cost of Inauthenticity

 

Today we have Jeremiah, he’s 35 from Denver, CO and took his last drink on April 27, 2022.

 

NYE Sober Prom in San Diego on December 31st.  We have Athletic Brewing, Sip Clean, Sound Soda and Crumbl Cookies sponsoring this event, open to Café RE members only.

 

Registration for REStore is now open!  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/restore/

 

Exact Nature: https://exactnature.com/RE20

 

Highlights from Paul:

 

Being inauthentic creates a lot of pain which many of us have tried to address it by using alcohol.  We often choose survival over authenticity by putting our basic needs over expressing or being ourselves.  Sometimes we have to be inauthentic to fit in.

 

Dr. Gabor Mate’s book “The Myth of Normal” says “the perceived need to be what the world demands becomes entangled with our sense of who we are and how to seek love. Inauthenticity is thereafter misidentified with survival because the two were synonymous during the formative years.”

 

It has been studied that being inauthentic can lead to physical disease.  And Dr. Sarno has concluded that back pain is not structural but represents repressed emotions, mostly rage.

 

How can we be authentic?  It is a practice and a balance. There are two sides to the coin:  saying no to BS and doing more of what you enjoy.  Paul challenges us to ask ourselves where we are not being authentic?  What BS are we putting up with?

 

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

 

[9:28]  Paul introduces Jeremiah:

 

Jeremiah took his last drink on April 27, 2022.  He grew up in Wisconsin but currently lives in Denver, CO.  He’s 35, single and has two dogs and loves all varieties of outdoor sports.

 

Jeremiah didn’t drink in high school but started drinking when he went to college.  He was able to do well in school and work and went out a few nights a week drinking like a “normal” college student.  After graduating he moved out of state, got married and says his drinking was drastically reduced. Even throughout other life changes including a divorce his drinking wasn’t out of control.  After getting a DUI he was ordered to take classes that he didn’t feel that he needed and was able to quit drinking for over a year with relative ease.

 

He initially saw the pandemic as an opportunity to focus on healthy and productive endeavors. He soon started to feel very isolated, and depression and anxiety started to set in.  His doctor put him on an antidepressant and Xanax which he started to abuse and mixing with alcohol.  He attended an IOP for Xanax with no intention of quitting drinking initially.  After a big relapse he realized he was no longer in control of his drinking and decided to go to inpatient rehab.

 

He wishes he had gone into rehab sooner where he finally felt relief and realized that he needed to make some changes. He made the decision to quit his job and moved back to Denver where he took some time off and started doing things that he used to enjoy.  He feels that his hobbies are just as important to his recovery as the community that he has found in AA and Café RE. He has found that through his hobbies and mindfulness he is better at living in the moment.  He looks forward to the future and plans to do more hiking, travelling and hopefully one day have a family.

 

[48:25] Paul’s summary:

 

Gen Z and many others are waking up to the fact that alcohol is shit.  Just like Big Tobacco had their moment with catchy icons helping us believe that smoking was cool and good for us until people started dying, Big Alcohol has also spun a similar story – that it is good for our health and social life. But we are waking up and just like domestic tobacco sales went to shit, I imagine the same is already in motion for Big Alcohol.

 

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

This isn’t a “no” to alcohol, but a “yes” to a better life.

I love you guys.

Dec 12, 2022

Episode 408 – Focus on the Good

 

Today we have Bret, 42, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and he took his last drink on September 17th, 2022.

 

Registration for REStore is now open!  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/restore/

 

Exact Nature: https://exactnature.com/RE20

 

Highlights from Paul:

 

Paul urges us to focus on the good.  There is plenty of bad news out there but ruminating on issues that don’t directly affect us can be detrimental.  While suffering is part of the human condition, there is always something to be thankful for.  He says that it is on the super challenging days where our recovery work is so important. 

 

Like Odette said in the newsletter recently - “watch our thoughts – if a thought isn’t inline with your new alcohol-free life – let it go”.

 

Author Jay Shetty in his book Think Like a Monk classifies thoughts as a seed or a weed.  If it’s a weed, let it go, if it’s a seed, water it and let it grow.

 

Manifestation is the mind’s version of The Golden Rule, which is when you treat others with respect, you will gain respect back.  With your mind it’s the same thing.  If you work towards focusing on the good, then eventually your outer reality will match up. 

 

Paul’s take on “character defects” is that we should be aware and make intentions to correct them, but to not get stuck ruminating on them.  If we focus on our weaknesses, it is hard to let our positive personality traits thrive. 

 

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

 

[10:51]  Kris introduces Bret

 

Bret is at 66 days sober and feeling cautiously optimistic. 

 

He’s 42 years old, he was raised in Utah but lives in Fort Lauderdale now.  He has been with his partner for 17 years, and they have two dogs and a cat.  He likes to cook, garden and is a property appraiser. 

 

Bret’s parents divorced when he was very young, and he watched his older siblings stress their mom out with their drinking and swore he would never do it.

Growing up gay was a struggle but when he went to college he started going to bars and found his community and felt like he belonged.  He was able to drink and successfully go to school and work.  His drinking was on par with everyone else, so he didn’t feel he had a problem.

 

He moved to Fort Lauderdale in his 20’s and found community in the bar scene.  The party never ended which normalized his drinking for him.  He was still able to work and function fine and never had any major consequences as he was away from family and only interacted with people that drank like he did.

 

His drinking started to slow down in his 30’s.  They went out less and drank more at home while being caretakers for his mother-in-law.

 

Bret was the bartender for he and his partner and gradually started drinking earlier and the pours would get heavier.  He tried to moderate and create rules, but he would always break them and eventually started hiding the bottles.

 

COVID and a lot of external factors led to Bret trying to cope with alcohol.  It was when his husband confronted him about his hidden bottles that he finally felt relief – he feels he wouldn’t have been able to admit he had a problem had it not been for that.  He went to his doctor, and they mentioned an IOP program that Bret got into as soon as he could. 

 

Through his IOP and joining Café RE he feels he is starting to figure out what led him down the path to addiction.  He enjoys attending RE courses and chats and plans to attend the IOP after care to help continue his progress.

 

 

Book mentioned by Kris Tribe by Sebastian Junger

 

[48:33]  Kris’ summary:

 

A common theme in recovery is loneliness. We felt loneliness while we were drinking, and we also tend to feel alone in recovery.  Finding people and community that understands is so important, especially with the holidays coming up

 

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

We’re the only ones that can do this, RE

But we don’t have to do it alone.

I love you guys.

Dec 5, 2022

Episode 407 – A Message to Big Alcohol

 

Today we have Jeff, 48, from Joplin Missouri with 13 days of sobriety at time of recording

 

Registration for Restore opens December 1. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/restore/

 

Exact Nature: https://exactnature.com/RE20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

For the first time in this podcast, Paul speaks to Big Alcohol. Why now? We have a limited time together on each episode he has felt that discussing how to live a better life without the stuff is better use of our time.

 

He addresses the fact that Big Alcohol’s greatest customers are the alcoholic/problem drinkers and not the “normal” drinker that has one or two beers and the rest sits in the fridge for months.  They are also responsible for perpetuating the myth that alcohol consumption is good for you.  Spoiler alert:  it’s not.  The Huberman Lab Podcast has an episode that dives deep into the effects alcohol has on the brain/body. (https://hubermanlab.com/what-alcohol-does-to-your-body-brain-health)

 

The amount of trash that can be found on the sides of the road is about a 10/1 ratio alcohol related vs. non-alcohol related.  Paul asks if Big Alcohol is ok with the remnants of their product being strewn all over the planet via human wreckage and excessive trash.

 

Paul clarifies that his goal is to not fight with Big Alcohol. His battle with alcohol and alcoholism made him who he is today, and he appreciates that.

But maybe they would be willing to share just a half of a percentage point of their marketing budget to help us clean up the mess their product has created both on humans and on our planet. We’d be interested to collaborate on our next service project.  You can reach us at info@recoveryelevator.com

 

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

 

[10:59] Jeff lives in Joplin, MO currently, but grew up in NC.  He has a wife and three children aged 6, 4 and 8 months.  He recently started his own business and enjoys golf, reading, creative writing and poetry, and writing and playing music.

 

Jeff took his first drink with a friend at home when he was 17.  He remembers the occasional drink at a party in high school but didn’t really start drinking until he turned 21.  Through his 20’s drinking was part of life.  He was able to cut back or quit drinking whenever he felt it was getting to be too much. 

 

Jeff says he didn’t have a true rock bottom moment but after an incident that found him ramping up his drinking, he chose to seek some counseling for PTSD.  He started to realize that the way he had been drinking and handling life was becoming unsustainable.  He wants to be present for his family and didn’t feel that he was able to enjoy life while drinking.

 

Jeff found himself going to his first AA meeting in many years 13 days ago, has found a sponsor and attends meetings daily.  He has been staying busy with home projects and acts of service and feels that working with his hands relieves stress and helps him avoid getting lost in negative thought patterns. 

 

Jeff doesn’t have a long-term goal in sobriety, he is just taking it day by day.  Right now, he just wants to be sober and process his emotions without alcohol and enjoy his family and the life he has built.

 

[47:57] Paul’s Summary

 

Socrates said the secret to change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.  Mother Teresa said she would not participate in wars on hunger or on terrorism because there is an equal amount of disproportionate energy on the other side.  Much like we have seen with the war on drugs: trillions of dollars wasted to learn that you cannot punish addiction out of people.  If someone from Big Alcohol is listening, please don’t feel attacked, we want to work together in cleaning up the planet.

 

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

This isn’t a no to alcohol, but a yes to a better life.

I love you guys

 

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