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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: 2023
Dec 25, 2023

Episode 462 – To Have is to Give

 

 

Today we have Tana. She is 44 years old and lives in Washington State. She took her last drink on July 30th, 2020.

 

Registration for our DRY January course RESTORE is now open! It’s time to get your alcohol-free connect on and say adios to the booze. Our first session is Monday, January 1st at 5 pm PST or 8 pm EST.  The most common issue I hear is that people don’t have a network of others who don’t drink. Well, Our Restore is going to solve that and you’re going to learn all about alcohol, alcohol addiction, and how to beat it.

 

Paul shares an article where scientists say the mystery of how red wine headaches occur may be solved. Paul’s opinion is that it’s a waste of time, but here’s the link for curiosity’s sake.

 

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

 

[03:40] Thoughts from Paul:

 

In 1935, A.A. Founder Bill W, found that when he shared his experience, strength and hope to another individual who was struggling with alcohol, then Bill magically had the strength to remain sober. It shows the universal law of “to give is to have”.

 

Today I give you the message of Merry Christmas. To plant the seed, that to give is to have. To have is to give. Most of us have learned a way, or path that didn’t work. Or maybe it kind of worked but was or is incredibly painful. For me, this path required numbing agents, alcohol being the most potent one.

Now I know there are a couple thousand of you who listen to this podcast first thing on Monday morning when the episodes are released. Fantastic. How blessed I am to get you ear first thing in the morning. Ask not what Santa, or your family can give to you, but ask what you can give to them.

 

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

 

[00:00] Kris introduces Tana:

 

Tana is from Washington state, and she works in healthcare and recently has found a new passion for teaching yoga. She has three children, two who have recently graduated college and a 10-year-old daughter. She recently separated from her husband. She enjoys backpacking, hiking, running and dance.

 

Tana and her siblings were raised by her father who recently passed away. Their mother was an alcoholic, and Tana knew from an early age that she was suffering. Her exposure to alcohol was limited to family members drinking socially.

 

When Tana was a teenager some home changes found her moving in with her mother. At this point she was exposed to her mother’s addictions firsthand and over time it made her depressed and wanting to rebel, so she began smoking cigarettes, but not really drinking. She moved out at 17 to start her own life.

 

After starting her own life, Tana had two children and got married. Over time she realized the relationship wasn’t good, so she left and just focused on her kids. Her only addiction issues were the cigarettes which she went to great lengths to hide out of shame.

 

A few years later, Tana remarried and when she was pregnant with her third child, she quit smoking, and her husband encouraged her to quit for good. Tana found running to be a good replacement for smoking, but after her daughter got older, she would no longer have time to run. Her drinking became her tool to cope.

 

Tana started to feel shame about her drinking and questioning it. She started listening to podcasts and discovering books that she thought may help her break the cycle and become the best mom she could be. When AA didn’t feel like a good fit, Tana found community in Café RE. She finally felt safe to be herself, make friends, attend meetups, and enjoys giving back to others.

 

Tana’s plan in recovery moving forward: keep learning and growing.

 

Tana’s parting piece of guidance: it’s different for all of us. It takes what it takes and for each of us that looks a little different. Just don’t give up – never quit quitting.

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

Dec 18, 2023

Episode 461 - Wait, You Drink Poison?

 

 

Today we have Gill. She’s 33 years old from Lexington, MA and took her last drink on November 9th, 2019.

 

Update from Ryan H on episode 457 – “I’m going on two weeks now and I’m definitely starting to notice a difference in my mood, digestive issues and weight.”

 

Registration for our intensive DRY January course RESTORE is now open! It’s time to get your alcohol-free connect on and say adios to the booze. The most common issue I hear is that people don’t have a network of others who don’t drink. Well, Our Restore is going to solve that and you’re going to learn a ton about alcohol, alcohol addiction, and how to beat it.

 

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

 

[03:02] Intro:

 

Paul shares two Instagram accounts that will help you on your sobriety journey:

 

Drop the Bottle  - all about sobriety and ditching the booze.

 

A.L.A.D.D.I.N – not about sobriety, but it is entertaining and when it’s creator shares his art with the world, it gives others permission to do the same.

 

Athletic Greens: https://www.athleticgreens.com/recovery

 

[08:22] Paul introduces Gill:

 

Gill is 33 and lives right outside of Boston, MA. She has a husband and a cat. She loves playing video games, going to concerts and travelling. She teaches chemistry courses and labs at a college in Boston. She is also the host of the Sober Powered podcast.

 

Gill says she didn’t start drinking until grad school. She didn’t have opportunities in high school because she was bullied and didn’t hang out with people that drank. She started because she feared that if she didn’t then no one would like her. Once she tried it a few times and got her first buzz, she enjoyed it so much it became a regular thing for her.

 

Gill started having repercussions from drinking early on. She didn’t know her limits, had frequent opportunities to drink and would end up getting sick and having blackouts. Gill thought all of this was normal and that everyone drank like her. Gill says that her performance in school started suffering and there was multiple drink fueled fights with her boyfriend (who is now her husband).

 

Gill ended up leaving program and decided to start teaching instead. She learned that drinking helped with the stress she experienced while teaching. Over time she switched from wine to vodka to save money. Her tolerance increased, and she started struggling with hangovers at work.

 

Trying to moderate and make rules around her drinking was frustrating for Gill. People didn’t want her to quit and when she would bring it up others would downplay it and tell her she was fine.

 

Gill’s depression was getting worse, and she started waking up with uncontrollable anxiety often. Once she began having suicidal thoughts, she got scared. Gill decided to take a break for 90 days to lower her tolerance and thought she would be cured. During that time her suicidal thoughts and anxiety lessened. She completed the 90 days and started drinking again and the consequences quickly followed.

 

After her last rule was compromised, she realized she had to accept that she had to let alcohol go indefinitely. While it was scary at first, Gill says she also felt a sense of peace.

 

Gill didn’t think she needed meetings when she first quit but doesn’t recommend people try to do it alone.  After the pandemic started, Gill found she had the time to go to therapy, she started listening to podcasts, and doing a lot of research on the science around alcohol addictions. She wanted to share what she had learned with others, so she started her own podcast: Sober Powered.

 

Gill’s advice for the holidays: you don’t have to go to everything if you are worried that you’re going to drink or that you can’t stay sober, don’t go.

 

Gill’s go-to tool to get past a craving: walking, rage walking.

 

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I love you guys.

Go big because eventually we’ll all go home.

 

 

 

Dec 11, 2023

Episode 460 – The Friends We Keep

 

 

Today we have Kerry. She’s 40 years old from Williston, ND and took her last drink on January 7th, 2016.

 

Shoutout to our CafĂ© RE chat hosts!  Thank you for your dedication to the community, and for providing a space for us to share our experiences. You’re the best!

 

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

 

[01:29] Highlights from Kris:

 

It’s important that we surround ourselves with people who are going to enrich our lives. People who will meet us where we are, but also challenge us and encourage us to grow.

 

Kris shares some examples of great friends he has in his life and shares an article that outlines Five Types of Friends – friends we need and need to be.

 

Take a look at the people you have in your life. Do you think you have someone that fits in each of these categories? When was the last time you let them know what they mean to you? Use this as a reminder to tell someone you love them, and that you’re grateful for them.

 

If you find yourself today, feeling like YOU’RE alone, I promise you that you’re not. You’re people are out there.

 

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

 

[10:15] Kris introduces Kerry:

 

Kerry and her partner live in Williston, ND and are raising four kids. She recently decided she was going to become a firefighter which stemmed from being an EMT and a nurse. She enjoys spending time with the kids and they are currently rebuilding a boat.

 

Kerry was exposed to alcohol throughout her childhood but didn’t really have any great interest in it. She feels that she was a people pleaser and didn’t want to get in trouble until senior year when she decided she could let loose and have some fun before going to college. She found alcohol gave her relief from the stressors in her life.

 

Going into college she and her friends were party seekers. She had excelled so much academically that she felt she could relax and have fun and not worry about responsibilities. Her idea of an addict was her dad who wasn’t obvious about it. She didn’t have the consequences he did so she didn’t feel she had any problems.  When she was 19 her parents put her into rehab because of drug use. While she was there the counselors recognized that her bigger issue was drinking. Kerry didn’t listen and continued to drink after leaving treatment.

 

Kerry’s parents got a divorce and she had moved back home. She used any excuse to drink to not deal with things. She was having consequences like DUIs and broken relationships. At the time Kerry was working with her mom at a family business where happy hours and daily drinking after work were part of the daily landscape.

 

Looking for a change, Kerry a boyfriend moved to Alaska and started a family. The drinking slowed down, but after that relationship ended and they shared custody of the kids, Kerry found herself going back to drinking.

 

After moving back to North Dakota, she continued to use drinking to self-medicate. People didn’t realize it because she was so good at taking care of other people and being a problem solver. Over time the drinking was getting heavier and heavier, and Kerry tried to create parameters to control it.

 

She tried quitting for a while but when she tested the waters again, she had consequences including another DUI where she realized she needed to get help to quit completely. She joined Lion Rock Recovery, which was all online, so she didn’t need to leave her family for treatment. It helped her focus on the reason she drank and deal with her mental health and gave her tools to use after the program ended.

 

Kerry’s plan in recovery moving forward: keep learning, keep doing crazy things like firefighting and getting more involved with recovery service.

 

Kerry’s parting piece of guidance: there isn’t a roadmap, and if one thing doesn’t work, you can try another.

 

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We are the only ones that can do this RE, but we don’t have to do it alone.

I love you guys.

 

 

Dec 7, 2023

Now the Holidays have been coupled with alcohol for as long as the Earth has been orbiting the Sun. I’m kidding, that isn’t correct, but you get the point. And if you’re struggling with alcohol or trying to get sober, the holidays can be the ultimate challenge. This episode should help. 

 

In this Holiday Collab Episode, we’ve got Gill from the Sober Powered Podcast. Casey from the Hello Someday Podcast, and Veronica from the Soberful Podcast. 

Dec 4, 2023

Episode 459 – Let’s Smile

 

 

Today we have Spencer. He’s 44 years old from Minneapolis, MN and took his last drink on September 23rd, 2023.

 

Registration for RESTORE is no open!  If you want to take a break for a month, or say adios for good, this course is for you. You’re going to learn all about alcohol addiction, what it is, what it isn’t, how to beat cravings, you’ll learn about many different recovery pathways, and the best part is you won’t be doing this alone.

 

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

 

[02:04] Highlights from Paul:

 

Start your day with a smile. It doesn’t matter if the smile is fake or real. The body doesn’t know the difference and the nervous system always responds positively with a smile.

 

Smiling increases mood-enhancing hormones. Smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin, while decreasing stress-enhancing hormones, including cortisol, and adrenaline. It also reduces overall blood pressure.

 

Another reason to smile is that research shows that smiles are contagious. Most people will find a way to reciprocate in a friendly manner. Smiling is a way to be of service because it makes other people’s days better.

 

Spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has said “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." 

 

Start your day with a 30 -second smile. And not for just one day or two,

but rock that smile every morning for the rest of this year and hopefully beyond. And don't forget to keep that smile going throughout the day.

 

Paul shares some dad jokes to help get us started.

 

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

 

[08:04] Paul introduces Spencer:

 

Spencer grew up in Minneapolis area. He is married with two kids. He enjoys playing blues and rock on his guitar and spending time on the river with his family. Spencer has been an electrician for 23 years.

 

Spencer says that alcohol was a big part of his family’s life while he was growing up. Both of his parents drank, and every event was centered around alcohol. Spencer didn’t try alcohol until he was around 15. He had a friend who’s parent worked nights, so their house became a party house and drinking happened frequently.

 

Spencer got married young and they both drank heavily. They had a daughter together and eventually they ended up getting a divorce. At the time Spencer blamed a lot of the issues on his ex. Once she moved out Spencer had some friends move in and says the drinking became daily and he was losing jobs. He eventually started having financial issues and lost his house.

 

It was shortly after he started dating a woman that didn’t drink like him that he realized that drinking might be a problem for him. He didn’t really make any changes until the birth of his son when he began to try moderating and added rules around his drinking.

 

Things were going well for Spencer and then he got a call from his son’s mother that she was a heroin addict. He ended up having to get custody of him and knew he had to stop drinking for his son. He was able to quit for a while but gradually let drinking slip back in.

 

Spencer was able to quit for a few years and started recognizing how big of an issue alcohol had been for him. He knew he wanted to quit but wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to do it.

 

New activities have replaced drinking for Spencer. He is working on his relationships with his kids and has been talking to them about alcohol and the issues within the family. Spencer is open about his sobriety with others. He listens to a lot of podcasts about addiction and enjoys online AA meetings and has plans to do the steps. Spencer knows how important connection will be going forward.

 

Spencer’s parting piece of guidance: If you think you have a problem, find someone that’s sober to talk about it, listen to podcasts, get connected.

 

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Remember Rule 22, keep those smiles going. Lighten up.

I love you guys.

 

 

Nov 27, 2023

Episode 458 – A Big Win

 

 

Today we have Mike. He is 44 from Huntsville, AL and took his last drink on April 10th, 2023.

 

Registration for RESTORE opens this Friday!  If you want to take a break for a month, or say adios for good, this course is for you. You’re going to learn all about alcohol addiction, what it is, what it isn’t, how to beat cravings, you’ll learn about many different recovery pathways, and the best part is you won’t be doing this alone.

 

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

 

[02:42] Highlights from Paul:

 

Paul shares how releasing his first album is a huge win for him and that the listeners are a big part of making it happen.

 

Something commonly heard when people quit drinking is “what is going to fill the void?”.

We have to rediscover likes and interests. Part of the journey is trying out new hobbies. Sometimes it takes a while to find out what we like to do though, so be patient with  your healing.

 

If you want to hear the outro song and the full album under the name of Pablo Church, you can check it out on Spotify, or search your preferred music streaming service.


What dreams, goals, aspirations, did you have that alcohol stifled like a wet soggy blanket. What did alcohol bump down on your list of personal goals? What do you want in life now that alcohol is no longer in the front seat? Take a moment to ponder these questions, maybe hit pause in this episode, put pen to paper and get clear on what you want. Paul and the RE community are here to help you make it happen.

 

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

 

[07:18] Kris introduces Mike:

 

Mike lives in Huntsville, AL and works in construction. He is married and they have five kids. He enjoys attending his kids’ sporting events and being outside and active.

 

Mike grew up in a conservative home. His father had a history of rebellion and his mother lost both parents to alcoholism when she was young, so they chose to keep alcohol out of the home.

 

Mike first tried alcohol on New Year’s Eve when he was in 8th grade while at a friend’s house. He started to associate alcohol with having a good time but didn’t drink much during high school even though his friends did. Mike was a people pleaser both at home and with his friends. He feels this tendency drove him to start drinking and smoking pot to fit in with everyone.

 

Mike went to one semester of college and decided it wasn’t for him. After some consequences from his drinking, he ended up moving back home and working construction. He was still drinking and smoking but trying to make better choices.

 

When Mike met his wife, they decided to make some changes. They quit drinking and smoking and started becoming more active in the church community. When the job market started changing in Michigan, they moved to Alabama where Mike was offered a new job.

 

After a while, Mike decided to quit his job and start his own construction business. That was going well but Mike found that managing the business instead of doing the labor was very different and more stressful. As time when on his drinking gradually increased and since everyone else was drinking, he could justify it. Over time he was drinking before, during and after work. His wife discovered the stash in his office and that’s when Mike said he would quit. For a few months, he found himself hiding his drinking and trying to drink less, which didn’t work.

 

Mike eventually sought outpatient treatment and tried that for a while before his counselor told him he had to do more. Mike was resistant to trying AA but once he did he was able to start making some changes and getting help to stay sober.

 

Mike’s plan in sobriety moving forward: to make the most of the time he has left.

 

Mike’s parting piece of guidance: today is just a day and time takes time.

 

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

I love you guys.

 

 

Nov 20, 2023

Episode 457 – What if I Can’t Quit Drinking?

 

Today we have Ryan. He’s 33 years old from Orange County, NY and took his last drink on September 24th, 2023.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all the listeners in the USA! Be sure to take some time this week and let the universe know what you are thankful for and remember a drink won’t make your holiday any better.

 

Athletic Greens

 

[02:42] Highlights from Paul:

 

It’s the last Q&A episode and today’s question is from Darren in Tampa Bay who asks, “What if I can’t quit drinking?”

 

Paul shares that he could have asked this same question not that long ago and his message to Darren and others that maybe feeling this way is to keep moving forward, don’t quit quitting, keep using the mind to build, to visualize your alcohol-free life. Accept it all, embrace the journey, and you will come out the other side.

 

Paul rephrases the question to ask, “what if I can’t quit drinking today?” and shares some thoughts and strategies to implement which include:

 

-       It isn’t quitting for a lifetime, it’s only for today and it gets easier.

-       Don’t beat yourself up. People with drinking problems drink but on the flip side people with drinking problems quit every day.

-       Stick to the plan of seeking sobriety. “What you seek is seeking you”.

-       For many, it is a journey, and it takes time for things to get into sync. You don’t need to rush the process.

 

 

Thank you, listeners, for all the questions!

 

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[10:44] Paul introduces Ryan:

 

Ryan is on day 5 at the time of this recording. He is 33 years old and is engaged and has two stepchildren. He is a drummer and loves playing metal music and enjoys watching horror movies.

 

Ryan’s relationship with alcohol didn’t begin until he was in his 20’s. His drinking was mostly a few beers sporadically, but he quickly graduated to straight liquor. He started drinking regularly when he was about 23 to cope with stress and depression using alcohol as an escape. It was putting a strain on his relationship at the time, and she

 

Ryan feels he was functional and kept his problem hidden well. There were no rock bottoms for him yet, he was just drowning his feelings and didn’t feel a reason to stop. The industry he worked in found he and his coworkers drinking together after work frequently.

 

Some severe pain in Ryan’s hips and legs found him seeking medical attention. He went to a doctor who he has known for years, and they discovered that Ryan had AVN. This is a condition that doesn’t happen to people in their 20’s so Ryan shared his drinking habits with the doctor who connected the dots quickly.

 

Ryan was able to quit drinking for two years with the help of Campral while he was in recovery from hip replacement surgery. He reflects this was a very positive time in his life. Even after he relapsed, there have been times of abstinence with the assistance of naltrexone but feels he wasn’t working on the underlying issues that caused him to want to drink.

 

Ryan has been trying to figure out his “why”. His depression plays a role in it, he says, but it feels complex. He knows that all alcohol is causing several health issues, but he is working on harm reduction and learning more about what alcohol does to us.  Ryan has the support of his fiancĂ©, his friends and family and utilizes his music to help him cope now.

 

Ryan’s parting piece of guidance: if you think drinking is a problem for you, quitting can be done, it’s not easy but it is simple. Incorporate medications, therapy and a support network.

 

 

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Recovery Elevator

Go big, because eventually we all go home.

I love you guys.

 

 

Nov 13, 2023

Episode 456 – How Do You Overcome Resentments?

 

 

Today we have Nathan. He’s 42 years old and from Andover, MN and took his last drink on April 19th, 2023.

 

On January 1st, 2024, we are starting our intensive sobriety course geared towards the newcomer.  Check out the link to learn more about RESTORE.

 

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

 

[02:01] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today’s question is from Darren A. who asks, “Can you discuss resentment and letting go of resentment?"

 

Life is a school where the people, places, and things are there to help us grow and become deeper human beings. The people we encounter in life are there to help us grow. 

 

The theory is that none of this is happening to you. Remember, that is how a victim speaks. Flip that to believe that everything that has ever happened to you in your life is happening for you, for your own personal growth and development, to make you a more resilient human being.

 

Resentments are the teachers. Yes, they suck, they emotionally and physically hurt, but they are the opportunities for healthy and normal growth.

 

Another strategy is to stop labeling things as good or bad. When a person, place or thing pisses you off, try to recognize the mind immediately slapping a label on it, try to remain open.  We don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. That person who may have recently dogged you may have actually shielded you from a tragedy down the road.

 

 â€śYou can be right, or you can have peace." Paul shares this mantra with us frequently on the podcast. He tries to repeat this mantra when he encounters a difficult life challenge.

 

We want to hear from the listener. How do you overcome resentments? Let us know in our Monday Instagram post on the Recovery Elevator Instagram page.

 

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[08:56] Kris introduces Nathan:

 

Nathan is 42 and lives in Andover, MN. He works in financial operations but was recently laid off.  He is in the process of going through a divorce and has two cats. He enjoys woodworking and building things with hand tools, he also enjoys golf, reading and occasionally writing.

 

Nathan calls himself a late bloomer and hated beer. It was normal to have it around when he was growing up, but his dad drank NA beer. He was a casual drinker through his twenties and thirties.

 

In late 2019 Nathan’s wife was in a car accident related to some health issues. It was a very stressful time for them as his wife was unable to drive and undergoing a lot of testing and Nathan was dealing with a very stressful work project as well.

 

Some health issues drove Nathan to use alcohol to ease his symptoms. His career was stressful, and he and his wife were having communication issues. Nathan didn’t drink every day, but some days were binge sessions. He discovered the amount he could have without too many consequences the next day.

 

After a weekend of binge drinking, Nathan had an experience that felt like he was having a heart attack, and he went to the ER where he realized alcohol was causing the problems. Soon after he was able to admit to his wife that he needed to stop. He went back to the ER and told them that he needed help. After detox, Nathan enrolled in an IOP and connected with a great counselor.

 

It took a few months for Nathan to start feeling physically better and is currently confronting some difficult life situations. He plays the tape forward and continues to work on his recovery despite the strong emotions he is dealing with.

 

Nathan’s favorite resources in recovery: his IOP counselor, the RE podcast and Café RE.

 

Nathan’s parting piece of guidance: make a plan (to avoid relapse), make it really detailed and change it as you need to.

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

 

 

Nov 6, 2023

Episode 455 – How Do You Feel About Ayahuasca and Other Plant Medicines?

 

 

Today we have Chris. He is 40 years old and lives in Austin, TX. He took his last drink on February 16th, 2007.

 

Check out our events page for our lineup of upcoming retreats and courses. Beginning January 1st, RESTORE, our intense Dry January course is back! In February we have another 5-week Ukelele Course. Then in March, we have two events in Costa Rica, and  we’ll see you in Bozeman, Montana in August for our 6th annual retreat in Big Sky Country.

 

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

 

[02:16] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today is episode 9 out of 10 in the Q&A series.

 

Today’s question comes from Krista B, in our Café RE group. She says:

 

“How Paul is feeling about ayahuasca and other plant medicines. Are you still as passionate about its benefits today as a few years ago? Has the treatment worked in a sustained way, in your opinion?”

 

Paul shared his initial experience with ayahuasca in episode 170. He believes that plant medicines have a place in the world of addiction and mental health. Do not buy it on the internet and try it solo; set and setting is everything. There is so much preparation that needs to go into an ayahuasca ceremony and under the right circumstances, it will answer many questions. A big one being why you drink. Paul shares how ayahuasca still impacts his everyday life.

 

While Paul found plant medicine helpful on his journey, he recognizes it’s not for everyone, nor does he think everyone should try plant medicine. If you are interested, please do your own research before trying it.

 

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[11:59] Paul introduces Chris:

 

Chris lives in Austin Texas; he is married with two children aged 8 and 9. He is an entrepreneur and enjoys being creative through many avenues.

 

Chris always felt like an outsider that didn’t belong while he was growing up. His parents divorced when he was young, and he blamed himself and ended up distancing himself from people.  He craved connections and ended up starting drinking with a group of friends. Chris felt like alcohol was the solution to his feelings of not belonging. His drinking increased and over time he lost all those connections that he used alcohol to find and was drinking alone. At age 23 he went to treatment where they helped him recognize that he had some mental health issues, the main ones being social anxiety and depression.

 

Some alumni from the group accepted Chris, helped him go to meetings and then they would all socialize afterwards. He finally felt he was making connections that he had craved all his life.

 

Seeing people that were staying sober and succeeding was a big boost to Chris’ confidence, and he felt like it was possible for him to do the same. His life in sobriety was becoming so great that he never had a desire to go back to drinking.

 

Chris started going to school to become a counselor and immediately started working in the recovery field. He knew it was important to maintain and strengthen his recovery to do the job successfully.

 

Chris started Sans Bar in 2018 as a pop-up bar when there were very few options in the alcohol-free arena. The pop-ups grew, and more and more people were interested in what Chris was doing, mostly through word of mouth. He feels it came along at the right time as the sober curious movement was beginning. Chris says doing this gave him the same feelings that his first sip of booze did – he was forming connections. He feels Sans Bar is for everyone, not just people in recovery.

 

Chris’s favorite resources in recovery: The Luckiest Club, 12 step programs, podcasts.

 

Chris’s parting piece of guidance: you can’t fail. The point of sobriety is not abstinence, it’s growth.

 

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Oct 30, 2023

Episode 454 – How Can I Do More In My Recovery Community?

 

Today we have Kristan. She is 60 years old and lives in Delaware. She took her last drink on June 3rd, 2019.

 

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

 

[01:34] Highlights from Kris:

 

Today we are continuing the Q & A series and it’s a two for one.

First question, Dale wants to know “How can I do more in my recovery community?”

 

Some traditional responses to this question might AA, or any other group with the word recovery in it. These are great, but Kris shares that we can expand our view to other groups. Church groups, book club, a running club, or a workout group.

 

Sharing can be a great way to get involved within a recovery community. Hearing others share and be vulnerable encourages us to share and be vulnerable too. By being open, you are being of service in your recovery. You never know who you may be helping with your share.

 

Think of the things that you bring to the table, and what you’d like to see your community offer. It could be as simple as organizing an outing to have a meal with other local members or hosting a chat in your online community.

 

Listen to your heart. If you feel that tug to do something, be obedient to that. We have no idea how it could impact our lives, or the lives of other people.

 

Athletic Greens: https://www.athleticgreens.com/recovery

 

[09:25]: Kris introduces Kristan:

 

Kristan is married and has adult kids, she enjoys traveling, participating in triathlons, and hanging out with her sober friends doing fun activities.

 

Kristan grew up in Louisiana and started drinking when she was 12 and partied throughout high school. She graduated from college and moved to Australia for a few years. She moved to DC when she came back and worked as a reporter while enjoying the nightlife. Kristan says that in her profession, drinking was very common, and she surrounded herself with people that drank a lot.

 

Later when she bought a house in Delaware, her and her husband split time between home and DC which left Kristan with a lot of time alone. She started putting rules around her drinking early on which found her frustrated. Her husband doesn’t drink which made her feel like she was being monitored. Kristan never drank during the day but found herself drinking daily at 5pm. Her problem wasn’t obvious to her because she was successful and hadn’t lost anything (yet).

 

Kristan’s drinking came to a head after a long night of drinking with friends where she doesn’t remember the last few hours. She woke up to a text from her daughter stating that she was concerned about her drinking. Kristan decided it was time to quit. A phone call to family member in recovery helped her take the first steps. A few days later she told husband she quit drinking. She started regularly attending AA and got a sponsor, began reading books about recovery and enjoyed listening to podcasts.

 

Kristan was eager to celebrate all of life’s events sober. She says she has a great group of friends that are still fun in sobriety. After quitting, Kristan realizes how much mind space drinking took up. She says the first year was difficult, but she got stronger as she went. Kristan loves being sober. Her relationships with her daughter and husband are the best they have ever been.

 

Kristan’s future plan in sobriety: working on her emotional sobriety.

 

Kristan’s parting piece of guidance: give it a year, surround yourself with sober people.

 

[54:15] Kris answers Bobbie the Awesome’s question regarding NA beverages and shares some personal experiences.

 

Choosing whether to drink them or not is a very personal decision. It's up to you to decide what’s right for you, and it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution if you are nervous about it.

 

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Oct 23, 2023

Episode 453 - How Would You Describe a “Spiritual Experience” in Recovery?

 

 

Today we have Andy. He is 46 from Washington, DC and took his last drink on August 12th, 2023.

 

If you are struggling to quit drinking alone, check out the private community Café RE.

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[02:17] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today’s question is from Liz in the Café RE OG group: “How Would You Describe a “Spiritual Experience” in Recovery? Was it a Bill W. “White Light” or a long series of little twinkles? Somewhere in between? Something else altogether?”

 

We all know there is no right or wrong way to quit drinking, but Paul believes the spirituality component is important, because it connects or reconnects you to the universe or a god of your understanding.

 

For many, a large twinkle of spirituality took place took place near the date of their last drink. Some call this a window of clarity. I’ve heard it been described as “I just knew it was going to be different this time.” Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung called them synchronicities or the breadcrumbs of life.

 

Everyone’s version of spiritual awakening will be different. We just need to be open to the twinkles that can happen all around us.

 

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[11:53]: Paul introduces Andy:

 

Andy took his last drink less than a week before the time of this recording. Andy has moved around a bit while being in the military but currently lives in DC. He is an officer in the Air Force and has been serving for 26 years. He is married and has four kids. He enjoys ultra marathons, gardening, and traveling with his family.

 

Andy grew up around a lot of drinking in the small town he lived in. There was always beer in the house, and he feels it was ingrained in his life. He had his first drink in 8th grade. It was on a grueling camping trip when one of the adults handed him a bottle of booze and told him it would take the edge off. He really enjoyed the feelings he got from it.

 

Andy did well in school both academically and athletically, but the drinking continued. After graduating college, he enlisted in the military. He would stay sober during brief deployments but would start drinking again as soon as he came home. He struggled with missing his military family more than his wife and kids at home.

 

Andy had an opportunity to work at the Embassy in Croatia, so they moved. After a few years Andy and his wife split up and his drinking was out of control. He ended up moving back to the US as a single dad. He was not being as productive at work due to his drinking and often used his being a single dad as an excuse.

 

Andy was able to get sober few times after asking for help. First from a very close friend after a major bout of anxiety and then at another time post relapse from a doctor when he originally went to see them for a sore throat. He says that during these experiences, he felt relief. He started going to AA and stopped fighting that he was unable to casually drink. His wife would attend meetings with him for support. Andy got a very patient sponsor who helped him through the steps. Life started improving a lot for him over this time.

 

After a relapse last Christmas, Andy fell right back into the cycle and was even hiding alcohol again. He considers the five years he had as part of his recovery and plans to get back into AA when he feels ready. He misses how he felt and wants it back.  Andy plans to get back to good habits to help him stay sober, reading books, listening to podcasts, and sharing with his wife.

 

Andy’s favorite resources in recovery: RE podcast, reading, finding someone you can trust to talk to daily.

 

Andy’s parting piece of guidance: hold onto this moment and don’t look too far ahead or too far in the past.

 

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Oct 16, 2023

Episode 452 - How Do You Stop Comparing Yourself to Others in Recovery?

 

Today we have Emilee. She is 33 from Double Springs, AL and has been alcohol free since February 26th, 2023.

 

We are in the process of building some incredible events for the upcoming year, to new locations, and types of retreats we have never done before.

 

Our flagship annual retreat in Bozeman, Montana in August, then we are working on an AF travel trip in October 2024 with possible destinations being India, Vietnam, or the Camino de Santiago in Spain. But even before those events, we are working on Two retreats in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Keep an eye out for more info: Recovery Elevator events.

 

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

 

[02:55] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today’s question is from Dale: How do I stop comparing myself to others in Recovery?

 

This is a BIG PICTURE question. An issue that probably didn’t arise when you quit drinking. I’m guessing this is something you have been doing for quite some time.

 

Part of this is healthy. You’ll want to model your sobriety after someone who seems to have done the work, or who has what you want. You’ll want to compare parts of your journey with theirs… But the key is not to have it consume you.

 

Paul shares his thoughts on this topic and reminds us that comparison is all part of the human condition and to know that when one person blooms, we all receive the benefit.

 

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[10:30]: Kris introduces Emilee:

 

Emilee is 33 from Double Springs, AL. She is married and they have one daughter together. For work, she is a high school algebra teacher and for fun she enjoys doing outdoor activities including hunting and fishing and she also enjoys playing the piano, working out and cooking.

 

While growing up, Emilee didn’t have much exposure to alcohol. She says she was always shy growing up and it wasn’t until she was 19 that a boyfriend introduced her to  a group of friends that drank a lot. In that environment, she discovered a different version of herself that was much more outgoing. This went on for a few months, but her drinking decreased for about a year before she went to college.

 

Emilee managed to keep with her studies but when she drank it was always to excess. She was home for the summer when her father suddenly passed away. She had to go back to school very soon after it happened and while she didn’t drink to cope with it, she had a lot of anxiety and was just going through the motions.  

 

After graduating from college, Emilee got married and then got her first teaching job all in a short period of time. While the first year of her new career was very stressful, Emilee started a routine of getting alcohol on the way home from work and drinking throughout the evening. Her husband was also drinking and after a while they both started putting parameters on it. They eventually tried to quit, but that didn’t last, and Emilee started finding herself hiding her drinking and preferring drinking alone.

 

While pregnant, Emilee was able to stop drinking. She remained sober for a few months after having her daughter, but gradually started going back to her old habits. Emilee says she never really dealt with her father’s death so her emotions would come up a lot when she would get drunk.

 

Emilee started feeling the pull to quit drinking. She got a bunch of books and was able to stop for a few days at a time. Listening to the RE podcast would often keep her from stopping at the store for alcohol. Learning the science of what alcohol does to our bodies also helped her quit. Since quitting drinking Emilee feels that her relationships have improved.

 

Emilee’s favorite resources in recovery: RE podcast and Café RE.

 

Emilee’s parting piece of guidance: don’t quit quitting.

 

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Oct 9, 2023

Episode 451 – What to Say to Someone Who is About to Drink

 

Today we have Grant. He is 54 from Sacramento, CA and took his last drink on August 10th, 2020.

 

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

 

[02:16] Highlights from Paul:

 

We are five weeks into our Q & A series. This week’s question comes from Sarah C. “What can you say to someone, so they don’t drink?” Or how to help someone not drink.

 

Paul gives us some tried and true methods that work and strategies that the Recovery Elevator team believe in. Here are a few suggestions that Paul shares with us:

 

Tough love does not work, so a tone or stance of unconditional love needs to be present when confronting a friend who is about to drink.

 

Quick note about boundaries. Talking with people that are drunk can be triggering, and little can be done. Ask them to call you in the morning or when they are sober.

 

Being there with your presence, whether it is in person, via the phone or FaceTime, or Zoom, is the best thing you can do to help them. Holding space provides a safe container for the person to feel the feels, sit front and center with a craving and not feel judged or criticized.

 

You can also ask them about their “why”. Having them be clear on their “why” again is never a bad idea. You can also remind them that alcohol has been ruined. Drinking while knowing that alcohol no longer has a place in your life isn’t fun.

 

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[10:48]: Paul introduces Grant:

 

Grant is 54 and lives in Sacramento, CA. He is married and they have two young adult kids. He enjoys hiking and the area he lives in has a lot of nice places he explores. Grant works in research and public policy work in California and now focuses on addiction and recovery.

 

Grant says his first experience with alcohol was when he was 12. A friend had procured a bottle of brandy and they both ended up drinking to the point of going to the hospital. He drank through junior high and high school with a group of friends on weekends. The drinking continued in college, and he started trying other substances as well. Grant says there weren’t many consequences.

 

When Grant was in his 30’s after they had children, he found that alcohol helped him take the stress off. He quickly switched from beer to vodka that was easier to hide. He was succeeding at work which stressed him out more than he realized. He says it took some time but eventually he was drinking in the morning just to feel normal.

 

In 2019 someone from HR confronted Grant about smelling of alcohol and he told them that he was an alcoholic. He couldn’t admit it to his wife initially but started looking for outpatient treatment. He was able to quit for a time but relapsed after a painful experience with work which found him resigning and taking a new job with a pay cut. At this point Grant had joined Café RE and left home for a little while to live in a sober living house. He learned a lot while he was there and realized that he was going to have to do things differently.

 

After sober living, Grant started a home breathalyzer program to help him stay motivated. A meetup with fellow Café RE members gave Grant another turning point and realized that he was on the right path.

 

In recovery, Grant started volunteering with a non-profit in the addiction and recovery field. He also started listening to another recovery podcast where he shared information about addiction and recovery. He left to work for the non-profit called Shatterproof which helps people find treatment and recovery with their Treatment Atlas. Grant also has his own website about addiction and recovery – Sober Linings Playbook.

 

[53:19] Paul closes the episode with a poem from Peter, a Café RE member.

 

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Oct 2, 2023

Episode 450 – What are Alcohol Withdrawals Like in the First Week?

 

Today we have Sarah. She is 46 and lives in Buckhannon, WV. Sarah has been alcohol free since December 15, 2022.

 

Our latest Ditching The Booze course begins tonight at 7:30pm EDT/4:30pm PDT and it is not too late to register. The 5-week course is called Writing a New Narrative and is designed to help you explore your sobriety story through journaling and writing prompts and it is free for Café RE members.

 

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

 

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

 

[02:23] Highlights from Paul:

 

We are four weeks into our ten-episode Q & A series and today’s question is “what are alcohol withdrawals like in the first week?” This question as asked by Robyn in Café RE Blue.

 

The answer to this is going to depend on how much you drink on a daily or nightly basis and it’s not a one size fits all answer.

 

I highly recommend detoxing under medical supervised care if you consume more than 6-8 drinks daily and have been doing so for several months or years. Quitting cold turkey can be life threatening. 72 hours is the magic number. Once you hit this number, the worst of the physical components are behind you.

 

Paul shares some tips for navigating the first week and shares some of the changes our bodies go through. The whole withdrawal process from one week to several months has a term called PAWS or post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Check out the YouTube video Paul did about this.

 

Thank you, Robyn, for the question, if you want a question answered on the podcast, send your questions to info@recoveryelevator.com.

 

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[13:41]: Kris introduces Sarah:

 

Sarah currently lives in West Virginia, works in higher learning, and has two daughters and three stepchildren. For fun Sarah enjoys arts and crafts, DIY things, and enjoys plants.

 

In high school, Sarah did not drink but grew up around a lot of drinking by her extended family. She never saw anything negative about it. In her early twenties she joined the Air Force where drinking is prevalent. At one point she had a few friends approach her about her drinking to which Sarah took offense. Over the course of the next several years she continued to drink the same way. Despite small consequences, she didn’t feel like she had a problem.

 

Around 10 years ago she and her husband were in counseling. She stated in a session that she needed some help and went to rehab after which she was able to stay sober briefly. Sarah says she got a lot out of her time in rehab. For a short period of time Sarah was able to drink moderately, but it increased after a series of negative life events. She started noticing the negative side effects of heavy drinking physically and emotionally.

 

When Sarah got sober this time, she knew she needed to join a community, and someone recommended Café RE to her. She has made great friends since being there and feels like this time in sobriety has been easy and she earned for it to be.

 

Sarah’s plan for recovery moving forward: to keep doing the work, attend more chats and start thinking about how to serve others.

 

Sarah’s parting piece of guidance: talk about it and reach out with others that have similar experiences.

 

[59:20] Kris’ closing:

 

One last reminder that Thursday October 5th is the Recovery Reinvented conference. In person and online attendance is 100% free.

Fall is here and Kris is ready for it. He reminds us all to get out there and play. Do all the fall things. Slow down, take a breath, and enjoy the moment you are in.

 

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Sep 25, 2023

Episode 449 - How to Make it Through Your First Sober Concert?

 

Today we have Santino. He is 35 from Taunton, MA and took his last drink on May 24th, 2022.

 

Our latest Ditching the Booze course begins Monday October 2nd at 7:30pm EDT/4:30pm PDT and is free to Café RE members. The 5-week course is called Writing a New Narrative and is designed to help you explore your sobriety story through journaling and writing prompts.

 

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

 

We have partnered with Sober Link.  You can find some tips and can sign up for a $50 off promo code.

 

[03:05] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today’s question comes from Kelly in our Café RE Up Group. The question is “how do you make it through your first sober concert?”

 

The first of eight fantastic tips include giving yourself a little alcohol-free time before going to a concert. Once you’ve got some time under your belt, and the cravings are in check, then you can hit the green light on concerts.  Regardless of how many days you have, if you are feeling squirrely the dray of the concert then sit it out.  Sobriety is the priority.

 

Paul then shares several tips to include:

 

-       Always have a non-alcoholic beverage in hand.

-       Do not volunteer to be the DD.

-       Make sure everyone you are attending with knows your intentions.

 

Some of the best parts about sober concerts? You will remember it. You will save money. You won’t get a DUI on the drive home.

 

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[10:14]: Paul introduces Santino:

 

Santino is a repeat guest and has maintained his sobriety since his last appearance on episode 397 where he was on day 43.

 

Santino is married and has one son. For fun, he loves going outside in nature to go hiking and go to the beach, but he also says that there is fun in everything since quitting drinking.

 

Santino had his first drink as a young teen. His mom was a single parent for a while, and he feels that he may have started drinking because the absence of his father bothered him. He learned that alcohol became a friend to him, and he feels like he used it for connection with his father and in contrast, to disconnect from her mother.

 

Santino joined the Air Force out of high school and found alcohol to be part of the culture. Between his early 20s and his early 30s he started deliberately planning his drinking to include before going out and drinking alone. Santino says he used a lot of rationalization that he wasn’t as bad as other people when it came to how he drank. He often pushed off having to think about it.

 

There wasn’t much hiding it from his spouse initially because they both drank. His hiding became more intentional as time went on, specifically after his son was born and during the pandemic. He found himself being sneakier about it. Santino started struggling with mood swings and being less communicative and didn’t want to address the fact that he needed help to quit drinking. He started to realize that this was going to destroy his family and he needed to rip the band aid off and address it. Once he addressed it with his wife, he felt freedom but was also worried about the process.

 

In the early days of his recovery, Santino and his wife began counseling to work on rebuilding their relationship. Santino also found that he started to feel healthier in general, was getting better sleep and did not miss the hangovers at all. Santino has been able to save money which assisted him with paying off some credit card debt he incurred while drinking.  As a parent, he feels more centered and present with his son.

He attends AA frequently, listens to podcasts, and surrounds himself with others in recovery.

 

Santino’s parting piece of guidance: give yourself grace in all the moments that you feel that you don’t even deserve it.

 

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Sep 18, 2023

Episode 448 - How Do I Let Go and Stop Trying to Control

 

Today we have Jen. She is 48 from Boulder, CO and took her last drink on May 12th, 2021.

 

Our latest Ditching The Booze course begins Monday October 2nd at 7:30pm EDT/4:30pm PDT and is free to Café RE members. The 5-week course is called Writing a New Narrative and is designed to help you explore your sobriety story through journaling and writing prompts.

 

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

 

We have partnered with Sober Link.  You can find some tips and can sign up for a $50 off promo code.

 

[02:48] Highlights from Kris:

 

Today’s question comes from Dale in Virginia. He wants to know “how do I learn to let go of things, and stop trying to control?”

 

Kris feels that two themes that come up over and over in recovery are surrender and acceptance. He says there are different types of control and while some of it is normal and can be healthy, trying to control things such as other people and how they feel about us is not healthy.

 

Kris shares his insights about this topic and shares with us: “when I have unrest on the inside, it presents itself on the outside. When I find that inner peace, I can extend it to the world around me”.

 

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[11:50]: Kris welcomes Jen:

 

Jen joins us from Boulder, CO area and recently celebrated two years alcohol free. She is married and they have two kids and a dog. For fun Jen likes to be active outdoors and spending time with recovery friends nearby, fabric arts and yoga.

 

Jen didn’t drink when she was young because she learned that some family members quit drinking because they couldn’t control it. She drank very casually because she didn’t want to develop a problem, but over time peer pressure found her drinking more frequently. In grad school there was more binge drinking and hangovers. She and her husband drank only socially prior to having kids.

 

Jen went back to work shortly after having her first child and realized that she was missing out on a lot, so she became a stay-at-home mom. She bought boxed wine to try and save money and discovered it was too easy to refill the glass. Jen wanted to be a fun mom and used alcohol to feel less bored. Over time Jen started finding herself drinking after everyone went to bed.

 

After a situation that found both her husband and children concerned about her, Jen started to try quitting drinking. She had already been reading quit lit and listening to podcasts. She was able to make it over 100 days but decided to attempt moderation. She found that after a while the attempts to control how much she drank became frustrating. One day while listening to a podcast episode, she had a moment of clarity where she knew she had to quit drinking for good.

 

Jen feels that her husband quitting drinking shined a light on her drinking. She would make excuses to have drinks outside of the home.

 

Jen quit drinking the day after her birthday. She decided to join Café RE and started going on hikes with fellow RE members, hosting chats and giving back to the community. Jen finds “playing the tape forward” very helpful in addition to listening to herself and discovering what she needs. She enjoys reading self-help books instead of quit lit. Finding connections with other people and creating deep friendships was an unexpected perk Jen received in recovery.

 

Jen’s plan for recovery moving forward: working on her spiritual and self-discovery practice.

 

Jen’s parting piece of guidance: “play it forward” it is one tool that has never wavered for her. Keep your mind open and try a variety of things for your recovery.

 

[01:03:47] Kris’ outro:

 

Kris shares a story about a recent vacation with his family and how it relates to his expectations and control.

 

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Sep 11, 2023

Episode 447 – Can You Be Addicted to Alcohol and Not Be An Alcoholic?

 

Today we have Stephanie. She is 35 from and took her last drink on December 31st, 2022.

 

Our latest Ditching The Booze course begins Monday October 2nd at 7:30pm EDT/4:30pm PDT and is free to Café RE members. The 5-week course is called Writing a New Narrative and is designed to help you explore your sobriety story through journaling and writing prompts.

 

If you are not yet a member and would like to joining click the link Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

 

We have partnered with Sober Link.  You can find some tips and can sign up for a $50 off promo code.

 

[02:43] Highlights from Paul:

 

Paul and Kris are going to be doing a ten-part intro series where we answer questions from listeners.  If you have a question that you’d like us to answer on the air, send them to info@recoveryelevator.com.

 

Paul shares one of his biggest regrets since starting the podcast and also answers the first question from Brady in South Denver. He asked, “can you be addicted to alcohol and not be an alcoholic?”

 

Paul begins his answer with “The Answer is yes. And no. And a little bit of yes, and little bit of No. Welcome to a world full of paradoxes.”

 

Next week we will hear Kris answer the next question: “How do I learn to let go of things and stop trying to control?”.

 

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[09:23]: Paul introduces Stephanie:

 

Stephanie is 35 and she is from Connecticut, currently living in Washington State. She works as an accountant and as a server at a restaurant. She has one son and a dog. Stephanie enjoys reading both for fun and for a podcast she has: So, What Are You Reading?, and she has recently picked up paddleboarding.

 

Stephanie had her first drink when she was 16 and had a bad experience and said she wasn’t going to do it again. She drank very sporadically until she moved to Washington with her son’s father. After they broke up, she moved into an apartment on her own and felt like alcohol was her only friend. She progressed from wine to harder alcohol over time and began to try and put parameters on her drinking.

After a while, Stephanie realized that drinking wasn’t what she was supposed to be doing. She started recognizing that she wasn’t present for her son. Her anxiety was terrible, and she had issues with remembering things from the night before which made it worse. But Stephanie says she enjoyed the chaos that came with the drinking escapades, even though it was making her life harder than it needed to be. She got to the point that she didn’t want to do anything.

 

When Stephanie’s current boyfriend did a Dry January in 2021, Stephanie joined him but says she white knuckled through it and drank as soon as February 1st came. That was when she started questioning what the point of drinking was. She had some very negative events in her last year of drinking to the point that on January 1st, 2023, she decided enough was enough.

 

During the first 30 days she binged on podcasts and YouTube videos. She started journalling, doing puzzles and playing board games with her son. Stephanie has been able to get into grad school, is able to plan vacations and try a lot of new things. Reading, exercise, and time outdoors have become very important to Stephanie.

 

Stephanie’s favorite resources: The Sober Café (Facebook group), Recovery Elevator and other recovery podcasts,

 

Stephanie’s parting piece of guidance: if alcohol is impacting you in a negative way just take it out for 100 days.

 

[49:27] Closing thoughts:

 

If you’re not ready to quit drinking, none of the information we covered today is going to land, if you are ready, it doesn’t matter what we cover. Focus on the similarities and not the differences.

 

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All is fine, and all will be well.

 

 

 

Sep 4, 2023

Episode 446 – Go Easy on Yourself

 

Today we have Jonathan. He is 44 from Grand Forks, ND and took his last drink on May 17th, 2008.

 

Our six week Ditching the Booze mindfulness course starts Monday, September 18th and meets on Monday nights at 8:30 PM EST. This course is included with Café RE membership and is for Café RE members only.

 

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

 

We have partnered with Sober Link. You can find some tips and can sign up for a $50 off promo code.

 

[02:24] Highlights from Paul:

 

Straying from the sometimes-complex intros, Paul urges us to go easy on ourselves.

 

Despite all of our agricultural, scientific, and technological innovations, this is the hardest time it has ever been to be a human being. Rates of addiction and overdoses are soaring. Dr. Gabor Mate’s book The Myth of Normal shows how our out of balance culture is creating mountains of unrest and disease.

 

Life is already a challenge and living in the modern world without substances to slow down the prefrontal cortex, it is even harder.

 

Go easy on yourself. Life is going to kick your ass at some time or another. Don’t let that Bruno voice in the head make it any worse. Once that voice starts chirping about how you should have done XYZ differently, and how you’re doomed for eternity, locate the true you and tell that Bruno voice to step aside, and you’ll take it from here.

 

Be sure to start your day with words of compassion. Compassion for you, those nearest to you, the animals outside your window, and for those who are still struggling with alcohol.  

 

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[8:11]: Kris introduces Jonathan:

 

Jonathan is 44 years old and lives in Grand Forks, ND. He has worked in the restaurant industry most of his life and is also the managing director for the office of Recovery Reinvented. For fun Jonathan likes to spend time outside and cook. He is married and they have three daughters.

 

Jonathan says he had a good childhood with a lot of parental support. He feels like his exposure to alcohol as a teenager was normal. He says drinking never got in the way of his grades or playing sports. While in college Jonathan started working in bars and restaurants where drinking is part of the culture. His drinking increased and he ended up dropping out of school.

 

Jonathan realized early on that his drinking looked different from his peers. He witnessed others being able to stop with a few drinks after work whereas he would just go to the next bar or go home and keep the party going. He didn’t think he was drinking to mask anything, so he didn’t have a problem, he just really enjoyed drinking.

 

While Jonathan was doing well in his career, his drinking increased. He opened his first restaurant when he was 27 and was very successful. People were starting to tell Jonathan that he should cut back but he struggled to do so.

 

Jonathan had a meeting with his business partner and his father where he was told that things needed to change, or the partnership was going to end. This is what it took for Jonathan to seek treatment. He went to inpatient treatment for 30 days. While there he went from feeling like this was a temporary change to realizing that he needed it to be long term. He started seeing the similarities with others instead of the differences.

 

Jonathan completed 30 days and continued with outpatient treatment. He made the decision to be transparent with his recovery. He feels that helped him stay accountable and sober.

 

Jonathan’s favorite resource in recovery: I Am Sober app (he likes seeing how much money he has saved).

 

Jonathan’s parting piece of guidance: “Everything that is good in my life today is in my life because alcohol is not.”

 

Recovery Reinvented

 

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Aug 28, 2023

Episode 445 – Keep Dancing

 

Today we have Cindy. She is 54 from Kure Beach, NC and took her last drink on March 2nd, 2023.

 

We are doing an East Coast CafĂ© RE meet-up tour!  NYC on Wednesday August 30th, Philadelphia Saturday September 2nd, and DC on Tuesday September 5th. For questions about the event please email info@recoveryelevator.com

 

This is a reminder of the suicide prevention hotline 988, which was launched one year ago. This number has fielded 5 million calls, texts, and chats in the past year alone and has saved countless lives.

 

We have partnered with Sober Link.  You can find some tips and can sign up for a $50 off promo code.

 

[03:23] Highlights from Paul:

 

After recently watching a social media video featuring a sober influencer dancing, Paul decided to challenge this individual to a breakdancing battle. Meanwhile another sober influencer viewing this video stated that watching this video made him want to drink.

 

Let’s zoom out for a second.

 

The Tik Tok user, with millions of followers, said that watching videos of this person dancing - made them want to drink. To summarize that in two words it would be: Stop Dancing.

Then we have Paul who challenges this person to a sober break dance battle. We can summarize this statement in two words: Keep dancing.

 

So, listeners, keep on dancing, and never stop. If you don’t know your metaphorical or literal dance steps, stick around. The knowledge will return. If someone tells you that your dancing makes them want to drink, then that is 100% their problem. When you dance, it gives others permission to dance. You don’t need alcohol, it won’t make you better, and you’ll remember all of it.

 

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[08:52] Paul introduces Cindy:

 

Cindy is 54, grew up in Maryland but currently lives in North Carolina. She has been married for 23 years and they have two children and a dog. She works as an operating room nurse and recently got a master’s degree.

 

Cindy recalls first having alcohol late in high school. She was very social throughout college and enjoyed drinking a lot. She traveled a lot after college and knows that she drank but didn’t have any major consequences. Cindy says she and her husband drank but she doesn’t recall it affecting her life much. Happy Hour after work was very common for her due to the stressful job she has. Even after an incident where she was able to get out of a DUI, she still didn’t recognize that she had a problem. The drinking increased but Cindy always thought it was her husband that had the problem, not her. There were no attempts to moderate and no consequences, so the drinking continued.

 

Cindy started wondering why she wasn’t happy because she had a good life. Since she felt it was her husband that had the issue, Cindy started attending Al-Anon. When she returned from a travel nursing job, she realized how terrible she was feeling. She had been drinking every night, driving drunk often, and started having some consequences. Soon she found herself in an AA meeting where she had what she considers an awakening of sorts. She felt like she had found people that understood her.

 

Earlier this year, a podcast episode Cindy was listening spoke of living an authentic life. This really resonated with her, and she realized alcohol had to go. She started attending AA regularly after her last drink and is learning to deal with her feelings and learning from them. Cindy utilizes many tools to process how she feels and knows that alcohol is not the answer.

 

Cindy’s favorite resources in recovery: recovery podcasts, being active in AA

 

Cindy’s parting piece of guidance: If you are contemplating stopping drinking, think about why you are drinking.

 

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Go big, keep dancing, because eventually we’ll all go home.

 

 

 

Aug 21, 2023

Episode 444 – Alcohol Consumption by State

 

Today we have Chad. He is 51 from Southern Indiana and took his last drink on March 25th, 2022.

 

Follow Recovery Elevator on Instagram! We’re starting to put more video content on the platform so check it out!

 

Join us Saturday August 26th in Boston, MA for a day of service in collaboration with The Phoenix.  Learn more about the event here.

 

We have partnered with Sober Link.  You can find some tips and can sign up for a $50 off promo code.

 

[02:47] Highlights from Paul:

 

Something heard often while interviewing guests is “you don’t know what it’s like to grow up in Wisconsin, Texas, in Las Vegas, in Trenton, New Jersey, or you don’t know how much we drink in…” fill in the blank. So yes, it is ubiquitous, but there is a front runner.

 

Check out the full list and see where your state ranks: Alcohol Consumption by State

 

In 2012 British researcher Dr. David Nutt was tasked by the government to put harm scores on 20 of the world’s most harmful drug. Alcohol came in at #1 beating out crack, heroin, meth and cocaine.

 

Paul shares some stats about the costs of alcohol use disorder in Montana. You can see stats for all of the US here: Alcohol Abuse Statistics

 

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[11:48] Kris introduces Chad:

 

Chad has been sober for a little over 15 months at the time of this recording. He is 51 and lives in a small town in Indiana. Chad is married, and they have three children. He works for the government. He enjoys talking recovery, umpiring softball, and cycling.

 

Chad’s parents divorced when he was young. He never felt like he fit in at either of his parents’ homes and was a people pleaser doing whatever he could to fit in. Chad moved in with his dad when he was 13. After an ankle injury he was sidelined from sports, and he ended up finding a new group of friends that dabbled in drugs and alcohol. He says he struggled through high school and was looking at the military instead of going to college. He was looking forward to having some structure that he didn’t feel he had growing up between two households.

 

After graduating, Chad spent the summer partying and started basic training in August. He was sent to Germany after more training, and they drank a lot there. He started to notice that he needed to drink just to feel normal. He ended up leaving after one deployment and realized the military wasn’t for him.

 

Chad left the military and went into construction work. He and his wife hadn’t married yet, but she was pregnant, which was frowned upon by her family. Four years after having their daughter they got married and while they got a house together and continued to grow the family, Chad drank to deal with his stressors. It got to the point where Chad couldn’t do anything without a drink in his hand. He says drinking took a front seat to everything else. On days when he could not drink, he was starting to have symptoms of withdrawal. He began to hide alcohol and his tolerance grew.

 

After a bad blackout and confrontation with his wife, he felt terrible and realized that he needed help. His wife encouraged him to seek inpatient treatment which is what Chad was hoping for. With his wife’s support he found a rehab that helped him a lot. He was able to talk to therapists and realize that he wasn’t alone. After 30 days in rehab, Chad started AA, started reading more books about recovery and has found Zoom meetings and listening to the RE podcast very helpful.

 

Chad’s plan for recovery moving forward: Dig deeper into his recovery and be of service.

 

Chad’s parting piece of guidance: A life worth living can be found in sobriety. You’re worth it, give yourself a chance. “No” is a full answer.

 

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We’re the only ones that can do this RE, but we don’t have to do it alone.

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Aug 14, 2023

Episode 443 -  A Different Type of Alcoholic

 

Today we have Kelly, she is 46 from Minneapolis, MN and took her last drink on June 18th, 2023.

 

Join us Saturday August 26th in Boston, MA for a day of service in collaboration with The Phoenix.  Learn more about the event here.

 

Check out our sponsor Go Brewing. Use the code ELEVATOR for 15% off.

 

[02:57] Highlights from Paul:

 

When saying the word “alcoholic”, these images, and thoughts commonly come to mind:

 

Living under a Bridge. Brown paper bag. Homeless. Hopeless. Unemployed.

 

Some of this is accurate but studies show only 5% of alcoholics fit these descriptions.

The other 95% are high functioning, tend to be high earners, more educated, are healthier and have more stable relationships than average.

 

With the estimated 452 million alcoholics that don’t fit the stereotypical description of an alcoholic, this takes the saying you are not alone to a new level.

 

We justify or benchmark our drinking according to what an alcoholic looks like. I’m not that bad, I have a job, and money in the bank. We surround ourselves with other drinkers who don’t fit the alcoholic stereotype to solidify our own positions on the addiction scale. Now a classic trait of an addiction is that we are blind to where we actually are with the addiction process. The hole you find yourself in is probably deeper than you think. My recommendation is to stop digging. You CAN put the shovel down. Another classic trait of an addiction is the progression. We have 452 million alcoholics on the globe who are not living under a bridge or drinking out of brown paper bag yet.

 

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[09:30] Paul introduces Kelly:

 

Kelly took her last drink on June 18th, 2023, and has 6 days at the time of this recording. She is 46 and lives in Minneapolis. She leads software development teams for a living. Kelly loves the outdoors and enjoys running, hiking, and paddleboarding. She enjoys movies, music, and museums as well.

 

Kelly first tried alcohol at a party in 9th grade. Drinking was not something that she wanted to do but she succumbed to peer pressure. A year later she started spending time visiting her brother at college, and she enjoyed hanging out with him and his friends and started drinking more frequently. It was a good escape from the abuse she was dealing with at home.

 

In college Kelly was drinking and dealing with an eating disorder. She worked hard to overcome her bulimia but then her drinking ramped up after that. After college she married a fellow engineer, and they would drink heavily together. After they started having children and settling down, her husband was able to quit the excessive drinking, but Kelly was not.

 

While raising her children, Kelly was able to cut back on drinking and started putting rules around it. Her relationship wasn’t going well, and Kelly was going out more frequently and drinking almost daily. After a few drinking and driving charges, Kelly began to realize that she could no longer control it. Over time she recognized that she was starting to isolate more and then would go out to bars to find connection with other people.

 

Kelly has been able to have more gaps in drinking days over time and has been acquiring tools throughout the process. She is recognizing that she needs to treat her sobriety like a baby and nurture it daily. Each morning she meditates and uses the Reframe app. She attends AA meetings frequently and has recently found a therapist to help her with her childhood trauma.

 

Kelly’s plan for recovery moving forward: keep doing things that make her feel uncomfortable, attending more meetings, and new meditation practices.

 

Kelly’s parting piece of guidance: keep trying, be open to new resources.

 

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Aug 7, 2023

Episode 442 – Time to Breathe

 

Today we have Jeff, he is 35 from Salt Lake City, UT and had his last drink on April 6th, 2023.

 

Shout out to the Café RE chat hosts. Thank you for continuing to hold space for our community and for creating an environment where we can come together and heal.

 

Go Brewing. Use the code ELEVATOR for 15% off.

 

[03:46] Highlights from Kris:

 

Kris finds sober anniversaries a good opportunity to reflect on where he was and where he is today. He asks himself questions such as “What have I gone through? How have I been able to meet the challenges placed in front of me? Am I moving in the direction I want to in my life?”

 

In active addiction Kris was not able to show love to himself. He knew that the things he was doing were hurting other people and himself. He knew his wife, kids, parents, and friends all loved him, but he couldn’t let the love in. He was stuck in the loop of “I’m not enough, I’ve screwed up too much, I deserve to feel this way.”

 

If you’re listening, and you’re there today, know that you are not alone. Many of us have been there and know how hard it is. 

 

We don’t have to be perfect RE… that’s never going to happen. All we have to be is willing. We have to be willing to be honest with where we are today. Without judgement, where are things in our life right now? What is the next right thing to step into our new future? Where can we find support? Don’t worry about trying to resolve every issue in your life all at once. Just take little bites.

 

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[09:40] Kris introduces Jeff:

 

At the time of recording, Jeff is celebrating 90 days of sobriety and plans to celebrate with cacao.  He is 35 and lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and two dogs. For fun Jeff enjoys mountain biking, skiing, running, and music is a big part of his life.

 

Growing up, alcohol was always present at celebrations hosted by his parents and their friends. It was normal for him to see people drink to excess. Jeff’s first drink was when he was 16 with some friends and stolen rum. Early on he recognized that his drinking was different than other people’s. On the outside, he was successful at school but was suffering from depression that alcohol helped him escape from.

 

After high school Jeff went to the east coast to play hockey for two years. This required a lot of discipline, so Jeff’s drinking was limited to one day each week. He never moderated and usually ended up blacking out.

 

When Jeff turned 20, he started college where he played hockey and studied engineering. During his freshman year he got a bad concussion and struggled a lot with the side effects afterwards. He initially used drinking to self-medicate the side effects but drinking started to become the answer to everything.

 

After college Jeff moved back to Alaska for a job. He had his own place with two roommates who he frequently drank with late into the night. He was able to keep up with work and other activities so in spite of some health consequences, he didn’t feel he had a problem.

 

Jeff started questioning his drinking after he caught himself drinking and driving frequently. He found Allen Carr’s book and was able to stop drinking for 11 days. Since then, he has been in the cycle of quitting and then starting back with different lengths of time between drinks.

 

Therapy has been helpful for Jeff over the last three years and his wife has been very supportive. Connection has become very important to him.

 

Jeff’s plan in recovery moving forward: moving forward with integrity and owning who he is.

 

Jeff’s parting piece(s) of guidance: it’s ok if you think this is hard because it is hard. Even just listening to this podcast is a huge win. Recovery is not a straight line.

 

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Jul 31, 2023

Episode 441 – Connection With a Molecule

 

Today we have Shane, he is 39 from Birmingham, AL and took his last drink on December 25th, 2021.

 

[00:58] Highlights from Paul:

 

Many of us share the same response to our first drink. It’s a firework show internally that connects the missing dots. We finally feel connected. Alcohol becomes our best friend.

 

Now do not beat yourself up if you find yourself in a tightly intertwined relationship with alcohol. Humans are pack animals and need connection to survive. We need partnership. As addiction guru Dr. Gabor Mate would say, congratulations, you found alcohol, you found a way to survive. Yes, there is the disease model, but there’s also the unease model. A deep unrest or lack of connection with others and ourselves.

 

How do we fix this? Like we learned in last week’s episode, it’s robust social connections that fix this. Some of us have difficulty making deep connections with other human beings but connection with nonhuman souls can help us quit drinking too. Animals help us release oxytocin and serotonin; they help our nervous systems relax. Studies show plants and trees can do the same thing.

 

To summarize, we connected with a molecule. Which ended up being the most dangerous and addictive molecule thus far recorded, and there is plenty of data to back that up. So, what’s next? Start building connections with other people, places, and things, like your life depends on it. Because it does.

 

We have a new sponsor! Check out Go Brewing. Use the code ELEVATOR for 15% off.

 

[08:12] Paul introduces Shane:

 

Shane is 39 years old, currently lives outside of Birmingham, AL. He is married with two children. He works in the heavy truck parts industry. He has been playing guitar since he was 15.

 

Shane had no interest in drinking prior to trying it on a beach trip with friends when he was 20. Shane was surround by alcohol while working as a musician and in the service industry. He found that alcohol made it easier for him to talk to and socialize with people. He first recognized that he might have a problem when he realized he was starting to rely on alcohol to alleviate any stress he was having. He met his wife while they were working on a music album together.

 

Shane started having increasing anxiety and his drinking issues were becoming more apparent to those around him. He was given an ultimatum by his wife to quit drinking. He was able to quit drinking for about five years.

 

Shane’s father passed away and he ended up taking over the business abruptly. At this point he had already relapsed and would have a series of stops and starts utilizing different programs, but nothing ever stuck. Shortly after his daughter was born Shane made his most recent attempt at recovery after some conversations with his wife. He started attending AA three times a week and this was the first time that he admitted to himself that he could not control this. Shane says he felt huge relief when he realized that.

 

Shane says that within the first six months of sobriety his sleep improved, he was able to do more by not planning his life around alcohol. Exercise has been very helpful to Shane as well. He is open with friends and family around his recovery and has no issues being around alcohol. Shane feels the next step for him is leaning into the service aspect of recovery.

 

Shane’s favorite resources in recovery: RE podcast, AA, SMART Recovery

 

Shane’s parting piece of guidance: “just stop drinking”

 

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Jul 24, 2023

Episode 440 - How to Undo Trauma

 

Today we have Kathy. She is 31 from Dillworth, MN and has been clean since June 13th, 2016.

 

Thank you to all of the Café RE chat hosts. You all do a great job!

 

We have an exciting new sponsor for the podcast! Go Brewing has an amazing lineup of NA beers. Use the code ELEVATOR for 15% off your order.

 

 

[02:06] Highlights from Paul:

 

Before we get started, how is your summer going? How is sobriety going? How is your AF clock going? How is your life going? Regardless of your answer to all those questions, Paul reminds us that we are not alone. Recovery Elevator is right here with you every step of the way.

 

A recent study of baboons revealed that establishing robust social connections in adulthood,  is so beneficial to the animals that it can mitigate the consequences of traumatic experiences during their early years. There’s that word again. Connection. In addition, researchers have found that once these connections are made, the baboons report living longer lives.

 

We have learned, are learning - that building connections helps us depart from alcohol. When we first enter an actual relationship with the molecule alcohol. It’s a wonderful courtship, but we soon realize that alcohol gave us wings, and then took away the sky. We must replace the connection we had with alcohol with something else.

 

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[09:39] Kris introduces Kathy:

 

Kathy just celebrated 7 years of recovery. She lives in Dillworth, MN, she works in care coordination with the F5 Project and has five children ranging from 5 to 18. For fun she hangs out with recovery friends while doing a variety of activities.

 

Kathy’s parents were both addicts and she was in the foster care system early in life. She would spend her childhood moving in and out of foster homes. When she was 12 she ended up living with her brothers and stepfather because her mother went to jail. Kathy wanted to be like her older brothers and started drinking to have a good time.

 

It didn’t take long for her drinking and drug abuse to get out of control. Kathy ended up getting pregnant at age 16 by a man she didn’t know well. She says she no longer had parental support. She quit all substances through her pregnancy and had a goal to be a different mom than her own. She was unable to stay quit and felt a lot of guilt and shame surrounding it.

 

Kathy was not able to stay clean during her second pregnancy and after having the baby she spent a lot of time stealing to support her habit and her children. She ended up trying rehab at one point but was unable to stay sober for very long.

 

Kathy feels she didn’t have great parenting skills and ended up losing custody of her children due to the drug abuse. Some felonies found her in jail and she tried to use this as an opportunity to get clean. After losing a close friend, Kathy asked her stepfather to bail her out. After about two months of using again she decided to get clean because that is what her friend would have wanted for her.

 

She was able to get into inpatient treatment and felt this time that she was truly ready. As soon as she arrived, she went to a drum ceremony where she felt her spirit being awoken. She started learning about how her trauma affected her which helped her shed her shame. After treatment Kathy lived in a halfway house for a few months and upon getting out had her third child.

 

Kathy started going to school for social work and was able foster her nieces who she has now adopted. She loves her current job as care coordinator and giving back to others.

 

Kathy’s plan in sobriety moving forward: to keep on giving back, anywhere and everywhere.

 

Kathy’s parting piece of guidance: You have control over your actions, and you can train your brain to be and do better.

 

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It all starts from the inside out.

I love you guys.

Jul 17, 2023

Episode 439 – Developing a Spiritual Practice

 

Today we have Liz, she’s 38 from LaVale, MD and took her last drink on December 31st, 2022.

 

Thank you to the Café RE chat host, you all do an incredible job!

 

Athletic Greens

 

[02:22] Highlights from Paul:

 

This is not a religious podcast. Paul feels that religion and spirituality are not two sides of the same coin.

 

When we drink alcohol, spiritually, our electrical current to the universe is severed. In fact, in many cultures, the name alcohol literally means, soul sucking spirit. Then mentally, the chemical alcohol turns our brains into tepid soup. After that, we have the physical component - pancreatitis and liver failure come to mind.

 

What is spirituality? What is a spiritual practice? We are connecting with the self. We are connecting within. You become more ocean and less wave. In short, spirituality is connection with the self, which then leads to a connection with nature, the universe, a higher power, and some may call it God. Why do we drink? Why did we drink? To get this sense of connection.

 

Paul shares many examples of spiritual practices and reminds us that we don’t have to wait for the normal order of healing in order to implement some these. We can start right now.

 

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[11:03] Paul introduces Liz:

 

Liz is from a small-town Maryland. She is married with two kids; she is a registered nurse and attending school as she is working toward her master’s degree. She enjoys spending time outdoors: kayaking, hiking, camping, being a soccer mom.

 

Liz grew up in a tightknit family and was the youngest of three sisters. She first tried alcohol with a cousin when she was in 6th grade. She didn’t really enjoy it and thought it tasted terrible. She wasn’t a big drinker in high school, just the occasional party.

 

She drank like everyone else during college and worked in the service industry. It was normal for her to be the last person drinking at parties, but she worked and went to school with little issue.

 

 

Liz’s drinking escalated when she began nursing school. She was already married with two kids and struggled balancing it all. She used alcohol as a stress reliever. Her first job after graduating was in the ICU working night shifts. She would drink after her shifts and tried to hide the amount of drinking from her husband. She still didn’t feel she had a problem. Liz says her moderation attempts found her feeling more stressed and caused mood swings.

 

Liz went to inpatient rehab and was able to stay sober for six months. She started attending AA and using the tools she learned in rehab. Her relapse happened on a soccer trip after another parent called her out for not drinking which triggered her. She now feels that her lack of planning or having a network contributed to the relapse as well. She lost control of her drinking. Over the next few years, she spent a lot of time in treatment and trying to figure out what was causing the issues and what needed to change.

 

Liz got a sponsor with AA and started the steps right away after her last drink. She sometimes gets cravings but plays the tape forward. She knows that if she drinks, she will not be able to be there for any of her family if they need her. Liz made a post on Facebook about her recovery and received a lot of love and many messages from people regarding their own struggles. Liz says that she feels so much freedom now that she is alcohol free and has found her higher power.

 

Liz’s favorite resources in recovery: AA, recovery podcasts

 

Liz’s parting piece of guidance: don’t ever give up, no matter what happens you can wake up the next day and keep going.

 

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Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

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Go big, because eventually we all go home.

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