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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: January, 2023
Jan 30, 2023

Episode 415 – Dopamine

 

Today we have Jorie, she is 31, from Westford, VT and took her last drink on 9/19/2020

 

There are two spots left for our next sober travel trip to Costa Rica from April 12th-21st for more information click the link Costa Rica 2023.  The deadline to register is February 24th.

 

Registration is open for our 6 week Ukulele Course brought to you by Kala Brand ukulele – use the promo code 23ELEVATOR for 15% off. The course starts in three weeks on Saturday, February 11th so you have plenty of time to pick-up a ukulele.

 

[02:01] Highlights from Paul:

 

We hear a lot about dopamine in recovery.  All humans have dopamine, but our dopamine systems all work differently.  It is the chemical that drives us eat, find warmth, shelter, find a mate and is also known as the pleasure molecule.

 

Living in a world of abundance rather than scarcity finds us with an overwhelming number of dopamine-triggering stimuli for nearly all of us in one way or another.  Many of us reached the point in our drinking where we no longer drank to feel good but drank just to feel normal.  This is all tied to dopamine and how it is processed by the body.  Dopamine is important to keep us going, but we must find healthier ways to get it.

 

Check out the book Dopamine Nation by Anna Lembke, it is a great read on the topic.

 

We have partnered with SoberLink – there is a promo code for RE listeners.

 

[09:14] introduces Jorie:

 

Jorie is 31 and was born in raised in Vermont.  She enjoys running, playing hockey and loves to write which she says helps her stay in the present moment. She’s an athletic trainer at a local school, runs her own business and supervises sporting events. She is also part of a co-ed hockey league in her spare time.

 

Jorie didn’t start drinking until after college. Her parents divorced when she was young. Her father had a drinking problem, but her mother did not drink.  She was never interested in drinking, she worked hard in school and played sports, so it didn’t fit into her lifestyle. She was in a long-term relationship since she was 18 and they got married when she was 27.

 

The pandemic really opened her eyes to her relationship with alcohol.  She realized how uncomfortable it made her to think about alcohol not being an option to cope with things. Jorie and her brother challenged one another to quit drinking over the summer of 2020 and they almost made it three weeks. That experiment helped her to further review her drinking and she started realizing that she really tried to avoid being uncomfortable for a long time. She began reading books associated with recovery and discovered Recovery Elevator where she listened to other people’s stories and recognized that we don’t have to hit rock bottom to question our drinking.

 

When she quit drinking, she initially felt a lot of anxiety and fear. She felt guilt that she craved alcohol, she felt shame for listening to podcasts for hours.  She wants to live her best life and realizes that alcohol will impede that. Jorie does not want to see a rock bottom and is focusing on her growth in sobriety. She feels stronger in her job and in her relationships and really thrives on focusing on the present.

For Jorie, recovery takes effort and continued learning is important.

 

[46:49] Paul’s outro:

 

In the book Dopamine Nation Dr Anna Lembke talks about a 30 day dopamine fast. It isn’t always that easy, but it is necessary to help us heal. Over time and with work, we can live a life without the temptations to the dopamine system.

 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

Recovery Elevator

We took the elevator down, but we’ve got to take the stairs back up

I love you guys

 

Jan 23, 2023

Episode 414 – You Won’t Regret Not Drinking

 

Today we have Emily, she is 44, from Phoenix, AZ and took her last drink on March 10th, 2019

 

There are about four spots open for our next sober travel trip to Costa Rica from April 12th-21st for more information click the link Costa Rica 2023.  The deadline to register is February 24th.

 

Registration is open for our 6 week Ukulele Course brought to you by Kala Brand ukulele – use the promo code 23ELEVATOR for 15% off. The course starts Saturday, February 11th.

 

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

 

[02:34] Paul’s thoughts:

 

Paul doesn’t make many promises on this podcast but feels he can 100% positively tell us that we will never regret not drinking.  You won’t regret the extra $20 you save; the planet won’t regret the gallons of water not used after “breaking the seal” or the trash drinking creates. Your family will never regret you not drinking. Your pets, your plants, your job, your community. Your hobbies, and your goals as well as any one of the 70 trillion cells in your body will not regret you not drinking.

 

It takes bravery and courage to take this path but listeners, you will not regret ditching the booze. You can do this.

 

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

 

[08:30] Kris introduces Emily:

 

Emily has been sober for almost 4 years. She lives in Phoenix AZ with her husband, two daughters and two cats. She currently works in music education and loves to play music, paddleboard, and listening to podcasts.

 

Emily had little exposure to alcohol growing up. Her father was a recovering alcoholic, which wasn’t talked about much. She took her first drink at the age of 19 at an Army officer training program event. She was very nervous and insecure in new social settings so accepted the offer to drink and ended up blacking out.

She was excited to fit in but had a huge sense of shame because she didn’t remember what happened.

 

Drinking was a problem for Emily right from the start. It was never just one she always binge drank. Throughout college and her career, she was able to mostly uphold her dual life – had it all together but on the inside was struggling with fears of not fitting in and fears of abandonment.

 

Emily’s husband was also in the military and was deployed frequently. She used alcohol to self soothe when she felt isolated. They were moving around a lot which gave Emily a chance to start over every time. She didn’t have to worry about who she alienated or upset with her drinking and just moved to the next town. 

 

Emily reconnected with her father when one of their moves took them to the area where he lived. She enjoyed the opportunity they had to get to know one another and spend time together. When her father died unexpectedly, her drinking ramped up again. 

 

Over the last few years of her drinking, she ended up resigning from her job and took a work from home position. She found herself drinking more and it was affecting all of her relationships. Emily decided to change her relationship with alcohol after a painful experience that happened with her kids. Within a few days of the event, she walked into her first AA meeting and that was her quit date.

 

Emily started with AA and an IOP program. She attended a lot of meetings and found a sponsor that helped her learn how to stop punishing herself and stop worrying about being abandoned. Being willing to do what her sponsor suggested helped her recovery. She was able to start playing music again and has started being a sponsor herself.

 

[51:20] Kris’ outro:

 

One of the beautiful things about recovery is finding parts of ourselves that we thought we lost.  Emily has reconnected with her love for music and her song “Am I Alright?” as the outro today.

 

 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Remember, we took the elevator down, but we’ve got to take the stairs back up

You can do this

I love you guys

 

Jan 16, 2023

Episode 413 – Grit, Grace, and Gratitude

 

 

Today we have Matt who is from Atlanta and took his last drink on November 15th, 2022.

 

Registration is open for our 6 week Ukulele Course brought to you by Kala Brand ukulele – use the promo code 23ELEVATOR for 15% off. The course starts Saturday, February 11th.

 

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

 

[02:35] Thoughts from Kris:

 

Turning 40 found him thinking more about longevity and being able to be healthy later in life. He has struggled with his physical health the past few years but gave himself a pass because his mental and spiritual health was more important at the time.

Now, five years later and several stops and starts, he realizes he needs to treat his nutrition and physical health goals like another form of recovery. Much like sobriety, he felt he shouldn’t do it alone and reached out to a friend in the health and wellness world and asked for help. Together they set some small, attainable goals rather than a strict daily routine bound for failure.

 

He talks about the virtues of “grit” “grace” and “gratitude” and their relation to our recovery.

 

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

 

[10:21] Paul introduces Matt

 

Matt has 31 days at the time of this recording. He feels great making it past that milestone after many stops in starts over the past four years. Matt was born in Atlanta and moved to Utah in middle school. He was an avid skier and baseball player in school and currently enjoys going to the gym, running, and playing in a local rock band.

 

Matt was young when he first tried sips of his parents’ drinks. Other than a few parties, Matt didn’t drink much in high school. It wasn’t until joining a fraternity in college that his drinking really got going. He considers his drinking as binge drinking and did not drink daily however, he started developing panic attacks and having issues with his grades at school.

 

He buckled down and cut back on partying during his senior year and graduated. He got a good job right after college and wasn’t having any more panic attacks. He typically only drank on the weekends and didn’t feel he had a problem because work was still going well and, on the occasion that he got a hangover, he would take a break for a while.

 

Some consequences came when he lost his job a few years ago and his drinking really ramped up as a way to cope with it. It took him a while to realize he was drinking to cover up his feelings and started using more and more. When things at home weren’t going well Matt agreed he needed to address his drinking and started attending AA. He was stuck in the cycle of addiction with many stops and starts.

 

It was 31 days ago that Matt took himself to inpatient detox so that he could start the healing process.  He was ready to commit to not drinking and working on getting his life back. Initially he feared judgment from others but felt relief when he got there. After four days, he feels he had a moment of clarity and started to feel better and really dove into his recovery. Matt believes in radical honesty and accountability now and is working with his wife to earn her trust back while helping her understand what addiction is like. He went back to AA, is working the steps with a sponsor and he enjoys helping newcomers. He is feeling like this is a rebirth for him and is happy to live a life without alcohol. He has a clear idea of the person, husband, and father he wants to be.

 

[46:35] Kris’ outro:

 

Kris encourages us to look at ourselves and ask if a different approach could help us with our goals that we may have been struggling to reach. Our egos want to protect us but if we pick the right people to have on our team, it can be a game changer.

Change is hard, but so is letting something keep us from our best life.

 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

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

I love you guys.

 

 

 

Jan 9, 2023

Episode 412 – Get Connected

 

Today we have Brad who is 35 from Fort Wayne, IN and took his last drink on 8/31/2018

 

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

 

On Saturday February 11th we start the 6 week Ukulele Course brought to you by Kala Brand ukulele – use the promo code 23ELEVATOR for 15% off.

 

[3:19] Highlights from Paul:

 

Human beings are wired for connection, we need it to survive. It’s up on the list with food, clean water, and shelter.  Paul shares several statistics surrounding chronic disorders with the biggest one being mental disorders and loneliness. Loneliness has been compared to smoking in how it affects our bodies and is considered to be unhealthier than inactivity or obesity. Our addictions are symptoms of our disconnection.

 

Are we doomed?  Paul says no. There is a remedy - get connected!

 

The ability to connect is a skill that we acquire naturally as kids/young adults but connecting later in life isn’t as easy.  Here are some steps to help with connecting:

#1 – leverage your decision to quit drinking

#2 – Connect - Go to AA, join Café RE, meet with other sober people

 

Connection isn’t always human to human.  Animals can help too.  Paul credits Ben in saving him and helping him get sober.  We (the community) are what help him stay sober.

 

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

 

[11:25] Kris introduces Brad:

 

Brad is from Indiana; he is married and has a daughter and two dogs.  He works in sales and enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing golf, and being active with his church.

 

Brad didn’t really drink much until his sophomore year in college when he had an opportunity to go to school in London. When he returned, he continued to go out frequently to bars and parties. He didn’t see a problem as he was still doing well in school and graduated with honors. He found the transition between college and finding a career to be challenging. Due to his colleagues being older than him, he felt a little isolated socially so he would continue to spend time with friends that were still in college. This found him drinking more and more frequently.

 

He met his wife at a bar and in the early days of their relationship they socialized often. He always drank more than her and it wasn’t until they moved in together that he would recognize that his drinking was a problem. He would try to quit for a while, but it didn’t last, and he considered his drinks a reward for working hard. It started causing issues in their relationship.

 

Brad was starting to have some negative consequences from his drinking but still wasn’t ready to quit. It wasn’t until he was forced to face the consequences of a DUI and an ultimatum from his wife that he explored recovery. His dad took him to his first AA meeting where he got some encouraging words from members at the meeting and chose to continue going and working the steps. He says it felt great to find a community which is still important to his recovery.

 

At first, he approached his recovery as just not drinking. He quickly learned that he needed to do more internal work. Brad is open about the fact that he doesn’t drink. He has lost a few relationships which hurt at first, but it showed him his true friends. He finds acts of service important to his recovery. He uses HALT to help him deal with the cravings which he says he has very few of these days.

 

[57:30] Kris’ outro:

 

There are more conversations about being sober curious happening outside of the recovery space.  The idea of looking at your drinking is becoming less taboo.  Sure, the time of year has a lot to do with it but having the conversations is what’s important. Look for the right times to share, you can help others with your experiences.

 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator

We took the elevator down but we’ve got to take the steps back up.

I love you guys.

Jan 2, 2023

Episode 411 – The Grateful Alcoholic

 

Today we have Lisa who is 65 from Atlanta, GA took her last drink on 11/17/2022.

 

Whether you are on day 1 or day 1000, there is still time to join REStore. The next class is tonight at 8:30pm EST

 

There are still spots open for our next sober travel trip to Costa Rica from April 12th-21st for more information click the link Costa Rica 2023

 

Highlights from Paul:

 

Paul didn’t understand a fellow AA member’s references to being a “grateful alcoholic”.  Only after getting to know Jim, did he understand what they meant. It took a few years for Paul to get to that point to be grateful for his addiction. 

 

He reflects that our addictions are signposts trying to guide us to a more authentic life and that there are no such things as failures. They are learning opportunities and we should never give up.  We should trust the process of healing from the addictions, and we can all become grateful for the role that alcohol has played in our lives.

 

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

 

[00:00] Paul introduces Lisa

 

Her last drink was November 17, 2022 - a little over three weeks from the time of this recording.  She says it feels wonderful, relieving, liberating, comforting, all positive things.

 

Lisa is 65 and lives in Atlanta area with her husband of 36 years. They have two grown children and remain close to them. She enjoys reading, travelling, exercise, nature and family time.

 

Lisa’s drinking started out on the weekends in high school.  She drank throughout adulthood and always knew she drank abnormally. She discovered she had her first blackout and fell when she was nearly 50.  That scared her into getting sober with AA but she feels she never did the work or found a good sponsor.  After one year, she thought she could handle drinking again.

 

Over the last two or three years she has known she needed to stop again. She was starting to notice the health consequences and began finding resources including The Huberman Lab podcast episode about alcohol, and This Naked Mind.

Journalling about her drinking past has helped her recognize some of what drove her to addiction.  She became aware that her drinking ramped up after she retired in 2015 as she felt a loss of identity. She has recently become a caretaker for her mother who has been in recovery since Lisa was 15, but they have never been close. She thinks she used alcohol for stress and anxiety relief over that and the loneliness she found in retirement.  Now that she knows that it is her brain reacting to the disease which she finds helpful to her recovery. She embraces that she must do things differently this time and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. She has joined several recovery communities and asked to be on the podcast. She has not shared her journey with her immediate family but plans to do so very soon.

 

In recovery, Lisa says that routine is vital to her success.  She exercises daily while listening to podcasts. She enjoys volunteering to stay busy.  Her faith is very important to her and she finds prayer and journalling helpful.

 

One thing she has learned in sobriety – she can find the courage to do hard things and is stronger than she realized

Parting piece of guidance – you can control your thoughts, just focus on what you are gaining, not what you are losing.

 

[00:00] Closing thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul encourages us to stop labeling things as a problem.  We need challenges to appreciate rewards.  He compares this to alcohol as being the invitation to step into a rebirth and make great changes in our lives for the better. He has yet to meet someone that regretted quitting drinking. Paul also revisits his thoughts on Big Alcohol and his view on legalization of drugs and alcohol. 

 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

I love you guys.

We took the elevator down; we’ve got to take the stairs back up.

We can do this.

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