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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: March, 2023
Mar 27, 2023

Episode 423 – Some Phoneless Fool

 

Today we have Laura. She is 45, from Boston, MA, and took her last drink on September 27, 2014.

 

Join Recovery Elevator in Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend for a fun conference style event at the Marriott in Alpharetta on Sunday.  This event is all about getting your connect on and it will be a fun time.  Spouses or loved ones are encouraged to attend. Registration is open please click the link for more information.

 

We also have registration for the annual Bozeman Retreat opening on April 3rd. The retreat is scheduled for August 9th – 13th. 

 

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

 

[02:07] Highlights from Paul:

 

Paul feels that addictions are adaptations to unhealthy environments. Rates of addiction, disease, inflammations, and cancers are all on the rise. In recovery we are tasked with creating a world for ourselves and others where we feel connected, worthy, and part of the community. Recovery is not about new world exploration but restoring the circuitry we were born with. Addiction could be what forces us to come together, put our differences aside and start loving each other.

 

Paul thinks that it is our job in recovery to create a life for ourselves and others that doesn’t require alcohol for wholeness. He’s up for the task, how about you?

 

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

 

[6:36] Paul introduces Laura:

 

Laura is 45 years old, lives in Boston, has one daughter and is recently engaged. She is a writer and the founder of The Luckiest Club, an international sobriety support community. For fun she loves to read, play beach volleyball and travelling.

 

She first started drinking when she was 15 but didn’t drink a lot. She played sports in high school which kept her from partying and her dad got sober when she was a teenager so she had a healthy fear of alcohol. Her drinking really started when she went to college. She had a fake ID and was all in. After graduating she found herself surrounded by drinking in the workforce. Throughout her 20’s she surrounded herself with people who drank like her. There was a sense that she drank differently than others but she decided it was just something she needed to watch but not quit. She never had any serious consequences at this time in her life.

 

Laura feels that her drinking really increased after she became a mom. She had more anxiety, her body processed it differently, she was drinking more and it was working less. While she was pregnant, she realized how much she had relied on alcohol because she couldn’t have it. She started worrying more about her drinking at this point because she was chasing relief from the anxiety and only finding it helping for 20 minutes or less.

 

The year before her last drink Laura found herself suffering some consequences. She got a DUI which she brushed off as just getting a ticket when asked about it. After an event that caused her to almost lose custody of her daughter, she spent the next year actively trying to quit drinking. Her family was acutely aware of her drinking issue and were holding her accountable. She was very angry and wasn’t at the point that she accepted that the alcohol needed to go.

 

She tried to go to AA but didn’t enjoy it at first. She continued to drink but also kept going to meetings. She was starting to have more sober time than drinking time and was reaping the benefits. It wasn’t until she stopped making the promise to not drink and instead focused on one day at a time.

 

Laura started closing all her escape hatches after getting a little bit of sobriety time. She feels the most important thing about sobriety is that you cannot do it alone.

 

And these days, there are more and more resources out there where we don’t have to do it alone.

 

Laura McKowen

The Luckiest Club

 

We are the Luckiest

Push Off From Here

 

 

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Recovery Elevator

Rule 22 – Lighten Up

I love you guys

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 20, 2023

Episode 422 – The Pursuit of Happiness

 

Today we have Susannah. She is 42 from Hampshire, England, and took her last drink on 4/29/2022.

 

Join Recovery Elevator in Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend for a fun conference style event at the Marriott in Alpharetta on Sunday.  This event is all about getting your connect on and it will be a fun time.  Spouses or loved ones are encouraged to attend. Registration is open please click the link for more information.

 

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

 

[03:09] Highlights from Paul:

 

Paul shares a blog post created by Odette regarding happiness in sobriety. He also shares his thoughts that sobriety does not equal happiness or solve all of our problems, but it does give us the chance to build a life where happiness knocks on the door more frequently. The school of sobriety is going to teach you the most important lessons of life. Love and acceptance. It will keep teaching you these lessons until you have accepted, that’s the lesson to learn.

 

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

 

[10:40] Kris introduces Susannah:

 

Susannah is about to celebrate 10 months of sobriety. She lives in the south of England; she is married, and they have three boys and two dogs. She works in luxury concierge. In her free time, she enjoys walking and is looking forward to expanding her garden this year.

 

Susannah grew up as the youngest of 3 kids. Her parents drank socially but she was never exposed to any kind of alcohol abuse. When she was young, she was sent to boarding school. She was exposed to alcohol when she was around 13 but had no interest in it, in fact she was very against drinking at that time. It wasn’t until she was 16 that she started socially drinking at pubs with friends, but it wasn’t an issue she feels.

 

Her mother died suddenly when Susannah was 22.  Her and her mother were very close, so she was feeling quite isolated and alone after this loss. A few years later Susannah was in Thailand when the tsunami hit. These events had her questioning “why me?” and she thinks that they contributed to some of her attention seeking behavior and participation in toxic relationships. She doesn’t feel that she was using drinking to cope at this point in time but was not dealing with the traumas very well.

 

When she was in her early thirties, she got pregnant. She found pregnancy to be very difficult for her but didn’t have trouble quitting drinking during these times. She had several medical issues happen which caused her first child to be born early which was scary for her.

 

After her second child her drinking started to increase. The drinking events coming more and more frequently whether they were over bad things or celebratory things.

 

Susannah says she was able to stop drinking for periods of time but never with the goal of quitting completely. She tried to seek help but was told she should try medication or taking vitamins. Since she functioned well on the outside no one believed she had a problem. She kept trying to moderate, but it never worked.

 

After a terrible hangover that had her sick at an event in her village the next day she decided to go to AA. She met the woman who is now her sponsor at that first meeting and with a hug from her, she finally felt the relief that she was in the right place.

 

After about four or five months of sobriety, she feels things has shifted. She has learned so much about herself and has start dealing with all of her traumas. She is better as a wife and mother and feels she performs better at work.

 

[01:02:31] Kris’ Outro:

 

The beauty of recovery are the chances that keep showing up to put the healing we have done to good work.  What’s happened in your life that you wouldn’t have expected if you were still drinking?

 

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The only way out is through

I love you guys

 

Mar 13, 2023

Episode 421 – Keep It Simple

 

Today we have Stephanie. She is 44 from Georgetown, MA and took her last drink on September 6, 2020.

 

Recovery Elevator podcast just surpassed 10 million downloads!  Thank you to our guests, all the team members, CafĂ© RE members, and especially our listeners!

 

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

 

[2:49] Highlights from Paul:

 

In an age where almost everything plugs in, we as human beings do not. Often when we are feeling upset or triggered, one (or more than one) aspect of H.A.L.T is at play. Try and ask yourself if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired.

 

Paul gives us a lot of suggestions of simple ways to address these feelings and asks the listener – how do you keep it simple?  Let us know on Monday’s post on Instagram in the comment area!

 

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

 

[10:42] Paul introduces Stephanie:

 

Stephanie took her last drink on September 6th, 2020. She is 44 years old, lives in Georgetown, Massachusetts. She is married and has two boys, ages 7 and 9, and two dogs. She enjoys walking and running and loves all things sci-fi.

 

She first started drinking when she was 15 with an 18 year old boyfriend. She was socially anxious, and drinking helped with that. There were very few consequences and she says it was at least once a weekend she drank, but never drank at home and wasn’t exposed to alcohol at home. She did well in school and followed the rules at home.

 

She drank in college and went out with her friends typically Thursday through Saturday but did well in school during the week. She was able to dodge some consequences, but the behavior continued. The drinking gradually began happening more frequently especially after she started dating someone and they spent a lot of time going out and drinking together.

 

She ended up getting married and they moved to Arizona. Their relationship was surrounded by alcohol, and it started to become obvious that they couldn’t take nights off and that was an issue. They split up and she moved back home to Boston. While she was excited for the next chapter of her life, she ended up starting to drink alone which was a red flag to her. She met her husband and they had a lot of fun together, even though they drank. Nothing serious happened, but she still felt that she was drinking too much. She was able to quit while she was pregnant and realized during the second pregnancy that she was wanting it to hurry up so she could start drinking again. Shortly after that she moved from bottles of wine to boxes.

 

Around the beginning of the pandemic, she told her husband that she was going to quit, but she wasn’t able to. She started hiding mini bottles and realized she started drinking earlier and earlier in the day. She was starting to have physical pains and was saddened by what she saw in the mirror.  She was feeling more and more disconnected and realized that she wanted to change this so she could connect and be more present with her children.

 

Due to the pain, she was having, Stephanie decided to make an appointment with her doctor and got some alarming results. She decided to come clean with her husband and let him know what’s been going on and that she was ready to quit drinking. He was very supportive which she wasn’t expecting.

 

Stephanie realized that she had to do things differently. Moderation had never worked in the past, so she knew that wasn’t an option this time. Three big things she did were she told the truth about her addiction, found a community whose language she really resonated with, and ensured she consistently had an hour to herself where she would listen to podcasts and walk. She is looking forward to doing some international travel sober, which she hasn’t done before, and she is excited to continue being a more present parent and partner.

 

 

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You can do this

I love you guys

 

 

 

 

Mar 6, 2023

Episode 420 – The Most Prolific Trap

 

Today we have Matthew. He is 49 from Phoenix, AZ, and has been a sober rock star since 12/15/2006.

 

Our next Ditching the Booze course is starting Monday March 20th. It is free for Café RE members. You can learn more about the course and Café RE by clicking this link.

 

[03:00] Highlights from Paul:

 

As humans, we are prone to the trap that things will be better, or we will feel better after x, y or z happens. If we are constantly attaching happiness to accomplishments, checklists, or sobriety clocks, then eventually this surface level happiness fades and doesn't last nearly as long. Diffusing this trap is our most important task as a species at the moment. To find inner peace regardless of what is going on outside.

 

The first thing we can do to confront the trap is recognize it and then try to find happiness in the present moment while working towards the goal in mind. This is being okay with being okay or being okay even if you feel like dog crap. You are not doing sobriety, or anything wrong, if you have a bad day or 50.

 

To be fair, we do feel better when we make positive change in our lives, but it’s the balance we are going for. And not to place 100% of happiness to a future date, which is never guaranteed.    

 

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

 

[11:37] Kris introduces Matthew:

 

Matthew has just past 16 years of sobriety. He is married and they have two teenage sons. He spent many years as a radio and TV personality all over the country, but recently left the business to do podcasts, motivational speaking and is the head coach of a local high school hockey team. He enjoys doing this as well as taking advantage of the hiking opportunities near where he lives in Phoenix, AZ.

 

Matthew was first exposed to alcohol at a very young age when his dad would share sips of beer with him. He grew up in a family where drinking was a part of the landscape at all gatherings of any kind.

 

He didn’t really drink a whole lot until he was in his late teens. Later in his twenties, Matthew’s career found him doing a lot of appearances where he was expected to be the life of the party and ensure that everyone present was having a good time. This involved large bar tabs and many after parties that he occasionally had too much and couldn’t function well for his job the next day.

 

 

His drinking increased a lot after his father died. He was attending therapy to deal with the great loss and how it happened. He ended up leaving his family and traveled around the country with his career eventually meeting his wife. Things were going well and then there were major changes at work which ended up with him being unemployed while his wife was pregnant. He says that he spent a lot of time drinking at that point.

 

The moved again shortly after that and it was after a work Christmas party that Matthew found his rock bottom moment. That night he didn’t want the party to end but was unable to find an open bar. He ended up buying some wine and walking home. It was a three mile walk in the snow to his house. His wife and son were both crying when he got home and he just went to his room and passed out. When he woke up, he wrote a letter to his wife and son saying that he will never have another drink.

 

When he decided to quit, he knew he couldn’t do it by himself. He went to therapy to help him uncover the “why”. He told everyone that he was not going to be able to attend any alcoholic events for a while. Learning why he was drinking was the most important piece. He believes in living a life that he doesn’t want to escape from.

 

[01:02:15] Kris’ summary:

 

Kris reflects on the power of connection with people that you can let your guard down with. It’s important to feel seen and community is a great way to do that.

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

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