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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: May, 2023
May 29, 2023

Episode 432 – Is Alcohol Good For You?

 

Today we have Julie, she is 49, from Grand Junction, CO and took her last drink on February 6th, 2022.

 

Café RE members, we have added a fitness class to the schedule. Sundays at 12:30 EST, thank you Paul L.

 

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

 

[02:05] Thoughts from Paul:

 

For most of the 20th century and well into the 2000’s, there was a pushed narrative that said a daily drink or two is good for you.  Although there was a time that fermented drinks were safer than consuming the local water due to disease, it’s safe to say we are well past those days from the dark ages.  Despite that, the concept that alcohol is good for you is still in popular circulation, but a new narrative is coming out.

 

An article from Health Day released this year is titled Drinking Alcohol Brings No Health Benefits, Study Finds

 

Huberman Lab podcast:  What Alcohol Does to Your Body, Brain & Health

 

You’re giving up alcohol, which turns out is NOT good for you anyways, for a life that contains the possibilities of nearly everything. Sobriety can be hard, and sometimes we need a sweeping statement to put it into perspective. You’re giving up one thing for everything. You can do this. I know you can.

 

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

 

[10:34] Kris introduces Julie:

 

Julie lives in Grand Junction, CO. She is a nurse practitioner soon to be working at an addiction center. She has two grown daughters and her parents and brother live nearby. She is single and for fun she enjoys yoga, and she plays the ukulele and the flute.

 

Julie feels she was born into addiction. Her parents were both alcoholics and a lot of her family members have struggled with addiction as well. Her mother left when she was very young, and her family moved a lot due to her father’s instability.

 

Julie first tried alcohol when she was 12 at a barbecue at her mom’s house. She and some friends stole some alcohol and went into the basement and drank. Alcohol helped her feel like she was connected to a group, and she lived up to the party girl persona as a way to feel accepted.

 

In her mid-teens, Julie’s parents decided to send her away to a Baptist school. This was Julie’s first experience of feeling like she was part of a family, and she was able to stay out of trouble there.

 

Soon after Julie returned home, she started drinking again. She married her high school sweetheart, and they had her first daughter together. When the marriage ended, she thought she needed to be in a relationship to have the perfect life and got married again where she had her second daughter. She was going to college and attending church to uphold the image of the perfect life.

 

After her children moved out and she and her husband became empty nesters, Julie’s drinking ramped up. She had a lot of freedom with her job which found her drinking more and more. She was worried what her husband thought so she was hiding her alcohol throughout the house. Julie began questioning her drinking and read This Naked Mind by Annie Grace. She was able to quit drinking for about 60 days. Even though she started drinking again, Julie feels that something changes.

 

Julie separated from her husband and found herself drinking and isolating. She quickly realized she needed help. She started going to AA and was able to stay sober for over three years, but gradually stopped doing the work. She started thinking she could be a normal drinker and that she didn’t have a problem. It didn’t take long for Julie to end up back to isolating and binge drinking. Her final binge at a hotel when a flight was cancelled found her realizing she had to stop again.

 

Julie found the RE podcast and shortly after went back to AA. Podcasts, online meetings, travelling, and yoga are some of Julie’s favorite tools. Connection within a sober community is very important to her.

 

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Recovery Elevator

The only way out is through.

I love you guys.

May 22, 2023

Episode 431 – Transformation

 

Today we have Katy, she is 40, from Olympia, WA and took her last drink on February 12th, 2023.

 

Join Recovery Elevator this Sunday for a fun conference style meet up at the Marriott in Alpharetta.  This event is all about getting your connect on and it will be a fun time.  Spouses or loved ones are encouraged to attend and you can even stick around afterwards for some silent disco.

 

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

 

[02:26] Thoughts from Paul:

 

One of the best parts of doing the Recovery Elevator podcast is seeing the transformations people make.  Many of the travelers on this year’s Costa Rica trip also traveled last year. With every single repeat traveler, Paul could see the growth almost immediately. There are many different reasons for the transformations, but it is always visible in the smile.

 

Paul wants to make a correction from a previous episode where he said that Goat Yoga was a horrible idea. Incorporating animals in our healing can be a great thing. One reason for this is the nervous systems of animals are much more intact, and with entrainment theory in biology, our nervous systems can heal while being around animals. Also, goats are hilarious. They are all about having fun and if you come near enough to them, they will make you part of the fun.

 

In the interview with Katy, Paul references a previous episode covering Natlrexone. That is episode 164 if you wish to go back and listen.

 

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

 

[08:06] Paul introduces Katy:

 

Katy is 40 years old and took her last drink on February 12, 2023. She is from Olympia WA, married and they have two kids and a dog.  Katy works in elementary education and for fun she likes to hike, read and listen to podcasts.

 

Katy first started drinking at a young age, but it wasn’t until she was in her late teens that she started having consequences like hangovers and blackouts. She went on to a college that had a reputation for being a party school and she fell right into the scene.

 

Katy feels her twenties were stolen by an abusive relationship where the focus was on a party lifestyle. She had started drinking and driving, getting herself into debt, and struggled to hold down a job. The consequences of her drinking really started to escalate including a DUI that she got during a blackout.

 

In her thirties, she continued to work in bars and blackout frequently.  When she tried quitting on her own, she had some physical withdrawals and she decided to go to rehab. After around four months she decided to leave and started drinking immediately believing that she would be able to control it.  Before long she was back where she was with her drinking and had a mental health scare that found her seeking help once again.

 

Her family was very supportive, and Katy was able to make positive changes in her life including having children and getting her master’s in education. She was able to stay sober through her pregnancies but would start drinking shortly after.

 

Katy was prescribed naltrexone which helped her stop drinking and start working on herself. On her doctor’s advice she started attending sobriety groups in addition to the medication. She prefers SMART recovery over AA but believes connection is important.

 

Exercise is important to Katy’s sobriety in addition to podcasts and reading. She looks for the good things in day-to-day life as well as in nature which help her feel gratitude. She uses some exercises to help with her anxiety that help her to surround herself in “now”. She enjoys music where she can connect to the lyrics.

 

Bucket list for Katy is to love her life and feel emotions.

 

[47:27] In closing, Paul shares another installment of “You Can Be Right, Or You Can Have Peace”.

 

 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator

It all starts from the inside out.

I love you guys.

May 15, 2023

Episode 430 – Walking Into Summer

 

Today we have Joss, she’s 34 from the Bay Area and took her last drink on December 21st, 2022.

 

We still have room in our upcoming flagship retreat which takes place August 9th through the 13th in Bozeman, Montana.  This event is all about having fun, connecting, and learning the tools needed to be successful on your Alcohol-Free journey. You can find more information here!

 

[02:21] Thoughts from Kris:

 

Spring has finally arrived in North Dakota!

 

With the changing seasons, it’s not uncommon to experience some different emotions surrounding our recovery. More outdoor social activities and parties can bring some unique challenges.

 

We sometimes worry what others might think about us and our choice not to drink. The phrasing “I care what people think of me” makes me feel a bit middle-schoolish, but humans long for connection and community. We are not really fearing the event so much as fearing that we don’t belong. Creating accountability with people we trust can help us navigate these times, and sometimes just passing on the event may be what we need to do for the time being.

 

Stay tuned for more tips gathered from our members at Café RE after the interview!

 

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

 

[09:45] Kris introduces Joss:

 

Joss is 34 and lives in the Bay Area. She has two cats, is a hairstylist and enjoys running. She recently celebrated three months alcohol free.

 

Joss grew up in a very strict and sheltered Christian household. Her parents were very active in the church, and they spent a lot of time there and went to a private school. Joss first tried alcohol when she was 14 and her drinking increased a lot in high school. She battled with depression and never felt validated by her family, and they just pushed her toward God and church without giving her much opportunity to explore anything else. She jumped around schools a few times due to suspensions and expulsions.

 

She didn’t consider her high school years as being rebellious but more as a time to explore things outside of the sheltered life she was raised in. She really enjoyed music and started a band in high school.

 

Joss moved to New York after her mother suddenly passed away and says that time was when things got out of control. She reflects that a lot of the things she did while drinking too much could have ended very badly. Joss was dating someone who also drank heavily, so it quickly was their lifestyle. Eventually she grew tired of life in New York, broke up with her partner and moved back to the Bay Area where she continued to drink.

 

Dealing with the death of her mother was hard on Joss. She got settled into a friend group after moving home and they all partied a lot. She was working in the restaurant industry and found herself drinking before and after her shifts and progressed even more during the pandemic. During that time, she was starting to listen to podcasts and become sober-curious. After a particularly bad morning-after from drinking too much, she realized that enough was enough. 

 

The first month of quitting found Joss staying sober through multiple triggering events.

Her advice to others is if you feel like there is an event or reason that you don’t think you can quit drinking now – there will always be a reason to wait. Instead of waiting – just go for it!

 

Since quitting, Joss enjoyed going to AA and having that community. She has also found some groups online that she enjoys. She finds that stocking her fridge with alcohol-free drinks, sharing her intentions with her friends and leaning into comfort of all kinds is the key to her success. For Joss, all her relationships have improved, especially the relationship with herself.

 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

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.

 

 

May 8, 2023

Episode 429 – The Connection Between Alcohol and Anxiety

 

Today we have Dale, he is 55, from Roanoke, VA and he has been alcohol free since March 23, 2019

 

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

 

[02:34] Paul’s thoughts:

 

Paul knows now that there is a connection between his drinking and his anxiety but while actively drinking, he could not. We are told that alcohol relaxes us – which it does by shutting down important parts of our brain.

 

According to Dr. Sheila Shilati,"Alcohol ultimately replaces those important chemicals like dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which mitigate anxiety, therefore, in episodes where you are not drinking, then your brain is searching for those all-important 'feel-good' connections, which become diminished because the supply has been mitigated,"

 

We hear a lot about “self-medicating” in recovery. Which isn’t a bad thing, but when we rely too much on this strategy, it stops working. This becomes an even bigger problem because we don’t realize it so we just drink more and now our coping strategy is becoming the reason we can’t cope.

 

Paul shares in episode 417, this is the best place you can be because the tipping point isn’t far off in the distance.

 

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

 

[10:48] Paul introduces Dale:

 

Dale is 55, lives in southwest Virginia, has been married for 25 years with no children. He works for a shipping company and also owns and manages rental property. Dale enjoys music of all varieties, loves reading and learning and also enjoys gardening.

 

Dale’s first experiences with alcohol came from his parents using it to medicate him as a child. He worked in the hospitality industry in his late teens and early twenties and drinking was a glorified part of the lifestyle. His tolerance grew and he became a daily drinker throughout that time.

 

The recent years found Dale questioning his drinking and realizing he wasn’t living life within his values. He had sneakily drunk some of his wife’s special whiskey which prompted an angry text to Dale. He used this message as motivation and although he was not able to quit right away Dale feels this was the start of his recovery.

 

Dale has found self-awareness to be a catalyst to helping him stop drinking. He has utilized Recovery Elevator and the Café RE community as a large part of his journey. It was a scary first step for him, but he found getting out of his comfort zone to be very helpful. He has made many friends that have helped him move forward and be strong in his sobriety. Focusing on the good has been an important tool for Dale, specifically in the early days. As he closed in on a year, he felt the veil had been lifted and he was seeing the world differently.

 

Year two for Dale was unpacking everything that led him to drink so much in the first place. He feels that was the mucky part of the journey and it is a process to unpack it.

 

Year three Dale feels that learning to let go of control was a big thing. Learning that life is going to happen, and he didn’t have to cling so tightly to everything. He finds that the service work he does in the community has helped him deal with life as it happens while approaching the four-year milestone.

 

Dale feels that success comes by building the wall one brick at a time, stepping outside of the comfort zone and being willing to learn. He also feels that service work helps strengthen us and keep us connected to our foundation. 

 

[53:36] Closing thoughts:

 

Paul’s tips for dealing with anxiety without alcohol:

 

Perception – anxiety pangs are messengers. Your body is sending you signals that something is off balance. Tell your body this will pass and will soften with each passing day or month.

 

Get the body moving to cue the release of endorphins whose purpose is to mask physical and emotional pain.

 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator

It all starts from the inside out.

I love you guys

May 1, 2023

Episode 428 – Do I have a Drinking Problem?

 

Today we have Lauren, she is 54 from Rochester NY, and took her last drink on November 19, 2022.

 

Shout out to Ty with 15 YEARS alcohol free!  Thank you for all you do for RE!

 

Shout out to Bradley from south Denver with 3 days alcohol free!  Great job!

 

Café RE is a private online unsearchable recovery community. Get accountable and be the best version of you. Together is always better!  Use promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the setup fee.

 

[03:23] Intro summary:

 

In the past Paul has talked about the worst  place a person can be with a drinking problem is in limbo (episode 417). But how do we find out if we actually have a problem so we can get out of that space?

 

There is a test listed in the DSM-5 to determine if we have a drinking problem or not. There are 11 questions, and you must meet two of them within the past 12 months to have what is called Alcohol Use Disorder. It’s not hard to determine if you have a drinking problem based on that test.

 

But at the end of the day, it can be as simple as if you question if you have a drinking problem, you just answered your own question.

 

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

 

[12:36] Kris introduces Lauren:

 

Lauren has been sober almost 4 months at the time of recording. She lives in Rochester New York, she is married, has two adult children, one granddaughter, has pets and owns her own business helping the elderly. She enjoys time outside, crafting (currently diamond painting), reading and learning new things.

 

Lauren was always fascinated with alcohol, but it wasn’t prevalent in her immediate family. When she was 16, she was able to purchase alcohol for her and her friends. She had a lot of fun and thought it was cool. She chose the college based on their drinking culture; she drank heavily but still did well in school. After college she got married, had two kids and a successful job. She drank the same as other parents around her, so she felt that was normal. She was able to abstain when she had her children and feels her drinking was more or less recreational for a long time.

 

 

 

Over the years Lauren hadn’t really tried to quit drinking. She would make a halfhearted attempt at Dry January, but it didn’t last. She didn’t think it had anything to do with being addicted. She feels that everyone else saw signs that her drinking was a problem, but she wasn’t aware of it.

 

After going on a very long-awaited vacation in 2022, Lauren says she had a hard time coming back to regular life and the stressors were magnified. Soon after, she drunkenly alienated a friend on Facebook, and it really impacted her when the friendship ended. She started drinking to escape everything that was bothering her. Lauren had a scare during her third blackout in eight days and decided to go to the doctor where she told them everything. She was sent to an outpatient program to start the next day.

 

She has found a lot of tools and inspiration through the outpatient program. Lauren says AA didn’t resonate with her, but she does do SMART recovery online which she enjoys. Connecting with others has been a great resource for Lauren as well. She views her drinking and recovery as just part of her, she doesn’t feel it defines her. Lauren recognizes that she is happier and communicate better with her husband. Her family is relieved and proud of her for going into recovery.

 

[57:20] Outro:

 

Spring is here! And with seasonal changes come new challenges. Kris feels that it is a chance for him to make sure he has his accountability in place and has a plan when it comes to spring and more outdoor events. Don’t stress about upcoming events, simply be aware of what is out there. Set yourself up to enjoy the weather and reach your alcohol-free goals.

 

Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

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