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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: June, 2023
Jun 26, 2023

Episode 436 – Our Road Ahead

 

Today we have Lacey. She’s 34 from Illinois and has been sober since May 15, 2020.

 

Recovery Elevator welcomes our newest sponsor, Athletic Greens.

 

[02:16] Highlights from Kris:

 

We feel it is important to use these first few episodes of Season Five to set a foundation for the upcoming year. Kris shares the RE mission statement and talks about what each of the six key themes means to him.

 

To recap, our mission statement: we offer hope through community and connection. Partnering sobriety seeking individuals with other likeminded people.

 

Over and over and over again, you’re going to hear us, and our guests, talk about the importance of connection. It’s not because it’s the only thing we know how to talk about; but simply because it’s THAT IMPORTANT.

 

Recovery Elevator’s Six Themes:

 

1)    We are inclusive

2)    There is no right or wrong way to do this

3)    Connection

4)    Don’t just quit drinking

5)    We need to remain open

6)    We must pass along what we learn to others

 

 

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

 

[09:30] Kris introduces Lacey:

 

Lacey is 34 and lives in Illinois. She is an instructional designer. She is married and has two cats. Lacey loves walking, camping, cooking, and doing crafts. She is part of a community theater and enjoys volunteering at the local animal shelter.

 

Lacey was young when her parents quit drinking, so alcohol was never around. She feels the mystery made it more interesting to her. She first drank with theater friends in her sophomore year of high school. This was the first time that she felt included in something.

 

After a falling out with some friends in senior year, Lacey found another friend group that not only drank but did other drugs. She felt like she needed to join in in spite of feeling apprehensive. Cocaine and alcohol went hand in hand for Lacey. She had to have alcohol to deal with the downside of the drugs.

 

In her 20’s, Lacey started identifying as a partier. She loved being able to drink and stay up all night and she wore it like a badge of honor. Lacey started doing more drugs because they helped her keep drinking.

 

After some time, Lacey started trying to moderate and find the right balance of the drugs and alcohol, but always ended up failing. She feels she had the dueling personalities during this time. Her mornings were full of anxiety from all of the behavior from the day before.

 

When Lacey started having health issues that the doctors couldn’t determine the cause of, she came to the realization that her substance abuse may be a contributing factor. In denial, Lacey continued partying even harder until she hit her breaking point and realized that she needed to stop for good.

 

It was not “one and done” for Lacey. She drank on vacation and then when she came home, she decided to join Café RE if she could make it 30 days. She struggled to embrace sobriety. She started feeling better after six months but thought she could handle drinking again. She then used Covid as an excuse to keep drinking and ended up back where she started. The day after she quit, she got an accountability partner who has become her best friend.

 

In recovery, Lacey is finding more time to do things that she used to love. Her friend group has changed, and she is ok with that.

 

Lacey’s favorite resources in recovery: her accountability person, Marco Polo and connection.

 

The best advice Lacey has received: if you are researching whether or not you have a drinking problem, you do but it’s not a death sentence. It’s ok, embrace it, it will be so worth it.

 

 

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

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Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

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

I love you guys.

 

 

 

 

Jun 19, 2023

Episode 434 – Season 5 – What We Believe In

 

Today we have Alex, he is 35, from Lincoln, NE and took his last drink on January 20, 2023

 

Recovery Elevator welcomes our newest sponsor, Athletic Greens.

 

[03:35] Highlights from Paul:

 

Welcome to Season 5!  Episode 1 of this podcast dropped on February 25th, 2015. Paul recalls the date and how he felt.  He was worried he was going to crash and burn.  But 10,000,000 downloads later, he still hasn’t had a drink and the podcast is still going.

 

Paul discusses the plan for Season 5, what RE’s concepts and values are, the podcast schedule and more.

 

Mission Statement of Recovery Elevator is as follows:

 

"We offer hope through community and connection. Partnering sobriety seeking individuals with other likeminded people!”

 

Six themes Paul and Kris will be focusing on this season:

 

1)    Recovery Elevator is inclusive

2)    There is no right or wrong way to do this

3)    Connection

4)    Don’t just quit drinking

5)    We cannot fight an addiction

6)    We must pass along what we’ve learned to others

 

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

 

[10:49] Paul introduces Alex:

 

Alex is 35 and lives in Lincoln, NE. He is married with three kids. He stays busy with his family, enjoys landscaping at their new home and works in the financial industry.

 

Alex first tried alcohol in his senior year of high school. He initially did not drink with his friends, but eventually gave it a try. He started going to parties and enjoyed the assistance alcohol gave him socially. He didn’t drink very regularly but when he did drink, he drank heavily. He did have a close call when getting pulled over once, but the officer called his parents instead of charging him with driving under the influence.

 

Alex joined a fraternity in college and says his drinking escalated at that point but was not out of control. He was still able to do well academically. After college he moved to Chicago, and he used drinking as a way to make friends. He was attending grad school and was drinking heavily but still highly functional.

 

He first started questioning his drinking when his brother was going through some issues with substance abuse. He says he was blacking out at least twice a week but wasn’t sure if he had a problem. This is when Alex first tried moderation that he says worked for a while, but the rules became softer over time.

 

The first time Alex recognized that his drinking might be an issue was when his wife went into labor with their second child, and he had been drinking so he was unable to drive her to the hospital. Over time he realized that he was not fully present for his children, and he didn’t time to pass and realize that he had drank their childhood away.

 

After Alex had around 50 days of sobriety and went back to drinking, he realized how much better he felt sober and realized that is what he wanted. That paired with wanting to be a better parent helped him focus on trying sobriety again.

 

Alex took his first step by going to an online AA meeting just to listen. It was there that he realized that seeking sobriety wasn’t something to be afraid of. He drank that night but burned the ships with his family telling them that his life of sobriety would be starting the next day.

 

The first few days found Alex excited for sobriety. Within a short period of time, he found his sleep improving, started getting compliments at work, and was generally feeling better. Since quitting drinking Alex feels that his emotions have leveled out and life is no longer on “hard mode”.

 

Alex’s favorite resources in recovery: quit lit, Reddit, realizing that he is not alone.

 

Alex’s parting piece of guidance: if you’re not successful the first time, you are definitely going to learn on each attempt of sobriety so keep at it.

 

 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator

Go big, because eventually we all go home.

I love you guys.

 

 

 

 

Jun 12, 2023

Episode 434 – Don’t Lose Yourself in It

 

Today we have Gary, he is 44, from Toledo, OH and took his last drink on January 30, 2023

 

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

 

[01:42] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Today we are going to cover one of Paul’s favorite tools and practice.  But before we cover it, he asks us who is our go to person that we look to when life starts to veer into the ditch? Who has already provided guidance or a teaching on what to do in the situation you find yourself in?

 

For Paul, it is Eckhart Tolle. His books The Power of Now and A New Earth were recommended to him at just the right time.

 

The tool and concept Paul wants to cover is a line he discovered in A New Earth that says, “don’t lose yourself in it”. This refers to the thinking mind, or the ego. 

 

Another book The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer shares the concept that you are not the thoughts in your mind, but you are the one who experiences them.

 

The point is don’t lose yourself in the incessant stream of thoughts coming from the thinking mind. Make a point each day to STOP what you are doing and take a deep breath. This practice doesn’t have to take long, but there may not be enough consciousness at first to split from the thoughts in the head. The point is to create as many daily gaps in your thinking as possible.

 

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

 

[09:25] Kris introduces Gary:

 

Gary took his last drink on January 31st, 2023. He is 44 and lives in Toledo, OH. Professionally Gary is a medical assistant for primarily homebound patients. He enjoys reading, has recently started fishing and likes to try new things in sobriety.

 

Gary’s first experience with alcohol was in his early teen years. He and his cousin crashed a wedding with an open bar where they served him beer. He thought it was disgusting but kept drinking and blacked out the first time. Gary didn’t drink in high school. He graduated and met his future wife who was going to the army. He joined as well and was in Germany when he started drinking regularly. Drinking helped with his insecurities, and he was always searching for validation. After his wife cheated on him, life was tough for Gary. He started drinking heavily to deal with the pain surrounding the changes in his life.

Gary didn’t have a lot of consequences from his drinking. When he got out of the army and came home, he found another relationship and they had a daughter together. He was able to cut back on his drinking and started putting parameters around what and when he would drink. He found moderation exhausting.

 

Gary’s dad started having health issues, developed a rare form of cancer and passed within a year of diagnosis. His drinking ramped back up as he dealt with the grief. Gary’s drinking ended up contributing to the loss of a job. He tried his best to continue to be a good father but struggled with being emotionally present for his daughter.

 

After losing his job Gary found himself going into inpatient treatment, which is where his journey began. He had some stints of extended sobriety. He started going to AA meetings but had a hard time being social at first. He discovered podcasts which were helpful for him; he found listening to them was giving him strength. He was able to experience periods of sobriety but felt that his addiction was still sabotaging him at that time.

 

Gary had several instances of his drinking sending him into the hospital. He feels like this was his rock bottom. He realized he needed to be honest with himself and was able to stay sober for over two years. He started getting involved with the RE community which was very helpful for him. Changes in routine found Gary learning to love himself.

 

Gary’s favorite tools - recovery books, podcasts, Café RE, therapy, and Antibuse.

 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube

 

Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys

Jun 5, 2023

Episode 433 – The Comfort Crisis

 

Today we have Daniel, he is 43 from Orange County, he took his last drink on December 31st, 2014.

 

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

 

[01:42] Thoughts from Paul:

 

The discomforts of quitting drinking will make you a stronger person down the road. And not far down the road.

 

Although humans are hardwired to seek comfort, it’s not necessarily good for us. Many anthropologists have speculated that we were happier thousands of years ago. Our needs were simpler and easier to satisfy. We were naturally mindful, living in the moment. In addition, our ancestors usually found themselves in tight communities of around 150 people, where everyone shared the burden of survival. There was a deeper sense of belonging.

 

The Comfort Crisis by Michael Easter

 

The rates of mental health, addiction, inflammations, cancers, are sky rocketing, and the author of the book says the reason for this is because we are living progressively sheltered, sterile, temperature controlled, over-fed, under challenged, safety netted lives.

 

Key takeaway? Get uncomfortable. It’s good for you. And spending significant time in nature will make you happier.

 

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

 

[09:01] Paul introduces Daniel:

 

Daniel had his last drink on New Year’s Eve of 2014. He lives in Southern California; he’s married with three children. He owns a few businesses and works in education. For fun Daniel likes to play tennis, work in his yard and enjoys Wim Hof breathwork. Daniel enjoys getting out of his comfort zone and trying new things frequently.

 

At age 16 Daniel had his first drink and instantly felt the pull. He didn’t start using it habitually until he was in college, and it helped with his social anxiety and gave him confidence. He says the red flags came early and often but he didn’t have a classic rock bottom moment. He feels he was very high functioning – did well in school and had a job. His drinking didn’t change after he left college. He began questioning his drinking about four years prior to quitting because he had learned he and his wife were about to have a child.

For a long time, Daniel was unwilling to give up drinking and he would have times of attempting moderation and then abandoning that to hiding bottles of alcohol throughout his house before going back to moderation again. He thought having a child would help him make changes, but it did not.

 

Good things were happening with Daniels home life and career, but the drinking was still there. He was having issues with anxiety and depression that he attempted to treat but the alcohol negated his efforts.

 

Daniel’s quit date wasn’t planned as he was still in denial about how serious his drinking had become. The day after his last drink he had some hallucinations that scared him.

 

He finally met with a doctor and decided to lay it all out and asked for help. He initially thought it would be only for 30 days, but he ended up going for another month and so on.

 

Daniel still had a lot of shame surrounding his initial recovery and was isolated for about six months. He says that he found a lot of peace getting away from all the anxiety and started feeling more comfortable about his choice to get sober. He recently started using Tik-Tok and started a podcast which he has found very cathartic for his recovery.

 

Daniel’s favorite resources in recovery: Calm app, Wim Hof app, Tik-Tok

 

Daniel’s parting piece of guidance: Be less concerned about HOW people recover and more concerned THAT people recover.

 

Daniel’s podcast - Sobriety Uncensored

 

[42:25] Closing thoughts:

 

In our Café RE chats we start with an Icebreaker Question.  I asked the group “when you’re stressed or triggered what helps you?”  The most common answer was “get outside”.

 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator

I love you guys.

It all starts from the inside out.

We can do this.

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