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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: August, 2023
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.

 

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

 

[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.

 

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

Instagram - We regularly feature content here – often with goats!

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I love you guys.

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

 

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

 

[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.

 

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

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

I love you guys.

 

 

 

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.

 

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

 

[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.

 

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’ll all go home.

I love you guys.

 

 

 

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.

 

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

 

[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.

 

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, but you don’t have to do it alone.

I love you guys.

 

 

 

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