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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: September, 2023
Sep 25, 2023

Episode 449 - How to Make it Through Your First Sober Concert?

 

Today we have Santino. He is 35 from Taunton, MA and took his last drink on May 24th, 2022.

 

Our latest Ditching the Booze course begins Monday October 2nd at 7:30pm EDT/4:30pm PDT and is free to Café RE members. The 5-week course is called Writing a New Narrative and is designed to help you explore your sobriety story through journaling and writing prompts.

 

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

 

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

 

[03:05] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today’s question comes from Kelly in our Café RE Up Group. The question is “how do you make it through your first sober concert?”

 

The first of eight fantastic tips include giving yourself a little alcohol-free time before going to a concert. Once you’ve got some time under your belt, and the cravings are in check, then you can hit the green light on concerts.  Regardless of how many days you have, if you are feeling squirrely the dray of the concert then sit it out.  Sobriety is the priority.

 

Paul then shares several tips to include:

 

-       Always have a non-alcoholic beverage in hand.

-       Do not volunteer to be the DD.

-       Make sure everyone you are attending with knows your intentions.

 

Some of the best parts about sober concerts? You will remember it. You will save money. You won’t get a DUI on the drive home.

 

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

 

[10:14]: Paul introduces Santino:

 

Santino is a repeat guest and has maintained his sobriety since his last appearance on episode 397 where he was on day 43.

 

Santino is married and has one son. For fun, he loves going outside in nature to go hiking and go to the beach, but he also says that there is fun in everything since quitting drinking.

 

Santino had his first drink as a young teen. His mom was a single parent for a while, and he feels that he may have started drinking because the absence of his father bothered him. He learned that alcohol became a friend to him, and he feels like he used it for connection with his father and in contrast, to disconnect from her mother.

 

Santino joined the Air Force out of high school and found alcohol to be part of the culture. Between his early 20s and his early 30s he started deliberately planning his drinking to include before going out and drinking alone. Santino says he used a lot of rationalization that he wasn’t as bad as other people when it came to how he drank. He often pushed off having to think about it.

 

There wasn’t much hiding it from his spouse initially because they both drank. His hiding became more intentional as time went on, specifically after his son was born and during the pandemic. He found himself being sneakier about it. Santino started struggling with mood swings and being less communicative and didn’t want to address the fact that he needed help to quit drinking. He started to realize that this was going to destroy his family and he needed to rip the band aid off and address it. Once he addressed it with his wife, he felt freedom but was also worried about the process.

 

In the early days of his recovery, Santino and his wife began counseling to work on rebuilding their relationship. Santino also found that he started to feel healthier in general, was getting better sleep and did not miss the hangovers at all. Santino has been able to save money which assisted him with paying off some credit card debt he incurred while drinking.  As a parent, he feels more centered and present with his son.

He attends AA frequently, listens to podcasts, and surrounds himself with others in recovery.

 

Santino’s parting piece of guidance: give yourself grace in all the moments that you feel that you don’t even deserve it.

 

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Recovery Elevator

Go big, because eventually we all go home.

I love you guys.

 

 

 

Sep 18, 2023

Episode 448 - How Do I Let Go and Stop Trying to Control

 

Today we have Jen. She is 48 from Boulder, CO and took her last drink on May 12th, 2021.

 

Our latest Ditching The Booze course begins Monday October 2nd at 7:30pm EDT/4:30pm PDT and is free to Café RE members. The 5-week course is called Writing a New Narrative and is designed to help you explore your sobriety story through journaling and writing prompts.

 

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

 

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

 

[02:48] Highlights from Kris:

 

Today’s question comes from Dale in Virginia. He wants to know “how do I learn to let go of things, and stop trying to control?”

 

Kris feels that two themes that come up over and over in recovery are surrender and acceptance. He says there are different types of control and while some of it is normal and can be healthy, trying to control things such as other people and how they feel about us is not healthy.

 

Kris shares his insights about this topic and shares with us: “when I have unrest on the inside, it presents itself on the outside. When I find that inner peace, I can extend it to the world around me”.

 

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

 

[11:50]: Kris welcomes Jen:

 

Jen joins us from Boulder, CO area and recently celebrated two years alcohol free. She is married and they have two kids and a dog. For fun Jen likes to be active outdoors and spending time with recovery friends nearby, fabric arts and yoga.

 

Jen didn’t drink when she was young because she learned that some family members quit drinking because they couldn’t control it. She drank very casually because she didn’t want to develop a problem, but over time peer pressure found her drinking more frequently. In grad school there was more binge drinking and hangovers. She and her husband drank only socially prior to having kids.

 

Jen went back to work shortly after having her first child and realized that she was missing out on a lot, so she became a stay-at-home mom. She bought boxed wine to try and save money and discovered it was too easy to refill the glass. Jen wanted to be a fun mom and used alcohol to feel less bored. Over time Jen started finding herself drinking after everyone went to bed.

 

After a situation that found both her husband and children concerned about her, Jen started to try quitting drinking. She had already been reading quit lit and listening to podcasts. She was able to make it over 100 days but decided to attempt moderation. She found that after a while the attempts to control how much she drank became frustrating. One day while listening to a podcast episode, she had a moment of clarity where she knew she had to quit drinking for good.

 

Jen feels that her husband quitting drinking shined a light on her drinking. She would make excuses to have drinks outside of the home.

 

Jen quit drinking the day after her birthday. She decided to join Café RE and started going on hikes with fellow RE members, hosting chats and giving back to the community. Jen finds “playing the tape forward” very helpful in addition to listening to herself and discovering what she needs. She enjoys reading self-help books instead of quit lit. Finding connections with other people and creating deep friendships was an unexpected perk Jen received in recovery.

 

Jen’s plan for recovery moving forward: working on her spiritual and self-discovery practice.

 

Jen’s parting piece of guidance: “play it forward” it is one tool that has never wavered for her. Keep your mind open and try a variety of things for your recovery.

 

[01:03:47] Kris’ outro:

 

Kris shares a story about a recent vacation with his family and how it relates to his expectations and control.

 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator

Go big, because eventually we’ll all go home.

I love you guys.

 

 

 

Sep 11, 2023

Episode 447 – Can You Be Addicted to Alcohol and Not Be An Alcoholic?

 

Today we have Stephanie. She is 35 from and took her last drink on December 31st, 2022.

 

Our latest Ditching The Booze course begins Monday October 2nd at 7:30pm EDT/4:30pm PDT and is free to Café RE members. The 5-week course is called Writing a New Narrative and is designed to help you explore your sobriety story through journaling and writing prompts.

 

If you are not yet a member and would like to joining click the link Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

 

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

 

[02:43] Highlights from Paul:

 

Paul and Kris are going to be doing a ten-part intro series where we answer questions from listeners.  If you have a question that you’d like us to answer on the air, send them to info@recoveryelevator.com.

 

Paul shares one of his biggest regrets since starting the podcast and also answers the first question from Brady in South Denver. He asked, “can you be addicted to alcohol and not be an alcoholic?”

 

Paul begins his answer with “The Answer is yes. And no. And a little bit of yes, and little bit of No. Welcome to a world full of paradoxes.”

 

Next week we will hear Kris answer the next question: “How do I learn to let go of things and stop trying to control?”.

 

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

 

[09:23]: Paul introduces Stephanie:

 

Stephanie is 35 and she is from Connecticut, currently living in Washington State. She works as an accountant and as a server at a restaurant. She has one son and a dog. Stephanie enjoys reading both for fun and for a podcast she has: So, What Are You Reading?, and she has recently picked up paddleboarding.

 

Stephanie had her first drink when she was 16 and had a bad experience and said she wasn’t going to do it again. She drank very sporadically until she moved to Washington with her son’s father. After they broke up, she moved into an apartment on her own and felt like alcohol was her only friend. She progressed from wine to harder alcohol over time and began to try and put parameters on her drinking.

After a while, Stephanie realized that drinking wasn’t what she was supposed to be doing. She started recognizing that she wasn’t present for her son. Her anxiety was terrible, and she had issues with remembering things from the night before which made it worse. But Stephanie says she enjoyed the chaos that came with the drinking escapades, even though it was making her life harder than it needed to be. She got to the point that she didn’t want to do anything.

 

When Stephanie’s current boyfriend did a Dry January in 2021, Stephanie joined him but says she white knuckled through it and drank as soon as February 1st came. That was when she started questioning what the point of drinking was. She had some very negative events in her last year of drinking to the point that on January 1st, 2023, she decided enough was enough.

 

During the first 30 days she binged on podcasts and YouTube videos. She started journalling, doing puzzles and playing board games with her son. Stephanie has been able to get into grad school, is able to plan vacations and try a lot of new things. Reading, exercise, and time outdoors have become very important to Stephanie.

 

Stephanie’s favorite resources: The Sober Café (Facebook group), Recovery Elevator and other recovery podcasts,

 

Stephanie’s parting piece of guidance: if alcohol is impacting you in a negative way just take it out for 100 days.

 

[49:27] Closing thoughts:

 

If you’re not ready to quit drinking, none of the information we covered today is going to land, if you are ready, it doesn’t matter what we cover. Focus on the similarities and not the differences.

 

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Recovery Elevator

I love you guys.

All is fine, and all will be well.

 

 

 

Sep 4, 2023

Episode 446 – Go Easy on Yourself

 

Today we have Jonathan. He is 44 from Grand Forks, ND and took his last drink on May 17th, 2008.

 

Our six week Ditching the Booze mindfulness course starts Monday, September 18th and meets on Monday nights at 8:30 PM EST. This course is included with Café RE membership and is for Café RE members only.

 

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

 

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

 

[02:24] Highlights from Paul:

 

Straying from the sometimes-complex intros, Paul urges us to go easy on ourselves.

 

Despite all of our agricultural, scientific, and technological innovations, this is the hardest time it has ever been to be a human being. Rates of addiction and overdoses are soaring. Dr. Gabor Mate’s book The Myth of Normal shows how our out of balance culture is creating mountains of unrest and disease.

 

Life is already a challenge and living in the modern world without substances to slow down the prefrontal cortex, it is even harder.

 

Go easy on yourself. Life is going to kick your ass at some time or another. Don’t let that Bruno voice in the head make it any worse. Once that voice starts chirping about how you should have done XYZ differently, and how you’re doomed for eternity, locate the true you and tell that Bruno voice to step aside, and you’ll take it from here.

 

Be sure to start your day with words of compassion. Compassion for you, those nearest to you, the animals outside your window, and for those who are still struggling with alcohol.  

 

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

 

[8:11]: Kris introduces Jonathan:

 

Jonathan is 44 years old and lives in Grand Forks, ND. He has worked in the restaurant industry most of his life and is also the managing director for the office of Recovery Reinvented. For fun Jonathan likes to spend time outside and cook. He is married and they have three daughters.

 

Jonathan says he had a good childhood with a lot of parental support. He feels like his exposure to alcohol as a teenager was normal. He says drinking never got in the way of his grades or playing sports. While in college Jonathan started working in bars and restaurants where drinking is part of the culture. His drinking increased and he ended up dropping out of school.

 

Jonathan realized early on that his drinking looked different from his peers. He witnessed others being able to stop with a few drinks after work whereas he would just go to the next bar or go home and keep the party going. He didn’t think he was drinking to mask anything, so he didn’t have a problem, he just really enjoyed drinking.

 

While Jonathan was doing well in his career, his drinking increased. He opened his first restaurant when he was 27 and was very successful. People were starting to tell Jonathan that he should cut back but he struggled to do so.

 

Jonathan had a meeting with his business partner and his father where he was told that things needed to change, or the partnership was going to end. This is what it took for Jonathan to seek treatment. He went to inpatient treatment for 30 days. While there he went from feeling like this was a temporary change to realizing that he needed it to be long term. He started seeing the similarities with others instead of the differences.

 

Jonathan completed 30 days and continued with outpatient treatment. He made the decision to be transparent with his recovery. He feels that helped him stay accountable and sober.

 

Jonathan’s favorite resource in recovery: I Am Sober app (he likes seeing how much money he has saved).

 

Jonathan’s parting piece of guidance: “Everything that is good in my life today is in my life because alcohol is not.”

 

Recovery Reinvented

 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator

We took the elevator down, we have to take the stairs back up

You can do this.

I love you guys.

 

 

 

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