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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: October, 2023
Oct 30, 2023

Episode 454 – How Can I Do More In My Recovery Community?

 

Today we have Kristan. She is 60 years old and lives in Delaware. She took her last drink on June 3rd, 2019.

 

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

 

[01:34] Highlights from Kris:

 

Today we are continuing the Q & A series and it’s a two for one.

First question, Dale wants to know “How can I do more in my recovery community?”

 

Some traditional responses to this question might AA, or any other group with the word recovery in it. These are great, but Kris shares that we can expand our view to other groups. Church groups, book club, a running club, or a workout group.

 

Sharing can be a great way to get involved within a recovery community. Hearing others share and be vulnerable encourages us to share and be vulnerable too. By being open, you are being of service in your recovery. You never know who you may be helping with your share.

 

Think of the things that you bring to the table, and what you’d like to see your community offer. It could be as simple as organizing an outing to have a meal with other local members or hosting a chat in your online community.

 

Listen to your heart. If you feel that tug to do something, be obedient to that. We have no idea how it could impact our lives, or the lives of other people.

 

Athletic Greens: https://www.athleticgreens.com/recovery

 

[09:25]: Kris introduces Kristan:

 

Kristan is married and has adult kids, she enjoys traveling, participating in triathlons, and hanging out with her sober friends doing fun activities.

 

Kristan grew up in Louisiana and started drinking when she was 12 and partied throughout high school. She graduated from college and moved to Australia for a few years. She moved to DC when she came back and worked as a reporter while enjoying the nightlife. Kristan says that in her profession, drinking was very common, and she surrounded herself with people that drank a lot.

 

Later when she bought a house in Delaware, her and her husband split time between home and DC which left Kristan with a lot of time alone. She started putting rules around her drinking early on which found her frustrated. Her husband doesn’t drink which made her feel like she was being monitored. Kristan never drank during the day but found herself drinking daily at 5pm. Her problem wasn’t obvious to her because she was successful and hadn’t lost anything (yet).

 

Kristan’s drinking came to a head after a long night of drinking with friends where she doesn’t remember the last few hours. She woke up to a text from her daughter stating that she was concerned about her drinking. Kristan decided it was time to quit. A phone call to family member in recovery helped her take the first steps. A few days later she told husband she quit drinking. She started regularly attending AA and got a sponsor, began reading books about recovery and enjoyed listening to podcasts.

 

Kristan was eager to celebrate all of life’s events sober. She says she has a great group of friends that are still fun in sobriety. After quitting, Kristan realizes how much mind space drinking took up. She says the first year was difficult, but she got stronger as she went. Kristan loves being sober. Her relationships with her daughter and husband are the best they have ever been.

 

Kristan’s future plan in sobriety: working on her emotional sobriety.

 

Kristan’s parting piece of guidance: give it a year, surround yourself with sober people.

 

[54:15] Kris answers Bobbie the Awesome’s question regarding NA beverages and shares some personal experiences.

 

Choosing whether to drink them or not is a very personal decision. It's up to you to decide what’s right for you, and it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution if you are nervous about it.

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

 

Oct 23, 2023

Episode 453 - How Would You Describe a “Spiritual Experience” in Recovery?

 

 

Today we have Andy. He is 46 from Washington, DC and took his last drink on August 12th, 2023.

 

If you are struggling to quit drinking alone, check out the private community Café RE.

Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the setup fee!

 

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

 

[02:17] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today’s question is from Liz in the Café RE OG group: “How Would You Describe a “Spiritual Experience” in Recovery? Was it a Bill W. “White Light” or a long series of little twinkles? Somewhere in between? Something else altogether?”

 

We all know there is no right or wrong way to quit drinking, but Paul believes the spirituality component is important, because it connects or reconnects you to the universe or a god of your understanding.

 

For many, a large twinkle of spirituality took place took place near the date of their last drink. Some call this a window of clarity. I’ve heard it been described as “I just knew it was going to be different this time.” Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung called them synchronicities or the breadcrumbs of life.

 

Everyone’s version of spiritual awakening will be different. We just need to be open to the twinkles that can happen all around us.

 

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

 

[11:53]: Paul introduces Andy:

 

Andy took his last drink less than a week before the time of this recording. Andy has moved around a bit while being in the military but currently lives in DC. He is an officer in the Air Force and has been serving for 26 years. He is married and has four kids. He enjoys ultra marathons, gardening, and traveling with his family.

 

Andy grew up around a lot of drinking in the small town he lived in. There was always beer in the house, and he feels it was ingrained in his life. He had his first drink in 8th grade. It was on a grueling camping trip when one of the adults handed him a bottle of booze and told him it would take the edge off. He really enjoyed the feelings he got from it.

 

Andy did well in school both academically and athletically, but the drinking continued. After graduating college, he enlisted in the military. He would stay sober during brief deployments but would start drinking again as soon as he came home. He struggled with missing his military family more than his wife and kids at home.

 

Andy had an opportunity to work at the Embassy in Croatia, so they moved. After a few years Andy and his wife split up and his drinking was out of control. He ended up moving back to the US as a single dad. He was not being as productive at work due to his drinking and often used his being a single dad as an excuse.

 

Andy was able to get sober few times after asking for help. First from a very close friend after a major bout of anxiety and then at another time post relapse from a doctor when he originally went to see them for a sore throat. He says that during these experiences, he felt relief. He started going to AA and stopped fighting that he was unable to casually drink. His wife would attend meetings with him for support. Andy got a very patient sponsor who helped him through the steps. Life started improving a lot for him over this time.

 

After a relapse last Christmas, Andy fell right back into the cycle and was even hiding alcohol again. He considers the five years he had as part of his recovery and plans to get back into AA when he feels ready. He misses how he felt and wants it back.  Andy plans to get back to good habits to help him stay sober, reading books, listening to podcasts, and sharing with his wife.

 

Andy’s favorite resources in recovery: RE podcast, reading, finding someone you can trust to talk to daily.

 

Andy’s parting piece of guidance: hold onto this moment and don’t look too far ahead or too far in the past.

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

 

 

 

Oct 16, 2023

Episode 452 - How Do You Stop Comparing Yourself to Others in Recovery?

 

Today we have Emilee. She is 33 from Double Springs, AL and has been alcohol free since February 26th, 2023.

 

We are in the process of building some incredible events for the upcoming year, to new locations, and types of retreats we have never done before.

 

Our flagship annual retreat in Bozeman, Montana in August, then we are working on an AF travel trip in October 2024 with possible destinations being India, Vietnam, or the Camino de Santiago in Spain. But even before those events, we are working on Two retreats in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Keep an eye out for more info: Recovery Elevator events.

 

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

 

[02:55] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today’s question is from Dale: How do I stop comparing myself to others in Recovery?

 

This is a BIG PICTURE question. An issue that probably didn’t arise when you quit drinking. I’m guessing this is something you have been doing for quite some time.

 

Part of this is healthy. You’ll want to model your sobriety after someone who seems to have done the work, or who has what you want. You’ll want to compare parts of your journey with theirs… But the key is not to have it consume you.

 

Paul shares his thoughts on this topic and reminds us that comparison is all part of the human condition and to know that when one person blooms, we all receive the benefit.

 

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

 

[10:30]: Kris introduces Emilee:

 

Emilee is 33 from Double Springs, AL. She is married and they have one daughter together. For work, she is a high school algebra teacher and for fun she enjoys doing outdoor activities including hunting and fishing and she also enjoys playing the piano, working out and cooking.

 

While growing up, Emilee didn’t have much exposure to alcohol. She says she was always shy growing up and it wasn’t until she was 19 that a boyfriend introduced her to  a group of friends that drank a lot. In that environment, she discovered a different version of herself that was much more outgoing. This went on for a few months, but her drinking decreased for about a year before she went to college.

 

Emilee managed to keep with her studies but when she drank it was always to excess. She was home for the summer when her father suddenly passed away. She had to go back to school very soon after it happened and while she didn’t drink to cope with it, she had a lot of anxiety and was just going through the motions.  

 

After graduating from college, Emilee got married and then got her first teaching job all in a short period of time. While the first year of her new career was very stressful, Emilee started a routine of getting alcohol on the way home from work and drinking throughout the evening. Her husband was also drinking and after a while they both started putting parameters on it. They eventually tried to quit, but that didn’t last, and Emilee started finding herself hiding her drinking and preferring drinking alone.

 

While pregnant, Emilee was able to stop drinking. She remained sober for a few months after having her daughter, but gradually started going back to her old habits. Emilee says she never really dealt with her father’s death so her emotions would come up a lot when she would get drunk.

 

Emilee started feeling the pull to quit drinking. She got a bunch of books and was able to stop for a few days at a time. Listening to the RE podcast would often keep her from stopping at the store for alcohol. Learning the science of what alcohol does to our bodies also helped her quit. Since quitting drinking Emilee feels that her relationships have improved.

 

Emilee’s favorite resources in recovery: RE podcast and Café RE.

 

Emilee’s parting piece of guidance: don’t quit quitting.

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

 

 

 

Oct 9, 2023

Episode 451 – What to Say to Someone Who is About to Drink

 

Today we have Grant. He is 54 from Sacramento, CA and took his last drink on August 10th, 2020.

 

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

 

[02:16] Highlights from Paul:

 

We are five weeks into our Q & A series. This week’s question comes from Sarah C. “What can you say to someone, so they don’t drink?” Or how to help someone not drink.

 

Paul gives us some tried and true methods that work and strategies that the Recovery Elevator team believe in. Here are a few suggestions that Paul shares with us:

 

Tough love does not work, so a tone or stance of unconditional love needs to be present when confronting a friend who is about to drink.

 

Quick note about boundaries. Talking with people that are drunk can be triggering, and little can be done. Ask them to call you in the morning or when they are sober.

 

Being there with your presence, whether it is in person, via the phone or FaceTime, or Zoom, is the best thing you can do to help them. Holding space provides a safe container for the person to feel the feels, sit front and center with a craving and not feel judged or criticized.

 

You can also ask them about their “why”. Having them be clear on their “why” again is never a bad idea. You can also remind them that alcohol has been ruined. Drinking while knowing that alcohol no longer has a place in your life isn’t fun.

 

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

 

[10:48]: Paul introduces Grant:

 

Grant is 54 and lives in Sacramento, CA. He is married and they have two young adult kids. He enjoys hiking and the area he lives in has a lot of nice places he explores. Grant works in research and public policy work in California and now focuses on addiction and recovery.

 

Grant says his first experience with alcohol was when he was 12. A friend had procured a bottle of brandy and they both ended up drinking to the point of going to the hospital. He drank through junior high and high school with a group of friends on weekends. The drinking continued in college, and he started trying other substances as well. Grant says there weren’t many consequences.

 

When Grant was in his 30’s after they had children, he found that alcohol helped him take the stress off. He quickly switched from beer to vodka that was easier to hide. He was succeeding at work which stressed him out more than he realized. He says it took some time but eventually he was drinking in the morning just to feel normal.

 

In 2019 someone from HR confronted Grant about smelling of alcohol and he told them that he was an alcoholic. He couldn’t admit it to his wife initially but started looking for outpatient treatment. He was able to quit for a time but relapsed after a painful experience with work which found him resigning and taking a new job with a pay cut. At this point Grant had joined Café RE and left home for a little while to live in a sober living house. He learned a lot while he was there and realized that he was going to have to do things differently.

 

After sober living, Grant started a home breathalyzer program to help him stay motivated. A meetup with fellow Café RE members gave Grant another turning point and realized that he was on the right path.

 

In recovery, Grant started volunteering with a non-profit in the addiction and recovery field. He also started listening to another recovery podcast where he shared information about addiction and recovery. He left to work for the non-profit called Shatterproof which helps people find treatment and recovery with their Treatment Atlas. Grant also has his own website about addiction and recovery – Sober Linings Playbook.

 

[53:19] Paul closes the episode with a poem from Peter, a Café RE member.

 

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Recovery Elevator

It all starts from the inside out.

I love you guys.

 

 

 

Oct 2, 2023

Episode 450 – What are Alcohol Withdrawals Like in the First Week?

 

Today we have Sarah. She is 46 and lives in Buckhannon, WV. Sarah has been alcohol free since December 15, 2022.

 

Our latest Ditching The Booze course begins tonight at 7:30pm EDT/4:30pm PDT and it is not too late to register. 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 and it is free for Café RE members.

 

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

 

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

 

[02:23] Highlights from Paul:

 

We are four weeks into our ten-episode Q & A series and today’s question is “what are alcohol withdrawals like in the first week?” This question as asked by Robyn in Café RE Blue.

 

The answer to this is going to depend on how much you drink on a daily or nightly basis and it’s not a one size fits all answer.

 

I highly recommend detoxing under medical supervised care if you consume more than 6-8 drinks daily and have been doing so for several months or years. Quitting cold turkey can be life threatening. 72 hours is the magic number. Once you hit this number, the worst of the physical components are behind you.

 

Paul shares some tips for navigating the first week and shares some of the changes our bodies go through. The whole withdrawal process from one week to several months has a term called PAWS or post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Check out the YouTube video Paul did about this.

 

Thank you, Robyn, for the question, if you want a question answered on the podcast, send your questions to info@recoveryelevator.com.

 

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

 

[13:41]: Kris introduces Sarah:

 

Sarah currently lives in West Virginia, works in higher learning, and has two daughters and three stepchildren. For fun Sarah enjoys arts and crafts, DIY things, and enjoys plants.

 

In high school, Sarah did not drink but grew up around a lot of drinking by her extended family. She never saw anything negative about it. In her early twenties she joined the Air Force where drinking is prevalent. At one point she had a few friends approach her about her drinking to which Sarah took offense. Over the course of the next several years she continued to drink the same way. Despite small consequences, she didn’t feel like she had a problem.

 

Around 10 years ago she and her husband were in counseling. She stated in a session that she needed some help and went to rehab after which she was able to stay sober briefly. Sarah says she got a lot out of her time in rehab. For a short period of time Sarah was able to drink moderately, but it increased after a series of negative life events. She started noticing the negative side effects of heavy drinking physically and emotionally.

 

When Sarah got sober this time, she knew she needed to join a community, and someone recommended Café RE to her. She has made great friends since being there and feels like this time in sobriety has been easy and she earned for it to be.

 

Sarah’s plan for recovery moving forward: to keep doing the work, attend more chats and start thinking about how to serve others.

 

Sarah’s parting piece of guidance: talk about it and reach out with others that have similar experiences.

 

[59:20] Kris’ closing:

 

One last reminder that Thursday October 5th is the Recovery Reinvented conference. In person and online attendance is 100% free.

Fall is here and Kris is ready for it. He reminds us all to get out there and play. Do all the fall things. Slow down, take a breath, and enjoy the moment you are in.

 

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

I love you guys.

 

 

 

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