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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: November, 2023
Nov 27, 2023

Episode 458 – A Big Win

 

 

Today we have Mike. He is 44 from Huntsville, AL and took his last drink on April 10th, 2023.

 

Registration for RESTORE opens this Friday!  If you want to take a break for a month, or say adios for good, this course is for you. You’re going to learn all about alcohol addiction, what it is, what it isn’t, how to beat cravings, you’ll learn about many different recovery pathways, and the best part is you won’t be doing this alone.

 

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

 

[02:42] Highlights from Paul:

 

Paul shares how releasing his first album is a huge win for him and that the listeners are a big part of making it happen.

 

Something commonly heard when people quit drinking is “what is going to fill the void?”.

We have to rediscover likes and interests. Part of the journey is trying out new hobbies. Sometimes it takes a while to find out what we like to do though, so be patient with  your healing.

 

If you want to hear the outro song and the full album under the name of Pablo Church, you can check it out on Spotify, or search your preferred music streaming service.


What dreams, goals, aspirations, did you have that alcohol stifled like a wet soggy blanket. What did alcohol bump down on your list of personal goals? What do you want in life now that alcohol is no longer in the front seat? Take a moment to ponder these questions, maybe hit pause in this episode, put pen to paper and get clear on what you want. Paul and the RE community are here to help you make it happen.

 

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

 

[07:18] Kris introduces Mike:

 

Mike lives in Huntsville, AL and works in construction. He is married and they have five kids. He enjoys attending his kids’ sporting events and being outside and active.

 

Mike grew up in a conservative home. His father had a history of rebellion and his mother lost both parents to alcoholism when she was young, so they chose to keep alcohol out of the home.

 

Mike first tried alcohol on New Year’s Eve when he was in 8th grade while at a friend’s house. He started to associate alcohol with having a good time but didn’t drink much during high school even though his friends did. Mike was a people pleaser both at home and with his friends. He feels this tendency drove him to start drinking and smoking pot to fit in with everyone.

 

Mike went to one semester of college and decided it wasn’t for him. After some consequences from his drinking, he ended up moving back home and working construction. He was still drinking and smoking but trying to make better choices.

 

When Mike met his wife, they decided to make some changes. They quit drinking and smoking and started becoming more active in the church community. When the job market started changing in Michigan, they moved to Alabama where Mike was offered a new job.

 

After a while, Mike decided to quit his job and start his own construction business. That was going well but Mike found that managing the business instead of doing the labor was very different and more stressful. As time when on his drinking gradually increased and since everyone else was drinking, he could justify it. Over time he was drinking before, during and after work. His wife discovered the stash in his office and that’s when Mike said he would quit. For a few months, he found himself hiding his drinking and trying to drink less, which didn’t work.

 

Mike eventually sought outpatient treatment and tried that for a while before his counselor told him he had to do more. Mike was resistant to trying AA but once he did he was able to start making some changes and getting help to stay sober.

 

Mike’s plan in sobriety moving forward: to make the most of the time he has left.

 

Mike’s parting piece of guidance: today is just a day and time takes time.

 

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

I love you guys.

 

 

Nov 20, 2023

Episode 457 – What if I Can’t Quit Drinking?

 

Today we have Ryan. He’s 33 years old from Orange County, NY and took his last drink on September 24th, 2023.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all the listeners in the USA! Be sure to take some time this week and let the universe know what you are thankful for and remember a drink won’t make your holiday any better.

 

Athletic Greens

 

[02:42] Highlights from Paul:

 

It’s the last Q&A episode and today’s question is from Darren in Tampa Bay who asks, “What if I can’t quit drinking?”

 

Paul shares that he could have asked this same question not that long ago and his message to Darren and others that maybe feeling this way is to keep moving forward, don’t quit quitting, keep using the mind to build, to visualize your alcohol-free life. Accept it all, embrace the journey, and you will come out the other side.

 

Paul rephrases the question to ask, “what if I can’t quit drinking today?” and shares some thoughts and strategies to implement which include:

 

-       It isn’t quitting for a lifetime, it’s only for today and it gets easier.

-       Don’t beat yourself up. People with drinking problems drink but on the flip side people with drinking problems quit every day.

-       Stick to the plan of seeking sobriety. “What you seek is seeking you”.

-       For many, it is a journey, and it takes time for things to get into sync. You don’t need to rush the process.

 

 

Thank you, listeners, for all the questions!

 

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

 

[10:44] Paul introduces Ryan:

 

Ryan is on day 5 at the time of this recording. He is 33 years old and is engaged and has two stepchildren. He is a drummer and loves playing metal music and enjoys watching horror movies.

 

Ryan’s relationship with alcohol didn’t begin until he was in his 20’s. His drinking was mostly a few beers sporadically, but he quickly graduated to straight liquor. He started drinking regularly when he was about 23 to cope with stress and depression using alcohol as an escape. It was putting a strain on his relationship at the time, and she

 

Ryan feels he was functional and kept his problem hidden well. There were no rock bottoms for him yet, he was just drowning his feelings and didn’t feel a reason to stop. The industry he worked in found he and his coworkers drinking together after work frequently.

 

Some severe pain in Ryan’s hips and legs found him seeking medical attention. He went to a doctor who he has known for years, and they discovered that Ryan had AVN. This is a condition that doesn’t happen to people in their 20’s so Ryan shared his drinking habits with the doctor who connected the dots quickly.

 

Ryan was able to quit drinking for two years with the help of Campral while he was in recovery from hip replacement surgery. He reflects this was a very positive time in his life. Even after he relapsed, there have been times of abstinence with the assistance of naltrexone but feels he wasn’t working on the underlying issues that caused him to want to drink.

 

Ryan has been trying to figure out his “why”. His depression plays a role in it, he says, but it feels complex. He knows that all alcohol is causing several health issues, but he is working on harm reduction and learning more about what alcohol does to us.  Ryan has the support of his fiancĂ©, his friends and family and utilizes his music to help him cope now.

 

Ryan’s parting piece of guidance: if you think drinking is a problem for you, quitting can be done, it’s not easy but it is simple. Incorporate medications, therapy and a support network.

 

 

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Recovery Elevator

Go big, because eventually we all go home.

I love you guys.

 

 

Nov 13, 2023

Episode 456 – How Do You Overcome Resentments?

 

 

Today we have Nathan. He’s 42 years old and from Andover, MN and took his last drink on April 19th, 2023.

 

On January 1st, 2024, we are starting our intensive sobriety course geared towards the newcomer.  Check out the link to learn more about RESTORE.

 

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

 

[02:01] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today’s question is from Darren A. who asks, “Can you discuss resentment and letting go of resentment?"

 

Life is a school where the people, places, and things are there to help us grow and become deeper human beings. The people we encounter in life are there to help us grow. 

 

The theory is that none of this is happening to you. Remember, that is how a victim speaks. Flip that to believe that everything that has ever happened to you in your life is happening for you, for your own personal growth and development, to make you a more resilient human being.

 

Resentments are the teachers. Yes, they suck, they emotionally and physically hurt, but they are the opportunities for healthy and normal growth.

 

Another strategy is to stop labeling things as good or bad. When a person, place or thing pisses you off, try to recognize the mind immediately slapping a label on it, try to remain open.  We don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. That person who may have recently dogged you may have actually shielded you from a tragedy down the road.

 

 â€śYou can be right, or you can have peace." Paul shares this mantra with us frequently on the podcast. He tries to repeat this mantra when he encounters a difficult life challenge.

 

We want to hear from the listener. How do you overcome resentments? Let us know in our Monday Instagram post on the Recovery Elevator Instagram page.

 

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

 

[08:56] Kris introduces Nathan:

 

Nathan is 42 and lives in Andover, MN. He works in financial operations but was recently laid off.  He is in the process of going through a divorce and has two cats. He enjoys woodworking and building things with hand tools, he also enjoys golf, reading and occasionally writing.

 

Nathan calls himself a late bloomer and hated beer. It was normal to have it around when he was growing up, but his dad drank NA beer. He was a casual drinker through his twenties and thirties.

 

In late 2019 Nathan’s wife was in a car accident related to some health issues. It was a very stressful time for them as his wife was unable to drive and undergoing a lot of testing and Nathan was dealing with a very stressful work project as well.

 

Some health issues drove Nathan to use alcohol to ease his symptoms. His career was stressful, and he and his wife were having communication issues. Nathan didn’t drink every day, but some days were binge sessions. He discovered the amount he could have without too many consequences the next day.

 

After a weekend of binge drinking, Nathan had an experience that felt like he was having a heart attack, and he went to the ER where he realized alcohol was causing the problems. Soon after he was able to admit to his wife that he needed to stop. He went back to the ER and told them that he needed help. After detox, Nathan enrolled in an IOP and connected with a great counselor.

 

It took a few months for Nathan to start feeling physically better and is currently confronting some difficult life situations. He plays the tape forward and continues to work on his recovery despite the strong emotions he is dealing with.

 

Nathan’s favorite resources in recovery: his IOP counselor, the RE podcast and Café RE.

 

Nathan’s parting piece of guidance: make a plan (to avoid relapse), make it really detailed and change it as you need to.

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

 

 

Nov 6, 2023

Episode 455 – How Do You Feel About Ayahuasca and Other Plant Medicines?

 

 

Today we have Chris. He is 40 years old and lives in Austin, TX. He took his last drink on February 16th, 2007.

 

Check out our events page for our lineup of upcoming retreats and courses. Beginning January 1st, RESTORE, our intense Dry January course is back! In February we have another 5-week Ukelele Course. Then in March, we have two events in Costa Rica, and  we’ll see you in Bozeman, Montana in August for our 6th annual retreat in Big Sky Country.

 

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

 

[02:16] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today is episode 9 out of 10 in the Q&A series.

 

Today’s question comes from Krista B, in our Café RE group. She says:

 

“How Paul is feeling about ayahuasca and other plant medicines. Are you still as passionate about its benefits today as a few years ago? Has the treatment worked in a sustained way, in your opinion?”

 

Paul shared his initial experience with ayahuasca in episode 170. He believes that plant medicines have a place in the world of addiction and mental health. Do not buy it on the internet and try it solo; set and setting is everything. There is so much preparation that needs to go into an ayahuasca ceremony and under the right circumstances, it will answer many questions. A big one being why you drink. Paul shares how ayahuasca still impacts his everyday life.

 

While Paul found plant medicine helpful on his journey, he recognizes it’s not for everyone, nor does he think everyone should try plant medicine. If you are interested, please do your own research before trying it.

 

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

 

[11:59] Paul introduces Chris:

 

Chris lives in Austin Texas; he is married with two children aged 8 and 9. He is an entrepreneur and enjoys being creative through many avenues.

 

Chris always felt like an outsider that didn’t belong while he was growing up. His parents divorced when he was young, and he blamed himself and ended up distancing himself from people.  He craved connections and ended up starting drinking with a group of friends. Chris felt like alcohol was the solution to his feelings of not belonging. His drinking increased and over time he lost all those connections that he used alcohol to find and was drinking alone. At age 23 he went to treatment where they helped him recognize that he had some mental health issues, the main ones being social anxiety and depression.

 

Some alumni from the group accepted Chris, helped him go to meetings and then they would all socialize afterwards. He finally felt he was making connections that he had craved all his life.

 

Seeing people that were staying sober and succeeding was a big boost to Chris’ confidence, and he felt like it was possible for him to do the same. His life in sobriety was becoming so great that he never had a desire to go back to drinking.

 

Chris started going to school to become a counselor and immediately started working in the recovery field. He knew it was important to maintain and strengthen his recovery to do the job successfully.

 

Chris started Sans Bar in 2018 as a pop-up bar when there were very few options in the alcohol-free arena. The pop-ups grew, and more and more people were interested in what Chris was doing, mostly through word of mouth. He feels it came along at the right time as the sober curious movement was beginning. Chris says doing this gave him the same feelings that his first sip of booze did – he was forming connections. He feels Sans Bar is for everyone, not just people in recovery.

 

Chris’s favorite resources in recovery: The Luckiest Club, 12 step programs, podcasts.

 

Chris’s parting piece of guidance: you can’t fail. The point of sobriety is not abstinence, it’s growth.

 

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Recovery Elevator

Go big, because eventually we all go home.

I love you guys.

 

 

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