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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: December, 2023
Dec 25, 2023

Episode 462 – To Have is to Give

 

 

Today we have Tana. She is 44 years old and lives in Washington State. She took her last drink on July 30th, 2020.

 

Registration for our DRY January course RESTORE is now open! It’s time to get your alcohol-free connect on and say adios to the booze. Our first session is Monday, January 1st at 5 pm PST or 8 pm EST.  The most common issue I hear is that people don’t have a network of others who don’t drink. Well, Our Restore is going to solve that and you’re going to learn all about alcohol, alcohol addiction, and how to beat it.

 

Paul shares an article where scientists say the mystery of how red wine headaches occur may be solved. Paul’s opinion is that it’s a waste of time, but here’s the link for curiosity’s sake.

 

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

 

[03:40] Thoughts from Paul:

 

In 1935, A.A. Founder Bill W, found that when he shared his experience, strength and hope to another individual who was struggling with alcohol, then Bill magically had the strength to remain sober. It shows the universal law of “to give is to have”.

 

Today I give you the message of Merry Christmas. To plant the seed, that to give is to have. To have is to give. Most of us have learned a way, or path that didn’t work. Or maybe it kind of worked but was or is incredibly painful. For me, this path required numbing agents, alcohol being the most potent one.

Now I know there are a couple thousand of you who listen to this podcast first thing on Monday morning when the episodes are released. Fantastic. How blessed I am to get you ear first thing in the morning. Ask not what Santa, or your family can give to you, but ask what you can give to them.

 

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

 

[00:00] Kris introduces Tana:

 

Tana is from Washington state, and she works in healthcare and recently has found a new passion for teaching yoga. She has three children, two who have recently graduated college and a 10-year-old daughter. She recently separated from her husband. She enjoys backpacking, hiking, running and dance.

 

Tana and her siblings were raised by her father who recently passed away. Their mother was an alcoholic, and Tana knew from an early age that she was suffering. Her exposure to alcohol was limited to family members drinking socially.

 

When Tana was a teenager some home changes found her moving in with her mother. At this point she was exposed to her mother’s addictions firsthand and over time it made her depressed and wanting to rebel, so she began smoking cigarettes, but not really drinking. She moved out at 17 to start her own life.

 

After starting her own life, Tana had two children and got married. Over time she realized the relationship wasn’t good, so she left and just focused on her kids. Her only addiction issues were the cigarettes which she went to great lengths to hide out of shame.

 

A few years later, Tana remarried and when she was pregnant with her third child, she quit smoking, and her husband encouraged her to quit for good. Tana found running to be a good replacement for smoking, but after her daughter got older, she would no longer have time to run. Her drinking became her tool to cope.

 

Tana started to feel shame about her drinking and questioning it. She started listening to podcasts and discovering books that she thought may help her break the cycle and become the best mom she could be. When AA didn’t feel like a good fit, Tana found community in Café RE. She finally felt safe to be herself, make friends, attend meetups, and enjoys giving back to others.

 

Tana’s plan in recovery moving forward: keep learning and growing.

 

Tana’s parting piece of guidance: it’s different for all of us. It takes what it takes and for each of us that looks a little different. Just don’t give up – never quit quitting.

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

Dec 18, 2023

Episode 461 - Wait, You Drink Poison?

 

 

Today we have Gill. She’s 33 years old from Lexington, MA and took her last drink on November 9th, 2019.

 

Update from Ryan H on episode 457 – “I’m going on two weeks now and I’m definitely starting to notice a difference in my mood, digestive issues and weight.”

 

Registration for our intensive DRY January course RESTORE is now open! It’s time to get your alcohol-free connect on and say adios to the booze. The most common issue I hear is that people don’t have a network of others who don’t drink. Well, Our Restore is going to solve that and you’re going to learn a ton about alcohol, alcohol addiction, and how to beat it.

 

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

 

[03:02] Intro:

 

Paul shares two Instagram accounts that will help you on your sobriety journey:

 

Drop the Bottle  - all about sobriety and ditching the booze.

 

A.L.A.D.D.I.N – not about sobriety, but it is entertaining and when it’s creator shares his art with the world, it gives others permission to do the same.

 

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

 

[08:22] Paul introduces Gill:

 

Gill is 33 and lives right outside of Boston, MA. She has a husband and a cat. She loves playing video games, going to concerts and travelling. She teaches chemistry courses and labs at a college in Boston. She is also the host of the Sober Powered podcast.

 

Gill says she didn’t start drinking until grad school. She didn’t have opportunities in high school because she was bullied and didn’t hang out with people that drank. She started because she feared that if she didn’t then no one would like her. Once she tried it a few times and got her first buzz, she enjoyed it so much it became a regular thing for her.

 

Gill started having repercussions from drinking early on. She didn’t know her limits, had frequent opportunities to drink and would end up getting sick and having blackouts. Gill thought all of this was normal and that everyone drank like her. Gill says that her performance in school started suffering and there was multiple drink fueled fights with her boyfriend (who is now her husband).

 

Gill ended up leaving program and decided to start teaching instead. She learned that drinking helped with the stress she experienced while teaching. Over time she switched from wine to vodka to save money. Her tolerance increased, and she started struggling with hangovers at work.

 

Trying to moderate and make rules around her drinking was frustrating for Gill. People didn’t want her to quit and when she would bring it up others would downplay it and tell her she was fine.

 

Gill’s depression was getting worse, and she started waking up with uncontrollable anxiety often. Once she began having suicidal thoughts, she got scared. Gill decided to take a break for 90 days to lower her tolerance and thought she would be cured. During that time her suicidal thoughts and anxiety lessened. She completed the 90 days and started drinking again and the consequences quickly followed.

 

After her last rule was compromised, she realized she had to accept that she had to let alcohol go indefinitely. While it was scary at first, Gill says she also felt a sense of peace.

 

Gill didn’t think she needed meetings when she first quit but doesn’t recommend people try to do it alone.  After the pandemic started, Gill found she had the time to go to therapy, she started listening to podcasts, and doing a lot of research on the science around alcohol addictions. She wanted to share what she had learned with others, so she started her own podcast: Sober Powered.

 

Gill’s advice for the holidays: you don’t have to go to everything if you are worried that you’re going to drink or that you can’t stay sober, don’t go.

 

Gill’s go-to tool to get past a craving: walking, rage walking.

 

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Recovery Elevator

I love you guys.

Go big because eventually we’ll all go home.

 

 

 

Dec 11, 2023

Episode 460 – The Friends We Keep

 

 

Today we have Kerry. She’s 40 years old from Williston, ND and took her last drink on January 7th, 2016.

 

Shoutout to our CafĂ© RE chat hosts!  Thank you for your dedication to the community, and for providing a space for us to share our experiences. You’re the best!

 

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

 

[01:29] Highlights from Kris:

 

It’s important that we surround ourselves with people who are going to enrich our lives. People who will meet us where we are, but also challenge us and encourage us to grow.

 

Kris shares some examples of great friends he has in his life and shares an article that outlines Five Types of Friends – friends we need and need to be.

 

Take a look at the people you have in your life. Do you think you have someone that fits in each of these categories? When was the last time you let them know what they mean to you? Use this as a reminder to tell someone you love them, and that you’re grateful for them.

 

If you find yourself today, feeling like YOU’RE alone, I promise you that you’re not. You’re people are out there.

 

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

 

[10:15] Kris introduces Kerry:

 

Kerry and her partner live in Williston, ND and are raising four kids. She recently decided she was going to become a firefighter which stemmed from being an EMT and a nurse. She enjoys spending time with the kids and they are currently rebuilding a boat.

 

Kerry was exposed to alcohol throughout her childhood but didn’t really have any great interest in it. She feels that she was a people pleaser and didn’t want to get in trouble until senior year when she decided she could let loose and have some fun before going to college. She found alcohol gave her relief from the stressors in her life.

 

Going into college she and her friends were party seekers. She had excelled so much academically that she felt she could relax and have fun and not worry about responsibilities. Her idea of an addict was her dad who wasn’t obvious about it. She didn’t have the consequences he did so she didn’t feel she had any problems.  When she was 19 her parents put her into rehab because of drug use. While she was there the counselors recognized that her bigger issue was drinking. Kerry didn’t listen and continued to drink after leaving treatment.

 

Kerry’s parents got a divorce and she had moved back home. She used any excuse to drink to not deal with things. She was having consequences like DUIs and broken relationships. At the time Kerry was working with her mom at a family business where happy hours and daily drinking after work were part of the daily landscape.

 

Looking for a change, Kerry a boyfriend moved to Alaska and started a family. The drinking slowed down, but after that relationship ended and they shared custody of the kids, Kerry found herself going back to drinking.

 

After moving back to North Dakota, she continued to use drinking to self-medicate. People didn’t realize it because she was so good at taking care of other people and being a problem solver. Over time the drinking was getting heavier and heavier, and Kerry tried to create parameters to control it.

 

She tried quitting for a while but when she tested the waters again, she had consequences including another DUI where she realized she needed to get help to quit completely. She joined Lion Rock Recovery, which was all online, so she didn’t need to leave her family for treatment. It helped her focus on the reason she drank and deal with her mental health and gave her tools to use after the program ended.

 

Kerry’s plan in recovery moving forward: keep learning, keep doing crazy things like firefighting and getting more involved with recovery service.

 

Kerry’s parting piece of guidance: there isn’t a roadmap, and if one thing doesn’t work, you can try another.

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

 

 

Dec 7, 2023

Now the Holidays have been coupled with alcohol for as long as the Earth has been orbiting the Sun. I’m kidding, that isn’t correct, but you get the point. And if you’re struggling with alcohol or trying to get sober, the holidays can be the ultimate challenge. This episode should help. 

 

In this Holiday Collab Episode, we’ve got Gill from the Sober Powered Podcast. Casey from the Hello Someday Podcast, and Veronica from the Soberful Podcast. 

Dec 4, 2023

Episode 459 – Let’s Smile

 

 

Today we have Spencer. He’s 44 years old from Minneapolis, MN and took his last drink on September 23rd, 2023.

 

Registration for RESTORE is no open!  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

 

[02:04] Highlights from Paul:

 

Start your day with a smile. It doesn’t matter if the smile is fake or real. The body doesn’t know the difference and the nervous system always responds positively with a smile.

 

Smiling increases mood-enhancing hormones. Smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin, while decreasing stress-enhancing hormones, including cortisol, and adrenaline. It also reduces overall blood pressure.

 

Another reason to smile is that research shows that smiles are contagious. Most people will find a way to reciprocate in a friendly manner. Smiling is a way to be of service because it makes other people’s days better.

 

Spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has said “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." 

 

Start your day with a 30 -second smile. And not for just one day or two,

but rock that smile every morning for the rest of this year and hopefully beyond. And don't forget to keep that smile going throughout the day.

 

Paul shares some dad jokes to help get us started.

 

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

 

[08:04] Paul introduces Spencer:

 

Spencer grew up in Minneapolis area. He is married with two kids. He enjoys playing blues and rock on his guitar and spending time on the river with his family. Spencer has been an electrician for 23 years.

 

Spencer says that alcohol was a big part of his family’s life while he was growing up. Both of his parents drank, and every event was centered around alcohol. Spencer didn’t try alcohol until he was around 15. He had a friend who’s parent worked nights, so their house became a party house and drinking happened frequently.

 

Spencer got married young and they both drank heavily. They had a daughter together and eventually they ended up getting a divorce. At the time Spencer blamed a lot of the issues on his ex. Once she moved out Spencer had some friends move in and says the drinking became daily and he was losing jobs. He eventually started having financial issues and lost his house.

 

It was shortly after he started dating a woman that didn’t drink like him that he realized that drinking might be a problem for him. He didn’t really make any changes until the birth of his son when he began to try moderating and added rules around his drinking.

 

Things were going well for Spencer and then he got a call from his son’s mother that she was a heroin addict. He ended up having to get custody of him and knew he had to stop drinking for his son. He was able to quit for a while but gradually let drinking slip back in.

 

Spencer was able to quit for a few years and started recognizing how big of an issue alcohol had been for him. He knew he wanted to quit but wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to do it.

 

New activities have replaced drinking for Spencer. He is working on his relationships with his kids and has been talking to them about alcohol and the issues within the family. Spencer is open about his sobriety with others. He listens to a lot of podcasts about addiction and enjoys online AA meetings and has plans to do the steps. Spencer knows how important connection will be going forward.

 

Spencer’s parting piece of guidance: If you think you have a problem, find someone that’s sober to talk about it, listen to podcasts, get connected.

 

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Recovery Elevator

Remember Rule 22, keep those smiles going. Lighten up.

I love you guys.

 

 

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