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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: January, 2024
Jan 29, 2024

Episode 467 – A Good Cry

 

 

Today we have Andrea. She is 47 years old and lives in Phoenix, AZ. She took her last drink on November 9th, 2021.

 

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

 

[02:12] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul shares a quote with us that says, “decide what life you want to live and say no to everything else”.  This same quote can be applied to your thoughts. 

 

What comes to mind after reading this quote is the word “purge”. Saying no and letting go of things that don’t fit the life we want to live isn’t easy, but it is healthy and so is crying.

 

Emotional tears have many health benefits. They contain stress hormones and other toxins. Researchers have theorized that crying flushes these toxins out of your system.

A good cry also activates the parasympathetic nervous system which sends signals of calm and restoration to the body. In addition to this, crying dulls pain and releases oxytocin and endorphins. It is a way for the body to find a new emotional balance. A much better way than using alcohol.

 

If you're finding emotions hard to deal with in sobriety then give the body permission to purge them out in the form of tears. Go ahead and lean into the millions of years of universal intelligence the body possesses and have a good cry.

 

Café RE – use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the setup fee.

 

[09:28] Paul introduces Andrea:

 

Andrea is 47 years old and lives near Phoenix. She has four children, two grandchildren and a Great Pyrenees. She works with people with substance abuse disorders and is working on a master’s in social work. For fun she enjoys jogging, hiking, DIY projects and documentaries.

 

Andrea and her family moved around a lot when she was going up which made it hard for her to keep friends. She had her first drink shortly after she discovered that her father was cheating on her mother. She felt the calming effects the first time and drank every change she could get during her teens.

 

Andrea started bartending when she was 19. This found her drinking a lot after work which was creating some issues in her marriage. She was able to abstain from alcohol during all of her pregnancies but would drink as soon as she could after.

 

The alcohol was creating issues in the marriage and when Andrea was 22, she went to rehab but didn’t stay quit after leaving. A few years later she lost her mother to cancer and Andrea says that’s the first time she drank to numb pain rather than just a socialization tool.

 

The first consequence Andrea had was losing her nursing license after an arrest. When they were about to extend her probationary period where she could not drink without hiding it, she decided she didn’t want to do it and turned in her license. Her heavy drinking would continue throughout her 20’s and 30’s.

 

After her divorce when she was 41, Andrea did start exploring whether or not she had a drinking problem. She was beginning to see the consequences to her health and was realizing she didn’t want this to be her legacy. She was gradually able to stack days together and eventually reached 90 days where she kept on going. The first year found Andrea continuing to read quit lit, listen to podcasts and attend a few AA meetings.

 

Her decision to work on her relationships after year one was cut short when she lost a daughter to a drunk driving accident. Instantly she reached out to some sober friends to help her keep from drinking. Andrea feels that her sobriety has been a gift throughout this and helped her be there for her other children and grandchildren.

 

Andrea has been attending AA, going to school, and making new friends in social situations she would have avoided in the past. Giving back is important to Andrea as she pursues her master’s in social work.

 

Andrea’s favorite sobriety resources: podcasts, quit lit, The Phoenix

 

Andrea’s parting piece of guidance: the sooner you ditch the booze, the sooner you can start living.

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

Jan 22, 2024

Episode 466 – What Should I Do Now?

 

 

Today we have Rick. He is 46 years old and lives in New Hampshire. He took his last drink on September 9th, 2023.

 

This Saturday, January 27th we start our six-week alcohol-free ukulele course. We meet for six weeks with a group of rock stars exploring life without alcohol, and who want to learn a new hobby in recovery.

 

This course is brought to you by Kala Brand. If you need to pick up a ukulele, click the link and use the promo code ELEVATOR24 for a discount.

 

The collaboration between Go Brewing and Recovery Elevator is here! Pick up your limited edition RE Sunbeam Pils, using the code elevator at checkout for 15% off and free shipping on orders overt $40.

 

[02:45] Ponderings from Kris:

 

For many of us on this journey, we start in a survival state of mind. The early days are filled with some basic life skills. How do I not drink when I get home from work? How do I handle conflict with people in my life? What do I do when I’m bored, stressed, sad, angry, or how am I supposed to celebrate? Kris reminds us that it is normal to focus on these things.

 

After a while there is a shift to “what’s next?”. Recovering people before us have figured out that in order to keep what we have found in recovery; we have to give it away.

 

We have had our struggles, and some of us have been through some really challenging situations that led up to, or as a result of our alcohol usage, but we don’t have to let that keep us down! Who is better equipped to talk to someone struggling with substance abuse than a peer that has been through the same thing?

 

Kris feels that there is something beautiful about taking the dark parts of our lives and using it to bring light to someone in need. You are more than your story. You are more than the dark times. You are a walking example of hope. You are proof that the courage to change exists.

 

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

 

[11:07] Kris introduces Rick:

 

Rick is 46 and lives in New Hampshire. He has been married to his wife for 19 years and they have three daughters. He works for a family car business. He enjoys cooking, spending time with his kids, and playing games.

 

Rick says his first experience drinking alcohol was when he was in France on a singing tour in high school. He recalls feeling very sick on the 7-hour bus ride across Europe the next day. Beyond a few other times at parties, Rick didn’t really drink much after that until college.

 

Having his first taste of freedom his freshman year, the focus was on partying and drinking. Rick says that after that it was the traditional drinking that is often part of the college experience.

 

When Rick started working in the family business, that’s when he says his drinking went from being on the weekends to drinking daily after work. Over time it progressed, and his wife would occasionally mention that it seemed like he was having a little too much. He would back off for a bit but never had the intention of quitting forever. He tried a lot of moderation techniques that didn’t work, and he would end up feeling bad about himself.

 

Over the last few years Rick has been listening to podcasts, quit lit and joined sobriety support pages online. He feels that listening to other people’s stories has helped him a lot. After a comment from his wife that made him look differently at his drinking, he decided to try and quit again. Changing his perspective and sharing his recovery with his wife gave him a sense of relief. Finding connections in recovery communities and with a local friend that is in recovery as well, has solidified his resolve.

 

Rick’s plan for sobriety moving forward: Stay engaged in community, join CafĂ© RE chats and check in daily on the Stop Drinking subreddit. Maybe host  a chat to give back.

 

Rick’s favorite resources in recovery: podcasts, audiobooks

 

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

Jan 15, 2024

Episode 465 – Drink Responsibly?

 

 

Today we have Kevin. He is 44 years old and lives in Cleveland, OH. He took his last drink on April 28th, 2018.

 

I want to give a shout out to our DRY January REstore cohort. We’re 1/2 way there, you all are doing a fantastic job, I’ll see you all tonight.

 

On January 27th we start our six-week alcohol-free ukelele course. This course is brought to you by Kala Brand.

 

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

 

[03:09] Thoughts from Paul:

 

One of the main goals at Recovery Elevator is to soften the stigma surrounding alcohol addiction and recovery. Another goal is to give listeners permission to shred the shame and recover our authentic selves along the way.

 

The phrase “Drink Responsibly” is such a cop out and doesn’t do anything but place blame on the drinker. Alcohol is the most addictive drug on the planet, and you won’t see other drugs proclaiming that you use the substance responsibly. We can do the “Drink Responsibly” thing way better and at the same time bring more people together in community from both sides of the aisle to heal.

 

A favorite NA beverage company of Paul’s, GO Brewing and Recovery Elevator have partnered up to release 180 six packs of their award-winning Sunbeam Pilsner. GO Brewing was started by a fellow member in the recovery space, Joe Chura. This is two companies who have a similar goal, uniting, in attempts to shred the shame around alcohol addiction.

 

Pick up your limited edition RE Sunbeam Pils, use the code elevator at checkout for 15% off and free shipping on orders over $40.

 

Andrew Huberman – What Alcohol Does to Your Body, Brain & Health

 

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

 

[10:20] Paul introduces Kevin:

 

Kevin is 44 years old and lives in Cleveland area, he is the head of coaching for the Reframe app and a former accountant. Kevin is married and for fun he enjoys attending his daughter’s sporting events, reading and just relaxing when he isn’t working.

 

Kevin says his drinking began in college where he was in a fraternity and played sports. His drinking transferred into his career where there was a lot of stress, happy hours, and deadline parties where binge drinking was a way to socialize.

 

Kevin and his wife got married when he was 23 and had their daughter when he was 27. His drinking increased as a way to cope with the high stress of his career. After some blood work found him diagnosed with fatty liver, he tried moderation and different attempts at taking breaks from alcohol.

 

Without much success at controlling his drinking on his own, Kevin eventually decided to look into therapy with his wife’s support. He developed a journaling practice and would talk with his therapist while working on quitting and made it 60 days. 

 

Several work and life events found Kevin trying to moderate the drinking again. He made the decision to commit to 61 days and then continued to extend the timeline. Kevin was reading a lot and listening to podcasts. His therapist helped him a lot as well. He started an Instagram page for himself, but after some time decided to go public and share more. He got a lot of positive feedback which fueled him to try and start recovery coaching. He became involved with Reframe app soon after.

 

Kevin’s best sober moment: his first sober concert with his daughter.

 

Kevin’s parting piece of guidance: practice. Find a platform that resonates with you and keep practicing.

 

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Recovery Elevator

Go big, because eventually we all go home.

I love you guys.

Jan 8, 2024

Episode 464 – Doing Something Different

 

 

Today we have Danielle. She is 34 years old and lives in Northern Ontario. She took her last drink on August 20th, 2023.

 

On January 27th we start our six-week alcohol-free ukelele course. This course is brought to you by Kala Brand.

 

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

 

[03:22] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul shares the history of Recovery Elevator, how launching the podcast gave him accountability and how the listeners helped it expand over the last 464 consecutive weeks.

 

The big message he wants to share here, however, is that if you are going to quit drinking or are seeking an alcohol-free life then you’re going to have to do something different. Probably something very different than what you’re currently trying. And it doesn’t have to suck.

 

You 100% can ditch the booze, and we are here to help. But do yourself a favor join Café RE, go to an AA meeting, check out Smart Recovery, take a sober ukulele class. There are more recovery pathways today than there ever have been, and we feel there is no right or wrong way to quit drinking.

 

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

 

[10:54] Kris introduces Danielle:

 

Danielle just passed the 100-day mark at the time of recording. She is 34 and is married with two cats and two dogs. She lives in Northern Ontario, and she is self employed as a copywriter and website designer. She enjoys hiking, paddleboarding, reading, yoga and lots of writing.

 

Danielle says she started experimenting in high school around age 15. She wanted to be part of the crowd but as an introvert found it exhausting and preferred connecting with small groups at the parties. In college, she leaned more onto weed which she feels helped with her sleep and anxiety issues.

 

She met her now husband when she was 22. They were living in Australia for a time and up until this point Danielle was just smoking and drinking socially. Her husband was a daily drinker and Daneille started drinking wine when they would travel.

 

After moving back home, they made friends with their neighbors and would spend time after work drinking with them. She was drinking at home, drinking with the neighbors, and drinking at the farm where she had her horse. Her life revolved around when and where she could drink but she typically only felt comfortable drinking at home with close friends.

 

After a new job and a move to a smaller town, Danielle thought that the change in environment would help her cut back on her bad habits. She found the change isolated, and after her office closed, she was forced to work remotely. She and her husband were drinking earlier in the day. Throughout this time, they had good times but there began to be fights and behavior changes for both of them. Drinking was becoming less and less enjoyable and they found themselves talking more and more about what life would be like without alcohol.

 

Her journey to recovery found her listening to podcasts and starting to write about what she wanted to get out of quitting drinking. After a while, they both decided to join Café RE. One day Daneille and her accountability partner were talking about journaling and came up with the idea of a writing course to share with the RE community. Danielle says that using that as a form of service really helped her with her own recovery.

 

Danielle’s unexpected positives of ditching the booze: losing the anxiety she had for many years. The community she has gained in recovery.

 

Danielle’s favorite resources in recovery: podcasts, quit lit, chats in the community, journaling.

 

Danielle’s parting piece of guidance: you can’t shame yourself out of the addiction.

 

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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.

Jan 1, 2024

Episode 463 – Addicted to not Being Addicted

 

 

Today we have Zach. He is 34 years old and lives in Richmond, VA. He took his last drink on July 18th, 2023.

 

Our Dry January course RESTORE starts tonight, so get your register on, and join us at 8 PM EST for our first live session later this evening.

 

On January 27th we start our six-week alcohol-free ukelele course. This course is brought to you by Kala Brand.

 

Check out our sponsor Go Brewing. Use the code ELEVATOR for 15% off.

 

[04:14] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Today we are talking about change.

Research suggests that only 9% of people that make New Years resolutions complete them. Many quit well before February even starts. The main reason that these resolutions fail is our energies swing all the way to one side of the spectrum. In other words, we are out of balance.

 

With drinking, we find ourselves addicted to alcohol. Then the mind comes up with the idea that we need to not be addicted to alcohol, then we become addicted to the idea of not being addicted. This is equally out of balance. So that’s the word I want to plant with you today as we begin the new year is balance. On our sobriety journey, we cannot fight, or go to battle with an alcohol addiction.

 

So, in terms of quitting drinking and not going overboard in the theatre of war against yourself, let’s keep it simple. All you have to today is one thing, that is not pick up a drink. Are we quitting for a lifetime? God no. That would be out of balance. We are only quitting for today.

 

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

 

[10:36] Paul introduces Zach:

 

Zach was originally from California but currently lives in Richmond, VA. He has two sons who live nearby with their mother. He is a technical writer for the federal government. He enjoys the gym and spending time outdoors.

 

Zach grew up in a home where alcohol wasn’t very present. He attended a small college where it wasn’t very prevalent either. He took his first drink after finishing college and was a normal drinker throughout his 20’s.

Drinking didn’t become a problem for Zach until he was laid off of a job and his mental health started suffering. He was processing things from childhood and started having panic attacks and his sleep was an issue. He started drinking to help him sleep but over time it progressed to a daily habit.

 

Zach says he got a wake-up call when he and his wife split up. He was able to get a few months of sobriety, but he ended up back drinking after the divorce was finalized. He had relocated for a new job and didn’t know anyone. He had too much free time to drink heavily when he wasn’t spending time with his kids.

 

Zach was drinking at work and ended up having a meeting with HR where he finally told someone he had a problem. While he felt relieved to share this, he still struggled to quit and eventually lost the job. After his lease was up, he moved out of state to stay with some friends that were going to help him get back on his feet.

 

When he relapsed while the friends were out of town, Zach ended up trying Antabuse to help him quit drinking once and for all. He attended rehab and then went to sober living. After a while he decided he needed to move back closer to his kids and was able to find a place in Richmond with the help of a friend in recovery.

 

Zach tried a few different recovery modalities, but AA ended up working best for him. He got a sponsor who he has spoken to every day since they met. His sponsor has helped him realize that he cannot return to drinking. Zach is starting to see the benefits of not drinking, both physically and mentally. Community has been vital to Zach and his recovery.

 

Zach’s favorite resources: an app called The Big Book, and the RE podcast while at the gym.

 

Zach’s strategy to beat a craving:  a walk and a phone call.

 

 

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Recovery Elevator

It all starts from the inside out.

I love you guys.

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