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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: February, 2024
Feb 26, 2024

Episode 471 – Progress and Perfection

 

Today we have Carl. He is 52 years old and lives in California. He took his last drink on August 22nd, 2014.

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

 

[03:08] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Arriving at a perfect balance with progress and perfection is ungodly hard, and we all struggle with it.

 

No one is perfect and if you’re telling yourself, you should be doing more of ABC and less of XYZ, welcome to the party, welcome to the human condition. There is progress though, you are self-aware which is more than 1/2 the battle.

 

We have to have dualities, for example, tall to know short, you need silence to know sound. You have to have imperfection to know perfection. They are both equally important and you can’t have one without the other.

 

So, with progress not perfection, most of us are using someone else’s version of perfection to define ourselves. While your soul is remarkably perfect, this is no perfection in this perfectly imperfect world. Go do you, and remember we are all just walking each other home.

 

Athletic Greens

 

[09:52] Paul introduces Carl:

 

Carl is 52 years old, and he is a graphic artist. Carl admits he didn’t have a lot of fun before recovery but now enjoys writing, painting, drawing, and podcasting. He is the creator of Sober Pod Recovery Podcast.

 

Carl had been in treatment as early as 15 years old and says that even while doing programs, he was essentially a dry drunk. He had other addictions and was able to get sober for five years before a relapse.

 

Carl married his childhood sweetheart who had a child from a previous relationship. Together they had three more children. He says he drank alcoholically and while he was functional, he pushed the limits and was mixing copious amounts of alcohol with other drugs. He would take the online tests and the conclusions would all lead to treatment.

 

Health consequences were happening for Carl, but he resigned myself to being the guy who drinks himself to death.  Towards the end he was able to string a few days together here and there, and since he had been able to quit a heavy meth addiction years earlier in life, he considered himself lucky to just be an alcoholic.

After two years of trying to quit drinking with little success, he joined a Reddit Quit Drinking page and shared some of his story. The feedback he found the next day after posing shared that he was likely doing damage to his family and that stung a little bit. Another person shared with him that he deserved to be happy, and Carl had never felt that way before.

 

Carl had gained 60 days of sobriety and then attended some AA meetings. It wasn’t a new scene for him but this time it was different, and he started going back. He was frustrated, acknowledging that in order to stay sober he was going to have to keep going. He didn’t want to be one of those people, but he decided to give it a try and work on the steps with sponsors.

 

Over time he was starting to feel more connected to the community and doing more service work. Reading became important to Carl, learning more and more about the path he wanted to go on. His creativity suffered initially in sobriety but says it has come back 100-fold. He reflects that AA should be used as a launching pad.

 

Carl’s perspective on the point of life: the meaning of life is to find what you’re good at, the purpose of life is to give it away to others.

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

Feb 19, 2024

Episode 470 – Why Alcoholics Don’t Get Hangovers…?

 

Today we have Lara. She is 40 years old and lives in Northwest Arkansas. She took her last drink on August 8th, 2019.

 

We are putting a call out for early sobriety interviews. We want to hear from you guys. Please email info@recoveryelevator.com.

 

Upcoming events: We start our six-week Ditching the Booze course, the what, the why and the how. This course is for Café RE members only and use the promo code “OPPORTUNITY” to waive the set-up fee if you are interested in joining us.

 

Registration for our 6th annual retreat in Bozeman, Montana opens Monday April 1st. We come together as a group and we laugh, we heal, we eat blueberry pancakes, play kickball, and have a great time.

 

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

 

[04:12] Thoughts from Paul:

 

There was a great question during our Dry January class that asked “Why don’t alcoholics get hangovers?” Paul did a YouTube video about this but wanted to share more here.

 

Truth is, they do get hangovers, but they usually begin drinking before the full amount of alcohol can be metabolized in their system that they drank the day or night before. As tolerance develops with alcohol, the hangover gets pushed back later in the day the next day. A chronic drinker who drinks 10-15 drinks daily, won’t begin the hangover cycle at 8am the next morning, but more likely, they will experience the worst of the withdrawal effects later that day or evening.

 

Chronic drinkers are almost always experiencing a low to mid-grade hangover. In other words, they feel like shit all the time. First alcohol takes you to a place where you are no longer drinking to feel good, but to simply feel normal. They you are drinking to simply not feel like death. And then the worst place is when you are simply drinking not to die.

 

*HUGE ASTERISK* Alcohol is the most dangerous substance to detox from. If you have been drinking 5-8 drinks daily, for months or years, then it’s a very good idea to seek medical attention when detoxing.

 

Go Brewing. Use the code ELEVATOR for 15% off.

 

[09:26] Kris introduces Lara:

 

Lara is married and they have two dogs. After teaching preschool for 12-13 years she now teaches Pilates. She enjoys going to concerts and spending time outdoors.

Lara had limited exposure to alcohol until she went to college. While there, she found friends, and they drank regularly. What started out as being fun soon became a way for Lara to ignore her mental health issues that were creating a dark depression. After graduating and the issues getting worse, she ended up going to a psych ward for a few weeks and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She moved back home to live with her parents while she figured out what life was going to look like with the new diagnosis. She continued to drink in spite of the medications.

 

Lara went to grad school in Colorado and was surrounded by friends and the drinking felt normal. She wasn’t having major consequences until after getting married and she realized the drinking was happening all the time. Her husband ended up quitting drinking and while Lara supported him by quitting too, she didn’t feel that she had a problem.

 

Lara found herself reaching out to others to help support her as the spouse of someone quitting drinking. Over time she started realizing that recovery was her path as well.

Lara says that she has learned that she knows how to ask for help if she needs it now. She and her husband share a sobriety date and their life has done a 180. Alcohol is no longer an issue, and they just enjoy living life.

 

Lara’s favorite resource in recovery: Holly Whitaker’s book Quit Like a Woman.

 

Lara’s parting piece of guidance: Just find one person who you can talk 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.

Feb 12, 2024

Episode 469 - 10 Facts About Americans and Alcohol

 

Today we have Lisa. She is 66 years old and lives in Atlanta, GA. She took her last drink on November 16th, 2022.

 

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

 

[02:51] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul shares with us ten facts about Americans and their drinking habits that he found in an article from the Pew Research Center.

 

The article shares with us statistics regarding what people are drinking and where alcohol consumption is the highest, along with statistics about age and income ranges.

 

The biggest takeaway from this article is the first stat that says, “Only 62% of U.S. adults say they drink” while 38% abstain completely. Not everyone is kung fu fighting. There is a voice inside the head that says, “Everybody drinks”, but right there we just debunked that myth. A lot of people don’t drink because they don’t want to. Many people don’t drink because their forced to. Whatever the reason is, about 40% of Americans don’t drink.

 

And although alcohol consumption is rising, we’re seeing the younger generations say no, like no previous generation has done so.

 

Check out Sober Link.  You can find some tips and can sign up for a $50 off promo code.

 

 

[10:00] Paul introduces Lisa:

 

Lisa is a repeat guest from episode 411. She took her last drink on November 16th, 2022. She is 66 and lives outside of Atlanta. She has been married for 37 years and they have two adult children. Lisa enjoys working out, traveling, reading, and listening to podcasts.

 

Lisa grew up in a close family, but her parents had a miserable marriage. Her mother drank to deal with it and the drinking increased when Lisa was in middle school. Upon trying her first drink in high school, she didn’t have the “wow” moment at first but quickly found it gave her confidence and she felt accepted and less insecure with her friends.

 

After graduating college and entering the booming computer software industry, Lisa found herself drinking at a lot of parties, conferences, and sales meetings. She says her husband didn’t drink much. Aside from when she was pregnant, Lisa drank in a way that she considered normal.

 

In her 40’s, Lisa and her husband left the corporate world and started their own business. It was successful but very stressful. She says her drinking ramped up and she was beginning to try and hide the wine bottles from her husband.

 

After a fall Lisa had during a blackout, her doctor referred her to a counselor. She discovered AA and was able to stay sober for a year without doing the work. Soon after the year mark, Lisa thought she could moderate and started drinking again. She was successful with moderation at first, but after retiring, finding herself as the sole caretaker for her elderly mother, the drinking increased again.

 

One night Lisa found herself pouring a glass of wine that she really didn’t want and it was then she decided enough was enough. This time Lisa decided to get help. She went to AA and didn’t feel it was working for her. She discovered a Facebook group called SoberSis as well as Café RE. After her last interview, she was connected with a lot of other ladies that she is still connected with today.

 

Last year found Lisa tending to several health scares, several surgeries, and the unexpected loss of her parents eight weeks apart. Lisa says that gratitude, using the tools she has learned in the sober community as well as her faith and family has helped her remain sober through it all.

 

Lisa’s favorite ways to relax deep breathing and exercise.

 

Lisa’s advice for somebody struggling with life and alcohol: find a way to connect no matter how uncomfortable it is, we have to have connections.

 

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

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

Feb 5, 2024

Episode 468 – A Day in the Life

 

Today we have Amber. She is 41 years old and lives in San Luis Obispo. She took her last drink on May 26th, 2020.

 

“First it is an intention; then a behavior; then a practice; then a habit; then second nature; then it is simply who you are".

 

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

 

[03:04] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul shares with us what a typical day in sobriety looks like for him.

 

He starts his days with hydration, breathwork and/or stretching, reading and coffee. He takes time to connect with the universe and asks for guidance throughout the day.

 

Paul likes to reflect on what he is thankful for either in a journal or he sits in a comfortable location outside facing the sun while he closes his eyes and gives thanks. Even on shit days, he makes a point to thank the universe.

 

Reminding himself that the present moment is all that matters, spending time in nature, doing things that he enjoys, connecting with fellow sober peeps, and being creative are also very important to Paul.

 

Go Brewing use the code elevator at checkout for 15% off.

 

[12:13] Kris introduces Amber:

 

Amber is 41 years old; she has two boys and a partner in crime. She works as a 2nd grade teacher, in addition to being a running and sobriety coach. They live in San Luis Obispo, CA and enjoys hiking, mountain biking, running, and swimming.

 

Growing up, Amber says she was always shy and preferred to be in the background. She was introduced to alcohol in high school and discovered it helped her feel confident and have fun. She didn’t really enjoy the taste, but she loved the way it made her feel and she and her friends drank every weekend.

 

After going to college, Amber says her drinking only increased. She was recruited to be on the softball team with a full scholarship. The practice and academic schedule was challenging and her drinking increased from every weekend to nearly every day. She gained weight, she wasn’t studying, and her grades were suffering. Her performance on the team found her on the bench often and eventually she was cut from the team and lost everything.

 

Amber moved to San Diego and finished college there while working in restaurants. She says her drinking increased even more and she got a DUI a few years later. Shortly after that experience, Amber decided to join a teaching career and the stress of it found her relying on alcohol at the end of the day.

 

Amber says a turning point came after getting married and having two children back-to-back. She had many roles to fill but was still drinking two bottles of wine a night. Finally figuring out that she wanted more for her life, Amber filed for divorce and started taking better care of herself. She started running as an outlet for her emotions and found herself meditating, which she feels helped her make decisions. She looked at her sobriety as a fresh start.

 

Initially Amber was quiet about her recovery and felt she could figure it out on her own. Once she realized that wasn’t working, she found Celebrate Recovery, got a sponsor, and started doing the work. Once she started meeting more and more people in recovery she stopped feeling alone.

 

Amber left her teaching job and started her own business as a sober running coach. She started a sober running group Recovery Road Runners and they do a lot of fun things together and help other people stay sober.

 

Amber encourages people to find physical activities that they enjoy doing, maybe things they did when they were kids. She also suggests vision boards to think about where you want to be in the future and goals you may have.

 

Amber’s biggest fear when she quit drinking: “That I would never have any fun again, total lie. I have way more fun now.”

 

 

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

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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.

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