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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: March, 2024
Mar 25, 2024

Episode 475 – I See You Ceiba

 

Today we have Shari. She is 60 and lives in Santa Barbara, CA. She took his last drink on December 31st, 2022.

 

In two weeks on April 1st, registration opens for our annual retreat in the beautiful Rocky Mountains located outside of Bozeman, MT. This retreat is from Wednesday August 14th through Sunday August 18th, and it is going to be a blast! Click here for the full itinerary and to get pricing info.

 

Check out our RE merch. We have hats, sweatshirts, tank tops, t-shirts and more.

 

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

 

[02:56] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul shares with us how the idea of Sober Travel first came to him. After a trip of a lifetime that went sideways for him, he knew the only way that he could do alcohol-free travel in the future was with alcohol-free travelers.

 

On the most recent sober trip to Costa Rica, Paul and other members of the cohort traveled to see a Ceiba tree that is at least 350-400 years old. He shares with us the history of the Ceiba tree and what they mean to the people that live around them.

They also got to witness live sea turtles hatching and were able to release them into the surf. Quitting drinking is like the release of the sea turtle. Your new life awaits, and anything is possible.

 

Thank you to Sober Link  and Athletic Greens for partnering with us on this event.

 

[09:46] Paul introduces Shari:

 

Shari is 60 years old and lives in Santa Barbara, CA. She has been married for 34 years and has furry children rather than human children. She works in consumer-packaged goods and operations and for fun enjoys cycling, hiking, and walking.

 

Shari took her first drink when she was 13 and it resulted in a blackout and being extremely sick. She went through her teen years drinking whenever she had the opportunity, which was always problematic.

 

Shari had multiple DUI’s by the age of 24 and with her second one was forced to go to AA and take a yearlong course in alcohol education. It was then that she realized she was an alcoholic. She didn’t want to go to AA but she did find some nice people there.

After a few stops and starts she was able to get and stay sober for 8 years and used hosting meetings as accountability to stay sober. Over time she started to slow down her attendance at meetings and started drinking again during a particularly stressful time in her life.

 

Shari was putting parameters around her drinking after she started again and was able to maintain it to a degree. She would have varying stages of abstinence, and this continued for the next 20 years. Shari says she didn’t work very hard at AA during this time, and limited the connections she was making with other people.

 

When she moved back to Santa Barbara 10 years ago, her parents health was deteriorating. Watching her father drink problematically reminded her that she didn’t want to go down that path. Shari started looking for other modalities to help her quit drinking. She started reading quit lit and joined The Tempest sobriety course with Holly Whitaker. She started listening to RE where the idea that we can’t do this alone really resonated with her.

 

Shari loves that there are so many more options in the recovery space now. She recognizes that everything she does these days is for her recovery. Therapy, exercise, eating right, connecting with people and reading – they all feed her soul and keep her grounded. Finding community and attending more meetings with fellow travelers on the journey was initially uncomfortable for Shari. But she knew she needed to get out of the comfort zone and join the conversations.

 

Shari’s best sober moment: the breathwork she participated in at Bozeman last year.

 

Shari’s parting piece of guidance: never quit quitting and you shouldn’t do it alone.

 

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

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Recovery Elevator

Go big, because eventually we all go home.

I love you guys.

Mar 18, 2024

Episode 474 – If You’re Serious About Change

 

Today we have Nick. He is 36 years old from Grand Rapids, MI. He took his last drink on January 19th, 2021.

 

In two weeks on April 1st, registration opens for our annual retreat in the beautiful Rocky Mountains located outside of Bozeman, MT. This retreat is from Wednesday August 14th through Sunday August 18th, and it is going to be a blast! Click here for the full itinerary and to get pricing info.

 

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

 

[02:41] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul likes Instagram because it’s a platform for artists, for teachers, for musicians, for dancers, and more to showcase their talents.

 

Paul shares with us audio from a video he found while on Instagram. Here’s the scene: It’s a busy city street at nightfall, when a gentlemen comes to a skidding halt on his electric motorbike wearing a microwave as a helmet. When his motorbike comes to a stop, he pushes the open microwave door button, and begins to speak. Check out the video here.

 

If you are serious about change, there will be shitty times, but trust the process because in the long run you’re going to be a better person.

 

The biggest gift Paul gets while doing Recovery Elevator podcast is witnessing the change made daily. This change, added up over many days, months and even years, results in quite the transformation.

 

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

 

[08:40] Kris introduces Nick:

 

Nick is a real estate agent in Grand Rapids, MI. He enjoys outdoor activities in his free time. He has a boyfriend and a dog that he takes everywhere with him.

 

Nick says he started drinking in high school when he and his friends would pillage the parents’ liquor cabinets. He enjoyed alcohol because it freed his inhibitions. As someone who was coming to terms with being gay in a conservative city and kept it a secret for a while. The internal struggle drove Nick to enjoy checking out and alcohol was the way he chose to do that.

 

In his late teens, Nick started working in the food and beverage industry. He felt very welcome at the gay bars he worked in but didn’t have good role models. He knew in his early twenties that his drinking needed to eventually be addressed but wasn’t ready at that time. Nick says he was very functional but drank daily. He feels he was just surviving at that point in time.

 

Nick started thinking about quitting when he was in his early thirties. He says he was stuck there for a while trying to determine if he really had a problem. He started utilizing his ADHD medication to help him be able to drink more. The planning and rituals became exhausting. Drinking progressed beyond “only after the responsibilities are done” to finding reasons to start earlier.

 

Nick’s first stint at sobriety was in 2018 when he joined a local IOP and AA and was able to remain sober for about four months while learning a lot about addiction. His partner at the time drank heavily and eventually Nick gave up his sobriety. His rock bottom came when he was hiking with his dog hungover and realized how miserable he was and questioned if this was how he wanted to live his life. The next day he went back to AA.

 

After working the steps with a sponsor, Nick felt empowered. He says he went on a quest for sobriety and tried out other modalities. When a sober travel trip to Costa Rica with RE coincided with his one-year milestone, he decided to go and feels he gained a lot from that trip.

 

Within the past year Nick has changed careers and feels the best he has ever felt. Going forward, he plans to keep growing in his career and nurturing his sobriety.

 

Nick’s favorite resource in recovery: Recovery Elevator podcast

 

Nick’s parting piece of guidance: the harder you fight addiction, the more entangled you are so just let go.

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

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Recovery Elevator

Go big, because eventually we all go home.

I love you guys.

Mar 11, 2024

Episode 473 – An Easier Softer Way

 

Today we have Lee. He is 43 and lives in the United Kingdom. He took his last drink on August 17th, 2020.

 

If you have found the Recovery Elevator podcast helpful to you, please take a moment to leave a review in either iTunes or Spotify. This helps you shred the shame and helps our show reach more listeners.

 

CafĂ© RE is Recovery Elevator’s alcohol-free community. We are 1,400 strong and have one goal in mind which is to leave the booze behind.  We are connecting over the pain points of alcohol and collectively creating the momentum needed to find wholeness without alcohol. If you would like to join, use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

 

[03:41] Thoughts from Paul:

 

There are a million reasons why people drink. One reason is relief. Now thank you alcohol for providing myself relief when I needed it most. Then there came a time, and it wasn't overnight when the source of relief became less effective. Alcohol then provided no relief at all. Then it became a source of discomfort itself.

 

Now the most excruciating part of a drinking problem is when we reach for alcohol to seek harmony, but it only brings pain. Now the conscious mind knows the outcome, it knows it won't work. But in the unconscious, it is still inscribed like a commandment on a clay tablet that alcohol will deliver the goods.

 

So, listeners, the seed I want to plant with you today, that even though we live in a world full of messaging and imagery saying that alcohol will enhance your life, in reality, the truth is an alcohol-free life is the easier, softer way.

 

Sober Link – receive $50 off of a device.

 

[08:33] Paul introduces Lee:

 

Lee is from Birmingham, UK where he lives with his wife and two kids. He works for a paint manufacturer and for fun he enjoys exercise.

 

Lee’s first taste of alcohol was when he was 8 and he thought it was terrible. Around age 14 he attended a party where there was alcohol, and he enjoyed the buzz he got from drinking until the next morning when he felt hungover. It was a few years later before he started drinking regularly. Lee utilized alcohol to combat insecurities and be more social.

 

People told Lee that after he was married and had kids that he would settle down, but Lee says his drinking got worse. He says he selfishly thought about how he could go home and drink in the house alone while his wife may be staying overnight after the birth of their second child. Even after wrecking his car while drunk, Lee did not see that he had a problem. Instead of going to the hospital, he left for the shop to get more alcohol.

 

The drinking started putting a strain on his relationship with his wife. The cycle of arguments and Lee leaving the home for a few days only to return asking for forgiveness went on for about six months. After a particularly bad event where Lee couldn’t remember the events of the days he was gone from home, he had an anxiety attack. Lee finally admitted to himself that he had a problem and reached out to AA.

 

Lee started attending AA meetings via Zoom and was still drinking and just listening. He started to see what everyone had, and they seemed happy. At that point he decided to give quitting a try.

 

Lee says the first few months were horrific. He couldn’t concentrate and was very irritable. He kept going to meetings and listening to everyone tell him it was going to get better but struggled to see it. The next several months found him sleeping better and feeling 95-96% less anxiety. After 18 months to 2 years, he has been able to forgive himself for things I did when he was drinking. He feels he is no longer to try being sober, instead he is living a sober life.

 

Lee’s best sober moment: getting his family back and being more present with them.

 

Lee’s parting piece of guidance: take it one day at a time. If you can’t do that, do a half day, do an hour, you’ll get there eventually.

 

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Recovery Elevator

Go big, because eventually we all go home.

I love you guys.

Mar 4, 2024

Episode 472 – Shifting Seasons

 

Today we have Erin. She is 45 and lives outside of Boston. She took her last drink on December 26th, 2021.

 

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

 

[01:52] Thoughts from Kris:

 

The transition out of winter is one of Kris’ favorites. He sees it as an awakening. He took the cue from Mother Nature and paused this season. No big decisions or changes. Just time to reflect on things. Now that nature is starting to wake back up, he feels it’s time for him to do the same.

 

Kris reflects on his first spring in recovery and how the nice weather worried him. He started connecting with multiple recovery groups, discovering his triggers, digging into his whys and was able to feel connected to something bigger than himself. Being a part of a recovery community is cool that way... we see the reward in our own growth, but we’re contributing to the growth of the whole as well.

 

Wherever you are this spring, that’s right where you’re supposed to be. Where you go from here is up to you. What tools do you have that you’re using? What tools aren’t you using? Is this a season to pick something up, or one to let some things go? Only you can answer these questions for yourself.

 

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

 

[09:08] Kris introduces Erin:

 

Erin is 45 and lives about 13 miles outside of Boston. She works as a senior paralegal for a large corporation and works for Rover on the side where she takes care of other people’s animals.

 

Erin says her exposure to alcohol was limited to family drinking on holidays or special occasions, but she never tried drinking until she went away to college. What started as curiosity, ended up as binge drinking and partying multiple days of the week when she joined a sorority.

 

After getting married, Erin says the drinking was more casual on the weekends or when out and about. After a tough breakup in her early thirties, Erin found herself living alone, working two jobs, and going back to finish college.

 

During her second marriage, Erin says she and her husband drank a lot socially. Her husband was the life of the party when they were out, but home there was a very different scene that found Erin drinking in isolation to deal with it. She didn’t feel she had a way out as she was financially dependent on her husband at the time.

 

Eventually Erin was able to leave the relationship and started over single in a new town. She surrounded herself with people that drank like her, but deep down she knew she didn’t drink like everyone else. Alcohol became her best friend and her drinking got worse during the pandemic as she was isolated and now didn’t have the safety of working in the office.

 

Returning to the office in early 2021 was helpful to her mental health, but she still knew she was drinking too much on the evenings and weekends.

 

A cousin was sharing how great they felt at 60 days of sobriety which made her become sober curious. Planning to do Dry January with a friend, Erin found herself starting early after getting sick with COVID.

 

In the early days, Erin continued to go to the bar where her friends were, but she recognized that wasn’t good for her. Instead, she started walking more, listening to podcasts, and going to therapy. She was beginning to gain confidence and faith in herself.

 

Erin’s favorite resource in recovery: RE podcast, Wayne Dyer

 

Erin’s plan moving forward: continue therapy and connecting with others.

 

Kris wants to hear from you, listeners! What are you looking forward to this spring?  Do you feel something different this year compared to years past?

 

Email kris@recoveryelevator.com and let him know what this spring has in store for your or what you hope to see from it.

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

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Recovery Elevator

We might as well go big RE, because eventually we all go home.

I love you guys.

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