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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: May, 2024
May 27, 2024

Episode 484 – Recovery is a Sandwich

 

Today we have Brian. He is 59 from Eastern Iowa. He took his last drink on May 23rd, 2023.

 

Recovery Elevator is going to Vietnam January 9th-20th, 2025. Registration for our newest alcohol-free travel trip opens July 1st and we’ve got room for 25 passengers. Who’s up for seeing the world with a group of travelers who have ditched the booze?

 

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

 

[02:24] Thoughts from Kris:

 

Kris’ topic today is one of the foundational themes in recovery which is telling our story or burning the ships as we refer to it at Recovery Elevator.

 

Burning the Ships refers to when Hernan Cortez sailed across the ocean and ordered his men to burn their ships when they landed. There was no turning back, no retreat. When we share our story, we can no longer hide from it and are faced to move forward with others having knowledge of our journey.

 

This isn’t a black and white situation so it will be different for everyone, and we each have to do what is right for us. Kris shares the different levels of burning the ships and his experiences with them. He feels that the positives outweigh the negatives. When people hear our stories, not just the stats, it changes their perception. Hearing our stories in others’, helps us know we are not alone, and we never know the impact that sharing our stories may have on others.

 

Think of the moments that have inspired you. What is your version of that? Let Kris know what you think. How has burning the ships played out for you?  Email kris@recoveryelevator.com to share your thoughts.

 

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

 

[10:48] Kris introduces Brian:

 

Upon the release of this episode, Brian has just celebrated one year of sobriety!

He is married, together they have five adult children and seven grandchildren. Brian is active and enjoys many outdoor activities, home projects, travelling and reading.

 

Brian grew up on a farm and recalls it was common for people to have drinks after a long day of work. He says he and his friends would sneak beer out of curiosity. When he was in his teens, he and his friends would drive around the gravel roads with a cooler of beer. After graduating high school, Brian joined the military, which was a tradition in his family. He was enlisted for two years and lived the “work hard, play hard” life that is common in that environment.

 

Shortly after discharge from the Army, Brian got a DUI. He did not feel this was a red flag to stop drinking, just needed to pay the fine and move on. After graduating college, he got his first job in management and married his first wife. They bought land and started a family together. Brian says drinking was mostly social on the weekends and at the local tavern after work.

 

Brian and his wife got a divorce after 15 years married. Soon after, Brian began suffering from extreme anxiety and panic attacks. He tried medication and meditation to deal with it, but it was still intense.

 

A few years later, Brian started dating his current wife. They were very social and frequently drank, but she was not a heavy drinker. Brian began to find himself waking up with anxiety and would often change his work hours to accommodate his drinking or recovery from the night before.

 

In December of 2020 Brian discovered his sister had recently become sober. He feels this really led him to examine his drinking. Upon arriving home from that visit, he started reading a lot and listening to podcasts. He began attending more group chats with CafĂ© RE and connecting with other folks in recovery. Brian says his sister taught him a lot of mindfulness exercises which he has found very helpful. 

 

Brian’s parting piece of guidance for those considering sobriety: just dig in and try it.

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

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Recovery Elevator

I love you guys.

Go big because eventually we’ll all go home.

May 20, 2024

Episode 483 – NA Beers

 

Today we have Tyler. He is 37 and lives in Phoenix, AZ. He took his last drink on November 28th, 2023.

 

Recovery Elevator welcomes Danielle Marr to the team! She now writes the bi-monthly newsletter for RE which always has journalling prompts at the end. She taught our DTB writing course this last fall and does Instagram posts a couple days a week. She was also interviewed on episode 464.

 

To subscribe to the Recovery Elevator newsletter, click here and wait for the box to pop up.

 

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

 

[03:35] Thoughts from Paul

 

Paul shares with us the history of NA beers and how they were created to pacify the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers campaign back in the 90’s. The companies had zero intention of scaling this segment of their business and it has been said that the purposefully made the beer tasteless and bland.

 

Those days are gone. Non-alcoholic beer sales have been growing every year by 30-40% since 2019. Many of the major beer brands are investing time and money into creating their own NA products and there are more breweries popping up that are 100% dedicated to making an AF craft beer.

 

There is no need to explore the NA beer world in the early days of your alcohol-free life because it can be triggering. There is trace amount of alcohol in many of the NA beers (usually less than 0.5%) and you would have to drink 25-30 of them to reach the legal BAC. Check out this Instagram post where someone drinks several NA beers and stills blows zeros into a breathalyzer.

 

What the AF beer world exploding shows is that people are waking up to the fact that alcohol is not good for you and big alcohol sales are reflecting that. The stigma around alcohol addiction is also crumbling. We as consumers decide every move a business makes – start asking for more AF options at restaurants and grocery stores. Start asking and you will receive.

 

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

 

[09:58] Paul introduces Tyler:

 

Tyler is 37 years old and lives in Phoenix, AZ and has a six-month-old daughter. He does maintenance for a homeowners association. Tyler is also a musician and enjoys performing, writing, and recording music.

 

Tyler had his first drink when he was in high school as simply a fun thing to do with friends. A health scare which ended up with tumor removal drove Tyler to feel he needed to live life to the fullest. He says his drinking increased as it was associated with having fun, and he discovered his passion for being a musician. That found him romanticizing alcohol, drinking more after gigs, and acquiring DUIs. Since a lot of people he knew had DUIs, it was considered normal and wasn’t taking seriously.

 

When he lost a close family member to cancer, Tyler says his drinking evolved from good and bad to ugly. He and his girlfriend went out often, and his drinking became more frequent both while out and while at home. Tyler had a lot of anger that would come out while drinking. These issues eventually found Tyler and his girlfriend splitting up.

 

Tyler started going to therapy and discovered that the loss of his aunt affected him more than he realized. He was able to process some of his anger and cut back on his drinking. He and his girlfriend got back together and six months ago their daughter was born. Tyler began to realize that his drinking was interfering with this new life and told his girlfriend he was ready to quit. At this time, he also reached out to a supportive cousin that has over 20 years in recovery.

 

Tyler says AA didn’t resonate with him, but books, podcasts and other peoples’ stories have been very helpful. He believes in recovering out loud.

 

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

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Recovery Elevator

I love you guys.

Go big because eventually we’ll all go home.

May 13, 2024

Episode 482 - Anna

 

Today we have Anna. She is 49 from North Georgia and took her last drink on December 22nd, 2017.

 

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

 

[02:09] Thoughts from Paul:

 

A few weeks ago, Paul made a post on the Recovery Elevator Instagram pages asking people what advice they would give to somebody who was about to quit drinking.

 

Thank you to everyone that commented on the video, there were well over 100 comments.

 

In this episode, he shares some of the comments and be sure to follow Recovery Elevator on Instagram if you don’t already.

 

The most common advice was don’t do this alone, reach out for help, and join a community.

 

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

 

[11:16] Kris introduces Anna:

 

Anna lives in North Georgia and is a custodian at a middle school. For fun she enjoys hiking, camping and all things outdoors.

 

Anna first started drinking when she was 18 in college. Prior to that she was focused on being a runner and it was when an injury made her stop that she traded her running addiction for alcohol. She says that she was a blackout drinker from the beginning.

 

When asked by her now ex-husband why she drank Anna said it was because she wanted to. She believed it was a privilege to drink as long as she was keeping up with her responsibilities. At the time she didn’t believe that it wasn’t normal to be throwing up in the bathroom every day. She considered drinks as a reward for getting things done.

 

Anna got a DUI and was required to attend a recovery center. That put her back in contact with other people and she realized that she missed being social and doing things with other people. Her last day of drinking was when she went Christmas shopping and told herself that she wasn’t going to drink, but she did. The next morning, her kids told her they weren’t able to wake her up the night before. That’s when Anna realized she had lost the privilege and the desire to drink was gone.

 

About three weeks after that, she started attending AA and a group called FAVOR which had a kickball team. She enjoyed being able to do things with other people who didn’t drink. One of the reasons she was hesitant to quit drinking before was because she felt alcohol was involved in everything social.

 

Anna says that the 12 steps are a lifestyle for her. She enjoys the structure and routine of AA. After a few months, she got a sponsor and began to work the steps. Anna says that she enjoys being open minded about recovery and participating in things that are not AA. The first 90 days in recovery, Anna says she was very go with the flow. She feels she learned all she could from alcohol and was ready to learn the joy of recovery and getting to meet new people and learn new things again.

 

In sobriety, Anna enjoys traveling and meeting new people. She feels that life is meant to be experienced and she knows she has to take chances and meet new people. Anna feels she always has a group everywhere she goes. Sobriety gave Anna her confidence back and a sense of purpose. She feels that life challenges haven’t been nearly as hard since she is sober.

 

Anna’s favorite resource in recovery: “Café RE or AA, whatever I can get my hands on first if it’s just picking up and scrolling through Facebook or YouTube with listening to speakers.”

 

Anna’s parting piece of guidance: keep things simple, don’t compare yourself to other people, remember you cannot get drunk if you don’t pick up the first drink.

 

 

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

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

I love you guys.

May 6, 2024

Episode 481 - Collective Truths

 

Today we have Susie. She is 52 and lives in Lubbock, TX and took her last drink on February 10th, 2024.

 

Our alcohol-free retreat in Bozeman, MT on August 14th – 18th is currently sold out. But if you are interested in being put on the wait list, please email kmac@recoveryelevator.com

 

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

 

[02:18] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Paul’s goal with the introductions each week is to find a topic that we can collectively resonate with. His goal is for as many of us as possible to say “yep” or to nod our heads while listening.

 

There are many different types of listeners to the podcast. Some had already ditched the booze, some long ago and some more recently. Another group is still in the process of quitting drinking. We also have another group of listeners who are here to support a loved one who is struggling with alcohol. We are so glad you are here with us.

 

Paul lists the many reasons why people listen and what they are looking for by doing so. Ultimately, we are all here to grow.

 

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

 

[09:58] Paul introduces Susie:

 

Susie is 52 and lives in Lubbock, TX with her husband of two years. She has been a hairstylist for many years and considers it her passion. Susie enjoys reading, exercise, enjoying the outdoors and attending sporting events.

 

Susie first experimented with alcohol when she was in high school and didn’t care for it. There was very little drinking for Susie throughout college and her 20’s. In Susie’s 30’s, her husband and she began to drink socially on the weekends but his drinking increasingly got worse and eventually the divorced due to his anger issues and alcohol abuse.

 

For a long time, Susie didn’t use alcohol as a coping mechanism but had other issues that she feels were attempts to avoid her feelings such as an eating disorder and excessive exercise. Susie reflects that she didn’t really have an off switch when she drank for events, but typically wouldn’t drink for a while afterwards.

 

Shortly after marrying her current husband, some issues started to arise in their relationship and Susie found herself beginning to use alcohol to cope. She says it wasn’t much of an issue until she began to try and hide how much she was drinking. It started to create issues in her marriage and Susie would find her husband leaving her a few times, which created feelings of abandonment and rejection.

 

After an event that led to Susie being hospitalized, she attended an IOP but left and continued drinking.  Her husband asked her to go to inpatient rehab, so she did, but she continued to drink afterwards and ended up taking another trip to rehab a few months later.  Her husband eventually ended up leaving, which was very eye-opening for Susie. She started attending a women’s AA group which she enjoyed and learned a lot from.

 

Going forward Susie plans to continue attending AA meetings when she can, and she just joined Café RE where she plans to be an active participant. She and her husband are separated now but are attending counseling and Susie feels hopeful about their future. Susie surrounds herself with positive people at work and has friends from rehab that she checks in with frequently.

 

Things Susie has learned about herself on this journey: self-acceptance; loving yourself. No matter where you are, you’re okay just the way you are.

 

Susie’s best sober moment: spending time with her husband going to sporting events sober.

 

Susie’s parting piece of guidance: don’t ever give up on yourself, don’t isolate yourself, always surround yourself with people.

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

RE merch

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Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

Recovery Elevator

You took the elevator down; you gotta take the stairs back up.

You can do this.

I love you guys.

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