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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: Category: Self-help
Aug 15, 2022

Episode 391  - What do you Want?

 

Today we have Polly.   She is 50, from Minnesota, and has been sober since December 23, 2021.

 

Ditch the Booze Mindfulness Course starts 9/20.:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/cafere/

 

Recovery Fit – Paul Lapine.  Lapine Fitness Center.  https://Lapinefit.com/recoveryfit Insta:Paul_Lapine_

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul shares that he created the podcast to create a new level of accountability for himself when he quit drinking.   He is grateful for his listeners and proud of how the podcast has evolved since the first recording. Paul would like to hear more from listeners about what they want to hear during the intro portion of the podcast.

 

Email Paul at:  info@recoveryelevator.com

 

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

                                                                             

[10:09]  Polly has been sober for six months. She is a high school English teacher, has two daughters, and has been married for 24 years. She enjoys animals, running, the outdoors, camping, and family adventures. 

 

Polly's parents drank, but not to excess. Turning 21 was a right of passage, and Polly waited to drink until then. In college, Polly partied, partially as an act of rebellion. After graduating, drinking was a weekend social thing but not an issue. Polly's husband was not a daily drinker, which was initially a red flag. There was drinking everywhere, from sporting events to book clubs to unwinding from work. 

 

As time progressed, Polly started hiding how much she drank from her husband. She slowly started gaining weight, and drinking/eating/negative emotions became a spiral for Polly. 

 

Polly's husband asked her to get treatment and told her she was on the verge of losing her family, friends, and job. She was in treatment over the Christmas holiday. She was violently ill during detox, and the detox nurse told her never to forget how sick she was. She appreciated how much people embraced her during treatment.   She vowed to herself that she would give back and described treatment as the best experience of her life.

 

After leaving treatment, Polly leveraged the tools she learned in treatment and recognized that cravings are temporary.    Alcohol still calls to her at six months sober, but she works on it daily.    Her husband quit drinking a week before Polly went into treatment, which made her home more supportive. Polly is outspoken about her cravings and regularly asks for help. She attends AA meetings; she has a sober community and is transparent about her addiction with those close to her. She talks to her daughters regularly about her addiction. Polly hopes her experience ends her family's addiction cycle so her daughters never have to choose treatment. Polly describes sobriety as the most challenging thing she has ever done, but she is also proud of her success. She carries some shame for what she put her family through while drinking.

 

Paul's Summary

 

Paul believes adding joy, fun, and creativity to your life helps you to maintain sobriety and live a life you don't need to escape. Paul reminds listeners not to take themselves too seriously, to find joy, and don't let healing be painful. 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator-

Lighten Up.

I love you guys.

Aug 8, 2022

Episode 390  - The Secret to Change

 

Today we have Jess.   She is 37, from Ontario, and has been sober since May 7, 2022.

 

Ditch the Booze Mindfulness Course starts 9/20.:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/cafere/

 

Recovery Fit – Paul Lapine.  Lapine Fitness Studiohttps://lapinefitness.totaltransformationtoday.com/

Insta:Paul_Lapine_

 

Highlights from Paul

 

YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT! Anyone who doesn’t quit quitting eventually creates distance from alcohol. “The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not fighting the old, but building the new.” Socrates. This journey is about transformation. It’s an invitation to create a life where alcohol isn’t needed. It’s about letting part of you go. It’s about saying goodbye to the aspects of your life that aren’t working,

 

Paul suggests fighting the old is a waste, and addiction is a messenger letting you know your life is out of balance. Desperation leads to surrender, which leads to openness and willingness.   Don’t resist change as it is one constant you can count on.

 

Music Submissions - email edited versions to: info@recoveryelevator.com

 

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

                                                                             

[11:31]  Jess has been sober for two months. She is an accountant for a rehab hospital and enjoys reading, camping, cooking, and paddleboarding with her dog. She lives in Ontario, Canada, and has two children.

 

Jess came from a family of drinkers. Her Dad was a heavy drinker. She started experimenting with alcohol in her early teens. At age 14, her Dad died suddenly, and her Mom’s mental health deteriorated as a result. 

 

Jess hosted parties and smoked pot. Since her family didn’t talk about things, drinking was an escape. All her friends drank and smoked, so it seemed commonplace. At one point, she started skipping school, and her sister intervened. Jess slowed down and appreciated the attention from her sister. 

 

After high school, she took some random jobs and habitually stopped working, excusing her behavior with feigned sicknesses. She made lots of excuses but never addressed the root problem. She quit her jobs before she got fired.   Her temper flared when her drinking hit a certain point, and she became a monster.   Jess moved back in with her Mom to curb expenses, and her drinking slowed slightly. Six months later, she moved in with her boyfriend, and they were drinking buddies. 

 

Jess got pregnant and abstained throughout her pregnancy but picked up again as soon as the baby was born. She bought into the “mommy wine culture .”Her Mom had dementia. Being around someone with dementia was difficult, and Jess’ drinking escalated. Eventually, she went to an online AA meeting and cried. She felt so welcomed. She counted minutes to hours, and finally, it got easier. She is now grateful to be present with her kids and is learning to like herself. 

 

Kris’s Summary

 

Kris is looking forward to Recovery Elevator’s sober retreat. Kris has learned to listen to others, be present, and hold space for them. He has fun with his sober people. Kris encourages listeners to find their way to go deeper and have some fun. Challenge yourself to take the next step.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator-

It all starts from the inside out.

I love you guys.

Aug 1, 2022

Episode 389  - Journal Speak

 

Today we have Christy.   She is 42, from Denmark, and has been sober since April 5, 2022.

 

 

Costa Rica 2023:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica2023/

 

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul talks about “journal speak,” an informal, off-the-cuff style of journaling. The point is to get unprocessed, uncomfortable emotions out of you. It makes you feel less alone and more connected to yourself. This is a significant component connecting with the raw, unheard, vulnerable, pissed-off version of you. When you feel a craving coming on, this is one of the best times to do this because a part of you is screaming to be heard.   Paul suggests starting with 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night. Make it informal, with no spelling or grammar check, and toss or burn it when you finish. Generally, you will find that you feel better and have cleared your mind.

 

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

                                                                             

[10:58]  Christy has been sober for eighty days.   She lives in Denmark, is from North Carolina, and is an agile coach in IT. She is married with two children,

 

Christy describes herself as a boring child who didn’t get into trouble. She was active in sports and music. Alcohol was always present in her life. She remembers the DARE program in high school and decided to avoid drugs and alcohol. She met her husband and married young. Christy drank socially, but there were no red flags.

 

In 2004, her father was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was age 47. Christy knew she needed to be strong. He passed in 2007. Unaware of how to process the grief, Christy pushed through, went through some counseling, and had a baby. After giving birth, she experienced anxiety and high blood pressure. She spiraled downward. Alcohol was a great way to shut down her brain. She gave birth to her second son and immediately returned to drinking and felt okay because the Mommy wine culture made it alright.

 

When moving to Denmark, she knew she needed to address her drinking because she had started sneaking alcohol. The geographic solution didn’t work. The trauma of her Dad’s death brought on emotions Christy could not process. She began taking days off and going to the liquor store early while her husband was at work and her kids were in school. Her drinking progressed, and she could secretly consume a whole bottle of wine. Her panic attacks got worse, and she didn’t realize it was the progression of her drinking that was causing the panic attacks. 

 

Christy told her doctor about her problem. She started listening to recovery podcasts and saw a new counselor to deal with her grief and health anxiety. Her self-talk was, “don’t think, drink.”  The anxiety was debilitating. She was depressed and had the shakes and the shame of uncontrollable drinking. 

 

COVID and having the kids home 24/7 was challenging. When she got to the point where her children had to put her to bed, she knew she had hit rock bottom. Her marriage was in jeopardy. 

 

Christy enjoys Café RE and often hosts some of the chats. She attends AA and Smart Recovery as well. She has learned it is okay to be vulnerable and not strong. Leaning on her husband is okay.   She no longer has to be “the rock.”  Her anxiety has improved, and her counseling is helping. Her greatest joy is that her son says he has his mom back. 

 

 

Paul’s Summary

 

Paul talks about the anxiety that came with trying to fix his printer. He loves that he has learned to let emotions flow through him. Paul believes in all the listeners.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator-

It all starts from the inside out. You can do this.

I love you guys.

Jul 25, 2022

Episode 388  - Identity

 

Today we have Liz.   She is 55, from Bend, OR, and has been sober for five months.

 

Ditch the Booze Mindfulness and AF Photography. www.recoveryelevator.com/events

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Kris

 

After returning from a trip to DC, Kris realized that connecting his identity to his accomplishments is something he left behind. Presenting his achievements as a “Who I Am” was typical for Kris when he was in active addiction. Kris hoped that showing others the good in him might help him to see the good in himself. Approval seeking was directly linked to his self-worth and what others thought of him. This created conflict because Kris felt like he was leading a double life: the list of accomplishments he shared with others and the poor self-esteem that felt more like the “real Kris.”

 

Ultimately, Kris hit a tipping point that led to his recovery. During those early days, he identified with the bad things he had done while drinking. With treatment, counseling, and spiritual support, Kris learned that he was responsible for his harmful behavior but eventually realized that what he did wasn’t who he was. He had to clean up, but he gained clarity on what he did vs. who he is. 

 

Kris found a new identity in recovery. The greater good prevails, and instead of looking for an atta boy, he tries to connect to how he can be part of something bigger.

 

Kris asks listeners where they find their identity? Does it bring you peace? Can you make shifts in your identity without shame?

 

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

                                                                             

[10:45]  Liz has been sober for five months.   She is from California, has two dogs, works for a healthcare start-up, and enjoys entertaining, cooking, gardening, and music.

 

Alcohol was part of Liz’s life from an early age. She described a lot of drama and trauma in her childhood. She developed a fear of drinking while observing her parent’s drinking. 

 

Liz and Kris talked about the behaviors we develop in childhood because of trauma and learning to give yourself grace as you reconcile those behaviors and learn healthier ones. They discussed how shame doesn’t support your recovery. They also talked about surrender being an essential step in recovering yourself. 

 

Liz relies on Recovery Elevator and Café RE, meditation, self-care, recovery tools, and community to support her sobriety. 

 

Kris’s Summary

 

Kris talks about embracing challenges and turning them around to support the greater good.   Move forward with grace, love and encouragement. Learn to love yourself and share that love with others.     If you feel stuck in your story, know you are not alone. Keep it simple and focus on the next right here. We are here for you.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator-

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

I love you guys.

Jul 18, 2022

Episode 387  - Why Some Make it, and Some Don’t

 

Today we have Becca.   She is 43, from Montana, and took her last drink on September 18, 2017.

 

Sober Travel Update – Costa Rica 2023. Stay tuned for dates. www.recoveryelevator.com/events

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul believes that taking responsibility for your drinking or choosing not to be a victim increases your likelihood of “making it” L.” listening to this podcast means that you are open to new ideas, pathways, resources, and a new outlook on life. Paul suggests telling yourself that you will make it or are already there. Awareness that you have a drinking problem is the beginning, then ownership of the solution. 

 

Paul believes a drinking problem is an invitation to a new life. Never quit quitting. Paul says yes, you are going to make it. You are already making it. 

 

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

                                                                             

[11:07]  Becca has been sober for nearly five years.   Becca worked for 18 years as a chef/bartender. She rescues dogs, loves art, and reading. She went from food addiction to alcohol in her early twenties. She had a gastric bypass in 2005. She pre-gamed a bottle of booze before going out with her friends. She was able to lose 268 pounds and kept it off, but she was able to drink a lot of alcohol.

 

Becca describes several signs on the way to quitting drinking. She eventually went to Great Falls for inpatient treatment. After 17 years of constant drinking, the strict rehab included a lot of self-discoveries, and she had to earn privileges. The physical withdrawal was difficult because she was having seizures. Becca transitioned over to sober living. Shame was part of her inner dialogue. After eight months of sober living, she began working out. She opened her first business.  

 

Becca’s life is so much better. She would rather be involved in a national disaster than go back to her rock bottom with alcohol. Recovery isn’t black and white. Routine is important, but she has learned to embrace the challenges that come with everyday life. She can hear the birds and the river in ways she hadn’t before. 

 

Daily reflections, post-it reminders, journaling, embracing nature, equine therapy, and surrounding herself with healthy support have been critical to maintaining sobriety. At five months sober, Becca was able to testify against someone who beat her up. She moved to Gardiner, MT, and fell in love with the area. 

 

She studied coffee, created her own coffee recipe, and is proud to serve the best coffee on earth. She has strained out the things she no longer needs. Check out Bear’s Brew in Gardiner, MT, if you head to Yellowstone. 

 

Paul’s Summary

 

Paul hates the term “making it” and knows that comparison is a trap. Internal goals can be problematic because of the ego. The gifts of recovery include: being present, enjoying the moments, and knowing that you have already made it. All pathways lead the way home. Paul embraces problems and tries to heed the lessons that come with them. 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator-

Go big because eventually, we all go home.

I love you guys.

Jul 11, 2022

Episode 386  - The One Mistake People Make When Quitting Drinking

 

Today we have Shad.   He is 46, from Indiana, and took his last drink on March 19, 2021.

 

 

 

Café RE Open House Chat: July 16, 2016, at 12 ET.

Join Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83057111516? pwd=NlJyaFdtZ0RBYnhMaytxbkdRU2tMdz09

Meeting ID: 830 5711 1516

Passcode: recovery

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Don’t quit drinking without learning coping strategies, understanding why you drink in the first place, and get some tools for your recovery toolbox. Don’t sell yourself short on how rich your life can be without alcohol. Say yes, to as many recovery opportunities as you can. Books, podcasts, quit lit, retreats, spiritual teachers, music, chats, meetings. Some of it is work. These investments of time into yourself will pay HUGE in the future. A whole new world awaits you after the bottle.

 

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

                                                                             

[10:50]  Shad has been sober for 433 days.   He is married with five children, three grandchildren, and three dogs. He loves skateboarding, archery, trail running, and anything outside. He describes nature as his church, particularly above the timberline.

 

Shad experienced severe child abuse in early childhood and was from a family with a history of addiction to drugs and alcohol. His grandfather was a friend, a father figure, and a heavy drinker. Shad created chaos with alcohol. After his divorce, he doubled down on alcohol; then, he tried to drink himself to death after his grandfather passed. Shad lost his brother to a drug overdose.

 

Consequences were minimal for Shad. His first wake-up call was waking up to an empty gallon bottle of whiskey. A year later, running inspired him. He started running longer distances. The stride, footfalls, and measured breathing were meditative for Shad. He still had not dealt with his emotions. He stopped drinking in 2014, ate clean, started ultra-running, and completed a 100-mile run. His ego kicked in, and he drank again because he thought he could handle it now. He got drunk on the eve of his wedding and again on his wedding day. Shad didn’t believe he had a drinking problem; he thought he had a depression problem. Running replaced alcohol for those 2.5 years. After his honeymoon, he tried several attempts at moderation. It worked until it didn’t, then he went downhill fast. 

 

Shad describes himself as addicted to everything – he can’t have just one. Gradually his drinking progressed. His middle son developed a drinking problem observing his Dad. The guilt of his son’s drinking drove him to drink more. Covid became another excuse to isolate and drink. After a night of extreme drinking, he told his wife he tried to kill himself with bourbon. She agreed to get him some help. Shad began reaching out. He found a community that didn’t judge him but supported him.   A friend introduced him to a group called, Punks in Recovery. Shad embraces many avenues of sobriety, including AA and ACA, and he is open to whatever works.

 

Kris’s Summary

 

Kris talks about reflecting on his goals and tools and evaluating what works and doesn’t. He encourages listeners to look without judgment at what went well and what could have gone better. Shame doesn’t have a place in recovery. Leverage gratitude and do the next right thing. Growth takes time. Let it do its job.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator- You are the only one who can do this, but you don’t have to do it alone.

I love you guys.

Jul 4, 2022

Episode 385  - You’re Free

 

Today we have Steve. He is 34, from Boston, MA, and took his last drink on February 18, 2021.

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Bozeman Retreat

Upcoming Courses:  AF Photography and AF Mindfulness

Service Project

Courses: https://www.recoveryelevator.com/cafere/

Bozeman Retreat: https://www.recoveryelevator.com/bozeman/

 

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

 

Highlights from Paul

 

An elementary view of freedom is free will or doing what you want. A more rewarding form of freedom includes commitments, discipline, and boundaries for extended periods. Freedom also includes sleep, routine, forgiveness, being present, being of service, overcoming fear, and adding value. Freedom gives you choices; the most important choice is to be your authentic self.

 

                                                                             

[8:40]  Steve has been sober for over a year. Steve’s parents were born in El Salvatore, and Steve is first generation American. In college, he stumbled upon neuroscience. He enjoys running, boxing and music. A classmate passed, and the grief and mystery around his death felt impossible to process at the time. Alcohol put noise cancellation on his thoughts, his anxiety, and the reality of death. Steve never grieved. Over the years, his drinking progressed from weekends to weekdays to whenever he wasn’t working. He learned quickly he couldn’t have 1-2 drinks. Moderation didn’t work. Last year on his birthday, he drank to excess in front of his parents, siblings, and partner. He resolved you quit drinking. You get to keep everything else or give up everything and keep drinking. 

 

Steve attempted moderation. Eventually, he went to therapy to learn how to navigate his feelings, anxiety, and urge to drink. He realized he had a family history of alcohol abuse and anxiety. On a particularly bad day, his friends expressed concern and suggested some things to explore.    After his first Café Re meeting, Steve felt more comfortable with his thoughts; that was his Day 1. The RE community gave Steve the push he needed. Listening to others, he felt accepted, nourished, and supported. He described never feeling more human and letting vulnerability take center stage. Day count fell aside, and it became “no matter what.”

 

Steve’s non-negotiables started with not letting alcohol influence his work. Now it’s about being present and letting life happen. 

 

 

Paul’s Summary

 

Declare freedom over alcohol. Never quit quitting.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator –go big because eventually, we all go home.

I love you guys.

Jun 27, 2022

Episode 384  - The path of least resistance

 

Today we have Matt. He is 40, from Edmonton, Canada, and took his last drink on April 8, 2019.

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Café RE Chats:  https://recoveryelevator.com/cafere/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Sobriety is the path of least resistance. Moderation was miserable, and drinking is killing me. Paul describes his own experiences with moderation and points out that with moderation, you continue to have decision fatigue and only moderately heal.    Moderation is often a step along the journey toward ditching the booze.

 

The path of least resistance means – you won't get a DUI or be sent home from work because you smell like booze. Your sleep improves, your liver health improves along with your connections and relationships, and you enjoy more fun (and skittles). 

 

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

                                                                             

[13:06]  Matt has been sober for three years. He is a recovery coach, engaged, and enjoys music, nature, hiking, camping, and his dogs. He is learning about sound therapy and how music can influence your mindset.

 

Matt came from a family of heavy drinkers. He remembers listening to the excitement of the adults' conversations while drinking when he was young. He was often given sips of beer if it felt exciting. As a teenager, music became a way to express himself. The rock and roll lifestyle complimented the music, which included booze. Drinking helped Matt to overcome his shyness and awkwardness. 

 

His early 20s presented the perfect storm of opportunities to drink excessively. He went from a happy-go-lucky drunk to having a chip on his shoulder. He began to recognize his drinking habits were changing. A breakup with his girlfriend sent him into a tailspin of depression, and his drinking escalated. External pressure to quit drinking led to rebellion, and Matt learned that change had to come from within. Matt was hospitalized with acute pancreatitis after a drinking binge. He continued to drink and had another health incident. He took some time off work and launched it with a bender, then turned to a friend to bring him to an AA meeting. His first meeting was a profound emotional/spiritual shift that led him to over three years of sobriety. 

 

Matt's firsts during his first year of sobriety was difficult and rewarding. It was his first opportunity as an adult to experience life without alcohol. Self-help books, podcasts, and a growth mindset helped him embrace sobriety. He was quiet about his sobriety. At a friend's wedding, he had a shot of tequila, and the wave of the high hit him quickly. He had a creative outburst and wrote ten songs. He convinced himself that the drinks enabled his creativity. He repackaged all his views of alcohol to return to drinking moderately. The moderation bargaining started, and at one point, he heard a voice telling him, if you keep doing this, it will kill you. Matt continued drinking. After a sloppy party weekend, Matt realized it was time to stop while driving to his dad's celebration of life. He decided to stop the cycle as a tribute to his father. 

 

Matt recently made a plant-based medicine retreat. His healing journey continues, and the sense of peace has returned. He is focused on a growth mindset and allowing the journey to happen because life is not a to-do list.

 

Matt’s podcast:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/beyond-recovery/id1618862620

 

Kris's Summary

 

Embracing summer plans as a sober person is new for many of us. Give yourself grace. Create accountability, set boundaries, try new things, create new habits, and remember it's okay to go slow. 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator –it all starts from the inside out

I love you guys.

Jun 20, 2022

Episode 383  - Clearing space

 

Today we have Phillip. He is 46 and took his last drink on February 28, 2019.

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Bozeman Retreat:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/cafere/

Early Recovery Podcast Guests:  email info@recoveryelevator.com

 

Highlights from Paul

 

It's hard to visualize a sober life when you are still drinking because your body is using every drop of energy to get rid of the poison that is alcohol from your body. Paul suggests once you ditch the booze, sit back and be the observer to watch your life unfold and resist the urge to control everything. In his eighth year of sobriety, Paul bought a home in Costa Rica, a longtime dream. After quitting, his life became a blank canvas, and now he is exploring his love for nature in his new home – which would not have been possible if he was still drinking. Paul feels connected to his inner child and is grateful for his life today.

 

In chapter 4, Paul wants to showcase listeners' talents. Feel free to send an edited MP3 file in under 3 minutes to info@recoveryelevator.com, and you may hear yourself on the podcast. 

 

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

                                                                             

[12:55]  Phillip lives in Minneapolis, lives with his partner, has no kids, and works as an attorney. He is a marathon runner. Phillip started drinking in college. As life unfolded, he noticed drinking was part of all his life activities, from work to time with friends. He realized he drank every day, even the night before running a marathon. 

 

In 2017, he started to question if he had a problem. The thought of quitting drinking felt like quitting fun. In 2018, Philip decided to explore his relationship with alcohol as his New Year's resolution. He quit for four months with few problems. He kept a diary that tracked his cravings and triggers. He drank during a vacation which ended his streak. He found several reasons to start and stop. By the end of 2018, he returned to daily drinking and stopped keeping his diary, and brandy was his drink of choice. He noticed he was gaining weight, and his depression was worsening. He realized that moderation was a challenge. Choosing to drink or not drink daily was exhausting and caused decision fatigue. Phillip's sleep was terrible; one day, he found himself drinking at 3 AM so he could sleep … two hours before a run. It occurred to him that he was now drinking in the morning.

 

As he reflected on his behavior, he saw three paths:  continue drinking, moderate, or abstain altogether. He concluded that quitting was the past of least resistance because moderation involved constant decision fatigue. He joined the "no matter what" club. He got sober, learning how to get through the moments. He kept a spreadsheet that became a diary of his cravings. He tracked his cravings to he could identify trends. His most challenging moments came later in sobriety. Three months in, Memorial Day weekend was a huge struggle. Podcasts are a huge part of Phillip's recovery. He joined Café RE and began to connect with people. Many say you are the average of your top 5 people, and surrounding himself with non-drinkers has brought his life to a better level. He now enjoys a runner's high when he runs, which he never experienced when drinking.   Phillip believes sobriety can be for everybody.

 

Paul's Summary

 

Keep track of how much energy your addiction takes. Write it down. Never take yourself too seriously. I love you guys!

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator –it all starts from the inside out. I love you guys!

I love you guys.

Jun 13, 2022

Episode 382– So now what?

 

Today we have Ryan. He is 40, from Denver, and took his last drink on January 7, 2013.

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Bozeman Retreat:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/cafere/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Recovery Elevator Newsletter:  https://recoveryelevator.com

 

Paul shares Odette’s wise words,  “we can’t be hard on ourselves when we do hard things.” He also examines those who abuse alcohol and the correlation with being hard on ourselves. Could the pace you are setting for yourself be driving you to drink?

 

Not drinking isn’t an activity. I quit drinking, so now what? You are making space for a new chapter in your life. A theme you will find in that chapter is your relationship with yourself.

 

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

                                                                             

[11:15]  Ryan has been sober for over nine years. He is the founder of Free Spiritual Community for addicts to break the cycle of addiction. He is married and has four kids.   He loves being outside, the mountains, travel, and family life.

 

Ryan has been in ministry for 14 years, and sobriety brought him a spiritual awakening. He went to bible school, and during the first month, his brother was killed in a car accident. The addiction began to take over. Alcohol helped Ryan deal with pain, fear, and uncertainty. He experienced shame and fundamentally did not like himself as a person. 

 

Ryan didn’t know how to stop the pain or creating pain. While in the seminary, his drinking escalated. One Christmas Eve, his sister asked him not to come around anymore because she didn’t want her kids to see him drunk. He describes putting on a mask, so nobody could see who he was. Ryan describes the grace that helped him connect to his relationship with God, knowing that God was there during his addiction. 

 

Admitting that he was spiritually disconnected created spiritual freedom that changed his life. Shame, anger, and self-hatred helped him connect to God and explore a different way of life. An intervention from his wife made the difference. She used the word “we,” and knowing he didn’t have to do it alone propelled him into recovery.

 

Nine years in, Ryan still practices letting go. He began his journey in 12-step programs, and he went from sitting in the back of the room to actively engaging, getting vulnerable, and being of service. Today, Ryan and his wife have a church filled with addicts, loved ones of addicts, and spiritual refugees,

https://freespiritualcommunity.com. Insta:  freespiritualcommunity, YouTube: freespiritual community.

https://wagoncoffeeroasters.com/

 

Kris’ Summary

 

Kris talks about his wife Aimee being on the Recovery Elevator podcast. Check out episode 321. Kris thanks listeners for giving him the room to grow.

 

Keep going. Finds some peace.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

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Recovery Elevator –it all starts from the inside out. I love you guys!

I love you guys.

Jun 6, 2022

Episode 381– We are all addicted to something

 

Today we have Amy. She is 39, from Canada, and took her last drink on August 21, 2016

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul talks about a book he is reading called, The Urge. It's about an Indian in the Seneca Tribe named Handsome Lake. He developed a program similar to AA about 150 years before Bill W and Dr. Bob created AA.    Connection pulled people out of addiction. The Urge:  https://amzn.to/37KVS3Y

 

Paul describes an experience at a Sauna in the hot springs where a group of men started talking about addiction. It began with one man sharing that he had ten years without a drink and moved to Montana for a fresh start. After he burned the ships, the other men in the sauna talked about their struggle to control substances beyond alcohol and drugs. When one person opens up and shares from the heart, it gives others a safe space to do the same. 

 

Paul reminds us:  1) It's a challenging universe to live in; 2) we are all addicts trying to survive, and 3) we all need help. Continue exploring coping strategies, and you will find the ones that work for you.

 

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

                                                                             

[10:55]  Amy has been sober for six years. She is from Toronto, Canada, and works as a sobriety and mindset coach. She loves reading, cycling, traveling, cross stitching, is single, queer, and has a cat. 

 

Amy started drinking at 16 and grew up in a family dealing with addiction. Alcohol relieved Amy from the trauma and complication of her parent's separation and divorce. She was hiding alcohol and drinking alone very early into her drinking.   The volume and frequency of her drinking progressed rapidly, and she was prone to blackouts. Externally she was high functioning. Internally, she struggled quite a bit.

 

Amy was overcome with grief after her dad's sudden death, and her drinking escalated to cope with her volatile emotions. She achieved six months of consecutive sobriety and committed to being done with drinking. Her first attempts included moderation, rewards, and bargaining, which continued for a year. In 2015, questions started to emerge for Amy, forcing her to examine her drinking. 

 

Amy became a coach and learned to share her story more publicly. She now helps other women create change for themselves. She has taken her life and her power back. Breaking the cycle of addiction has been very empowering for Amy. Compassion and sadness have become her primary emotions. Compassion for her father and sadness for what she went through and what might have been had her childhood been more stable.

 

Small steps, habit stacking, and new habits created momentum for Amy. Committing to making real change, even with discomfort and struggle, helped Amy to stack days. She began to follow other sober women on Instagram, which made her feel hopeful. Learning about addiction and alcohol, from biology to mental health, helped Amy strengthen her commitment to abstinence. She avoided events, social situations, and people who created a risk to her sobriety.   She shifted her priorities to change her life.

Find Amy on Instagram @MsAmyCWillis and Holandwell.com.

 

Odette's Summary

 

Odette discusses non-scale victories and tiny wins that are difficult to measure. She encourages listeners to be mindful of those small victories that snowball into meaningful momentum. 

 

Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

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Recovery Elevator –please believe in yourself. I believe in you.

I love you guys.

May 30, 2022

Episode 380– What is Sober?

 

Today we have Shrene. She is 46, from Arizona, and took her last drink on September 10, 2019

 

AF Photography Class for beginners will start in August.  Details to follow.

AF Ukelele Course #2 starts in June.

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul talks about the word sober.  For this podcast, sober refers to alcohol, because alcohol is what got Paul behind the microphone to launch Recovery Elevator.   Paul suggests not getting too attached to any idea of what sober looks like.  It’s not about the substance, but the freedom you have from the substance.  Try not to judge others for their definition of sober, because it’s rarely black and white.  When you judge others, you judge yourself and create separation.  Defining sobriety can be a fool’s errand.

 

Sobriety is living authentically.  Sobriety is not being a slave, to a substance, behavior, or action.   Sobriety is living your life how you want to live, living with a connected head and heart, recognizing  beauty, art, sunsets,  a different vibration.

Sobriety is hope, taking off the chains, meeting yourself, a manageable life.

Sobriety is “downgrading additions.” Sarah Hepola - Blackout   https://www.amazon.com/Blackout-Remembering-Things-Drank-Forget/dp/1455554588

 

If you remove alcohol and aren’t ready to say goodbye to everything else, go slow, take your time, and listen to your body. There is no right or wrong way to do this, and there is no generally accepted definition of sobriety.

 

At Recovery Elevator, we accept all versions of sober.  We accept all versions of you.

 

 

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

                                                                             

[12:04]  Shrrene is married with two children, two dogs and is a lunch lady who makes lunch for 700 kids daily.

 

Shrrene remembers drinking as early as age three to four.  She drank through her high school years.  She stopped drinking when she got married at age 16 and she stopped drinking until after her son was born at age 26.  She was a casual drinker.

 

At 40, she started drinking daily.  She would sneak her drinking, hide bottles, and hide in her closet to drink.  She quit during her pregnancy.  She had open heart surgery at 39, then had a stroke.  At age 41 she had a second open heart surgery but continued to drink.  Her husband brought an AA Big Book home from an Al-Anon meeting.  Her husband joined Celebrate Recovery and she joined him for meetings.  She began to moderate but went back to field research regularly until 2019.  Shrrene got sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Prayer was instrumental for getting the desire to drink lifted.  Now she doesn’t have a desire to drink, other than the fleeting thought and she plans to stay active in recovery and help others.

 

Shrrene slowly started talking to her husband, in AA meetings, journaling and learning to share.  Journaling helped when she was too afraid to talk to others and it is a tool that still serves her today. 

 

Attending AA and CR meetings were helpful, but Shrrene was reluctant to share.  When she learned to open up, she felt less alone.  She found the similarities in the stories of others.  She encourages listeners to keep trying and never give up. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds us “we can do hard things”.  We can’t do hard things and be hard on ourselves. Chose yourself, chose kindness and be your own cheerleader.

 

Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

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Recovery Elevator –we are here for you, don’t quit quitting.

I love you guys.

May 23, 2022

Episode 379 – Service

 

Today we have Aaron. He is 40, from South Carolina, and took his last drink on September 15, 2021.

 

Jeff was interviewed for the podcast on episodes 104 and 377, has a book out, and is now leading sober travel trips. See links below.

 

Finding Bishop Castle: A Road Trip to Recovery -- https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Bishop-Castle-Road-Recovery/dp/0578882612/ref=sr_1_1?crid=350FVMX9SZBRI&keywords=finding+bishop+castle+jeff+bowersox&qid=1649339640&sprefix=Finding+Bishop+%2Caps%2C213&sr=8-1#customerReviews

 

Afterglow Recovery -  https://ourafterglow.com

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul talks about the benefits of service and climate change in recovery. Service gets you out of your head and out of your story. Dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin are released when we help others.

 

Climate change could save us as a species by forcing us to work together and develop a collective strategy. Alcoholics can help because there’s one thing we can do that others can’t, and that’s meeting as a group, putting all our differences aside, and talking about healing, recovery, and LOVE.

 

Paul wants climate change to unite us instead of dividing us. He is encouraging Recovery Elevator listeners to plant a tree, take a picture and tag us on Instagram @recoveryelevator.

 

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under the shade you don’t expect to sit.” Nelson Henderson

 

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

                                                                             

[15:06]  Aaron has been sober for seven months and is married with two kids. He has an athletic household. He loves cooking, sports, and power yoga. 

 

Alcohol wasn’t part of his life until his senior year of high school.   When he went to college, binge drinking was the norm. Alcohol came with comradery for Aaron. All his memories with his friends involved alcohol. At 23, he totaled a car after drinking to excess. He quit for a month after the accident. When he started working, he got an outside sales job involving entertaining customers. Both his work and his social life revolved around drinking. At times it felt like an obligation. His tolerance built up, and it never occurred to him to stop.

 

His wife noticed and began to comment on his drinking. Aaron said to drink as he wanted meant being drunk. He saw a therapist specializing in addiction who helped him see several things. 

 

Aaron’s 40th birthday was enough of a nudge to get him to address his drinking. His wife bought him a ten pack of hot yoga classes, and he went to his first one on his birthday. 

 

Odette and Aaron discussed the dynamics of alcoholism running in the family and how to talk to children, siblings, and cousins about being mindful of the patterns that can develop.

 

Accountability has been a big part of Aaron’s sober journey. His cousin has become his accountability partner, and they talk about the ups and downs of sobriety with each other.

 

Odette and Aaron talk about the differences in sobriety that are new. Managing customers has worked well in sobriety. Aaron remembers his deliverables more readily and has found that as many customers want to be home with family as they want to party. Grieving your old life is allowed and makes sense.   Ditching the booze makes room for new experiences. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds listeners that you keep us going. We want to hear from you about what you would like to hear from us in the podcast, social media, and newsletters. You can reach Odette at info@recoveryelevator.com.

 

Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

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Recovery Elevator –It all starts from the inside out.

I love you guys.

May 16, 2022

Episode 378 – Finding Grace

 

Today we have Susan. She is 46, from Ohio, and took her last drink on June 14, 2019.

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Odette

 

"Whatever courage got you here is going to take you far." You are brave, and you have courage. Learn to trust yourself. Define far for yourself. The unfolding of healing takes time, have patience with yourself. Odette has two sentences of a poem on her forearm: "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." Those words are a reminder of her strength, courage, and perseverance. 

 

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

                                                                             

[09:20]  Susan has been sober for nearly three years. She is speaking on the podcast to get out of her comfort zone and overcome some complacency in her sobriety.

 

Susan is married and lives in Ohio with a stepson and two dogs. She works for an investment company and loves the outdoors, the beach, paddle boarding, running, and Jeopardy.

 

Susan grew up in a house of addiction and described it as WWIII. Her father was an abusive alcoholic. Her parents tended to numb out and not deal with anything. She realizes now many of her behaviors result from a trauma response. 

 

Susan was often the caretaker for her mom, so the roles were reversed. She partied a fair amount in her twenties. Her mom died, and her sister was diagnosed with lung cancer. Her sister and brother-in-law died within seven months of one another. Susan retreated into her addiction. All the grief and pain from losing her sister was overwhelming. 

 

Addiction was like a cocoon for Susan. It became so uncomfortable, and she had to stop. Susan tried naltrexone, but she wasn't ready to quit. Shame kept her drinking for some time, and in retrospect, Susan regrets that she didn't ask for help.

Alan Carr's book podcasts and terror helped her to quit for good. Two months into sobriety, she attended Recovery Elevator's Bozeman retreat.    At Bozeman, Susan learned that community is essential. Susan struggled to share her recovery with her drinking friends.   She often said she was "on a cleanse." 

 

Susan describes recovery as a radical act of self-love. Her progress in the last 3-years eclipses her progress in the previous ten. She is learning to get uncomfortable with being uncomfortable.    Meditation, gratitude practice, and Women for Sobriety zoom meetings are essential sobriety tools for Susan.    She suggests getting clear on your "why" to reinforce your commitment to recovery.   Susan believes you are worth it and deserve to be happy and have some peace.

 

Kris' Summary

 

Kris encourages you to share your story. Contact Kris:  Kris@recoveryelevator.com

 

Kris describes his daughter's work to win a photography merit award. Even with life's ups and downs, her consistency reminds him of the consistency needed to maintain sobriety. Managing struggles, triumphs, and learning to grow through challenges is how you stack days and keep your commitment.    Sometimes our plans work out perfectly, while others kick us in the face. We don't know what's around the corner. Meet every challenge with love, patience, and grace. 

 

You are the only one who can do this, but you don't have to do it alone. 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

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Recovery Elevator –It all starts from the inside out.

I love you guys.

May 9, 2022

Episode 377 – Your favorites

 

Today we have Jeff. He is 47, from the Dominican Republic, and took his last drink on December 4, 2016.

 

Bozeman Retreat:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/bozeman/

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Listeners provided highlights of some of their favorite episodes of the Recovery Elevator podcast.

 

330 – Learn to love yourself as your dog (or cat) loves you. You have a certain amount of energy and days in your life, and it is your choice on what to spend it on.

 

207 and 220 – Tom Topp inspired a listener to see social anxiety as a similarity. Another listener helped her learn that the body does heal from elevated liver enzymes without alcohol.

 

Another listener couldn't name one episode but instead said, sharing your story and recovering out loud helps shred the shame of addiction. It made me realize that I'm not alone, and together we can fight and overcome this!

 

370 Stephanie – a listener, learned to put the same energy into her recovery that she did into drinking.

 

Odette speaking about her relapse was also powerful

 

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

                                                                             

[15:21]  Jeff feels great, thanks to five years of sobriety. He is married and splits time between Colorado and the Dominican Republic. He has a concierge service for people in recovery to enjoy a beach vacation without the triggers of alcohol. Jeff's services help sober experience sober fun.

 

Jeff experimented with alcohol as a teenager and described alcohol as a warm hug. He married at 18 and put alcohol on the sidelines to become a provider. In his mid-thirties, Jeff spiraled into self-pity. After DUI's and jail time, it took him several years to embrace recovery. He remarried and was a grey area drinker, until his drinking was problematic again. 

 

Codependency caused Jeff to take on identities for other people. In sobriety, he started to get to know himself. When triggered, he asks his wife for help. Jeff listened to ninety episodes of the Recovery Elevator podcast in thirty days. Stubbornness helped to make sobriety stick. Writing is a great tool for Jeff and posting in Café Re provides him with great feedback.

 

Collecting the sober moments retrains the synapses in your brain to have different responses to triggering events.

 

Odette's Summary

 

You can handle this. Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator –It all starts from the inside out.

I love you guys.

May 2, 2022

Episode 376 – You can be right, or you can have peace – Part 2

 

Today we have Ronda. She is 56, from New Orleans, and sober for 2.5 years.

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

We are all human, with faulty machines in the dome. It's okay to be right or want to be right, especially in the moment. Sobriety teaches us that we must choose peace. We don't have to choose peace immediately, but eventually, we must, or we develop resentments. Resentments, for many of us, can kill us. Why?   Resentments separate us. Disconnect us. And what's the opposite of addiction—connection.

 

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

                                                                             

[10:23]  Ronda and Odette discussed the sobriety journey and celebrating the decision to quit vs. the date of your last drink. Ronda is from New Orleans and recently moved to Colorado. She has three grown children, and she is an anesthesiologist. She loves sailing, hiking, and traveling.

 

Ronda's first addiction was an eating disorder. She coped with stress and shame with food. She recovered from the eating disorder at age 30, and alcohol became a problem. She got a DWI in her mid-forties. Ronda said she ignored all the signs. She didn't want to have a drinking problem. The culture in New Orleans portrays day drinking and excessive drinking as the norm, so it made denial easier.

 

Ronda was more of a binge drinker than a daily drinker. Her kids started noticing her drinking. Her middle daughter was vocal about her concerns early on. So, Ronda began to hide her drinking. Ronda and the kids evacuated to Phoenix during Hurricane Katrina. Her problem with drinking started then, and it took her ten years to get help.

 

After getting a DUI, Ronda had to go through a program to align with the recommendations of the medical board. Even her colleagues said, "it could have been me."

 

When visiting her daughter in sober living, Ronda got sloshed at the airport and faced her daughter's disappointment when she landed. When her daughter stopped protecting Ronda, it was another AHA moment that she had a problem. After her daughter went to rehab, Ronda started moderating when her kids were with her. 

 

There are multiple ways to get sober, and Ronda tried everything and found a mix of programs that worked. Ronda leveraged AA, The Tempest Sobriety School (run by Holly Whittaker), Recovery Elevator, and Café RE in early recovery. With a heavy emphasis on self-care, Ronda was able to find her true soul, her wounded inner child, and the ego that were all within herself. Learning to take care of herself allowed Ronda to stack days and helped her to deal with shame. Plant-based medicine was a pivotal moment in her recovery journey.

 

Ronda was molested as a young child, and it was one of many childhood traumas that contributed to her addiction. Shortly after confronting her abuser, she took her last drink. It was a burden off her shoulders that she didn't have to hide anymore.

 

Joy has permeated Ronda's life. She has learned new skills, confronted her past, and found many ways to have fun, including mediation, music, dancing, nature, bubble baths, community, and board games (particularly Bananagrams). Morning routines are critical to Ronda's sobriety routine. She removed herself from social media other than her recovery groups.

 

Odette's Summary

 

Odette talks about shame, day counts, and restarting. Committing to sobriety should add value, not shame, to your recovery. It's not about the date. It's about staying on the journey. Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator –We took the elevator down. We need to take the stairs back up.

I love you guys.

Apr 25, 2022

Episode 375 – Decoupling

 

Today we have Amanda. She is 40, from Florida, and took her last drink on March 25, 2019.

 

The Bozeman Retreat has openings for men:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/bozeman/

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul discusses anxiety and decoupling. Paul’s tipping point was in 2017 when his anxiety or hangxiety was so bad that he thought he was having a heart attack. As he sobered up, the anxiety temporarily worsened, then improved dramatically. 85-90% of Paul’s anxiety is gone today. Anxiety no longer controls him.

 

Decoupling is untangling the thoughts, actions, and behaviors no longer serving you. Decoupling is a muscle. Start small and watch the momentum build. 

 

You are the Placebo:  https://amzn.to/3M3ChKJ

 

 

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

                                                                             

[10:20]  Amanda is married to a military husband and has two children. She works as a mental health provider. She loves time with her kids, baking, working out, and spending time with other sober people. 

 

Amanda grew up in an alcoholic home. She grew up with verbal and emotional abuse and struggled with anxiety for most of her childhood. She was an athlete but quit. She began hanging out with an older crowd, and illicit drugs entered her life. She quickly reigned in the drug use. Going to school in New Orleans, her drinking escalated. Eventually, she discovered prescription drugs. She mixed them with alcohol. 

 

She observed her mental obsession with alcohol during her second pregnancy. After having her first baby, she used alcohol to cope with the stress of motherhood and having a military husband who was gone a lot. At a birthday party, she drank a bottle of wine and still wanted more. She hoped her tolerance would reset, but it didn’t work that way.

 

Amanda was highly functioning, working full time, eating well, exercising, and caring for her children. Amanda described herself as arrogant because she knew the ins and outs of addiction because of her career but continued to drink.

 

After relocating from one part of the country to another, Amanda thought it was time to reign in her drinking. She started a fitness plan that included some aggressive nutritional goals that excluded alcohol to be more present. She felt great, but her drinking resumed. At her grandfather’s funeral, her husband noticed she drank an entire bottle of wine at 9 AM. Shortly after that, she knew she was “done” and told her husband she had a problem and needed help. 

 

Amanda discovered Recovery Elevator and Café Re during her first two years. She has found the resources she needs to maintain her sobriety. She was initially active in AA. Community is now the core of her recovery. Feeling understood and accepted for all her parts is amazing. Amanda is learning to create distance from her thoughts, accept them and have compassion for herself and others.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette thanks listeners for all the support and kind words she received during her last introduction to the podcast.   Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Recovery Elevator –Every time we say no to booze, we say yes to ourselves.

I love you guys.

Apr 18, 2022

Episode 374 – Then go back again

 

Today we have Meegan. She is 37, from Georgia, and took her last drink on April 21, 2019.

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Addiction has the propensity to crack you open. We fight and dig our heels in, but eventually, the Addiction wins. This doesn’t mean you are destined to drink forever, but the Addiction cracks you open. Paul encourages listeners to use their energy to find what recovery method works for them. When you find it, go back again to the beginning. You will find that the messages you heard early in recovery have different lessons for you later in recovery. Go back again. Listen to those podcasts again, read the quit lit again or recovery books again, and do the steps again. You are a different person with a new set of skills,  experiences, and tools.    Revisiting those messages often provides a new value bomb. 

 

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[11:24] Meegan is a Family Nurse Practitioner and is married with three children. She loves running, snowboarding, and writing. Meegan describes a happy childhood until her parents had a tumultuous divorce, and it broke her heart. Life felt out of control. Meegan developed an eating disorder. She experimented with drinking in high school and described it as a rite of passage. Meegan made a few geographic moves for school.

 

After a few moves, Meegan landed in Georgia, got married, and immediately had a baby. She was part of the Mommy wine culture. That was a lightbulb moment. She recognized that drinking with the baby at age 24 wasn’t good. Wine calmed her down after dealing with the stress of night shifts. Meegan started having extreme panic attacks. 

 

Training for a 100-mile ultra-marathon made her drinking take a back burner. Her panic attacks subsided. At 30, she got pregnant with twins. Her father died around the same time, and it broke her. The stress of twins and her father’s death caused her drinking to escalate. 

 

Value Bomb:  You can be the best version of yourself or be hungover, but you can’t be both. 

 

As her drinking progressed, her hangovers became more debilitating. During a trip to Europe, her solution to hangovers was to continue drinking. While in Capri, she started having bad withdrawal symptoms. As a nurse, she knew what that meant.

 

After returning home, she knew moderation wouldn’t work. Shortly after an embarrassing time with her family, she had a moment of clarity. She fell to her knees and asked God for help. The moment of clarity was a combination of spirituality, physical health, and mental health. She called her two best friends and promised her daughter she would never drink again. Her sister encouraged her to get a therapist.

 

Meegan acknowledged that she didn’t learn healthy coping mechanisms. In recovery, Meegan is learning to feel her feelings. Perfectionism was a theme in her early years. Telling her story is a way for Meegan to let others know that failure is okay.

 

Meegan “loves the quote, “Addiction is an experience, not an identity. “

 

Kris and Meegan encourage listeners to find the recovery that works for you.

 

Kris’s Summary

 

Friendships in recovery are invaluable. You experience people who are present, listen with their hearts, and never shame you. Kris encourages listeners to lean in to discomfort. Share your experience. 

 

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Resources

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Apr 11, 2022

Episode 373– Control and Connection

 

Today we have Chris. She is 46, from Baltimore, and took her last drink on August 28, 2016.

 

Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul thanks all the guests who have shared their stories to help us on the path toward sobriety. Paul wants to hear about your favorite episode or the value bombs that resonated with you. Please include the episode number if possible. Contact Paul at: info@recoveryelevator.com.

 

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How are you reconciling the elements of control in your life? Paul talks about our struggles with control at the macro and micro levels. Is the opposite of control connection? We have never been more disconnected.

 

Paul’s homework for listeners is to invite a friend out to coffee instead of placing your mental energies on trying to control things. Go on a walk with your dog in Nature. Learn to play the ukulele with us, go on a meditation retreat, join Café RE, call your mom, volunteer at a soup kitchen, write a letter to someone in jail. All our lives depend on this, and we all have to do our part, which I know we can and know we will.

 

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[10:16] Sherrie lives in Baltimore and has two adult children. She is a massage therapist and teaches movement. She is a competitive Irish dancer; she loves paddle boarding and hiking.

 

Alcoholism was a big part of Chris’ family. There was a lot of shame, and she steered clear of alcohol. She was the designated driver for her friends in high school. After she was married, she started drinking, and it rapidly progressed into a problem. After losing a pregnancy, she had a white light moment, and she went down a very dark hole. Alcohol became her coping mechanism to turn off the pain. She began losing clients and students and realized it was time to stop.

 

Physical pain and discomfort were warning signs for Chris that she wasn’t headed in a good direction. Her husband never thought her drinking was a problem. Moderation was his preferred choice. He didn’t think she needed to quit altogether, even when she asked for help. Waking up in a blur became commonplace. Chris started listening to recovery podcasts, and fear became the impetus to get her to quit drinking.

 

Chris’ clients started to notice a difference in her when she quit drinking. They asked, what’s different? She began her sober journey alone and listened to sobriety podcasts, including Recovery Elevator. She kept it quiet, even from her partner.   Chris attended a Recovery Elevator retreat and realized she was a dry drunk. Community became part of her recovery, and she credits Paul’s work for expanding her view of a sober life.

 

Lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, became critical to Chris’ recovery. As she continued to get better, her husband got worse and tried to sabotage her efforts. Chris relies on community and meditative movement to maintain her sobriety. 

 

Talking openly about alcohol use with her daughters has been crucial to Chris. They have open discussions about alcohol, marijuana, and other addictive substances. She reminds her daughters that she doesn’t drink and why and is very open about the predisposition for addiction in their family. Chris appreciates the power and control that have returned to her in a life without alcohol.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

[48:12] “The crap does not mean you are broken; it means you have room to grow.”  Odette encourages us to look at the opportunities to learn, change our perceptions and live a different life. You are not alone – together is always better.

 

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Resources

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Apr 4, 2022

Episode 372– The three stages of healing

 

Today we have Sherrie. She is 58, from Oregon, and she took her last drink on January 21, 2019.

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul explains the stages of healing have less to do with how much time you were drinking and more to do with how you view your problems.

 “The Energy Codes”: https://amzn.to/3I9MgMh

 

The three stages of healing are:

  1. Victimhood – you are playing the victim card
  2. Self Help – you identify the problem, then solve it
  3. Creatorship – there was never a problem; drinking was there to help me. You take responsibility for everything in your life.

 

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[13:52] Sherrie lives in Oregon, has two children and three grandchildren. She loves hiking, kayaking, house projects, and her dog.

 

Sherrie lived overseas during her childhood. She started working at 16 and drank because older workers never asked about her age. Drinking was prevalent in her youth.   She was married young, but drinking wasn’t an issue until there was a turning point in her marriage. Her marriage had its ups and downs for many years. Empty nest syndrome changed her drinking, and gastric bypass surgery changed how her body processed alcohol. She could drink large amounts of alcohol and began to blackout. 

 

Sherrie gained weight in hopes that her husband would leave her. As she approached her fifties (her father passed at age 54), she developed patterns of self-sabotage. After her second DUI, she knew it was time to make a change. She started counseling and stayed away from triggering moments like going to the grocery store. Her life revolved around recovery. Anytime she wasn’t working, she was focused on recovery.

 

AA is a significant part of Sherrie’s recovery, AND she incorporates other things that work for her like Café RE, sober travel, meditation, etc. Finding activities that take her focus off wanting to drink helps Sherrie stay on track. Sherrie has a positive outlook and looks forward to fun adventures ahead.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

[56:52] You are doing a great job. Acknowledge the work and effort you are making. Validate your own work. Be your own cheerleader. You are not alone – together is always better.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

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Resources

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Mar 28, 2022

Episode 371– Define your sobriety

 

Today we have Cyndi. She is 52, from California, and she took her last drink on  July 1, 2021.

 

Registration for the Bozeman retreat opens April 1. https://recoveryelevator.com/bozeman

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Recovery is recovering the person you were meant to be or is the most authentic version of yourself. This isn’t a practice you want to end. It’s not a checkbox or to-do list item. Besides, if you stick with it, you will start enjoying this work.

 

What is success in recovery? Paul says YOU should define success for the most essential endeavor of your life. Know your why and write it down. Loving yourself and being okay with yourself should top the list.

 

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[11:12] Cyndi is married loves hiking, puzzles, and pets.

 

Alcohol entered Cyndi’s life when she was sixteen. She loved it and had fun in the beginning. Cyndi’s recovery journey was progressive. Her drinking escalated after she got married. After a few comments from her husband, she tried an intensive outpatient program which wasn’t effective. Cyndi found herself reneging on all the promises she made to herself. She tried AA. After some soul searching and a request from her husband, she completely changed her approach. Her drinking was progressing, and things she swore she would never do, she was doing. Defiance, a desire for control, and physical cravings fueled her relapses.

 

Today Cyndi doesn’t isolate. She goes to AA daily, and she doesn’t put herself in situations where she may be tempted to drink. Podcasts, doing the work with her sponsor, and leveraging Café RE keep her sober.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Give yourself permission to recover regardless of where you are in alcohol’s progressive nature.   

 

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Mar 21, 2022

Episode 370– Phases of Recovery

 

Today we have Stephanie. She is from Pennsylvania, and she took her last drink on  January 2, 2020.

 

Ditch the Boozehttps://recoveryelevator.com/cafére   Promo Code:  OPPORTUNITY

 

Finding your better you with Odette

 

After ten years of being in recovery, Odette discovers that she never asked herself what recovery means to her. Success means different things to different people. When Odette decided to add alcohol to her recovery journey, she enjoyed counting days and celebrating milestones. Fear is a common theme Odette noticed among her sober soulmates,  fear of failure. 

 

Relapse has been part of Odette’s journey, and she spoke about how common relapse is for those in recovery. As she searched for the reasons she relapsed, she discovered depression, perfectionism, and shame patterns. Shame dissolves hope, and without hope, you stop showing up. Sobriety for Odette is about walking toward herself and her truth.

 

Odette encourages listeners to define sobriety and recovery for yourselves. Stay in the game, and don’t quit on yourself.

 

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[10:48] Stephanie is 42, a single mom of two boys, and lives in Pennsylvania. She loves running, cooking, and fund-raising. She is enrolled in nursing school. 

 

Stephanie describes year two of sobriety as different:  a little less pink cloud and more work. She enjoys running and cooking. 

 

Alcohol was an escape for Stephanie. She had a great 80’s upbringing but did encounter some trauma that she rarely spoke about. The trauma influenced her relationships. She became the girl who could outdrink the boys.   Much of her early drinking years are a blur for Stephanie.

 

After separating from her son’s father and her Dad’s diagnosis, Stephanie realized she had a problem. She was drinking to cope and not eating. She started running, quit smoking, and lost 50 pounds. She recalls having blackouts and not remembering conversations with her kids. Getting healthy for them became critical to her, so her kids wouldn’t have to care for her.

 

Community has always been important to Stephanie. She joined Café Re and has a group of friends in recovery. She bought the book, Alcohol is Sh!t, and once she finished the book, she knew “this was it.”  She knew moderation wasn’t enough.

 

Sobriety has opened Stephanie’s mind to all kinds of possibilities. The pandemic forced her out of the restaurant industry, and she found a nursing school. She is now in her second year of nursing school, making excellent grades. She created the “merch” department for Café RE. She is passionate about service and gift-giving. Stephanie is focused, driven, and living a life of possibilities. Recovery isn’t perfect. Life still has ups and downs, but recovery is worthwhile. She plans to incorporate recovery into her nursing career. “Find your people!”

 

Kris’s Summary

 

Recovery to Kris includes mediation, podcasting, service, meetings. He is learning that recovery isn’t a resume of self-awareness. Faith taught Kris to surrender. The quality of his recovery is because of the grace of God. Kris wants to keep learning. Recovery is an opportunity; it’s a chance, and Kris will do his best. 

 

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Resources

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Mar 14, 2022

Episode 369– You can be right, or you can have peace

 

Today we have Katherine. She is from Colorado and took her last drink on September 24, 2021.

 

Ditch the Boozehttps://recoveryelevator.com/cafére   Promo Code:  OPPORTUNITY

 

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Highlights from Paul

 

Paul speaks to the rise of post-pandemic alcohol-free bars. Check out: https://www.wweek.com/bars/2022/02/17/portland-is-getting-its-first-zero-proof-bar-courtesy-of-no-booze-cocktail-kit-vendor-suckerpunch/

 

Paul speaks to brain fog and how much it impacts those of us with a history of drinking problems. Fortunately, Paul has experienced continued improvement in his cognitive function since ditching the Booze. Paul also credits meditation with improving his critical thinking and problem-solving skills. There is ample scientific evidence that meditation can rewire your thinking.   Paul also credits plant-based medicine, playing music, and being less reactive with helping his brain fog and mental cognition. Paul encourages listeners to be patient and allow mind, body, and soul to recalibrate after leaving alcohol behind. Once the PAWS (post-acute withdrawal symptoms) disappear, you will also see improvement in cognitive dissonance.

 

Paul describes a recent experience where he chose being right over peace and reminds us that he learned the hard way that it’s better to have peace than be right.

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator

                                                                             

[13:46] Katherine is 45 and married with three children. She loves reading, working out, and skiing. 

 

Katherine tried drinking in high school, but it wasn’t until the last twelve years that her drinking was problematic. She joined the army at 21. When she started drinking wine, she became infatuated with the hype of wine. She became the last one to leave the party. Work troubles and being stationed in a different place than her husband contributed to her escalated drinking.

 

Katherine and her husband drank together regularly. He quit with her, even though his drinking wasn’t problematic. He often expressed concern which Katherine experienced as controlling. She didn’t understand how much her drinking was affecting him. Signs appeared that her drinking was a problem, but she dismissed them. Now, she has her friend back. 

 

Katherine is reluctant to admit that she medicated with wine and used it to overcome the stresses of motherhood. A heavy-drinking mommy peer group became a permission slip to drink more. A series of divine interventions inspired her to quit for good. She completed a 90-day intensive outpatient program and listened to Recovery Elevator podcasts for inspiration. 

 

Katherine encourages listeners to be gentle with themselves; give yourself grace. She has learned that expressing her feelings out loud takes away their power. Reading has become a great escape. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Know how to sit with others when they are in pain. Odette read this in Brene Brown’s latest book. Learning to hold space for others and just be with others is challenging but worthwhile.   Remember, you are not alone. Together is always better.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

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Resources

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Mar 7, 2022

Episode 368 – The Mind F&ck of Alcohol

 

Today we have Stephen. He is from New Jersey and took his last drink on September 15, 2020.

 

Ditch the Boozehttps://recoveryelevator.com/cafére   Promo Code:  OPPORTUNITY

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul shares an email from a listener who asks Paul how people without a drinking problem can get help. He talks about the A&E show “Intervention” and how he often watched it while drinking alone, grateful he didn’t have a problem with alcohol. The show, Intervention gave Paul countless examples of how alcohol “f&cks” with your mind.   After 276 interventions on the show, 270 accepted treatment, with 151 remaining clean and sober today, which is a 55% success rate. If those numbers are accurate, they are much more optimistic than the broadly accepted low teen success rate you hear from the industry.

 

Paul reminds listeners that you probably have a drinking problem if you are listening to a sobriety podcast. The point of addiction is to get to know yourself and love yourself. 

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator

                                                                             

[13:10] Stephen is 45 and lives in New Jersey. He is a father (a “girl dad”), coach, and owns his own business. He loves coaching, sports, and everything outside.   

 

Stephen’s relationship with alcohol evolved over 25 years. Alcohol was his biggest challenge, but he also used marijuana. He dabbled in underage drinking and had fun on the Jersey shore. He managed his drinking well for many years. When his second daughter was born, he began to acknowledge his drinking was problematic. His drinking escalated over the years. He and his wife danced with moderation, and he occasionally took days off drinking. Stephen was the driver of the drinking in his marriage.

 

Stephen credits Paul Churchill’s book with getting him sober. He tried several programs before he found Recovery Elevator. Ultimately, he went to a four-day detox. He was full of energy and enthusiasm after leaving detox. He relapsed a few times but rallied and has been able to stack days. Mismatched drinking habits pushed the end of his marriage. Meditation, journaling, exercise, and accountability are his best sobriety tools. 

 

Value Bombs

 

  • Learning that alcohol was the symptom, not the problem, was eye-opening
  • Enjoy the moments
  • Once it gets good (in sobriety), it gets great quickly. Everything compounds.
  •  

Odette’s Summary

 

If you are seeking anything outside of self, you are taking the long way home. Odette reminds us that everything we need is inside of us. There is no shame in having doubt. Stay on the path! Remember, you are not alone. Together is always better.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

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Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

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Recovery Elevator – it all starts from the inside out. I love you guys.

Feb 28, 2022

Episode 367 – Why geographical cures won’t work.

 

Today we have Aaron. He is from San Antonio and took his last drink on May 22, 2019.

 

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Highlights from Paul

 

Paul advises listeners that if you aren’t doing the inner work, your problems will follow you, whether you move, change jobs, or change relationships. That’s why geographic cures don’t work. He speaks about some of his geographic solutions and why they helped temporarily, but eventually, he discovered he was the problem and had to buckle down to do the deep inner work. Paul highly recommends getting out of toxic situations. 

 

Paul describes the inner work as connecting with yourself, learning to love yourself, setting boundaries, making decisions that benefit your sobriety, and standing up for yourself. Ultimately, inner work often causes you to leave toxic situations, relationships, jobs, etc.   When you learn to respect yourself, you will choose environments that are conducive to your wholeness. 

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator

                                                                             

[11:54] Aaron is 27, lives in Texas, and works in finance for a corporate bank. He is a family guy, loves hiking, getting outside, food truck Friday’s and hanging out with his nieces and nephews.   

 

Aaron was raised by an amazing single mother and had a great childhood. His world was rocked when his mom died of breast cancer when he was twelve. Entering high school after losing his mom left him feeling disconnected from family, people, places, and himself. He started drinking his sophomore year, and alcohol gave him confidence, popularity, and connection. He moved to the Midwest to live with his sister and encountered a new environment, including harsh winters. Boredom led to more drinking, pot use, and the wrong crowd. 

 

Aaron spoke heartfeltly about the role shame played in his delay in maintaining continuous sobriety. Resentments and anger fueled his drinking. He was 24 when he first attempted sobriety. Eventually, an early morning AA meeting became the key to stacking days. He started working out and listened to the Recovery Elevator podcast during his workout. His mom became a higher power for him as he got sober. Sharing his story with you today is Aaron’s way to give back and offer hope. 

 

Aaron discovered some co-addictions along the way, including co-dependency and disordered eating,

 

Value Bombs

 

  • You don’t have to have a hard physical bottom to get sober.
  • You can get sober because you want a better life
  • You can stay sober because you have a better life.
  • A solid morning routine and discipline led him to stacking days.
  • Discipline has taught him to choose what matters most: his health, career, and family.
  • Aaron’s relationships are now pure and genuine because he made a change.
  • Sitting with his feelings and journaling have helped him live life on life’s terms.
  • Sobriety is an opportunity, not a sacrifice.

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette reminds us that baby steps are progress. She reminds us we are too hard on ourselves and encourages us to remember the small things we are doing that move us in the right direction. Baby steps add up and create a compound effect. Those baby steps are decisions and small actions culminating in meaningful differences. Take inventory of the small things you are doing that move you in the right direction, and be proud! Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

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Recovery Elevator – we took the elevator down; we need to take the stairs back up. I love you guys.

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