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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
Feb 26, 2024

Episode 471 – Progress and Perfection

 

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

 

Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

 

[03:08] Thoughts from Paul:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Athletic Greens

 

[09:52] Paul introduces Carl:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

Feb 19, 2024

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[04:12] Thoughts from Paul:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[09:26] Kris introduces Lara:

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

Feb 12, 2024

Episode 469 - 10 Facts About Americans and Alcohol

 

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

 

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

 

[02:51] Thoughts from Paul:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

[10:00] Paul introduces Lisa:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

Feb 5, 2024

Episode 468 – A Day in the Life

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[03:04] Thoughts from Paul:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[12:13] Kris introduces Amber:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

Jan 29, 2024

Episode 467 – A Good Cry

 

 

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

 

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

 

[02:12] Thoughts from Paul:

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

[09:28] Paul introduces Andrea:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

Jan 22, 2024

Episode 466 – What Should I Do Now?

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[02:45] Ponderings from Kris:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[11:07] Kris introduces Rick:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Rick’s favorite resources in recovery: podcasts, audiobooks

 

 

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Recovery Elevator

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

I love you guys.

Jan 15, 2024

Episode 465 – Drink Responsibly?

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[03:09] Thoughts from Paul:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[10:20] Paul introduces Kevin:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Recovery Elevator

Go big, because eventually we all go home.

I love you guys.

Jan 8, 2024

Episode 464 – Doing Something Different

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[03:22] Thoughts from Paul:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[10:54] Kris introduces Danielle:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Jan 1, 2024

Episode 463 – Addicted to not Being Addicted

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[04:14] Thoughts from Paul:

 

Today we are talking about change.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[10:36] Paul introduces Zach:

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Dec 25, 2023

Episode 462 – To Have is to Give

 

 

Today we have Tana. She is 44 years old and lives in Washington State. She took her last drink on July 30th, 2020.

 

Registration for our DRY January course RESTORE is now open! It’s time to get your alcohol-free connect on and say adios to the booze. Our first session is Monday, January 1st at 5 pm PST or 8 pm EST.  The most common issue I hear is that people don’t have a network of others who don’t drink. Well, Our Restore is going to solve that and you’re going to learn all about alcohol, alcohol addiction, and how to beat it.

 

Paul shares an article where scientists say the mystery of how red wine headaches occur may be solved. Paul’s opinion is that it’s a waste of time, but here’s the link for curiosity’s sake.

 

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

 

[03:40] Thoughts from Paul:

 

In 1935, A.A. Founder Bill W, found that when he shared his experience, strength and hope to another individual who was struggling with alcohol, then Bill magically had the strength to remain sober. It shows the universal law of “to give is to have”.

 

Today I give you the message of Merry Christmas. To plant the seed, that to give is to have. To have is to give. Most of us have learned a way, or path that didn’t work. Or maybe it kind of worked but was or is incredibly painful. For me, this path required numbing agents, alcohol being the most potent one.

Now I know there are a couple thousand of you who listen to this podcast first thing on Monday morning when the episodes are released. Fantastic. How blessed I am to get you ear first thing in the morning. Ask not what Santa, or your family can give to you, but ask what you can give to them.

 

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[00:00] Kris introduces Tana:

 

Tana is from Washington state, and she works in healthcare and recently has found a new passion for teaching yoga. She has three children, two who have recently graduated college and a 10-year-old daughter. She recently separated from her husband. She enjoys backpacking, hiking, running and dance.

 

Tana and her siblings were raised by her father who recently passed away. Their mother was an alcoholic, and Tana knew from an early age that she was suffering. Her exposure to alcohol was limited to family members drinking socially.

 

When Tana was a teenager some home changes found her moving in with her mother. At this point she was exposed to her mother’s addictions firsthand and over time it made her depressed and wanting to rebel, so she began smoking cigarettes, but not really drinking. She moved out at 17 to start her own life.

 

After starting her own life, Tana had two children and got married. Over time she realized the relationship wasn’t good, so she left and just focused on her kids. Her only addiction issues were the cigarettes which she went to great lengths to hide out of shame.

 

A few years later, Tana remarried and when she was pregnant with her third child, she quit smoking, and her husband encouraged her to quit for good. Tana found running to be a good replacement for smoking, but after her daughter got older, she would no longer have time to run. Her drinking became her tool to cope.

 

Tana started to feel shame about her drinking and questioning it. She started listening to podcasts and discovering books that she thought may help her break the cycle and become the best mom she could be. When AA didn’t feel like a good fit, Tana found community in Café RE. She finally felt safe to be herself, make friends, attend meetups, and enjoys giving back to others.

 

Tana’s plan in recovery moving forward: keep learning and growing.

 

Tana’s parting piece of guidance: it’s different for all of us. It takes what it takes and for each of us that looks a little different. Just don’t give up – never quit quitting.

 

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Dec 18, 2023

Episode 461 - Wait, You Drink Poison?

 

 

Today we have Gill. She’s 33 years old from Lexington, MA and took her last drink on November 9th, 2019.

 

Update from Ryan H on episode 457 – “I’m going on two weeks now and I’m definitely starting to notice a difference in my mood, digestive issues and weight.”

 

Registration for our intensive DRY January course RESTORE is now open! It’s time to get your alcohol-free connect on and say adios to the booze. The most common issue I hear is that people don’t have a network of others who don’t drink. Well, Our Restore is going to solve that and you’re going to learn a ton about alcohol, alcohol addiction, and how to beat it.

 

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[03:02] Intro:

 

Paul shares two Instagram accounts that will help you on your sobriety journey:

 

Drop the Bottle  - all about sobriety and ditching the booze.

 

A.L.A.D.D.I.N – not about sobriety, but it is entertaining and when it’s creator shares his art with the world, it gives others permission to do the same.

 

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

 

[08:22] Paul introduces Gill:

 

Gill is 33 and lives right outside of Boston, MA. She has a husband and a cat. She loves playing video games, going to concerts and travelling. She teaches chemistry courses and labs at a college in Boston. She is also the host of the Sober Powered podcast.

 

Gill says she didn’t start drinking until grad school. She didn’t have opportunities in high school because she was bullied and didn’t hang out with people that drank. She started because she feared that if she didn’t then no one would like her. Once she tried it a few times and got her first buzz, she enjoyed it so much it became a regular thing for her.

 

Gill started having repercussions from drinking early on. She didn’t know her limits, had frequent opportunities to drink and would end up getting sick and having blackouts. Gill thought all of this was normal and that everyone drank like her. Gill says that her performance in school started suffering and there was multiple drink fueled fights with her boyfriend (who is now her husband).

 

Gill ended up leaving program and decided to start teaching instead. She learned that drinking helped with the stress she experienced while teaching. Over time she switched from wine to vodka to save money. Her tolerance increased, and she started struggling with hangovers at work.

 

Trying to moderate and make rules around her drinking was frustrating for Gill. People didn’t want her to quit and when she would bring it up others would downplay it and tell her she was fine.

 

Gill’s depression was getting worse, and she started waking up with uncontrollable anxiety often. Once she began having suicidal thoughts, she got scared. Gill decided to take a break for 90 days to lower her tolerance and thought she would be cured. During that time her suicidal thoughts and anxiety lessened. She completed the 90 days and started drinking again and the consequences quickly followed.

 

After her last rule was compromised, she realized she had to accept that she had to let alcohol go indefinitely. While it was scary at first, Gill says she also felt a sense of peace.

 

Gill didn’t think she needed meetings when she first quit but doesn’t recommend people try to do it alone.  After the pandemic started, Gill found she had the time to go to therapy, she started listening to podcasts, and doing a lot of research on the science around alcohol addictions. She wanted to share what she had learned with others, so she started her own podcast: Sober Powered.

 

Gill’s advice for the holidays: you don’t have to go to everything if you are worried that you’re going to drink or that you can’t stay sober, don’t go.

 

Gill’s go-to tool to get past a craving: walking, rage walking.

 

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Dec 11, 2023

Episode 460 – The Friends We Keep

 

 

Today we have Kerry. She’s 40 years old from Williston, ND and took her last drink on January 7th, 2016.

 

Shoutout to our CafĂ© RE chat hosts!  Thank you for your dedication to the community, and for providing a space for us to share our experiences. You’re the best!

 

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

 

[01:29] Highlights from Kris:

 

It’s important that we surround ourselves with people who are going to enrich our lives. People who will meet us where we are, but also challenge us and encourage us to grow.

 

Kris shares some examples of great friends he has in his life and shares an article that outlines Five Types of Friends – friends we need and need to be.

 

Take a look at the people you have in your life. Do you think you have someone that fits in each of these categories? When was the last time you let them know what they mean to you? Use this as a reminder to tell someone you love them, and that you’re grateful for them.

 

If you find yourself today, feeling like YOU’RE alone, I promise you that you’re not. You’re people are out there.

 

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[10:15] Kris introduces Kerry:

 

Kerry and her partner live in Williston, ND and are raising four kids. She recently decided she was going to become a firefighter which stemmed from being an EMT and a nurse. She enjoys spending time with the kids and they are currently rebuilding a boat.

 

Kerry was exposed to alcohol throughout her childhood but didn’t really have any great interest in it. She feels that she was a people pleaser and didn’t want to get in trouble until senior year when she decided she could let loose and have some fun before going to college. She found alcohol gave her relief from the stressors in her life.

 

Going into college she and her friends were party seekers. She had excelled so much academically that she felt she could relax and have fun and not worry about responsibilities. Her idea of an addict was her dad who wasn’t obvious about it. She didn’t have the consequences he did so she didn’t feel she had any problems.  When she was 19 her parents put her into rehab because of drug use. While she was there the counselors recognized that her bigger issue was drinking. Kerry didn’t listen and continued to drink after leaving treatment.

 

Kerry’s parents got a divorce and she had moved back home. She used any excuse to drink to not deal with things. She was having consequences like DUIs and broken relationships. At the time Kerry was working with her mom at a family business where happy hours and daily drinking after work were part of the daily landscape.

 

Looking for a change, Kerry a boyfriend moved to Alaska and started a family. The drinking slowed down, but after that relationship ended and they shared custody of the kids, Kerry found herself going back to drinking.

 

After moving back to North Dakota, she continued to use drinking to self-medicate. People didn’t realize it because she was so good at taking care of other people and being a problem solver. Over time the drinking was getting heavier and heavier, and Kerry tried to create parameters to control it.

 

She tried quitting for a while but when she tested the waters again, she had consequences including another DUI where she realized she needed to get help to quit completely. She joined Lion Rock Recovery, which was all online, so she didn’t need to leave her family for treatment. It helped her focus on the reason she drank and deal with her mental health and gave her tools to use after the program ended.

 

Kerry’s plan in recovery moving forward: keep learning, keep doing crazy things like firefighting and getting more involved with recovery service.

 

Kerry’s parting piece of guidance: there isn’t a roadmap, and if one thing doesn’t work, you can try another.

 

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Dec 4, 2023

Episode 459 – Let’s Smile

 

 

Today we have Spencer. He’s 44 years old from Minneapolis, MN and took his last drink on September 23rd, 2023.

 

Registration for RESTORE is no open!  If you want to take a break for a month, or say adios for good, this course is for you. You’re going to learn all about alcohol addiction, what it is, what it isn’t, how to beat cravings, you’ll learn about many different recovery pathways, and the best part is you won’t be doing this alone.

 

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

 

[02:04] Highlights from Paul:

 

Start your day with a smile. It doesn’t matter if the smile is fake or real. The body doesn’t know the difference and the nervous system always responds positively with a smile.

 

Smiling increases mood-enhancing hormones. Smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin, while decreasing stress-enhancing hormones, including cortisol, and adrenaline. It also reduces overall blood pressure.

 

Another reason to smile is that research shows that smiles are contagious. Most people will find a way to reciprocate in a friendly manner. Smiling is a way to be of service because it makes other people’s days better.

 

Spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has said “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." 

 

Start your day with a 30 -second smile. And not for just one day or two,

but rock that smile every morning for the rest of this year and hopefully beyond. And don't forget to keep that smile going throughout the day.

 

Paul shares some dad jokes to help get us started.

 

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[08:04] Paul introduces Spencer:

 

Spencer grew up in Minneapolis area. He is married with two kids. He enjoys playing blues and rock on his guitar and spending time on the river with his family. Spencer has been an electrician for 23 years.

 

Spencer says that alcohol was a big part of his family’s life while he was growing up. Both of his parents drank, and every event was centered around alcohol. Spencer didn’t try alcohol until he was around 15. He had a friend who’s parent worked nights, so their house became a party house and drinking happened frequently.

 

Spencer got married young and they both drank heavily. They had a daughter together and eventually they ended up getting a divorce. At the time Spencer blamed a lot of the issues on his ex. Once she moved out Spencer had some friends move in and says the drinking became daily and he was losing jobs. He eventually started having financial issues and lost his house.

 

It was shortly after he started dating a woman that didn’t drink like him that he realized that drinking might be a problem for him. He didn’t really make any changes until the birth of his son when he began to try moderating and added rules around his drinking.

 

Things were going well for Spencer and then he got a call from his son’s mother that she was a heroin addict. He ended up having to get custody of him and knew he had to stop drinking for his son. He was able to quit for a while but gradually let drinking slip back in.

 

Spencer was able to quit for a few years and started recognizing how big of an issue alcohol had been for him. He knew he wanted to quit but wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to do it.

 

New activities have replaced drinking for Spencer. He is working on his relationships with his kids and has been talking to them about alcohol and the issues within the family. Spencer is open about his sobriety with others. He listens to a lot of podcasts about addiction and enjoys online AA meetings and has plans to do the steps. Spencer knows how important connection will be going forward.

 

Spencer’s parting piece of guidance: If you think you have a problem, find someone that’s sober to talk about it, listen to podcasts, get connected.

 

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Nov 27, 2023

Episode 458 – A Big Win

 

 

Today we have Mike. He is 44 from Huntsville, AL and took his last drink on April 10th, 2023.

 

Registration for RESTORE opens this Friday!  If you want to take a break for a month, or say adios for good, this course is for you. You’re going to learn all about alcohol addiction, what it is, what it isn’t, how to beat cravings, you’ll learn about many different recovery pathways, and the best part is you won’t be doing this alone.

 

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

 

[02:42] Highlights from Paul:

 

Paul shares how releasing his first album is a huge win for him and that the listeners are a big part of making it happen.

 

Something commonly heard when people quit drinking is “what is going to fill the void?”.

We have to rediscover likes and interests. Part of the journey is trying out new hobbies. Sometimes it takes a while to find out what we like to do though, so be patient with  your healing.

 

If you want to hear the outro song and the full album under the name of Pablo Church, you can check it out on Spotify, or search your preferred music streaming service.


What dreams, goals, aspirations, did you have that alcohol stifled like a wet soggy blanket. What did alcohol bump down on your list of personal goals? What do you want in life now that alcohol is no longer in the front seat? Take a moment to ponder these questions, maybe hit pause in this episode, put pen to paper and get clear on what you want. Paul and the RE community are here to help you make it happen.

 

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[07:18] Kris introduces Mike:

 

Mike lives in Huntsville, AL and works in construction. He is married and they have five kids. He enjoys attending his kids’ sporting events and being outside and active.

 

Mike grew up in a conservative home. His father had a history of rebellion and his mother lost both parents to alcoholism when she was young, so they chose to keep alcohol out of the home.

 

Mike first tried alcohol on New Year’s Eve when he was in 8th grade while at a friend’s house. He started to associate alcohol with having a good time but didn’t drink much during high school even though his friends did. Mike was a people pleaser both at home and with his friends. He feels this tendency drove him to start drinking and smoking pot to fit in with everyone.

 

Mike went to one semester of college and decided it wasn’t for him. After some consequences from his drinking, he ended up moving back home and working construction. He was still drinking and smoking but trying to make better choices.

 

When Mike met his wife, they decided to make some changes. They quit drinking and smoking and started becoming more active in the church community. When the job market started changing in Michigan, they moved to Alabama where Mike was offered a new job.

 

After a while, Mike decided to quit his job and start his own construction business. That was going well but Mike found that managing the business instead of doing the labor was very different and more stressful. As time when on his drinking gradually increased and since everyone else was drinking, he could justify it. Over time he was drinking before, during and after work. His wife discovered the stash in his office and that’s when Mike said he would quit. For a few months, he found himself hiding his drinking and trying to drink less, which didn’t work.

 

Mike eventually sought outpatient treatment and tried that for a while before his counselor told him he had to do more. Mike was resistant to trying AA but once he did he was able to start making some changes and getting help to stay sober.

 

Mike’s plan in sobriety moving forward: to make the most of the time he has left.

 

Mike’s parting piece of guidance: today is just a day and time takes time.

 

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Nov 20, 2023

Episode 457 – What if I Can’t Quit Drinking?

 

Today we have Ryan. He’s 33 years old from Orange County, NY and took his last drink on September 24th, 2023.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all the listeners in the USA! Be sure to take some time this week and let the universe know what you are thankful for and remember a drink won’t make your holiday any better.

 

Athletic Greens

 

[02:42] Highlights from Paul:

 

It’s the last Q&A episode and today’s question is from Darren in Tampa Bay who asks, “What if I can’t quit drinking?”

 

Paul shares that he could have asked this same question not that long ago and his message to Darren and others that maybe feeling this way is to keep moving forward, don’t quit quitting, keep using the mind to build, to visualize your alcohol-free life. Accept it all, embrace the journey, and you will come out the other side.

 

Paul rephrases the question to ask, “what if I can’t quit drinking today?” and shares some thoughts and strategies to implement which include:

 

-       It isn’t quitting for a lifetime, it’s only for today and it gets easier.

-       Don’t beat yourself up. People with drinking problems drink but on the flip side people with drinking problems quit every day.

-       Stick to the plan of seeking sobriety. “What you seek is seeking you”.

-       For many, it is a journey, and it takes time for things to get into sync. You don’t need to rush the process.

 

 

Thank you, listeners, for all the questions!

 

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[10:44] Paul introduces Ryan:

 

Ryan is on day 5 at the time of this recording. He is 33 years old and is engaged and has two stepchildren. He is a drummer and loves playing metal music and enjoys watching horror movies.

 

Ryan’s relationship with alcohol didn’t begin until he was in his 20’s. His drinking was mostly a few beers sporadically, but he quickly graduated to straight liquor. He started drinking regularly when he was about 23 to cope with stress and depression using alcohol as an escape. It was putting a strain on his relationship at the time, and she

 

Ryan feels he was functional and kept his problem hidden well. There were no rock bottoms for him yet, he was just drowning his feelings and didn’t feel a reason to stop. The industry he worked in found he and his coworkers drinking together after work frequently.

 

Some severe pain in Ryan’s hips and legs found him seeking medical attention. He went to a doctor who he has known for years, and they discovered that Ryan had AVN. This is a condition that doesn’t happen to people in their 20’s so Ryan shared his drinking habits with the doctor who connected the dots quickly.

 

Ryan was able to quit drinking for two years with the help of Campral while he was in recovery from hip replacement surgery. He reflects this was a very positive time in his life. Even after he relapsed, there have been times of abstinence with the assistance of naltrexone but feels he wasn’t working on the underlying issues that caused him to want to drink.

 

Ryan has been trying to figure out his “why”. His depression plays a role in it, he says, but it feels complex. He knows that all alcohol is causing several health issues, but he is working on harm reduction and learning more about what alcohol does to us.  Ryan has the support of his fiancĂ©, his friends and family and utilizes his music to help him cope now.

 

Ryan’s parting piece of guidance: if you think drinking is a problem for you, quitting can be done, it’s not easy but it is simple. Incorporate medications, therapy and a support network.

 

 

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Nov 13, 2023

Episode 456 – How Do You Overcome Resentments?

 

 

Today we have Nathan. He’s 42 years old and from Andover, MN and took his last drink on April 19th, 2023.

 

On January 1st, 2024, we are starting our intensive sobriety course geared towards the newcomer.  Check out the link to learn more about RESTORE.

 

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

 

[02:01] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today’s question is from Darren A. who asks, “Can you discuss resentment and letting go of resentment?"

 

Life is a school where the people, places, and things are there to help us grow and become deeper human beings. The people we encounter in life are there to help us grow. 

 

The theory is that none of this is happening to you. Remember, that is how a victim speaks. Flip that to believe that everything that has ever happened to you in your life is happening for you, for your own personal growth and development, to make you a more resilient human being.

 

Resentments are the teachers. Yes, they suck, they emotionally and physically hurt, but they are the opportunities for healthy and normal growth.

 

Another strategy is to stop labeling things as good or bad. When a person, place or thing pisses you off, try to recognize the mind immediately slapping a label on it, try to remain open.  We don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. That person who may have recently dogged you may have actually shielded you from a tragedy down the road.

 

 â€śYou can be right, or you can have peace." Paul shares this mantra with us frequently on the podcast. He tries to repeat this mantra when he encounters a difficult life challenge.

 

We want to hear from the listener. How do you overcome resentments? Let us know in our Monday Instagram post on the Recovery Elevator Instagram page.

 

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[08:56] Kris introduces Nathan:

 

Nathan is 42 and lives in Andover, MN. He works in financial operations but was recently laid off.  He is in the process of going through a divorce and has two cats. He enjoys woodworking and building things with hand tools, he also enjoys golf, reading and occasionally writing.

 

Nathan calls himself a late bloomer and hated beer. It was normal to have it around when he was growing up, but his dad drank NA beer. He was a casual drinker through his twenties and thirties.

 

In late 2019 Nathan’s wife was in a car accident related to some health issues. It was a very stressful time for them as his wife was unable to drive and undergoing a lot of testing and Nathan was dealing with a very stressful work project as well.

 

Some health issues drove Nathan to use alcohol to ease his symptoms. His career was stressful, and he and his wife were having communication issues. Nathan didn’t drink every day, but some days were binge sessions. He discovered the amount he could have without too many consequences the next day.

 

After a weekend of binge drinking, Nathan had an experience that felt like he was having a heart attack, and he went to the ER where he realized alcohol was causing the problems. Soon after he was able to admit to his wife that he needed to stop. He went back to the ER and told them that he needed help. After detox, Nathan enrolled in an IOP and connected with a great counselor.

 

It took a few months for Nathan to start feeling physically better and is currently confronting some difficult life situations. He plays the tape forward and continues to work on his recovery despite the strong emotions he is dealing with.

 

Nathan’s favorite resources in recovery: his IOP counselor, the RE podcast and Café RE.

 

Nathan’s parting piece of guidance: make a plan (to avoid relapse), make it really detailed and change it as you need to.

 

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Nov 6, 2023

Episode 455 – How Do You Feel About Ayahuasca and Other Plant Medicines?

 

 

Today we have Chris. He is 40 years old and lives in Austin, TX. He took his last drink on February 16th, 2007.

 

Check out our events page for our lineup of upcoming retreats and courses. Beginning January 1st, RESTORE, our intense Dry January course is back! In February we have another 5-week Ukelele Course. Then in March, we have two events in Costa Rica, and  we’ll see you in Bozeman, Montana in August for our 6th annual retreat in Big Sky Country.

 

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

 

[02:16] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today is episode 9 out of 10 in the Q&A series.

 

Today’s question comes from Krista B, in our Café RE group. She says:

 

“How Paul is feeling about ayahuasca and other plant medicines. Are you still as passionate about its benefits today as a few years ago? Has the treatment worked in a sustained way, in your opinion?”

 

Paul shared his initial experience with ayahuasca in episode 170. He believes that plant medicines have a place in the world of addiction and mental health. Do not buy it on the internet and try it solo; set and setting is everything. There is so much preparation that needs to go into an ayahuasca ceremony and under the right circumstances, it will answer many questions. A big one being why you drink. Paul shares how ayahuasca still impacts his everyday life.

 

While Paul found plant medicine helpful on his journey, he recognizes it’s not for everyone, nor does he think everyone should try plant medicine. If you are interested, please do your own research before trying it.

 

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[11:59] Paul introduces Chris:

 

Chris lives in Austin Texas; he is married with two children aged 8 and 9. He is an entrepreneur and enjoys being creative through many avenues.

 

Chris always felt like an outsider that didn’t belong while he was growing up. His parents divorced when he was young, and he blamed himself and ended up distancing himself from people.  He craved connections and ended up starting drinking with a group of friends. Chris felt like alcohol was the solution to his feelings of not belonging. His drinking increased and over time he lost all those connections that he used alcohol to find and was drinking alone. At age 23 he went to treatment where they helped him recognize that he had some mental health issues, the main ones being social anxiety and depression.

 

Some alumni from the group accepted Chris, helped him go to meetings and then they would all socialize afterwards. He finally felt he was making connections that he had craved all his life.

 

Seeing people that were staying sober and succeeding was a big boost to Chris’ confidence, and he felt like it was possible for him to do the same. His life in sobriety was becoming so great that he never had a desire to go back to drinking.

 

Chris started going to school to become a counselor and immediately started working in the recovery field. He knew it was important to maintain and strengthen his recovery to do the job successfully.

 

Chris started Sans Bar in 2018 as a pop-up bar when there were very few options in the alcohol-free arena. The pop-ups grew, and more and more people were interested in what Chris was doing, mostly through word of mouth. He feels it came along at the right time as the sober curious movement was beginning. Chris says doing this gave him the same feelings that his first sip of booze did – he was forming connections. He feels Sans Bar is for everyone, not just people in recovery.

 

Chris’s favorite resources in recovery: The Luckiest Club, 12 step programs, podcasts.

 

Chris’s parting piece of guidance: you can’t fail. The point of sobriety is not abstinence, it’s growth.

 

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Oct 30, 2023

Episode 454 – How Can I Do More In My Recovery Community?

 

Today we have Kristan. She is 60 years old and lives in Delaware. She took her last drink on June 3rd, 2019.

 

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

 

[01:34] Highlights from Kris:

 

Today we are continuing the Q & A series and it’s a two for one.

First question, Dale wants to know “How can I do more in my recovery community?”

 

Some traditional responses to this question might AA, or any other group with the word recovery in it. These are great, but Kris shares that we can expand our view to other groups. Church groups, book club, a running club, or a workout group.

 

Sharing can be a great way to get involved within a recovery community. Hearing others share and be vulnerable encourages us to share and be vulnerable too. By being open, you are being of service in your recovery. You never know who you may be helping with your share.

 

Think of the things that you bring to the table, and what you’d like to see your community offer. It could be as simple as organizing an outing to have a meal with other local members or hosting a chat in your online community.

 

Listen to your heart. If you feel that tug to do something, be obedient to that. We have no idea how it could impact our lives, or the lives of other people.

 

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

 

[09:25]: Kris introduces Kristan:

 

Kristan is married and has adult kids, she enjoys traveling, participating in triathlons, and hanging out with her sober friends doing fun activities.

 

Kristan grew up in Louisiana and started drinking when she was 12 and partied throughout high school. She graduated from college and moved to Australia for a few years. She moved to DC when she came back and worked as a reporter while enjoying the nightlife. Kristan says that in her profession, drinking was very common, and she surrounded herself with people that drank a lot.

 

Later when she bought a house in Delaware, her and her husband split time between home and DC which left Kristan with a lot of time alone. She started putting rules around her drinking early on which found her frustrated. Her husband doesn’t drink which made her feel like she was being monitored. Kristan never drank during the day but found herself drinking daily at 5pm. Her problem wasn’t obvious to her because she was successful and hadn’t lost anything (yet).

 

Kristan’s drinking came to a head after a long night of drinking with friends where she doesn’t remember the last few hours. She woke up to a text from her daughter stating that she was concerned about her drinking. Kristan decided it was time to quit. A phone call to family member in recovery helped her take the first steps. A few days later she told husband she quit drinking. She started regularly attending AA and got a sponsor, began reading books about recovery and enjoyed listening to podcasts.

 

Kristan was eager to celebrate all of life’s events sober. She says she has a great group of friends that are still fun in sobriety. After quitting, Kristan realizes how much mind space drinking took up. She says the first year was difficult, but she got stronger as she went. Kristan loves being sober. Her relationships with her daughter and husband are the best they have ever been.

 

Kristan’s future plan in sobriety: working on her emotional sobriety.

 

Kristan’s parting piece of guidance: give it a year, surround yourself with sober people.

 

[54:15] Kris answers Bobbie the Awesome’s question regarding NA beverages and shares some personal experiences.

 

Choosing whether to drink them or not is a very personal decision. It's up to you to decide what’s right for you, and it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution if you are nervous about it.

 

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Oct 23, 2023

Episode 453 - How Would You Describe a “Spiritual Experience” in Recovery?

 

 

Today we have Andy. He is 46 from Washington, DC and took his last drink on August 12th, 2023.

 

If you are struggling to quit drinking alone, check out the private community Café RE.

Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the setup fee!

 

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

 

[02:17] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today’s question is from Liz in the Café RE OG group: “How Would You Describe a “Spiritual Experience” in Recovery? Was it a Bill W. “White Light” or a long series of little twinkles? Somewhere in between? Something else altogether?”

 

We all know there is no right or wrong way to quit drinking, but Paul believes the spirituality component is important, because it connects or reconnects you to the universe or a god of your understanding.

 

For many, a large twinkle of spirituality took place took place near the date of their last drink. Some call this a window of clarity. I’ve heard it been described as “I just knew it was going to be different this time.” Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung called them synchronicities or the breadcrumbs of life.

 

Everyone’s version of spiritual awakening will be different. We just need to be open to the twinkles that can happen all around us.

 

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[11:53]: Paul introduces Andy:

 

Andy took his last drink less than a week before the time of this recording. Andy has moved around a bit while being in the military but currently lives in DC. He is an officer in the Air Force and has been serving for 26 years. He is married and has four kids. He enjoys ultra marathons, gardening, and traveling with his family.

 

Andy grew up around a lot of drinking in the small town he lived in. There was always beer in the house, and he feels it was ingrained in his life. He had his first drink in 8th grade. It was on a grueling camping trip when one of the adults handed him a bottle of booze and told him it would take the edge off. He really enjoyed the feelings he got from it.

 

Andy did well in school both academically and athletically, but the drinking continued. After graduating college, he enlisted in the military. He would stay sober during brief deployments but would start drinking again as soon as he came home. He struggled with missing his military family more than his wife and kids at home.

 

Andy had an opportunity to work at the Embassy in Croatia, so they moved. After a few years Andy and his wife split up and his drinking was out of control. He ended up moving back to the US as a single dad. He was not being as productive at work due to his drinking and often used his being a single dad as an excuse.

 

Andy was able to get sober few times after asking for help. First from a very close friend after a major bout of anxiety and then at another time post relapse from a doctor when he originally went to see them for a sore throat. He says that during these experiences, he felt relief. He started going to AA and stopped fighting that he was unable to casually drink. His wife would attend meetings with him for support. Andy got a very patient sponsor who helped him through the steps. Life started improving a lot for him over this time.

 

After a relapse last Christmas, Andy fell right back into the cycle and was even hiding alcohol again. He considers the five years he had as part of his recovery and plans to get back into AA when he feels ready. He misses how he felt and wants it back.  Andy plans to get back to good habits to help him stay sober, reading books, listening to podcasts, and sharing with his wife.

 

Andy’s favorite resources in recovery: RE podcast, reading, finding someone you can trust to talk to daily.

 

Andy’s parting piece of guidance: hold onto this moment and don’t look too far ahead or too far in the past.

 

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Oct 16, 2023

Episode 452 - How Do You Stop Comparing Yourself to Others in Recovery?

 

Today we have Emilee. She is 33 from Double Springs, AL and has been alcohol free since February 26th, 2023.

 

We are in the process of building some incredible events for the upcoming year, to new locations, and types of retreats we have never done before.

 

Our flagship annual retreat in Bozeman, Montana in August, then we are working on an AF travel trip in October 2024 with possible destinations being India, Vietnam, or the Camino de Santiago in Spain. But even before those events, we are working on Two retreats in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Keep an eye out for more info: Recovery Elevator events.

 

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

 

[02:55] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today’s question is from Dale: How do I stop comparing myself to others in Recovery?

 

This is a BIG PICTURE question. An issue that probably didn’t arise when you quit drinking. I’m guessing this is something you have been doing for quite some time.

 

Part of this is healthy. You’ll want to model your sobriety after someone who seems to have done the work, or who has what you want. You’ll want to compare parts of your journey with theirs… But the key is not to have it consume you.

 

Paul shares his thoughts on this topic and reminds us that comparison is all part of the human condition and to know that when one person blooms, we all receive the benefit.

 

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[10:30]: Kris introduces Emilee:

 

Emilee is 33 from Double Springs, AL. She is married and they have one daughter together. For work, she is a high school algebra teacher and for fun she enjoys doing outdoor activities including hunting and fishing and she also enjoys playing the piano, working out and cooking.

 

While growing up, Emilee didn’t have much exposure to alcohol. She says she was always shy growing up and it wasn’t until she was 19 that a boyfriend introduced her to  a group of friends that drank a lot. In that environment, she discovered a different version of herself that was much more outgoing. This went on for a few months, but her drinking decreased for about a year before she went to college.

 

Emilee managed to keep with her studies but when she drank it was always to excess. She was home for the summer when her father suddenly passed away. She had to go back to school very soon after it happened and while she didn’t drink to cope with it, she had a lot of anxiety and was just going through the motions.  

 

After graduating from college, Emilee got married and then got her first teaching job all in a short period of time. While the first year of her new career was very stressful, Emilee started a routine of getting alcohol on the way home from work and drinking throughout the evening. Her husband was also drinking and after a while they both started putting parameters on it. They eventually tried to quit, but that didn’t last, and Emilee started finding herself hiding her drinking and preferring drinking alone.

 

While pregnant, Emilee was able to stop drinking. She remained sober for a few months after having her daughter, but gradually started going back to her old habits. Emilee says she never really dealt with her father’s death so her emotions would come up a lot when she would get drunk.

 

Emilee started feeling the pull to quit drinking. She got a bunch of books and was able to stop for a few days at a time. Listening to the RE podcast would often keep her from stopping at the store for alcohol. Learning the science of what alcohol does to our bodies also helped her quit. Since quitting drinking Emilee feels that her relationships have improved.

 

Emilee’s favorite resources in recovery: RE podcast and Café RE.

 

Emilee’s parting piece of guidance: don’t quit quitting.

 

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Oct 9, 2023

Episode 451 – What to Say to Someone Who is About to Drink

 

Today we have Grant. He is 54 from Sacramento, CA and took his last drink on August 10th, 2020.

 

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

 

[02:16] Highlights from Paul:

 

We are five weeks into our Q & A series. This week’s question comes from Sarah C. “What can you say to someone, so they don’t drink?” Or how to help someone not drink.

 

Paul gives us some tried and true methods that work and strategies that the Recovery Elevator team believe in. Here are a few suggestions that Paul shares with us:

 

Tough love does not work, so a tone or stance of unconditional love needs to be present when confronting a friend who is about to drink.

 

Quick note about boundaries. Talking with people that are drunk can be triggering, and little can be done. Ask them to call you in the morning or when they are sober.

 

Being there with your presence, whether it is in person, via the phone or FaceTime, or Zoom, is the best thing you can do to help them. Holding space provides a safe container for the person to feel the feels, sit front and center with a craving and not feel judged or criticized.

 

You can also ask them about their “why”. Having them be clear on their “why” again is never a bad idea. You can also remind them that alcohol has been ruined. Drinking while knowing that alcohol no longer has a place in your life isn’t fun.

 

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[10:48]: Paul introduces Grant:

 

Grant is 54 and lives in Sacramento, CA. He is married and they have two young adult kids. He enjoys hiking and the area he lives in has a lot of nice places he explores. Grant works in research and public policy work in California and now focuses on addiction and recovery.

 

Grant says his first experience with alcohol was when he was 12. A friend had procured a bottle of brandy and they both ended up drinking to the point of going to the hospital. He drank through junior high and high school with a group of friends on weekends. The drinking continued in college, and he started trying other substances as well. Grant says there weren’t many consequences.

 

When Grant was in his 30’s after they had children, he found that alcohol helped him take the stress off. He quickly switched from beer to vodka that was easier to hide. He was succeeding at work which stressed him out more than he realized. He says it took some time but eventually he was drinking in the morning just to feel normal.

 

In 2019 someone from HR confronted Grant about smelling of alcohol and he told them that he was an alcoholic. He couldn’t admit it to his wife initially but started looking for outpatient treatment. He was able to quit for a time but relapsed after a painful experience with work which found him resigning and taking a new job with a pay cut. At this point Grant had joined Café RE and left home for a little while to live in a sober living house. He learned a lot while he was there and realized that he was going to have to do things differently.

 

After sober living, Grant started a home breathalyzer program to help him stay motivated. A meetup with fellow Café RE members gave Grant another turning point and realized that he was on the right path.

 

In recovery, Grant started volunteering with a non-profit in the addiction and recovery field. He also started listening to another recovery podcast where he shared information about addiction and recovery. He left to work for the non-profit called Shatterproof which helps people find treatment and recovery with their Treatment Atlas. Grant also has his own website about addiction and recovery – Sober Linings Playbook.

 

[53:19] Paul closes the episode with a poem from Peter, a Café RE member.

 

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Oct 2, 2023

Episode 450 – What are Alcohol Withdrawals Like in the First Week?

 

Today we have Sarah. She is 46 and lives in Buckhannon, WV. Sarah has been alcohol free since December 15, 2022.

 

Our latest Ditching The Booze course begins tonight at 7:30pm EDT/4:30pm PDT and it is not too late to register. The 5-week course is called Writing a New Narrative and is designed to help you explore your sobriety story through journaling and writing prompts and it is free for Café RE members.

 

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

 

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

 

[02:23] Highlights from Paul:

 

We are four weeks into our ten-episode Q & A series and today’s question is “what are alcohol withdrawals like in the first week?” This question as asked by Robyn in Café RE Blue.

 

The answer to this is going to depend on how much you drink on a daily or nightly basis and it’s not a one size fits all answer.

 

I highly recommend detoxing under medical supervised care if you consume more than 6-8 drinks daily and have been doing so for several months or years. Quitting cold turkey can be life threatening. 72 hours is the magic number. Once you hit this number, the worst of the physical components are behind you.

 

Paul shares some tips for navigating the first week and shares some of the changes our bodies go through. The whole withdrawal process from one week to several months has a term called PAWS or post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Check out the YouTube video Paul did about this.

 

Thank you, Robyn, for the question, if you want a question answered on the podcast, send your questions to info@recoveryelevator.com.

 

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[13:41]: Kris introduces Sarah:

 

Sarah currently lives in West Virginia, works in higher learning, and has two daughters and three stepchildren. For fun Sarah enjoys arts and crafts, DIY things, and enjoys plants.

 

In high school, Sarah did not drink but grew up around a lot of drinking by her extended family. She never saw anything negative about it. In her early twenties she joined the Air Force where drinking is prevalent. At one point she had a few friends approach her about her drinking to which Sarah took offense. Over the course of the next several years she continued to drink the same way. Despite small consequences, she didn’t feel like she had a problem.

 

Around 10 years ago she and her husband were in counseling. She stated in a session that she needed some help and went to rehab after which she was able to stay sober briefly. Sarah says she got a lot out of her time in rehab. For a short period of time Sarah was able to drink moderately, but it increased after a series of negative life events. She started noticing the negative side effects of heavy drinking physically and emotionally.

 

When Sarah got sober this time, she knew she needed to join a community, and someone recommended Café RE to her. She has made great friends since being there and feels like this time in sobriety has been easy and she earned for it to be.

 

Sarah’s plan for recovery moving forward: to keep doing the work, attend more chats and start thinking about how to serve others.

 

Sarah’s parting piece of guidance: talk about it and reach out with others that have similar experiences.

 

[59:20] Kris’ closing:

 

One last reminder that Thursday October 5th is the Recovery Reinvented conference. In person and online attendance is 100% free.

Fall is here and Kris is ready for it. He reminds us all to get out there and play. Do all the fall things. Slow down, take a breath, and enjoy the moment you are in.

 

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Sep 25, 2023

Episode 449 - How to Make it Through Your First Sober Concert?

 

Today we have Santino. He is 35 from Taunton, MA and took his last drink on May 24th, 2022.

 

Our latest Ditching the Booze course begins Monday October 2nd at 7:30pm EDT/4:30pm PDT and is free to Café RE members. The 5-week course is called Writing a New Narrative and is designed to help you explore your sobriety story through journaling and writing prompts.

 

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

 

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

 

[03:05] Highlights from Paul:

 

Today’s question comes from Kelly in our Café RE Up Group. The question is “how do you make it through your first sober concert?”

 

The first of eight fantastic tips include giving yourself a little alcohol-free time before going to a concert. Once you’ve got some time under your belt, and the cravings are in check, then you can hit the green light on concerts.  Regardless of how many days you have, if you are feeling squirrely the dray of the concert then sit it out.  Sobriety is the priority.

 

Paul then shares several tips to include:

 

-       Always have a non-alcoholic beverage in hand.

-       Do not volunteer to be the DD.

-       Make sure everyone you are attending with knows your intentions.

 

Some of the best parts about sober concerts? You will remember it. You will save money. You won’t get a DUI on the drive home.

 

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[10:14]: Paul introduces Santino:

 

Santino is a repeat guest and has maintained his sobriety since his last appearance on episode 397 where he was on day 43.

 

Santino is married and has one son. For fun, he loves going outside in nature to go hiking and go to the beach, but he also says that there is fun in everything since quitting drinking.

 

Santino had his first drink as a young teen. His mom was a single parent for a while, and he feels that he may have started drinking because the absence of his father bothered him. He learned that alcohol became a friend to him, and he feels like he used it for connection with his father and in contrast, to disconnect from her mother.

 

Santino joined the Air Force out of high school and found alcohol to be part of the culture. Between his early 20s and his early 30s he started deliberately planning his drinking to include before going out and drinking alone. Santino says he used a lot of rationalization that he wasn’t as bad as other people when it came to how he drank. He often pushed off having to think about it.

 

There wasn’t much hiding it from his spouse initially because they both drank. His hiding became more intentional as time went on, specifically after his son was born and during the pandemic. He found himself being sneakier about it. Santino started struggling with mood swings and being less communicative and didn’t want to address the fact that he needed help to quit drinking. He started to realize that this was going to destroy his family and he needed to rip the band aid off and address it. Once he addressed it with his wife, he felt freedom but was also worried about the process.

 

In the early days of his recovery, Santino and his wife began counseling to work on rebuilding their relationship. Santino also found that he started to feel healthier in general, was getting better sleep and did not miss the hangovers at all. Santino has been able to save money which assisted him with paying off some credit card debt he incurred while drinking.  As a parent, he feels more centered and present with his son.

He attends AA frequently, listens to podcasts, and surrounds himself with others in recovery.

 

Santino’s parting piece of guidance: give yourself grace in all the moments that you feel that you don’t even deserve it.

 

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Sep 18, 2023

Episode 448 - How Do I Let Go and Stop Trying to Control

 

Today we have Jen. She is 48 from Boulder, CO and took her last drink on May 12th, 2021.

 

Our latest Ditching The Booze course begins Monday October 2nd at 7:30pm EDT/4:30pm PDT and is free to Café RE members. The 5-week course is called Writing a New Narrative and is designed to help you explore your sobriety story through journaling and writing prompts.

 

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

 

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

 

[02:48] Highlights from Kris:

 

Today’s question comes from Dale in Virginia. He wants to know “how do I learn to let go of things, and stop trying to control?”

 

Kris feels that two themes that come up over and over in recovery are surrender and acceptance. He says there are different types of control and while some of it is normal and can be healthy, trying to control things such as other people and how they feel about us is not healthy.

 

Kris shares his insights about this topic and shares with us: “when I have unrest on the inside, it presents itself on the outside. When I find that inner peace, I can extend it to the world around me”.

 

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[11:50]: Kris welcomes Jen:

 

Jen joins us from Boulder, CO area and recently celebrated two years alcohol free. She is married and they have two kids and a dog. For fun Jen likes to be active outdoors and spending time with recovery friends nearby, fabric arts and yoga.

 

Jen didn’t drink when she was young because she learned that some family members quit drinking because they couldn’t control it. She drank very casually because she didn’t want to develop a problem, but over time peer pressure found her drinking more frequently. In grad school there was more binge drinking and hangovers. She and her husband drank only socially prior to having kids.

 

Jen went back to work shortly after having her first child and realized that she was missing out on a lot, so she became a stay-at-home mom. She bought boxed wine to try and save money and discovered it was too easy to refill the glass. Jen wanted to be a fun mom and used alcohol to feel less bored. Over time Jen started finding herself drinking after everyone went to bed.

 

After a situation that found both her husband and children concerned about her, Jen started to try quitting drinking. She had already been reading quit lit and listening to podcasts. She was able to make it over 100 days but decided to attempt moderation. She found that after a while the attempts to control how much she drank became frustrating. One day while listening to a podcast episode, she had a moment of clarity where she knew she had to quit drinking for good.

 

Jen feels that her husband quitting drinking shined a light on her drinking. She would make excuses to have drinks outside of the home.

 

Jen quit drinking the day after her birthday. She decided to join Café RE and started going on hikes with fellow RE members, hosting chats and giving back to the community. Jen finds “playing the tape forward” very helpful in addition to listening to herself and discovering what she needs. She enjoys reading self-help books instead of quit lit. Finding connections with other people and creating deep friendships was an unexpected perk Jen received in recovery.

 

Jen’s plan for recovery moving forward: working on her spiritual and self-discovery practice.

 

Jen’s parting piece of guidance: “play it forward” it is one tool that has never wavered for her. Keep your mind open and try a variety of things for your recovery.

 

[01:03:47] Kris’ outro:

 

Kris shares a story about a recent vacation with his family and how it relates to his expectations and control.

 

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Sep 11, 2023

Episode 447 – Can You Be Addicted to Alcohol and Not Be An Alcoholic?

 

Today we have Stephanie. She is 35 from and took her last drink on December 31st, 2022.

 

Our latest Ditching The Booze course begins Monday October 2nd at 7:30pm EDT/4:30pm PDT and is free to Café RE members. The 5-week course is called Writing a New Narrative and is designed to help you explore your sobriety story through journaling and writing prompts.

 

If you are not yet a member and would like to joining click the link Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

 

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

 

[02:43] Highlights from Paul:

 

Paul and Kris are going to be doing a ten-part intro series where we answer questions from listeners.  If you have a question that you’d like us to answer on the air, send them to info@recoveryelevator.com.

 

Paul shares one of his biggest regrets since starting the podcast and also answers the first question from Brady in South Denver. He asked, “can you be addicted to alcohol and not be an alcoholic?”

 

Paul begins his answer with “The Answer is yes. And no. And a little bit of yes, and little bit of No. Welcome to a world full of paradoxes.”

 

Next week we will hear Kris answer the next question: “How do I learn to let go of things and stop trying to control?”.

 

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

 

[09:23]: Paul introduces Stephanie:

 

Stephanie is 35 and she is from Connecticut, currently living in Washington State. She works as an accountant and as a server at a restaurant. She has one son and a dog. Stephanie enjoys reading both for fun and for a podcast she has: So, What Are You Reading?, and she has recently picked up paddleboarding.

 

Stephanie had her first drink when she was 16 and had a bad experience and said she wasn’t going to do it again. She drank very sporadically until she moved to Washington with her son’s father. After they broke up, she moved into an apartment on her own and felt like alcohol was her only friend. She progressed from wine to harder alcohol over time and began to try and put parameters on her drinking.

After a while, Stephanie realized that drinking wasn’t what she was supposed to be doing. She started recognizing that she wasn’t present for her son. Her anxiety was terrible, and she had issues with remembering things from the night before which made it worse. But Stephanie says she enjoyed the chaos that came with the drinking escapades, even though it was making her life harder than it needed to be. She got to the point that she didn’t want to do anything.

 

When Stephanie’s current boyfriend did a Dry January in 2021, Stephanie joined him but says she white knuckled through it and drank as soon as February 1st came. That was when she started questioning what the point of drinking was. She had some very negative events in her last year of drinking to the point that on January 1st, 2023, she decided enough was enough.

 

During the first 30 days she binged on podcasts and YouTube videos. She started journalling, doing puzzles and playing board games with her son. Stephanie has been able to get into grad school, is able to plan vacations and try a lot of new things. Reading, exercise, and time outdoors have become very important to Stephanie.

 

Stephanie’s favorite resources: The Sober Café (Facebook group), Recovery Elevator and other recovery podcasts,

 

Stephanie’s parting piece of guidance: if alcohol is impacting you in a negative way just take it out for 100 days.

 

[49:27] Closing thoughts:

 

If you’re not ready to quit drinking, none of the information we covered today is going to land, if you are ready, it doesn’t matter what we cover. Focus on the similarities and not the differences.

 

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All is fine, and all will be well.

 

 

 

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