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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 14, 2022

Episode 365 – So Who Do I Connect With?

 

Today we have Joshua. He is 36 years old and from North Carolina. His last drink was on October 31, 2020.

 

https://kalabrand.com/

 

Highlights from Paul:

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! The opposite of addiction is connection. Paul shares that reality is a mirror reflecting your inner world. The most important connection we have is the connection we have with ourselves. If we don’t love, treat ourselves with respect or stand up for ourselves, that will appear in our outer world. Connecting with yourself allows you to become your own healer. Once your inner connection/relationship is healthy, that will be reflected in your external connections.

 

Paul recommends splitting your internal and external actions 50/50. Connect with yourself first (via meditation, journaling, yoga, etc.), then connect externally (Café RE chat, Marco Polo chat, a family member).

 

Johan Hari’s Ted Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY9DcIMGxMs

 

BetterHelp: www.betterhelp.com/elevator

 

[10:45] Odette introduces Joshua

 

Joshua is from North Carolina, loves music, and works as an optician. 

 

“Should” never helped Joshua quit drinking. Focusing on what he wanted from his life helped him shift his thinking and made an alcohol-free life possible. 

 

Joshua’s first drink was a Zima at a party in high school. He was generally a good kid and had a strong desire to belong.   He recognized that alcohol did something for him early on before it did something to him. The first time he recalls getting drunk, he felt a euphoric escape. Alcohol was liberating and medicating. In college, a sneakiness appeared in his drinking. He wasn’t aware of alcohol being problematic until 2014.

 

After divorcing, pent-up resentments led to accelerated drinking for Joshua. His drinking progressed. He attended his first AA meeting in 2017. After several false starts, AA helped him get 18 months of continuous sobriety. He stopped working his program and returned to drinking. He began to observe his drinking, and by Halloween, a dream helped him realize he wanted to be his best, and alcohol wasn’t part of that vision.

 

Joshua credits AA for helping him and describes AA as binary; he has a realistic view of their history and acknowledges that many options are available for recovery today.     Therapy helped him with harm reduction and to be less black and white.

Josh says quitting alcohol is hard, but the complications of drinking make your life exponentially harder. He is happier, more grateful, and knows the perceived benefits of alcohol were a lie. Life still has its ups and downs, which are easier to manage.

 

Odette’s final thoughts:

 

You are enough. You are everything you need. You are loved. You are worthy. You are whole and complete, and you deserve a peaceful life. 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

 

  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Sponsors:

 

BetterHelp: www.betterhelp.com/elevator

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

“Recovery Elevator –lighten up!

Feb 7, 2022

Episode 364 – Booze Cruise

 

Today we have Ben. He is 41 from England and took his last drink on September 26, 2021.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul shares some highlights from Recovery Elevator’s recent trip to Costa Rica. The group wound up on a booze cruise, remained sober, and had more fun dancing, swimming, and connecting than others who were drinking. The group trusted Paul and had a blast.

 

Anxiety and depression often happen when we feel disconnected. Paul described driving through Montana in a location where people waived to one another on the road. That simple gesture was a form of mini-connection; it feels good and elevates dopamine levels in a healthy way. When you perform an act of kindness, it always provokes another. Paul suggests waiving at someone at a stoplight and reminds us that the opposite of addiction is connection. 

 

Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator

                                                                             

[11:29] Ben looks at not drinking as an opportunity, not a punishment. The work inspires him, and it feels like a reward. 

 

Ben is a musician; he’s single and age 41. He loves reading, movies, exercise, board games, video games and aspires to get into amateur dramatics. He no longer needs alcohol to have fun, experience life, and do the things he can write songs about. His mindset is now hopeful and optimistic vs. trapped and hopeless. 

 

Ben started drinking as a teenager at a party. He was under lots of pressure because he was into rock music, had long hair, and nobody approved. Drinking gave him an escape. He never drank when he played because he enjoyed the euphoria of performing. It was “game on” at the afterparties. He developed an eating disorder, which led to binge eating, drinking, and then starving. Hypnotherapy helped his eating disorder, giving him a sense of peace. Writing down what he ate to address his eating disorder helped Ben identify patterns in his drinking. 

 

As his drinking progressed, it began to impact his performances. He often drank on the tour bus all night and partied into the next day. Anxiety, paranoia, and confusion crept into his daily life. He was constantly looking for something fun and continued drinking to avoid reality. He began drinking alone, which impaired his ability to enjoy music. Consequences began to emerge. Ben explored AA, and he was initially put off by those who continued coming to meetings after decades of sobriety. During his first share, he broke into tears. He was shaken to discover how much alcohol meant to him. His drinking progressed, and he became reckless. At some point, he recognized he was powerless over alcohol. 

 

In 2021, Ben had three scary incidents that involved his work, health, and a friendship. He was scared sober. Initially, it wasn’t difficult. Finding a new addiction or habit was his initial plan. He spent hours playing computer games and was grateful because those hours were time he wasn’t drinking. Ben treats his sobriety like the levels of a computer game, adding new behaviors with each progression.  

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette speaks about “The Happiness Trap,” a book she is discussing with her therapist. It debunks the myth that we are supposed to be happy all the time. The daily actions we take allow us to feel joy, pain, and boredom. Even uncomfortable actions propel us toward a life we want.  

 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

Recovery Elevator – embrace the journey of becoming. I love you guys.

Jan 31, 2022

Episode 363 – The most powerful pharmacy in the world

 

Today we have Brian. He is 48 years old and from Ohio. His last drink was on March 31, 2019.

 

For more information about our Denver event, please go here.

 

Exact Nature www.exactnature.com Code: RE20

 

Highlights from Paul: How do you leverage the brain to work in your favor?

 

Acknowledge there is a problem.  Make sure your mental energies match your goal. Use the thinking mind to pull up a good memory (vacation, significant accomplishment). The cycle: The more the nervous system is in check, the more you want to do things that bring you joy. The more you do something that brings you joy, the more your nervous system calms down.

 

Listen to the nature sounds playlist. We forget that we come from nature; we evolved with crickets and blue jays. All you need to do is listen to nature sounds and allow them to calm the nervous system.

 

BetterHelp: www.betterhelp.com/elevator

 

[11:19] Odette introduces Brian

 

Brian has been sober for 1000 days.  He is from Cleveland, Ohio, likes mountain biking, the outdoors, art museums, and travel. 

 

Drinking became an issue for Brian after high school.  He experimented with drinking, pot, and methamphetamines.  He was an addict for a year and eventually went to rehab.  He dropped illicit drugs and continued drinking.  His family drank, so they wanted him to quit drugs but continue drinking.  Brian did everything to excess.  He had two failed marriages, and his drinking always led to bad situations.  He believed he could control his drinking.

 

In 2018, Brian started a new job.  He blacked out at the end of a training event, and he knew he had to quit.  He stopped on April 1 but was a dry drunk.  He was always angry.  He didn’t know what to do because drinking was always a reward.

 

Today, Brian listens to podcasts and finds the similarities.  He meditates.  Regulating his emotions has been a struggle, but it’s getting better.  Café Re drove his recovery.  His goal is not to be an embarrassment anymore.  Brian removed himself from all his prior activities to avoid triggers.  Now he follows the 7 Habits, s, lives his values, and sobriety is his number one priority.  He appreciates his wife’s support, and they have a solid partnership.  After a year of firsts (holidays, anniversaries), he felt stronger in his recovery.  He is a better husband, a better stepdad, and his career has progressed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have to say adios to booze if... 

 

If you find yourself crying in the shower, not knowing how you got to your room.

 

Odette’s final thoughts:

 

Getting through a year of firsts is a legitimate challenge.   Don’t let the images of sobriety being easy or perfect discourage you.  Sobriety takes time.  It is uncomfortable; it is normal to feel angry; it’s not always fun.  Focus on doing the next right thing.  It gets better.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

 

  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Sponsors:

 

Exact Nature www.exactnature.com Code: RE20

BetterHelp: www.betterhelp.com/elevator

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

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

Jan 24, 2022

Today we have Noelle. She is 31 years old and from Colorado. Her last drink was on June 24, 2019.

 

Highlights from Odette

 

Odette is working on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with her therapist. ACT encourages people to embrace their thoughts and feelings rather than fighting or feeling guilty for them.

 

Odette is learning not to shove her feelings away but to accept them and learn not to fuse them. Embracing negative thoughts can propel you into the right thoughts and behaviors. 

 

If I let this thought guide what I can do, will it help me create the life I want? Use the thought if it helps; diffuse it if it's not helpful. 

 

betterhelp.com/elevator

 

[8:54] Kris introduces Noelle

 

 

Noelle has been sober for 2.5 years – over 900 days!   She is an engineer and works with her brother. She has a Doberman and loves hiking, skiing, and getting outside to enjoy Colorado.

 

Noelle had a fake ID at 17 and always thought about how to get alcohol easier. She got into college because of her basketball skills. She got a DUI at 18, but there were no consequences. She and others justified her drinking because she excelled academically, professionally, and in basketball. She drank to get drunk. She crashed her truck for her 2nd DUI, and the consequences didn't faze her yet. She continued to excel professionally. Workaholism and alcoholism went hand in hand for Noelle. 

 

Noelle's got her third DUI at age 27. She went to jail and had five months of work release and in-home detention. She accepted a TOP 30 under 30 business award, but she wore an ankle monitor during the awards ceremony and slept in a cot in jail that night. Six months later, she stopped drinking. She was a dry drunk; she just removed the alcohol. She had a one-day relapse. The following day she went to an AA meeting. Noelle has now learned that sobriety is about quality vs. quantity. She has a sponsor, is working the steps, and spiritual elegance is part of her journey.

 

At her sponsor's urging, she wrote a drunkalogue which helped her see the wreckage of her past and the risky behavior. Noelle has learned that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. She is now learning to live in peace with unsolved problems. 

 

Noelle met Odette in April when she was hiking at Zion National Park. Meeting Odette was a higher power "God shot" moment in front of hundreds of people. Recovery Elevator podcasts were critical to her early recovery and AA meetings. 

 

You may have to say adios to booze if... 

 

You get a Denver Business Award journal for the Top 30 Under 30 and sleep in a cot in jail that night.

 

Kris's final thoughts:

 

Kris spoke about the impact that his drinking had on his loved ones. A door opened after a challenging conversation with his wife. Acknowledging her comments, he was scared and hopeless and beginning to face the consequences of his actions. Faith carried Kris through, and he reminds us to do the next right thing. We heal with each step we take. 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

 

  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Sponsor: BetterHelp  www.betterhelp.com/elevator

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

 

 

"Recovery Elevator –the door has been opened; let's walk through this together- I love you guys."

Jan 17, 2022

Today we have Eric. He is 58 years old and from New Jersey. His last drink was on February 10, 2019.

 

 

The RE Alcohol Free Ukulele course registration is open! Sign up here.

 

For more information about our Denver event, please go here.

 

 

From Paul: Why is working with the nervous system so important?

 

The cycle: The more the nervous system is in check the more you want to do things that bring you joy. The more you do things that bring you joy, the more your nervous system calms down.

 

Listen to the nature sounds playlist. We forget that we come from nature, we evolved with the crickets and blue jays. All you have to do is listen to nature sounds and allow it to calm the nervous system.

 

 

[10:03] Odette introduces Eric.

 

 

Eric is 58 years old and from New Jersey. He is a teacher. He also enjoys performing in theater as well as teaching theater. For fun he likes hiking and going to the gym. Being in nature is important to him.

 

He grew up around alcohol and for him it was very normalized. As a kid in high school, he would take beer from his father and drink them on camping trips. In college is where he said his drinking ramped up. He was able to get drunk very fast and he began to black out from time to time.

 

After two DUIs in the Midwest he took a job in New Jersey and continued drinking. He then received a 3rd DUI and a 4th DUI. But because it was in a different state he skated under the radar and was able to deal with lower ramifications.

 

February 10, 2018 his mother passed. He thought to him as he was on the plane home “Now the healing can begin”. He’s been learning what that means ever since.

 

 

You may have to say adios to booze if... 

 

you are now dealing with your 5th DUI and you still think it’s just a glitch and it’s not a problem.

 

 

 

Odette’s final thoughts:

 

 

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Get off the rat race and be kind to yourself. Take a moment today and focus on something good. Accept where you are.

 

 

 

Upcoming events, retreats and courses:

 

  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Sponsors:

 

Exact Nature www.exactnature.com Code: RE20

BetterHelp: www.betterhelp.com/elevator

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator –stay awkward and weird, you won’t regret it- I love you guys.”

Jan 10, 2022

Today we have Lane. She is from San Francisco. Her last drink was on December 30, 1996.

 

The RE Alcohol Free Ukulele course registration opens January 7th 2022. Sign up here.

For more information about our Denver event, please go here.

 

 

Paul reminds you that you’re declining one drink at a time. When we think about quitting drinking, a scenario arises in our mind with 100’s of people, simultaneously offering us drinks, all at once. That will never happen, and just like one day at a time, you’re saying no to one drink at a time.

 

 

As Paul mentioned at the end of last year he wants to cover the Nervous System, which is what he’ll be covering today, and in future episodes. Today he covers why it’s important to have a balanced nervous system and he explains, in layman's terms, what the nervous system is.

 

[11:38] Odette introduces Lane.

 

Lane is in her 50s, and lives in San Francisco, CA.  She took her last drink on December 30, 1996.  Lane is a wife and mother and a mindfulness and meditation teacher.  Lane loves to hike, listen to really good music and dance.

 

Lane had her first drink at the age of 12 and blacked out.  This pattern continued with her into her 20s.  She loved the effect that alcohol had on her.  She was very involved in sports during school and nobody knew she was drinking like she was. 

 

Everything on the outside looked normal, but on the inside she depended on that drink.  She didn’t think she had a problem because her friends drank like she did.  To be hungover was normal, was life. 

 

It wasn’t until she sent her best friend to the hospital with a concussion, while in a blackout, that she started to think that something was wrong with her drinking. 

 

On New Years Eve (1996) she went to a “meeting” with some friends, unknowingly this meeting turned out to be an AA meeting.  She heard the message of recovery that night and had hope. 

 

When Lane was 5 years sober she fell into Buddhism and found a way out, through prayer and meditation and that has been the golden thread throughout the last 20 years of her recovery. 

 

Lane says becoming a mother 12 years ago has been the most challenging thing in her recovery. 

 

You may have to say adios to booze if... 

 

you just drank and you get into a car and you drive.

 

 

Odette’s final thoughts:

 

Take care of yourself, believe in yourself and believe in possibility.

 

 

Upcoming events, retreats and courses:

 

  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Sponsors:

SOBERLINK:Did you know there are 15 million people in the U.S. with an Alcohol Use Disorder? And yet, there is still a stigma that surrounds addiction and recovery. We need to stop being ashamed and start sharing in our sobriety.

That’s why we’re so excited to have a sponsor like Soberlink who shares in our beliefs.

If you haven’t heard of the Soberlink alcohol monitoring system, it’s the perfect accountability tool for those in recovery. It can help you rebuild trust and get back on track despite slips or relapses.

We’ve teamed up with Soberlink to provide you with “Tips for Handling a Relapse” which is a guide that can be downloaded at www.soberlink.com/recovery-elevator.

On that page, you’ll also find a form to sign up for a $50-off promo code for you or a loved one who is ready to take the next step in their recovery journey.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code: RE20

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator –together is always better- I love you guys.”

Jan 3, 2022

Today we have Shea. She is 42 years old and from Michigan. Her last drink was on August 9, 2021.

 

 

The RE Dry January course: REstore began January 1. There’s still time to join us! Sign up here.

The RE Alcohol Free Ukulele course registration opens January 7th 2022. Sign up here.

For more information about our Denver event, please go here.

 

 

 

From Paul: “I cannot tell you how to quit drinking”

 

For Paul the most important thing that helped him along his journey to being alcohol free is: accountability. Paul tells his story of one of his attempts to stop drinking in 2014. He told his family he needed help.

 

Paul’s 2022 goal is simply: To be sober.

 

As he continues to build time away from alcohol, he wants to remind listeners that even he doesn’t have it all together. And the thing he’s most proud of is the ability to recognize the insanity of his own thinking mind.

 

* Silencio Bruno *

 

 

 

[09:03] Odette introduces Shea.

 

 

Shea is 42 years old and from Michigan. She took her last drink on August 9, 2021. She has two boys, a full time physicians assistant for cardiac surgery and is also in Law School. For fun she loves to move her body, recovery related activities and build community.

 

In Shea’s senior year of high school she began to develop coping mechanisms for trauma through her life. At first the focus was on an eating disorder and then she turned to alcohol. Immediately she took to alcohol and drugs and she lost all fear. While she knew this path was wrong, she wanted freedom and thought it was here. By 18 she had developed an addiction to heroin, but focused on school with daily drinking. During this time she also attended her first AA meeting. Through some admitted luck she was able to avoid jail time and was put into a court appointed drug and alcohol program.

 

After 13 years (2015) of alcohol and drug recovery she decided she wasn’t an addict anymore and began to drink again and would be able to moderate. Before the first glass of wine was done she was planning the second.

 

The community and steps of AA work for her, knowing that there are a million different avenues she can take to recovery has made her experience this time around different and meaningful. Finding and accepting her own self honesty has given her freedom.

 

 

You may have to say adios to booze if... 

 

you are finding bottles in your basement in old boxes and you don’t remember putting them there.

 

 

 

Odette’s final thoughts:

 

 

This is a great time to set some goals and intentions. Write down what you want to happen this year.

 

 

 

Upcoming events, retreats and courses:

 

  • You can find more information about our events 

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code: RE20

 

Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.

 

The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!  

 

Resources: 

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator –together is always better- I love you guys.”

Dec 27, 2021

Episode 358 – Don’t Forget to Sing Your Song

 

Today we have Randy.  He is 43, from Indianapolis, and took his last drink on December 30, 2016.

 

Registration is now open for Restore which begins January 1,2022.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/restore/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

This week’s tips from Paul include:  1) not everyone drinks, 2) sing, 3) give yourself a hug and say I love you.

 

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world and change is hard.  Find your song, that melody in your soul that is uniquely you that you sing over and over. You are the master creator of your life. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20

                                                                             

[9:27] Randy has been sober for nearly 5 years.  He is married with 4 kids and loves animals and running.

 

Randy was on episode 129.  Randy was in the restaurant business, and he was always surrounded by people who drank.  Toward the end, the hangovers and anxiety began to take a toll on him. 

 

Drinking was a reward for Randy.  Today, Randy doesn’t have to think about drinking.  He isn’t spending money on alcohol.  Now he can afford season tickets to the Colt’s game.  He doesn’t have to think about getting there or getting back, because he is sober. 

 

Randy is now methodical vs living on instant gratification.  He is more approachable and he loves giving service to others.

 

Initially watching football was really hard for Randy, because the sport was so engrained with alcohol.  Now he enjoys games more than ever.  

 

Kris’s Summary

Kris speaks to the term chosen family.  Kris’ recovery family wants him to be successful and free.   They take him at his best and his worst.  They laugh together, cry together, dance and walk the path together.  We need to open up, be vulnerable and let others love us until we learn to love ourselves.  You can do this. 

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Holiday 2021 AF Survival Guide

  •  
  • Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat.
  • Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy.
  • Develop a detailed craving game plan.
  • FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out.
  • Select a Holiday Theme Song.
  • Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy
  • One minute of intense mindfulness
  • Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you’ll see it each day
  • Have a fun escape plan
  • Offer to do the dishes
  • Study your why’s
  • Rest
  • Uno reverse card
  • Remind yourself you are safe
  • Play the tape forward
  • Treat yourself to a gift
  • Take 3 deep breaths

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Dec 20, 2021

Episode 357 – Practice Saying No

 

Today we have Jenn.  She is 34, from Michigan, and took her last drink on April 10, 2020.

 

Registration is now open for Restore which begins January 1,2022.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/restore/.  AF Ukulele course starts 2/5/22 at 3 PM EST. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/ukulele/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul talks about the parameters for success.  There’s an unhealthy paradigm in the sobriety world that it’s all a bust if we drink once. While continuous sobriety is the ultimate goal,  getting there is never pretty, and most likely is launched off a series of relapses or field research.  If you are drinking less than you did last holiday season, that’s a huge improvement. 

 

This week’s tips from Paul include:  1) say no, 2) practice saying no, 3) create your own pep talk.

 

Sometimes the desire to stop drinking only swirls in our thoughts.  Don’t underestimate the power of thought.  Our thoughts are powerful.  They create our world.  Immediately discard the thoughts that don’t align with your goals.  Deconstruct them and become aware of thoughts that are not congruent with what you want and need in life.  Use the thinking mind for creation and visualization.  Visualize that you no longer drink.  Repeat it, say it out loud and repeat it again.  What you put in is what you get back.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20

                                                                             

[12;43] Jenn took her last drink April 10, 2020.  She has a husband, two children and loves hiking, being in nature and spending time with her family. 

 

Jenn said from her first sip of alcohol she felt some inner peace.  Her first black out was at age 14.  She started off with a bang and got in plenty of trouble.  She experienced some trauma and started to use alcohol as her coping mechanism. She had suicidal ideations and started cutting.  She drank a 5th a night.  Before she turned 21, she added cocaine. 

 

She was a functioning alcoholic through her twenties and early thirties.  In her thirties, her drinking took on a dark shift.  She was suicidal and she knew that she had to save herself and get some help.  Jenn had to be brutally honest with herself.  She was asking the wrong people for help.  Her internal and external worlds were completely opposed. 

 

Jenn had multiple attempts at sobriety.  She worked with a therapist for two years and real change began.  The accountability of Café RE reinforced her commitment to sobriety.  She is now a recovery coach. 

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette reminds us that change starts with us.  If you are waiting for things to change, for people to change, for life to change, you may be waiting for a long time. Recovery is our responsibility. Everything that we wish to see in others needs to start with us. Be the person you wish everyone around you was and see how life can change.

 

“I really think the secret to being loved is to love. And the secret to being interesting is being interested. And the secret to having a friend is being a friend.”

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Holiday 2021 AF Survival Guide

  •  
  • Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat.
  • Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy.
  • Develop a detailed craving game plan.
  • FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out.
  • Select a Holiday Theme Song.
  • Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy
  • One minute of intense mindfulness
  • Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you’ll see it each day
  • Have a fun escape plan
  • Offer to do the dishes
  • Study your why’s
  • Rest
  • Uno reverse card
  • Remind yourself you are safe
  • Play the tape forward
  • Treat yourself to a gift
  • Take 3 deep breaths

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Dec 13, 2021

Episode 356 – Play the Tape Forward

 

Today we have Ashley.  She is 35 from Orange County, CA, and took her last drink on January 7, 2006.

 

Registration is now open for Restore, which begins January 1, 2022.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/restore/

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

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul encourages you to check in with yourself about your feelings about your AF journey.  There are more recovery modalities than ever.  Keep searching for the one that works for you.  This week’s tips are:  Play the tape forward.  Treat yourself to a gift.  Take three deep breaths into the lower lobes of the lung. 

 

Drinking served a purpose for you initially.  Alcohol suppresses your inner turmoil: It gives you a sense of calm.  As you continue to suppress those voices, they grow louder, and you must drink more to make those feelings go away.  If you continue to override your internal guidance system, you live life truly blind, and nothing of significance takes place.  When do the miracles of sobriety occur?  Day 1, day 500?  It’s up to you to find out.  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20

 

[12:45] Ashley took her last drink on January 7, 2006.  She is married, has twin boys, and in 2010 co-founded an SV start-up that offers online outpatient addiction treatment.  She has a podcast called the courage to change.  https://www.lionrock.life/couragetochangepodcast  She is finishing her MBA, loves yoga, the outdoors, reading and comedy.  Since she got sober at 19, she has been revisiting fun at her current stage of life.

 

Ashley’s first drink was a beer she stole from her parents’ fridge, and it took her a week to finish it.  She felt like she was born with her skin too tight and always believed she was too much.  She tried to make herself into what others wanted her to be.

 

Ashley hired alcohol and drugs to do a job for her to make her feel okay and want to be on the planet.  By age 14, she was addicted to cocaine.  Through a boyfriend, she got addicted to heroin.   She was sent to several lockdown programs that were popular in early 2000.  She couldn’t stay sober in treatment.  She would create disasters, leave, and change treatment centers.  She eventually left treatment and decided to drink instead of doing drugs. 

 

In 2006 she started going to AA meetings, listening, and letting go of her old ideas, which was hard to do.  Her life became different when she let others help her and did what they said.  She went to college, had relationships, and started a company. 

Instagram: @sobermomsquad ; https://www.lionrockrecovery.com/

 

Ashley went to meetings four days a week in early sobriety and participated in the fellowship.  Ashley did not heal her trauma in 12-step; therapy was essential for Ashley to do the work.  A young people’s AA group in So CA allowed her to meet some great young people, and they partied without the alcohol.   She has been reinventing her recovery since having children. 

 

Odette’s Summary

Where do I feel safe enough to be my best calm self?

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Holiday 2021 AF Survival Guide

  •  
  • Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat.
  • Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy.
  • Develop a detailed craving game plan.
  • FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out.
  • Select a Holiday Theme Song.
  • Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy
  • One minute of intense MINDFULNESS
  • Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you’ll see it each day
  • Have a fun escape plan
  • Offer to do the dishes
  • Study your why’s
  • Play the tape forward
  • Buy yourself a gift
  • Take three deep breaths

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Dec 6, 2021

Episode 355 – the Uno reverse card.

 

Today we have Rocio.  She is 42, from Washington state, and took her last drink on August 31, 2020.

 

Registration is now open for Restore which begins January 1,2022.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/restore/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul reminds you if you drank over Thanksgiving or your sobriety plans aren’t going so hot, don’t kick the bucket to January or to the next holiday season. 

 

This week’s tips from Paul include:  1) rest, 2) Uno reverse card – remember that most criticisms and judgments have nothing to do with you, 3) remind yourself that you are physically safe.  Much of our addiction is tied to an overactive nervous system that prevents us from departing from the fight or flight emotions.

 

When we’re drinking, there is no time left to create, to explore, to discover, to get to know, or reflect upon. Instead, we are picking up the pieces, sometimes trying to put the pieces together from the night before. Much of this behavior is the body seeking safety and refuge from situations that may have occurred decades ago. Relax and let your inner guidance take over.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20

                                                                             

[11:29] Rocio took her last drink August 31, 2020.  Rocio is married with three sons and lives in Edmonds, WA.  Rocio had an abusive marriage and had the courage to leave her marriage.  Her drinking wasn’t a huge issue until the last 6 years.  As her kids started to grow, she became part of the mommy wine culture and alcohol was part of everything from sports events to PTA meetings and family gatherings. 

 

She noticed she was starting to plan around events.   Her husband was concerned, and always approached her with an attitude of help.  Rocio didn’t have a turn-off switch and she had some self-sabotaging characteristics.  She described that hamster wheel of parenthood, work, and fun.  Alcohol helped her numb. 

 

Breaking her hip at a bike race became a turning point.  She didn’t stop drinking but had to learn to walk again and the recovery took a year.  Rocio was sober curious and did several dry January’s.  During a family vacation, she had some great insights about the role alcohol played in her family including some questions from her son.  About six months into sobriety, she started to get real clarity on her relationships and how she thinks.  Connection, accountability, quit lit, boundaries and self-care were great tools.  Her marriage is amazing, and she has great support. 

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette reminds us to protect our energy during the holiday season.  Give yourself permission to take care of you. 

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Holiday 2021 AF Survival Guide

  •  
  • Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat.
  • Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy.
  • Develop a detailed craving game plan.
  • FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out.
  • Select a Holiday Theme Song.
  • Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy
  • One minute of intense mindfulness
  • Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you’ll see it each day
  • Have a fun escape plan
  • Offer to do the dishes
  • Study your why’s
  • Rest
  • Uno reverse card
  • Remind yourself you are safe

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Nov 29, 2021

Episode 354

 

Today we have Cordell.  He is 38, from North Dakota, and took his last drink on December 6, 2017.

 

Highlights from Odette

 

Odette has some helpful hints to contribute to Paul’s Holiday Survival Guide.  Odette suggests 1) have a fun escape plan, 2) offer to do the dishes, 3) dig into your arsenal of why’s.

 

Beyond tips, Odette suggests really focusing on effective communications.  Set expectations in advance, particularly with those closest to you so they understand you are committed to staying sober, even if it means leaving early.  You don’t have to burn the ships either, you can reference plans early the next day.  Odette says having a puppy is a great reason to leave a party early. 

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20

 

[6:05] Cordell took his last drink December 6, 2017.  He is 38 and has a wife and 3 kids.  He spends lots of time chasing kids and he works in a coal mine.  Sobriety is the best choice he ever made.

 

Cordell was raised in a Christian family with lots of family gatherings in a small town with lots of alcohol.  Taking a sip of his parents’ drink was common.  In high school, alcohol was a given, part of the norm.  Cordell didn’t drink to have fun; he drank to get wasted.  He started working as a welder and drinking was part of the routine.

 

At 22 he decided he needed help.  He smoked pot and took other drugs, and it had a spiraling effect.  He went to a 30-day Intensive Outpatient program.  He was sober for almost a year and decided he had it under control.  He would drink 1-2 beers at a party and “drink responsibly”. 

 

At 24, his girlfriend was pregnant.  He wasn’t ready to be a father and his drinking really took off.   He lost his job, his friends, his car and was at rock bottom.  He met his son for the first time when he was 3 months old.  Meeting his son encouraged him to clean up his act a bit.  He quit taking drugs but continued to drink.  He moved in with his girlfriend, got a job and maintained as a functioning alcoholic.  His daughter was born two years later.  Almost immediately after his daughter was born, his girlfriend was pregnant again.   

 

Cordell was often put in jail for fighting with his girlfriend.  He eventually got a job at the coal mine.  He and his girlfriend got married.  His drinking slowed, but extra income became an opportunity to start taking drugs again.  He was fired after a random drug screen.  His drinking and using escalated and his wife kicked him out.  He moved in with a buddy who was also drinking and drugging. 

 

Ultimately, he went to rehab.  The withdrawal was hell, but he found new tools to have fun, and started to surround himself with healthy people.  Now he coaches wrestling, volleyball and is actively engaged with his kids.  He talks to his sponsor daily and he has learned how to apologize. 

 

Kris’s Summary

Kris reminds us our path isn’t linear.  He speaks about binging on feelings and emotions.  He is physically and emotionally exhausted.  Kris encourages us to shift our thinking an reframe recovery as a gift.  We learn how to feel and sit with our feelings, know they aren’t permanent and move forward.  Stick with it!

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Holiday 2021 AF Survival Guide

  •  
  • Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat.
  • Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy.
  • Develop a detailed craving game plan.
  • FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out.
  • Select a Holiday Theme Song.
  • Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy
  • One minute of intense MINDFULNESS
  • Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you’ll see it each day
  • Have a fun escape plan
  • Offer to do the dishes
  • Study your why’s

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Nov 22, 2021

Episode 353 – It’s a Week to be Thankful

 

Today we have Jan.  She is from Connecticut and took her last drink on February 1, 2021.

 

  • Restore – intensive on-online dry January 15 session course. Registration opens 12/1/21.
  • Costa Rica starts January 15. Email kate@recoveryelevator.com to get on waiting list.
  • AF Sober Ukulele (8 week) course starts 2/5/2022. Registration opens January 7th.
  • Denver Retreat (3/31 – 4/2) Register: https://www.recoveryelevator.com/denver/

 

Café RE donated $15,094.73 to organizations and non-profits geared towards helping those affected by addiction.

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul is encouraging listeners to develop a game plan for the holidays.  Last week he encouraged us to: 1) create a detailed craving plan, 2) turn FOMO into JOMO by saying no and, 3) pick a holiday theme song.

 

Paul shares that when we make the decision to not drink, an unbelievable amount of energy is released. This is less about staying away from alcohol and more about creating a life that doesn’t require alcohol. When we’re drinking there is no space mentally for this new life.

 

This week Paul encourages us to:  1) select a Thanksgiving AF beverage, 2) schedule one minute of intense mindfulness and, 3) sticky note – write a reminder, goal or affirmation and put it somewhere you can see it.   

 

Remember what the holiday is all about, being grateful for all the gifts we have including the adversity that inspired us to go alcohol free.  Paul’s pep talks can be found here:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20

 

[14:34] Jan took her last drink 2/1/2021.  She is 71 years old and has a son.  She is a massage therapist, health coach, dog sitter and loves hiking, audiobooks, and photography.

 

Jan started drinking went she went to school overseas in Italy.  It was part of the culture. She drank and experimented with drugs through college.  She had serious health consequences because of her drinking.  She worked at several resorts and met her husband who loved to drink.    Jan went to AA and stayed sober for four years.  She returned to drinking for twenty years.

 

She struggled with mental health issues, anxiety, and panic attacks.   She spent a lot of time in psychiatric hospitals and was encouraged not to drink.  Jan went to 4 or 5 different treatment centers.  The tipping point came when her son pushed her to quit.  Jan pretended to take Antabuse in front of her son and maintaining the facade was exhausting.  A friend of her son’s recommended Café RE; the connection she found within Café RE was very helpful. 

 

Jan loves “We are the Luckiest” by Laura McKowen and recalls hearing, “find a room that works and stick with it,” and that resonated for her.  She steers clear of situations where people are drinking alcohol.  The obsession has lifted. 

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette reflects on Café Re’s recent regionals event.  The theme was acceptance.  Odette reads a beautiful passage from Melody Beattie about acceptance.  https://melodybeattie.com/acceptance-2/ 

 

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Holiday 2021 AF Strategy Guide

  •  
  • Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat.
  • Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy.
  • Develop a detailed craving game plan.
  • FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out.
  • Select a Holiday Theme Song.
  • Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy
  • One minute of intense MINDFULNESS
  • Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you’ll see it each day

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Nov 15, 2021

Episode 352 – Allow the deeper you to emerge

 

Today we have Kendall.  He is 30, from Texas, and took his last drink on March 13, 2021.

 

Paul shares some personal insights on the growth of Recovery Elevator.

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul resumes the discussion about having a game plan for the holidays.  He reminds us that alcohol can have catastrophic effects.

 

A recap from last week:  1) Accountability, 2) Stock up on AF beverages, 3) Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy.  Paul introduces three additional concepts: 1) Develop a cravings plan and get specific, 2) JOMO – find something this holiday season to say “no” to and savor the new boundary, 3) Pick your holiday theme song. 

 

When you begin the journey in a life without alcohol, an incredible thing begins to take place.  You get to experience a transformation that allows the deeper you to emerge.  You get to know yourself, your true and authentic self, your needs, wants, desires and more. Paul encourages us to listen to the inner voice and the guidance it provides to tell us what we need, when we need it and how to get it.  Our inner voice will help us to fully live a human life with all its ups and downs.  When we are true to our authentic selves, we get to embrace the full palette of human emotions, we learn to stand up for ourselves and learn to create a life that no longer involves alcohol. 

 

Listen to the pep talk segment  here:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/

  

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[10:11] Kendall took his last drink 3/13/2021.  He is 30 years old and has a young daughter and enjoys skate boarding.  Kendall started drinking at age 14.  He smoked, drank, and hung out with his friends.  He didn’t drink frequently, but every time he did, he got very drunk. 

 

Kendall’s sober journey began NYE 2019 when he was going through his divorce.  He didn’t want to be “that guy” who drowned himself in alcohol.  He thought he was healed at 50 days.  He was out of control.  His drinking escalated dramatically.   He would quit for a day, but he was having fun.  At some point he reflected on his behavior.  His ex-wife sent him pictures of empty bottles she found in the house.  Kendall realized he was resentful at his wife for not letting him drink the way he wanted to.  Kendall hid his drinking.  He used it as an outlet to escape his depression. 

 

Odette found Kendall through his participation in the Café RE roll call.  She watched him start to count days.  In April 2020, Kendall found RE.  He was in lockdown and still drinking daily.  Kendall connected with Paul’s energy on the RE podcast.  He tricked himself through several day ones and eventually he hit a day 3, then a day 7, then a day 27.  He used the term, “field research” as a pass to drink.  Publicly posting on his social media helped him gain accountability and receive love.

 

Kendall’s skating friends are incredibly supportive of his sobriety.  They have come to his house when he was having cravings.    Now Kendall is more emotionally aware.  Kendall’s cravings are nostalgia cravings.  His slip-ups have created a strong foundation for him to stay sober.  Dating is hard because everybody wants to meet for a drink.  He was falling apart one day, and he got support from his community and they helped him through.

 

Odette’s Summary

If you are on the struggle bus right now, hold on!  Bad days and low emotions are part of the journey.  Just when you are completely overwhelmed and spiraling, you will have a normal day.   Emotions do level out and the intensity dissipates.  Hold on!  Know that you will turn a corner soon.  Reach out for help.  Slow and steady wins the race.

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events Emo

 

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Nov 8, 2021

Episode 351 – Strength and Courage

 

Today we have Tom.  He is 47, from Bozeman, MT, and took his last drink on September 24, 2019.

 

Café RE’s annual on-line conference called Regionals starts Friday 11/12-13/2021.  This is a Café RE members’ only free event.  This will include yoga, sound healing, meditations, and breakout rooms.  Go to:

www.recoveryelevator.com promo code: opportunity for more info.

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul shares some helpful hints from listeners to develop a game plan for the holidays.   There are 54 days left in 2021 and Paul is encouraging you to start now with your plan to ditch the booze. 

 

1)  Accountability – get an accountability partner.  Café RE members’ email: info@recoveryelevator.com with your name, age, location, male or female, and date of last drink and KMac will get you paired.  If you are going somewhere for a holiday gathering, let the host know you won’t be drinking and ask them not to offer you any alcohol. 2) Stock up and treat yourself to AF beverages (+chocolate +ice cream). 3) Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy, so your focus isn’t on what you are giving up, but on doing more of something you enjoy.

 

Paul reminds us to practice new habits including listening to music when you get triggered. Listen to some of Paul’s favorites here:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/

 

If you find yourself overwhelmed with getting or staying sober, remind yourself that up until this moment, everything has worked out just fine. You don’t have to have it all figured out. Nobody does. Your job is to keep moving forward and making progress. But not aimlessly. When we remove alcohol, we also remove the veil of illusion. At first this is lonely and scary. This allows us to be more authentic. Give this life reboot some time. Trust me. Trust yourself.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[11:52] Tom took his last drink on September 24, 2019.  He is 47, a surgical nurse and is married with two kids.  He loves fly fishing, snowboarding, running, live music, hiking cooking, playing guitar and yo yo’s.

 

Tom came from a long history of drinkers. Tom was a victim of sexual assault and bullying.  He didn’t drink regularly until late high school/early college.  He described never feeling comfortable in his own skin.  Drinking helped him overcome that discomfort.  Tom’s drinking ramped up in college.  He also smoked pot and was never a normal drinker. 

 

At age 30, Tom made a career change and went to nursing school with the goal of being a family man.  He became a surgical nurse and has been in the field ever since.  After moving to Bozeman, the effects of years of drinking started to take their toll.  He drank to black out, drank and drove and hid his drinking.  He quit once on his own for two months, then drank for another five years.  After a difficult conversation with his wife, he quit drinking the next day. 

 

Tom described living a double life because his behavior at work and at home were completely different. 

 

Tom leveraged AA to help him quit drinking for good.  He went to meetings daily, got a sponsor, embraced spirituality, worked the steps, and did what he was told. 

 

Tom can be himself now.  He loves his job; has become a leader and he is no longer depressed.  His marriage and his relationship with his children is better.  He is making new friends and repairing old relationships. 

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette discusses moving toward your values to give you a new framework to evaluate your life and your sobriety.

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Nov 1, 2021

Episode 350 – What’s up holidays?

 

Today we have Blazik.  He is 28, from Kansas, and took his last drink on July 25,2021.

 

Café RE’s annual on-line conference called Regionals starts 11/12-13/2021.  This is a Café RE members’ only free event.  This will include yoga, sound healing, meditations, and breakout rooms.  Go to  www. Recoveryelevator.com promo code: opportunity for more info.

 

Café RE just made a $5149 donation to the McShin Foundation.  10% of all Café RE monthly memberships go towards a nonprofit geared towards helping those affected by addiction. The McShin Foundation  helps those struggling with addiction get access to detox facilities, sober living, transitional recovery houses and more. https://mcshin.org/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul addresses the gauntlet of challenges coming up in the next sixty days, specifically Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.  The holidays often spike anxiety.  Paul suggests it’s time to create a game plan to enjoy your first of many AF holidays. 

 

Challenges create opportunities.  There is an opportunity to rewrite the script and create a new norm for the holidays.    There are opportunities for self-love, self-reflection, self-care and putting the self aside.  There are also opportunities for connection.  Building deeper human connections requires us to exercise our vulnerability muscles.  This is an opportunity to be less reactive, go with the flow and practice mindfulness.  It is also a great time to be of service and give without expecting anything in return.  It is an opportunity to set boundaries with yourself, your loved ones, and people in the supermarket.  There is also an opportunity of the unknown, a time of repose and perhaps a chance to address loneliness.

 

Paul believes you can do this.  It starts with how you view it.  Simply reframing challenges to opportunities is a great start.  Lean in on this podcast, Café RE or whatever it takes so you do not go through this alone.  Willpower is not enough to stay sober.  Paul will provide more tools to help you build a game plan. This year is your opportunity to enjoy sober holidays. 

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[9:47] Blazik took his last drink on July 25, 2021.  He is 28, single and has his own podcast.  He makes videos, music and is learning the guitar.  He spends a lot of time burning energy with his dog so he can enjoy down time. 

 

Blazik experienced anxiety through his childhood.  He was high performing as an athlete and homecoming king.  He acted like the person he wanted to be but was filled with anxiety.  He drank to overcome anxiety and drinking made the feeling go away temporarily.  Alcohol made him feel and act the way he wanted to.  From age 17-27 he drank daily. 

 

The effects of alcohol began to take their toll on him physically.   He woke up regularly at 2-3AM with heart palpitations or anxiety attacks.  He couldn’t overcome the fatigue without drinking again. He listened to several episodes of the RE podcast and decided to explore not drinking.  He went 38 days on his first attempt to get sober.  He drank again and found himself drinking when he didn’t want to, but he had to feel like himself.  He loved the instant fix.

 

Blazik says that concerts, vibing and dancing are still fun AF, and you can remember the event!  He is really enjoying learning to be present.  He loves looking and stars and listening to music.  He has learned that he doesn’t need alcohol to be creative or to make music. 

 

Kris’s Summary

 

Kris talks about control and rejection.  If he lives for the approval of others, he will die from their rejection, and exhausted from the chase.  He is working on being authentically himself and that he is enough. 

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

 

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

Oct 25, 2021

Episode 349 – The Inner Voice.

 

Today we have Tara.  She is 37, from Canada, and took her last drink on February 20, 2019.

 

Café RE’s annual on-line conference called Regionals starts 11/12-13/2021.  This is a Café Re members only free event. This will include yoga, sound healing, meditation, and break outs rooms.  Go to:  www.recoveryelevator.com promo code: opportunity.

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul talks about his inner voice and how it failed him as he was trying to stack days in early sobriety.  Inner narration can tell you in your own voice that it is okay to drink.  It’s a subconscious voice.  Paul advises that the first step is to be aware of the voice.  Then you need to create distance between that voice and the first drink.  Inner narration isn’t you, it’s a bundle of thoughts.  Over time, you can let the space build between the thought and the drink so you can change your thinking.  Gaze at the stars, look up and take a breath. 

 

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[10:37] Odette welcomes Tara

 

Tara took her last drink February 20, 2019.  She lives in Montreal and has learned to enjoy life – everything she does is for fun.  She is a voice actress and podcaster.

 

Tara described her relationship with alcohol as a product of self-loathing and rejecting herself.  She took her first drink at 12. She was well adjusted and had her needs met at the time.  She didn’t drink again until 15 when she was unhappy, depressed and feeling alienated.  Alcohol filled a need to replace herself.  A major shift happened when she was 18 and she took her drinking to another level – drinking in the morning and drinking alone.  Alcohol became her primary relationship until she got sober.  Alcohol was linked with everything she did.  She had a lot of self-pity and thought the world was against her.  She felt like she belonged at the bottom.  Pain felt normal, like home. 

 

Tara went to 12 different inpatient rehabs.  She would start to feel better and didn’t know how to deal with feeling better.  Learning to care for herself emotionally was a big challenge.  Even some basic tasks were a challenge.  She escaped through relationships with men or would obsess about her looks to avoid facing herself. 

 

She took pride in not being a good person.  She became a villain in her own story.  She put her family and friends through a lot.  She relapsed frequently and made false promises to herself and other people.  She is amazed her family is still supporting her recovery.  During her last stay in rehab, she was there for 12 days and had to leave because she had been so many times.  Post rehab she went through the motions and went to meetings, got a sponsor, and did the things she was told to do without running the show.   Her parents breathalyzed her which helped her become accountable. 

 

Early recovery was a challenge.  Tara felt like a fraud and didn’t have confidence in her own ability not to relapse.  Her brain was in a constant frenzy, and she had a partner who was struggling with addiction.  She felt privileged to be able to do full time recovery for several months.   She has learned to have a sense of humor about cravings or crazy thoughts.   She focuses now on how she shows up in the world.  She has expanded her spiritual practice and is learning to be consistent.  Tara has learned to enjoy her own company.  Her goal is to show up in her life in a way she can be proud of every day.

 

Odette’s Summary

What does bravery mean to you?  You can choose to ride or not ride a roller-coaster. The brave choice is the one that rings true to you; the choice that aligns with your values, inner knowing and truth.  Choosing to live an alcohol-free life is a huge act of bravery.  Sobriety can be lonely, but bravery means standing up for yourself and advocating yourself, even when peers may pressure you to do otherwise. 

 

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Oct 18, 2021

Episode 348 – We don’t plug in.

 

Today we have Kerry.  She is 31, from Philadelphia, and took her last drink on January 2,2021.

 

Recovery Elevator is going to be Denver Colorado at the Hilton Garden inn at Union Station.  New Dates: March 31 – April 2.   Register: https://www.recoveryelevator.com/denver/

 

Paul will be teaching a ukulele 101 course in February 2022.  https://recoveryelevator.com/events

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Humans don’t plug in like a phone with a charger, however we do recharge.  In the 21st century we are pulled in many different directions.  Addictions are adaptive behaviors that manifest in unhealthy, stressful environments, especially when we are running on empty.

 

Paul offers some practical ways for us to recharge including go barefoot on the earth/grass, eat live foods 2x a day, eat less frequently, sleep more, nap, read a good book, socialize with other sober people, get out in nature, do something that brings you joy, and JOMO (joy of missing out) – skip those stressful events.  Recharging takes practice.  Remind yourself that it is a gift you are giving yourself.

 

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[11:30] Odette welcomes Kerry

 

Kerry took her last drink January 2, 2021.  She is a registered dietician, is married and has two cats.  Her side hustle includes several books and mocktails.  See: https://thesoberdietitians.com/  Instagram:thesoberdieticians

 

Kerry didn’t start drinking until college.   She did drink wine.   She was given an opportunity to write a mocktail book with her friend, Diana for pregnant women.  As with many, her drinking increased in 2020.  She was drinking daily.

 

Kerry read a lot  about the rise of alcohol use during the pandemic.  She and her friend, Diana were writing their 2nd book and began linking alcohol and health.  Kerry started looking at her own relationship with alcohol.  She completed a 30-day AF challenge.  She returned to drinking but drank mindfully.  She and Diana completed another 30-day challenge together.  They explored several AF options.  Diana quit drinking entirely and Kerry’s drinking diminished.  Kerry celebrated a friend’s engagement with champagne and that was her last drink.  She learned so much about alcohol as an author and realized she didn’t need alcohol anymore. 

 

Kerry didn’t love the feeling that came with drinking alcohol.  She realized that she couldn’t accomplish as much when she was hungover.  She also realized how prevalent alcohol is on TV or in movies.  We normalize problematic drinking.

 

She and her husband have enjoyed taking the sober curious journey together.  She misses red wine and pumpkin beer and hasn’t found a great AF alternative to either yet.   She is tempted to return to drinking, but her current plan is to stay AF.  She served AF options including a signature mocktail at her wedding. 

 

Kerry has become aware that ethanol is a carcinogen and has become more mindful about the ramifications of drinking while pregnant.  She is concerned that we promote red wine as being heart healthy when we can’t measure how much of the antioxidants enter the body.  She has made great connections with the sober and sober curious people on social media.

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette has been sober for nearly three years.  She recognizes she is imposing a fair number of expectations on herself specific to what her recovery should look like.  She encourages us not to beat ourselves up.  Use the tools that are working for you.

 

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Oct 11, 2021

Episode 347 – Can you heal in the same environment you became sick?

 

Today we have Frank.  He is 42, from Omaha, and took his last drink on May 22,2021.

 

Recovery Elevator is going to be Denver Colorado at the Hilton Garden inn at Union Station April 14th- 17th.  Registration goes live this Friday, October 15th. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/denver/

 

Highlights from Paul

Can you heal in the same environment you became sick in?  Yes, but you can’t use the same consciousness or thinking that got you into the mess in the first place.  There is a line that goes, when you quit drinking you don’t have to change much, you have to change everything.  The key is, not all at once.  Paul describes three critical changes:  awareness, boundaries and staying in the body (don’t disassociate). 

 

You are gaining strength.  Adversity makes you stronger.  You are healing and as you heal, those around you will heal as well.

 

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[10:38] Odette welcomes Frank

 

Frank to his last drink May 22, 2021.  He is married with two children, and he works in medical staffing.  He is a foodie, loves sports and playing guitar.

 

Frank started drinking in high school.  It was a rite of passage at the time.  He never had an off switch and could always outdrink everyone else.  His tolerance increased.   In his mid 30’s he noticed the hangovers getting worse and he was eating shame meals.  By his 40’s the hangovers lasted two days and it wasn’t fun.

 

Frank was never a violent drunk. He was a raging jerk during recovery because he felt so terrible.  His hangovers became progressively worse.  He could barely get water down.  Frank was good at covering up his drinking.  He was sober for 30 days a few years ago and celebrated with a drink.  His drinking progressed from there.  

 

Frank’s turning point came during his anniversary dinner when his withdrawal symptoms were so intense, he was shaking, sweating, felt faint and nauseous.   He knew something had to change; he wrote a four-page letter to his wife, spoke with his counselor, and found Recovery Elevator.    His Dad and his brother were good sources during early recovery as they are both in recovery.  Listening to podcasts and playing the tape forward helped.

 

Managing through sober “firsts” this year (college football, golf, concerts, 3-day weekends) has been a win. 

 

A self-described weekend warrior, Frank enjoyed the sensation of alcohol, but never drank to escape anything; he just wanted to fit in.  He used koozie cup holders to avoid questions from his drinking buddies.

 

He is now open about his recovery and his friends and family check in regularly and have let him know how proud they are of him.  He now observes others drinking to excess and is relieved he doesn’t have to do that anymore. 

 

Frank said his relationships are all positive.  He loves waking up rested and he appreciates the memories he is creating with his kids.  Frank and his wife are doing better. 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds us, “we are doing this”.  Alcohol works until it doesn’t.  It dims the good and the bad.  Learning to stay present during uncomfortable moments give us an opportunity to grow. 

 

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Oct 4, 2021

Episode 346 – There is no manual

 

Today we have Kathryn.  She us 58, from North Dakota, and took her last drink on February 19, 2002.

 

Highlights from Odette

There is no manual for recovery. We have tools, guidance, but no guaranteed formula for success. Learning to manage that uncertainty can be challenging, but it's normal.   Be gentle with yourself and others.

 

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[07:18] Kris welcomes Kathryn Burgum, the First Lady of North Dakota.  Kathryn has over 19 years of sobriety. 

 

Kathryn’s first drink was at age 8.  There was lots of alcohol in her household and her parents were regular drinkers.    In high school, Kathryn struggled with anxiety and depression;  drinking was her nirvana because it gave her some relief. She had her first blackout in high school, and they continued for twenty years. 

 

Kathryn experienced many consequences due to her drinking; the loss of self-respect was at the top of her list.  Getting a DUI pushed her to begin recovery. 

 

Kathryn made several deals with herself about regulating her drinking. She never kept those promises, because if she thought about drinking, she did.   The only choice she had was to start drinking ….  In the end, she lost the choice about drinking.

 

As Kathryn’s drinking progressed, she was hung over every day.  She was unable to control her drinking.  When asked if she should be driving, she would respond that she was fine, because she didn’t want people to think she had a problem with alcohol. 

 

Kathryn worked in HR and drug tested employees.  When she got a DUI, it was published in the local newspaper.  Someone blew it up and posted it at work.  The shame kept her from admitting her problem.  She didn’t want to ask for help because she was concerned about what others would think.  

 

Kathryn recognized she was suicidal almost every time she drank; she had undiagnosed depression.

 

As a result of her DUI, she had to undergo a mandatory evaluation and went to outpatient treatment that was unsuccessful.  She went to Mayo Clinic for ten days and stayed sober for two years.  Over a period of 8 years, she quit and relapsed several times. 

 

Kathryn’s turning point came when she was walking and asked, “Is there anybody out there?  If there is, I need help.”  She has been sober ever since.  Slowly recovery became her life.  She found a community, began feeling better, and engaged a recovery coach.  She credits recovery with saving her life. 

 

Kathryn now takes medication for her depression, reads meditations daily and connects with her God. 

 

When her husband, Gov. Doug Burgum, announced that he wanted to run for governor, she had some concerns. They had candid conversations about boundaries during the campaign. 

 

Kathryn made a conscious decision to talk about her recovery because of the opioid crisis and it became a platform she and her husband share.  Recovery Reinvented is an annual free conference.

 

Every week Kathryn has an opportunity to help someone who is struggling with addiction.  Helping others helps her stay sober.  After 8 years of relapse, she was losing hope.  Through faith she knows there is always hope for sobriety and recovery. 

 

Recovery Reinvented 2021 is on 10/25/21.  Register to attend in person or online.  www.recovery reinvented.com.  

 

Kris’s Summary

What could your voice do?  We don’t know the impact that comes with sharing our experience.  I’m over the stigma; I am here to grow.

 

First Lady Kathryn Burgum can be found: Facebook (@FirstLadyND & @RecoveryND), Twitter (@FirstLadyND & @Recovery_ND), and Instagram (@firstladynd). Prior Recovery Reinvented speakers, award recipients, and segments can be found at  www.youtube.com/recoveryreinvented.

 

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Sep 27, 2021

Episode 345– The Neuroscience of Addiction Part II

 

Today we have Stacy Jo, she is 34 years old, from Oregon and took her last drink on March 6, 2020. 

 

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul wants to know your interest in a alcohol-free Ukulele 101 course.  If you are interested please email info@recoveryelevator.com.

 

Paul provides part 2 of highlights of a podcast with Rich Roll speaking with Dr. Anna Lembke. Rich Roll Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jziP0CEgvOw. 

 

Dr. Lembke talks about how it’s a known fact that when we are in our addiction, we can’t accurately see the consequences or what’s taking place. With abstinence, we can look back and say, OH MY

 

The interview focuses a lot on dopamine and why addiction has been on the rise for 30 years.   Being smart or highly educated doesn’t make you immune to addiction, in fact, it might even backfire because you think you know everything.  More than 1/2 the world's deaths, under the age of 50, are attributable to addiction. Rates of alcoholism have gone up 50% for those aged 65 and up from the late 90’s to today and have gone up 80% in women. Traditionally the rates for alcoholics were 5:1 for men to women. With Millennials, it’s now 1:1. There are more burdens on women now than ever.

 

Dr. Lemke recommends a 30 day dopamine fast. But a huge warning of withdrawals for alcohol and benzodiazepines. How to do this? Well, we’ve got 345 episodes now on the HOW, but the trick is to go into the pain. Head into the storm (episode 341) and Forgive yourself.

 

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[12:41] Stacy Jo took her last drink on March 6, 2020.  She lives in Eugene, OR. with her partner of 15 years.  Her primary hobby is anything that has to do with yarn.  She has worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years until the pandemic hit, she recently was just at the University of Oregon. 

 

Around the age of 20, after a breakup and miscarriage, Stacy Jo feels there was a switch in her drinking.  That was the same time her service industry career normalized and it all went hand in hand.

 

In 2018 Stacy Jo started some serious attempts to quit drinking but it wasn’t until the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 that she was able to get good footing. 

 

Stacy Jo joined Café RE when she was around 4 months sober and says she did it as a reward for herself. 

 

She says her partner hated her drinking, and that it became a pretty big division between the two of them.  Stacy Jo also got a Driving While Ability Impaired (right below a DUI) when she was 28. 

 

She feels like she slept the 1st three months of sobriety.  She treated herself like a toddler and allowed herself to sleep and snack. 

 

Stacy Jo is grateful for the pandemic and her restaurant shutting down.  It allowed her to get away from the normalcy that is part of the service industry and to have the space to get on solid ground. 

 

She does not get cravings any longer, but says she is not so cocky to say that she won’t again.  

 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds us that change starts with us.  Recovery is our responsibility. 

 

Remember you are not alone and together is always better. 

 

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Sep 20, 2021

Episode 344– The Neuroscience of Addiction

 

Today we have Bill.  He is 61, from Alabama, and took his last drink on April 29, 2021.

 

Events. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/events/   Ditch the Booze starts 9/21 at 8 PM EST.

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul provides part one of highlights of a podcast with Rich Roll speaking with Dr. Anna Lembke. Rich Roll Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jziP0CEgvOw. 

 

“Persons with severe addictions are among those contemporary prophets that we ignore to our own demise for they show us who we truly are.” Dr. Lembke says that drinking is not a choice but seeking help for an addiction is a choice. 

 

The interview focuses a lot on dopamine and why addiction has been on the rise for 30 years.  American society and economy are focused on an insatiable pursuit of pleasure.  Today’s marketers target the dopamine system; thus, we all struggle to find homeostasis.  Addiction can show up as alcohol, social media, food, etc.  Addiction is a low-grade discomfort we all have as humans.  She believes we are all wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain, which works in an environment of scarcity, not our current state of abundance. 

 

Paul reminds us we can’t study or think our way out of addiction.  Community is key!

 

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[11:43] Bill took his last drink on April 29, 2021.  He enjoys hiking, movies, sports, windsurfing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.    

 

Bill started drinking as a teenager.  He knew at spring break 30 years ago that he was a problem drinker.  He drank and got buzzed every five years but wasn’t addicted.  Thirty years later, Bill’s wife left, and he started drinking liqueur in the evening.  He slowly became addicted, and he drank every night. 

 

When Bill hit rock bottom, he found himself broke, living in an extended stay hotel.  He scraped the floor of his room and his car to get enough money to buy a few shots. 

 

In 2020, he joined Recovery Elevator and was a lurker until 2021.

 

Bill still has cravings and practices “doing 30 things” to keep him from drinking.  If the cravings continue, he goes to bed.  Loneliness is Bill’s biggest trigger.  Ice cream and cookies also get him through.

 

Bill said everything got better when he stopped drinking. He is back in the gym and loves waking up without a hangover. His medications work better.  The community of Café RE is crucial to Bill, and he is led and inspired by others in RE.  He loves being of service and is grateful to the suggestions of others that helped him when he wanted to drink.

 

Bill credits Tim Grover’s books, Relentless and Winning, with changing his mindset.  His takeaway was getting ‘obsessed’ with sobriety.  Meditation helps his anxiety and cravings.

 

A friend of Bill’s told him his greatest flaw was that he didn’t like himself.  He described how the “I suck” mentality brought him down.   Bill made considerable strides in self-love since he quit drinking. He listens to a podcast called Unbeatable Mind and has learned to say “I love you” to himself daily, over and over.  Bill believes having an accountability partner is critical to his success. 

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette shared about a Café RE member who shared at the Bozeman retreat.  The person said, ‘for a long time, I thought I didn’t matter, that my existence didn’t matter.  I recognize that I matter, I belong, and I can make an impact.’ 

 

Odette reminds us, we all matter.  We help each other become better and to heal.  We remind each other of our value.  The power of community is vital because it is rooted in love and non-judgment and a firm belief that we are whole.  We are whole, even when we stumble. 

 

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Sep 13, 2021

Episode 343 – A Brief History of Alcoholism and Treatment

 

Today we have Charlie.  He is 35, from Missouri and took his last drink on July 7, 2020.

 

Events. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/events/   Ditch the Booze 9/21 ; Regionals 11/12-14; Costa Rica (1/15-23).  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Addiction is a modern phenomenon.  Alcohol has been around for centuries.  Early “treatment” of alcoholics included being jailed, tortured, and often executed for being possessed by demons.  As treatment has evolved, we are moving toward FLOW states.  Our mental energies are redirected from addiction toward creating healthier neural connections.  In the 1930’s, alcoholism was classified as a fatal medical condition.  In 1935 Bill W co-founded AA.  In 1949 the Hazelden Foundation was born, thus creating our modern-day rehab and treatment structures. https://www.cornerstoneofrecovery.com/a-history-of-addiction-and-addiction-treatment/

 

Fortunately, people are recovering from alcoholism because the stigma is softening, and people are recognizing this is more a disease of disconnection and lack of community.  Check out this video of the Recovery Elevator Bozeman retreat.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFoqj3xeFUI

 

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[16:09] Charlie took his last drink on July 7, 2020He has been to 54 different treatment He just wrote a memoir.  He writes, blogs, and enjoys experiencing life. 

 

Charlie’s mom passed away when he was 13.  He didn’t know how to handle his emotions, so he turned to substances.  The emotional damage compounded over the years. 

 

Charlie’s drinking was a result of unresolved grief and trauma, emotional damage from a succession of stepmothers,  and lack of success as an actor.  Charlie drank and used drugs.  In 2017, his health became an issue.  He started exploring detox and learned about alcoholism.  In 2019 he was in his 15th IOP program, but still wasn’t surrendering.

 

He had to go back to Lincoln to address some legal issues.  He relapsed several times; he was emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.  In June of 2020, he was receptive to love and faith from his higher power.  He decided to implement what he learned at the facilities he experienced.  He relapsed again, but in July he realized alcohol wasn’t working for him.

 

Charlie maintained a job through most of his addiction which provided insurance and access to treatment.  He was privileged and knows he had access to therapists and treatment modalities many don’t.  He did build up a lot of medical debt.  

 

Charlie overcomes cravings or negative emotions with music, cleaning, calling friends, visiting family.  He also journals and meditates. He has learned to listen to his emotions and ask,  what do you need? 

 

Cognitively Charlie processed his trauma in treatment.  He didn’t process the trauma emotionally or spiritually until he had been sober for a few months.  Once he processed the trauma, he learned to love himself and heal the emotional trauma.  His relationships with his dad and his sister evolved in an amazing way.

 

Charlie began writing in 2018 but continued drinking until 2020.  His book has provided some built-in accountability.  https://www.amazon.com/At-Least-Not-Frog-Alcoholism-ebook/dp/B09B5MFT1X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_pb_opt?ie=UTF8

 

Charlie is a fan of gratitude list and believes that gratitude+humility=happiness.  He loves travel from beach to mountains and is grateful he can remember his adventures.

 

Odette’s Summary

Grateful Snacking is a company that makes delicious and healthy snacks to support our journey in recovery. Grateful snacking - https://gratefulsnacking.com/

 

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Sep 6, 2021

Episode 342 – Do Your Part

 

Today we have Michael.  He is 43, from N. Georgia and took his last drink on January 1, 2020.

 

Registration for Costa Rica (January 15-23) is open.  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul discusses three elements that are critical to doing your part in recovery.  Paul believes self-respect, self-love, and well-being are fundamental to healing.  Doing the work is essential, and it eventually becomes embodied in your circuitry.  Over time, we retrain the brain to stop self-harming with alcohol, pop tarts, and disrespect from others. 

 

The state of our world reflects our lack of connection with ourselves, our planet, and our community.  He believes a tipping point is upon us.  We can help the world by fixing our internal environment, our inner pollution that results in external contamination - that is our part.  The inner work (i.e., letting go of resentments) benefits others as well. 

 

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[11:01] Michael took his last drink on January 1, 2020.  He is from 43, married, and has two kids.  He is a graphic designer and enjoys painting, drawing, playing music, and running.

 

Michael started drinking in high school. He drank to fit in and didn’t really like alcohol.  He trained himself to drink.  He used alcohol to celebrate, and it felt good. He now realizes he was trying to become somebody he wasn’t.   In college, alcohol was everywhere, and he drank almost daily.  Michael noticed early on his drinking was an issue.

 

Post-college, Michael didn’t want the party to stop.  Free booze was a great excuse to overindulge.  Alcohol and celebration went hand in hand for Michael.  He began moderating when his children were about to be born.  Over time, Michael continued to try moderation, and the voice in his head continued getting louder.  He started looking at pictures from events he attended and realized there was no joy in his eyes because he wasn’t present for his own life.  Accepting love was a real challenge for Michael.  He quit drinking for an entire year but gradually returned to drinking. Michael now believes sobriety represents his authentic self, and that’s why he had to train himself to drink.  Podcasts and the book “This Naked Mind” helped him understand addiction.  Michael discovered Recovery Elevator, signed up and became part of the community. 

 

Recovery is fantastic for Michael.  He doesn’t need alcohol to be himself, confident, present, feel his feelings, true joy, true love, and his life is greater than he imagined it would be.  He embraces his inner light and beauty as a human being.  He loves his wife and his family and appreciates his RE tribe, who understand what it’s like to cope with addiction. 

 

Michael talks to someone in recovery every day. He focuses on exercise, working the steps, and writing music to support his recovery. 

 

Kris’ Summary

Kris spoke about learning the scientific reasons for addiction when he was in treatment.  He needed to understand that addiction was about more than poor personal choices. Kris believes you can’t intellectualize your way out of addiction.  Kris attended his first sober meet-up six weeks after he left treatment.  He witnessed what ‘fun in sobriety’ looks like.  A gathering of strangers came together to learn to live the life we were meant for can be fun and much more satisfying than addiction.  The healing spirit is amazing.  Shifting the energy we used to put into drinking toward a greater goal:  personal growth, showing up for others and community.  Kris appreciates everyone he has encountered in the RE community.  I am here; I am whole.  Feel it.  Believe it!

 

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Aug 30, 2021

Episode 341 – Head into the storm

 

On today’s podcast we’ve got Britt, she is 45, from California and she took her last drink on November 13, 2018.

 

Registration for Costa Rica (January 15-23) opens Wednesday 9/1.  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Solving human problems can be discovered in nature.  Lone bison run away from storms in the opposite direction.  Humans run away from cravings and tough life challenges.  Packs of bison walk through the storm together, shoulder to shoulder.  They know the quickest way to weather the storm is through.  It’s vital that we work alongside others to weather the storm of addiction.  Facing the storm together is fun.

 

[6:52] Paul shares a great story about his adventures with Britt and how much he admires how she has embraced her AF journey.  Paul loves how Britt burned the ships and showed how invigorating life can be sans alcohol. 

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code: RE20

 

[09:54] Britt took her last drink November 13, 2018.  She loves the outdoors, hiking and music.

 

Britt had a slow burn into active addiction.  She struggled with depression and agoraphobia in her teens.  When she hit 30, she lost 100 pounds.   Losing that much weight is a challenge.  Drinking helped her deal with those emotions.  She quit drinking after the loss of a friend and white knuckled for over a year.  She went back to drinking, but it progressed.  Reviewing her journals helped her to see she made multiple attempts to quit and moderate.  She made a geographic change hoping for a cure.  She believed her rock bottom came when she was drinking daily, then she went to work for a liquor store while looking for full time work.  Cognitive dissonance was in play for two years, and she never gave up.  While listening to podcasts, she tried a 30-day solution and it stuck.

 

Britt found that drinking gave her a tiny feeling of satisfaction that ultimately turned into shame and loathing.  Control has been a theme that she is continuing to explore.  Once she was able to stack some days, she leveraged journaling and Café RE retreats.  Meeting other people who were also ditching the booze inspired a new level of accountability that worked.  Personal integrity helped her to honor her commitment to quit drinking.  Britt learned that she leveraged food, exercise, and relationships to soothe herself.  Now she explores new parks or trails.  Meditation has been instrumental to her sobriety.  Addiction has humbled Britt, softened her relationships, and opened her to more meaningful connections.

 

[42:17] Britt shares a powerful journal entry.  Addiction isn’t in a place, and neither is recovery.  There is freedom in that.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds listeners that her life is messy with ups, downs, good and bad days.  Keep showing up and remember you help others by showing up. 

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

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Resources

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