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Recovery Elevator

It isn't a no to alcohol, but a yes to a better life! On the Recovery Elevator podcast, you'll learn from guests that life after alcohol is much better and it's an opportunity of a lifetime. Paul, Season 1 and Odette, Season 2, cover topics such as, does moderate drinking work, does addiction serve a purpose, what happens to the brain when we quit drinking, should you track sobriety time, is AA right for you, what the hell is spirituality, what this journey looks like, how science and spirituality are merging and what that means for addiction treatment, we talk about emotions and how to deal with them without alcohol, cravings, we talk about relapse aka "field research," how to build that in-person community and burning the ships! Similar to other recovery podcasts like This Naked Mind, the Shair Podcast, and the Recovered Podcast, Paul and Odette discuss a topic and then interviews someone who is embarking upon a life without alcohol.
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Now displaying: Category: general
Jul 2, 2018

“There are many excuses to drink... but no reasons.” 

“When you are an addict, the only line you can cross but can not come back from is death.”

Dating and Sobriety

Modern dating has us drinking more, but being less successful at it.  Drinking can give us a false sense of connection.  A 2014 Survey from Plenty of Fish found that 36.4% of singles drink before going out and 48.9% drink during the date.   It's not entirely surprising that modern dating and drinking are so thoroughly linked.  Having a conversation with a stranger can be difficult, whether the internet was involved in your meeting or not.  People will drink to make themselves feel more relaxed, but in reality, all they are doing is slowing down their brains, dulling their senses and intuitions. 

Not drinking works in our favor.  Jitters are your body's way of telling you that you care.  Mating is natural, primal, and our bodies have developed mechanisms for sniffing out whether or not a potential mate will be good for us. 

When we drink, we are hiding parts of ourselves from our potential partner, as they are hiding from us.  Real connections sprout from the roots of honesty and vulnerability. 

Believe that dating without drinking is possible.  If you find yourself struggling with the idea of a sober meet up then you probably need more time to gain your sober footing before you venture out into the wild.  In sobriety, an awkward date is simply that.. an awkward date.  It just means that you have no natural chemistry with the person, and that's ok. 

Remember dating is about getting to know the other person.  Ask questions, listen to the answers.  See how you feel.  Be patient, don't rush things.

The opposite of addiction is connection.  

Zack, with 514 days since his last drink, shares his story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:19] Paul Introduces Zack.

Zack is from Nebraska, lives in Colorado.  He's married and loves the outdoors. 

[14:15] When did you first realize that you had a problem with alcohol? 

Mid 20's.  He didn't want to end up like his father.  His father drinks nightly.  He realized that his friends were moving on with their lives.  He kept trying to moderate or quit unsuccessfully. 

 

[17:00] Now that you know more about alcoholism, has your relationship with your father changed?

Kind of.  He said he will never end up like his father.  He didn't start drinking until after high school.  His father helped him get his first drink. 

 

[18:10] What did it feel like to crave alcohol? 

Irritable.  He would work harder so he could get home quicker and open his first drink.  Most of the time he was drinking alone.  It started fun but he became lonely. 

 

[20:00] When were you finally able to quit?  How? 

He got a DUI.  He promised himself he wouldn't drink and drive.  He wasn't able to give up the drinking, so he just stopped driving.  He drank alone a lot.  He gained a lot of weight.  He developed other health problems.  He stopped caring. 

 

[22:30] Did you have a rock bottom moment?  How did you quit? 

For years leading up to his health scare, he would try to stop drinking.  It lead to a period of emotional numbness that scared him into taking his health seriously.  He moved to Colorado, and the geographical cure didn't work.  His application for life insurance was declined because of his many health problems.  That woke him up and he realized that it would really affect his family.  He made up his mind to quit on January 1.  He noticed his addiction lying to him in his own voice and he was able to make it through the initial stages of craving.  He almost relapsed, but the smell of the open bottle made him stop.  He reached a turning point and decided to research what he could do to stay sober.  He found a sobriety forum online and the responses were overwhelming.  He hadn't opened up to his wife about quitting drinking, so the online forum became his support.  He finally told her he quit after three months, and it was difficult for him. 

 

[29:30] Assuming your wife will hear this recording, what would you like to say to her about your drinking? 

It's been extremely difficult, and he's sorry about withholding and lying.  He's sorry for the emotional difficulty he's put her through. 

Creating accountability with his wife, and joining Cafe RE has helped him to heal and grow emotionally. 

 

[33:00] Did you experience a pink cloud?  What was it like afterwards?

First 5 months or so was good.  He kept busy.  Worked a lot, hiking, running, he lost 40 pounds.  He ran his first half marathon.  Around month 10, he just slowed down and realized that he was just filling his time and not actually growing.  He realized he couldn't stay busy forever.  Podcasts helped him learn and realize that he also needed to grow emotionally. 

 

[35:15] How was your relationship with your wife changed since you've tried to grow emotionally?

He opens up to her more, which is difficult for him.  Their relationship has gotten a lot stronger because he's finally able to tell her more.  She has noticed a huge change in his state.  He is more emotionally available. 

[36:40] Walk us through an ordinary day in recovery for you. 

He wakes up to a workout at 4am.  He has a gratitude list.  He works from 6:30 until the afternoon.  They are in the process of remodeling their home.  He and his wife hang out for a while and connect. 

[39:09] What do you value most in recovery?

Better relationships with people.  He doesn't feel as isolated. 

[39:27] What is your proudest moment in sobriety? 

He ran his first half marathon.  His achievements in the realm of exercise have been great inspiration. 

 

[39:50] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking?

    Definitely the DUI.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

    Running out to his truck to get his whiskey bottle, and drinking as much as he could.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?

    “One day at a time.” Focusing on relationships and creating accountability. 
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

    Cafe RE. It's accessible and he can check it every day. 
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

    Create accountability and do it as quickly as you can with as many people as you can. The more accountability you can create the more open and honest you can be and the more real support you will receive. 
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

    Take it one day at a time.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if...

    “you get a DUI and the first place you go after you're released is to the liquor store.”

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Mentioned John Oliver Clip
Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

 

May 15, 2017

Ashley, with 16 days since her last drink, shares her story…..

Do not forget the AALRM race in Bozeman MT, on 5/20.  This supports recovery.  You can also sign up to do a virtual run at www.recoveryelevator.com\run.  Enter promo code “recovery” for a discount. 

The Café RE private face book group will be capped at 300 members.  If you would like to join the original group, now is the time to sign up.  Go to www.recoveryelevator.com and enter the promo code RE1 to get your first month free.

Alcohol does not make us more intelligent.  We all know that drinking and drinking is not good.  When we start drinking, our mind starts to shift and suddenly is seems like a good idea.  We only have a short distance to drive, right?  The statistics show that we drink and drive 76 times before getting caught.  Drinking also causes us to say and do stupid things, like trying to coax a poodle to run across 5 lanes of traffic, or shout out that a girl had a funky looking toe at a bar.  It you would like to send an e-mail with the most unintelligent thing you have ever done while drinking, drop a line to info@recoveryelevator.com. 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:22] Paul Introduces Ashley.

 

Ashley – I have been sober for 16 days and feel more focused this time.  I am from Iowa, 32 years old and have 3 sons.  I am trying to find new sober hobbies.

 

[13:11] When did you first notice that you had a problem?

 

Ashley – I started drinking at the age of 12.  I would party with older people.  I was sneaking booze at the age of 14 and my family sent me away to a home.  By the time, I was 21, I had 3 children and 2 DUI’s.  I still did not think that I had a problem.  I later lost my license for 5 years.  I was home alone, couldn’t drive and my drinking really took off.

 

[16:11] Was it hard getting sober at such a young age?

 

Ashley – It has been really hard since everyone I know drinks.  I am trying to distance myself from my drinker friends and find sober friends.

 

[17:47] You were sober before.  What happened to cause you to drink again?

 

Ashley – I was doing a cleanse to try and lose some weight.  But then a concert came around and I drank there.  I stopped for a few weeks but went to a funeral where everyone was drinking.  I ended up doing a shot and it was game on from there.  I drank for 6 days straight after that. I just couldn’t say no whenever someone offered me a drink.

 

[21:11] Did you ever put any rules in place to try and control your drinking?

 

Ashley – I’ve tried every rule imaginable; from only drinking on the weekends, to never drinking at home, or only drinking after the children went to bed.  

 

[24:00] How did you get sober this time?

 

Ashley – I try and go to AA every day and I listen to podcasts.

 

[25:41] What are you going to do differently this time?

Ashley – I am distancing myself from my drinking friends and trying to make new sober friends.  I also am looking for on-line support in order to locate sober people in my area.

 

[27:54] Do you think you will ever be able to attend shows sober?

 

Ashley – Right now, no.  But I love music so eventually I would like to be able to go.  It is going to take some time.

 

[29:23] Did you ever go to any “dark” places while drinking?

 

Ashley – I had tons of blackouts and I lost my license for 5 years.

 

[29:23] Paul and Ashley talk about a time when she felt like drinking but managed to control the urge.

 

Ashley – I was recently home alone and starting getting those thoughts of drinking.  I watched a few videos on U-Tube and thought that if I drank, I would ruin my week again.

 

[33:05] What is a typical day like for you?

 

Ashley – I try to keep very busy with work.  I also plan what AA meeting I am going to attend and get up and go.

 

[34:52] What are your thoughts on a HP?

 

Ashley – I believe in God and would go to church occasionally as a child.  I am trying to get back into church. 

 

[35:49] What are you most proud of and how are your relationships now?

 

Ashley – I am most proud of being there for my children.  I am more active with them.  My relationship is much better with them.  My children see me being active and happy.

 

[37:33] Do you have anything on your bucket list?

 

Ashley – I want to be able to truly love myself and my life.  I want to be able to do things without booze.

 

[38:35] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? when I was drunk, I got jumped in an ally way   
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? not being able to stop drinking while attending that funeral
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? stay distant from my drinker friends, go to AA,  podcasts
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Verbal surgery podcast
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? do not think so far ahead
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? start right now, focus on today
  7. You might be an alcoholic if…… you go to your local gas station and the cashier is questioning why you do not have any beer

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

Check out the upcoming Machu Picchu trip in 2018.  Send an e-mail to info@recoverelevator.com

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

 

May 30, 2016

Buddy, with 7 years of sobriety, bounced in an out of AA for from 2002-2008 before something finally stuck and ironically, he explains how drinking actually saved his life.

 

Don’t forget to support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link: www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

 

I read the following line out of an AA Grapevine, August 2013 issue, while on a tumultuous ride over a high altitude Andean pass in Chile. It didn’t help that I was only 2 days sober (relapsed shortly after reading that line and ended up vomiting on myself and the bus) and I thought a relationship would solve my problems.

 

Page 53 in the 12&12:

The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being.

Jun 22, 2015

Also in the episode, Paul discusses the must see The Anonymous People, which is a documentary about recovery.

Apr 27, 2015

Maggie who has 14 days of sobriety in her early recovery explains how she made it this far and what gave her the motivation to stop drinking alcohol.

Here are some of the resources discussed in Episode 10

AA on Air Wellington

Hello Sunday Morning

Foundations Recovery Network

And of course, the battle with the iPhone

 

Apr 20, 2015

In this episode, I interview Tom, who has 4 more days of sobriety than myself, and I hope that never changes! Tom you are officially my new accountability partner.

In this episode I discuss 6 ways you can take action before really taking action.

1. Wake up - set a routine

2. Pray, say something positive to yourself and meditate

3. Make  healthy meals

4. Clean - organize the space you live in

5. Exercise - walk, jog, run, stretch

6. Get busy - keep your mind off alcohol with healthy time consuming tasks

 

DIY Pete has a great website that walks viewers through building great projects STEP BY STEP. This is a great resource and healthy activity in early sobriety!

Apr 13, 2015

Paul climbed Machu Picchu in 2014 while sobering up and the trek mentally and physically kicked my butt.  In 2015, he dominated the trek becuase sobriety was with my every step of the way.

In this Episode Paul talks about speaking to the girls in the Peruvian Promises program, which is part of the non profit Peruvian Hearts about the topic of alcoholism. Although none of the girls in the orphanages and the Peruvian Promise program are alcoholics, several of their parents are. Portions of the donations submitted through the website and mobile app will be given to the Peruvian Hearts program in addition Paul will be organizing a trip in 2016 to the volunteer again.

Paul speaking to the girls of the Peruvian Promise program

 

 

Paul and Nate hitch hiking in El Salvador in sobriety! You can tell it's a little warm at the time this photo was taken!

Paul and Nate in El Salvador March 2011

Mar 30, 2015

Alcohol is the most dangerous drug in the world and you probably don’t even realize it.

 

 

David Nutt, psychiatrist at imperial college in the UK and former Chairman of the UK advisory council on drugs.

 

- Kills 3 million people worldwide

 

- Was fired for suggesting alcohol was most dangerous drug

 

- In the USA alcohol is responsible for 1/3 of all traffic fatalities

 

- With homicides ½ were intoxicated and 2/3 of domestic violence victims

 

- You’re likely to be a victim is doubled as well

 

Harm score from

 

- Measures drugs on a score of 16 (9 measure harm to individual user and 7 measure societal factors)

 

- Heroine, crack, and Meth are more dangerous when only individual factors, but even so, alcohol is the 4th.

 

- Tobacco is the 7th most harmful drug. 9/10 people can handle alcohol, but 0/10 people can smoke. QUIT SMOKING NOW

 

- Important to not confuse legality with dangerousness. The reasons some drugs are legal are mainly cultural and political.

 

- Marijuana is the gateway drug? Nope. It’s alcohol and even more dangerous than ecstasy and LSD

 

 

 

Mar 23, 2015

When I found out one of my brother's best friends is an alcoholic I was blown away; an a little upset that we hadn't connected years before so we could have been working together.

Here are some of the resources that Elliot likes.

 

Joe and Charlie

Rich Roll

Sandy Beach

 

Like Elliot mentioned, if you would like to get in touch with Elliot, email info@recoveryelevator.com and we will put you in touch with him.

 

 

 

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