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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: Page 5
Oct 28, 2019

Jay took his last drink on Decemeber 26, 2018.  This is his story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

On today’s episode Paul talks about a response to a post on Reddit.  Not knowing exactly what the initial post said, Paul guesses it was something about the poster wanting to ditch the booze, but not being able to. 

The response…” You know what, you‘re heading in the right direction to win.  You want to stop.  You literally cannot win without that.  I’ve lost friends to booze and none of them wanted to stop.  Wanting to stop provides friction.  It adds resistance to drinking, which has the effect of reducing your intake.  Maybe you start an hour later in the day.  Maybe you drink one glass less.  That helps.  It makes it easier to apply more friction in the future.” 

The intention to stop is the most important thing. 

 

[9:44] Paul introduces Jay. 

 

Jay is 37 years old and grew up in upstate New York.  He has lived in North Carolina for the last 9 years.  He has a full-time sales job and a full time real-estate side hustle.  He enjoys mountain biking and golf.  He is married. 

 

[11:05] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

In high school Jay had fun after the Friday night football games.  In college Jay partied on Friday and Saturday nights.  He was a weekend warrior during his twenties.  He relocated in 2010 and started experiencing problems that he couldn’t solve.  This is when alcohol really made it’s appearance. 

 

 [14:40] Do you feel your sports background backfired when it came to quitting drinking?

 

Yes.  Jay says he ran into a set of problems that he could not out hustle, could not out grind. 

[15:30] Early thirties and anxiety is creeping up, take it from there. 

 

Rather than talking about it with the people he loved he internalized it.  2016-2018 Jay says he was a pressure cooker.  He was never saying no, never setting boundaries.

 

[17:50] Did you ever try to moderate? 

 

Around 2016 Jay recognized that alcohol was getting out of control. He would go 30-40 days AF a few times a year.  After trying to fight a stranger at a party Jay knew the gig was up.  He later had a conversation with his best friend and told him that he thought he had a drinking problem.  Jay says that in that moment he felt a weight off his shoulders. 

 

[27:24] What did you find when you went internal?

 

Jay learned that he’s a people pleaser, that he didn’t know what boundaries were, and having his emotional bids minimized really hurt. 

 

[32:20] How’d you do it?

 

Jay says ever since the moment he told his friend that he has a drinking problem he has not experienced cravings.  He has not attended AA, and does not like the term ‘alcoholic’. 

 

[33:35] What’s been the hardest thing you’ve gone through in sobriety? 

 

Jay says he’s gone through some events where there has been a lot of drinking and when people asked him why he wasn’t drinking his reply was, “I have goals so big that I and to give up some things.” 

 

[37:15] What advice can you give to guys out there about emotions?

 

There is no courage without vulnerability. 

 

[41:05] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

 

Finally digging down to what was causing the sadness and now having an awareness of that. 

 

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?

 

Those moments where this incredible peace overcomes you. 

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

I drink coffee and water.  

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?

 

Writing in my journal every morning has been a tremendous help. 

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

Fly to California and drive the Pacific Coast Highway from end to end. 

 

  1. And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

Have the courage to be honest with yourself and with the people closest to you. 

 

  1. You might need to ditch the booze if...

 

If you self-impose a rule of only two 24 oz. Twisted Teas and then switch to Miller Lights because you’re worried about cavities.   

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It All Starts From the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

Oct 21, 2019

Gracie took her last drink on September 29, 2018.  This is her story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

On today’s episode Paul talks about connection.  Human connection is an innate need to create a social bond with others. 

For those that found a temporary connection with alcohol and are now trying to ditch the booze now find them facing disconnection head on.  You are listening to the inner voice that isn’t craving alcohol, but is craving connection. 

How to connect…ask for connection every single morning.  Aim for 50% to be external connections, and the other 50% internal.  If a connection is built within, we can go through difficult times in life and still feel that warmth.  If you address the internal connection the external connection solves itself.

SHOW NOTES

 

[14:25] Paul introduces Gracie. 

 

Gracie grew up in the Midwest and is currently living in Chicago.  She is 32 years old and is a nurse.  Gracie loves camping, backpacking, traveling abroad doing medical trips, and has recently gotten into rock and minerals.  She lives with her boyfriend, who is 4 years sober. 

 

[22:55] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Gracie didn’t start drinking until she was 19 years old and off at college.  Her drinking didn’t get bad until age 21/22 when she was in the Peace Corp and was partying hard with the other volunteers.  In her mid-twenties she was binge drinking on the weekends and coming home and drinking by herself.  She was experiencing a lot of loneliness and anxiety at the time, so would drink.  By Gracie’s late 20s she was drinking most nights and having blackouts. 

 

Gracie says she had a lot of ‘soft bottoms’ and it wasn’t until she was about 28 years old that it occurred to her that she needed to stop drinking.  It was at this time that Gracie was starting to read self-help books and was interested in spiritual growth.  As she started getting into medication retreats and plant medicine, she says she kept getting the message, from her heart, that her drinking was holding her back. 

 

[37:45] How did it feel when you started to feel your feelings?

 

Gracie says she was afraid in the beginning, that she was even afraid to feel a feeling coming on.  She says meditation helped her let the feelings come and pass.  Gracie says it took months for her to learn to trust that a feeling wouldn’t swallow her whole. 

 

[41:45] Was there a rock bottom before you quit drinking?

 

Gracie says there was a lot of heartbreaking moments.  She was functioning but her relationships were suffering.  She says there was this constant low-grade feeling of disfunction. 

 

[44:50] Share with us how you did it. 

 

Podcasts and books were a big part of her getting sober.  For maintenance she uses her sobriety tracker on her phone.  She is running a lot and taking her health more seriously. 

 

[46:55] Do you have an in-person community that you meet up with?

 

Gracie says she does not, but that she thinks that may be what is next.  Meetings have never been part of her journey but she says that may be her next step.    

 

[48:12] What was the response when you posted on social media?

 

Gracie says the response was so supportive and it proved to be a very good thing for her.    

 

[50:25] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

 

I guess when I first heard, “stop obsessing about the word alcoholic and just look at what drinking is doing in your life.”. 

 

  1. What is a gift sobriety has given you?

 

So much energy.

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

I love gingerale and I love this Jamaican drink called Ting.

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

I’m starting some trainings and certifications to become a flight nurse.

 

  1. And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

Feel your feelings and love yourself.  Make sobriety the most important thing in your life. 

 

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

 

You are an avid camper and want to achieve the perfect amount of hydration with drunkenness so you mix vodka with flavored Smart Water and just end up making a total ass of yourself. 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – We took the elevator down; we have to take the stairs back up. 

We can do this.”

Oct 14, 2019

Patty took her last drink on July 19, 2017.  This is her story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

On today’s episode Paul talks about the two main sources of unhappiness and how hope is sending us barreling off a cliff.  On the surface hope is great.  But where is it located on a timeline?  In the future, not in the now. 

If hope isn’t serving us, then what?  Throttle back on the hope and lean into ‘this moment’. 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:00] Paul introduces Patty. 

 

Patty is 665 years old and is originally from Fairbanks, AK.  She currently lives in Corvallis, OR.  Patty has 3 children in their forties and 7 grandkids.  She worked at a university for 30 years and is now retired.  For fun Patty likes to hike, kayak, and sailing. 

 

[13:55] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Patty says she was 14 years od the first time she got drunk, and that she was a black-out drinker her very first time.  It wasn’t until she was in her 30’s that she felt she may have a problem; it was then she started to drink at home alone. 

 

When Patty was in her forties, she started to attempt to give up alcohol.  She would go a couple days up to 11 months, and that went on for about 15 years. 

 

[18:15] Was there a moment that it got scary for you?

 

In early 2017 she drove home drunk from the airport and realized the next morning how dangerous that was.  She says it scared her, that she could have killed someone, or herself. 

 

[20:50] How did you do it those first couple weeks?

 

Patty said she had a different mindset this time.  This time her mindset was one of, ‘I don’t have to do this (drink) anymore’, rather than, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’

 

[26:00] What are some improvements in life that you have experienced in a life without alcohol? 

 

Patty says she used to make a lot of plans and then not follow through with them, she doesn’t do that anymore.  She has signed up to get her pilot’s license, something that she has always wanted to do.  Going to the RE Bozeman retreat.  She has been a lot more physically active, instead of talking about walking the dog, she just gets up and goes. 

 

[30:25] What is something that you’ve had to go through in the last 2 years that you didn’t expect?

 

Patty’s mom died 3 months ago and drinking didn’t even seem like an option.  It was a real tough time, losing her mom and with family drama, but she was able to be present and she didn’t have conversations that she regretted later. 

 

[37:20] What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself in these last 2 years?

 

Patty says it’s that she in genuinely a happy person. 

 

[38:00] Was there a rock-bottom moment?

 

The drive home from the Eugene airport.  Also, on July 19 drinking with her daughter, who herself was struggling with alcohol, and her 16-year-old granddaughter. 

 

[43:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

 

That I don’t have to drink. 

 

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has provided you?

 

Waking up early, I have just started taking a morning Pilates class. 

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

LaCroix, hands down.     

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

I hope to live in Panama half of the year, and I’m working on that.    

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?

 

Definitely Café RE, and I’m a reader so I have every self-help book probably written since 1972. 

 

  1. And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

Think it all the way through, and remember you just don’t have to drink. 

 

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

 

You consider dropping $100 at every airport bar as just part of your traveling expense. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

ZipRecruiter

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – We can do this.”

Oct 7, 2019

Kelly took her last drink on October 27, 2017.  This is her story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

On today’s episode Paul talks about his idea of opening an in person, wellness retreat center in Costa Rica.  And while he has been working to create space for this idea and concept, and believes that the body is on board, there is still some discomfort getting out of his comfort zone. 

The fact is, we all have rough days, including Paul.  He says it’s important to give the body permission to feel the feelings, and also to give the body permission to allow them to go. 

If this retreat center is something you’d be interested in attending email Paul at info@recoveryelevator.com

Paul also addresses the question of, when do you know it’s a good time, after quitting alcohol, to start tackling other substances, behaviors, thought patterns, etc.?  Paul’s advice is to go slow and to be patient, your body will know when it is time.  

SHOW NOTES

 

[15:15] Paul introduces Kelly. 

 

Kelly is 54 years old.  She is married and has 2 adult children.  Kelly is a full-time social worker at a hospital, and she speaks Spanish.  For fun Kelly would like to get back into collecting vintage clothing.  She likes to read and is looking forward to getting into outdoor activities. 

 

 

[19:30] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Kelly started drinking in 9th grade, just your average high school drinker.  By her 2nd year of high school she feels she was drinking more regularly.  She didn’t think she has a problem with alcohol because she wasn’t like her father.  In 1987 she moved, thinking that that would fix any drinking issues she had. 

 

[31:05] What happened right before you quit drinking? 

 

There were a lot of stresses going on.  She was constantly afraid of being pulled over to started to us LYFT.  There was a lot of risk taking.  She started buying bigger bottles. 

 

Her son started to go to meetings for his own addictions.  One nigh he told Kelly he didn’t feel it was safe for him to live at home, because of her drinking.  That was the last night she drank. 

 

[39:15] Talk to us about how you are embracing AA and the other side?

 

For the first 18 months Kelly was only doing AA.  But she was also reading a ton of books by/or about women alcoholics.  She says the AA meeting have been helpful but that she is bothered by some of the steps. 

 

[53:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

 

That I am as strong as I am. 

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

I like kombucha, and I like coffee.   

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?  

 

I like Russel Brands’ Recovery on CD.  I listen to him in the car.  AA meetings, I do like 3-4 a week, and the Big Book. 

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

Eventually liking the outdoors.  Getting outside more. 

 

  1. And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

Listen to any voice inside that is telling you that something is wrong. 

 

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

 

You are 23-year-old woman that has gout. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Honey

This episode is brought to you by the smart shopping assistant Honey. Get Honey for free at www.joinhoney.com/elevator . Honey, the smart shopping assistant that saves you time and money when you're shopping online

 

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – We took the elevator down, we have to take the stairs back up.”

Sep 30, 2019

Dan took his last drink on July 28, 2018.  This is his story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

On today’s episode Paul talks about how we need to read his book, and others like it, with pride.  We have to shred the shame and ditch the stigma. 

He shares a letter he received from someone that attended the Recovery Elevator Retreat in Bozeman recently, and as she was reading Alcohol is Sh!t on the plane the lady sitting next to her asked about the book.  And she was able to share.  Turned out the lady was on her way to help her daughter who had relapsed and needed to hear everything she had to say. 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:10] Paul introduces Dan. 

 

Dan is a father of 3, has a daughter in college and the youngest is 14.  He works as a retail executive.  He lives in New York and enjoys cycling. 

 

[12:45] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Dan says he started drinking in high school and drank all through college.  He says that drinking is a big part of the business world and he fell right into that.  He didn’t realize he had an issue, but his wife did.  He said he was drinking 5-6 drinks a night. 

 

[15:35] Talk to us about how you asked yourself, “how can I quit?”.    

 

Dan says he called a hypnotist to get some help, but after his initial call to her he never followed up.  About a month later, on July 29, 2018, he was in a bad bicycle accident.   His doctors took great care of him and he hasn’t had a drink since. 

 

[18:10] What happened after the accident?

 

He had a bad brain injury so was told that he should not drink, if he did, he could have a seizure or a stroke.  After 10 days Dan came home from the hospital only to find out that his wife had removed all the alcohol from the house.  Dan says that was like being asleep and thrown into an ice-cold pool.  His brother told him he needed to go to AA so he walked into one only to feel like he didn’t belong.  He left that meeting angry and determined to show everyone wrong. 

 

[24:05] How are you feeling now?

 

Dan says it’s a little bit of ‘he’s going to show them (his friends and family)’ and it’s a little bit of he likes the way he feels and he looks. 

 

[26:47] You were told by your doctor not to drink for a year, because of the chance for a stroke…did you ever have the thought when that year was up to pick up a drink?

 

Dan says no, in fact he went to the conference he was supposed to be at the year before and never thought about it. 

 

[28:17] At your yearly physical you asked your doctor if you could now have a glass of wine, and he asked you, “why would you?”, can you answer that question?

 

Dan says because of the social aspect, he admits to missing it. 

 

[39:20] Dan talk to us about that connected feeling. 

 

Dan is feeling connected to life and not the alcohol.  He is feeling more connected to his family. 

 

[40:25] What’s on your bucket list for an alcohol-free life?

 

Going to a sporting event AF and seeing what that’s like and racing again. 

 

[43:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

 

When I was at my physical and I asked my doctor if I could have a glass of wine and he leaned across the table and asked, “why the F would you?”.

 

  1. What’s a memorable moment a life without alcohol has given you?

 

A better connection with my children and my wife. 

 

  1. What is your favorite poison free drink?

 

Diet Coke, I drink too much of it.  I also like a nice latte. 

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?  

 

My favorite resources would be my family, cycling, I have a lot of resources at work too. 

 

  1. And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

It’s not all about work, life is a balance, and the more pressure you’re under you need a release and a hobby.    

 

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

 

You’re a business person that the alcohol is incorporated into the fabric of your life. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

ZipRecruiter

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

 

 

 

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside out.”

Sep 23, 2019

Rose took her last drink on March 12, 2019.  This is her story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your copy on Amazon here

On today’s episode Paul talks about Recovery Elevator Bozeman Retreat that took place this past August.  One of the speakers at the retreat was a spiritual teacher that Paul has worked with, Elaine Huang, you can find out more about her here.  

And a BIG thank you to the sponsors of the retreat. 

Nutzo, an organic 7-nut seed butter, that provided a jar of said butter to everyone that attended!

Rise Brewing Co., provided Nitro Cold Brewed Coffee!

Fire Brew, an apple cider-based health tonic, provided shots for everyone!

And tajín, a seasoning blend of lime, chili peppers and sea salt, provided a bottle of zing for all!

The cool thing is that these sponsors wanted to be a part of this event.  Thank you to Odette who worked hard in setting it all up! 

SHOW NOTES

 

[22:20] Paul introduces Rose. 

 

Rose is 37 years old.  She is from New Zealand but is currently living in France.  Rose is a physiotherapist by trade, but her degree is not recognized yet in France so she is teaching English.  She is a newlywed and they have a 3-year-old son.  For fun Rose likes to cook, sing, be outdoors, and go to gigs.   

 

[25:20] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Rose started drinking as a teenager.  She says she grew up in a loving family but that everyone was a boozer, that it was normal.    At 18 she went off to university but dropped out after 2 years because it was getting in the way of her drinking.  She moved cities in search of new drinking friends and for the next 5 years was in an abusive relationship.  Rose says she spent a good chunk of her 20’s getting out of, and recovering from, that relationship. 

 

Rose then spent time on a friend’s large sailing boat and sailed to Fiji, continuing her drinking.  She then went home and started studying to become a physiotherapist.  Rose says she slowed her drinking down while she was studying. 

 

[28:25] What happens next? 

 

Rose got her degree, got a great job in a hospital where she wanted to work.  In 2016 she had her son.  She says after the birth of her son she fell into the ‘mommy drinking’ culture.  Rose also started to feel like an imposter.  Promoting health at work but doing the very opposite personally. 

    

[32:20] Was there anything in particular that led you to ditch the booze?

 

Rose says a big part of it was moving to France in 2017.  She found France’s drinking culture to be the polar opposite of New Zealand’s which made her feel out of place.  Even though she knew she needed to stop her drinking ramped up at the beginning of this year after the death of a close friend.  

 

[35:15] What happened on March 12th? 

 

Rose says she had started to drink during the daytime, when she wasn’t on pick-up duty with her son.  She also started smoking cigarettes.  She started feeling guilty about not being present as a parent.  She reached out to an American friend she had met on that sailing ship that was posting about being sober.  This friend led her to Café RE. 

 

[38:50] How did you do it?

 

Rose says she told her husband, creating some accountability.  Her husband was very supportive.  The removed all the alcohol from the house and Rose declined engagements for a while.  She joined Café RE and jumped in and starting participating and getting involved. 

 

[48:50] How have things changed in an alcohol-free life?

 

Rose says she’s a better mother, she’s present.  She has an increase in self-love and self-worth. 

 

[55:05] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Pineapple and lime sparkling water. 

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?  

 

I loved The Joy of Being Sober book.    I also really love Josh Korda’s Dharmapunx podcast.   There is a New Zealand woman named Lotta Dann and she has a book, and blog, by the same name called, Mrs. D is Going Without. 

 

  1. What’s on your bucket list now that alcohol isn’t part of your life?

 

A lot more travel, I love to travel.  To be able to help someone else get sober. 

 

  1. And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

Connect, connect with people.  Look for the similarities and not the differences. 

 

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

 

You’re drinking wine out of a coffee mug just so the neighbors won’t know because it’s 11 AM on a Monday. 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.”

Sep 16, 2019

Dan took his last drink 370 days ago.  This is his story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your copy on Amazon here

On today’s episode Paul talks about how this journey into a new life without alcohol can be fun.  In fact, he says, it must be fun.  If you’re not having fun right now that is ok, you are not doing anything wrong.  Recovering your true self, a life filled with inner joy and abundance, can only be done with love.  You can’t fight darkness with darkness. 

Here are some strategies to invite love into your life…stop comparing yourself to others, get off social media, tell yourself ‘I love you’, listen to your body, put on headphones and dance. 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:30] Paul introduces Dan. 

 

Dan celebrated 1 year of sobriety on July 28, 2019.  He is 37 years old and lives in Cottage Grove, MN.  He is a teacher and teaches middle school math.  He has 5-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, and a 10-year-old daughter.  Dan is married and they just celebrated 13 years.  For fun Dan likes to exercise and hike. 

 

[16:20] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Dan had his first drink in high school and bartended through college.  He says his drinking just carried over into what he calls ‘his adult life’ and it just stuck with him.  He wasn’t a binge drinker; it was more of cracking a couple beers open every night after work. 

 

Dan started to become depressed, getting anxious if he couldn’t drink his beers each night.  He says he had some suicidal thoughts. 

 

[20:45] What did that depression feel like?

 

Dan got to the point where he was finding no joy in anything, including alcohol, his job or his family.  He confided in a friend about his depression and that was the start of his journey into sobriety.  When he confided in his wife, he felt that he was surrendering and ready to get help.     

    

[24:00] When did you tell your wife and what happened after that?

 

Dan says he made the commitment to stop drinking last summer and told his wife after about a week in.  Dan says his wife overheard him listening to the Recovery Elevator podcast and that was the beginning of their conversation about his drinking and depression. 

 

[26:35] Talk to us about the 1st week, the 1st month. 

 

Dan made a doctor’s appointment a couple weeks in to talk about his depression and was prescribed anti-depressants/antianxiety medication.  He was worried about how he would feel once taking the medication but says it has really helped him.  Dan listened to the RE podcasts daily and would reach out to his wife when he was struggling at all.  He also told his oldest daughter that he was quitting drinking alcohol. 

 

[35:30] With a year away from the alcohol how has the depression been?

 

Dan says it has gotten better.  He is going to sit down with his doctor and discuss if he should come off the meds, he says he was scared to go on them in the beginning and is now a little worried about coming off them. 

 

[37:25] What’s on your bucket list now with a year of sobriety?

 

Next summer he’s going to finish up the Superior Hiking Trail and possibly do a ½ marathon. 

 

[38:44] You haven’t mentioned AA or 12-step, did you not go to AA during this last year?

 

Dan says he never put it out of his mind or took it off the table, and that he even looked up when and where meetings were; but that he never went to a meeting. 

 

[40:40] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve found on this journey?

 

My lightbulb moment was that I needed to fail a few times before I was actually able to be successful with it. 

 

  1. What is a gift that sobriety has given you?

 

The biggest gift is time. 

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Well my beer fridge has now became a sparkling water fridge. 

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?  

 

I definitely have to say Recovery Elevator, plus my friends and my family. 

 

  1. And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

It would have to be that there is so much freedom once you have given up alcohol. 

 

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

 

You have a fight with your girlfriend, decide to move out, and realize that you have only packed a camera and a swimsuit. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside out.”

Sep 9, 2019

Brandi took her last drink on July 17, 2019.  This is her story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book was released 2 days ago!  Pick up your copy on Amazon here

On today’s episode Paul talks about one of his pet peeves…the word “ONLY”.   For example, when someone says they have ‘only’ been sober for 3 days, 10 days, 2 weeks, etc.… We need to change this way of thinking, any amount of time away from alcohol is a major win. 

The word ‘only’ equals limited, represents a lack of, and we want to be careful with this idea and energetic vibrations that encompass the word. 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:30] Paul introduces Brandi. 

 

Brandi is from Franklin, TN.  She is 48 years old and works in healthcare.  She has a 12-year-old daughter and for fun Brandi likes to make her own greeting cards, write poetry, and ride horses. 

 

[14:50] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Brandi says she drank some in high school and college, but that she didn’t really enjoy it.  She says it wasn’t until she was 33-34 years old that she started to see alcohol as a problem.  

 

In 2012 she started to notice how alcohol was impacting her life, her physical wellbeing, her job, and the people around her.  2 years ago, she was drinking about 2 bottles of wine a night, every day. 

 

[23:00] Where do you think your self-loathing came from?

 

Brandi says it came from a lot of things; missed moments with her daughter; lost time; missed conversations. 

    

[33:30] Tell us how the last 2 weeks have been?

 

Brandi says they have been good.  She felt a little of the pink cloud.  She’s been trying to do things differently, like getting up earlier.  She started a morning routine that includes her affirmation books. 

 

[39:00] What’s your plan moving forward?

 

Brandi says she is going to be better at reaching out to people.  She plans on getting back to some meetings that she has gone to in the past.  Getting back to her morning routine.  She wants to slowly get back to the things she enjoys doing for fun.  Brandi says a big one for her is stepping outside her comfort zone. 

 

[40:40] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve found on this journey?

 

How many times have I thrown wine glasses away.

 

  1. What is a memorable moment that sobriety has given you?

 

Sitting with my daughter, watching Disney movies, just being goofy and she put on Elton John and we just started dancing. 

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Unfortunately, it’s Diet Dr. Pepper, but lemonade takes a close 2nd. 

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?  

 

My friends that know me, my affirmation books.

 

  1. What’s on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

I used to travel; I want to go find a really cool place to take my daughter.  I want to do the things I used to do with her and start making memories.  Also, to get back into making my cards again and moving forward with dreams I had at making that part of my lifestyle. 

 

  1. And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

Even if it’s hard to step out, to reach out, it doesn’t have to be huge, just that one little thing that will change your path. 

 

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

 

Before you buy that next bottle of wine you have to figure out where you are in your rounds through your wine stores so you don’t hit one too soon. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Honey

This episode is brought to you by the smart shopping assistant Honey. Get Honey for free at www.joinhoney.com/elevator . Honey, the smart shopping assistant that saves you time and money when you're shopping online

 

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – Alcohol is shit…and we both know it.”

Sep 2, 2019

Aisha took her last drink on July 28, 2017.  This is her story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book comes out in 5 days!  This is also Paul’s 5-year alcohol free date!  Pick up your copy on Amazon September 7, 2019! 

On today’s episode Paul talks about celebrities that have ditched the booze and why this group of the population is affected by addiction way more than the average population. 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:30] Paul introduces Aisha. 

 

Aisha is 42 years old and lives in Atlanta, GA.  She is a lawyer, married and has a 10-year-old.  Aisha enjoys reading recovery/addiction memoirs along with fiction.      

 

[14:50] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Aisha says that a big part of why she drank was that she was trying to fit in.  Both of Aisha’s parents were alcoholics.  She is African-American and Hispanic and was raised in rural America where she didn’t see a lot of people that looked like her. 

 

Aisha didn’t really start drinking until she started law school and she started drinking alcoholically after she started practicing law.  There were a few months when she had the FBI watching her house because of a threat she had received, during those months she was so scared that she was drinking every day.  Because of her experience with alcoholics in her family she knew where her drinking was going, and she knew she needed to quit.    

 

[22:34] Did you have a rock bottom moment? 

 

Aisha says her bottom was when she “missed the toilet”, literally.  She knew she needed help then, but didn’t stop drinking at that time.  She did however go to an AA meeting. 

    

[26:15] Tell us more about your AA experience.

 

Aisha says when she went to AA, she was legitimately looking for help.  After listening to the speaker share, she felt like she could not relate.  She didn’t let that stop her from going back, but after some condescending comments at another AA meeting she went back to drinking. 

 

[28:15] What do you think finally pushed you over the edge to start logging in the time?

 

Aisha didn’t let the bad experiences she had had at AA stop her from trying other meetings.  She went to a lot of meetings and finally found one that she felt loved and welcomed at. 

 

[40:55] How has the wanting to fit in changed since getting sober? 

 

Aisha says she is much more purposeful.  She is much more focused on the whys of doing things.  She is also much more open to feed back from others. 

  

[46:30] In the last 2 years have you had a difficult moment where you thought you were going to drink and how’d you get through it? 

 

Aisha says she has not, and she know she is very fortunate.  She says that the smell of alcohol disgusts her now.  She has, however, had moments of fomo and has wished she could drink with friends at times. 

 

[51:20] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you?

 

Going on vacation with her family and her daughter and waking up early with her and remembering everything. 

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Mango Bubly

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?  

The stories in the back of the AA Big Book; A Girl Walks Out of a Bar; and people…I really enjoy the Café RE Facebook group.  

 

  1. What’s on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

I have a lot of changes that I am in the process of making in my life personally, I don’t want to put them out on the podcast.  But I think that in the next year there are some things in my life that are going to look very different. 

 

  1. And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

This is truly life and death, but it is also one day, one moment, one second at a time.  

 

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

 

You’re dropping a deuce, and you think you’re on the toilet, and when you get up, you’re not even close to the toilet. 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

ZipRecruiter

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

 

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – Alcohol is shit…and we both know it.”

Aug 26, 2019

Sarah took her last drink on June 13, 2019.  This is her story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  Pick up your copy on Amazon September 7, 2019! 

On today’s episode Paul talks about how there is always a ‘plan B’.  Plan A…aka the way we want life to work out, the way we hoped things were going to work, actually work out 0% of the time.  Everyone has these hiccups. 

The fact that you are listening to this podcast means you are already into plan B.  Most people that have a goal to move into an alcohol-free life have a plan A, which looks something like this…quit drinking and never look back.  It doesn’t matter how many plans you have because we now have hundreds of plans to chose from. 

You don’t have to go out looking for your plan, schedule some down time and let the plan come to you. 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:33] Paul introduces Sarah. 

 

Sarah is 44 years old and is from Vancouver, WA.  She is engaged to be married and has no kids.  Sarah is a chiropractor.  For fun Sarah loves anything that has to do with health, she loves to exercise and go on long walks with her fiancé.   

 

[10:00] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Sarah had her first drink when she was 12 years old.  She didn’t drink heavily from that point on but her drinking really escalated when she started working in the restaurant business while attending the University of Texas.   She was 22 years old at this time.  At the age of 17 Sarah got a DWUI. 

 

From the age of 22 her drinking got worse.  When she was 30 years old, she found herself calling in sick to work because she was hungover. 

 

 

[12:00] So you decided to have a change of location and profession?

 

Sarah says it was one of the best decisions she made, but that looking back it was her thinking that she needed to get out of her current environment.  She started chiropractic school and took her drinking right along with her. 

 

Her drinking continued to escalate and she ended up missing a really significant clinical entrance exam.  She drank too much the night before and slept through it.  She wasn’t allowed to take a makeup exam and had to wait to take the exam.  This is when she first tried AA. 

  

[13:15] What were your initial thoughts about AA?

 

Initially it was awesome.  Sarah still has some really great feelings about AA.  She says she’ll never forget when she walked into her very first meeting and a man telling her she never had to drink again.  Sarah says that was a lightbulb moment for her.   

 

[14:00] Bring us up to speed from 32 years old to 44. 

 

Sarah had on and off sobriety attempts during that time, ranging from 6 months to 2 years.  And she says that, of course, her life always got better. 

She was questioning if she was an alcoholic because she could stop at a couple drinks, sometimes.   But she realized that her drinking always had consequences.  She decided, along with her fiancé, to quit drinking. 

 

[16:40] What do you think you started back up after your 6 mo., 9 mo., 2 years? 

 

Sarah felt like she would hit a wall, that she couldn’t label herself a full-blown alcoholic so she would find herself going back out.  She would always end up back at the same place, lack of motivation, sick, tired, depressed, and a chaotic life.  

  

[18:40] What effect has not drinking had? 

 

By day 3 Sarah noticed she was sleeping better.  She enjoys her work and being with patients.  She has her motivation back.  She isn’t waking up with guilt and shame anymore. 

 

[22:00] What are some of the obstacles that you have overcome in the last 41 days? 

 

Sarah says that around day 13 and a couple weeks ago she was hitting a wall emotionally.     

 

[25:17] How has it been to have a fiancé as an accountability partner?

 

Sarah says it’s been really amazing.  She had to tell him a number of times that drinking was a problem for her, and when things got really bad, he finally got it.  He was willing to go on the journey with her.  It wasn’t just ‘her’ drinking, it was ‘their’ drinking. 

 

[28:00] What have been the challenges to do this with a significant other? 

 

Sarah says the first challenge was that she wanted to make sure he wasn’t stopping to drink just for her.  She says she needs the support but that she didn’t want to feel responsible for that decision.  The challenge was making sure that they both had their own ‘whys’.    

 

[29:00] What is something you didn’t think you’d have to work on?

 

Sarah thought that the problem her and her fiancé had with communicating would go away and she learned that they still needed to work on those skills. 

 

[29:40] Have you explored why you drank?

 

Sarah says she drank because she wanted to feel included and connected to other people.  She says she also drank because it got her attention. 

 

[30:30] What is something memorable that you have been able to do in a life without alcohol?

 

She has noticed that she is way more invested in her life and in her chiropractor practice.  She cares about her patients. 

 

[32:20] What’s your plan moving forward?

 

To continue on this journey.  Sarah also says her love for reading has returned. 

 

[33:30] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?

 

All of a sudden, I’m noticing the world around me. 

 

  1. Is there anything you would have done differently when quitting drinking?

 

This time, no.  It has all gotten me here.

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Lately my fiancé and I have been making virgin Bloody Mary’s. 

 

  1. What is your favorite resource in recovery?   

 

As of now it is Café RE.  It really is a safe environment for me to connect with people. 

 

  1. What’s on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

We want to travel to Germany.  I have never really wanted to travel and now I do.

 

  1. And what parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

The biggest thing I was afraid of was that I was going to miss out on something, and none of that is true. 

 

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

 

You wake up somewhere that you never would have been if sober. 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

Aug 19, 2019

Joy took her last drink on July 12, 2014.  This is her story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  Launch date, September 7, 2019, is less than a month away! 

On today’s episode Paul talks about the phrase ‘spontaneous sobriety’.  What is it?  What does it mean? 

Spontaneous sobriety means quitting drinking without any formal treatment such as rehab, inpatient treatment, or out-patient treatment.  12-step programs are not formal treatment due to the fact you can go when you want, work with, or without, a sponsor, and there is not a formal way to work the steps. 

The majority of people get sober without formal help.  According to the NESARC about 50% of all people that recovered from alcohol dependence did so completely on their own. 

So how does one spontaneously ditch the booze?  The listen to their body, read books, listen to podcasts, attend 12-step meetings, read blogs, talk to their therapist, join online recovery groups (like CaféRE), etc.…  You talk about it; you burn the ships. 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:40] Paul introduces Joy. 

 

Joy was born and raised in the suburbs of southeast Michigan and she moved to Connecticut about 15 years ago.  She is 42 years old, has been married for almost 15 years, and has 2 sons.  For work Joy is a holistic nurse practitioner, sober and grey area drinking coach, and a dance teacher.  She enjoys dancing, yoga, being outside, and reading. 

 

[17:40] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Joy started drinking pretty regularly in her teenage years.  There was drinking in her household so it felt like the natural thing to do.  During high school there were binging and blackout moments.  Before college she had a rock-climbing accident, where alcohol was involved, which resulted in her having to change her direction in college from dance to healthcare.  She continued to drink heavily in college and got a DUI when she was 20. 

 

[18:35] Whne you got that DUI was there a concern?

 

Joy says it was a terrifying experience.  She had to spend the night in jail, in a very big correctional facility.  After the DUI Joy felt like she could still continue to drink, she just needed to be smarter about it, like not drive. 

 

In her 30s it became more apparent that her drinking was a problem.  There was more morning after conversations with her husband.  She tried moderating, only drinking on the weekends, but was unsuccessful. 

 

[19:50] You mentioned that your husband commented that your drinking doesn’t make sense, can you explain that?

 

She says here she was, done with graduate school to be a nurse practitioner, she was a yoga teacher and really holistically health minded, but at the same time drinking heavily.  She also would smoke cigarettes when she drank.  It was like the two Joys didn’t compute.  There was the highly functioning Joy going to her job at the hospital and teaching yoga classes, and then there was the Joy that was drinking everyday and smoking.    

 

[22:15] Bring us up to speed, did the other shoe drop?

 

Joy says it did.  She was 30 pounds heavier; her health was not doing well; her depression was not being treated.  But Joy says it was really when she was home with her two young children and one of them asked her to hand him his toy.  She asked him what one and he said, “It’s the one behind your wine glass.”.   This rocked Joy’s world.  It was one thing for her to be home drinking wine while taking care of her young children, it was something else that one of them knew it. 

 

[24:35] What did you do after that? 

 

Joy says she did what everyone thinks they have to do; she went to AA.  She was 37 years old.  She says she had issue with when you go to AA you have to stand up and introduce yourself and proclaim that you’re an alcoholic.  At this time Joy wasn’t sure she was an alcoholic, but she knew she had to do something and AA was all she could think of.  Standing up and admitting that she was an alcoholic in front of a group of strangers was cathartic for Joy.  It allowed her to take the next step forward which was addressing what she was going to do next. 

 

[27:00] What happened after that? 

 

Joy went to AA for a little while, got a sponsor that was really helped her get through the first few weeks of being AF.  But Joy wasn’t drawn to AA, she didn’t find the positivity, or forward movement, she was hoping to find. 

 

So, Joy turned to the internet and started looking for other recovery avenues that were geared towards women.  She found Woman for Sobriety, which is a different self-help program.  There weren’t any meetings local to Joy so she started participating in online chat meetings.  After she had a year of sobriety she applied and became a moderator of meetings for them in her town. 

 

[30:30] What was it like going through the first couple social events alcohol free?

 

Joy learned that she definitely had some social anxiety, it was stressful, and she felt awkward.  She says she took a lot of things off of her social calendar.  She instead filled her time with other things, and instead of focusing on what she was not doing anymore she was focusing on what she was doing.   

 

[34:20] What are some of the things that have been removed from your life since you quit drinking?

 

Joy says that there have been some friendships and there were some activities, such as concerts, that she gave up for a while, but has since returned to enjoying in sobriety.  She has been careful with what she has allowed back into her life with her main focus now being a parent and her family.    

 

[38:10] What are some of the themes you have encountered in the last 5 years? 

 

The first year Joy was just dedicated on getting the moments.  Year two was being OK with things as they were.  Year 3 and 4 were similar to year 2, but Joy was stepping out more into experiences that may have been a little scarier, being a little more daring and finding great encouragement through those accomplishments.   

 

[41:20] Talk to us about being a grey area drinking coach.

 

Joy says the grey area is the area between rock bottom and not drinking at all. 

 

[46:50] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

 

Having my friends stay home with my kids while I drove myself to the hospital because I thought I had given myself pancreatitis because I drank too much. 

 

  1. What is your plan moving forward?

 

My plan is to continue to find great connection with other women similar to me and offer them resources and tools to help them create a new life doing what they love without alcohol. 

 

  1. What is your favorite resource in recovery?

 

Women for Sobriety and Yoga of Recovery. 

 

  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

Just take a moment and breathe and know that this too shall pass. 

 

  1. What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

 

If you are questioning, at all, if you need to take a break then I invite you to give it 30 days.

 

  1. If listeners want to find you, do you have a website?

www.joyherbst.com  http://purnimawomenshealth.com/

 

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

 

You are constantly thinking about when you’re going to get your next drink. 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Betterhelp 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. For (podcast name) listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR

 

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

Aug 12, 2019

Tiffany took her last drink on July 14, 2018.  This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about the DUIs he didn’t get.  For those of you that may not know what a DUI is…it is Driving Under the Influence, with a BAC that is higher than .08. 

Those missed DUIs, going all the way back to one in 2006, in which he was following behind a friend that was drunk behind the wheel, rolled his vehicle and passed away with a BAC of .33…were a contributing factor in Paul telling himself he didn’t have a drinking problem. 

He told himself he didn’t have a drinking problem because he didn’t have any DUIs.  Paul has said, ‘the only line you can cross, but cannot come back from, is death’.  He hopes that Adrian’s story can help save the life of someone listening to this podcast. 

 SHOW NOTES

 

[16:05] Paul introduces Tiffany. 

 

Tiffany is originally from Connecticut but has been in Maryland for the last 10 years.  She is a property manager and a licensed captain.  She is 35 years old, single and has no kids.  She enjoys hiking and recently has discovered she likes to macramé, and has been doing a lot of that.  DIY crafts and projects around her house bring her joy. 

 

[18:15] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Tiffany started dinking when she was in 7th grade.  Drinking was the not the norm for her family or in her household growing up.  It wasn’t until she was in junior high and spending more time at friends’ houses that she was exposed to drinking being the norm.  Jr. high and high school was a lot of binge drinking on weekends.  Towards the end of high school Tiffany was more interested in being at work, she was working at a horse farm, and partying with her friends than being at school.  Work and partying became her priority and school was at the bottom of the totem pole.  She says she was a big pothead and felt that she could take, or leave, alcohol. 

 

[20:50] When did you reach the moment when you couldn’t take it, or leave it? 

 

In 2006, when Tiffany was 21, she left everything behind and moved to New Zealand to work on a schooner.   She says that is when the switch happened.  Wine was everywhere.  She started to think of drinking as a reward for having a hard day, rather than just something she would binge on. 

 

[22:45] Talk to us about the years between 21 and 34.

 

While on the schooner they went through a bad hurricane during a voyage.  Tiffany says it was terrifying, and it was at that time her drinking shifted from drinking as a reward for a hard day, to drinking to get out of her head.  She says she came home from that experience different, and that it is still something she is working through. 

 

It was at this time she was drinking to not feel her feelings, and she started to isolate rather than drink socially.  In 2007 she moved to Baltimore and moved in to a neighborhood that was filled with bars, making it easy for her to drink and not be questioned.  

 

[26:00] Get us up to speed closer to your sobriety date.

 

Between 2009-2012 not a lot really happened.  Tiffany says her drinking stayed about the same, she was still isolating amongst her group of drinking friends.  In 2014 she got into a relationship, that didn’t work out, but it was the first time she had ever heard someone refer to her as an alcoholic. 

  

[26:45] What was it like hearing that?

 

Up until that time she says she had had a lot of nights that she regretted but that this was the first time she felt embarrassed.  This prompted Tiffany to lean into her isolation and she let all the self-negative talk that she had for herself beat her down. 

 

In 2017 she was so depressed and isolating that she was afraid to leave her house unless it was for work.  Because she couldn’t control her drinking, she felt like she was failing in everything other than work.     

[28:44] You said you knew you didn’t want to drink, but that all you knew was a life with drinking…talk to us about how that felt. 

 

It was insanity.  A snapshot of what felt like a normal day for Tiffany involved her waking up with a hangover, feeling like hell, getting herself together for work and then crying the whole way to work because she did not want to go home, because she did not want to drink again that night.  Her anxiety was crippling and things just didn’t get any better.  She lived like that for 3 years. 

 

[30:20] What tipped the scales?

 

November 2017 Tiffany says she was at her bottom and she came across the Recovery Elevator podcast.  She hit play and binge listened to the episodes for a solid 2 weeks. 

 

[33:55] What happened between November 2017 and July 2018?

 

Tiffany signed up for the RE Facebook group in June 2018 and made it 30 days AF.  On day 31 she walked into a store, thinking, “I got this”, and bought 5 bottles of wine and drank for 5 days.  She then decided she was done, drank all the alcohol in her house, and on July 14th 2018 had her last drink. 

 

[44:00] So you got sober outside of AA?

 

Tiffany says that 12 step meetings are not for her, at least not right now.  She finds her peace and healing when she is outside of the rooms.  Knowing that she does need to talk to people and dive into some things

she did start talk therapy. 

 

[45:56] What’s on your bucket list? 

 

The Asia trip is definitely being added.  Tiffany says she just wants to be happy. 

 

[47:47] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

 

My 18th birthday.  I got so drunk I fell down the side of a mountain and my friends had to drive me home. 

 

  1. When was the moment you knew you needed to quit drinking?

 

That is a toss up between when I heard my ex say I was an alcoholic and when I started listening to this podcast.

 

  1. What is your plan moving forward?

 

Keeping connection and staying social.  I’m making the point to keep networking.      

 

  1. What is your favorite resource in recovery?

 

Definitely Recovery Elevator podcast and the Café’RE group.    

 

  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

That it’s ok not to have perfect day. 

 

  1. What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

 

If you think you have a problem you probably do. 

 

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

 

At the age of 15 you realize that if you only take shots, you don’t feel full, so you can drink more. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Honey

This episode is brought to you by the smart shopping assistant Honey. Get Honey for free at  www.joinhoney.com/elevator. Honey, the smart shopping assistant that saves you time and money when you're shopping online. 

Zip Recruiter

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

Aug 5, 2019

Daz took his last drink on November 5, 2018.  This is his story. 

This coming January Recovery Elevator is going to Thailand and Cambodia for 12 days.  Space is limited.  You can find more information about this event here

On today’s episode Paul discuses the double negative, not failing.  If you find yourself struggling to say no, to picking up a drink, you are not failing.  If you are not failing you are succeeding, accomplishing, flourishing, overcoming, conquering, thriving, winning, realizing your goal to become alcohol free. 

Think about an accomplishment in your life that you are proud of.  Did that come without a struggle?   Most likely it did.  That struggle did not represent failure.  Growth is a big part of that struggle. 

SHOW NOTES

[10:30] Paul introduces Daz. 

Daz is 43 years old, has been married for 5 years, and has 2 beautiful little girls.  He is from Vancouver Island and has lived in Vancouver for the last 17 years.  For fun Daz plays guitar, writes and records a lot of music, and his latest addiction is knowledge in recovery.

[13:31] Give us a background on your drinking.

When Daz was 13 he had his first drink, and first drunk.  At the age of 15 he was introduced to smoking pot which very quickly became a daily thing.  An honor roll student until his senior year of high school, when other drugs were introduced, and things really started to nosedive. 

Daz didn’t start drinking regularly until he was 19.  It then quickly became a daily thing, helping him come out of his shell and be more social.  It became a staple that stuck with him through his 20s. 

Daz hit his rock bottom on April 20, 2005.  He had gone through a really dysfunctional relationship and his life had completely veered off the path that he had expected.  He was ready to throw in the towel on life.  Daz called his parents at 2AM and told them he didn’t know what to do, that he thought he wanted to just go and finish it off.  His parents got him to come home and that was his first attempt to get sober. It lasted a couple weeks, through the Christmas holidays, and he attended his first AA meetings while there. 

When he got back to Vancouver things went back to the way they had been for about another year.  He was struggling to get by, working in bars and drinking on the job.  Found himself in legal trouble and soon couldn’t pay his rent.  Daz says he was one step away from living on the street.

[19:00] That was early 2007, bridge the gap for us. 

Daz entered a 2-month treatment center and says that was the beginning of him starting to stand up and dust himself off.  It gave him time to think about what he was going to do with his life.  He worked in the fitness industry for a couple years.

He started to slide back into drinking but had enough of a foundation at this time, and had left some of the other drugs behind, that things were starting to get on the right path. 

He moved from the fitness industry into the software business and started performing music in the evenings.  This gave him something to be excited about and even though he was still drinking he now felt he had a purpose.

Daz met his wife 7 years ago, 1.5 years later they had their first baby, and 2-3 years ago he went to the doctor and was told he had a fatty liver. 

[21:55] What happened next?

He now has his 2nd baby and a fatty liver.  His doctor told him if he didn’t stop drinking, he would be dead in 10 years.  That was the motivation Daz needed.  He had gone through the 12 steps of AA while in the treatment center but just never felt like that was for him.  What he found was something called, Neuro Recover, which is an IV treatment where the person is hooked up to an IV for 8 hours a day, for 10 days.  He says he soon realized that being sober is not just about not drinking, it’s about rebuilding your body. 

After a few months Daz went back ‘out’.  When he was ready to try again, he came with more of a plan and was going to include community.  He did the IV treatment for 3 days. 

On day 5 he was having back and leg pain, anxiety, and feeling frustrated.  Daz says he was almost ready to go get alcohol.  Instead of going to the store for alcohol he recalled reading that L-glutamine can help with alcohol cravings.  Having some in his cupboard he drank some and says that instantly the craving was gone.  Daz started attending SMART Recovery soon after. 

[32:32] What are your qualms about AA?

Daz says his biggest qualm is the powerless aspect.  He feels to overcome addiction you need to be empowered.    

[39:16] What would you say to someone looking to get sober, that has tried AA, and is looking for something else?

Daz would suggest the SMART Recovery community, RE Café’ Facebook groups, L-glutamine.  He would tell them to stay connected with people, and that diet is important. 

[44:14] What are your thoughts on relapse?

Daz says he doesn’t think relapse is a bad thing, that it is just part of the process.  He says people shouldn’t be too negative about it as long as you are continuing on and learning to understand yourself, the body, and how it works. 

[47:41] Where does spirituality come into play on this journey?

Daz is not a religious person, per-se, but he thinks it’s really important for people to stop and look inward, and turn other things off. 

[48:50] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

Driving down the road and not being able to keep his hands on the steering wheel because he was shaking so badly.

  1. What is your plan moving forward?

My plan moving forward is to finish my website that I have been working on, like I said, it’s EmpoweredNotPowerless.com.  Continue going to SMART meetings and I have some people that I am close to and to just continue to help each other. To continue to lead by example.     

  1. What is your favorite resource?

Get yourself some glutamine, don’t leave out the supplementation part of recovery.  You’ve been killing yourself for years and your body needs to heal itself.  I would also shout out Omar Pinto and the SHAIR podcast.  Another book I would recommend is Addicted to the Monkey Mind. 

  1. What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

When it feels like it’s impossible, it’s not.

  1. You might have a drinking problem if...

You need to pull over on the side of the road because you can’t control your shaking. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

Jul 29, 2019

Arlina took her last drink on April 22, 1994 and has been alcohol free for 25 years.  This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul discuses an article that a listener sent him regarding the term, ‘sober curious’.  This article was published in the New York Times and can be found here

What is sober curious?  The term is pretty straight forward, it refers to those that are curious about exploring a life without alcohol.  But it can be unpacked even more.  To some, sober curious may mean that they never had a drinking problem, but they had a problem drinking.  In the article the author describes the sober curious as young professionals that are kind of, just a little bit, addicted to booze.  

Paul feels that that bulk of this demographic of sober curious people are what would be referred to as high bottom drunks.  They are beginning to experience consequences from their drinking and they are becoming curious to what a life without alcohol would look like. 

 

SHOW NOTES

[9:30] Paul introduces Arlina.

Arlina is 50 years old and had her last drink on her 25th birthday.  She grew up in Silicon Valley.  She is married and has 2 sons.  Arlina has a podcast, enjoys yoga, hiking and going for walks.  She is soon to be the owner of a bulldog puppy. 

[15:05] Give us a background on your drinking.

Arlina says she feels her drinking was garden variety.  She started drinking at a young age, between 8-10 years old, and says she didn’t realize how bad she felt until she felt good from drinking. She says from her first drink to her last she wanted to be anybody but herself.  

[19:00] Was there a rock bottom moment that led up to you having your last drink on your 25th birthday? 

Arlina says she had a series of rock-bottom moments.  She never knew what emotion to expect when she would drink, she would either be crying or fighting.  Even after a night out with her sister, in which Arlina got drunk, punched her windshield a couple times, breaking it, kicked her sister (who was driving) in the face, her sister getting help from the neighbors, the police being called, and waking up with that incomprehensible demoralization, it took hearing that her sister had gone to Al-anon for her to connect her drinking with alcoholism.  Arlina wrestled with that thought for 2 years. 

[23:20] Talk to us about when you finally reached that conclusion.

Arlina says it was a very humbling experience because she had defined alcoholism as something so negative.  Hating who she was anyway and then adding alcoholic and drug addict to it was overwhelming.  What had been her solution had become her executioner.      

[25:55] What was it like in early sobriety?

Arlina says it was overwhelming, but that she was relieved of the obsession to consume alcohol the day after her birthday.   She discovered she was kind of high maintenance.  She needed a morning routine, turning her life and her will over to God, and had to nurture a conscious contact with God throughout the day.  She attended a lot of meetings a week and service played a large part.   

[31:22] Let’s talk about the why behind your drinking.  Do you agree that alcohol is but a symptom? 

Arlina agrees 100% that alcohol is but a symptom.  She says she las learned that the brain will try and protect you from your pain, and if you can’t get out of it, it will develop a distraction, and that could be alcoholism or any other addiction.  Time does not heal all wounds; pain waits and lessons are repeated until they are learned. 

[37:27] Earlier you talked about chasing a feeling, how do you chase that feeling without alcohol. 

Arlina says the feeling that she was chasing was relief.  She likes to feel happiness and joy and she finds that in the service work she does.  When she can do something to alleviate someone else’s suffering she feels like she is fulfilling her purpose and that is when she feels the most joy. 

[42:00] Talk to us about your podcast, The ODAAT Chat.   **Arlina also has a website by the same name and you can find it here.   

Arlina originally started a sales podcast, but says it was really on her heart to do one on recovery.  She was conflicted because in the 12 traditions it says to maintain our anonymity at the level of press, radio and film.  Following the tragic death of a friend, who had attended a 6 AM meeting called ODAAT, she decided to be bold and follow her heart.  The podcast has added some pressure but also has brought joy to Arlina. 

[46:40] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

Puking my guts out at a San Francisco Giants game in front of a whole bunch of fancy people.

  1. Year 26, how’s it going to happen?

It’s going to happen one day at a time.  This morning I went for a walk and broke out an amazing book called Jesus Calling and read that.  I drew my Gabby Bernstein card and I use the Headspace app to do some meditation and I find if I do that routine in the morning my day goes so much better. 

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have ever received?

Follow your heart.    

  1. What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

Open your mind and your heart and you’ll be amazed before you are halfway through.

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

You end up in an AA meeting. 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

BetterHelp 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/style/sober-curious.html

http://odaatchat.com/

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

Jul 22, 2019

Odette, took her last drink on December 17, 2018.  This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about control and how it relates to the level of an addiction.  The more our drinking gets out of control the more we try and control our external environments.  This is the main driver why control is such an important concept to deepen with so we can become aware of the level of control we placing on the external environment. 

We are left with 2 choices.  Option 1 is to do nothing, and that is not what this podcast is about.  That leaves us with option 2.  Get ready to saddle up.  Once an addiction is been acknowledged it can no longer be ignored, and it cannot be addressed without making major life changes.  Changes like a new self-image, your perception, a new consciousness, your ideas and beliefs, your entire life’s foundations.  That’s a lot of change, and as humans we resist change. 

SHOW NOTES

[8:10] Paul introduces Odette. 

Paul first chatted with Odette on episode 128, which came out on July 31st 2017, when she had 1 week of sobriety, he encourages you to go back and listen to that episode.  Today, Odette hit a big milestone…she has 6 months of sobriety. 

Odette is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, but has been living in San Diego for almost 10 years.  She is married and a mom to 2 toddlers, Max and Sienna.  She works fulltime at WeWork.  Odette loves bowling for fun, says it's probably her favorite thing, and she will fight anyone who says that it's not a sport.  She also loves to try new teas and lately you will find her doing puzzles. 

[11:50] Give us a background on your drinking.

Odette says she’s been in the recovery world for a decade.  Her dad is a recovering alcoholic and he's about to hit his 10 year, so she was first exposed to recovery through him.  She likes to say that his addiction has become the biggest gift, not just to herself, but to her entire family. Odette also developed an eating disorder, which she says is her first addiction, if it has to be labeled.  Odette says that although she’s been in the recovery world for a while, in terms of drinking, she thinks she falls into the ‘gray area drinker’ category.  She doesn’t have a catastrophic story to tell in terms of her relationship with alcohol.

Because of this it’s been a real journey for Odette to figure out if she really belonged here or if she didn’t belong here, if she really had a problem with drinking.  What really changed things for Odette was something that she keeps telling people.  You don't have to have a serious drinking problem to have a problem with drinking, and she definitely knew that she had a problem with drinking.

[16:05] In regards to alcohol and your eating disorder, what is your thoughts on addiction whack-a-mole?

Odette thinks addiction whack-a-mole is a thing and that it is really important that we become ambassadors of being graceful to ourselves.   The addictions become more manageable now, not because it's easier, but because there's this sense of awareness.  Odette says she still sometimes eats when she’s not hungry, and that things that are part of her eating disorder chapter still come up, but she is aware of it now.  She realizes that she just didn’t want to feel the feelings, so she ate.  

[21:43] Talk to us about the time between when you were first on the podcast until now?

Odette struggled a lot, because, she says she is a binary person, and is like a lot of others in recovery who are in that gray area.  And not just with drinking but the gray area of life.   She loves fitting in boxes and labeling herself, and that is something that she really been trying to detach from these last 6 months.  She stopped questioning where she belonged and if she belonged and started asking herself different questions, like how she was feeling when she drank or if she was trying to cope with something.  She had to get a little creative with her questions because she was getting the same results when asking the same old questions. 

[26:55] Talk to us about the unknown and how you leaned into it.

The unknown is very scary for Odette.  She knew, as she was stacking days this third time around, that fear was going to creep up on her.  So she grounded herself with people who have really good messages around fear because she didn’t expect that fear to go away.  She learned to develop a different relationship with her fear. 

[34:33] Let’s talk about the concept of internal vs. external, where do you feel you are?

Odette feels like it’s shifting, and that she is discovering a lot of things.  She also believes a lot of it is linked to her eating disorder because she did not have a connection with her body was feeling at all.  Odette has been focusing on the internal and the physical. 

[36:40] Share with us how fun it is to meet up at our retreats, like our one coming up in Bozeman next month. 

Odette says she stopped calling them retreats and has started calling them “sober camp”, because they are just that much fun.  Bozeman will be Odette’s 3rd retreat and says that they are such amazing fuel and that the connections and friendships she has made are now like family.    

[37:50] Talk to us about a time, in the last 6 months, that it got tough and you overcame it without alcohol? 

The last 3-4 months have been extremely challenging for Odette.  As all the layers are coming off Odette says it feels very raw and at times very heartbreaking.  She has done a lot of reconciling the last 5 months with decisions from the past.  She says she is not living in the past, but reconciling with what has brought her to where she is right now. 

[42:30] Talk to us about the emotion, Joy, and when it first showed up for you. 

Odette used to have so many highs and so many lows it was though she was on a roller coaster.  Nowadays she aims for contentment.  She lets things pass her by and finds joy in the smallest things.  She finds herself getting teary eyed just looking at her daughter or while listening to a song while driving.  For Odette joy is found in the simple things and the quietness. 

[47:05] What themes are you exploring right now in your recovery?

Intention is a big one, and not being tied to an outcome.  Odette feels like she was tied to external outcomes in the beginning and she is distancing herself from that now.  Also, she says she is learning to let go of control.   

[51:00] Walk us through a day in your recovery.

Odette is an early riser and wakes up between 4:30-5:00 AM.  Exercise is one of her biggest tools in her tool belt so she tries to get in some sort of it first thing in the morning.  She does daily reading each morning and spends some quality time with her family.  She goes to work, listens to a podcast or Marco Polo’s with someone, and spends her lunch outside because nature is another big tool in her tool belt.  After work she is busy being mom, making dinner and lunches.  She has a BBT rule…bed by ten.  Her weekends are slower and way less structured. 

[55:44] Rapid Fire Round

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have ever received?

You can’t do this alone…but you have to be your own cheerleader. 

  1. What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

Trust your gut. 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

You burn all the ships and you still drink. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

Jul 15, 2019

Mark, took his last drink on April 19th, 2019 - This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul shares the status on his upcoming book release!  Alcohol is Sh!t should be launched the end of July – to mid-August.  Graphics for the front cover, the back, and the eBook are done.  Thanks to everyone that voted on the tagline and subtitles…this is what we came up with; How to ditch the booze.  Reignite your life.  Recover the person you were always meant to be. 

Paul also talks about calming the mind through meditation.  The word meditation comes from the word meditacioun, which means to ponder, and it has been around for a very long time. 

What is meditation?  Meditation is about letting thoughts go.  It is about loosening the energetic ties to the past and the future.  It is about being present and focusing on what is, the reality you are currently witnessing.  Meditation is about lowering brain waves to a more relaxed state.  Meditation is a skill and it takes practice. 

What meditation is not.  Meditation isn’t not thinking.  It isn’t about obtaining or getting anything, or discovering who you are.  It is not going into a trance.  Meditation isn’t selfish, it all starts from the inside out. 😉

SHOW NOTES

[15:50] Paul introduces Mark. 

Mark lives in Perth, Australia, which is one of the most remote cities in the world.  For work he is a financial professional.  He is 43 years old, married with 2 daughters.  For fun Mark likes to camp, exercise and read.    

[18:45] Give us a background on your drinking.

Mark started drinking in his teens and he says he pretty much to a liking to it right away.  It made him feel like a different person and got him out of his shell.  In his early 20s he went to college and continued drinking there.  There was about 3-4 years during his 20s that he got really serious about running and would quit drinking for 49 weeks a year while he was training. 

Mark says that once he stopped taking his running so serious, stopped the training, and got a job that there was a turning point and his drinking started to creep up to just about every day.  Mark was in his 30s now. 

In 2017, at the age of 41, Mark had his real first attempt at sobriety. 

[20:50] Was there a rock bottom moment in 2017 that propelled your attempt at sobriety?

There wasn’t a rock bottom moment for Mark, he says it was more like a series of bad nights.  He started to realize that his drinking was involuntary and he felt like it was something that was just happening to him. 

After one night in particular where he drank 2 bottles of wine and getting to work late feeling horrendous, he decided he had just had enough.  After doing some googling on cutting back and found a website called Hello Sunday Morning, where people posted about cutting back.  The website encouraged doing a 3 to 12-month time of no drinking.  Mark decided to try the 3 months and after successfully doing that and feeling good he decided to go for the 12 months. 

Looking back now he says it was a really good year.  He got healthy and got a lot done at home and at work.  But something was missing.  

[22:22] Go back a little, when did you start to realize that it was getting harder to stop once you started?

Mark drank beer and wine and would find himself drinking whenever he would meet up with someone.  And he didn’t just drink one or two, he drank hard.  It was almost as if he was running his life around alcohol.  He would never meet someone at a café, he would always meet people at a pub or bar. 

[24:15] So you’re cruising through 2017 dry, on willpower, how much time did you get?

Mark says he didn’t make it the 12 months.  He made it until mid-August, the same time he and his wife bought their home.  He celebrated that purchase with a bottle of champagne.  He says as soon as he had that bottle of champagne the wheels came off.  He also felt that because he went 8-9 months without drinking that he had changed his relationship with alcohol.  About a month after drinking the bottle of champagne he was back drinking just as hard as before. 

[26:00] Once you were back to drinking hard a month later did you stop and think ‘oh shit’? 

He really didn’t.  He just got back into it and by 2018 he was telling people that after his dry year he was back to drinking and that he had a different relationship with alcohol, which he now thinks was a supreme exercise of self-deception.  

[26:50] When did this self-deception end?

Mark says really only this year, around April 30th.  After sharing a bottle of wine with his wife on April 29th she went to bed and he went outside with another bottle of wine.  He started to think about what he was doing and started to get angry.  He thought about what a great year 2017 had been and now there he was by himself drinking himself to oblivion.  It was a feeling of self-disgust.  He went back into the house and said, to himself, that he was done, again. 

[28:45] What do you think was different that time?

Mark says its really hard to explain, but that he realized that there was no sense of joy drinking that bottle of wine. 

[29:45] Talk to me about how you realized that there were no hopes in moderation

In 2017 when he was reading blogs on that website a lot of people talked about AA.  He didn’t really like the idea of AA because of the religious aspect and the surrendering part.  Now fast-forwarding to 2019 he started to understand what the surrender thing was about.  He has decades showing that moderation does not work for him. 

[32:30] What was that first week like after April 30, 2019?

It was just a different feeling that this time it’s not a 12-month test of willpower.  This time Mark just had to accept that it was over between him and alcohol.  He says it felt liberating to just admit that he’d had enough and that he didn’t want to be involved with alcohol anymore. 

[34:25] Talk to us about the accountability you set up this time. 

His wife was the first person he told, and he waited a few weeks before even doing that.  He was nervous and shaking but she told him she was proud of his and has been supportive.  He has also told some guys at work and has found support there as well. 

[39:48] Have you had any intense cravings since April 30, 2019?

Mark says that the cravings have not been bad, surprisingly, but he does drink non-alcoholic beer and wine and he feels it helps. 

[46:00] What is on your bucket list in sobriety?

To enjoy each day and the simple pleasures that come with being sober. 

[46:55] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

Getting really, really, passing out drunk on my 40th and being told the next day that my oldest daughter, who was 5 at the time, was just standing there looking at me with a sense of distress. 

  1. When was your ‘oh-shit’ moment?

That moment out in the backyard when I was sitting there with a 2nd bottle for no good reason at all.

  1. What’s your plan moving forward?

I have more accountability to put in place, a few more people to talk to about it.  I really do want to engage more with other alcoholics. 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

I’m on a blog website called Booze Musings and I have a few things on my reading list.      

  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve received?

When I think about drinking just play the tape forward.  Remember who you are.  If I want that, then I can’t have this.   

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

When its your shot for beers you buy yourself 2.

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

Jul 8, 2019

Melissa, with a sobriety date of October 29, 2018, shares her story.

Paul shares one of his favorite emails.  Dale from Pittsburgh says…Paul, you son of a bitch.  You have completely ruined alcohol for me.

Your experience with alcohol may no longer be the same after listening to the podcast!  Don’t worry about the how…that always solves itself. 

SHOW NOTES

[11:00] Paul introduces Melissa. 

Melissa says that sobriety is the most badass gift she has given herself.  The biggest milestone.  She is from Vancouver Canada.  She is 44 years old and has a 12-year-old son and a 1-year old rescue dog.  Melissa has been a business owner for the last 5 years.  For fun she likes to walk in the forest. 

[16:20] What is something you want to try out in sobriety? 

Scuba diving!      

[17:30] Give us a background on your drinking.

Melissa had her first drink when she was 15.  She got drunk the first time she drank and the kids at school thought she was cool.  Her parents got divorced when she was 16 and she took the roll of mom to her younger siblings.  In high school she started dating guys that were older and was going to night clubs.  When she graduated high school, and turned 18, she started bartending.  In 1998 she moved to the Cayman Islands and lived there for 5 years.  She drank a lot and her drinking progressed.  When she was 27 years old, she moved back home.  She got married and they had a son.  As she got older, she started to become verbally abusive when she drank.   That’s when the blackouts started to happen. 

January 2010 they separate, her son is 3 years old at the time.  A few months later, while she is volunteering a police officer approaches her and takes her back to her house.  Once she is home she finds out that her brother hit a tree while snowboarding and died. 

[29:50] bring us up to speed to your sobriety date.

2011…she gets together with a new man.  He was an enabler and he let her drink the way she wanted to drink.  On October 29th, after begging him to give her another chance, she walked into an AA meeting. 

[35:40] What was that first meeting like?

Melissa says she was a mess.  Two old-timers took her under their wings and she will never forget them.  She went to meetings every single day for the first month.

[36:35] What did it mean to surrender?

Melissa realized that she was powerless.  The mental obsession was too much and she gave up. 

[46:42] What have you learned about yourself? 

The most important thing Melissa has learned about herself is that she has so much to give. 

[47:28] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

Waking up in the middle of the floor and not know what I drank. 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Definitely the podcast and AA.    

  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve received?

Trust the process. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

You’re not alone. 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

Your 7-year-old son begs you to go to the wine shop after school so he can get the free puck that comes with the bottle of wine you drink. 

  

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

Jul 1, 2019

Sara, with a sobriety date of January 16, 2019, shares her story.

On today’s episode Paul shares an internet meme that he saw and loved…

“Only in my pain, did I find my will.

         Only in my chaos, did I learn to be still.

         Only in my fear, did I find my might.

         Only in my darkness, did I see my light.”

Starting to see a theme, Paul added a few lines…

         Only through my self-loathing was I able to love myself.

Only through my fears was I able to see how little it has ever served                   me. 

Only through guilt was I able to see that all humans make mistakes, and I’m human.

Only through shame did I realize I don’t owe anyone in life an explanation, ever again.

Only through my failures was I able to see what I was doing wrong and then make the necessary corrections. 

Only through blacking out was I able to recognize the misery with living without light. 

Only with a crushing headache after a heavy night of drinking was I able to appreciate a clear mind.

Only through my addiction was I able to see the path that I didn’t want to take and clearly see that path that I did want to take. 

The trend we are seeing here is called ‘the backward law’.  It when we experience the suffering before we experience the bliss on the other side.  This is also Newton’s first law of motion. 

If you ignore the nudge to quit drinking it will quickly become an elbow to the shoulder, a kick to the groin, then a full Andre the Giant body slam. 

SHOW NOTES

[10:00] Paul introduces Sara. 

Sara with a sobriety date of January 16, 2019, has been sober for 4 months, 22 days.  She is from Melbourne, Australia.  She is 36 years old.  Sara is single and is studying counseling and coaching.  She loves to read nonfiction books on human behavior, phycology, self-development, and relationships. 

[13:00] Give us a background on your drinking. 

Sara started drinking at the age of 13.  She says from the beginning she couldn’t moderate and that alcohol gave her a sense of belonging.  Over the years she found herself gravitating towards friendships with people that liked to drink.  All her friends liked to party but she had a vague feeling that wasn’t a healthy way to live. 

[14:31] When did you first have the notion that it wasn’t a healthy way to live? 

Sara says it was a long time before she realized it wasn’t a healthy way to live but she did know was that the repercussions from her drinking were terrible straight off the bat.  Every time Sara drank, she would do something she was ashamed of.  She never had an off switch and never had a time when she was a ‘normal’ drinker. 

[15:25] Talk to us about your 20s. 

By the time she was 17 Sara had a calendar on the wall and was ticking off days that she didn’t drink.  She could only get 2 days straight and found it frustrating why she couldn’t get more.  This caused her to feel shame and inadequacy as a human.  In her 20s she was a bargirl.  She would go to the bars with her friends or alone.  At 21 she felt the desperation of not knowing what to do about her drinking, she found herself on her knees at a park begging for help.  Her prayers were not answered and she continued to drink and continued to do geographicals within Melbourne. 

At 28 Sara decided to go overseas.  She was struggling with her purpose in life and thought she would find herself and sort her drinking out.  Instead of finding herself she just found a whole lot of bars. Looking back on that time it feels like wasted time because instead of seeing the world she just drank.  

[20:25] When did you decide to go back to Australia and that maybe quitting drinking was part of the grander scheme of things?

Sara had actually gone to AA when she was 23 and had given up drinking for about 6 months, so she knew AA existed, so she ended up going back to AA in Scotland and England.  She had stints of 6 months and 3 months sobriety and says that was some of the most joyous times of her travels. 

[20:55] What do you think happened after those 6 most joyous months?

Sara says her headspace happened.  It told her she was cured and that she had evolved in those 6 months, and could drink moderately. 

[21:45] So did you then make it back to Australia, is that where you got sober?          

In 2012 Sara returned to Australia.  Once back in Australia she pulled away from the pub crowd and was spending more time with just her friends or at home, so she was getting in less trouble but her drinking became more of a daily thing.  In the last couple of years alcohol was the only thing that would make her happy. 

[25:10] Was there a rock bottom moment on January 15, 2019?  Tell us what it was like on January 16?

No, Sara was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  She says she started out on the pink cloud and that lasted about 2 months.  She went to an AA meeting on day 1 because she knew that the times she had the longest stretches of sobriety was when she was active in AA.  She is still active in AA. 

[27:15] What was the first month like? What was different this time?

She said she was not running on fear but that there was a healthy fear there that reminded her she needed to do what she could.  Instead of looking for the differences at meetings she was looking for the similarities. She realized that she was not reaching her full potential when drinking alcohol. 

[30:30] What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

To become more of a dedicated student with her counseling.  She loves to dance and wants to get back into doing that. 

[37:08] What results are you seeing from the communication between your adult self and your child self? 

Old beliefs are getting brought up and Sara is able to see why she responds in certain ways to certain triggers.  She is hyperaware of her triggers now and is addressing them. 

[39:10] Why do you think you drank?

Sara’s says her parents met in rehab so she feels there is some genetics that come into play, along with some childhood trauma.  Alcohol helped her feel like she belonged. 

[43:15] What are your thoughts on relapse? 

Sara feels that relapses are par for the course and her relapses taught her so much, she didn’t realize that at the time, but looking back now she recognizes it. 

[44:43] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

The no memory memories.  The moment of dread and horror while trying to piece the night together. 

  1. When was your oh-shit moment?

I was in Scotland and I was gifted a free week’s trip on a yacht.  I hadn’t been drinking for 6 months and I decided I would drink at sea.   The first 6 nights were fine…night 7 found her sneaking onto a cruise liner, stealing bottles of alcohol, getting caught, and waking up in a 90-year-old lady’s home but not knowing where she was. 

  1. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

I want to thrive and lead a joyous and fulfilling life. 

  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve received?

One day at a time. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Get really honest with yourself, ask yourself, “how long have I been trying to moderate? And has it been working?”

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

It’s 3 AM and your ex-boyfriend’s housemate finds you outside of the house, ¾ ways up a tree, and when he asks you what you are doing you say, “I’m being a ninja”, and you proceed to fall out of the tree onto the ground and laugh like a maniac. 

 

 Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

Jun 24, 2019

Chris, with a sobriety date of February 12, 2019, shares his story.

On today’s episode Paul shares 8 strategies that you can implement when you are going through hard times. 

  1. Everything can, and will, change. 
  2. You’ve overcome challenges before.
  3. Recognize this life situation as a learning experience, AKA an opportunity.
  4. You may not be getting what you want, but you are getting what you need.
  5. Lighten up, do not take yourself to seriously.
  6. You can self-medicate with kindness to yourself.
  7. Don’t make it worse by taking on other people’s tough times.
  8. There is always something to be happy for.

 

SHOW NOTES:

[13:40] Paul introduces Chris. 

Chris has been sober since February 12, 2019 and is 35 years old.  He is a technology trainer for a finance company.  He is divorced and has three boys, ages 15, 10 and 7.  For fun Chris likes to sing and play guitar in a band, he also does improv and stand up comedy.  Since getting sober he is exercising a lot. 

[14:20] When did you start drinking?

He had his first drink, tequila he had stole from his parents, at the age of 11.  He was in an AOL chat room at the time and he says it gave him liquid courage to chat freely, and he was hooked.   

[16:20] Give us a more background about your drinking. 

Chris’s drinking didn’t really get going until his sophomore year of high school.  It ramped up quickly and he was experiencing black outs by his junior year.  Chris also got his 1st, of 3, DUIs his junior year of high school.  He started losing friends and girlfriends because of his drinking and by his senior year he was trying to get sober.  He started college after high school and got his 2nd DUI at 19 years old.  His first son was also born when Chris was 19.  For the majority of his 20’s he replaced his drinking with marijuana.  He married the mother of his son and they had two more.  In 2013 they got divorced.  Chris’s pot smoking was a big part of why they got divorced.  After his divorce he went back to drinking.  Within a month, at the age of 29, Chris got his 3rd DUI. 

[25:58] Was there some sobriety time between 2013 and February 2019?

He had some forced sobriety time due to being on probation from his 3rd DUI.  When all his legal issues were over in 2015, he went back to smoking pot and drinking, and he added taking Adderall into the mix.  On February 11th he went to a family member and told them that he was taking Adderall and not as prescribed.  He wanted help.  The first 3 days of his sobriety he stayed with family.  He also called the doctor that prescribed the Adderall and “burnt the ships”. 

[33:55] What was your first month off the substances like?

It took him a few days to get his sleep schedule back to normal, but Chris says he had so much fun that the first weekend he spent with his boys off of all substances.  He started to flip things around and instead of looking at sobriety as missing out on something he started looking at it as what he was gaining.  He was choosing to be happy, and he was. 

[40:10] What are some of the tools you’ve used these last 4 months?

He listens to recovery podcasts, like Recovery Elevator and Recovery Happy Hour.  The online support group and forum is always there.  Chris also reads a lot of self-help books. 

[43:00] What advice would you give to your younger self?          

He would tell himself to love himself more and that he is worth more than he thinks, but he also feels like he needed to go through all the things he went though to get to where he is now. 

[44:45] Do you know why you were using substances?

Chris says that his internal self didn’t feel good enough, and to hide those feelings he used. 

[45:50] What have you learned about yourself, along the way, that stands out?

Chris leaned that he can change, that he is capable of positive change. 

[47:00] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

Getting so drunk at a neighbor’s house that his kids had to go home to their mother’s house and having to call the next morning, realizing his drinking was affecting his kids.

  1. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

To keep moving and not get comfortable. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

If you think you have an issue then you probably do, try quitting for 30 days.  You can do it. 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

You’re listening to this podcast.  Also, if you’re shopping for fancy craft beer and you have to look at the alcohol by volume percentage of each beer, before you buy it.  And if you don’t find the alcohol by volume you break out your phone and google it, because anything under 5% would not be worth the can allowance. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

BetterHelp 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

Jun 17, 2019

Tim, with 2 days of sobriety, shares his story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about 2 articles that discuss alcohol use.  Links for these articles can be found following the show notes. 

The first article, published on May 7, 2019 in USA Today, says that alcohol use is soaring worldwide, with the average adult now consuming about 1.7 gallons of pure alcohol per year.  Just in the past 27 years the total volume of alcohol that people consumed globally increased by 70%.  Even though on a global level alcohol consumption is increasing, if you are listening to this podcast you have made it further than 95% of people out there.  You are starting to make changes. 

On the brighter side, an article published on January 17, 2018 in Bloomberg, reported that Americans drank less alcohol in 2018, for the third straight year.  Total cases of beer, wine and spirits consumed in the US dropped by .8% in 2018.  This was the third straight year that there had been a decline in consumption.  So globally people are consuming more alcohol, but in the United States consumption is declining. 

There’s a new term called ‘sobor curious’, which includes a large population that doesn’t necessarily have an issue with alcohol, but are waking up and are recognizing that maybe messages that big alcohol is telling us aren’t panning out to be true in real life. 

 

SHOW NOTES

[12:30] Tim, with a sobriety date of May 13, 2019, has 2 days sober.  After having this interview scheduled for about a week Tim emailed Paul to let him know that he had drank.  He felt like he might not be the ideal candidate to be on the podcast.  After reading the email, Paul let Tim know that he is exactly who he wants to have on the podcast.

[15:10] Paul introduces Tim. 

Tim is 36 years old and was born, and raised, in Boston Massachusetts.  He came from an Italian family that was in the construction industry.  In middle and high school, he developed a real passion for music.  He dedicated himself to hours and hours of voice, guitar and piano lessons, which led him into a career in ministry as a worship leader.  Tim got married at 19 and is still married to the same woman, they are about to celebrate 17 years and have 3 children.  His career in ministry is in the past and he is working as a project manager for a company that installs high end woodworking beams and bookshelves.  

[16:45] Give us a little background about your drinking.   

Tim started drinking at 15 and the first night he drank he got alcohol poisoning.  He spent that first night in the shower throwing up and blacking out.  He says he was never able to drink casually.  Getting married at the age of 19, to a woman that is a couple years older than him, meant that he had someone that could buy alcohol for him.  In his early 20s he was drinking about a 6-pack a day. 

At the age of 25 Tim attended his first AA meeting, just to see.  By this time, he was drinking 8-10 beers a day.  After listening to someone’s story at that meeting, he decided that he was not an alcoholic.  Tim says he went to a few more AA meetings throughout his 20s, but he continued to drink and started to mix it up with hard alcohol and found his favorite drink, Captain and Coke. 

As he moved through his 30’s, Tim and his wife started to have pretty regular arguments about his drinking.  Tim says he was looking for his wife to put her foot down and give him an ultimatum, but that wasn’t happening.  He tried to moderate, and that didn’t work.  He had some periods, 3 – 6 months, when he did not drink, but once he would consume alcohol again it would take about a week and he would be right back to daily drinking.

[21:30] In regards to those times of abstinence, what was it that brought you back to drinking?

Tim would tell himself that because he just went 3, or 6, months without drinking, that he must have control over it.  The thought of having a glass of wine with his wife, while they watch the sunset, would just seem nice.  That first drink always took him back to where he left off, in a matter of weeks.  

In his 30s Tim started hiding alcohol and lying about how much he was drinking.  He was always calculating how he was going to get that buzz. 

[23:46] Did you have a rock bottom moment when you knew you had a problem?

Tim had joked about being a black out drinker in his 20s, but it wasn’t until his 30’s that he discovered he was really blacking out.  He would drink and come to and realize that he had driven or would come to and not know where he was or who he was with.  When he was blacking out on a regular basis, he knew he had a problem. 

[25:20] What happens next? 

When Tim was 30, he had gotten a job offer from a huge church down in Atlanta.  It was like his life’s dream, so they moved down to Atlanta.  For the next 6 years Tim found himself counseling people about their drug and alcohol problems, while his drinking continued.  

When Tim was 34, he went to a psychiatrist who put him on Adderall, he then was mixing alcohol and Adderall.  He became addicted to the Adderall.    

[30:10] Recently you had 7 months sober and then relapsed 22 days ago, tell me about that.          

During those 7 months Tim was still taking Adderall and was smoking a THC vape pen.  Although he was not drinking during that time he was still dealing with depression and all that comes with being an addict. 

25 days ago, he relapsed, drank a lot, and crashed his truck.  It was then that he went back to AA, got a sponsor, and was ready to take it seriously. 

2 weeks ago, Tim’s father, who also struggled with alcoholism, but never admitted it, committed suicide.  Shortly after this Tim went to a bar, had 3 beers, left and called his sponsor. 

[37:30] You are on day 2, how are you feeling?

Tim says he feels great.  He has energy in the morning and is getting up early to pray.  He has been able to be honest with his boss, which has saved him from losing his job.  He explained to his boss that he could not stay late after work because he is now going to AA, and his boss has been very supportive.

[41:00] Do you know why you drank?

Tim says alcohol helped him feel his emotions, it allowed him to cry.  He wanted to ‘feel’ and alcohol did that for him. 

[43:50] What are you going to do when a craving hits?

Tim starts each morning in prayer or meditation.  He sets his day up and prepares for the cravings that he knows he will have.  He also has multiple sponsors and a network of people that he can contact when one is not available.  He listens to podcasts and also has people checking in on him.       

 [45:21] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

2 years ago, I made a big scene at a restaurant and embarrassed my wife and my friends.  I stacked a bunch of dishes and smashed them on the table, I drank way too much and had to get thrown out. 

  1. When was your ah ha moment?

It was something I heard on your podcast, someone said, “life isn’t happening to you, it’s happening for you”.  That concept was so incredibly mind-blowing to me. 

  1. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

To continue on knowing that if I am isolated, which is my nature, I will not succeed at this. 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Paul I’m not saying this to blow any smoke, but I listen to multiple podcasts, and for some reason yours has been my number 1. 

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have received?

Stop feeling so fucking sorry for yourself. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Don’t wait.  Not one more drink, it’s always one more drink, one more day…do it right this second because life it worth it. 

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

In the middle of the night, drunk, you are seeing fireworks in your rearview mirror only to discover you have driven the wheel off of your truck and the brake caliper and axel are scraping and shooting sparks 15 feet into the air.  

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Alcohol Use is Rising Around the World

 Americans Drank Less Alcohol in 2018

 

BetterHelp 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

Jun 10, 2019

Nick, with 101 days of sobriety, shares his story.

Paul is asking the listeners what they want to hear on the podcast.  Do you want more interviews with industry professionals, such as recovery coaches, authors, and wellness leaders?  Or do you like the podcast just the way it is with Paul interviewing sobriety badasses?  Leave a review on iTunes and let Paul know! 

On today’s podcast Paul shares that he was recently interviewed on a podcast called, Self Made and Sober by the host Andrew Lassise.  Andrew asked Paul what was the difference between his first 2 ½ years of sobriety and from September 7, 2014 on.  According to Paul, that was a fantastic question with an easy answer. 

The first 2 ½ years of sobriety was from January 1, 2010 through August 2012.  On 1/1/10 Paul made a declaration to go 30 days without alcohol.  When day 30 hit Paul was at a crossroads.  He had started to lose weight, feel good, his face was less puffy, life just got better.  So, he decided to go another month.  Going into month 3 the pink cloud showed up.  But during this 2 ½ years he had a mindset of lack.  A mindset that he was missing something, couldn’t do something.  And as with anything, when we approach a goal with a mindset of lack, with a mindset that we will be missing something, it is not going to last.  After 2 ½ years Paul went to his first AA meeting and walked away thinking “I got this.”.   2 days later he drank, picking up right where he had left off.  Those first 2 ½ years were based on willpower, which does not work. 

On September 7, 2014 something felt different.  He knew that he had to quit drinking.  But his mindset was different.  Paul wasn’t looking at giving up alcohol as a sacrifice, but rather that space was being created, and things (alcohol) were being cleared, for better things to come.  This time he wasn’t doing it out of fear, he was doing it because there was a light at the end of the tunnel, an opportunity.  That opportunity shows up every day.  Instead of having a mindset of lack Paul now has a mindset of opportunity. 

SHOW NOTES 

[18:40] Paul introduces Nick. 

Nick is 29 years old and has been sobor since January 25, 2019.  He says that that biggest lesson he has learned in recovery so far is personal acceptance.  Nick is from Saginaw, MI.  He says he is figuring out what he likes to do for fun, that right now everything is fun whereas when he was drinking nothing was fun.  He enjoys being around people, disk golf, hiking, and meditation.  He is divorced, a result of his addiction, but close to his family who live is Saginaw as well.  For work Nick is about to start a new position with an organization called Families Against Narcotics.   

[22:40] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

Nick started drinking and using at the age of 14.  From the first time he drank nick knew he wasn’t like other people.  He realized he didn’t have an off switch.  He says there was no slow progression in to alcoholism, that he was an addict the first time he took a drink.  Throughout college he was binge drinking up to 5 nights a week, but that didn’t seem like a problem to Nick because that was what everyone else was doing.  In 2012 his drinking and drugging amplified.  But he was still doing well in school, still holding a job, still doing everything that looked normal on the outside. 

[25:43] Sounds like there was some cognitive dissonance, tell us what that was like, how did that feel?

Nick said he felt powerless.  He felt out of control and the only way he felt better was more drinking.  There was a lot of rationalizing and minimalizing.  In July of 2014 Nick went into rehab for the first time.  In September 2014 his wife kicked him out.  He moved back home and was doing drugs and drinking every day.  On December 6, 2014 Nick overdosed.  That put him in the hospital for about 2 weeks, and they weren’t even sure he was going to make it.  He then went back to rehab and says that’s when there was a shift in his mindset.  He finally accepted that he wasn’t in control and that his life was unmanageable.  He entered into a 3-month inpatient rehab; the same one his brother was at. 

[28:18] What did it feel like when you had that mind shift?

Nick said it was a huge relief, that it felt like he could let go and let God take over. 

[31:15] Tell us what it was like being in rehab with your brother. 

They were both there for 3 months but they kept them apart for the first month.  After that they started to have some overlap with their programs.  Nick said he had the mind shift but that his brother did not.  On the plane ride home from rehab his brother purchased a beer.  This made Nick angry and he told his brother that.  His brother minimalized it. 

[33:30] Take us from getting out of rehab in the beginning of 2015 to your sobriety date the beginning of 2019.        

Nick has been active in recovery since getting out of rehab.  He has had slip ups and relapses, never with the hard drugs, just with alcohol.  The last time he drank was January 24, 2019. 

[37:10] Talk to us about some of these slip ups.         

It got to the point that drinking wasn’t fun anymore.  Every time he would drink there was a lesson he would learn.  The biggest lesson he learned from the slip ups was that alcohol was going to hold him back, just like the drugs would, and that he needed to be totally sobor to reach his fullest potential. 

[40:35] Tell us more about the moment when you told your friends you were no longer drinking, and how it was after that. 

The first few weeks his friends went out of their way to make him comfortable.  What he had expected, that there would be problem or a change, was not the case at all.  His friends stopped drinking around him at first, and things got easier fairly quickly. 

[42:30] Why do you think you drank and used?      

He thinks it was because he had a false narrative of who he really was.  Alcohol helped numb it and made it easier to swallow that he wasn’t living his purpose.  He also had a lot of emotional trauma growing up and he thinks that played a part. 

[45:15] In the past 101 days have you experienced cravings and what tools have you used to get past them?

 

For Nick a craving is just a thought and it is all about changing that thought process.  The cravings have been a lot milder than they were with the drugs.  When he has a craving now, and is alone, he yells ‘STOP’, if he is with someone he thinks ‘STOP’ in his head. 

 

[47:50] Tell us more about the Open Discussion, OD Movement, website. 

 

After his grandmother’s passing in 2018 Nick wanted to do something to proactively try and address addiction.  So, he created the Open Discussion Movement website, https://odmovement.com/   The OD Movement’s mission is to change the dialogue around addiction.  You can find the OD Movement podcast by searching for it on most podcast platforms.  

 

[56:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

Driving drunk and wrecking my car and waking up in the psyche ward. 

  1. When was your oh shit moment?

When I woke up in the ICU after my overdose in 2014. 

  1. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

My plan is to continue building the OD Movement and just continue doing the next right thing. 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

The Meeting Finder app on my phone, I love that I can go to a meeting at any time. 

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have received?

You’re exactly where you need to be. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

It gets better.  You have no idea how great life can be until you live a life free from the clutches of drugs and alcohol. 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

You wake up in the hospital and say, “man I shouldn’t have done that last night.”. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Green Chef

For a total of $75 off, that’s $25 off each of your first 3 boxes, go to www.greenchef.us/elevator75 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

Jun 3, 2019

Gerald, with a sobriety date of November 16, 2015, shares his story.

Registration for the RE Asia Adventure is now open!  You can register and get more information about this event here

On a recent Café’ RE webinar, our host Odette, who is a sobriety warrior, brought a fantastic topic to the webinar.  The Cherokee parable titled Two Wolves.  It is about an old Cherokee teaching his grandson about life.  He tells the grandson that he has a fight going on inside him between two wolves.  One is evil, the other is good. 

The grandson thought for a moment and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”  The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.” 

This same fight is going on inside all of us.  But we should refrain from labeling our wolves ‘evil’ and ‘good’, because they are both equally important.  We tend to feed our ‘evil’ wolf more, because it’s source of energy doesn’t require much action.  When this wolf gets thirsty, we feed it alcohol.  The ‘good’ wolf takes more effort and energy to feed, it craves sobriety. 

Because both wolves are equally important, we cannot ignore the ‘evil’ one, we must acknowledge it and that will keep it happy.  When we ignore one, we become unbalanced.       

SHOW NOTES

[13:00] Paul introduces Gerald. 

Gerald is 50 years old and lives in Boulder, CO with his family.  He was born and raised in Connecticut, where he went to a private school and private college.  Skiing and biking are Gerald’s passions.    

[15:50] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

Gerald started drinking when he was in high school.  Through high school and college his drinking was only an occasional/weekend thing.  After moving to Boulder, he cut back on his drinking because he was staying active biking and training for triathlons. 

At the age of 30 he decided he wanted to go to culinary school and stopped exercising and started eating, and his drinking picked up.  He gained 40 pounds.  In 2011 he decided he wanted to lose the weight, so he got back on his bike, cut back on his drinking, and in 8 months lost the 40 he had gained. 

When he was 43 Gerald lost his job and the decrease in income forced him and his family to move in with his in-laws.  While he appreciated what his in-laws were doing for him and his family, he says it really started to take its toll on him and the way he felt as a man.  This is when his drinking really started to progress. 

[19:11] What happened after that?

In April of 2015 he lost another job.  The pattern was starting to solidify.  This was also when he really started to get into personal development. 

[20:20] Did you start to see the role that alcohol was playing in your life? 

Gerald said only looking backwards.  He didn’t see it at the time.  He thought he drank the same as all his friends, and that nobody ever pulled him aside or suggested he had a drinking problem.  He did stop drinking for 3 weeks and nobody seemed to notice, so he went back to his normal and kept on drinking. 

[21:55] What happened on November 16, 2015?         

Gerald was on his way home from his job at a brewery and was invited to a going away party for someone from work.  After grabbing alcohol from work, and drinking even more from the party, he got behind the wheel, took a turn and hit the curb hard enough to employ his side airbag…right in front of a cop.  He got a DUI. 

[23:00] Was this your rock bottom moment?       

Gerald says it was the moment that he knew he had to change something.  He got kicked out of his in-law’s house that night and lost his job a few days later.  He found himself starting at ground zero again. 

[28:45] What was day 1 like? 

On day 1 Gerald kept an appointment with his blog coach, which he had made prior to his DUI.  He says that appointment was transformational.  It helped him begin to understand that he had a different purpose.  Instead of doing what he just wanted to do he was trying to create something of value.  Providing more value to people made the biggest difference in his life. 

[30:56] Walk us through that first week, that first month.    

Connection with his family made the biggest difference, and understanding that he was moving away from something while moving towards something else.  Instead of trying to avoid drinking he started looking forward to other things like creating content and spending time with his kids. 

**Gerald wrote a book titled, My Morning Practice: How to Put Down the Bottle, Escape Mediocrity, and Master Your Morning Mindset** 

[35:15] Talk to us about how changing one little habit in the morning can make a tremendous change in your life. 

Gerald starting noticing that most of the most successful people on the planet all had a morning routine.  A lot of those routines included exercise.  Gerald decided to write 10 ideas down every morning.  About a month later he heard about a bike challenge so he adding biking to his mornings.  He continued to add things to his routine.  This routine gave Gerald the time and the space to really think about what is important to him. 

[40:00] Walk us through a good morning routine for listeners that are new in sobriety. 

First thing is to cut back time from what you are doing in the evening, less TV for example, so you can get to bed a little earlier and wake up a little earlier.  Then take it a bite sized piece at a time, adding only one thing at a time and being consistent with that one thing before adding more. 

[47:08] What have you learned about yourself in sobriety?

He’s learned that he has a growth mindset and if there’s a skill out there that he wants to learn he can accomplish it. 

[48:00] Where can we find you and your book?

You can find his book on Amazon right here.  You can find Gerald himself through his email, gerald@geraldrhodes.com , or his website,  https://www.geraldrhodes.com/ .

[48:30] Rapid Fire Round

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

My son’ 8th birthday, my ex-wife and I got into this huge fight, it was a mess and it was all because I was drunk. 

  1. When was your ah-ha moment?

I was watching a video by Bob Proctor and the message he gave led to my big ah-ha moment. 

  1. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

My morning practice, it has served me very well.   

  1. Apart from your morning routine, what’s your favorite resource in recovery?

A book by Gary John Bishop called Unfu*k Yourself and listening to books on Audible. 

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have received?

That I am a miracle. 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

Take a few minutes every day to do something that you love and to think about what’s most important to you. 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

You take home white wine spritzers in a to go cup.  

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Betterhelp 
Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. For (podcast name) listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

May 27, 2019

Alex, with 63 days of sobriety, shares his story.

 

On today’s podcast Paul talks about what researchers, that studied the drinking habits of people that work with the public, discovered.  They found that employees that forced themselves to smile and be happy around customers were more at risk to heavier drinking after work.  Because of this, employers may want to rethink their ‘service with a smile’ policies. 

 

Employees that work with the public may be using a lot of self-control, so later these employees may not have enough self-control to regulate how much they drink.  Faking, or suppressing emotions, is called surface acting, which is also linked with drinking after work.  Overall it was found that employees that interacted with the public drank more after work than those who did not.

 

Try not to suppress your emotions.  Emotions are just that, emotions.  They are not good or bad.  It’s okay to be authentic in the work place.  The best way to be authentic is with eye contact.  Authenticity replaces positivity. 

   

SHOW NOTES

 

[13:45] Paul introduces Alex. 

 

Alex is 34 years old.  He lives in Sandy, UT, where he was born and raised.  He is married and has a 3-year-old son.  He works in information technology and is a captain in the Army National Guard.  For fun Alex likes anything outdoors.  He enjoys skiing, camping, glamping and also plays the guitar and drums. 

  

[16:20] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Alex joined the military and started drinking at age 21.  He describes his drinking as like a frog in a slow boil.  Around age 30 drinking really started to affect his health.  His hangovers were getting worse.  He was having unexplained pains where his liver was located and experiencing a shortness of breath. 

 

[20:45] What was your anxiety like?

 

He was worried about things a normal person wouldn’t be worried about.  In October 2017 he went to his doctor and was finally honest about his anxiety and depression…but not with his drinking. In January of 2018 he decided to do a dry January so hit the booze hard leading up to it. 

 

[25:45] What was it like on January 1st? 

 

At day 15 Alex found the podcast and started binge listening to it.  He realized he was like the people on the podcast, that he was an alcoholic.  At day 32, after making it through ‘dry January’ he drank.  That started a 2-week bender. 

 

[30:56] During that 2-week bender did you try to stop?        

 

He got a case of the ‘fuck-its’ and that 2-week bender was just everyday hammering the alcohol.  He then just realized that he wasn’t being the person he wanted to be. 

 

[32:40] Talk to us about after you had that moment of clarity.       

 

The most important thing for Alex was being very honest with himself about the fact he is an alcoholic and needs to stay away from alcohol.  He made an appointment with his doctor and told him about his drinking.  His doctor referred him to therapy. 

 

[37:37] How are you going to get day 64?

 

He says he needs to keep busy.  He goes to a climbing gym.  He drinks sparkling water if he feels like he needs something in his hand. 

 

[39:42] What have you learned about yourself during this alcohol-free journey? 

    

He’s returning to who he wants to be.  Most importantly he’s learned how to be honest with himself.      

 

[44:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

 

All the times I made my wife feel like shit. 

 

  1. Do you remember a specific ‘oh-shit’ moment?

 

A year after my son was born, I was having suicidal thoughts. 

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

 

Definitely this podcast. 

 

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

To think about the positives instead of the negatives. 

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

Know that you are lying to yourself and start being honest with yourself. 

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You count the half 16oz. flat warm 9% beer from the night before as inventory for tonight’s alcohol intake. 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Thank you to today’s sponsor Betterhelp 

Visit betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR and join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. For (podcast name) listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR

 

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

May 20, 2019

Ryan, with 90 days of sobriety, shares his story.

 

On today’s podcast Paul talks about the 3 major players when it comes to sobriety.  The players are; the mind, the body, and the breath.  Paul likes to call this the 20/40/40 rule, because that is how we should allocate the importance to these 3 major players.  

 

The mind (20%) should be used as a radar to scan the body, do not try and use the mind to solve addiction.  The body (40%) never lies, it is your unconscious mind.  The breath (40%) is like your fighter jet.  Once your mind has located where on your body your energetic mass has accumulated get in your fighter jet (the breath) and start building circuits in this area. 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:15] Paul introduces Ryan. 

 

Ryan lives in Sacramento, Ca.  He works in sales for a large software company.  He is 35 years old and got married last year.  For fun Ryan likes anything outdoors.  He enjoys snowboarding, hiking, running, and he is currently training for a half marathon.  Ryan says he is an extrovert and gets a lot of energy hanging out and talking with people and friends.

 

[14:20] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Ryan had his first drink at 14 years old.  Throughout high school he played a lot of sports and only drank on the weekends.  His drinking ramped up in college.  He joined a fraternity and was always the guy that you could count on to do crazy things.  Looking back, he can see that his drinking ramped up in college and it never stopped once he was out of college.

 

Even though he would go periods when drinking didn’t seem to be a problem, he would then be back to blacking out again and drinking like he was in college.  

 

 

[16:30] When did you start to realize that alcohol was a problem?

 

Ryan says that is tricky, because even though he would wake up and not remember things from the night before his friends were doing the same thing, and they’d be making jokes about it. 

 

But when he was 21, he woke in the hospital and they told him he had a .39 blood alcohol level (BAC).  Someone had called an ambulance.  He says that that was probably not the only time his BAC had been that high.  He felt the problem was the fact that he was blacking out, and that is what he tried to address, which is why he continued to drink for the next 10-15 years. 

 

 

[18:25] In your 20s was there a specific moment that you tried to take action in regards to your drinking?

 

Ryan says no.  He felt he was in his 20s and he was having fun.  He was still functioning and finding success in his career.  He did try putting some rules on his drinking but says he never really wanted to stop drinking during his 20s, he just wanted to stop blacking out.   

 

[19:30] When did you realize that to stop blacking out wasn’t an option, but that you had to address the alcohol.        

 

Ryan says he doesn’t really feel he ever had quitting on the table until 90 days ago.  He took breaks, but never with the intention of quitting.  Even after being diagnosed with type I diabetes at the age of 29 he didn’t think he should stop drinking, instead his thoughts were, “will I be able to drink again?”. 

 

[23:20] What happened 90 days ago?     

 

More than anything Ryan says he was just sick and tired of being sick and tired.  He also says his wife played a big role in it.  After a work trip to Vegas and blacking out, losing his phone and credit card, and his wife not being able to get a hold of him he realized just how scared she was when he got home.  Scared that something really bad could have happened to him.   He knew then he had to stop drinking. 

 

[28:15] What was the first week, the first month, after Vegas like?

 

He felt empowered and knew he was going to do it.  He wasn’t sure how he was going to do it, was definitely scared, but knew he was going to do it.  First and foremost, his wife said that she would quit with him.  He started reading books about alcohol/alcoholism.  He started looking at all the opportunities that giving up alcohol would bring. 

 

[33:07] What are some of the big things you’ve learned in the last 90 days without alcohol? 

    

He’s learned to be more present and more mindful.    

 

[36:20] Do you know why you drank?

 

He feels it had to do with his ego and a sense of identification.  Growing up he identified himself as an athlete, in college he could no longer truly do that.  College was the first time he was away from his twin brother so he was building his own identity.  He became the fun, social, crazy guy and he thinks that was his why. 

 

[39:00] What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

 

Ryan doesn’t have a bucket list, or a list of things he wants to get done.  He is just taking action in the moment when he wants to do something. 

 

[39:38] Is there anything you would have done differently while getting sober?

 

He would have done it sooner. 

 

[39:46] What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve encountered in the last 90 days? 

 

He says it’s been the anxiety leading up to, and before, telling people about his sobriety. 

 

[41:30] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

 

There’s no worst, there’s just lots of really bad memories.  From being in the drunk tank, to the hospital, to passing out in random places. 

 

  1. Do you remember a specific ‘oh-shit’ moment?

 

When I went to the hospital my senior year with that .39 BAC.

 

  1. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

I don’t have a true plan; I think that’s part of the plan.  It’s not that I’m focused on just being sober.  I’m focused on being the best version of myself and that just happens to include sobriety.    

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

 

Honestly, this podcast and my wife. 

 

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

Don’t let the past dictate your future. 

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

Stop worrying about if you’re an alcoholic or not, who cares about the labels?  Ask yourself, does drinking cause you problems in any part of your life?  And if so, then it’s a problem and you can fix that problem by not drinking. 

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You refuse to listen to someone’s story about sobriety because you don’t actually want to stop drinking alcohol, you just want all the problems from drinking alcohol to magically go away. 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

 

Babbel

This episode is brought to you by the language learning app Babbel and right now, my listeners can try Babbel for free

 

 

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

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

May 13, 2019

Liz, with a sobriety date of July 8, 2017, shares her story.

 

Workshops for the Bozeman, MT, retreat in August are lined up!  There are still a few spots left!  You can find more information about this event here

 

On today’s podcast Paul talks about a common misconception people have as they move forward in a life without alcohol.  That misconception is that when we get sober, we will finally find out who we really are.  But that isn’t how it works.  We do get to that point, but first we must find out who we aren’t.  

 

During this phase; people, places, things, ideas, thought patterns, identities, that are no longer in line with your new direction in life will start to fade away.  Just allow this process to happen.   Recovery is all about action, but this is a process of inaction.  This is a recurring process. 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:05] Paul introduces Liz. 

 

Liz is 29 years old and is originally from Indiana but is now living in Frankfurt, Illinois.  She is a licensed, board certified, acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist.  She is married.  For fun she enjoys working out, hiking, yoga, reading, going to concerts, and she is a big foodie. 

 

[11:00] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Liz started drinking when she was about 12 or 13 years old.  She was an only child and grew up in an abusive household, with addict parents (who are still active in their addictions).  She was sexually abused by her father and his friends between the ages of 8-10.  All of this trauma laid dormant until Liz was 21 years old. 

 

Liz’s father would give her drugs and alcohol whenever she would ask, she believes it was his way of keeping her numb, so that she would never speak up.  Her house was the party house in high school, and even middle school. 

Liz dated an ecstasy dealer, which led her into an ecstasy addiction and an overdose.  At the age of 20 she went to jail for underage drinking.  She moved to Chicago when she was 21.  She was working and going to school full time, and drinking. 

 

[16:55] You are the first person interviewed that has said they always knew they had a drinking problem, please explain.

 

She knew that when she started drinking at 12/13 years old that she was drinking to cover something up.  It was always a numbing agent for Liz, never a feel-good agent.  It was just the way I coped with everything.  Knowing she needed help she found an addictions counselor in Chicago.  Within the first session the counselor was telling her she was an alcoholic and addict, needed AA and to enter inpatient treatment. 

 

She continued to go to therapy, but did not enter into inpatient.  It was during this time that the sexual abuse from her childhood started to surface and her drinking and drugging intensified. 

 

[20:24] What was it like when these memories started to bubble up? 

 

Liz says this is when the downward spiral of her addiction really started to intensify.  She was still going to work and school, but was blacking out nightly.  If she didn’t go to bed drunk, she would have vivid night terrors. 

 

[22:23] Tell us about what it was like when you were meeting with the hypnotherapist.      

 

She assessed Liz, told her she needed AA and to stop drinking and basically told her she was not willing to work with her unless she stopped drinking.  Liz told her she was unwilling to stop drinking and insisted on the therapy.  The therapist agreed to proceed although she told her she may not get much out of it due to her alcohol consumption.  Liz showed up for every appointment, about twice a week for 6 months.  It was the most intense therapy Liz has ever gone through.  She relived the trauma and was able to heal from it. 

 

 

[24:45] What happened next?     

 

She continued to see the therapist, continued to drink, and she finished school.  Once she was done with school she moved to Illinois.  Her drinking//drugging slowed to the weekends, although she was still blacking out and her weekends were spent hungover.  She tried moderating.  She started breaking out in hives when she would drink.  It did not matter what she drank, or how much.  One drink would lead to hives from head to toe.  So, she started taking Claritin before she drank, so she could continue drinking without the hives.  Her hangovers started to get worse and last longer. 

 

She got engaged in 12/2015 and married in 8/2017.  July of 2017 was her bachelorette party weekend, and July 8, 2017 is her sobriety date. 

 

[31:16] What was it like in early sobriety?

 

She remembers being really scared to go anywhere, not wanting to explain anything to anyone.  Feelings were new to her and made her nervous.  She continued with her therapy during the first year of sobriety.  She did AA for about 6 months.  

 

[35:00] Talk to us about how acupuncture can be helpful in sobriety. 

    

Acupuncture can help release endorphins, increase serotonin levels, help get people off of anxiety meds, and help with overall cravings. 

 

[37:25] How has your life changed in sobriety?

 

She finally feels content, no longer feels restless. 

 

[40:10] What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

 

Liz wants to travel; Australia and New Zealand are next on her list.  She would also like to find a good yoga retreat to attend.  She wants to help others and to be more open about her sobriety. 

  

[42:19] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. Worst memory from drinking?

 

Ending up in the hospital in Memphis for alcohol poisoning, also waking up and not having memories.   

 

  1. Do you remember a specific ‘oh-shit’ moment?

 

When she couldn’t make it through a whole day of class without going across the street to the bar.  Waking up without a phone or wallet.  Getting arrested for underage drinking. 

 

  1. What’s your plan moving forward?

 

Being more open about my sobriety and using my acupuncture background to help other addicts.  Really being part of a good sober community. 

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

 

This podcast and hypnotherapy as well. 

 

  1. In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

You are not defined by your past traumas.  Drinking is not going to fix anything. 

 

  1. The best parting piece of advice you can give the listeners.

 

Work on your shit. 

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if...

 

Alcohol gives you hives, but you take a Claritin and drink anyways. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by Care/Of. For 25% off your first month of personalized Care/of vitamins, go to TakeCareOf.com and enter the promo code ELEVATOR

 

Babbel
This episode is brought to you by the language learning app Babbel and right now, my listeners can try Babbel for free.

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

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