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Recovery Elevator

It isn't a NO to alcohol, but a YES to a better life! Best selling author Paul Churchill, along with Kristopher Oyen interview people who have stepped away from alcohol in their own lives. Each week this podcast does a deep dive into an exploration of what a booze free life might look like from various perspectives and opinions.  If you are sick and tired of alcohol making you sick and tired, we invite you to listen to Recovery Elevator. Check out what an alcohol free life can look like as others share their own stories of sobriety. If you are sober curious, newly sober, supporting a loved one or living your best life already in recovery, then you are in the right place. This podcast addresses what to do if you’re addicted to alcohol, or if you think you’re an alcoholic. Other topics include, does moderate drinking work, does addiction serve a purpose, what happens to the brain when we quit drinking, should you track sobriety time, is A.A. right for you, spirituality, and more. Similar to other recovery podcasts like This Naked Mind, the Shair Podcast, and the Recovered Podcast, Paul and Kris discuss a topic and then interview someone who has ditched the booze.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Mar 20, 2017

Mitchell, with 30 days since his last drink, shares his story

How to quit drinking

  1. Do not drink. Replace the beverage in your hand with a Popsicle or a ginger beer
  2. Watch the movie Leaving Las Vegas and then watch it again
  3. Listen to every Third Eye Blind Song ever written
  4. Do not watch the movie Beer Fest
  5. Go to 90 meetings in 90 days
  6. Get a sponsor or an accountability partner
  7. Think about joining Café RE www.recoveryelevator.com/cafere
  8. Have you ever asked yourself, “Do I have a drinking problem?” Well think no more because that’s your answer
  9. Remember that alcohol is pure shit
  10. Affirmations - your unconscious mind is way ahead of you when it comes to viewing alcohol ads and advertisements. You constantly need to affirm to yourself that you will not be drinking.
  11. Change everything: where you get your haircut, the color of your walls, and probably most of the friends you hang out with.
  12. Tell the people closest to you that you will no longer be drinking.
  13. Create accountability = the most important thing on this list.
  14. You cannot quit drinking with willpower because willpower is finite and exhaustible. You might last a week or a month or a year, but eventually you will drink again.
  15. Find a higher power. This higher power could literally be a pigeon sitting on a power cable.
  16. I hate to break it to you, but you cannot do this alone. You are going to need a community of like- minded individuals. Whether this community is online, in person or your next-door neighbor, you are going to have to connect with other like-minded individuals.
  17. Did I mention that alcohol is shit?
  18. If you are just starting this journey, you do not know any answers yet. Please put the cotton in your mouth and start listening.
  19. If you ever say the words to yourself “I think I got this” you’re f@#$%@. Those are the three most dangerous words an alcoholic can say.
  20. Always give yourself an exit strategy. Drive your own car, scooter, skate board or hover board. It is right around that time when your friends start getting tipsy that the danger zone approaches and I’m not talking about the Top Gun soundtrack.
  21. Look at yourself in the mirror. What do you see? Do you like it? Do you want to change what you see?
  22. Ask yourself if you are reaching your full potential in life. Most likely if you are drinking that answer is no. Your dead relatives would not be proud.
  23. If you were thinking about quitting drinking for someone else, you’re f@#$%! You have to quit drinking for yourself.
  24. Do not beat yourself up. In fact, tell yourself that you are a rock star. Sure you might be an average guitar player who will never tour with Aerosmith, but you are worth it, you are damn worth it.
  25. You may find yourself quite bored without alcohol which is why you need to pick up new hobbies such as yoga, jogging, archery, or stamp collecting. Stamp collecting to me sounds extremely boring but you get point.
  26. You need to get outside of your mind and fast. The best way to do this is to help others. For example: Mrs. Jones's lawn across the street is in desperate need of care. That could be the perfect job for you.
  27. If you think you’ve hit rock bottom, unfortunately I’ve got bad news for you. Every bottom has a trapdoor that can lead to much greater pain and suffering.  The good news is that when you do reach a bottom there is something called a conduit. That is when your higher power is there to help you get sober.  Do not put too much emphasis on what this higher power is.  It could be the pigeon on the powerline or it could be the wind bristling between the pine trees.
  28. Educate yourself. Knowledge is useless unless you do something with it. There are a tremendous amount of great podcasts out there about recovery.
  29. Read books preferably not while drinking. “This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace is one of my favorite books. Also a book called “Beyond the Influence” by Katherine Ketchum is fantastic.
  30. If you think you are alone in your drinking, you are dead wrong. There are millions struggling with alcohol and if you connect with some of them you will find that what you have in common is incredible.
  31. Start to develop a recovery portfolio. Jam pack this recovery portfolio full of books, a list of contacts, AA meeting schedules, etc.
  32. Get out of your comfort zone. I can tell you with 100% certainty that sobriety is not located inside of your comfort zone. Friends that try to convince you that sobriety is located inside your comfort zone are not your friends.
  33. La Croix soda water is your best friend.
  34. Do not beat yourself up because alcohol has done a good job of doing just that.
  35. Get up. Get up again. Get up again. Then get up 15 more times. Eventually this will stick and booze will be something of the past.
  36. Start writing a journal. Start writing about what you’re thankful for. Start writing about what your goals are in life and if your current path is leading you to those goals.
  37. Alcoholics Anonymous. Get outside your comfort zone and go to a meeting. Stop making excuses. No wimps allowed!
  38. The stigma is total BS. In 1956 the American Medical Association classified alcoholism and addiction as a disease. Why we are still talking about this today is a mystery.
  39. Come out of the closet as somebody with a drinking problem. I can guarantee you with 100% satisfaction that more good than harm will be the result.
  40. Keep in mind that alcohol is ethanol with a couple of additives added to it to make it palatable. Alcohol in its purest form tastes like raccoon piss.
  41. Tell yourself that alcohol doesn’t actually help you relax. What it’s doing is slowing down your brain faculties. You are literally thinking slower when drinking alcohol.
  42. Watch the show “The Anonymous People” on Netflix. This is a very powerful documentary.
  43. For one week straight write down any triggers that make you drink alcohol. This is 7 straight days of putting pen to paper.
  44. Acceptance is your best friend. It doesn’t matter if you have been sober for a week or you are drinking while listening to this podcast, you must accept the current circumstances that you are in and find a way to be content in them.
  45. There is no chance of getting sober if you are not honest with yourself and others.
  46. Do not turn recovery into a game of leap frog. You cannot skip the steps to getting sober, but you can speed up the process.
  47. On a piece of paper, write down all of the people that you hold resentments towards. In another column write how you are a part of the problem.  Read this to a trusted companion and get ready for major light bulbs to illuminate.
  48. This might seem contradictory to some since the word anonymous is in the word Alcoholics Anonymous, but being silent about your drinking problem only does you harm. You need to tell your loved ones, your friends, your family and any other people you care about in regards to your goal to stay sober
  49. Develop a network of people who also share the same common goal to not drink. I’m not talking about Mr. Rogers on the television.
  50. Alcohol kills more than any other drugs combined – that’s 3 million people each year!

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 16:57 ] Paul Introduces Mitchell

 

Mitchell – I have 1 month of sober time and I feel great.  I am originally from Michigan, 31 years old and am the lead pastor of my parish.  I am married with a 3 year old boy.  I enjoy playing music, the outdoors and anything Disney!

 

[ 20:00 ] When did you realize that you did not drink normally?

 

Mitchell – I was 22 years old when I had my first drink.  I drank through college but stopped for 7 years when I started my pastor role.  I started drinking again to alleviate anxiety and depression.  When I took an actual inventory of my drinking, I found that I was drinking every day.  I never took a day off.  

 

[ 22:49 ]  Is there any history of alcoholism in your family?

 

Mitchell – It is not talked about much but I am sure it is there.

 

[ 23:00 ] Paul and Mitchell discuss the 7 years he did not drink.

 

Mitchell – I really did not think about it much at the time.  I was busy building my parish.  Before I knew it, I was drinking on Fridays and then every day again.

 

[ 23:49 ] Did you ever put any rules in place to moderate your drinking?

 

Mitchell – Rules never worked for me.  Something situational always came up that gave me the excuse to drink.  Alcohol was my “go to” tool.

 

[ 24:26 ] Did you have a rock bottom?

 

Mitchell – I didn’t have a severe rock bottom but I would try and a break from drinking.  I had to keep drinking more and more in order to get the same effect.  The drinking would cause me to make unhealthy choices like eating everything in sight.  

 

[ 26:00 ] How important has your HP been for you?

 

Mitchell – God gives me hope.  My relationships with others, being a lead pastor, and my relationship with God can be just as stressful as it is helpful.  Alcohol was my escape from thinking about God, even as I served him.

 

[ 27:10 ] Have you ever felt let down by God?

 

Mitchell – It was very challenging leading new community and I would look forward to those drinks at night. 

 

[ 28:05 ] How did you get sober?

 

Mitchell – I signed up for the RE group on Facebook.  This took some initiative.  I also went on a diet and this reduced my cravings significantly.  I love being helpful to others and surrounding myself with people who “get it.”

 

[ 31:42 ] Have you had any withdrawals?

 

Mitchell – nothing really physical, but I have been edgy and irritable.

 

[ 33:04 ] How are you living life on life terms?

 

Mitchell – It is OK for life to be nuts.  You do not have to escape it. You are strong enough to deal with things that come your way.

 

[ 34:06 ] How is the best way to pray?

 

Mitchell – You need to be confident in your God.  Just talk openly and honestly to him like you would do with a friend.

 

[ 35:00 ] What advice would you give to your younger self?

 

Mitchell – Do not take that first drink.  Alcohol is addictive to everyone.  It is not safe.

 

[ 37:28 ] How has your relationships changed?

 

Mitchell – I am more present for my wife and child.  I enjoy being in the moment instead of rushing through things in order to get back to my drinking.

 

[ 38:07 ] Tell me about a day in the life of Mitchell?

 

Mitchell – I will continue to reach out to others. I also do a lot of reading in order to consistently remind myself of what alcohol did to me.

 

[ 39:03 ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? my son found an empty beer can and was bopping the family dog with it
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I was on vacation and took a good look at myself in the mirror.  I looked like I was pregnant, my belly was so swollen
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? staying accountable and feeding myself with knowledge
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? you have to do the work, “you don’t got this”
  5. What are your thoughts on relapse? Don’t beat yourself up.  Keep going.
  6. What has been your proudest moment in sobriety? making it this far
  7. You might be an alcoholic if…. you have a beer bottle opener that looks like a fake handcuff in your car

 

                  *****You are the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most****

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

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