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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
Oct 17, 2016

Kenny has been sober for 1 & 1/2 years... This is his tale...

Support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link:
www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/
This episode was brought to you by Cafe RE and get your daily AA email here!

 

SHOW NOTES

Why did alcohol stop working for me? (***Spoiler Alert*** If it still works for you, IT WILL STOP working.) I needed more and more of it to fill the same effects, a.k.a. the pleasure… We know that alcohol increases cravings in the brain by releasing dopamine… But, dopamine is actually the LEARNING chemical in the brain. Thus, it teaches us where to find pleasure… After we have found pleasure, i.e. tipping a bottle back over and over again, the body will eventually turn down alcohol to protect itself. Our brain is a beautiful system that has kept us alive for millions of years… How does it do this? The brain produces another chemical, which turns down the stimulation. I’ve learned that I have enhanced dopamine receptors. Now, if we lived in the age of saber-toothed tigers and always having to fight for our food, this would have kept me alive, however, not now and no longer! Over time, I needed more and more alcohol to get to the point of stimulation, of pleasure, I even needed it just to feel normal… This is an evolutionary mechanism built inside of us. However, the pleasure that we should be seeking is food, water, shelter, and Cinnamon Pop-Tarts! Not alcohol!!!

[ 06:18 ] Paul Introduces Kenny.

Kenny has been sober since April 3rd, 2015, about one and a half years. Kenny is 27 and grew up in a small farm town in California. He spent some time in Riverside, CA before moving to Montana to attend grad school. He is a PhD student, studying statistics. Kenny loves to work on his truck, build bikes and computers and wander around in nature, getting lost in the wilderness.

[ 07:30 ] Talk to us about your Elevator. What led up to your desire to stop drinking?

“It was a long, slow descent with a lot of bumps towards the bottom.” Kenny’s roommates started to notice and comment on his drinking habits. “Last March I missed classes because I was too drunk to get to class, this had never happened before… I had a BIG eye-opening experience and realized that this wasn’t just about me. I had to take responsibility.”

[ 10:02 ] How much did you drink? Did you ever try to put rules in place?

“It started when I was 21… I realized that it kind of helped me get my Math homework done. I’d have a gin and tonic or two, nightly or whenever I needed to get stuff done and then from there I was drinking like half a ⅕ of brandy in one afternoon.” This gradually progressed to being hungover or still drunk the next morning. Eventually Kenny was blacking out and waking up on a strange couch… “I came up with some schemes. I was supposed to call my best friend to stay accountable, which just led me to lying to her about how much I was drinking, which made me feel worse. My next scheme was that I got a little notebook, thinking that I could be accountable to myself and do it on my own…” This turned into Kenny tearing himself down and feeling guilty.

[ 15:33 ] Kenny talks more about his Elevator...

“I started talking to my new roommate who’s father had turned his life around after connecting with AA. She suggested that I give him a call, which I did. He completely understood the craving and how when I drank it was just never enough…”

[ 17:05 ] Kenny discusses “that feeling in your head.”

[ 18:08 ] What was it like when you quit drinking?

Kenny checked out a few AA meetings after talking to his roommate’s Dad… It took a couple times before he was ready to change his life. Sometime around April 3rd, 2015, there was a party… Kenny went to it having decided that he would try to drink just one drink and then go home. Kenny nursed that one drink for 1 ½ hours and was so proud that he took the opportunity to do shots with a buddy, waking up the next morning on a couch and not remembering anything from the night before… That next morning Kenny decided to give AA a shot.

[ 21:15 ] Kenny talks about his first experience at an AA meeting...

[ 22:00 ] Walk us through a typical day and how you stay sober.

“I usually get up at 4:00 or 4:30 am, I realized I’m a morning person! I make a nice big breakfast, take a shower and then head to school. I ride my bike and get to see the sun come up… In the evenings I try to meditate for 15 minutes or so and play my guitar.” Kenny has been working on mindfulness, trying to clear and calm his mind, becoming more aware of what’s going on inside his body. “I just close my eyes and focus my breath, just acknowledging what kind of breath I’m taking, just trying to pay attention to what’s going on inside.”

 

[ 35:17 ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? “When I was visiting my mom for Christmas and I got a call from my housemates saying that they couldn’t put up with my drinking any longer and that I needed to find a new place…”
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “That morning that I realized I was still drunk and didn’t make it to class, not only letting myself down but other students as well…”
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? “Keep doing what I’ve been doing, fitting in a meeting or two on the weekends and staying involved…”
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “Just don’t drink.”
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “Go connect with someone. Find someone else who has struggled with drinking and get to know them.”

 

“You Might be an Alcoholic If…”

“You’ve almost fallen in a campfire and didn’t know about it until the next morning when your friends tell you about it!”

Paul’s Life Hack:

Making decisions whether big or small is tough, so just eliminate a lot of the small decisions… Examples of stressful small decisions: “Should I drink tonight?” “How many drinks?” “What liquor store do I go to now?” “How do I sneak booze into the movie theater?” “How do I control my f****** drinking?” I no longer have to struggle over these small decisions because “I DON’T DRINK.” Make this one decision and the others are no longer relevant.

 

Resources mentioned in RE 87:

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www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

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  • First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Sobriety Tracker

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

Dr. Wolfram Schultz 

Dr. Daniel J. Levitin

Pop-Tarts Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Toaster Pastries

 

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

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

Support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link:

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

This episode was brought to you by Cafe RE and get your daily AA email here!

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