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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 24, 2016

Val has been sober for 6 months... This is her story…

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!

SHOW NOTES

If you drink enough alcohol over time our brains will change due to the response to alcohol. Some of the damage is irreversible, thus proving that you can pick up right where you left off (upon relapse). This is because there is still a dopamine hypersensitivity. Relapse is part of Paul's story… After being sober for 2.5 years, Paul got another 8mos. of drinking under his belt, picking up right where he left off. There was no ramp-up phase because Paul's brain is hyper-sensitive to alcohol. Good news! Even though in the brain there is this environment where dopamine hyper-sensitivity still exists, if you don’t drink then it’s not activated. This change is irreversible, but, if you don’t drink then it doesn’t react… Check out RE 87 for more detailed info on dopamine and our crazy brains.

 

[ 06:34 ] Paul introduces Val.

Val took her last drink on April 8th, 2016, just about 6 months ago. She is 44, married, and has 3 kids and one grandchild. She is originally from Billings, MT and has lived in the Big Sky area for 20 years. She loves to bake, knit, garden, camp, hike and just be outside.

[ 09:25 ] Talk to us about your Elevator. When did you hit bottom?

“Well, I’ve hit many bottoms in my life, but I finally reached that point where I knew I needed to change or else I was going to lose everything.” This was not Val’s first attempt at quitting drinking. She first tried to quit in her mid-20s when she decided to start having kids. Val quit drinking for 8 years, but was miserable. After owning a restaurant and dealing with the stress of that, Val broke down and started drinking again… After 8 years of sobriety! “That’s just how I dealt with stress. (Drinking) was the only way I knew how."

[ 11:03 ] What is a dry drunk?

“I was not drinking, but my mind was still crazy. I was still trying to control everything around me, I didn’t understand life and I always felt that life was out to get me, that I was the victim.” Val explains her unhappiness as afraid of people, not being comfortable in her own skin, not having a higher power and trying to do everything herself… Now, Val is asking for help. “Before, I felt that I was a failure if I had to ask for help. My expectations that I held were so high and I could never meet them.” 

[ 12:57 ] How much did you drink? Talk to us about your drinking habits.

Val was drinking at least a bottle of wine a night, and more like two bottles a night. “Because I was drinking wine, I thought it was not a big deal, that it wasn’t a problem.” Val tried every rule in the book: just on the weekends, or only in the evening... “When I started drinking during the day, that’s when I started having oh-shit moments.” Val always used the stress of work to qualify needing a drink.

[ 14:30 ] Val talks about losing her restaurant and the feelings of failure and stress that accompanied the experience.

[ 15:48 ] How did you do it? Walk us through the first day, the first week.

“The first day was a morning that I was so sick that I couldn’t go to work. I was so sick, sicker than I had ever been. It was a Tuesday night, and I was just sitting at home watching Netflix.” Val was watching Amy (the Amy Winehouse documentary) and discovered that Amy had died from alcohol poisoning… Val had a huge wakeup moment, realizing that the same thing could easily happen to her. Val white-knuckled it for about 30 days before she started drinking again. After connecting with Paul on a webinar, she accepted help and went to her first AA meeting.

[ 18:59 ] Tell us about your program.

“I read in the Big Book everyday if I can, usually before bed. I know a lot of people try to start their day with a reading, but I have a kid to get ready…” Val goes to her home group meeting every week, has a service position, meets with her sponsor every week and she is on a committee. Val chooses to stay involved.

[ 19:49 ] Do you feel more confident with 6mos. of sobriety?

We are all shaky when we step onto new foundations. “It is getting better, but I know I have work to do. I need to keep working on my program. I’m on the 4th step right now… Writing stuff out has been very helpful.” Val shares one of her resentments which is part of the 4th step, taking responsibility for her actions, emotions and experiences. “You need to forgive yourself in order to let the anger out… It feels awesome. I look at the world in a different way.”

[ 24:39 ] What have you learned about yourself through sobriety?

“I’ve been very dishonest with myself throughout life and I don’t want to be that way anymore. I just want to be who I am… I always felt that nobody would want to know the real me, but that’s not true, that’s the disease speaking.”

[ 25:46 ] What are your thoughts on relapse?

“Well, I’m only a drink away from relapse. It can happen so easily. I have to be sure to always call my sponsor if I have that urge to drink. I’m not hiding anymore… I’m interacting and asking for help when I need it.”

[ 26:24 ] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? “Not having a memory… Blacking out and not remembering what I did.”
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “That morning I woke up so sick that I couldn’t go to work.”
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? “Continue working my program, make the relationship with my higher power stronger (accepting that I have a higher power) and I also think that I need to start worrying about what I think about myself instead of worrying about what others think.”
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “You can’t fix it right away, it’s going to take awhile.”
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “Just do it. Just get yourself to a meeting.”

“You Might be an Alcoholic If…”

“You pass out before the Amy Winehouse movie is over.”

Paul’s Life Hack:

Play the long game…

 

Resources mentioned in RE 88:

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

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  • First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Sobriety Tracker

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The Compound Effect 

 

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

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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