Paul Churchill had his last drink on 7 September 2014. He’s still counting. Getting sober is just the beginning…

Recovery Elevator | Stop Drinking, Start Recovering. | Alcohol, Addiction & Life in Sobriety

You can do this
Recovery Elevator | Stop Drinking, Start Recovering. | Alcohol, Addiction & Life in Sobriety

Description

Hello, I'm Paul and I've come to the realization that me and alcohol no longer get along. When I start drinking, I cannot stop, despite how many times I tell myself I'm only going out for just a couple. I've lost that battle 99 out of 100 times. I've tried to set boundaries on my drinking like never drink alone, and not before 5pm but several times found myself drinking alone well before 5pm. When I'm not drinking, I feel fidgety, contentious and anxious which eventually leads me back to the bottle. After grappling with alcohol for over a decade and a summer from hell in 2014, I decided on September 7th 2014, I HAVE to stop drinking. The Recovery Elevator Podcast is a medium to help keep me sober in addition to helping others struggling with alcohol quit drinking and maintain a healthy recovery. Don't make the same mistakes I did in early recovery. Hear from guests who are successfully navigating early sobriety. It won't be easy, but you can do this.

Episodes

RE 199: This Mindset is Key to Sobriety

Dec 10, 2018 48:57

Description:

Asaph, with over 6 weeks since his last drink, shares his story…

A link to the mentioned Russell Brand podcast episode with Gabor Maté. 

Gratitude, what is it good for?... everything. 

Gratitude is a topic that needs to be continually covered in recovery.  It’s a box in recovery that will never be checked, because it is ongoing. 

How do we create a mindset of appreciation?  Apply some conscious attention to the things in your life that are there for you, whether it be people, or your left elbow.  Don’t take things or people for granted.  Remove or avoid the sources of negativity in your life. 

Gratitude is good for our brains.  It positively stimulates the hypothalamus.  We can’t function without grace.  We are wired to be a grateful species. 

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things in our lives, but what about the not so good times?  Gratitude can help us get through life’s challenges.  In fact, we can even become thankful for them.  Challenges and obstacles become our teachers and often send us on paths we wouldn’t always go down on our own. 

We can, and must, find joy in everything. 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:58] Paul Introduces Asaph.

Asaph is 37 years old from Windsor, Ontario.  Sober for over 6 weeks.   He was raised in a cult called “The Children of God”.  He lived in India, and had 5 children.  He and the wife split, and that’s when he began to drink heavily.  He’s a waiter, though he pursues art as a professional career. 

 

 

[16:15] Give us a little background about your drinking.

He began to hit the bottle hard when his marriage fell apart.  He was around age 31 when he had his first drink.  He left the cult around 28.  He remembers alcohol being a guide, allowing him to be himself.  When he explored recovery, he learned that he had a lot in common with other people.  He tried to moderate, etc.  He would black out and swear that he would never drink again.  He found himself going against his word. 

 

[23:13] Did you experience a rock bottom moment?

He feels that he had many.  He realized that rock bottom was a moment when one decides that enough is enough. 

 

[25:20] How did you finally end up quitting?

His sister helped him sign up for rehab.  She convinced him that he had a problem.  He had many relapses.  He realizes that he can learn from them. 

 

[30:30] What are some of the lessons you have learned in relapse?

We need one person to be 100% vulnerable and honest with.  He needed to get out of his own head a bit.  He finds it spreads into other relationships as well. 

 

[32:45] What is a typical day in your recovery look like?

He listens to recovery podcasts.  He enjoys Cafe RE.  He recognizes when he wants to feel isolated. His default setting is alone.  He needs human contact to keep a more positive perspective. 

 

[35:51] Have you figured out why you drank?

It was his default coping mechanism for everything.

 

[37:10] What have you learned about yourself in recovery?

His recovery is directly connected to his entering the public world.  Drinking became the way he discovered the outside world.  He wants to get his business up and running.  He feels like he can do anything that he puts his mind to. 

 

[39:40] Have you had any cravings and what do you if they appear?

He believes cravings don’t last more than 20 minutes.  They used to paralyze him because he thought they were forever. 

 

 

[40:50] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Woke up half drunk and he knew that he was powerless to a bottle of vodka by his bed.
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

When he lost his driver’s license.  He looked back in hindsight and he realized that something worse could have happened.  The moment was gradual. 
What’s your plan moving forward?

He will continue to do what works.  He uses Cafe RE.  He wants to surround himself with people and books that continue to inspire him. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

A million little pieces by James Grace.  Black Castle.  My Fair Junkie. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

The idea that you can put the shovel down whenever you want to.
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

If you relate to a lot of the bullet points when you google what a alcoholism is like, you probably have a drinking problem. 
You might be an alcoholic if…

“.. you are drinking in the middle of the night because you feel you can’t go without it.”

 

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
Russell Brand Podcast - the mentioned episode with Gabor Maté

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!”

 

RE198: The Importance of Letting Go

Dec 3, 2018 55:28

Description:

Patrick, with 10 years 2 months since his last drink, shares his story.

SHOW NOTES

[10:50] Paul introduces Patrick

Patrick is 37 years old, and is from Brooklyn, New York.  He’s been sober since August 23, 2008.  He is married and has no children.  He works as a stand up comedian, recovery coach, and a video editor.  He likes to try to squeeze in a good meal between shows, visit friends, and snowboard.  He would like to get better at rollerblading.

[14:08] Give us a little background about your drinking habits

He did not drink until his freshman year in college, because he has a family history of alcohol abuse.  When he tried alcohol for the first time, he loved the way it made him feel.  Alcohol became problematic within his first year of drinking.  When he was drunk, he became unpredictable: he was the guy who took off his clothes and climbed buildings.  Despite getting warnings from counselors, he continued to drink for the next 8 years.

[30:40]  What finally made you make that decision to go into sobriety?

While at a baseball game, he told his friends that he wasn’t going to drink.  His buddy said, “but you can have just one,” and Patrick said, “of course I can have just one.”  6 hours later, he was ejected from a bar for being too intoxicated.  The next morning, his girlfriend told him that he had to move out.  That became his sobriety date.

[41:00]  In the last 10 years, have you noticed any cross addicitions?

He definitely needs to look out for working too much and not eating in a healthy way.  When stressed, he turns to ice cream.  He’s realized that since he was a kid, he’s tried to change how he feels on the inside by using things on the outside.

[44:10] Is there something that you have done differently while getting sober?

He would have gone to 12 step meetings immediately.  Learning the idea of doing the next right action sooner.

[ 48:48 ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

The trip to Italy when he became “a monster” and his girlfriend threatened to leave early.

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

He was moving out of an apartment a few years before he got sober, and he realized that no one, neighbors, roommates was unhappy that he was leaving

What’s your plan moving forward?

Staying true to sharing his story through his comedy

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

 

The phone.  Calling other sober people and being available.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Show up with integrity.

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

If you’re going through hell, just keep going.  This too, shall pass.

You might be an alcoholic if...

If you’re doing “sober October” for the 10th year in a row, and you rarely get through a few days of it, you might be an alcoholic.

 

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

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

 

RE 197: This is What Recovery Looks Like

Nov 26, 2018 53:05

Description:

Aaron, with over 1 year since his last drink, shares his story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:30] Paul Introduces Aaron.

Aaron is 39 years old, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He’s been sober since October 16, 2017.  He’s married with two children.  He works in HR and Recruitment for a small company.  He likes home improvement, the outdoors, gardening.  He likes to restore and repair his house and cars. 

 

[15:30] Give us a little background about your drinking habits. 

He has drank every day more or less since college.  There was a strong drinking culture at his college.  He made a lot of friends through drinking.  It extended to his work after college.  He associated alcohol with being social.  Alcohol made its way into all of his activities.  He didn’t know how to regulate it.  He struggled to care for his children while he was drinking a lot.  He couldn’t concentrate and was getting cold sweats.  He decided to start regulating.  He read a book that asked him to regulate but it didn’t work for him.  He realized that he need to change. 

 

[19:53] Did you have a rock bottom moment?

Many.  He skipped along the bottom.  He always had a way of getting out of trouble, which gave him a false sense of accomplishment.  Rock bottom for him was realizing that his life had become unmanageable.  He would have beers in his basements, and he called them his “morning beers”.  He realized that it wasn’t where he wanted to be.  He went to his first meeting, and he judged everyone there.  He started to get something out of it by the time he was in his 3rd meeting.  While in recovery, he started to feel like he had a split personality.  He was cleaning out the garage and he found some camping gear.  He found a box of alcohol.  He pulled it out decided to hide it.  He would lie about going out to his garage to work on something, but he was really going out to drink.  He felt bad because he was lying about it.  He argued with himself out loud and realized he had a problem.  He went to a meeting and was honest about his relapse, and since then he has been sober.  He began to work with his AA program.  He started to understand himself a lot more.  He became more in touch with his intuition.  He’s realizing that it’s more important to be in the now.  He now knows that his intuition will know what to do in situations that would previously baffle him.  He’s less stressed and much more happy.  He has more responsibility, but life has gotten more fun. 

 

[30:21] How have you started to change your inner dialogue? 

He started to get into emotional intelligence.  It is a way of living that has many parallels with the 12 steps.  He realized that his past didn’t have to affect his present.  He realized that his suffering was all in his head.  He started waking up earlier and going down to watch the sun rise.  He found meditation and peace and he started to forgive himself.  He realized that he was blessed to be a part of the moment.  He stopped worrying and focused more on acceptance.  He doesn’t worry about the future as much.  He is grateful to be here now. 

 

[35:28] Have you figured out the “why” behind your drinking?

It started as just a way to cope with anxiety, but it eventually became a part of his identity.  The “why” was part lifestyle, part insecurity, then eventually addiction. 

 

[36:17] Walk us through a day in your recovery. 

He gets up early.  He tries to shut his mind off.  He enjoys daydreaming and spending time with his kids.  She asks him profound questions, and he’s happy to be a part of her childlike innocence.  He works, also.  He enjoys the new freedom he gets with his new job.  He goes to AA meetings twice a week.  His days are filled with things he loves, or loves working on. 

 

[39:04] What’s on your bucket list in recovery?

He wants to go on the RE Peru trip.  He wants to keep his life manageable.  He wants to eventually retire so he can travel and wants to be a part of his family’s life for as long as he’s around.

 

[40:11] Talk to us about the text that was meant to go your sponsor, but accidentally went to the president of your company. 

He was laid off, and started to offer what he did independently.  Many people were approaching him because of how many people were laid off.  He wasn’t taking sides, but he said talking about how difficult things in life can be positive.  He was reading a text from the president.  He wrote a long winded text to his sponsor, with thoughts about his job, and his boss replied.  He immediately wanted to delete it.  They talked about it and he ended up giving him a sizeable contract as a result. 

[43:29]  Talk to me about the pennies in your car.

He kept pennies in a tray in his car, because he had heard an old wives tale about sucking on a penny to throw off a breathalyzer test.  Whenever he got pulled over he would throw the penny in his mouth to suck on.  When he got sober, he saw the pennies in his car and he realized he didn’t need them to he cleaned them out. 

 

[45:02] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

When he woke up at 4am, his infant daughter was screaming for a diaper change.  His hands were shaking so badly that he couldn’t do it, so he ran downstairs to get a drink so he could function. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

The people at his work approached him and told him that if he ever decided to stop drinking they would support him.  It was an indication that other people could tell that he could drink heavily. 
What’s your plan moving forward?

Once your cup is full, and you don’t know how much more can fulfill you, the cup just gets bigger.  He wants to live a life of enrichment and fulfillment. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

The Recovery Elevator podcast has been great.  Also, AA. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Get honest with yourself about it.  It’s okay as long as you learn from it.
  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Don’t quit before the miracle happens. 

You might be an alcoholic if…

“...if you keep pennies in your car to throw off breathalyzer tests, and if you drink boxed vodka from a solo cup with a mixture of powdered gatorade and hose water in secret.”

 

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

 

 

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

 

RE 196: How Normal Drinkers View Addiction

Nov 19, 2018 52:53

Description:

Dan, who doesn’t practice abstinence based recovery, shares his story…

Link to the Fox News article mentioned in the episode


“To be human is also to suffer from addiction. The particular vices vary as do our degree of addiction to them, but it takes precious little searching to know we’ve all got something unhealthy that pulls at us.” - Mike Kerrigan, Fox News

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:08] Paul Introduces Dan.

Paul doesn’t practice abstinence based recovery, and had a drink a few weeks ago.  He’s  28 years old and lives in New York City.  He runs a channel called Recovery X and Spooky Digital.  He does MMA.  He has a family.  He practices mindfulness. 

 

[12:48] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

He started drinking when he was 10.  His brother was getting married, and his parents allowed him to have a couple drinks.  He got really drunk.  He got a lot of attention and had a lot of fun.  His family started to warn him about alcoholism but he didn’t yet understand.  He would occasionally steal his father’s prescription medicine.  He had behavioral problems at a young age.. he would get in fights.  He started a school riot between different grades.  He always looked up to the trouble makers.  They got attention.  He has a big family, and he felt like he always had to fight to be noticed.  He was kicked out of 8th grade for stealing money from another kid.  He was sent to a private boarding school.  He was kicked out for fighting.  He went through all kinds of behavioral modification programs.  He felt abandoned by his family.  He noticed that his brother had a different strategy than him. 

 

[18:33] At what point did you realize that you were using alcohol to self-soothe?

He wanted to keep getting kicked out of private schools until his parents would run out of options and send him to public school.  He began to drink more once he got to high school.  It helped him reduce his anxiety.  He ended up getting arrested after a fight, and was sent to rehab in Los Angeles.  It was his first experience with a sober lifestyle.  He was 16.  He saw young people in recovery.  He stayed out there for a while and would go on and off about wanting to be clean.  He was arrested after a drinking related incident that turned violent.  Alcohol always lead to destruction in his life.  He had a problem with his thoughts and feelings and emotions.  He also had an inability to deal with stress and relationships. 

 

[23:53] Tell us more about the thinking problem. 

His experience has been that the drugs and alcohol have been the solution to the problem, which was thinking or avoiding his internal dialogue.  He experienced a lot of internal conflict, different conflicting voices.  Now he has to be really strict about what he thinks, and what he allows to come into his mind.  He had to learn how to challenge and to reframe every negative thought and to turn it into something positive. 

 

[26:17] At what point were you able to detach from the negative thoughts?

He doesn’t differentiate the thoughts from himself, he thinks it’s all him.  He thinks the mind is only about 10% of the entire brain, but it thinks that it’s all of it.  “It’s like a stowaway on a ship saying it’s the captain”.  He had to make friends to his subconscious mind and tell it that he’s listening.  He started meditating regularly.  It helps him get better at reframing thoughts. 

 

[30:17] Did you experience a rock bottom moment to push into sobriety?

Many.  So many times in so many different ways.  If he had to pick one it would when he was getting violent in a relationship with a woman.  He realized he wasn’t raised that way and that he violated some sort of a core value about respecting women.  It made a tear in his psyche and he felt something growing through the cracks. 

 

[32:32] Tell us about the lack of abstinence in your practice.  How does one successfully embrace the grey area?

He finds binary thinking in the recovery community.  The more we can be inclusive and the more we can embrace the idea the abstinence based recovery isn’t the only way the more people we can reach and the more people we can help.  A big misconception about harm reduction is that one needs to be completely sober.  Abstinence is a goal, but we’re really looking to improve our health and our lives on a daily basis.  The goal has been to monitor his mental health on a daily basis.  He started doing DBT (see links below).  Part of that is keeping a record of your emotions and thoughts throughout the day.  He takes notes about what happens in the day.  Our memories are often distorted and the diary helps eliminate that and keep everything straight.  He can see the patterns that lead to substance abuse. 

 

[36:41] When you drank recently, how did you feel when you woke up the next day?

Alcohol can beat you up, but you don’t have to do it yourself.  Have compassion and keep it moving.  Don’t get stuck in the self loathing.  Tell yourself positive things. 

 

[38:47] Tell us more about DBT. 

DBT stands for Dialectical behavior therapy.  It’s a therapy with mindfulness at its core.  If one is more mindful of one’s thoughts, one can see the patterns and opportunities for reframing.  If someone ahead of you shuts a door in your face, the first reaction might be anger, but if we can see that we are assuming the intent, we can reframe it as a more innocent situation. 

[41:05] Talk to us about abstinence being the goal. 

Abstinence is one of the goals.  The real measure of success is in your life.  How are you treating other people?  Are you being kind and helpful?  How are you feeling? 
[43:03] Tell us more about Recovery X. 

They are offering free recovery resources to people in need.  They offer as many voices involved as possible.  They help people find recovery resources in their area.  Initially his passion in life was communication.  When he was a child he was bad at it.  He always wanted to understand communication.  After being in recovery, he realized that he could combine communication and recovery to be the most use to people in the world.  They want to provide trusted sources and resources that are are not scams.  Real authentic honest trustworthy programs. 

[48:55] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? What’s your plan moving forward?

Focus on mastery, and continue to stay out of the results and just hone the skills.  What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Recovery Elevator, and RecoveryX.org What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Have compassion for yourself and just keep showing up and doing the work and you’ll get there.

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Love yourself like you would love somebody else and reach out to people when you need help.  If you’re on Day 1 today, I would say have compassion for yourself.. you are fighting something that isn’t easy (it isn’t supposed to be) and I encourage you to keep at it.  Don’t give up.  It gets better, it’s a skill. 

You might be an alcoholic if…

“...you go somewhere on vacation and end up on probation.” 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery X:
Website 

 

Video

Facebook (where we shoot live)

Youtube

 

Audio

Spotify

iTunes

 

Additional links mentioned from Dan

Recovery X Facebook Group where they post behind the scenes footage and people interested in recovery can connect with others.

 

Learn DBT Group on Facebook is a free community Dan runs, where people in recovery from a variety of mental health disorders can come to learn about DBT, get support and find free resources.

 

Personal Social Media for interviewee Dan

websiteInstagram, or Facebook.

This episode is brought to you in support by Robinhood. Right now, Robinhood is giving my listeners free stock such as Apple, Ford or Sprint to help build your portfolio. Signup at elevator.robinhood.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

 

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

RE 195: What Should the Bottle Say?

Nov 12, 2018 47:58

Description:

Corey, with 5 days since his last drink, shares his story…

The mentioned article from the Irish Times

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:48] Paul Introduces Corey.

Corey has been sober for 5 days.  He’s from Minnesota, now lives in Boston.  He’s 25 years old and is working full time.  He likes to exercise.  He loves music, plays guitar and piano.  He has an upcoming trip to Columbia, is learning Spanish.  He feels confused with life now that he has left the structure of school.  

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

He started to drink a lot more during years in college.  He started to experiment with weed in high school.  He began to drink or party when he should have been studying.  He didn’t realize there was something wrong at the time.  He used his computer to avoid academic responsibilities.  He was okay with it as long as he continued to deliver on his academic duties.  He felt like he coasted through college and also began to coast through his first jobs.  He found himself in the same behavioral patterns.  He didn’t know where he was or what he was doing.  He lost a romantic partner because of his partying.  He drowned his feelings with drinking.  The feelings came back up after a few months.  He was caught in a weekly cycle of drinking and depression.  He used a notebook to think out loud and he wrote down that he wanted to quit drinking and smoking to be comfortable with who he was.  He devised a plan.  Last year he tried to knock out one of the three (weed, tobacco and alcohol).  He was so focused on change that he was able to quit tobacco.  Before a family trip he felt suddenly depressed.  He began to drink alcohol to try and cope with his feelings. 

[22:10] How were you able to quit all 3?

He set a new year’s resolution to quit alcohol.  He ended up getting a therapist and it has helped a lot.  He went down to New Orleans and it broke his sobriety streak.  He felt guilty.  He let himself down.  He is now searching for a way to enjoy friendships without booze being involved.  Over the summer, he loosened his grip on quitting a little bit he hasn’t been able to shake it.  He went to a Halloween party and was drinking, and didn’t feel good.  He just decided to leave.  At home he was depressed and began googling ways to end his life.  He feels that is his rock bottom. 

 

[29:51] How will you manage your drinking on your upcoming trip to Maine?

He doesn’t have a real concrete plan.  He knows there will be temptation.  He’s not sure what to do about it.  He will try to text them and tell them that he won’t be drinking. 

 

[32:48] What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

He bought some books.  He wants to read those.  He’s listening to podcasts.  He wants to continue to learn and journal and continue to move forward.  He’s concerned about his upcoming trips, but he’ll do his best and try not to judge himself. 

 

[37:46] How have you been getting past cravings?

Having some sort of healthy beverage on hand. He drinks tons of water. 

 

[39:03] What is on your bucket list in sobriety?

He wants to record a full album and get better at guitar.  He wants to make the most out of his international trips coming up.  He wants to quit also because he wants a family. 

 

 

[40:34] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

The incident where he drank and almost indulged in suicide. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

When the denial ended and he got depressed.  He drank to go to sleep.  He realized he was damaging his health. 

 

What’s your plan moving forward? What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Recovery Elevator podcast.  He loves the format.  He likes to hear about other people’s stories. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

To take it one day at a time.  If he does today and then he does tomorrow, he doesn’t have to worry about the future. 
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Just to get out of the trap of associating college with partying.  It’s going to catch up to you. 
You might be an alcoholic if…

“...you always pick up a 30 rack of beer multiple times in a week when you go grocery shopping.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Support for this episode is brought to you by RiaHealth.com. Visit Riahealth.com/elevator and enter the coupon ELEVATOR for $25 off your first month.

Ria is growing to cover all 50 states. Currently we are able to treat people in the following states: California, Florida, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee Ria’s program is month to month, so there’s no commitment. Most Ria Members stay with the program for about one year once they achieve their goals.

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

 

 

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

 

RE 194: Should I Identify With the Label Alcoholic?

Nov 5, 2018 51:53

Description:

Kellie, with 2 months year since her last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:00] Paul Introduces Kellie.

Kellie has been sober for 28 days.  She’s 43 years old, married with two children.  She’s a real estate broker that enjoys puzzles, reading, cooking, running and hiking, and her animals.    She tried alcohol for the first time around 10 years old.  She dabbled in different drugs in her teens.  She drank through her 20’s.  She had her son at 26.  She cleaned up her act and became a stay at home mother.  In her late 30’s she had weight loss surgery.  She was in the hospital and something happened to her brother.  She bought a bottle of wine.  Her drinking gradually escalated after that.   

 

[16:48] Would you say you had an issue with food prior to the surgery?

Absolutely. She ate mostly healthy food but she would eat large quantities.  Her drinking began to affect her son.  She tried to moderate her drinking but it didn’t last very long.  She finally went to an outpatient treatment for 3 and a half weeks.  She was one of the only people there voluntarily and she didn’t like most of the people there.  She was focusing on the negative.  They would focus on the alcoholism in her family. 

 

[22:30] Tell us about the transfer addiction. 

They are checking to see if you will switch to a different addiction rather than food.  She feels that she has an addictive personality.  She would run even if she was experiencing pain or other issues. 

 

[28:00] Tell us more about the outpatient program. 

 

Her drinking got progressively worse.  She realized that she had to get it under control for her son and family.  She was afraid of what her alcoholism would be like once she had an empty home. She experienced aversion therapy.  She was slightly sedated, and they interview you.  Because of the drugs she had to answer honestly.  She did the electro shock therapy as well.  They condition you to experience negative feelings from interacting with alcohol.  It successfully eliminated the cravings. She was skeptical but now she thinks about it as a miracle.  

[33:22] It sounds like they are trying to punish or shame the alcohol out of people. Is that right?

Even though the treatments were extreme, it was a positive environment over all.  People were there because they wanted to be.  The nurses and doctors were there to help you get and stay sober.  They don’t focus on you being an alcoholic.  They focus on you being sober. 

 

[35:08] What’s the “why” behind your addictive behavior?

She knew why she was drinking.  Substance abuse runs in her family.  She and her siblings were abused mentally and verbally.  The food became a coping mechanism.  When it stopped working, the booze became a problem.  She always knew why she drank.  She attends meetings to take care of herself.  The depression and anxiety is her why.  Now she’s focusing on the why.  The aversion therapy makes you not want to drink, but it’s still the same in that it only takes 1 drink to get back to where she was. 

 

[40:09] What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?

Just to do the next right thing.  Take care of herself.  She’s focusing on what she needs in the moment.  Getting up in the morning and doing the things that she knows will keep her sober.  She is trying to be more aware.  She sees her self-talk and is trying to keep it in check.  She combats the negative thoughts with positive affirmations. 

 

[42:38] What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

She wants to run another marathon.  She wants to be sober for her son.  She is trying not to think too far ahead. 

 

[43:16] What have you learned about yourself in sobriety?

It is possible for her to be sober.  She was always worried that she would be an addict for life because she had seen it manifest in different family members.  She now focuses on the important things in her life.  She realizes that alcohol isn’t the most important thing in her life. 

 

 

[44:04] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Blacking out.  Her husband left to go get take-out.  While he was out she passed out and her son found her on the floor.  Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Making her a co-conspirator in her drinking.  The two of them had to work together to hide her drinking from her son.  What’s your plan moving forward? What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

The people in the recovery community.  She met many kinds of addicts in recovery and she relies on them to help her stay sober.  What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Tell other people about recovery.  You have to do it in your way and do what works for you.  AA wasn’t for her and she’s glad she tried Shick Shadel.  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Do the next right thing.  Just think about right now.  You might be an alcoholic if…

“... if you go on vacation with your kid and you spend the entire time drinking instead of spending time with your child.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Robinhood is giving my listeners free stock such as Apple, Ford or Sprint to help build your portfolio. Signup at elevator.robinhood.com

Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

Shick Shadel Hospital
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

 

 

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

 

RE 193: Can I have a drinking problem and not be an Alcoholic?

Oct 29, 2018 53:21

Description:

Nel, with over 1 year since her last drink, shares her story…

Drinking is more than the average habit.  To reduce our problems with alcohol to a “bad habit” is missing the bigger picture.  We drink for a variety of reasons.. for example: to cope, to ignore, to numb, to hide. 

Digging ourselves out of alcohol dependency actually requires the changing or removal of several habits.  We need to change the way we relax.  We need to change the way we deal with difficult emotions.  We need to become more conscious, aware, and in the moment.  We have to slowly remember the version of us that didn’t need anything to be okay.  We have to change everything. 

When one finds themselves in the grips of alcohol, it probably takes more time, effort, and patience to return to our emotional center than it did to lose it.  It doesn’t happen overnight, and there are many lessons to be learned along the way, but with patience, persistence, self-love and an open mind, we can find ourselves looking back on our time with alcohol as a distant and remote dream.  

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:40] Paul Introduces Nel.


Nel is 52 years old, from Shannon, Mississippi.  She now lives in New York.  She’s married.  She’s a personal trainer that loves sports, particularly fantasy football.  Dolphins are her favorite sea animal. 

 

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

She started around 16.  Her parents died when she was young.  She had a chaotic upbringing.  She could never relax.  She started drinking after her parents died.  It helped her relax and she loved it.  She drank mostly on the weekends with the intention to get drunk.  She went on to college and started drinking a lot more.  She met her first husband her senior year of college.  He helped her finish school.  She was already beginning to drink a lot.  She always knew that she drank more than other people.  All of her friends drank.  She has alcoholism in her family.  She partied a lot in her 20s.  She worked and took care of herself.  Drinking remained a lower priority.  She divorced her first husband in her early 30s.  She moved back to Mississippi to be with her sister and help with her family.  She felt happier generally, but was always managing her alcohol.  She met her second husband at 35.  She moved to New York.  Her new husband was a normal drinker, and it made her realize how much she drank.  It caught up to her, and began to experience physical symptoms and tried to switch to marijuana.  She smoked pot “like she always wanted to drink”.  She knew in her heart that she was making bad choices.  She continued to function despite how she felt.  She would blackout multiple times.  She would experience “brownouts” after a few drinks. 

 

[22:47] Did you experience a rock bottom moment?

She realized that she couldn’t trust herself anymore.  She would get stoned and pick up her nephew from school and she realized she was going down the wrong path.

 

[25:28] Talk more about what it meant to lose trust in yourself. 

She was frightened.  Her biggest pillar of safety in life was her ability to self-regulate, and once she began to lose that she became extremely worried.  She was negotiating with herself, and never winning.  After the first line was crossed, the progression sped up because the anxiety kicked into overdrive. 

 

[27:35] Did the drinking help you with the fact that you were flying solo in life?

She was trying to quiet the voices in her head and the anxiety and fear.  She used it as a coping mechanism, as medicine. 

 

[29:10] How did you end up making the change and finding your way out? 

She wants to live a life that her family members can look up to, as an example.  She realized she was off course.  She didn’t want to go out like her parents.  The next step was to put smoking and drinking down.  Ever since then, she believes that God has been helping her.  She began to do research about alcoholism and realized she had a problem, and that she wasn’t alone. 

She is on the podcast because she wants to shed the shame.  She didn’t know many in recovery before.  She wants to reach out and let people know that there is a way out, and that they can do it. 

 

[34:08] How did you keep the change going?

She knew one other person in recovery.  Within 48 hours of her thinking about reaching out to her, she was out of her house and she coincidentally ran into her on the boardwalk.  She told her everything and she stayed with her for the next few weeks.  She went to an AA meeting and it was the best decision she ever made.  It gave her instructions, guidance. 

 

[37:27] Can you think of a time when self-negotiating didn’t work out?

She would go to a wedding, and tell herself she would only have two drinks.  By the end of the night she lost her shoes and couldn’t remember anything.  Towards the last few years she began to consistently lose the negotiations. 

 

[38:53] What’s your plan moving forward in sobriety?

Keep it simple, do what’s working.  She goes to meetings every day.  She knows the rest of her life depends on whether or not she goes to those meetings.  She feels more freedom now than ever before.  She’s accepted that she can’t think her way out of everything.  She meditates daily now, and she can easily meditate now for 15-20 minutes.  She’s off her medication, her health has improved.  She’s realizing that everything revolves around your thoughts.  You have to practice and put in the work, but the benefits spill over into everything else in your life.  She also focuses on exercise.  Staying physically active and trying to take care of herself. 

[42:44] Talk to us about the “why” in your drinking. 

A genetic component, but also her environment.  She was raised in an abusive household and was always anxious.  She had low self esteem.  She had voices in her head constantly criticise her.  She didn’t know how to handle life without an escape plan, and she felt like alcohol was something she needed.  She didn’t always have to have it, but she had to have access to it.  She didn’t realize that she wasn’t her thoughts.  She read “The Untethered Soul” and that plus her meditation practice has changed her relationship to her inner thoughts.  She’s excited to see her new potential.  When someone recommends a resource, give it a go! 

 

[47:45 ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

She went to a party and proceeded to get smashed at a party.  She argued with her husband she isn’t aware about how she got back to her home.  The next day her sister just left back to Mississippi.  Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

When she picked up her nephew at school totally stoned.  What’s your plan moving forward? What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Her AA group.  The support and the knowledge that she gets from them.  She also loves Recovery Elevator.  What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Keep it simple.  Just one day at a time, don’t be too hard on yourself.  Don’t try to think your way out.  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

What do you have to lose?  If you feel bad at yourself, what do you have to lose by trying to get sober?  You can always go back to your old way of life.  You have to be all in if you give it a try.  You might be an alcoholic if…

“...you’re at a baseball game, and you are more worried about the 7th inning when they’ll cut off the beer sales off.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Untethered Soul - A book by Michael Singer

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

 

 

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

 

RE 192: Addicted to Thinking

Oct 22, 2018 46:47

Description:

 

Stephan, with 10 months since his last drink, shares his story…

Harm Reduction - The feeling of constantly downgrading addictions.  Most of us address one addiction at a time, and usually tackle what we perceive to be the most harmful addiction first.  Things improve with each hurdle.  The lessons we learn from each stage strengthen our ability to move on to the next stage. 

Often at the root of many of our addictive behaviors is essentially an addiction to thinking.  The majority of our thinking is unnecessary and just causes mental noise.  The thinking brain can take us to the worst case scenario in a matter of moments which can cause the body to respond with fight or flight.  If adrenaline becomes the main fuel that we use to get through our days, over time we will find ourselves with sickness and disease. 

The key is to find a way to shut off the monkey mind without resorting to extreme activities like skydiving, etc.  Practices that cultivate inner harmony like meditation, yoga, playing a musical instrument and a myriad of other endeavors that cultivate mindfulness can slowly calm the mind and switch off the incessant chatter. 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:15] Paul Introduces Stephan.

 

Stephan is 33 years old and lives in Denver, Colorado.  He’s married with a daughter.  He owns a music school and is a freelance musician.  He also plays golf. 

 

[12:40] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

He started after high school.  He started to drink when he began working as a musician.  He liked drinking at first.  He tried to quit a few times along the way and began to suspect that he was an alcoholic pretty early.  “Alcohol is the glue that binds phony friendships”.  He would exercise and reward himself with alcohol.  He used to live behind a bar and there was a crew of people that would go to the bar regularly.  For a few weeks he only drank on Sunday.  He began to feel a rift between the man he knew he was and his behavior.  It was exhausting.  His wife became pregnant and he used that as an excuse to drink every day.  His wife would say “Do you remember what you said to me last night?”  She knew he wouldn’t remember.  He felt shameful that he couldn’t remember.  There was a difference between what he knew he could be and what he was doing. 

 

[20:58] How did you ultimately end up quitting?

He had several failed attempts.  He stayed up at a wedding drinking by the fire.  He woke up and he had bitten off some of his dental work.  He felt like he was self-sabotaging.  He had some oral surgery to get his wisdom teeth removed, and his first question was about alcohol.  It all began to slowly add up.  Then he found the Recovery Elevator podcast.  He became mentally exhausted. 

 

[23:58] Did you experience a rock bottom moment?

It all began to slowly add up.  He became mentally exhausted.  He knew he needed to be there for his new daughter.  He couldn’t imagine being still drunk or hungover as a parent.  There were complications with the pregnancy and he decided he was going to quit so he could be present while at the hospital. 

 

[25:00] How did the birth of your daughter affect your attempts at sobriety?

No magic recipe.  There was a decade of noise in his head already.  He began to lean in to the new role.  The birth of his daughter changed him, as well.  He feels like he has a huge gift that he has a daughter and that he has his wife.  He also visualized his daughter and his business as his purpose in life and his responsibility.  He is proud that he’s been sober everyday of his daughter’s life. 

 

[27:26] Have you experienced any cravings? How did you navigate them?

He had a family trip planned to New Zealand. He didn’t drink and he felt like a small kid with parental restrictions.  Then on another vacation, everyone else was drinking but he stayed sober.  The big challenges were easier, but the small situations were where he almost caved.  He doesn’t keep alcohol in the house.  His wife is really supportive.  He also eats a lot of ice cream. 

 

[31:25] Is there anything you would have done differently?

The next step is to reintroduce some fitness.  In the past, exercise was motivated by rewarding himself with drinking.  Now he wants to try it with a different intention with more longevity. 

 

[32:44] Tell us about the vision board. 

He was in a business development group.  They had an exercise where they passed around a tin of dominos.  The domino represents the one thing you need to change in your life/business.  The one domino that will knock over all the other dominos.  He put it on his vision board.  He realized that his domino was sobriety.  Since then he’s accomplished so much.  He believes in himself again.  Part of the static in his head was not believing that he could follow through on the commitments that he makes to himself.  When he finally “knocked over the domino”, he began to see other things fall into place. 

 

[37:06] Walk us through a day in your recovery.

Take it a day at a time.  Today is all that matters.  Don’t overthink it.  Stay in the moment.  He is looking into attending AA.  He will reach out to people.  He’s been making some sober connections.  He wants to give his songs to other artists. 

 

 

[39:23] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

He was at his best friend’s wedding.  He tried many new kinds of alcohol.  They were driven to stay at a houseparty.  He outdrank everyone.  He slept out in the grass.  He woke up with people taking pictures of him asking if he knew where he was.  He wandered into the neighbor’s house and used their toilet.  He fell asleep on a stranger’s couch.  She woke up and came down and found him there.  He was mortified.  Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Realizing that there is no controlling the beast, it needs to be slayed.  What’s your plan moving forward? What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

His wife, and the Recovery Elevator podcast.  What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Faith, belief, and action.  Have faith that you will have the circumstances and the tools you will need.  Believe that you will be able to do it, and take the action that needs to be taken.  A recipe for success. 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Just do it!  The other side is much better. 

You might be an alcoholic if…

“If you rotate the liquor stores you stop in on the way home so none of them realize you have a problem.” 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:


Support for today's episode is brought to you by Care/of. For 25% off your first month of personalized Care/of vitamins, visit TakeCareof.com and enter the promo code 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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

RE 191: Sobriety Gets Easier and Easier and Ends in Life

Oct 15, 2018 43:28

Description:

Kelly, with 8 days since her last drink, shares her story…

“Addiction gets harder and harder and ends in death. Sobriety is hard work too. But it gets easier and easier and ends in life.” - Andy Ziegler

In this passage to sobriety, expectations do not always line up with reality.  In reality, it takes years for an addiction to take hold.  The healing process takes equally as long.  The negative thinking and behavioral patterns didn’t set in overnight, and won’t be lifted overnight.  It’s like turning a battleship.  We let go and reprogram gradually, a little bit each day, and that happens by making daily decisions that lead us down the road of self-love and health. 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[07:03] Paul Introduces Kelly.

 

In Fort Myers, Florida, 32 years old, sober for 8 days.  Happily divorced.  She is a mother, has a 4-year-old daughter.  She is learning who she is as a sober woman and mother. 

 

[9:06] What lead to your decision to do the interview?

She wanted to keep trying different things until she found something that worked.  She wanted to step out of her comfort zone, not feel ashamed, and not keep it from people.  She wanted to share her story.  She wanted to face her fear of vulnerability.  She’s nervous, but ok. 

 

[11:32] Give us some background about your drinking. 

Her issues with addiction started quite some time ago.  She started as a smoker at 15.  Her first drink at 21.  She dabbled in some other drugs.  She was in a toxic relationship and she started to drink more to cope.  She went on antidepressants.  They got married and they started to do other drugs as well.  They started doing heroin daily.  She stopped two years ago.  She got divorced and moved out.  She moved into her own place.  She started to feel lonely and began to drink more.  She switched to liquor.  She drank a lot during hurricane Irma.  She would tuck her daughter in and wouldn’t remember.  She gained about 35 pounds.  She almost got evicted from her apartment because she used some of the money for alcohol.  She found herself hiding in her bathroom doing shots one night.  She was ashamed of her behavior.  She realized that she and her daughter deserved better and she got clean for almost a month.  On the 23rd day, she thought she would reward her sobriety with a drink then found herself back in the grips of alcohol. 

 

[21:50] Did you attempt to moderate?

She did.  She tried to limit her drinking to Friday happy hours.  When she tried to stop and moderate, she realized that it was difficult.  She realized she was craving alcohol. 

 

[23:38] Have you explored the deeper causes of your drinking?

She had a crutch in life.  Some sort of substance has helped her get through the difficult parts of her life.  She thinks her life hasn’t even been that terrible.  She’s been relying on substances.  Her deeper issues are struggling to be a single mom, dealing with stress.  She is trying to get to the root now and to find healthy ways to deal with life.  Deep breathing helps.  She listens to audiobooks and podcasts.  Previous attempts at sobriety felt like giving something up and this time feels different.  She isn’t going to “white knuckle” it.  She realized that she doesn’t need it. 

 

[28:17] How have you gotten through the tough times without alcohol?

She talks about it.  She reaches out before she reaches for the bottle.  She just has to tell someone how she’s feeling.  She’s used a 20 minute timer.  Just take a minute, be present, breathe, set a timer, listen to 5 minutes of something else.  Just stop the impulse.  Easier said than done, but trying to turn off the quick impulsive thinking that has led to trouble in the past. 

 

[30:24] Walk us through a day in your recovery. 

She wakes up early.  She is trying to not put too many expectations on too early.  She’d like to start meditating or doing tai chi in the living room.  She listens to a podcast on the way to work.  She does about 10 minutes of reflective meditation and keeping a journal.  She goes to weekly meetings on Wednesdays.  She will exercise on her lunch breaks. 

 

[33:03] What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

She wants to get to 30 days.  She feels like one month is a good marker.  She wants to lose some weight, and be there more for her daughter.  She would like to be able to attend happy hour and be okay with not drinking.  She looks forward to waking up and getting through the day before with no crutch. 

 

[35:49] What would you consider your rock bottom moment?

She’s never been arrested, and she hid it well.  The night where she hid in the bathtub and drank shot after shot.  She felt taken over.   

[36:30] Rapid Fire Round

What’s the best advice you have ever received regarding sobriety?

One day at a time.  Just worry about the now. 
  Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

The night when she could not remember putting her daughter to bed and she woke up on the couch. 
What are your thoughts on relapse?

Forgive yourself.  It’s a normal part of recovery. 
  What’s your proudest moment in sobriety?

Making it a full week without drinking. 
What’s your favorite resource in sobriety?

Cafe RE!
  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Today is the best day not to drink.  Don’t wait, don’t put it off, just begin.  It’s a journey.
You might be an alcoholic if…

“You’re pounding shots alone in the bathroom before company comes over because you’re scared of them seeing you drink.”

 

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

This Naked Mind - A book by Annie Grace

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!”

RE 190: Is Any Amount of Alcohol Healthy?

Oct 8, 2018 52:56

Description:

Jamie, with 93 days since her last drink, shares her story…

“No amount of alcohol is safe for your overall health.”

“Alcohol was the leading risk factor for disease and premature death in men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 worldwide in 2016, accounting for nearly one in 10 deaths, according to the study…”

A recent article released by CNN presents scientific studies that show the negative effects of alcohol consumption on one’s overall health.. delivering an opinion contrary to the largely pro-alcohol messages one typically finds in mainstream media.    

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:15] Paul Introduces Jamie.

Jamie is 39, from Alberta, Canada, and has been sober for 93 days.  She works in the school system and teaches fitness.  She is single, with two boys and dogs and cats. 

 

[10:51] Give is a bit of background on your drinking.

She started drinking when she was 12 years old.  She wanted to fit in with the bad kids.  Once she became old enough she drank much more.  She got married and had a child.  She lost her husband in a car accident, and her drinking increased.  During her idle time she would drink heavily.  She met someone who drank like she did.  Her social circles also drank heavily.  When she had large stretches of idle time she would drink a lot.  One particular summer was extra heavy. 

 

[16:55] Did you experience a rock bottom moment?

Her social circle was large, so there was always someone to drink with if she needed a new drinking buddy.  She kept saying yes to drinks with people.  She would get wasted 3, 4, 5 days in a row.  She began to track her drinking on her calendar.  She realized she was only drinking and recovering.  She tried to join a fitness program but only lasted two weeks.  She got another two weeks free and she drank the whole time.  She tried dry January but only lasted 23 days.  She began to moderate by saying no beer.  She booked a vacation, and got blackout drunk the first night.  She drank the entire trip and cried the whole way home.  She tried the fitness program again.  She tried dry January, in which she tried to quit smoking, drinking, and begin a healthy diet at the same time.  She began bullet journaling.  She went to see Tony Robbins.  She created a program to keep herself in check, then she would binge on the weekends.  She had a horrific morning after a night of binge drinking.  She met a sober mom, and immediately didn’t want to hang out with her.  She called her and she recommended a counselor.  She went to see an addiction counselor.  She didn’t want to stop drinking.  He mentioned the word “alcoholic” and she denied it.  She went to her first meeting and she had a breakthrough. 

 

[33:25] How did you quit?

She went to her first meeting, and it was full of influential AA people.  Lots of milestones, and she figured out she belonged there.  She experienced a myriad of emotions.  She knew that her life was going to change forever. 

 

[34:58] What happened after that meeting?

She was embarrassed about going to the meeting.  She realized her girlfriend was an addiction counselor.  She found the strength to go.  She discovered she was battling a brain disorder and that it wasn’t her fault.  She still battled the stigma of being labeled an alcoholic. 

 

[39:27] Did you have cravings? 

She was ready.  She finally wanted to be good to herself.  She was done hurting other people, and herself.  She wanted to be there for her children, but she wasn’t really there for herself.  She knew that if she didn’t deal with it, she would have been dead within 5 years. 

 

[42:28] What’s working for you?  How are you staying sober?

She listens to the podcast.  She is now choosing to user her free time to work on herself.  She’s established her community.  She has a big list of phone numbers for support.  She’s told all of her friends.  She can call her sponsor about anything.  She leans on her sponsor quite a bit.  She didn’t give herself a choice.  She “gave it all away”.  It’s been working wonders. 

 

[45:45] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

The anxiety the morning after, or waking up in the middle of the night in a panic.  Not being comfortable in her own skin.  Setting herself back. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

When her friends asked her to go out and she needed to drink a case of beer.  She lied to her friends. 
What’s your plan moving forward?

To be kind to herself.  To remember how far she’s come.  To stay connected.  To develop her relationship with her higher power.  To work her program wholly. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

That it isn’t a moral defect.  It’s not her fault.  To get out of her head.  To eat the ice cream, it’s ok. 
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Sobriety is awesome.  You’re not missing out on anything.  You’re gaining!  The sponsor, the accountability, the community has been number 1. 
You might be an alcoholic if...

“…if you bring six pack when you walk your dog.  Every time he pees, you have a drink.” 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Support for today's episode is brought to you by RXBAR. Visit Rxbar.com/elevator/ and enter the promo code elevator at checkout for 25% off your first order.

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

 

 

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

 

RE 189: Happiness is Right Around the Corner, and Then the Next Corner.

Oct 1, 2018 43:28

Description:

Sarah, with 162 days since her last drink, shares her story…

“When this happens, then I’ll be okay.” 

You may already be living the live you have been dreaming about.  Try not to fall into trap of “when this happens, I’ll be okay.” 

“When I get another month of sobriety”, or “when I move to another town”, or “when I get the right X” are all common examples of not living in the present moment.  Stop for a moment, take stock in the good things you have around you and try your best to find the magic and happiness you seek in the moment you’re in, right now. 

Once you bounce back from the effects of alcohol, you might just notice that you already have enough.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:50] Paul Introduces Sarah.

Sarah has been sober for 162 days.  Sarah is from England.  She is divorced, with two kids.  She is still figuring out what she does for fun.  She loves camping, nature, the outdoors.  She has a sober boyfriend.  She recently quit her job in retail management and is now running her own little cleaning business. 

 

[11:15] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

She didn’t realize she had a problem until recently.  She grew up in a drinking family.  She feels that people who don’t drink are a bit of an outcast.  Her drinking got out of control as an expat.  She lived in a dry state in India, and drinking became something she could obsess over even more.  She had her two children and quit for those pregnancies.  Straight after they were born she returned to the wine.  It escalated slowly and she was blind to how dangerous it had become.  She was having 5 glasses of wine most evenings.  She bought into the “mommy needs wine” culture.  She looked at it as a daily reward.  There were several red flags over the past few years. 

 

[15:50] What were the red flags that popped up?

She was suffering from bad anxiety.  At the time she didn’t realize it was from her drinking.  None of her doctors would diagnose her with anxiety, despite her asking them to.  One doctor probed into her drinking and figured out it that her drinking was the root of her anxiety.  The idea of stopping drinking was crazy to her at the time.  She received a solution to her problem but it wasn’t the solution she wanted at the time.  

 

[18:05] Had the idea of stopping drinking ever cross your mind? 

No, but it planted a seed in her brain that started to grow.  It took her two years to get the point of stopping.  Before that she was having a whole bottle of wine every single night.  She knew there was a problem but deep down she didn’t know what she could do about it. 

 

[20:42] Was there a specific time where you knew what to do but couldn’t do it?

Many times.  She felt like she was stuck down a hole and someone had removed the ladder.  She had these feelings daily.  She was feeling physical symptoms of drinking in excess.  She knew it was inevitable that she had to stop. 

 

[22:45] How did you break the cycle?

She just decided to quit drinking.  She had been listening to recovery podcasts for a few weeks and she just knew she had to do it.  She knew the path was only going to lead to everything she cared about getting hurt.  She became very stubborn.  She hadn’t told anyone about it and it felt empowering.  It keeps getting better and better as time goes on. 

 

[24:17] What were you thinking when you had that moment of clarity?

She had more of a feeling.  She had a lot of self-loathing and low self-esteem.  She realized that she was worth it.  She began to talk back to the internal dialogue trying to keep her in the same place.  She’s been enjoying the community in Café RE. 

 

[26:21] Did you experience any cravings?

Yes.  It was a roller coaster at first.  She threw herself into the internet group and began talking to people.  She began to learn and research.  She began to invest in her own self growth.  It felt good and she started to get excited for the next chapter of her life.  She found the idea of rewiring her brain and making it more able to resist alcohol quite attractive.  She began to focus on self-care.  She went to bed earlier.  She bought some nice deserts.  She watched movies with the kids.  She was gentle with herself.  It does get easier. 

 

[29:30] Tell us about Sarah 2.0.

She wants to work in recovery.  She wants to live the life and help other people to live it as well.  She is in the early stages so she’s being careful.  She thinks she has found a new purpose. 

[31:30] What does it mean to you to get out of your own head?

Calming down her mind and understanding that she is not her thoughts.  She just steps back for a minute and observes.  She’s making better decisions.  Life makes more sense.  She has a clearer understanding of what is important.  She can’t wait to learn more.  You have everything you need.  If you stop and just be in the moment everything else just falls away.  She stops her brain from spinning out to negative thoughts and stories.  She has learned to recognize the addictive voice. 

[36:00] Do you feel like an outcast now that you don’t drink?

She hasn’t told everyone yet.  She just has lime and soda or non-alcoholic beer and no one has asked her about it.  No one cares.  She people that care are close to you and they know you have a problem anyway and they’re going to be relieved that you stopped drinking. 

[37:40] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

A fancy ball she attended with her boyfriend.  She blacked out and went missing.  They found her curled up in a ball in the corner and she has no recollection. 

 

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

When her boss told her she could smell wine on her at 9am.. the second time. What’s your plan moving forward?

Keep doing what I’m doing.  Gratitude.  To remind herself that her life is great.  What’s your favorite resource in recovery? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

One day at a time.  It’s easy to overthink.  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Make it your priority.  Do whatever it takes to get sober.  Decide, stick to it, and be stubborn.  Make it the core of who you are.  Take care of yourself.  Have some cake. 

You might be an alcoholic if..

“…You examine and study everyone else’s drinking habits to get a better perspective on your own… and that includes looking in the fridges and their cupboards to see how much wine they’ve got.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Support for this episode is brought to you by Zip Recruiter. Right now, my listeners can try Zip Recruiter 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

 

 

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

RE 188: The Only Line We Cross That We Can't Come Back From

Sep 24, 2018 51:04

Description:

Tamara, with 88 days since her last drink, shares her story…

“There is only one line we can cross that we can’t come back from”

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255

SHOW NOTES

 

[4:20] Paul Introduces Tamara, and she recaps her experience with relapse and suicidal thoughts.

Tamara had a relapse after 48 days of sobriety.  She just moved to a new apartment.  She started the day running errands, then had a conversation with her sponsor.  She was alone, felt lonely and bought vodka.  She started to drink by herself.  She felt guilty because she is aware of the support structures that are in place, but she still witnessed herself resorting to alcohol to try to soothe her emotional pain.  She thought she had exhausted all of her options.  She began to have suicidal thoughts.  She recorded a goodbye message to her family.  She cut her wrist and sent the message.  Her parents received it and tracked her down.  They got in tough with her roommate.  Her roommate and her mother stopped her bleeding.  She went to the ER, and a mental hospital.  She realized she didn’t want to die, and that she had to change something.  She found a treatment center.  She stayed there for 4 weeks.  Reliving it, she is reminded that she isn’t broken.  She realizes how powerful alcohol is and it will take you if you let it.  She didn’t know what she was living for.  In the treatment center, she worked through her life experience.  She didn’t consider herself a trauma victim, but then realized that she had just been ignoring some things from her past.  Her pride crumbled.  She was able to see just how loved she was.  She was able to see the role of God in her life.  She finally saw her love and worth.  She felt like she came out of hiding.  She doesn’t have to hide parts of herself that she struggles with.  There are people in her life that accept her exactly as she is.  She had to rebuild her self-image and identity.  She wants to come out of her shell and live her life out in the open.  She didn’t know who she was anymore.  The emotional rawness from her experience enabled her to open.  She realized that she is not the orchestrator of everything in her life and that there are parts of her life that she can not control.  She began to focus on the present moment and not worry beyond that. 

 

[29:45] Talk to us about the letter you received from your employer right before you left. 

She had been feeling a bit out of place at her job.  She took on and internalized expectations and pressure.  She was open to changing everything else but she wanted to try and apply herself at her job.  She received a package from her employer, and it turned out to be a letter of termination.  She felt hurt.  She cried but realized that she had to rebuild completely from scratch and feels like it was a gift from god.   

 

[36:30] Tell us about what you found that can never be taken away.

She realized that no matter what is happening around her, it doesn’t have to wreck her world internally.  She’s still standing, and losing her job is now empowering.  She has an opportunity to rebuild her life in a way that is more authentic and meaningful to her.  She wants to do the next right thing.  She built her life around things that are true to her.  She realized that she’s had it the entire time.  She realized that she’s been loved the entire time.  She feels God’s love now.  She believes that we all have a purpose.  She saw something in the people around her and she felt like she didn’t have it, or couldn’t grab it.  After treatment, she feels more in touch with it. 

 

[39:19] Am I right in saying that you had a full spiritual awakening?

Yes.  Giving herself and life over to God has been the most liberating experience.  She has faith that after the first step, the next step will present itself. 

 

[40:53] Does one have to be religious to be spiritual?

Not at all.  It’s all about one’s own personal relationship with God.  Previously she felt that God’s love was punitive and based on how good or bad she had been. She was trying to achieve her way into earning love.  Religion is an outward expression of the internal spiritual relationship.  Religion is a practice.  She loves encouraging people, cooking for people, and sharing what she’s been through.  What’s changed is her feeling of spirituality. 

 

[44:00] What advice would you have for someone that’s struggling?

It starts with openness.  She thought she was open, but she was frustrated.  Look at the people in your life who have something that you think you want or need.  Be open to hearing what they’re doing and what they’ve been through.  Humble yourself enough to be open to the idea that things are bigger than you.  Be open to exploring those ideas.  We’re all bonded by the desire to be loved.  Tunnel vision leads to the path of pain in addiction.  Open your mind to the fact that you may not see the whole picture.  It’s not your fault if you can’t, but at least be open to the possibility of more.  

 

[46:44] With 88 days in sobriety, what’s next for you?

She has no idea what’s next and that’s ok.  She has some short term plans.  She will continue to embrace her spirituality and be excited about her future. 

 

[47:25] Is there anything else you’d like to add?

She believes that people are the best thing about God’s creation.  If you are struggling, reach out to people.  Some not conversations may not take you to anywhere but listen to people.  Ask the meaningful questions and don’t fear judgement. 

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

 

 

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

RE 187: The Most Important Journey You'll Ever Take

Sep 17, 2018 53:07

Description:

John, with over 1 year since his last drink, shares his story…

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life you could save.

By Mary Oliver


SHOW NOTES

 

[8:45] Paul Introduces Randy.

 

Paul is a musician from Helena, Montana.  He’s been sober for over 1 year.  He’s 41 years old.   He’s married with two sons.  For fun, he likes to turn his obsessive side toward healthy activities.  He’s exploring moderation.  He stopped drinking after a horrible hangover.  He tried to have a beer after some after about 6 months of sobriety.  He realized that everything kicked back in.  He got sober with willpower but realized that he can’t stay sober with willpower. 

[17:09] At what point did you realize that you had a problem with drinking?

He has alcoholism in his family.  When he started to perform in bands at 19, he refused to drink.  When he moved to Montana, he discovered craft beer and the surrounding culture encouraged him to drink.  In 2011 he quit drinking for 14 months.  He considers himself an extrovert and gets charged up by talking to people.  He realized that his drinking was an extension of his lack of emotional intelligence.  He got tired of playing “hide the bottle”.  He began to go to bed drunk every night.  Hid digestion was a mess. 

 

[25:13] What did you find was at the root of your decision to quit?

His body hurt.  He was sick and tired of sick and tired.  Telling people that he was sober was strange because he had histories with his bandmates.  He changed his internal dialogue to harness his stubbornness, so he could use it to stay sober. 

 

[28:07] Tell us more about the moment where you felt the weight drop off your shoulders.

He felt like he was coming to terms with the loneliness in his own heart.  He began to explore the religious side of his life.  He addressed his conflicted religious beliefs, and once he felt better about it he found the strength to quit drinking.  He thinks addicts share the bond of the unquenchable thirst.  We’re always trying to overdo it. 

 

[33:00] Tell us more about not wanting to drink but wanting to be drunk. 

As soon as the alcohol hits the brain, it kickstarts a physiological craving that can be shut off only by the removal of alcohol from the system.  He realized that a lot of the bad behavior in his life was dictated by his addiction.  He wants to meet the emotional needs of others.  He wants people to know that they’re not alone.  He believes there is freedom in commitment, but it has to be all in.  

 

[39:06] How do you plan on addressing the excess?

He is in the process of addiction whack-a-mole.  He switched to Adderall.  To counter it, he’s now taking cannabis.  He is dealing with the shame of wanting a buzz.  Alcohol works until it doesn’t.  He quit Adderall.  He keeps looking for the next magic pill. 

 

[45:00] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Arguing with his wife in the car.  They weren’t married yet and she asked him about his drinking.  He made his wife cry and felt terrible. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? What’s your plan moving forward? What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

The recovery elevator podcast.  Also, his sober friends.  “Connection is the opposite of addiction.” 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Use the obsessive part of addiction as a superpower.  Apply your obsession to something positive. 
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Ask for help.  If it needs to be private, that’s ok.  Ask people to help you stay sober.  Don’t be afraid. 
You might be an alcoholic if...

“…you play hide the bottle.  If you’re drinking privately, it isn’t normal.  Lots of people do it, but you can be free from that if you choose to be.”  

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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!”

RE 186: Alcohol Gives us the Wings to Fly, Then Takes Away the Sky

Sep 10, 2018 40:55

Description:

Angie, with 146 days since her last drink, shares her story…

“Alcohol gave me the wings to fly, then took away the sky”


SHOW NOTES

 

[5:30] Paul Introduces Angie.

 

Angie is 36 years old, lives in Atlanta, GA.  She has been sober for 146 days and is the proud owner of 2 dogs.  She loves live music, the theater and the movies.  She enjoys cooking.  She now enjoys her own company. 

[7:06] Give us some background about your drinking habits. 

She never drank in high school or college.  She started when she was in her early 20’s.  Drinking gave her confidence.  After a divorce in 2012, she attempted suicide and her drinking also ramped up.  She was having between 6-10 drinks a night.  She felt like she was barely surviving.  Her move to Atlanta did not cure her drinking, but it helped her to realize she had a problem. 

 

[10:25] Did you ever have a rock bottom moment?

She was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  She never really wanted to stop, but she had a rock bottom moment when she drank before work.  She was blacked out drunk and spoke with two of her bosses.  She realized that she didn’t have it under control.  She would attempt sobriety and then crash into relapse.  She associated alcohol with love.  She wrote a goodbye letter to alcohol. 

 

[16:05] What did it feel like to formally say goodbye to alcohol?

She felt empowered.  She spent a lot of time wishing things in her life would be different.  She realized that she had all the tools she needed within her.  Her life got a lot easier.  She changed her relationship with her internal dialogue. 

 

[18:15] How did you quit?

She wanted to change but wasn’t really searching for community.  She struggled with sobriety on her own.  She relapsed and thought it was the end of the world.  She finally realized that she can’t do it alone she began to connect with people.  She went to AA.  She went to Smart Recovery.  She organized a sober meetup.  Letting people in to help her has been her 146 days. 

 

[21:16] Talk to us about why you were unable to attend the Dallas meetup.

She relapsed right before and felt like she couldn’t go.  She felt like she wasn’t worth it.  She kept drinking for two more months. 

 

[23:02] Talk to us about your relationship to self-loathing. 

She has often struggled with self-loathing.  She has always felt like she wasn’t good enough.  She experienced a lot of self-hatred after relapse.  She realized she wasn’t going to change or grow.  She realized drinking was a symptom.  She drank because she hated herself.  She realized that she had to love herself in that moment.  She had a new story to write which looked nothing like her past.  She has started to meditate.  She decided she needed to go to therapy and talk it out with people.  She wanted the outside voices. 

 

[27:31] Walk us through a day in your recovery.  What tools are you using?

She meditates first thing in the morning.  She focuses on taking care of her dogs.  She journals and tries to take it one day at a time.  She breaks it down further to one thing at a time.  Her life feels a lot slower and more peaceful. 

 

[30:10] What’s your proudest moment in sobriety?

She went to see a musical recently and didn’t drink.  She turned down a drink after a friend pressured her.  She went to the bathroom, struggled, cried, but ended up texting her other sober friend to get through it. 

[31:25] What are your thoughts on relapse? 

Anything we do in life, we fail at.  Success is built on failure.  Failure aka relapse is a part of life.  The less you beat yourself up, the better you’ll be. 

 

[32:54] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Her failed suicide attempt.  She found out her husband was cheating on her and she tried to take her life. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Going to her part time job completely drunk with no memory of the conversation. 
What’s your plan moving forward?

Taking it one day at a time.  Try to not isolate herself.  Maintain sober relationships
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Café RE. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

I’m worth it.  It’s worth it to do hard things and she’s worth it being sober. 
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Just give it a shot.  Give it 90 days and see how you feel.  If the idea of 90 days feels overwhelming, that’s just another reason to give it a try.  Don’t listen to the shitty voice in your head.  Reach out to a community.  People understand what you’re going through. 

You might be an alcoholic if...

“You’re an avid Office fan, but you have to skip the episode with the intervention because it hits too close to home.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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!”

 

RE 185: Is Tracking Continuous Sobriety Important?

Sep 3, 2018 57:09

Description:

Jennifer, with 568 days since her last drink, shares her story…

Tracking your sobriety time – Do the numbers matter?

To begin with, know that it’s not a competition.  We’re going for quality over quantity!  We quit alcohol because we want to improve our lives.  The end goal isn’t in the numbers, but in the increase in one’s quality of life.  Removing alcohol was the first step in a journey of getting to know ourselves, finding out what we really want from life and making the best of each and every day.  The real tracker is how you feel about who you are, where you’re going and what is meaningful in your life. 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:52] Paul Introduces Jennifer.

 

Jennifer is 36 years old from Cleveland, OH.  She has 3 cats and runs a business walking dogs.

[11:52] Describe to us your background with drinking.

She started drinking at 15.  She always thought it was normal to binge drink.  She thought it was a part of youth.  Her drinking held pretty steady until her mid 30’s.  She realized that we live in a drinking culture.  She has often struggled with codependency.  She never thought she was the problem.  She always thought it was other people. 

 

[16:29] Where was your lightbulb moment indicating you had to stop?

4 months before this recent attempt, she appeared on a podcast about addiction and codependency.  She grew up with addiction in her family.  She had to be the parent as a child.  She had a negative image in her head of what an addict was, and because she wasn’t close to that image, she wasn’t able to see the progression of her own addiction.  She began to realize that addiction has many forms by listening to other people’s stories and it gave her permission to acknowledge her own addictive behavior. 

 

[21:52] How were you able to finally make the change when the time came?

She was exhausted by the idea of continuing to drink.  Her own drinking behavior started to wear her out and she became tired and resentful.  She wanted to be able to enjoy activities without alcohol.  She went through a breakup and had to seek out grounding.  Her hangovers were getting darker and more difficult.  She began to fear the impact it was having on her health.  She couldn’t handle the shame and embarrassment.  She found Recovery Elevator and it helped give her the confidence to try and quit.  She realized that she’s not alone.  She didn’t really connect with AA when she tried it.  Her first year of sobriety she kind of transferred her alcoholism to workaholism.  She didn’t realize there were options other than AA.  She didn’t realize how much she needed people until she started talking to other people about being sober. 

 

[31:30] How did you manage your early recovery?

She became hyper focused on her work.  She tried to avoid social situations so she could avoid alcohol.  She lost some friends.  

 

[35:05] What are you working on now in sobriety?

She is working on maintenance.  She wants to achieve big things in life but she’s trying to keep simple and to focus on taking care of herself and relaxing.  She’s learning how to be kind to herself.  She’s working on being able to regulate her emotional life.  She realized that she used to be too focused on what others thought about her.  She feels transformed on the inside, even though there is little change on the outside. 

 

[41:00] What is the “Shift Doughnut”?

She used to work at the doughnut shop in Cleveland.  She would just get a doughnut after her shift.  She called them “shift doughnuts” but her coworker helped her realize that she was just stealing doughnuts.  

 

[42:10] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Shortly after her 30th birthday, she went home with a lover and was raped after she blacked out.  She tried to ignore it for a long time but in sobriety it bubbles up to the surface. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

She invented the Triple Pipe Classic, which is when you lose control of all bodily functions.
What’s your plan moving forward?

Learning to like herself, love herself, deepening her meditation practice.  Learning to go slower and relax.  She’s looking forward to the Café RE trip to Peru.  She wants to travel more and do more things with her life. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

An app called Marco Polo.  It’s like having a little therapist in your pocket.  She feels like she is able to see thought patterns that she missed before.  It’s easy to connect with people. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Early in sobriety, someone said “You know you can start your day over at any time..”
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Don’t compare yourself out of recovery.  Your recovery is your own.  The only opinion of you that matters is your own.  Alcoholism is a symptom of things not going well.  Be grateful for the opportunity to sort yourself out. 

Also, be open to the idea that you may not know yourself like you think.  What if you’re wrong about yourself?  The story tape reel repeating in your head about yourself might be completely wrong.  Be open to a new and better and you. 
You might be an alcoholic if...

“you post a video on your social media channels of you home alone, drunk, dancing to Lady Gaga and juggling cigarettes.” Or “if you complete a Triple Pipe Classic”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck – A book by Mark Manson
Marco Polo (Android) (iTunes) – An video chat app
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

 

 

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

 

RE 184: The Greatest Miracle of All Time

Aug 27, 2018 45:31

Description:

Paul, with 28 days since his last drink, shares his story...

The article mentioned in the episode introduction:  Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God - Wall Street Journal

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:57] Paul Introduces... Paul.


Paul is from St. Paul, Minnessota.  He's 67 years old, retired.  He is married with 2 kids, and 2 grandchildren.  He hosts an internet radio show.  He enjoys cooking and films. 

 

[13:18] Describe your drinking history.

In his 20s, he feels that he was a normal drinker.  Sometimes to excess with a bad hangover, but usually a moderate amount.  During his first marriage, his wife didn't drink as much.  He started to experiment with stronger mixed drinks.  His second wife died of breast cancer, and he was a caretaker for her.  He used drinking to deal with the pain.  He married again a third time and didn't feel compelled to drink too much.  It started to creep back in.  His office culture encouraged drinking after work.  He gradually switched from beer to whiskey.  He tried to moderate but not drinking during the day.  He began concealing his drinking from his wife.  He's tried to quit a few times in the past few years.  His habits got progressively worse. 

 

[19:10] What was different about this last attempt to quit?

After a doctor's appointment, he was shocked at his high blood pressure.  He kept drinking.  He started to suffer from diabetes.  His doctor said it was okay to drink a little bit each day.  He used that as an excuse to ramp back up.  He had quit before with determination, but this time it felt different.  He is exploring the painful periods of his past, and trying to find out the connection to his drinking.  He thinks it has something to do with being verbally abused as a child.  The alcohol has helped him relax.  He thinks his anxiety is wearing off gradually. 

 

[28:00] Describe your present relationship with anxiety. 

He feels as if something bad is going to happen, irrationally.  He feels an unease, an inability to relax.  A few months ago, he was going to go on a trip to Ireland.  He had a lot of anxiety about the trip and it worried him.  He just started drinking again to manage the anxiety. 

 

[32:10] How did you achieve 28 days this time around?

He did some research.  He found an article by Roger Ebert about his struggle.  He did more research and found Cafe RE.  He's learning new ways to deal with his emotions that don't involve drinking. 

 

[34:53] What's on your bucket list in sobriety?

He would like to travel.  He wants to learn how to ride horses.  He wants to take some guitar lessons.  He wants to put more work into his radio show.  He plays vintage and eclectic music. 

 

 

 

[38:32] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

He was surprised to have blackouts. He found it unsettling and scary. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

His wife mentioned something he said and he didn't remember saying it. What’s your plan moving forward?

He wants to follow up with smart recovery and AA. He will continue to journal.  Continue to engage with Cafe RE.  What’s your favorite resource in recovery? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

“Today is the best day to quit.”
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Share it with someone. Make yourself accountable.  He shared with his wife and his kids and it's made a difference.  Be kind to yourself.  Don't believe what other people tell you about yourself unless it's good. You might be an alcoholic if...

“..if you're researching whether or not you're and alcoholic.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Science increasingly makes the case for God – An article in the Wall Street Journal
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!”

 

RE 183: Be Yourself; Everyone Else is Already Taken

Aug 20, 2018 47:13

Description:

Jason, with 178 days since his last drink, shares his story...

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier

 

“It’s difficult to believe in yourself because the idea of self is an artificial construction. You are, in fact, part of the glorious oneness of the universe. Everything beautiful in the world is within you.” – Russell Brand

 

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford

 

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” – Zen proverb

 

“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” – Agnes Repplier

 

“If things go wrong, don’t go with them.” – Roger Babson

 

“Recovery is not for people who need it, but for people who want it” – Anonymous

 

“When the past calls, let it go to voicemail. Believe me, it has nothing new to say.” – Unknown

 

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard

 

“If you can quit for a day, you can quit for a lifetime.” – Benjamin Alire Sáenz

 

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

 

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” – Rosa Parks

 

“When was the last time you woke up and wished you’d had just one more drink the night before? I have never regretted not drinking. Say this to yourself, and you’ll get through anything.” – Meredith Bell

 

“The Pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow” – Anonymous

 

“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost

 

“Your heart is leading you in the right direction. Quiet the mind and follow. “ – Paul Churchill

 

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth

 

“Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it.” – J. Petit Senn

 

“Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.” – Bernard Williams

“What is addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.” – Alice Miller

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:50] Paul Introduces Jason.

Jason is 46-year-old social worker from Connecticut  He's married with two children.  He likes the outdoors, soccer, kayaking, fishing,and hiking. 

 

[14:00] Give listeners an idea of your drinking background.

He started drinking in high school.  It escalated when he went into the navy.  After the navy, his drinking settled into a regular pattern which slowly escalated as well.  In mid 30's his drinking started to feel like it was getting to be a problem.  He had a previous 5 year period of sobriety.  He was trying to be health conscious.  He has heart disease in his family.  He tried to stay on top of it.  Around 38, his physical wasn't so great.  He was referred to a cardiologist.  He thought cutting alcohol out would improve his health.  He stopped on NYE of 2010.  He felt a lot better so he kept going.  He did not work a program.  He was hung up on the stigma of being an alcoholic.  He thought that after 5 years he didn't have a problem, and he was feeling healthy and he thought that maybe he could be a normal drinker again.  After relapse, he kept it under control for a while, but shortly thereafter it started escalating again quickly and he began to fall back into the same patterns.  He had a difficult summer, drinking most days, and he realized that he was a better person during his stint in sobriety and decided to go back to being sober. 

 

[27:38] Did you find it difficult to stop the second time? 

He could see how bad it would get if he didn't stop.  He was hiding drinks, and every week seemed to get worse.  He knew he was worse than he had been previously.  He thought that his previous bout of sobriety meant he could do it again.  He just had to get back to sobriety.  He feels our society surrounds you with pro-drinking messages.  

 

[32:07] How were you able to quit this time around?

The first few weeks were difficult, more difficult than he remembered from before.  This time it felt more ingrained into his routine, making it more difficult.  This time he is consuming more sobriety media and it helps him keep his mind right. 

 

[34:00] Do you think you are addressing more dimensions of sobriety this time?

Last time he was too focused on the physical part.  This time he's addressing the mental and spiritual sides of his life.  He's building a meditation practice and doing yoga.  He he has more tools this time than before.  He's trying not to think about the time line as much.  He's trying to stay in the present and focus on what's right in front of him. 

 

[36:37] What's something that you've learned about yourself in sobriety?

Honest really helps.  Also, there's nothing to be ashamed of.  Dependence happens to some people quicker than others, but it's nothing to be ashamed of.  He's taking things more gradually and slowly. 

 

[37:22] Have you experienced any cravings?

Definitely, in the first few months.  He just tries to ride it out.  They're only about 20 minutes long.  He tries to distract himself realizing that they will pass. 

 

[38:56] If you could go back and change anything about your getting sober, what would it be?

He thinks he could have talked to and with more people. 

 

[39:20] What's on your bucket list in sobriety?

He wants to travel more, and spend more time with his kids. 

 

 

[40:00] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

When he was in the navy, he blacked out and had to walk around ashamed.
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

It's a cumulative thing. His many mornings feeling terrible.  Hearing about conversations he didn't remember. 
What’s your plan moving forward?

To keep taking it slowly. To focus on his meditation and yoga practice.  Be open and honest with people in his sobriety. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Recovery Elevator podcast. On Instagram:  Drybe club
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

You do not have to drink.

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

If it's something that's on your mind, just do it. Reach out to people, be honest and find resources. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Drybe Club – an Instagram page about sobriety
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!”

 

RE 182: Creating Gaps in our Thinking

Aug 13, 2018 43:40

Description:

Chris, with 96 days since his last drink, shares his story...

In sobriety, it's possible to become more in tune with the inner workings of our minds.  By stopping the intake of a numbing substance, our minds and bodies become more sensitive, and with that sensitivity comes a glimpse into the processes and systems that run under the hood. Our emotions and how we handle them (or, in early sobriety, often we will see how our emotions are handling us!), the physical sensations that return as our body heals, and how our subconscious mind has an impact on our every waking moment.

In practices like meditation, we can begin to see how our thoughts can interrupt our every waking moment.  As we examine further, we can see that thoughts have a big impact on how we see ourselves, the world and, ultimately thoughts can make up who we are.

To learn to manage your thoughts, follow Paul's first steps: 

- Trust that your body knows best. - Your mind is a secondary organ to your body.  You may think you are in control, but the mind is a tool that works for the body, not the other way around.

- Learn to quiet the mind. - In the early stages of recovery, especially, it's important to recalibrate your sense of stillness.  Chances are in the throws of addiction you have lost your center.

- Don't get hooked – When you become aware of a thought entering your mind, simply notice it for what it is and let it float by.  You can use a safe word to remind you to come back to the present moment.  “Here”, “Stop”, “Thoughts..”

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:48] Paul Introduces Chris.


Chris is 37 years old, lives in Arizona.  Chris is married with two kids, has two dogs, is a musician and likes to ride his motorcycle. 

 

[14:33] When did you first realize that you had a problem with drinking?  Why did you decide to quit?

He realized that alcohol had a hold on him.  He couldn't stop.  It was affecting everything.  He felt like the party was over.  He went to get beer after his kids were asleep.  Suddenly he realized that if he had gotten a DUI, no one would be able to take care of his kids.  He asked a friend in recovery to help him get cleaned up.  He started going to AA.  He would get 30 days and then relapse.  He worked at a bar and was drinking non stop.  It started to take a toll on his body. 

 

[18:56] When did your attempts to quit begin to get some traction?

He would try to moderate.  He switched to wine.  They moved to Arizona, and he wanted to use the chance to get clean.  He found himself isolated and depressed, and anxious.  He used his exercise to earn his drinks.  He kept repeating the cycle. 

 

[21:23] What are your thoughts on the “geographical cure”?

He thought he was going to start over in a new place, and leave the negativity behind.  He started working quickly after the move.  Anxiety started to set in, he felt uncomfortable being alone and bored.  He turned to alcohol.  Alcohol was the ice breaker in social situations.

 

[22:47] What would you consider to be your rock bottom moment?

He feels that he had many.  Every time he would wake up feeling ashamed was a rock bottom moment.  He felt that he couldn't escape alcohol's grip and he was scared.  He wanted to quit but felt that he couldn't.  The night would start with one beer and end after multiple. 

 

[24:30] What changed this last time to ensure your success so far? 

He had researched a medicine called kambo.  He had read that it would help him quit alcohol.  He found someone in his local area and he signed up to try it.  The scrape the venom off a frog from the amazon.  The practitioner lights the tip of the incense stick, then marks your arm, then applies the venom to your arm.  He didn't hallucinate, but had intense bodily sensations.  It's a giant purge.  He puked like crazy and felt a sharp pain.  He found a blockage, and puked it out.  He did another purge that evening and hasn't craved alcohol since. 

 

[31:39] Have you noticed any other improvements in other areas of your life? 

He's less stressed.  He tries to block negative energy.  He lets things roll off and relaxes. 

 

[33:19] Did you try any other resources to quit?

He tried AA.  He didn't click with his local group.  He liked the online group better.  The plant medicine was sort of a last resort for him.  He thinks it was a reflection of the amount of desperation he had at the time. 

 

[36:00] What's your proudest moment in recovery?

He was around 50 days in sobriety.  He took his son to a Metallica concert without drinking.

[36:45] What's on your bucket list in sobriety?

Continuing down the path.  He wants to be of help to anyone trying to get sober.  He is into the plant medicine world. 


[39:20] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

A huge fight with his wife. He threw glasses at the wall. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? What’s your plan moving forward?

Continuing down the path. Staying active in the online group. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Cafe RE Blue. Talking with more people. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

It's easier to stay sober than to get sober. Don't take yourself too seriously. 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Just do it. Go for it.  Take your time, get comfortable.  Find the path for you. 

You might be an alcoholic if...

“If you have to put venomous frog poison in your skin to get sober..”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

You Are the Placebo – A book by Dr. Joe Dispenza

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!”

 

Re 181: Water is all you Need

Aug 6, 2018 49:44

Description:

Jodi, with over 100 days since her last drink, shares her story...

You’d think that when dealing with something as simple and common as water, there couldn’t be any confusion.  Water is water, right?  It turns out that not all waters are created equal. 

Water comes in many forms and despite what you might think, the differences aren't just regional nomenclature.  There are distinct differences between these types of water, and while they are somewhat slight, they’re enough to merit their own name.  Here’s what you need to know:

Mineral Water

Sparkling mineral water comes from a natural spring which contains various minerals, like salts and sulfur compounds. It's defined by its "constant level and relative proportions of mineral and trace elements at the point of emergence from the source." Minerals aren't added to this water and neither is carbonation (with the exception of San Pellegrino, which has additional carbonation added by the bottler). That means that the bubbles in these bottles are completely natural. You would typically drink this water as is (not mixed in a cocktail), since it's a tad expensive and has a slight mineral-y taste.

 

Seltzer Water

Seltzer water is just plain water that has been artificially carbonated. This water, which contains no sodium salts, gets its name from the German town of Selters, which was renowned for its natural springs. Seltzer water was first introduced as a cheap alternative to sparkling mineral water -- and it still is an economical option today.

 

Club Soda

Seltzer water and club soda are very similar, but there is a notable difference between the two. Unlike seltzer, mineral-like ingredients are added to club soda to enhance the flavor. If you look on the list of ingredients, you'll likely see potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate listed.

 

Tonic Water
Just because it contains the word water in its name and is carbonated doesn't mean that tonic water is in the same category as bubbly waters. Unlike the other carbonated options, tonic water has a distinct flavor and it certainly can't be swapped out for carbonated water. Tonic water is a bitter drink, a result of the addition of quinine, which pairs particularly well with gin. Also unlike the other waters, Tonic contains calories -- about 130 for 12 fluid ounces.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:05] Paul Introduces Jodi.

 

Jodi is 34-year-old artist and musician living in Detroit, Michigan, with her dog.  She has a podcast called “Detroit Craft Academy”.  She went to art school for photography originally. 

[12:20] How has sobriety affected your personal relationship with your art? 

It's been a little difficult.  She had a romanticized definition of what an artist was in her mind that involved drinking.  She feels it was learned.  She no longer buys into it.  She's realizing that her art is now better with a sober mind. 

 

[14:25] When did you first realize you had a problem with drinking, and how did you quit? 

She grew up straight edge.  She started drinking with a guy she met.  She enjoyed alcohol after she tried it.  She feels that she's always had an addictive personality, which worsened after she started drinking.  She was always at the bar before and after class during school.  She began hanging out with musicians.  She began to black out, and felt that she was time traveling.  She would have to investigate to find out the events from the previous night.  She had a stint of sobriety for two years as her boyfriend turned out to be an addict.  She started again at 22 and hid it from her partner.  She tried to go to AA. 

 

[20:25] Did you experience a rock bottom?

She had many.  She didn't consider them rock bottoms because she wasn't ready to address the fact that she had a drinking problem, and she also thought that it was typical artist behavior.  She associates her addiction with “Large Marge” from Peewee Herman. 

 

[22:29] What was different about this particular attempt to quit that's been successful so far? 

Before quitting she had been dealing with depression and a relationship with an addict.  She experienced some trauma.  She started seeing a counselor.  The counselor didn't know that she had a drinking problem.  Alcoholism runs in her family.  Alcohol dulled the emotions she didn't want to feel and enhanced the positive ones, but the depression didn't go away.  She tried many things to get rid of it but they didn't work.  She tried to quit drinking for a month and felt amazing.  This time something different happened.  She recently tried a sensory deprivation chamber.  She heard a voice tell her to quit drinking.  She feels her consciousness shifted.  She calls it the voice of silence.  She told everyone she knew that she quit drinking, creating accountability.  Everyone has been supportive.  She started changing her group of friends.  She started going to AA.  It's been great.  Every meeting has been different. 

 

[38:44] What have you learned about yourself in sobriety so far?

With her shift in consciousness, she is trying to be open minded.  She's learning how to break down her strict boundaries.  We are bigger than the boxes in which we put ourselves.  She's open to not pleasing everyone. 

 

[40:25] How is your depression now that alcohol is removed from your life?

She still suffers from depression, but she changes how she responds to it.  Before she would turn to drinking, and now she tries to face it.  She's finding different ways to deal with it.  She goes for walks, calls her sponsor, focuses on art.  She's considering medication. 

 

[42:42] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

All the holes in her memory. Playing detective to figure out what happened the night before.  Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

She realized that her only desire to go out was because she wanted to drink, and she had to drink to have a desire to go out. What’s your plan moving forward?

One day at a time. She journals a lot.  What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Cafe RE, honestly.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Don't beat yourself up if you fail. You won't see the successes if you concentrate on the failures.  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Tell everyone. Tell the bartender to punch you if you order alcohol. You might be an alcoholic if...

“you lose your car, and then go to the police to help you find your car, and drop you off, and you think it might be a trap.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you by Zip Recruiter. Right now, listeners can try Zip Recruiter for free by visiting Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

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!”

 

RE 180: What Lies Ahead

Jul 30, 2018 56:29

Description:

Craig, who has been sober since 9/21/16, shares his story.

The unprecedented success of this podcast mirrors a simple approach to recovery.  Just show up and continue to show up. 

The future of Recovery Elevator is promising!  The plan is to migrate the growing community over to a private forum and away from facebook.  The focus will be on creating many local groups, in-person meet-ups, sober travel, and sobriety events .

SHOW NOTES

[14:00] Paul Introduces Craig.

Craig is 40 years old, from central Scotland.  He's married and a father of two.  He works in flooring and is a part time Taekwondo instructor.

 

[16:53] When did you realize you first had a problem with drinking?

He started when he was about 14.  His family moved a lot.  Alcohol was a big presence.  His first binge was extreme and he had to go to the medical center.  He started to drink a case per night.  Eventually whiskey entered the picture.  He became more isolated.  He couldn't relax without alcohol.  He would drink with colleagues after work and it progressed into something very difficult to control. 

 

[23:07] How did you achieve your 9 weeks during your first attempt at sobriety? 

He ended up in the hospital after a suspected heart attack.  After some liver tests the doctor gave him a pep talk.  His first attempt was sheer will power. 

 

[24:48] What led to the following relapse? 

He wanted to celebrate his 9 weeks by drinking.  After he did not really try to self moderate.  Eventually after a binge on a trip to Mexico he woke up with a painful hangover and decided that he couldn't do it any more.  He sought out recovery sources online and discovered the podcast.  It resonated with him.  He realized he wasn't alone.

 

[27:47] Once you made the conscious choice, how did you stop? 

His realized he was a bad example for his son.

 

[29:40] What were some of the other recovery resources you found?

Recovery Elevator, also Omar and Shane Ramer, the Sober Guy podcast, and the Share Podcast, the Good Dad project and Sean Croxton's Quote of the Day.  

 

[30:30] Walk us through the early stages of your recovery. 

He had two difficult episodes with Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptom (PAWS).  Fatigue, mood swings, depression, anxiety, loss of concentration.  The first one was about six weeks sober.  He went to his doctor and said he wasn't feeling well.  The doctor suggested AA.  He realized there is life after drinking. 

 

[35:39] When did you begin implementing what you learned into your recovery? 

He started listening to motivational podcasts in addition to recovery podcasts.  He started to see things in a different light.  He joined different online communities and enjoyed being able to bounce different ideas off people in the forums.  He examined his internal dialogues and focused on self love.   

 

[40:36] What advice do you have for someone who is on day 1 right now? 

Day 1 is where the adventure starts!  Let's look at how we can get you to day 2 and beyond.  1 day at a time.  Break it down into pieces.  Get through the cravings.  The numbers don't matter, you're already worth it.  Beating yourself up doesn't work.  Nobody's recovery is exactly the same. 

[44:43] Is there anything you would have done differently in your recovery?

No.  He feels that he had to go through what he went through to get to where he is.  He is grateful for the doctor's presence in his life.  He doesn't regret drinking either, but he's glad he stopped. 

[46:16] What have you learned about yourself in recovery? 

First all, I'm good enough.  Secondly, I deserve this recovery and all its benefits.  Everyone deserves it. 

[46:56] What's on your bucket list in sobriety?

He's got more of a “fuck it” list.  If he wants to do something he's going to do it.  He's going to keep living and spending as much time as he can with family. 


[49:40] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Not remembering three days from being 14 years old after a binge.

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Before his trip to Mexico, he drank heavily and woke up fearing death. He realized that he needed help. 

What’s your plan moving forward?

Let's get 644 days in the bag and he'll deal with 645 days tomorrow.

What’s your favorite resource in recovery? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

From Hank at Hope Rehab, “Take the cotton out of your ears and stick it in your mouth.”

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Don't try and do it alone. You need the community.  You need accountability with the right people, the ones that can actually help you.

You might be an alcoholic if...

“you drank so much that the next day you start going into DT's at 3pm the next afternoon.”

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery 2.0 – A book by Tommy Rosen
Hope Rehab – A recovery center in Thailand
The SHAIR podcast – a recovery podcast
That Sober Guy podcast – a recovery podcast

The Good Dad Project - podcast

Sean Croxton's Quote of the Day - podcast

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

 

 

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

RE 179: Fear – Future Events Appearing Real

Jul 23, 2018 45:15

Description:

Problems are a part of life.  When one problem is resolved and filed neatly away a new one arrives to take its place.  At times, our problems in life may seem overwhelming.  When the pressure is on and things get difficult, often our response is avoidance or escape. 

In sobriety we learn to neither rely on fight nor flight when things get tough.  Instead, we consciously engage in the life long practice of facing our fears.  We have a choice.  With courage, acceptance and humility we can find the strength to deal with our problems. 

Kelsey, with 94 days since her last drink, shares her story..

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:10] Paul Introduces Kelsey.

Kelsey is 26 years old, from Utah.  She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her boyfriend and two dogs.  She manages a coffee shop and runs a business producing handmade clothing.  She likes the outdoors and sports.  Sewing has been therapeutic for her since she quit drinking. 

 

[10:56] What was your drinking background, and when did you first realize you wanted to quit?

High school.  She used to be scared of drinking.  She used to have an eating disorder after a move to Arizona.  Her drinking slowly progressed.  She got a DUI in Arizona and served some time.  She continued to drink after.  It escalated.  Her hangovers turned into withdrawal.  She did outpatient therapy.   She tried to get sober multiple times.  Never really tried AA.

 

[16:22] Did you experience one addiction morphing into a second? 

Yes.  She went to therapy for the eating disorder and didn't really recover fully.  Alcohol helped her feel better.  It was a slippery slope. 

 

[17:30] What were your previous attempts to quit drinking? 

She tried cold turkey.  It didn't work.  She was searching for programs because she didn't like the higher power aspect of AA.  She found “Moderation Management”.  She didn't feel accountable.  It's an online forum with a workbook.  The rules never worked for her. 

 

[21:40] Why do you think you were drinking for a week straight?

She was tired.  Initially it was fun, but it became frequent blackouts and very negative.  She is a busy person and it was difficult for her to sober up.  Her brain was forcing her to use alcohol to relax. 

 

[23:20] Did you experience a rock bottom moment?

She started at her boyfriend's show, and ended up drinking for a week straight.  Her mother tried to help her.  She had work obligations and the drinking got in the way.  She tried to hide it from her mother.  She's grateful that she didn't get into any accidents. 

 

[24:42] Was there more than just being sick and tired? 

She realized that she had other aspirations and she wouldn't be able to achieve them without removing alcohol from her life.  She realized that the path of drinking would ultimately lead to her death.  She chose life and happiness.   

 

[26:37] How did you implement the choice into your life?

She feels like she's grown up a bit.  She didn't struggle with cravings.  She reflects a lot on how good it feels to be sober.  She's choosing to focus on the positive parts of the journey instead of just the negative.  She chooses to paint a new picture and reprogram her associations with positive memories.  The first 24 hours were difficult.  She felt guilty and anxious.  Second day feels more optimistic.  Third felt better.  It continues to get easier.  She started going to meetings and it really helped her solidify her plans for the future.  Every day gets a little bit better.   

 

[29:00] What are you thoughts on relapse? 

It's always a possibility.  She resolves to try her best and not to feel guilty. 

[32:44] How have you address self loathing in recovery?

She is talking more than before.  She's never been good at talking about her feelings.  She's had to learn to express herself.  She's able to recognize when she's triggered and now she reaches out to loved ones when she is feeling down. 

[34:20] What is your plan moving forward in recovery?

She is trying to be less negative.  She wishes she could drink normally.

[35:10]  Is there anything you wish you could have done differently? 

Giving therapy more of a chance and giving things more time.  Being okay with results coming slowly.  Taking it as it comes. 

[35:55]  What have you learned about yourself? 

She can handle a lot.  She used to be more anxious because of alcohol.  She feels more calm.  She gives herself credit for being able to handle stress well. 

[37:05]  Are you in the pink cloud phase?

She isn't sure.  She experiences sudden bursts of emotions, and is still generally processing.  

[38:24] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

The moment she had to go to the ER. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

When she started blacking out after only 3 drinks. What’s your plan moving forward?

She would like to go more to AA. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Recovery Elevator podcast. It fits nicely into her commute.  Moderation Management website online chat.  What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

From a lady in AA that has 45 years of sobriety. There is no gold medal.  You always have to keep trying.  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Alcohol does not define you. You are so much more than your relationship with alcohol.  You might be an alcoholic if...

“Your boyfriend's niece points to your drink and says it's your drink”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Today's episode is brought to you in support by RX Bar. Visit rxbar.com/elevator and enter the promo code elevator at checkout for 25% off your first order.

When Things Fall Apart – a book by Pema Chodron

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!”

RE 178: Is knowledge alone enough to quit drinking?

Jul 16, 2018 47:52

Description:

Is knowledge alone enough to quit drinking?

“To know and not to do... is not to know.” - Buddhist Proverb

Are we able to successfully quit drinking by devouring books, blog posts, podcasts and internet articles?  The facts about the dangerous nature of alcohol can be quite sobering.  Though education is never a waste of time, knowledge alone is not enough to keep you sober.  It can inspire, reinforce, or encourage you to quit, but it is not enough.  Self knowledge is no match for our unconscious mind, which is where most of the internal workings of our addiction lie.

Sobriety requires knowledge, action and community. 

Ky, with 10 months since her last drink, shares her story..

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:40] Paul Introduces Ky.

Ky is from 28 years old and is from British Columbia.  She works 3 jobs and enjoys, cooking, comedy shows, movies, and crossword puzzles.

 

[12:50] When did you first realize you had a problem with alcohol?

She started drinking around 12 years old.  She thought “This is it!”  She thought it was something missing from her life.  Now she realizes that many of the friendships she made through drinking were empty.  She feels like she has been drinking most of her adult life.  She feels like a baby in sobriety.  Her dad was an alcoholic.  He still drinks.  In her early 20's she drank more after a sexual assault.  She had an alter ego while drunk.  She moved to Hanoi, Vietnam but found that she couldn't escape her alcoholism as she experienced a bump in income.  Her drinking became more necessary.  She eventually attempted suicide but kept on drinking. 

 

[20:50] What was your mindset like before your suicide attempt? 

She had felt stuck and empty for so long.  She felt like she had been searching for something to make her feel good for her entire life.  When she moved back to Canada she experienced a loss of purpose and increased boredom which lead to more drinking.  She always assumed she would die at 27.  Now she sees it as juvenile. 

 

[24:38] What was the thinking before you attended your first meeting?

She really wanted it to not work.  She went to an AA meeting just to give herself permission to drink after and she was blown away by how much she identified with the people there.  The mental health side of her therapy has helped her.  She's now able to decrease the negative voice in her head that tells her she isn't good enough or that she can't do it.

 

[30:00] Are you living more in the present?

Absolutely.  She was blown away when her therapist said that she wasn't her mind.  She started practicing meditation and has learned about deeper dimensions of life. 

 

[32:12] Walk us through your first few days of sobriety.

It was really hard.  The first week was difficult.  She didn't realize how hard it was going to be.  She would set appointments with herself to keep herself busy.  She knew she needed to get sober.  She had nothing left on the drinking side of life.  She was fully committed to sobriety because the other option was death, for her. 

 

[35:18] How do you handle cravings?

The first few months were filled with cravings.  She would ask for help in the morning and say thanks at night.  She still gets cravings, but they get weaker and shorter.  Her brother helped her get through the difficult ones. 

 

[39:04] What is your plan in recovery moving forward?

She keeps things simple.  She starts of with meditation in the morning.  She focuses on gratitude.  She still goes to meetings.  She focuses on things that are good for her.  Her life feels more full. 

 

[39:38] What is your take on the 12-step program?

She hates the higher power / god aspect of it.  She still identifies as an agnostic.  She just removes the parts that are offensive to her.  She just focuses on meditation and meetings.  She reminds herself that she's not alone and focuses on what she needs to do. 

[40:43] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Too many. When she showed up to her job after a 3 day bender.  She told her colleagues that her bf had beat her up but later on remembered that she had actually beat him up. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

That weekend where she was trying to drink on pace with her brother and limit the amount she drank. She realized that if she can't control it, she was going to have to give it up for good. 

What’s your plan moving forward? What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

The AA meetings. She also loves podcasts and her therapists.  The Joe and Charlie Big Book Study, The One You Feed. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Just don't drink today, under any and all conditions.
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Just try it. If you don't like it, you can always go back to the way your life was before.  Life without alcohol is so much more fulfilling. 
You might be an alcoholic if...

“you realize that all of your social media posts are related to booze.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Beyond the Influence – a book by Katherine Ketcham

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!”

 

RE 177: The Ego

Jul 9, 2018 44:36

Description:

Today we hear from Jade. She's 27 years old, from Kentucky and has had her last drink on April 14th 2018.

The Ego:  The part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and unconscious mind.  It is in charge of reality testing and gives us a sense of personal identity.  The self concept.  A collection of beliefs that serve as the foundation for our bearings in life. 

A healthy ego can serve to give us something to lean on when times get tough.  We believe in ourselves and are capable of handling adversity or difficult emotions.    

An unhealthy ego can cause us a lot of problems.  When an ego gets unhealthy, it can keep us from living in the present moment because we harbor beliefs about ourselves that aren't congruent with reality. 

Letting go of an unhealthy ego is a big step in recovery. 

Jade, with about 2 months since her last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:15] Paul Introduces Jade.

Jade is a 27-year-old liquor store manager from Kentucky.  She has a dog, and enjoys the outdoors, playing the piano and reading. 

 

[13:00] When did you first realize that you had a problem with alcohol?

She started at 16.  She realized she had a problem at about 25.  She was in a failing relationship and was dealing with a lot of stress.  She turned to alcohol.  She made a first quit attempt, and during those 40 days she realized that her relationship needed to end.  After relapse, she made friends with people who drank as much as she did.  Many parts of her life revolved around alcohol.  Once she started she realized she couldn't stop. 

 

[17:40] How hard was it to only have 1 or 2 drinks?

Once she started, if she couldn't continue she would get irritable.  At first alcohol was very social, but eventually she didn't want to be around people when she was drinking.  She started only getting drunk alone. 

 

[20:30] Did you make any attempts to moderate your drinking?

She would skip if she was super hungover.  She switched from beer and wine to liquor.  She figured it was less calories and better for dieting, and more concentrated so it was quicker getting drunk. 

 

[22:50] How did you end up quitting? 

She had been trying for two years.  She started reading and listening to podcasts.  She browsed the r/stopdrinking subreddit.  She figured out that she couldn't do it alone, and that she needed to join a community.  She made the step to reach out.  She didn't think she was worth sobriety and she didn't think anyone would care.  She found out the exact opposite was true.  It has been easier than she thought.  The community made the difference for her. 

 

[27:45] Have you had any cravings?  What did you do? 

She had many.  She would post on Cafe RE and engage the community there.  “Playing the tape forward” helped as well.  The loss of control always bothered her when she was drinking. 

[29:35] What have you learned most about yourself in sobriety so far?

Her emotions aren't permanent.  When her emotions got difficult in the past, she thought they were going to last forever and she would respond by running away from them.  Now she is learning how to deal with them in a healthy way by sitting with them and listening to what they have to say.  She doesn't need to reach for a distraction.  She doesn't have to run away from her own mind as much. 

 

[31:31] What is the biggest challenge you've faced so far in sobriety?

Getting out of the routine.  She feels like something is missing. 

 

[33:42] Walk us through a day in your recovery.  What's your plan to keep adding days?

She tries to get up earlier to get a good walk in with her dog.  She takes care of her dog, plays her piano.  She disperses recovery nuggets throughout her day to help get her through. 

[35:19]  So you were a manager at the liquor store? 

It hasn't been bad at all.  She feels like she's made up her mind and doesn't feel any temptation.  She is now able to identify the alcoholics that come in.  She appreciates the flexibility she gets with her job and is able to also study. 

[39:40] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Blacking out and not remembering what happened. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Instead of getting hangovers she was getting alcohol withdrawal with anxiety. What’s your plan moving forward?

She wants to go to more meetings to meet sober people. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

She felt like a burden asking people for help. Someone told her that by sharing her struggle it helped other people to stay sober.  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

To reach out and find a support system. She was surprised by the amount of support she received.  You might be an alcoholic if...

“you leave your job at the liquor store to drive to the other liquor store across town to buy alcohol so your co-workers don't know how much you drink after work.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This podcast episode is brought to you in support by Zip Recruiter and right now, my listeners can try Zip Recruiter for free. Go to www.ziprecruiter.com/elevator and get started today. 

This Naked Mind – a book by Annie Grace

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!”

 

 

RE 176: Dating in Sobriety

Jul 2, 2018 45:11

Description:

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

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

Dating and Sobriety

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

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

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

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

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

The opposite of addiction is connection.  

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

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:19] Paul Introduces Zack.

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

[39:50] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

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

 

RE 175: Anxiety and Alcohol

Jun 25, 2018 57:23

Description:

Alcohol and Anxiety

Today we will look at anxiety and the role it plays in alcohol addiction. 

Anxiety is inevitable, but we can change what we do and feel about it, ultimately affecting the level of severity we experience and the frequency of attacks.  It shows that we care about what is going on.  Anxiety is a tool we inherited from our prehistoric past that let us know that we were in danger.  It is useful and necessary, and is a natural part of life. 

Unlike normal anxiety, chronic anxiety does not have roots in the present moment.  Chronic anxiety begins when the anxiety becomes our default modus operandi.  The conscious mind focuses on the anxiety, fueling it and allowing it to expand and become consuming.  We find ourselves on a hamster wheel of potential causes, cures, analyses, and ultimately, fear and discomfort.  It surfaces for, as far as we know, no apparent reason.  We make attempts to repress or sidetrack it. 

Drinking is one way that many try to deal with their anxious feelings.  While we are drinking, it feels like our problems temporarily disappear.  When we look more closely at the way alcohol changes brain chemistry, we see that all it does is slow us down and weaken our higher faculties.  In the relatively short long term, alcohol usually makes our problems worse by increasing our anxiety and having a negative impact on our overall health. 

We have the ability to naturally rewire and change our brains.  When we make the decision to quit drinking, over time we can reverse many of the negative effects on our brain chemistry and overall health.  Our brains are able to find a new and more healthy version of homeostasis with less anxiety, less depression and more clarity.

Chris, with almost 1 year since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:40] Paul Introduces Chris.

Chris is 36 years old, a power plant operator, lives in North Dakota. He's married with two kids and a dog.  He enjoys camping and boating, cooking, photography, and woodworking.

 

[13:40] What is camping like now that you don't drink?

Alcohol took over his life.  Now he feels more present for his kids.  He feels his life is more enriched.  He enjoys more of nature.  He is happy to have quit. 

 

[16:00] When did you first realize that you had a problem with drinking?

A while ago.  He craved it since he started in high school.  It started social, and it gradually progressed.  In the military, he went to Korea when he was 21.  Being far away from friends and family was difficult and and he drank more.  He suffered from “terminal uniqueness”.  He felt he was different from the people around him.  We lie to ourselves and focus on the differences, further isolating ourselves from the community around us.

 

[23:55] Did you ever have a rock bottom moment?  How much were you drinking?

He was drinking a case of tall beers almost every week.  His wife had been giving him ultimatums for a while.  He started to drive drunk on a regular basis.  He was regularly drunk, or if he wasn't, he was experiencing intense anxiety.  He would regularly yell at his kids.  He was terrified about what he was becoming.  His wife turned toward the church and he turned toward alcohol.  He and his wife had a blowout over drinking and they separated.  He read a few AA books.  He moved out to the camper.  His faith suffered and he had to see his pastor.  His wife explained how much he was hurting her.  He went to see a counselor and started to unload his emotions.  He eventually found an intensive outpatient program that helped him quit. 

[31:38] Will you share a little of what you learned in your outpatient program?

Neuroplasticity, how your brain becomes dependent on chemicals.  He learned that it wasn't a moral failing, and he felt relief.  He started to relate to the other members in the group.  His wife filed for divorce, and it helped him apply himself in the program. 

 

[37:15] Where did you get the strength to move forward?

The gift of desperation.  He didn't know what else to do.  He saw that this was an opportunity to change and he applied himself.  His faith life had dried up and he became inspired after reading “Bill's Story” from the AA book.  He started to get better rest.  As he worked the program his feeling of higher power returned.  He realized how much he had hurt his wife.  He was lucky enough to have counselors and friends in his life that helped him get through it.  He started to focus on his actions and not the results with his kids and his wife started to come around.  He started to do the work for himself and not for her. 

 

[45:42] What have you learned most about yourself in sobriety?

That he's worthy of love.  He's worthy of a happy life.  Life is worth it. 

 

[46:20] What's on your bucket list in sobriety?

To continue.  To continue to work on his marriage.  To continue to make memories with his family.  He wants a future for him and his loved ones.  He wants to help other people with recovery. 

 

[47:51] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

The many ways that he hurt his wife and kids. He'll never forget hurting his loved ones. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Last summer when he chose drinking over his wife.
What’s your plan moving forward?

To continue to work a program. He likes to keep his sponsor close. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

You don't have to be sober for the rest of your life, today. Take it a day at a time. 
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Just be honest with yourself. Stop lying to yourself.  Don't listen to the voice of addiction.  Tell someone that you trust.  Accountability and community is key. 
You might be an alcoholic if...

“You go to sleep drunk, and wake up with less eyebrows and more penises drawn on your face.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This Naked Mind – a book by Annie Grace

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!”

 

RE 174: Addressing Self Loathing With Compassionate Curiosity

Jun 18, 2018 49:38

Description:

Compassionate Curiosity: a way we can get to the root of why we drink.

“The problem's not that the truth is harsh, but that liberation from ignorance is as painful as being born. Run after truth until you're breathless. Accept the pain involved in re-creating yourself afresh.” - Naguib Mahfouz

One of the biggest root causes of addition is self loathing.  Feeling like we are not worthy or that we are in any way less than others is a belief often found at the center of our addictive behavior. 

The cure for self loathing is self compassion, or self love.  Replacing the habit that is self judgment with forgiveness, the mental rigidity with an intention of being open, or the repetitive criticism with positive messages that we can do this are some of the first steps toward distancing ourselves from addictive tendencies. 

We begin with a process of self examination, wherein we compassionately do so without judgment. 

“There is no moving forward without breaking through the walls of denial.” -Gabor Maté

Kim, with 1½ years since her last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[1:30] Paul Introduces Kim.

Kim is 37 years old from Arkansas.  She's been sober over 1½ years. She's married with 3 kids.  She works as a counselor.  She enjoys her spending with her family, reading, and Kintsugi. 

 

[6:05] When did you first realize you had a problem with drinking?

She experienced complications with her pregnancy.  With that came a prescription of pain medication.  After she went through the pain meds, she noticed that she couldn't stop drinking. 

 

[9:06] Did you try to put any rules into place? 

From her work with addiction, she knows that putting rules into place is addictive behavior.  She was probably going through a half gallon of vodka per week.  She attempted to quit throughout 2017.. nothing really stuck. 

 

[10:35] What were some lessons you learned in your previous attempts to quit?

She has a stubborn personality.  When she tried to quit using her will power, she failed.  It scared her.  She started researching different podcasts, and found Recovery Elevator.  She was worried that she couldn't do it alone.  She began to find other stories and realized that she was on a slippery slope. 

 

[13:20] How were you able to quit successfully?

She realized that she needed to remove triggers.  She tried to eliminate stress.  She hired someone to help her with small duties. 

 

[15:50] How are you able to maintain professional distance in your job working with addicts?

When you work in a field where you give to others, you have to make sure that you are ok first.  You have to give to others what you can spare, not what you need. 

 

[17:00] Walk us through the early days of your recovery. 

The first month was difficult.  She had lots of cravings.  She tried to keep the memory of her difficult year close.  She would use the brainspotting technique.  She knows people can relapse after years and years.  The addiction waits to see where the hole is, and that's where it gets you. 

 

[23:50] Are you able to be open about your own recovery with patients?

Reaching out to Paul helped her realize how she was in denial about her addictions.  She shares her recovery experience with some patients, and it's been much more helpful. 

 

[24:40] What are the common hangups that your patients have?

The biggest struggle is the stagma and the shame.  Also, the surrendering to higher power. 

[27:10] What is the biggest thing you've learned about yourself?

She needs to show herself the same compassion that she gives to everyone around her. 

[27:40] What has been your proudest moment in sobriety?

Sharing with her clients.  Showing them that she also struggles with different things. 

[28:28] What are you looking forward to in Peru? 

Seeing the beauty, and being a part of a recovery community. 

 

 

[29:10] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Pre-parent: 17yo, on vacation with family in Mexico.  Parents lied about her age so she could drink at the resort.  She hung out at the bars.  On the last night, she was sexually assaulted. 

As a parent:  She used to drank in front of her young child.  Her child began to copy her drinking behavior by drinking his water in a small cup with a straw. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? What’s your plan moving forward?

She would like to be a voice for recovery with mental health professionals.
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Her faith is strong and it helps her in her darkest moments. 
The Miracle Morning.  She does it daily no matter what.
Recovery Elevator podcast.  She looks forward to listening weekly. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

You can't do this alone. The magic happened when she reached out. 
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

A quote by Carl Jung.. “What you resist, persists. What you can feel, you can heal.”
You might be an alcoholic if...

While listening to someone else's story you think to yourself that you need to remember it in case you relapse.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Audible is offering my listeners a free audiobook with a 30-day trail membership. Go to audible.com/elevator and start listening. Or text ELEVATOR to 500-500.

In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts – a book by Gabor Maté
When Things Fall Apart – a book by Pema Chodron
The Miracle Morning – a book by Hal Elrod
Kintsuji – The japanese artform of “golden joinery”.
Brainspotting – a theraputic technique
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!”

 

RE 173: Burn the Ships

Jun 11, 2018 44:02

Description:

Burn The Ships

For many people, the answer of what is it that is holding us back in our lives isn’t exactly obvious. The question of what is blocking us from obtaining that inner peace we deserve can be difficult to answer for some. The good news is that if you’re listening to this podcast, the answer is most likely alcohol is what’s holding you back any it may be time to “burn the ships”.

Fran with 16 months since his last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:00] Paul Introduces Fran.

Fran is 43 years old from Indiana, but originally from Cleveland.  She's married and a mother of 2.  She's a program director and massage therapist.  She is an entrepreneur and loves yoga and the outdoors.  She also likes to work in her yard.  She previously had 3 years of sobriety during her 20's. 

 

[11:15] What made you seek out a sober life initially?

She injured herself as an athlete and then got into the restaurant business.  Initially it was fun, but then she began drinking on the job.  She realized her life was empty and she became depressed again.  An ex of hers helped take her to a 12 step meeting.  It worked until she stopped actively working on her sobriety. 

 

[14:14] What was your initial attempt at sobriety like?

She was able to ground herself in who she was, with a clear mind at a very pivotal time in her development.  She met other women in recovery and it felt a bit like a clique.  She didn't feel like she fit in.  After graduating college sober, she started doing some internet dating.  She met her husband and relocated to Indiana.  She had her first child, then started drinking shortly after the child was born.  She felt dislocated.  She transitioned back into semi-regular drinking, which eventually lead to excess. 

 

[20:02] Did you experience a bottom moment?

She had many.  She would fight with her husband.  She blacked out at a baby shower.  She fought with her family and her husband's family. 

 

[26:37] What was it like when you first quit drinking?

It wasn't easy.  It was a process that took time.  Initially motivated by weight loss, she felt like she was talking about it all the time.  She realized that she could not go a day without drinking.  Her husband was suffering from throat cancer and she started taking his pot pills after he recovered.  She tried to substitute them for alcohol.  She thought pot could get her sober. 

 

[28:49] Did that help?

No.  The anxiety and depression was worse.  She became suicidal.  She went back into recovery.  She started listening to Recovery Elevator.  She hit the gym.  She found herself back at AA.  She's more committed this time, and this time it's “no matter what”. 

 

[33:26] What is your recovery portfolio like today? 

She focuses on gratitude.  She reads and meditates.  She does yoga before work.  She realized that other people around her now have permission to focus on their health, as she leads by example.  Her marriage has improved a lot. 

 

[37:06] What is it like to be a healer and to help people release tension and bad energy?

It's a gift.  When she's able to be present, it helps them let go.  As a sober person, she now honors and respects her own body and leads her clients and students to the same. 

 

 

[38:54] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Seeing the despair on her child's face and she witnessed her mother being drunk.
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Stopping to buy alcohol on the way home from the gym, and opening the bottles before she got home.
What’s your plan moving forward? What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Her sponsor.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

It's going to get better if we stay away from alcohol.

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

It's okay. It's okay to give it a shot to see what it's like.  It's not as scary as it seems.
You might be an alcoholic if...

“You're so incapacitated by alcohol that your family thinks calling your reverend is the only way to get you to go home.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you by Simple Contacts. Visit www.simplecontacts.com/elevator and use the promo code elevator for $30 off your first order.

The Language of Letting Go – a book by Melody Beattie

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!”

 

RE 172: Bravery: Ready to Face and Endure Danger or Pain

Jun 4, 2018 49:32

Description:

Bravery:  Ready to face and endure danger or pain.  Showing Courage.

Many times in life we come face to face with our next step.  We can see clearly the path ahead that will lead to our next “level up”.  We can know everything there is to know about our plight and circumstances.  We can possess the very map that will lead us to the next door.  But when the time comes, sometimes we hesitate to open it.

In sobriety, you have to be willing to fail.  People who seek sobriety are a particular kind of brave.  They imagine another way to be and actively seek it out, even if it means going against the grain or swimming upstream.

It's important to note that being brave and/or courageous does not mean being without fear.  Feeling fear is not only normal, but it's an important part of the process.

The growth we seek lies not in running from fear, but in embracing it and, if possible, learning from it.  Fear can be a profound and necessary teacher.  Bring brave and courageous means that instead of avoiding fear, we compassionately face it and move forward with it as an ally in our sobriety portfolio.

Individual bravery becomes amplified and much more powerful when supported by the collective bravery of the sobriety community. 

Beth, with 6 months since her last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:50] Paul Introduces Beth.

Beth has been sober for just over 6 months.  She's 39 years old.  She's a mother of 3 from New Jersey.  She's a special education teacher.  She loves the outdoors, sports, art, and music.  She is learning skateboarding from her 9-year-old nephew. 

 

[11:38] When did you realize you had a problem with drinking?

 

 

 

She started drinking heavily in college in an attempt to deal with social situations and have fun.  She always felt different from other people, and was also dealing with a recent death in the family.  She had easy access to alcohol in school.  She moved to New York City right before the attack on the World Trade Center.  She used alcohol to deal with stress and difficult emotions. 

 

[16:40] Did you ever try to put any rules into place to moderate?

Yes.  She would try to regulate the times she could drink.  She would try to regulate when she was allowed to drink hard alcohol. 

 

[18:25] How much were you drinking before you quit? 

She drank nightly.  Red wine helped her deal with stress when dealing with her kid's homework. 

 

[20:15] Did you reach a rock bottom? 

She drank while taking her kids out for Halloween.  She drank a lot and experienced a bad hangover.  She began to worry about whether or not she was a good mother.  She discovered the podcast and began to listen.  She decided to become sober and joined Cafe RE. 

 

[26:20] What was it like at first when you quit?

She was excited.  She told a few close friends and family members.  She wanted to get back into running.  She felt great.  She avoided concerts and other places where she used to drink.  She did whatever it took to not drink. 

 

[28:45] Have you changed your mind about AA now that you're sober? 

It was a complete 180 degree change.  She began to feel more connected and she related to them more than before.  She is looking forward to expanding her recovery community. 

 

[33:45] How has your perception changed?

She knows she's on the right track, but she is starting to fear relapsing.  She is trying to break free from her perfectionist mentality.  She is facing and processing a lot of shame from her past.  She appreciates the benefits from her newly found clarity. 

 

[37:50] What happened when you accidentally posted your sobriety on Facebook?

She received some unexpected messages of support from different moms in her social network.  She gave others the info for getting help. She believes alcohol is a real gateway drug. 

[41:24] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Her birthday in NYC. After a night of dinner and drinks, she passed out on the floor next to her apartment door. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

She went to a concert for her daughter's birthday. She needed beer badly.  She made her kids wait in line forever so she could get a beer. 
What’s your plan moving forward?

To continue staying healthy. Be more present with her kids.  Get more organized.  Find comfort within herself.  She's more happy with who she is. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Cafe RE group because it will forward you to other great resources.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

If one drink is not enough, then it's time to stop drinking. The poison has already begun to take effect.  It's not worth it.  Trust your gut.
You might be an alcoholic if...

“You're pregnant, and you haven't told anyone. You say you're not drinking to someone, and they assume you're pregnant because you usually will always have a drink.” 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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!”

 

RE 171: The Reality of Alcohol and Where it Can Take us

May 28, 2018 54:24

Description:

The path of sobriety is not always easy.  Many of us will stumble, fall, relapse and find ourselves back at square one.  It's not the end of the world.  When we relapse, we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and, if necessary, reinvent ourselves. 

Tamara, with 48 days since her last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[3:57] Paul Introduces Tamara.

Tamara is 31 years old, from Nashville, Tennessee.  For fun, she enjoys cooking, the outdoors, and spending time with loved ones. 

 

[7:00] When did you realize you wanted to quit drinking?

Her first drink was on her 21st birthday.  She drank through her 20s.  She had alcohol abuse in her family.  She thought her family was wrong by hiding alcohol from her. She thought it was fun.  The progression of her alcoholism snuck up on her.  She assumed it was healthy and normal.  She went through a big period of change that left her unsatisfied.

 

[15:30] Did you put any rules into place when you tried to quit drinking?

Yes.  She would try to limit other bad activities and use drinking as a reward.  She tried to abstain for a month with a friend.  She convinced herself to keep drinking.  Each year the rules would narrow until she stopped trying to do her cleanses.  She began to realize that she had a problem but she kept trying to fix other areas of her life, hoping it would fix her drinking.  Her ex told her about recovery elevator.  After listening she realized that she wasn't alone. 

 

[22:28] After drinking, what was it like without alcohol?

Weird.  She experienced physical withdrawal symptoms like anxiety.  Then she felt great.. experienced a pink cloud. 

 

[24:40] Has everyone in your life been on board with your lifestyle change?

No.  Her family and coworkers have been supportive but not everyone. 

 

[26:45]  What do you think brought on your relapse?  What did you take away?

She went on a work trip.  Everyone else was drinking.  She didn't yet have her recovery ingrained enough to handle the environment.  She now is working on a more holistic recovery strategy. 

 

[29:23] Walk us through a typical day in your recovery.

She tries to work on her recovery daily.  She says the prayer of serenity.  She meditates.  She tries to avoid negative news and media.  Her morning routine helps her stay in the right frame of mind to handle anything life can throw at her. 

 

[31:20] What have you learned about yourself in sobriety so far?

She learned that she deserves the things that she wants.  She sees more of the bigger picture now.  She's not afraid to relate to different kinds of people.  She focuses more on her values and ignores the noise.  She makes more of an effort to show up and work on herself first. 

 

[32:50] What's on your bucket list in sobriety?

She wants to work the steps.    

 

[33:30] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

She started cutting herself to help deal with the deep depression she was experiencing. It helped her feel in control of herself.  One night she cut herself too deeply and she had to go to the emergency room.
What’s your plan moving forward?

She's going to continue to work it to her best ability. She wants to continue adding tools to her recovery portfolio. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Cafe RE. The community in your online recovery community. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

“What is your motivation?” When there is no clear-cut ethical guide, she has to get to the bottom of her own intentions. 
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

You are not alone. The recovery community is huge and willing to share with you.  Share your story.  There is no shame. 
You might be an alcoholic if...

“when discussing oral surgery with your physician, your first concern is how quickly you will be able to drink wine afterwards.”

“What's in the water bottle?  … vodka.. just kidding!  .. it's actually vodka.” 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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!”

 

RE 170: The Heart and the Soul

May 21, 2018 01:13:57

Description:

Please listen with an open heart and open mind.

- Paul

RE 169: Has Addiction Always Been a Problem?

May 14, 2018 48:00

Description:

Has addiction always been a problem? 

Alcohol has been around for thousands of years, but has alcoholism? In Gabor Maté's book, “In the realm of hungry ghosts” he states:

“The precursor to addiction is dislocation... the loss of psychological, social, and economic integration into family and culture.. a sense of exclusion, isolation and powerlessness.  Only chronically and severely dislocated people are vulnerable to addiction.  The historical correlation to severe dislocation and addiction is strong.  Although alcohol consumption and drunkenness on festive occasions was widespread in Europe during the middle ages, only a few people become drunkards or inebriates.  So what happened?”

Dislocation became more prevalent during the rise of industrial society in the 1800's.  As traditional familial or cultural roles weakened, alcoholism became more widespread. 

The effects of this can be seen not only in the US on both immigrant and native populations, but also in the native aboriginal cultures of New Zealand and the rising number of addicts in China as it struggles during periods of rapid growth.

Caroline, with over 1 year since her last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:50] Paul Introduces Caroline.

 

Caroline is from New Zealand, 40 years old, married and a mother of three.  She enjoys reading, she is the new owner of a pub. 

 

[11:15] When did you first suspect that you had a problem with drinking?

She started at 13 or 14.  She knew pretty early that she drank more than most.  As she got older she used drinking as a coping mechanism.  She surrounded herself with other drinkers.  Had an epiphany when she came upon the book “Mrs. D is Going Without” by Lotta Dann.  It changed her definition of an alcoholic and made her reassess her own drinking.  

 

[14:25] Did you ever try to quit prior to your successful attempt?  Did you moderate or put rules into place?

She tried it all.  She drank heavily in university.  As she got older, the hangovers became unbearable and her depression got worse.  She began to rethink her drinking in her late 30's.  She tried to moderate with restricting the day of the week or the type of drink and it only got worse. 

 

[16:00] Was your drinking tied in with your depression?  How were they linked?

She would always feel shame and embarrassment the days following a bout of heavy drinking. 

 

[17:17] Did you experience a rock bottom moment?

She had many.  One that stood out, she was studying and driving into town with a hangover for the 4th week in a row.  She realized that she can't moderate and that it was having larger consequences than she liked and she decided to quit.  She quit for 100 days, thought she was cured, relapsed and went back to drinking.  Then she woke up and realized she had a problem.  She wasn't going to wait for something more serious to happen before she quit.

 

[21:00] How did you quit?  What were your first few days like?

She thinks drinking stunned her emotional growth.  She had to relearn how to deal with stress and emotions.  She had to learn how to be kind to herself.  She had been previously been through some emotional trauma and the emotions bubbled up when she was sobered up.  She finally processed the emotions and did some soul searching and now she feels lighter. 

 

[26:06] Can you think of an example in early sobriety in which you had to try a new coping mechanism?

She always thought she wasn't good enough.  The night her husband was injured she was pregnant and she almost lost her daughter and husband on the same night.  When it bubbled up  she cried and released the feelings. 

 

[27:35] Walk us through a typical day in your sobriety.  How are you going to get to year 2?

She is more kind to herself.  She's made some friendship in online communities.  She is interested in developing and maintaining real life connections with sober and like-minded people. 

 

[28:45] Why is it important to have those real life connections?

She feels she can relax and be herself with no shame or judgment.  Everyone supports one another.  She laughs with her friends and truly enjoys being sober. 

[30:20] What have you learned most about yourself in sobriety?

That she's okay.  Her relationship with herself and her inner world has changed.  She is now more content and proud of herself. 

[31:08] What's on your bucket list going forward in sobriety?

To continue to develop real life friendships.  To focus on her health and family.  To raise her daughters with healthy inner dialogues.  To instill awareness in her family that there is another way.  To lead by example. 

[33:50] How did you end up buying a pub?

She wasn't looking for a pub specifically, but it was just something she always wanted to do.  They're changing it to be more of a family friendly place. 

[35:33] What will you do if you encounter an alcoholic in your restaurant? 

At first she was shameful about having a problem with drinking.  She met someone with a problem and just reached out to them to let them know they were available. 

 

[37:30] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

The lack of memories.   Her imagination would fill the gaps and it wasn't pleasant.  Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

The hangover after she relapsed after over 100 days sober. What’s your plan moving forward?

To continue to develop sober friendships. Keep pushing herself in positive directions. 
To keep living life and stay fit and active. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Living Sober, a free online sober community based in New Zealand. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Make the decision. You accept the step to move forward.  It turns off the head chatter.  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Picture yourself in 5 years time as a drinker. Create a vivid detailed picture.. are you still drinking?  What are your relationships like?  How do you feel?  Now picture your sober future.  How are they different?

You might be an alcoholic if...

you gulp down a first glass of wine before pouring two glasses of wine to bring out to your husband. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – a book by Gabor Maté
Mrs. D is Going Without – a book by Lotta Dann
Living Sober – A free online sober community

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!”

RE 168: Alcohol Impacts More than Just Us

May 7, 2018 50:41

Description:

When we are in the throws of an addiction to alcohol, the effects go beyond just us.  They affect our family and those closest to us. 

After running the podcast for 3 years, Paul has begun to notice patterns emerging.  One of the biggest patterns he noticed might be the key to successful sobriety:  Accountability.  Getting sober can be daunting, and the people around you are owed an explanation.  The act of saying it out loud not only makes it real, but makes others aware of what you are trying to achieve.  They can help keep you on track when things get difficult, and if your drinking has hurt anyone else in the past, it can be the first step towards forgiveness. 

Telling the people in your life that you are trying to get and stay sober is probably the most important thing you can do to affect your chances of success.

Amy, with 422 days since her last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:30] Paul Introduces Amy.

 

Amy is 33 years old, from Wisconsin, married with 3 kids.  She works in human resources in healthcare, but is about to leave her job and focus on her family full time.  She likes yoga, and the outdoors. 

[12:00] What are your plans now that you are sober?

She wants to get more involved in her community.

 

[13:00] When did you realize it was time to quit drinking?

She was having a hard time moderating, was losing control. 

 

[13:33] What rules did you have in place during your moderating phase?

She and her husband tried only drinking on weekends, only when at restaurants, only certain kinds of drinks, only on payday, etc.  It didn't work. 

 

[16:30] Is your husband supportive of your decision to get sober?

Yes.  He helps by not drinking around her and by keeping alcohol out of the house. 

 

[17:07] When did you start drinking?

In high school.  It got out of control in college.  She adopted a party girl personality.  She was drinking 4 beers a night.  It progressed into a problem once she went through her first divorce.  She felt hopeless and used alcohol to cope. 

 

[21:57] How did you decide to quit?

She was drinking daily, feeling terrible.  Some good things began to happen and she felt that it lifted her out of her funk.  She got a new job, which enabled her to pay down her debt and she started taking care of herself again.  She fell in love.  The drinking was still crazy and she couldn't control it.  She tried to take a break, but it wouldn't work.  She was writing a lot in her journal, then went on an 8-day binge.  She woke up from that and had hit rock bottom.  She decided to quit on that day.. the difference was that she was ready to accept her situation. 

 

[27:30] What was it like to reach the point of acceptance?

It was liberating.  Acceptance brought self forgiveness, which enabled her to start moving forward in a new way. 

 

[31:30] How did you do it?  How did you quit?

She started to binge listen to recovery podcasts, she read This Naked Mind.  She focused on being kind to herself.  She reached out to sober friends and family.  Connecting with close relatives and friends helped boost her confidence.  They helped her get through the first few weeks.  She began to see the bigger consequences of drinking on her health, career, relationships.  Her husband supported her fully. 

[34:37] At what point did you begin to see the benefits?

Day 2.  The first few weeks there were headaches, sleep issues, etc. She experienced the pink cloud.  She found out she was pregnant the month she quit drinking.  She started looking at the bigger picture.  She experienced normal activities as a sober person and was amazed at the difference. 

[39:46] What's on your bucket list?

She's excited to be a stay-at-home mother soon.  Many of her friends are reaching out to her in support of her sobriety. 

 

[42:33] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Going to a concert and getting drunk, getting into a fight and walking around completely blacked out. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

She woke up one day with a damaged car but didn't remember what caused it. What’s your plan moving forward?

To really stay active in her community. To focus on her family.  To meditate more.  To exercise.  Hang out with the family.  Reading in the evening to wind down.  What’s your favorite resource in recovery? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Put your sobriety first. Before kids, marriage, career.  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Educate yourself about alcoholism. The truth will give you the confidence to go forward knowing what you have to do.  Life is too short to be drunk.  You might be an alcoholic if...

You fear being a stay at home because you assume you will be drunk the whole time.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Today's podast episode is brought to you by Zip Recruiter and Casper.

Try Zip Recruiter today for free.

Get $50 off select mattresses by visiting Casper and us the promo code Elevator

This Naked Mind – A book by Annie Grace
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – A book by Gabor Maté
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!”

 

RE 167: Now This is Just Plain Wrong

Apr 30, 2018 49:39

Description:

The alcohol industry gives the government funds to prove light drinking is safe. 

In today's era of information overload, it can be difficult to sort the truth from the strong opinions.  As the lines between journalism, science and advertising continue to blur, it can become difficult to know where to stand when one can find a seemingly reputable article or study to support any side of any opinion. 

The alcohol industry is no stranger to the ways of public relations.  The NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) is a government established institution that funds approximately 90% of research on the effects of consuming alcohol in the US.  Regarding a recent study on the effects of light drinking, it is no surprise to find out that $67 million was provided by 5 big alcohol companies, most likely to ensure that the results of the study fell in line with their message that alcohol is good for you. 

Remember that alcohol is still poison, it's still bad for you, and consuming alcohol still has real consequences, despite the what the heavily funded opinions of the alcohol industry would lead you to believe.

Daniel, with 128 days since his last drink, shares his story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:37] Paul Introduces Daniel.

Daniel is 43 years old, has a girlfriend and an 8 year old daughter.  He works in telecom sales and enjoys biking, running, and reading. 

 

[14:10] When did you first realize that you had a problem with drinking?

In his early 20s.  Alcoholism runs in his family.  He started drinking regularly in high school, then it became excessive in college.  In his mid 20's he began drinking in solitude. 

 

[18:15] Talk to us about the 20 years you were drinking. 

There were phases where he would think he was okay because he was functioning, but he would occasionally binge drink.  He drank less after he got married in his late 20s but it eventually ramped up again.  When he was binge drinking he wouldn't eat. 

 

[20:28] When did you first attempt to quit?

He started going to AA in his mid 20s but he wasn't ready. 

 

[21:10] Did you experience a rock bottom?  Did you have a faulty off switch?

No, it was gradual.  He would drink before work.  He slowly lost control as depression and anxiety set in.  He finally talked to his family and decided to go to a inpatient detox facility.  It was difficult to stop once he started.  He started drinking again after 25 days sober, thinking it was different. 

 

[26:30] Tell us about your experience with the incredibly short memory (ISM).

He would find himself returning to the hospital after a short time away. 

 

[28:33] What inspired you to quit, most recently?

His family.  He spent some time away from them and it inspired him to quit.  He experienced moments of clarity and made a decision.  He found some supportive people to help him. 

 

[32:02] What were your first 30 days like?  How did you deal with cravings?

He drank a lot of seltzer water and non-alcoholic beer. 

 

[34:10] What is a typical day in your recovery?  How have you made it to 128 days?

He found a local AA group, and got a sponsor.  He reads a lot.  4 or 5 AA meetings a week. 

[41:10] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

A horrible physical detox.
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

He was drinking at work.
What’s your plan moving forward?

He wants to stay accountable, and tell his story. Keep reading and learning. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

The books, podcasts, AA
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Follow your drink to the end. You'll start with one drink but end with a three-day bender. 
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

If you're listening to RE, most likely you're heading down the path.
You might be an alcoholic if...

If you go home and drink 8-12 beers, but then hide the cans so no one sees how much you drink, even though you live alone.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

LINK TO STUDY ARTICLE

Recovery – A book by Russell Brand
This Naked Mind – a book by Annie Grace
The Untethered Soul – by Michael Singer
Girl Walks Out of a Bar – by Lisa Smith
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!”

 

RE 166: Building Emotional Muscle

Apr 23, 2018 42:53

Description:

A quote from “Drinking: A love Story” by Caroline Knapp sums up the theme for today's podcast: 
“Early sobriety has the quality of vigorous exercise, as though each repetition of a painful moment gone without a drink serves to build up emotional muscle.”

Life will happen.  We can't control what challenges life will send our way but we can control how we respond.  Each passing trial is an opportunity to build one's sobriety muscles, which get stronger over time as healthy habits and ways of thinking become more deeply ingrained. 

Quitting drinking is difficult because not only is alcohol physically addicting, but we often turn to alcohol to help us cope with life's many challenges.  In sobriety, we find an opportunity to learn new coping skills and rewire our brain to handle difficult times without turning to alcohol for help.

Samantha, with 18 days since her last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:20] Paul Introduces Samantha.

 

Samantha is 27 years old, from Louisiana.  She has a girlfriend and a cat, works at a lawfirm, likes music, travel, reading and listens to podcasts.  She's a geography student, returning to school to finish her degree. 

 

[8:30] When did you first notice that you had a problem with drinking?

 

In her early 20s.  She used alcohol to deal with her anxiety.  She thinks alcohol is a big part of society in Louisiana.  She has family members that struggle with alcohol.  An abusive relationship drove her to drinking more than normal.  All of her friends seemed to drink a lot. 

 

[12:35] What did drinking a lot look like for you? 

Mostly just wine, and eventually whiskey, which became her alcohol of choice. 

 

[13:07] Did you ever put any rules into place to try and control your drinking?

Yes, she would buy smaller bottles or only drink on weekends. 

 

[13:50] What was your rock bottom moment?  Why did you decide to quit?

Sick and tired of being sick and tired mostly.  A therapist refused to see her while she was drinking.  She was angry.  She refused the rehab and kept drinking.  A different time she had written in her journal about quitting drinking, only to go out later that night and black out again. 

 

[18:34] What was it like to break that promise to yourself?

She woke up and felt terrible, shameful, embarrassed. 

 

[19:55] How has sobriety affected your borderline personality disorder?

Her emotions are normally intense and fleeting.  Alcohol helped her maintain an even keel.  Without alcohol, she's switched to Zoloft.  It's difficult to deal with strong emotions without alcohol.  She's now optimistic about her future and has decided to go back to school, realizing that alcohol was getting in her way. 

 

[23:40]  How has your behavior changed since you've quit? 

She goes to bars less.  She is looking for more things to do at home.  She's trying to fill the void left by alcohol with healthy activities. 

 

[24:40] Is your partner trying to get sober?

No, she wants to stop but she is continuing.  It's difficult to see her continue, not because it makes her want to drink, but because she sees the effect alcohol is having on her. 

[27:06] What benefits are you getting from quitting?

Her skin cleared up.  She's lost weight.  Her emotions are easier to handle.  She's now able to see that one drink may start well but it will lead to a terrible conclusion. 

[30:27] Have you lost anything to alcohol?

She feels like she lost her dignity.  Various memories from drinking make her feel shameful or embarrassed. 

[32:30] What advice would you give to your younger self?

Not to smoke or drink ever!  She received info about substances while in school, but feels like it had no impact.  She would tell herself to love herself.  She thinks loving oneself is the root of many of the decisions we make. 

[35:04] What is your proudest moment so far in sobriety?

She was told that she was a great student by an old professor.  Also, she went to a bar and didn't have any drinks. 

[36:30] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

During a flood in 2016, she was caught in a flash flood and had to be rescued while drunk. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Her gf showed her a picture of her sleeping on the ground. What’s your plan moving forward?

She is going to connect with and stay close with sober friends. She will focus on her goals. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Other sober people. Podcasts:  Recovery Elevator, The Mental Illness, Happiness Hour, Crazy in Bed, Your own Magic, What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Keep your goals in front of you. You can always go back to drinking. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Any amount of time drinking is a win. If you mess up, don't beat yourself up about it.  You might be an alcoholic if...

“You get drunk at 10am at your grandmother's birthday party.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Drinking: A Love Story – By Caroline Knapp
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – by Mark Manson
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!”

 

RE 165: Do I Have a Drinking Problem Assesment

Apr 16, 2018 46:55

Description:

“Do I have a drinking problem?”  Part II

The first episode under this particular theme came out back in March of 2015. 

In “Drinking: A Love Story” by Caroline Knapp, a questionnaire is presented that will help you determine whether or not you have a drinking problem, and if yes, at what stage your drinking problem is.  See the questions below:

1.  Do you drink heavily when you are disappointed or have had a quarrel
with someone?
2. When you have trouble or feel under pressure, do you always drink more heavily than usual?

 

3.  Can you handle more alcohol now than when you first started to drink?

 

4.  Have you ever been unable to remember part of the previous evening, even though
your friends say you didn’t pass out?

 

5.  When drinking with other people, do you try to have a few extra drinks when others
won’t know about it?      

 

6.  Do you sometimes feel uncomfortable if alcohol is not available?

 

7.  Are you more in a hurry to get your first drink of the day than you used to be?

 

8.  Do you sometimes feel a little guilty about your drinking?

 

9.  Has a family member or close friend express concern or complained about your drinking?

 

10.  Have you been having more memory “blackouts” recently? 

 

11.  Do you often want to continue drinking after your friends say they’ve had enough?  

 

12.  Do you usually have a reason for the occasions when you drink heavily?

 

13.  When you’re sober, do you sometimes regret things you did or said while drinking?

 

14.  Have you tried switching brands or drinks, or following different plans to control your
drinking?        

 

15.  Have you sometimes failed to keep promises you made to yourself about controlling or
cutting down on your drinking?        

 

16. Have you ever tried to control your drinking by changing jobs or moving to a new location? 

 

17.  Do you try to avoid family or close friends while you are drinking?      

 

18.  Are you having more financial, work, school, and/or family problems as a result of
your drinking? 

 

19.  Do more people seem to be treating you unfairly, without reason?

 

20.  Do you eat very little or irregularly during the periods when you are drinking?

 

21.  Do you sometimes have the “shakes” in the morning and find that it helps to have a
“little” drink, tranquilizer or medication of some kind?     

 

22.  Have you recently noticed that you can’t drink as much as you used to?   

 

23.  Do you sometimes stay drunk for several days at a time?
24.  Do you sometimes feel very depressed and wonder if life is worth living?

 

25.  After periods of drinking do you sometimes see or hear things that aren’t there?

 

26.  Do you get terribly frightened after you have been drinking heavily?

 

Know that actions often speak louder than words.  If you are listening to a recovery podcast, filling out a recovery questionnaire, wondering whether or not you have a problem, then chances are your actions are telling you that you do.  That conclusion is an okay place to be, too.  Better to realize it earlier than later so you reach out and get help if you need it. 

Darla, with 3 years since her last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:00] Paul Introduces Darla.

 

Lives in Grand Junction, Colorado, 52 years old, mother of two. 

 

[13:00] When did you first realize that you had a problem with drinking?

Drinking has been a part of her life for a long time but it never had power over her until her mid 40's.  It happened gradually.  She tried to control it with rules, but despite her efforts it continued to escalate. 

 

[16:00] How old were you when you put limits on your drinking?

Around 45 she drank regularly and 46 it progressed. 

 

[16:54] Was there a specific stressor in your life at the time? 

The end of her marriage.  Her therapist advised her to get a divorce.  She had to get a restraining order.  It was easy to lean on drinking because she grew up around it.

 

[19:15] Did anyone in your family history struggle with alcohol?

Her father's side.  Her grandfather, father and brother.  Others have issues with other kinds of addiction. 

 

[22:13] What were the rules you put in place to try to reign in your drinking?

She tried to limit the day of the week.  Her targets kept moving as she kept breaking her own rules.  She felt like it was against her will. 

 

[23:33] Did you ever attempt to quit before this attempt?

Not really.  Despite a DUI, a court order to stop drinking, and CBT classes she continued to drink.  When she quit, she was “white knuckling” it.  She had moderate success but then binged at a holiday party, which lead her to another DUI and waking up in jail.  The consequences terrified her and scared her enough to quit. 

 

[31:00] How did you end up quitting? 

She called a family attorney.  She went to therapy, both individual and group.  She ended up in AA. 

 

[32:45] What do you do when you get cravings?

She recognizes the thoughts that lead to relapse.  She still feels powerless against alcohol. 

[34:15] What unpleasant things did you have to do to stay sober?

She went to AA.  She didn't want to admit that she was an alcoholic.  She didn't want to admit that she was afraid.  She had to accept the circumstances. 

[35:35] Has being in recovery helped you at work?

It gave her a level of compassion others may not have.  She can help guide people toward resources.  She's letting people know about it slowly, especially at work.

[40:20] Why are you going to attend the Cafe RE trip to Peru?

She wants to challenge herself.  She wants to seize new opportunities. 

 

 

[41:22] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Waking up in a jail cell and not remembering how she got there. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Going in to work hungover, knowing that she wasn't able to drive. What’s your plan moving forward?

Keep doing the one day at a time. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Meditation, exercise, activities, service / helping others. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Get out her own head and to help others. Helps with cravings, anxiety. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Examine yourself. Are you willing to do whatever it takes?  You might be an alcoholic if...

“you come to in jail, in a suicide suit, and you wonder where the rest of the bottle is.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Drinking: A Love Story – A book by Caroline Knapp
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!”

 

RE 164: Do the Medications Work?

Apr 9, 2018 44:34

Description:

Do the medications work?

Paul reads messages he received from different podcast listeners about their experiences with some of the various medications often prescribed as quit aids for quitting drinking. 

Though they are not known to be an effective all-in-one cure for alcoholism, they appear to be a positive piece to the recovery portfolio for some. 

Ed, with 11 days since his last drink, shares his story:

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[6:20] Paul Introduces Ed.


Sober for 11 days.  Has been on Naltrexone for 6 years.  40 years old.  Research scientist, molecular biologist.  Has two young children.  Really enjoying his work.  Started to drink more seriously during mid 20's. 


[10:13]  At what point did Naltrexone enter the picture?

During his mid 30's.  He was falling down stairs and wetting his bed on the weekends, yet he was still in denial.  He sought out a medicine to help with his hangover symptoms, found the Sinclair method on the internet. 

 

[13:05]  Did you go straight to Naltrexone or did you try other methods first?

He went to his doctor and asked him about Naltrexone.  He had tried AA but didn't like it.  The doctor was cautious, but gave him the green light. 

 

[15:10] Having used Naltrexone, what is your take on alcoholism being defined as a disease? 

Alcoholism is definitely a disease.  It runs in families, etc.  People who don't have the disease don't understand what it's like.  People drink for different reasons, but once addicted people are equal. 

 

[17:16] Where is the disconnect between the recovery and medical communities?

Not enough research in general, and in recovery methods.  The numbers we are working with today probably aren't the whole picture.  Not tied into addiction in general.  One thing he wants to emphasize is that Naltrexone should not be used by an alcoholic to try and drink like a normal person.  It can help someone quit but should only be used for that.  If you are already quit, stay quit. 

[21:22] If it feels more or less under control at this point, why aim for total abstinence?

He isn't getting anything out of it at all anymore.  He feels the overall force of alcohol in our lives is destructive.  He feels great. 

 

[24:44] Where are you at with cravings? 

Cravings are decreased with Naltrexone.  He likes not closing the door completely because he feels like he can fit in.  It's easier to just have a little bit. 

 

[26:08] What about your friends who had a negative experience with Naltrexone?

One friend ended up going on Naltrexone.  He used it moderately and it had negative effects.  Moderate reward can be more addicting than regular reward. 

 

[29:00]  Are you tempted to not use the pill?

He's tempted but has never broken the rule, which is why he feels he's been successful so far.

[30:09]  How does your routine work with the pill?

He just takes it every day. 

[31:15]  Do you agree that Naltrexone only cures the physical part of alcohol addiction?

Yes.  It's why it may not work for everyone.  It only address the physical part, but doesn't address the mental and spiritual parts of alcohol addiction. 

[35:20]  Do you think it is fear that is keeping you from aiming for complete abstinence?

It plays a part.  It's difficult to leave behind.  He recognizes the fear but knows that he's strong enough to overcome it and move forward with his life in a healthy and positive way.

 

[36:07] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

On a ski trip, he drank much more than everyone else. He wet the bed in front of all of his friends. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Out with friends, he realized he was the drunk that everyone used to compare themselves to.
What’s your plan moving forward?

Keep working on the mental and spiritual aspects of this.  Aiming for abstinence.
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Online forum: Sinclair method. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Can't do it alone. Hear the stories.  Reach out. 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Alcoholism is a monster. Don't underestimate it.  Try AA, etc.  Don't give up. 

You might be an alcoholic if...

you find yourself in Safeway buying 3 tall cans of Miller high life and behind you is a homeless man in line buying the same thing.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This podcast episode was brought to you by Zip Recruiter. Visit ziprecruiter.com/elevator and try it for free.

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!”

 

RE 163: Want to Know Why You Drink? Quit Drinking and You'll Find Out

Apr 2, 2018 36:44

Description:

Why do we drink? 

When we no longer drink alcohol, the many reasons we used to drink come bubbling to the surface.  What may have started out as a fun activity or a social lubricant often morphs into a way to (not) deal with life's problems.  The barrage of pro-alcohol messages from media and society has the potential to pull the wool over our eyes as the addictive nature of alcohol quietly gets the better of our innocent intentions.  

Alcohol promises to help you numb the pain, lower your inhibitions or distance yourself from your problems, but the effect is only temporary.  In fact, it often breaks the aforementioned promises and will usually make a bad situation worse.

The avoidance of difficult emotions or situations is likely futile.  Choosing to face your problems seems daunting when we are used to drinking them away, but gets easier with practice.

Briddick, with 112 days since his last drink, shares his story:

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:08] Paul Introduces Briddick.

Briddick is 33 years old, lives in Bellingham, Washington, works in Real Estate, has a girlfriend and a step-son, plays soccer, plays guitar, travel and the outdoors. 

 

[11:15]  What was it like for you being self employed?   

Heavy drinking was normalized.  There was no boss to tell him to stop.  Everyone was doing it. He used alcohol to unwind.  

 

[13:00]  When did you first start to realize that you might have a problem with drinking?

Late 20's.  He started in high school, but it gradually escalated until he had difficulty stopping once he started.   

 

[14:50]  What was it like to drink before soccer games?

For 3 years, he drank before sports.  He thought it was normal.  He felt terrible physically.  He feels lucky that he didn't hurt anyone during sports or driving.   

 

[16:18]  Did you attempt to moderate your drinking, and to what success?

He would avoid drinking in the morning, and avoid hard alcohol.  After 3pm it was free for all.   

 

[17:38]  Tell us about your anxiety attacks in your early 30's. 

Panic attacks are the worst.  You feel something is terribly wrong but you don't know what it is and you can't fix it.  Right around lunch time he would get panic attacks.  The anxiety attacks went away when he quit drinking. 

 

[19:48]  What was your reaction to removing alcohol from the situation?

Floored.  The anxiety went away.  The weight stays off.  He sleeps better.  He feels more emotionally stable.   

 

[21:13]  What was the time frame like for you in regards to the anxiety?

Within the first week.  He had a breakdown that lasted for three days.  “A bad day for the ego is a good day for the soul.”  There is a normal amount of anxiety in anyone's life.  Meditation helps. 

 

[23:59]  How did you do it?

He knew inside for years that he was an alcoholic but didn't want to admit it.  He eventually admitted it and had a breakdown.  He took it seriously, and treated it like stage 4 cancer.  He went to meetings with a friend.  The friend is not his sponsor.  On step 4. 

[27:28]  What have you learned most about yourself since you've quit drinking?

That he can do it.  I can make the choice to not drink today.  It's not about willpower. 

[28:41]  What's on your bucket list in sobriety?

He started playing guitar again.  He's learned that he can only focus on one thing at a time.  He wants to run a marathon.  He wants to keep traveling.  He is finding joy in the little things. 

[30:15] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Waking up with shaking hands and realizing that he was powerless. He regrets rude behavior and drunk driving. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?


What’s your plan moving forward?

Staying close to his sponsor and the steps. Enthusiasm can't be your primary engine.
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

The AA community. RE podcast. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (in sobriety)?

You don't have to stay sober forever, just stay sober today.
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Get off the fence. Admit it if you can't stop and if you can't stop, be serious about it because it will kill you. 
You might be an alcoholic if...

you find empty wine bottles in your car's glove compartment and side consoles that you don't remember.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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!”

 

RE 162: Things Your Addiction Will Say in Your Own Voice

Mar 26, 2018 45:55

Description:

“Your addiction will lie to you in your own voice.”

Your addiction will often appear to you as a voice in your head that sounds like your own rational thoughts.  It will tell you that it's not really that big of a deal, that you are really in control or, in many cases, will conveniently wipe your memory (the ISM or “incredibly short memory”) so you won't recall what a tough time you had getting through that last hangover. 

Be on the lookout for justification phrases such as:

“But I didn't really have a problem before”
“Everyone else drinks like I do”
“This next time will be different”
“I've quit once, I can quit again”
“The only person you're negatively affecting is yourself”
“I'm cured! I just went [X amount of time] without drinking!”
“Everyone else is having so much fun”
“I got this.”

Stay vigilant in protecting your subconscious mind from thoughts like these and you will have an easier time avoiding relapse.  It's much easier to stay sober than it is to get sober, and staying sober isn't always easy. 

Mike, with almost two years since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:05] Paul Introduces Mike.

Sober over 600 days.  37 years old, from California.  A professional musician that has worked in California, Boston and around China, as well.  He now lives with his girlfriend in Hong Kong.  Mike does for the show notes for each podcast episode. 

 

[11:10]  You quit drinking and smoking at the same time?

Yes.  Smoking was getting in the way of his singing.  He read Allen Carr's “Easy Way To Quit Smoking” and at some point he realized that he wouldn't be able to quit smoking without quitting drinking.  He committed to 30 days.  Felt great so he kept going.   

 

[13:58]  When did you realize you were going to have to quit drinking also? 

When he moved in with his girlfriend.  He realized that his actions were having consequences that were affecting other people, and that if he really cared about this person and himself, he would have to clean up his act.   

 

[15:45]  What were the indicators that you had a problem with drinking and/or smoking?

He had a therapy session, and the therapist helped him realize that his problem was the drinking, and not what he had thought. 

[18:27]  At that point, did you attempt to quit or moderate?

Yes.  Upon advice from his father, he tried to moderate his drinking by only drinking during work hours.  It was a form of torture as his whole day became centered around waiting for work to begin.  Eventually it lead to him breaking the rule and drinking all day for weeks.   

 

[20:23]  So the willpower technique was torture?

Yes.  While the rules were in place he found himself constantly distracted and thinking about drinking.  His brain was hijacked by both tobacco and alcohol.   

 

[22:40]  How did you get through those difficult cravings after you quit?

He started learning martial arts, and it gave him the tools he had been missing.  Previously, he had been using alcohol to relax intense feelings of anxiety or discomfort, but now he was able to use the techniques that he learned at the martial arts classes. 

 

[24:25]  Was everyone kung fu fighting?

In Hong Kong, not as much, but globally, yes.. more people are practicing Kung Fu now than ever before.   

 

[26:54]  What do you do when the uncomfortable feelings or cravings come?

He focuses on the physical sensations of the craving.  He tries to keep his body from becoming static, and thus paralyzed by the craving.  He breathes, moves, walks, gets fresh air, whatever is necessary to keep the craving from tensing him up. 

[29:19]  What is it like to continue working in the nightlife now that you're sober?

When you're still drinking, even the thought of trying to quit seems like an insurmountable task, but once you've quit and, inevitably, you change the way you see things, the environment in which you were in before is not what it seemed.

[32:30]  What's on your sobriety bucket list going forward?

He's interested in the physical activities he always turned down while he was drinking and smoking.  He wants to travel more and say yes to the things he said no to in the past. 

[34:05]  What is it like to not have the addiction causing you to feel unsolicited fear?

It's liberating.  There are so many positive experiences to be had in life.  Sobriety is an opportunity that begets other opportunities. 

[34:53]  What is it like to be in recovery in Hong Kong?

 

He knows someone who has been to AA in Hong Kong but he hasn't been to any meetings himself, yet.  He found solace in online resources, and he considers his online communities to be his recovery community. 

[37:10] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

A really bad hangover in which he could barely function.
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

His skype call with the therapist during which she pointed out that his main problem was probably drinking. Before that conversation with her, he had asked his friends about his drinking and they had all reassured him that it was normal.  She was the first one to point out that it was probably the cause of his issues. 
What’s your plan moving forward?

To continue to set my priorities on health, not overdoing it, to take it a day at a time, never say that “I got this”, to stay vigilant and positive.
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

The Recovery Elevator podcast, That Sober Guy podcast, Belle's One Minute Message podcast. The Allen Carr books. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (in sobriety)?

To begin today. If you are suffering, definitely begin today.  Don't be afraid, it's better on the other side. 
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

To begin, to stay focused and to not beat yourself up.
You might be an alcoholic if...

it's ever an absolute emergency that you don't have alcohol, and you find yourself planning accordingly.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Easy Way To Quit Smoking – A quit aid by Allen Carr. 
30 Day No Alcohol Challenge – A quit aid by James Swanick
Standing at the Water's Edge – A book about creative immersion by Dr. Anne Paris
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!”

 

RE 161: Where Does Sobriety Stand on Your Priority List?

Mar 19, 2018 46:05

Description:

If you haven't done so already, make sobriety your number one priority. 

It may seem selfish to prioritize yourself over other things, but to really be present and of service to our loved ones and the community at large, we must take care of ourselves.  When we root ourselves in something real, concrete and bigger than ourselves, our daily struggles and problems often feel small by comparison. 

“Everything's going to be okay as long as we don't drink.”

Ryan, with over two since his last drink, shares his story..

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:10] Paul Introduces Ryan.

Ryan's been sober for over two years.  He decided to quit after a trip to the hospital. He's from Dallas, TX.  Works for an ad agency.  Has a 3-year-old son.  Has a dog.  Is currently focused on raising his son.  He and his wife enjoy scuba diving. 

 

[12:45]  When did you first notice that you had a problem with drinking?

It began in college.  He noticed it affected him differently than other people.  He experienced withdrawal symptoms early on after casually drinking.  A trip to the doctor put things in perspective for him.  The doctor asked him to quit for 30 days, and he realized that he couldn't stop. 

 

[17:41]  What age were you when you realized you had a problem? 

Late 20's.   

 

[18:10]  So what happened from late 20's until now?

He tried many different things.  A therapist diagnosed him as depressed.  He was medicated.   They assumed the problem was something other than alcohol.  He drank while medicated and had a psychotic episode.  He cut out the medication but kept drinking.  He had a week to himself and he drank the whole time.  His anxiety increased dramatically.  He started hiding his alcohol from his partner. 

 

[23:20] Did things change when your child was born?

Eventually.  The morning he found out his wife was pregnant he tried to quit.  His drinking got worse.  As the due date approached his fear increased. He made sure he had emergency alcohol nearby in case they had to run to the hospital.  His worst memory from drinking was being drunk for the birth of his child. He kept drinking after the birth.  His wife got involved and tried to help him quit.  He continued drinking even while seeing his therapist.  Finally went to detox and felt like he was saying goodbye to his best friend.  He did an intensive outpatient program.  Joined AA.  Started working the steps. 

 

[32:05]  Talk to us about the time between your treatment and your sobriety date.

He relapsed once.  He learned that a relapse happens long before your first drink.  He thought he just needed time, but he learned that his thoughts lead to his relapse.  He began hiding liquor again.  It came back in full force.  He realized what he had given up by going back to drinking.   

 

[34:35]  So how did you end up quitting again?  What is your recovery like today?

The relapse made him realize that he was powerless over alcohol.  He stepped up his commitment to AA.  He found sobriety groups to be a part of.  His family responsibilities fuel his sobriety. 

 

[37:00]  What was it like to include your partner in your sobriety? 

It was a great decision.  It tested the relationship, but they came out stronger.  She quit drinking as well.   

 

[39:10]  What's on your bucket list in sobriety?

I just want to be my best. 

[39:40]  What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?

It's all about making the next right decision.  Focus on what one can control. 

 

 

[40:45] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

During his last relapse, he realized “I don't got this”.

What’s your plan moving forward? What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

His family. This podcast is his favorite.  What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

“KISS”. Keep it simple stupid.  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

If you can do this, you can do anything.. and you can do this. You're gaining more than you're giving up.  You might be an alcoholic if...

you end up in the hospital because you didn't drink.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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!”

 

RE 160: Made a Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory

Mar 12, 2018 52:31

Description:

 Step Four – “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”

The Recovery Elevator Podcast isn't affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous, but we cover the steps due to listener demand. 

For easy lookup: 
episode 142 was Step 1
episode 146 was Step 2
episode 152 was Step 3. 

The fourth step is probably everyone's least favorite step, as it involves things we don't want to do... face our past, our mistakes, our scary thoughts, emotions and current problems.  Though it can be scary, it is still one of the most important steps in recovery.  Alcoholism is merely a symptom of underlying inner conflict, delusions and/or flaws in our character that need to be faced, and where possible, overcome.

The key is honesty.  While working step four, we get a new perspective on the bigger picture and see ourselves and our behavior in a new way that helps us to move forward without fear and allows us to embrace a healthy self-image. 

This step is all about bringing unconscious behavior to light.  We gradually realize that only we can change, and not change others.  This step is meant to be done with your sponsor. 

Kerry, with 12 days since her last drink, shares her story...

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[13:25] Paul Introduces Kerry.

Kerry lives in Los Angeles, is 47 years old, is married, has two children and four dogs.  She loves reading, the movies, traveling, and book stores. 

 

[17:40]  When did you first realize that you had a problem with drinking?

In her 40's.  She started in her teens, and as an adult, she drank daily.  She struggled to stay sober while she was pregnant.  Her drinking ramped up after her second child, in her 40's.   She thought her drinking was normal, so she found it hard to believe she had a problem.

 

[22:00]  What were some of the rules you put in place?

She tried to only have a glass of wine with dinner, but it didn't work.  She tried to insert a glass of water between each glass of wine.  The rules didn't work, which only made her feel down on herself.    

 

[25:00]  When was your first attempt to quit?

2 and ½ years ago.  Her friends invited her to AA meetings.  She “white knuckled it” about three weeks.  Relapsed.  This added more shame, which leads to more drinking.  She kept trying and has been in and out since then. 

 

[27:20]  Was there one moment that changed it for your or was you generally sick and tired?

She was sick and tired.   She became ashamed when her daughter witnessed her really drunk. 

 

[29:00]  What are some of the things in your recovery portfolio and what will you do to make it stick this time?

She wakes up early and meditates.  She reads a chapter of “Living Sober” every day.  She reaches out to sober friends.  She goes to meetings occasionally. 

 

[32:49]  What benefits do you see with 12 days in sobriety?

More energy.  Better sleep.  No hangovers.  Being more aware and present for her kids.  Better memory.  

 

[34:41]  How are you overcoming the internal dialogue that is trying to convince you to drink?

She knows it's her addiction talking and it helps her to compartmentalize the thought.  She uses meditation techniques to let it pass. 

 

[36:40]  How has it been with your husband? 

He's been supportive.  He also thought she was drinking too much.  He's compassionate and helpful.  

[40:35]  What's on your bucket list in recovery?

She loves traveling.  She intends to use the money saved by not drinking to fund a trip to Amsterdam.  She wishes to be more present for herself and her family.  

[43:10] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Before she got married, she went to a dinner party and got drunk. She left the party without telling anyone, and she threw up on the subway. 

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Her husband noticed that she was slurring her words and pulled aside to ask her to stop drinking.

What’s your plan moving forward?

Keep up with the morning meditation. More meetings.  Find a sponsor and work the steps. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

She likes reading other people's stories. She's reading the books by Caroline Knapp and Sarah Hepola.  (See mentioned resources below)
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

“Follow the drink to the end”. One glass isn't just one glass.. it ends up with her throwing up and a terrible hangover. 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Just do it. Start today.  Don't set a date, just do it today. 

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

You open a bottle of wine, pour out two glasses and pour the rest down the drain. Then, after you've had the two glasses, you go out to the liquor store and buy more wine to keep drinking.  

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions – A book by Russell Brand

Living Sober – an introduction to AA and recovery.   
Blackout:  Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget – by Sarah Hepola

Drinking:  A Love Story – by Caroline Knapp
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!”

 

RE 159: I'm Breaking Up With the Word Alcoholic... Again

Mar 5, 2018 46:45

Description:

“Enhanced Dopamine Receptors” or EDR

The word “alcoholic” carries such a stigma in today's society and also implies that one's addiction to alcohol is somehow different compared to other addictions.  A more accurate way to describe the situation of those struggling with alcohol or any addiction is that they have “enhanced dopamine receptors.” 

Jim, with 57 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

[11:00] Paul Introduces Jim.

Jim is 47 years old, lives in Waukegan, Illinois.  He's a truck driver and a father, with a 12-year-old  son.  He enjoys reading and working out.

[12:37]  When did you realize you had a problem with alcohol? 

He always knew that he drank more than “normal people.”   Started drinking early at 14.  In recent years it became a problem.  Recently he drank an entire weekend. 

[14:30]  Are you viewing it as a permanent decision?  

Yes, and he arrived at that decision because the moderate approach never seemed to work.  “It's a hell of a lot easier to stay sober than to get sober.” 

[16:10]  Did you try to regulate your drinking in any way?

Yes, he put rules in place and actually followed them, but suffered the entire time.. and it made him realize that he had a drinking problem. 

[19:40]  Did you hit rock bottom?

He believes he's a high bottom drunk.  Most of the conflict was in his head.  His bottom was more of an emotional bottom.     

[20:55]  Were those emotions the reason you quit drinking?

His inner dialogue was mostly negative.  He drank mostly to silence his thoughts.   

[23:04] What were your repeated Day 1's like and how did you break the cycle?

He made a commitment to myself, to be honest about it.  He decided he wasn't going to let it beat him.  He gave himself permission to fail.  

[27:04]  How did you break the hamster wheel?

He went to AA; he joined online groups, he started going to therapy.  He made a “relapse prevention kit”.  The danger was usually boredom and over analysis. 

[28:50]  How do you deal with cravings?

He differentiates between cravings and urges.  He realized that they're temporary.  “Don't make a permanent solution to a temporary situation.”  The feelings will not last forever. 

[30:00]  What have you learned about yourself in your sobriety?

He says he still needs a lot of work.  He has to be vigilant to ensure he's pointed in the right direction. 

[32:30]  What is your proudest moment in sobriety?

Staying sober for this long.  He intends to keep going.  

[33:30]  What was the retreat like for you?

One of the best things he ever did.  He enjoyed it thoroughly. 

[36:25] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

As a teenager, drank tequila. Got sick, threw up his retainer.  Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

When he drank all weekend. What’s your plan moving forward?

Just continue on the path. Continue to learn.  What’s your favorite resource in recovery? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

“Don't judge your insides by someone else's outsides.” What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Start stacking days. It's easier to stay sober than to get sober.  You're not making any sacrifices; you're gaining opportunities. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This podcast episode is brought to you by Zip Recruiter. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator to post jobs for free.

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!”

 

RE 158: Is Everyone Really Drinking?

Feb 26, 2018 49:17

Description:

“Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting”

You can't always believe what you hear.  Just because we believe that everybody was kung fu fighting, doesn't mean that everyone was actually kung fu fighting.  In fact, upon further research, it turns out that no one was kung fu fighting in the original music videos for this song. 

The same applies to “Everybody drinks”.  When we drink, our beliefs about everyone drinking around us probably don't reflect reality.  We feel that we have no choice because, in our minds, we are surrounded by drinking.  Studies show that over one third of adults refrain from drinking alcohol and even more drink very moderately. 

In sobriety, we have an opportunity to redefine “normal”.  We are relieved to let go of the trapping idea that we are forced to consume alcohol to fit in. 

Anna, with over 17 years since her last drink, shares her story..

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:40] Paul Introduces Anna.

Anna is from Marin County.  She's a writer.  She has a cat, a boyfriend and a recovery podcast/company. 

 

[14:30] What are you working on right now? 

She realized that the publishing business was not for her.  She's now focusing on building her own audience and connecting with them and helping them directly. 

 

[21:25] When did you first realize you had a problem with drinking and/or drugs?

She realized she had a problem when she began using drugs in her apartment alone.  It got very dark and she didn't want to get sober but she realized that she had no other choice. 

 

[24:15] What kind of role did alcohol play in substance abuse? 

She never realized she had a problem because she was more focused on cocaine.  In rehab they tried to tell her that drinking was connected and she didn't believe them, which lead to relapse.

 

[27:26] Which drug had more of a grip on you at the time? 

 

It turns out it was both, even though she thought it was only cocaine. 

 

[28:00] Talk to us about alcohol being the gateway drug for you. 

While under the influence are alcohol, she lost her ability to say no to the other drugs. 

 

[31:15] What have you learned from your long term sobriety?

She learned how sensitive she is.  She learned that emotions are fleeting and won't last forever.  She's learned how to accept people for how they behave. 

 

[33:50] What role does self-loathing or self-love play in sobriety?

 

She believes that alcoholism is about ego-centrism and the spotlight effect. We assume everything is focused on us.  She learned that we can change our behavior and rewire our bad habits.  Forgive yourself for your mistakes, and break down the negative thinking. 

 

[39:16]  What would you say to someone on day 1?

Go to a meeting, connect with a sobriety community. 

[41:08]  How are you continuing to stay sober? 

She goes to a couple meetings a week.  She goes to therapy, she meditates, she exercises. 

[42:28]  What do you still want to accomplish in sobriety going forward?

She believes in visualization. 

 

 

[43:10] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

She accidentally snorted special K thinking it was cocaine.
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Nothing special happened that day, but she just acted and got sober.

What’s your plan moving forward?

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

She loves “Blackout” by Sarah Hepolah. “Everything is horrible and wonderful”.  Also an accountability group. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Re-frame depression as discomfort. Life is a process of getting comfortable with discomfort.  We get what we want out of life when we stop insisting on it. 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

You might be an alcoholic if...

You spend more time obsessing over alcohol or drugs.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode was brought to you by Casper. Visit Casper.com/elevator and use the promo code elevator for $50 off select mattresses.

Letting Go – David Hawkins

Light Hustler – Anna's website
Blackout, Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget – A book by Sarah Hepolah
Everything is Horrible and Wonderful – A book by Stephanie Wachs
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!”

 

RE 157: Don't Alcoholics Live Under Bridges?

Feb 19, 2018 51:10

Description:

Many of the stereotypes surrounding alcoholism don't match up with reality.  The image of the homeless guy holding the bottle in a brown paper bag and living under a bridge doesn't correctly represent the average alcoholic, despite the image's popularity.  Recent data shows that only 3-5% of alcoholics are homeless or on the street. 

As a group, alcoholics have enhanced dopamine receptors.  They tend to be overachievers, over-workers, over-thinkers, and over-creators. They come from many demographics and many age groups.  When Paul compiled the data for the RE podcast, he wasn't surprised to find a diverse pool of listeners, both married and single, educated and uneducated, rich and poor.

Kim, with less than 1 year since her last drink, shares her story:

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:42] Paul Introduces Kim.

5 months sober.  From Buffalo NY, lives in Chicago, 36yo, works in digital marketing.  Loves billiards, volleyball, spa and travel.  Currently working towards a masters in digital communication. 

 

[15:00] When did you begin to realize you had a problem with alcohol?

She fell ill and ended up in the hospital with a bleeding stomach.  The doctor recommended that she quit.  She quit briefly but ended up relapsing and found herself back in the hospital again.  Second doctor also recommended sobriety. 

 

[18:40] What was it like when the second doctor told you it was life or death?

The second doctor gave her lots of attention and encouraged her to get into AA.  She was humbled and blown away by the personal touch.  The doctor's previous patient was someone in the later stages of alcoholism and he warned her not to follow the same path.  She then got 8 months of sobriety after. 

 

[20:27] Did you end up going to your first meeting? 

She did.  She gave it a shot but it didn't feel like a good fit.  She didn't connect with the people. 

 

[21:44] How did you come to relapse after the 8 month period?

She took a trip to Mexico, and saw everyone around her drinking, which enabled her to justify having a few drinks.  She decided she was treating herself. 

 

[22:40] How was the rest of the vacation?

She didn't have any problems in Mexico, but she convinced herself that it wasn't a big deal and she opened the door to alcohol coming back in to her life.  She gradually slipped back in to her old habits. 

 

[24:25] What happened after you begin to let alcohol back into your life? 

She spent a lot of time hungover.  She spent a lot of money at IV ME

 

[25:16] Were you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

She was feeling run down and depressed.  At this point she knew better and she was disappointed in herself. 


[26:20] During your Labor Day holiday, were you drinking by yourself? 

Yes.  She felt left out and depressed.  She doesn't remember doing her Fantasy Football League draft. 

[28:33]  What was the next day like for you?

She called an Uber, but made it turn around because she didn't feel up to it.  Later that night she went to her therapist and he helped her see that she was choosing her behavior. 

[30:00]  Were you fully honest with your therapist? 

Yes, he knew about her behavior. 

[30:42]  Have you figured out why you were drinking?

She thinks it's because she wants to fit in and be included. 

[33:33]  What would you consider your rock bottom moment?

Definitely in the hospital.  Repeating the process, paying the money again even though she knew what the problem was.  This time she wanted it to be different.  She needed to know her other options.  She ended up finding Smart Recovery.  She began exploring other options she had never considered.  She finally clicked with a sponsor and has even flown out to visit her in person. 

[36:27]  What was the Dallas Cafe RE retreat like for you?

She loved it.  She found validation.  It made her feel more comfortable.  She found that there are other people just like her. 

[39:30]  What are your thoughts on Smart Recovery? 

It's more science based.  It focuses on thinking and behavior, goal setting.  It focuses on short term goals.  Everyone shares in the meeting. 

[40:53]  What is your proudest moment in sobriety?

 

Sharing her story to help others.  She's blogging and making videos and she's getting feedback.  She has a recovery website:  Brighter Mornings

 [41:49]  What was it like to publish for the first time?

She planned the release.  The accountability was scary for her.  She became excited at the thought of reaching people that might be struggling with alcohol. 

[43:15] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Waking up at an ex's house, not knowing how long she had been there or what she was doing there.

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Sitting in the I.V. Me facility, running out of money.

What’s your plan moving forward?

To continue to research. Build a community. Keep her sobriety blog and brunch club. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

The Happy Hour. The Naked Mind.  Smart Recovery.  Recovery Elevator.  Meeting new people in person and online from the sober community. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

It's not changing something, it's changing everything.

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Don't question it. Just do it.  It's not easy, but it's worth it. 
You might be an alcoholic if...

If you call into your job hungover on day 3.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Brighter Mornings – Kim's recovery website

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!”

 

RE 156: Progress Not Perfection

Feb 12, 2018 53:02

Description:

In this episode, Paul vents a little bit of his frustration and anger in recovery about AA and “big alcohol”. 

Without alcohol in our lives to help us deal with difficult emotions.. anger, resentment, and frustration (to name a few) often rise to the surface.  Paul expresses his concern for the abundance of alcohol in society, despite the overwhelming evidence that it is destructive and harmful. 

Katie, with 496 days since her last drink, shares her story:

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:00] Paul Introduces Katie.

Katie is 29 years old, originally from New York, but lived in Colorado for a while and now lives in Dallas, Texas.  Since quitting drinking and she is now into fitness.  She recently ran her first half marathon.   

[15:45] How did you realize you had a problem and how did you get sober?

Katie drank a lot in school.  After college, she moved to Denver.  She started going out every night, and developed insomnia.  Went to the doctor, was prescribed Xanax.  The medication eventually stopped working.  The insomnia continued.  She medicated on both ends of her sleep. 

 

[19:50] When did you realize the core problem wasn't being solved? 

In Dallas, the doctors tried to taper down her medications. 

 

[23:33] When did rehab enter the picture?

She felt alone and stuck.  She broke down in her apartment.  While moving, she found pills that she was hiding from herself.  While her father was helping her move, they went to therapy and had a break down in front her her therapist and her father.  Therapist told her she was still young and had a lot of life in front of her. 

 

[27:45] You realized you had a drinking problem while in rehab?

Yes. She was in denial about why she was going.  Thought it was just for rest.  Left sober, but with the intention of using her meds normally, or as prescribed.  In rehab, she slept well.    She was going to try to use meds to stay sober... realized she was an alcoholic. 

 

[30:35]  What was it like after?

Returning to Dallas was tough.  She had no support structure.  Started to make friends through the sober community.  Got into fitness.  Met a guy who was a big drinker, turns out he had been sober for a while and understood her situation. 

[37:00] How did you overcome the desire to relapse?

She lost a romantic partner, and it was difficult.  She insisted on making it to 1 year, though.  She realized that emotions are fleeting. 

[38:10]  What is your proudest moment in sobriety?

She's visiting her best friend from college.  They're celebrating sobriety together.  She's also found out that many other people are getting sober. 

[40:26]  What is something that you've learned about yourself in sobriety?

She's resilient.  She's been hitting her fitness goals more easily. 

 

[41:41] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Woke up in a disgusting apartment with bug bites.
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

The moment of clarity in rehab.

What’s your plan moving forward?

Focus on the positive, and keeping the eye on the prize. Don't mess with the routine. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Her gym. A tough workout, with intention setting. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

It's a lot easier to stay sober than it is to get sober.

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Just try it. You can always go back to the life with alcohol. 

You might be an alcoholic if...

You have a parking permit at the liquor store so you can park there without worrying about driving drunk.


 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Visit Rxbar.com/elevator and use the promo code elevator for 25% off your first order.

The Sober Truth – a book by Lance and Zachary Dodes, debunking recovery programs
From Death Do I Part – a book by Amy Lee Coy, her story about overcoming addiction
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!”

RE 155: Filling the Void Left By Alcohol

Feb 5, 2018 49:12

Description:

“For us to be successful in sobriety, we must fill the void left by alcohol.”
-Russel Brand, Recovery:  Freedom from Our Addictions

Drinking plays a big role in our lives.  Many of our social gatherings revolve around it.  We use it to relax or to deal with difficult emotions.  When we quit drinking, a void is then created that can be felt across many areas of our lives.  What do we do with this?  Should we fill it?  With what?

When the void is present, some try to use willpower to ignore it or to muscle through or around it.  Unfortunately, studies show that willpower is a finite resource and can not be solely relied upon to quit successfully.  If the void (also known as the emotional and spiritual causes of alcoholism) isn't properly dealt with, one can become what is known as a “dry drunk.”  The behaviors, coping mechanisms, and mindsets of the alcoholic are still present; the only difference is the lack of alcohol consumption.

In sobriety, we find ourselves with more... more time, more energy, and more mental clarity.  It's important to fill this time and spend this energy in a healthy and productive way so that the reasons for the void's existence begin to disappear as we lay a healthy and solid foundation for living.  Find things you like to do, and more importantly, find the communities surrounding those activities and do your best to become a part of them.

Chrissy, with 2 and ½ years, talks about how she married her drinking buddy:

SHOW NOTES

[12:50] Paul Introduces Chrissy.

Chrissy has been sober for 2 and ½ years.  She's from Mill Valley, California.  48 years old.  District Sales Manager.  Mother of two teenage boys.  She has two dogs.  Married.

[14:42] When did you first realize you had a drinking problem?

She used to be in denial.  She married her drinking buddy.  Started dabbling to get out of her head.  Became a problem when she moved to a town where everyone drank.  Started drinking daily.  Lead to a health scare.

[17:10] What was it like to find out you had Grade A Liver Cirrhosis?

She lost a lot of weight. She was mistaken for someone who was pregnant.  Ignored swelling abdomen and yellow eyes.  Eventually couldn't ignore symptoms.  The doctor called her an alcoholic.  She says the doctor is a good place to go for help.

[20:50] Did you ever attempt to moderate or control your drinking?

She always tried to manage it.  She had an idea for a perfect medium buzz.  The health scare is what made her consider quitting.

[22:47] What was it like when you first quit?

It took a few weeks for her body to repair itself.  She now gets checked up regularly.

[25:30] What did you learn about yourself during this process?

Once the fog was lifted, she began to ponder why she drank.  Now she says it isn't important.  It's more important to stay sober.  Year 1 was “how do I stay sober?” and now year 2 is “how do I manage my emotions?”.  Year 3 is now easier and more relaxing.

[27:10] What was it like to cut ties with alcohol completely?

She felt like she was kicking her best friend to the curb.  She had to get it out of her immediate surroundings.  At first, she felt sad, was white knuckling it.  Now she feels that quitting drinking was the one thing that changed her life completely.

[31:17] What does a day in recovery look like for you?

A neighbor took her to a meeting.  Found a sponsor.  Podcasts.  Reading books.  Surrounding myself with sobriety.  Changed her priorities.. recovery, then family, then work.

[33:25] What was it like to marry your drinking buddy?

She used to blame him a lot for her drinking.  She noticed that he drinks less.  They did therapy together.  She's focusing on herself.  She's not sure whether or not her husband is an alcoholic.
[36:00] What advice do you have for someone in recovery which is with someone who drinks?

Changed her perspective.  Release me from the bondage of “self”.  She focuses on herself.  She sees her partner more with compassion.

[39:40]  What do you have to say to a person who is scared of quitting because they feel they might become depressed?

Reach out and get some help.  Any hospital will help you to quit drinking.  Get to a safe place... get over the hump, just for a few days.

[42:20] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

After delivering a baby, all she wanted to do was get home and have a drink. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

 

When a colleague told her that her eyes were yellow. What’s your plan moving forward?

Continue to stay in the middle of the herd. Continue to work with the sponsor, and keep going.

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Her community in recovery.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

 

“If your ass falls off, pick it up and come to a meeting.”

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

 

If you're thinking about it, just go for it. If it's not for you, you'll know.

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

A worker at the grocery store mistakes your alcohol purchase as being for a large group of people.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery:  Freedom from Our Addictions by Russell Brand

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!”

RE 154: Can Pills Help Control Our Drinking?

Jan 29, 2018 43:48

Description:

“Does anybody have experience with naltrexone, Antabuse (disulfiram), or Campral (acamprosate)?” 

These drugs are designed to help people deal with the physical side effects of quitting alcohol.  While readily available, most 12 step programs will not mention quit aids such as these.  In the Radio Lab episode “The Fix”, they mention that a very small percentage of people in the early stages of drinking ever qualify for receiving drugs to help them quit.  Many people will seek out an easy way to quit, and though these drugs may seem attractive, the only way to successfully move forward is by putting in the work. 

Disulfiram -  more commonly known as Antabuse, is intended to create negative side effects to break the positive association with drinking.  It will not help with the physical cravings of quitting.  The United States National Institutes of Health says “...it is unlikely that disulfiram will have any real effect on the drinking pattern of the  chronic alcoholic.”

Naltrexone – blocks brain opioid receptors.  Probably the most popular.  It alters the brain's neurochemistry to make alcohol less rewarding.  The alcohol molecule is similar to an opioid molecule and is received similarly in the brain.  Naltrexone blocks the high one gets from drinking. 

Acamprosate  - more commonly known as Campral, is newer than the other drugs in the US.  The complete workings of this drugs are currently unknown, but it appears to disrupt the activity of the gaba and glutamate neurotransmitter systems in the brain, essentially quickening the pace at which a brain affected by alcohol returns to normalcy.

Are these drugs a cure for alcoholism?  The common experience is no.  These pills only address the physical component of the disease, leaving the emotional and spiritual causes unchecked. 

Some key points from “The Fix” episode by Radio Lab: 

1 – Billy's Story – The drugs did what they were supposed to do, in that they helped him get his drinking under control, but they did not cure the underlying causes for his alcoholism.

2 – The separation between the addiction community and the medical community started in the 30s during the tuberculosis epidemic, eventually leading to the medical community relying on medicine and the recovery community relying on a higher power.

3 – According to Anna Rose-Childress, people prone to addiction are the fittest of the fit, evolutionary speaking.  They are rewarded from their environment in more subtle ways, which seems to backfire in today's  modern environment. 

Stephen, with 12 days since his last drink, shares his story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[13:33] Paul Introduces Stephen.  How long have you been sober?  Who are you? What do you do for fun?

 

Over 12 days. From  Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.  29yo.  Works as a graphic and web designer.  Recent graduate of Nutritional Medicine.  Engaged to be married.  Love fitness and reading self-help books. 

 

[15:00] When did you realize that you weren't drinking normally?

 

Realized he couldn't just have a quiet night.  One drink lead to many, which lead to a three day bender, which lead to difficulty stopping drinking. 

 

[16:00] How did your drinking progress? 

 

Tried staying drunk to avoid hangovers. 

 

[18:00] Did you experience a kind of rock bottom?

 

Not a rock bottom, but a realization that he had no self control as long as there was alcohol in his system. 

 

[18:55] Did you put any rules in place to moderate your drinking? 

 

Tried general strategies.  Only drinking at night, etc.  They went out the window quite often. Tried using Antabuse but couldn't afford it. 

 

[20:19]  What was it like using Antabuse? 

 

Was moderate successful. Quit for 3 months.  Doesn't cure the holistic problem. 

 

[22:50]  Are you still using medication to help you stay sober?

 

No.  Not working for him in the long run.

 

[25:00]  How did you pick your sobriety date?  What strategies are you using?

 

Figured it was a good year to step it up.  Trying to keep busy.  Noticed that I have an addictive personality.  Figured I'd meditate more and focus on my career. 

 

[28:11]  What have you lost to alcohol? 

 

Lost a lot of friends.  Made poor choices while drinking.  Lost a previous romantic relationship.  Lead to positive outcomes.  

 

[30:20] What advice would you give to your younger self in regards to drinking?

“You don't need to go out and hit up the nightclubs to have fun.”  I used to drink and play video games.  The association is still strong and tough to break.  

[31:45]  Have you tried AA?  

He considered it.  This year he may try it out to experience the community. 

[34:20]  Do you experience cravings?  If so, what do you when they arise? 

Tried waiting it out.  Reaches out to someone at church.  Avoids the internal conflict. 

 

[36:30] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

Out at a pub, decided to go outside and sit on a bench.  Woke up in an ambulance.  Needed stitches from passing out and hitting his head. 

 

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

 

Was on a 3 day bender.  Went for a drive and because of sleep deprivation was in a car accident. 

 

What’s your plan moving forward?

 

One day at a time.  Keep setting positive goals.  Stay fit.  Looking up.  

 

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

 

Recovery Elevator is the biggest one.  Listen to podcasts, reads books.   

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

 

You're not alone, and you always have a choice.  

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

 

Think of the long term benefits, especially your health.

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

get up early on a work day and have a double vodka, even before your decide whether or not you're going to work. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Radiolab – The Fix

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Traker 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!”

 

RE 153: Do Half Measures Really Avail Us Nothing?

Jan 22, 2018 40:03

Description:

"Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon."  

This phrase is commonly heard in 12 step meetings.  When it comes to recovery, a half-hearted attempt could have disasterous results.  Recovery can be confusing.  Half measures might yield mediocre results in other areas of life, but due to the nature of the beast, unfortunatly the truth is that alcoholism can not be defeated while alchol is still being consumed, and thus requires one to quit drinking completely in order to successfully move forward without alcohol.

While this is true in the long run, most of us use half measures at the beginning to try and control our drinking.  This is normal and, though half measures in regard to quitting drinking leads to relapse, it may also lead one to the conclusion that they have to quit completely.  Sometimes the wrong train will take you to the right destination. 

 

Zoey, with 7 months since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:15] Paul Introduces Zoey.  How long have you been sober?  Who are you? What do you do for fun?

 

Over 7 months sober.  June 1, 2017 sobriety date.  Married.  Louisville, KY.  23yo.  Works at a freight facility.  Still learning what she likes to do for fun.  Has 2 dogs.  Likes music, reading, cooking. 

 

[9:40] What spurred you into sobriety?

 

Had a car accident while under the influence that she didn't remember. 

 

[12:00] Did you ever put any rules in place to try and control your drinking?

 

Yes.  Switching types of drinks.  Switched from beer to liquor to lower the quantity of drinks she consumed thinking she wouldn't be viewed as an alcoholic.  She would also force herself to run a mile for each drink she consumed. 

 

[13:25] Before your accident, were there signs that you were drinking too much?

 

Many.  Husband was afraid to be around her while she drank.  Also, she would jokingly mention that she was an alcholic in conversation, surprising herself. 

 

[14:45] Was this your first attempt to quit drinking after the accident? 

 

Yes.  She had a meltdown and wound up in a psychiatric hospital, was diagnosed and medicated.  She tried to stop because of her medication, but she couldn't last more than 5 days.  She also lied to doctors about her drinking. 

 

[17:45]  What's it like getting sober at your young age? 

 

Different than others.  To her, age didn't matter.  She believes she has hurt enough people and has felt enough pain for anyone at any age.  Her friends still drink so she had to remove herself from her social connections. 

 

[19:55]  How did you determine which friendships to keep and which to end?

 

She looked at the things they did together, whether or not there was any real connection beyond alcohol.   It wasn't difficult because the stakes were high.  If she couldn't get sober, her life wouldn't move forward in a healthy way. 

 

[22:28]  How did you get sober?  Did you go to a clinic? 

 

Both inpatient and outpatient.  On her 1st day of sobriety, she checked into a detox program for 6 days.  After, she attented a 5 week intensive outpatient program.  This was during the first month or so of sobriety.

 

[23:45]  What is outpatient treatment like? 

 

Very beneficial.  She says she wasn't an easy patient.  The program involved a lot of conversation and teaching, helping the patient decide what is best for the patient.  

 

[24:37] What is your point of view on the disease concept?

She finds it helpful to know that she have a disease that can be treated.  It is the answer she has been searching for.  Not all decisions about health come from a doctor, one can decide for oneself.  Also she isn't alone. 

[26:30]  What does your recovery portfolio look like now?  A day in the life. 

Coffee in the morning, then playing with dogs, followed by prayers and meditations.  Meditation helps a lot.  AA meetings at least every other night.  Reach out to support group when she needs help, which is often. 

[27:35]  How is it important to stay connected? 

Incredibly important.  There is also pain in sobriety, but more support from  a community.  Sobriety is only the beginning.  Someone can give advice while dealing with problems. 

[28:45]  How did you deal with your grandmother's passing while sober?

It was difficult.  She noticed she was more present with family. She reminded herself that relapse wasn't an option.  She didn't want to disappoint her family.  "I've got to stay sober so I can handle this and be there for the people that need me."  The stakes were high, as she was feeling suicidal.  Meetings helped.  Reading helped. 

[31:50]  How have your coping skills improved over the past months?

I no longer jump to conclusions, then run to alcohol.  I take a moment to think about and assess each situation when it arises.

[33:15]  Have you experienced cravings in your sobriety?  If yes, what do you do when they come? 

I haven't really had physical cravings.  Mental? Yes.  She is using the tools that she has been given to stay sober.  The challenge for her is mental. 

 

[34:30] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

One night became suicidal.  Chased husband around with a knife. 

 

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

 

When husband said he was afraid to be around me while I was drinking. 

 

What’s your plan moving forward?

 

Continue doing what works.  Stay in touch with other people and myself.  Don't give in and hit the F-it button.

 

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

 

The Big Book from AA. 

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

 

Whenever times get hard, you can either a) hit the F-it button, b) fight what you're going through head on. 

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

 

Go with your gut.  If you think it's time to quit it is.  "You can put your shovel down whenever you want.  You don't have to keep digging your hole deeper."

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

you have a very hard time choosing between a happy and sober life or a painfully alcoholic death. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Retreat in Machu Picchu  -  Retreat of a lifetime coming up in October. 17 people have signed up so far.

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Traker 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!”

 

RE 152: Asking For Help With Alcohol: Made a Decision to Turn Our Will and Lives Over

Jan 15, 2018 47:59

Description:

Paul summarizes Step 3 from the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous.

 

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives

over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Step three in a nutshell means we are asking for help.  A God of our understanding can be anything.  We must be convinced that a life run on self will can hardly be a success.

Jenna, with over 3 years since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:39] Paul Introduces Jenna.  I live in Colorado, I work in IT, and I’m 38 and have a 10-year-old daughter.  I love hiking, running, and skiing.  I love to cook. 

 

[12:38] Paul- When did you start drinking?

 

Jenna- I actually didn’t start drinking until I was in college.  I didn’t drink in High School.  The first time I drank I was 12.  I discovered a bottle of alcohol, and poured it into a coke. 

 

[21:25] Paul-  What was it that led you to quit drinking?

 

Jenna- I had several bottoms before September of 2014.  I knew alcohol wasn’t working for me, but no one knew that alcohol was the cause of my anxiety and depressing and feeling horrible. 

 

[28:42] Paul- How liberating was it to be in that environment where your mom with nothing to hide?

 

Jenna-  She cooked me lots of healthy food.  It took me days to be able to eat.  That love and being cared for was huge.  She was there for me for whatever I needed.

 

[34:15] Paul- Talk to me about the timeline, and the patience.  What do you have to say on that?  It does keep getting better.

 

Jenna- That first year was amazing and hard at the same time.  I had to learn how to do everything without alcohol in a culture where everything revolves around alcohol.  Having accountability with my sponsor and my husband was huge in all of those times.

 

 

[43:21] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? That would be when we were in Vegas for my Grandma’s 90th birthday party, and I took my daughter to the bathroom, and I got lost.  I didn’t know how to get back to the restaurant and I was drunk.

 

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Labor Day weekend of 2014.  We were going camping.  It was always my job to pack up the camper. I decided to drink before doing that, by the time we got out to the campsite 90% of what we needed was not in the camper. What’s your plan moving forward? I plan to keep growing personally and learning. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? What works for me is going to meetings, and connecting with other people.  What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Surrender, and ask my higher power for help. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  You can find your bottom at any time, just put down the shovel and quit digging (drinking). You might be an alcoholic if... when you are going through airport security your Ziploc bags of liquid shampoo bottles are filled with vodka.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Alcoholics Anonymous "Big Book" PDF

Step 3 Pages 34-41

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Opportunity to waive the set up fee.

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!”

 

RE 151: This Recovery Program Claims an 80% Success Rate

Jan 8, 2018 55:44

Description:

The American Medical Association recognized alcohol dependence as a disease over 55 years ago. Alcohol dependence fits the disease model because it is a dysfunctional state with characteristic form.

Use of some drugs, including alcohol, may cause dependency. The medical term for this dependency, or addiction, is Chemical Dependency. In order for a chemical to be addictive it must possess three properties. It must be: 1) mind altering or mood changing, 2) euphorigenic, and 3) reinforcing, that is taking the chemical stimulates taking more of the chemical.

Kim, with 3 days since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[14:29] Paul Introduces Kim.  I am 43 years old, I have 2 kids, I am from Atlanta, I am a self-employed attorney.  I like to walk my dog, be out in nature, and exercise.  I come from a family of alcoholics. 

 

 

[19:34] Paul- Did you ever put any rules into place?  Like not drinking before 5:00?  Tell us more about that.

 

Kim-  I did actually.  I switched to wine, I don’t know if that counts as moderating.  I did cut back on the heavy stuff.  I tried not drinking when I noticed the emotions were flooding.  For me it’s been the amount I have been drinking when I did drink.

 

 

[32:18] Paul- We are both one of the “lucky ones” How do you feel about that?

 

Kim-  The one thing I have that my family members don’t have is self-awareness.  They are in denial.  I feel very very lucky that I have been able to recognize what I am doing, and that it is a problem.  At the same time it is everywhere.  I see it everywhere. 

 

 

 

[43:08] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Without a doubt it was that night.  It was the lowest I felt in my life.  I never want to be there again. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? It was 3 days ago.  We were having fun, watching football.  The next thing I knew I had a beer in my hand.  What’s your plan moving forward?  Accountability is big.  Actually calling somebody, I can see where reaching out can help break the cycle. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  Without a doubt it is the Café RE recovery group. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? When you are going through hell, don’t stop. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Don’t beat yourself up.  It perpetuates in a negative way. You might be an alcoholic if... you actually enjoy being sick with a cold or the flu because it actually suppresses your desire to get a drink for a while.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This podcast episode is brought to you by Zip Recruiter. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator to post jobs for free.

HIMS Website- Human Intervention Motivation Study

CBS News- Rehab that Puts Alcoholic Pilots Back in the Cockpit

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!”

 

RE 150: We Can Do This

Jan 1, 2018 53:28

Description:

It is January 1st, 2018.  Today represents the start of a new year.  The fact that you are listening to a podcast that is all about bettering your life sets you apart from all the rest.  Addicts and alcoholics need altruistic relationships in our lives with others who do not drink.

Tricia, with 1 year since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:38] Paul Introduces Tricia.  I live in Dallas Texas, I’m 36 years old, I am a Chef by trade.  I like to do crafty stuff, and I like to go running. 

 

[15:03] Paul- What was it like hitting that 1-year milestone?  What was that feeling?

 

Tricia- 1-year felt better than my birthday.  My soberversary felt so much more important than any birthday I had ever had.  Having one year was 10 times that feeling of excitement and accomplishment.

 

[26:43] Paul- Tell us more about that.

 

Tricia- I can quickly compare getting sober to starting an exercise routine.  Everyone wants a quick fix.  That never works.  There is no quick fix.  You have to do the things that make you uncomfortable and are hard.  You have to learn to have discipline.  AA is attraction, not promotion.  I can take what I want, and leave the rest.

 

[32:32] Paul- The majority of listeners have yet to step foot into an AA meeting.  What are your thoughts on AA?  What light can you shed upon the 12-step process?

 

Tricia- I have a lot of opinions on AA.  It’s a place where you can meet people in real life.  We all have the same disease.  It is neat to meet people who get you.  I love that part about AA.  There are 2 parts to AA: Going to meetings, and working the 12 steps.  If you just go to meetings and you don’t do the steps you are missing out. 

 

[36:42] Paul- Tell us a little about the retreat and what you learned from it.

 

Tricia-  I signed up early for the retreat as an incentive to stay sober.  The retreat in Montana was an adult experience kind of like camp.  Creating relationships with people who are just like you.  Everyone was so vulnerable right away.  It was magical.  You had to be there to know. 

 

 

 Rapid Fire Round

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Start right now.  There is no right time, do it now.  It just gets harder the longer you wait.  You can’t do this alone, if you could, you would have done it by now.

 

You might be an alcoholic if...you are always scheduling your day around your drinking.  Everything has a hard stop at 4:00 or 5:00 so you gotta start drinking.  You know exactly how many ice cubes are in everyone’s glasses because you watched Mad Men drunk. What’s on your bucket list?  I am going to be a speaker at the Dallas Meet-up.  I really would like to do more speaking engagements.  I am looking forward to the Peru trip. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Gourmaleo - Dallas based Paleo food delivery service

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Opportunity to waive the set up fee.

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Traker 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!”

 

RE 149: Some Facts About Alcohol

Dec 25, 2017 39:58

Description:

Facts about Alcohol:  Less than 20% of people with alcohol abuse disorders actually seek treatment for their disease.  Excessive alcohol consumption costs the U.S. economy an estimated 250 billion dollars in lost productivity according to a study from 2010.  Alcoholic’s Anonymous success rates vary depending on the source.

Makenzee, with 1 year since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:05] Paul Introduces Makenzee.  I am from Boise Idaho.  I am 23 years old and I work in the emergency department at the hospital.  I love crafting, and fitness and nutrition.  I got married 9 months ago.

 

[13:15] Paul- When did you first realize you had a problem with alcohol?

 

Makenzee- I had a constant build up of sickness and hangovers on my days off.  I started to realize that my hobbies didn’t exist anymore.  I wasn’t really present in the moment.  It was miserable.

 

[16:57] Paul-  13 days ago, did you have a rock bottom moment?  Tell us why you quit drinking.

 

Makenzee-  It was hard to say one specific thing happened.  I was excruciatingly hung-over 13 days ago.  It lasted about two and half days.  I was going through some physical withdrawals. 

 

[25:22] Paul-  Let’s back up to Day 1,2, 3, 4, 5, how have you gotten this far?

 

Makenzee- Days 1,2,3,4,5 were…  I’m not going to sugar coat it, absolute hell.  My body was physically aching.  I had a hard time wrapping my head around the situation.  Yesterday was the first day I did not feel miserable.  It was very difficult the first few days.

 

[31:36]  Paul- What have you learned most about yourself over these past 13 days?

 

Makenzee-  I’m actually a good person.  I beat myself up a lot.  I realized everyone is not going to like me.  But I like me, and I am comfortable in my own skin.

 

[36:52] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Blacking out after my husband face timed me from overseas, and not remembering talking to him. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Waking up after our wedding night and not remembering the last half of it. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Café RE, and self-care. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Facing it is the only way to overcome it. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Rip it off like a Band-Aid.  It’s terrifying; it hurts like hell, but just do it.  Your life will flourish. You might be an alcoholic if... you buy a plane ticket to Vegas instead of paying for a lawyer for your DUI.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator in Dallas January Social

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Opportunity to waive the set up fee.

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!”

 

RE 148: The Perfect Storm for Alcoholism

Dec 18, 2017 51:52

Description:

Randy Craig, with 49 days since his last drink, shares his story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[2:53] Paul Introduces Randy.  I was born and raised in Casper Wyoming.  I went to school in Colorado, and worked there for a few years.  Music has been a part of my life since I was very young.  I like to read, play music, take my dog on walks.  My passion revolves around my music.

 

Randy tells his story in detail to Paul, and explains his journey up to this point.

 

 

[41:59] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?  Waking up in that Hospital in ICU. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  My first detox.    What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Out of the Wreck I Rise” – by Neil Steinberg What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? It starts with you. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  If you are even questioning it, odds are you should try to stop it before it gets worse.  It is an awful disease.  You might be an alcoholic if...  I’m on my deathbed with an expired liver, and still have the energy to go to the bar. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode was brought to you by RX Bar. Visit RXbar.com/elevator and use the promo code elevator for 25% off your first order.

Randy Craig's Website

Out of the Wreck I Rise- Neil Steinberg

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Opportunity to waive the set-up fee.

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!”

 

RE 147: Is Alcoholism a Disease, a Habit, or Voluntary?

Dec 11, 2017 47:21

Description:

The 3 basic camps of addiction can be broken into the following categories:

The prevailing wisdom today is that addiction is a disease. This is the main line of the medical model of mental disorders with which the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is aligned: addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease in which alcohol use becomes involuntary despite its negative consequences.

The idea here is, roughly, that addiction is a disease because alcohol use changes the brain and, as a result of these changes, alcohol use becomes compulsive, beyond the voluntary control of the user. In other words, drinker has no choice and his behavior is resistant to long term change.

Marc Lewis’ “The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease”, has stirred controversy among addicts, their families, addiction researchers, and treatment providers. Lewis claims that the scientific facts don’t support the disease model of addiction. Rather, addiction, like romantic love and other emotionally loaded habits, develops through accelerated learning. Combining scientific views with intimate biographies of addicts who recovered, the book also shows how addiction can be overcome, through self-directed change in one’s goals and perspectives. Drawing on psychiatric epidemiology, addicts’ autobiographies, treatment studies, and advances in behavioral economics, Heyman makes a powerful case that addiction is voluntary. He shows that drug use, like all choices, is influenced by preferences and goals. But just as there are successful dieters, there are successful ex-addicts. In fact, addiction is the psychiatric disorder with the highest rate of recovery. But what ends an addiction?

At the heart of Heyman’s analysis is a startling view of choice and motivation that applies to all choices, not just the choice to use drugs. The conditions that promote quitting a drug addiction include new information, cultural values, and, of course, the costs and benefits of further drug use. Most of us avoid becoming drug dependent, not because we are especially rational, but because we loathe the idea of being an addict.

Greg, with 361 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[13:45] Paul Introduces Greg.  I’m 54 years old, I live In Las Vegas, I’m an attorney, and working in HR currently.  I have been married for 26 years, and have 2 daughters aged 22 and 18.  I love being outdoors.

 

[18:59] Paul- Can you describe your rock bottom moment?

 

Greg- The summer of 2016 I played on a work Softball League.  We won the championship.  I had a party at my house to celebrate.  I drank way too much, I blacked out, we ended up doing shots of tequila.  It was a bad scene.  The next morning it was the lowest I had felt in my life.  It was ruining my relationships.   

 

[26:43] Paul- When you came out, how liberating was that feeling?

 

Greg- It was awesome.  I felt like I had taken a huge first step.  I admitted to myself I had a problem.  It was liberating.  I have expanded my accountability network.

 

[37:01] Paul- You look at it like an opportunity and not a sacrifice.  Comment more on that.

 

Greg- It is really a celebration.  There were times in the past when I tried to give up drinking.  With that mentality it didn’t work.  I have gained peace and happiness, and joy and serenity.  I really look at recovery as something that I have been given.  I am going to make the most of it every single day. 

 

 

[41:18] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? It was definitely waking up the morning after the softball party.  That was the low point from there, I started heading back up. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? There was a time a few years ago when one of my kids had an event during one of my drinking nights.  I thought it is kind of twisted thinking for getting upset I was going to have to spend time with my family because it would interfere with my drinking.  What’s your plan moving forward? Doing this podcast has been great.  One day at a time.  I’m going to continue to go to Celebrate Recovery.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Focus on the similarities, not the differences.

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? If you think you might have a problem, reach out to one other person you trust. You might be an alcoholic if...you are nick named after a drink.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

"Beyond the Influence" - Katherine Ketcham

Gene Heyman "Addiction: A Disorder of Choice"

Marc Lewis "Biology Of Desire"

Article: "Is Addiction a Disease?"

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Opportunity to waive the set up fee.

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

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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!”

 

RE 146: We Came to Believe

Dec 4, 2017 43:09

Description:

Paul discusses Step 2 from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 

Mike, with 86 days his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:31] Paul Introduces Mike.  I live in Vermont; I’m 33 years old.  I work as a social worker; I hang out with my wife, my 12-year-old son, and play video games. 

 

 

[16:50] Paul-  Describe the progression, coupled with Father time, hangovers are getting worse and worse, talk about that progression.

 

Mike- Yeah, I would buy those little boxes of wine, then I would just buy the bottle, and the bottle would be gone.  It felt like I was in quicksand, when you are running in sand and can’t get any traction.

 

[20:21] Paul- It’s tough to get 86 days of sobriety, how did you do it?

 

Mike- Listening to the Recover Elevator was huge.  I felt like I was in the contemplation stage.  I’ve been thinking about quitting for years.  Listening to Recovery Elevator is what really helped motivate me jump right in.  I listen to “This Naked Mind” on audio book and really tried to “brainwash” myself, and felt like it worked.

 

[28:12] Paul- What advice would you give to your younger self?  If you could go back to your 16-year-old self, what would you say?

 

Mike- I would like to go to my 15-year-old self and smack the beer out of my hand.  I disagree with the stance that some people can drink normally.  Don’t be ashamed that it’s hard. 

 

 

 

[35:29] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? The day after St. Patrick’s Day party trying to piece together what happened. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I had a lot of times, the most recent time I drank, I had the house to myself and just laying there by myself.

 

What’s your favorite resource in recovery? “This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Alcohol is shit.  It resonated with my bodies’ reaction to alcohol.  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  When we are in the contemplation stage of am I an alcoholic or not.  The real problem is alcohol is an addictive poison, and anyone can become addicted to alcohol. You might be an alcoholic if... you go to St. Patrick’s day party, spill red wine on the rug, you put your arm around another woman, and rub her back while standing with your wife, and you black, the last thing you remember is raising both fists to the sky and yelling “I’m the king of the world” 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

RX Bar - Visit www.rxbar.com/elevator for 25% off your first order.

Alcoholics Anonymous "Big Book"

"This Naked Mind" by Annie Grace

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code opportunity to waive the set up fee.

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!”

 

Re 145: 4 Strategies to Utilize in Social Situations

Nov 27, 2017 39:50

Description:

These 4 Strategies will help us get through any social situation.  Will power can only last us so long. 

Accountability Play the tape forward Always have an exit strategy Stop and think.  Alcohol is a poison. 

Neal, with 20 months since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:20] Paul Introduces Neal.  I am in my late 50’s.  I have 2 boys, 2 grandchildren.  I do maintenance work, I like to go camping and spend time with our granddaughter who lives with us.

 

[11:50] Paul-  In 1990, was your wife leaving you what got you sober?

 

Neal-  Yes.  I was driving a taxi in Seattle at that time.  The AA world convention came to town.  It was a huge emotional relief.  I cried throughout the whole event.

 

[16:06] Paul- Let’s back it up to 2008 when you took that first drink after 18 years of sobriety.  Can you walk us through that?

 

Neal-  The pressures, and there were times I would tell my wife to bring home a 6 pack of beer.  One day she finally did.  It took 6 months for me to ramp up to where I was after that.

 

[25:04]  Paul-  Curiosity is killing the cat, what was the reason?

 

Neal-  I had to go on Antabuse in November of 2015.  I had to go to the pharmacy and take the white pill.  Antabuse and alcohol do not mix.

 

[29:43] Paul-  With nearly 20 years of sobriety logged, do you still get cravings, and if you do still get them, what do you do?

 

Neal- I don’t get any cravings.  Like I said, on that day when I read the obsession, the cravings, it was all lifted, it’s gone.  I try to remain calm.  Step back and take a deep breath.  I try to reflect how they affect me.

 

 

[33:34] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? I was at a former employers business and I asked my wife to come down to give me a ride home, she came down, and brought somebody else with her and I flew off the handle and was yelling and screaming, and they called the cops.  I wouldn’t come out, they couldn’t come in.  I finally came out, but it was scary. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? It was the last week of my drinking.  I laid in bed, and called in sick everyday.  What’s your plan moving forward? To keep connected with AA.  Keep going on, and enjoying my 2 grandchildren. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I have to say Podcasts.  I work alone a lot.  I listen to 10’s of 100’s of hours of podcasts.  What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Go to meetings, stay connected. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  One day at a time. You might be an alcoholic if... when you are opening that bottle to take a swig, at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00,  or 5:00 in the morning just to get another 45 minutes or hour of sleep.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code opportunity to waive the set up fee.

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!”

 

RE 144: Gratitude is Key in Sobriety

Nov 20, 2017 43:26

Description:

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick

What is gratitude, and how can this help us get and stay sober? Service and Gratitude go hand in hand. 

Here’s Paul’s Holiday challenge:

Write 10 things you are grateful for 10 days in a row.  Be thankful for something you totally have taken for granted your entire life.  After 10 days when you have 100 items listed, review the list, and look for reoccurring themes.  Email your completed lists to Paul@recoveryelevator.com

Dan, with 66 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:10] Paul Introduces Dan.  I live a town called Guildford, about 30 minutes outside of London, I have 2 boys named Sebastian and Felix who are 4 and 7 years old, I live with my girlfriend, together we have 4 kids under the age of 9.  For fun I enjoy working out, going to the gym, swimming, and desperately trying to learn to play guitar.  I work in primary schools, and I deliver health and fitness workshops.

 

[15:58] Paul- 66 days ago, was this your first attempt at quitting drinking?

Dan- In all honesty, this is my very first attempt at stopping drinking.  One time 10 years ago, I quit drinking for January and February.  I don’t want to spend the money; I don’t want to feel crap.  I want to set the example for my children growing up. 

 

[23:00] Paul- Earlier you said you look at sobriety like a challenge, are you looking at this as an incredible opportunity?

Dan- Yeah, I am.  After reading Alan Carr’s book, and Annie Grace’s book, it just puts things in perspective.  You never used to have to have to have a bottle wine or beer to have fun, or enjoy yourself.  The way I sleep the past couple of months.  You feel so much better the way you start your day. 

 

[28:02] Paul-  What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

Dan-  At this point in time I really want to focus on my business, and my work.  I would really love to do something on YouTube, or something that is focused on the positive of giving up alcohol. 

 

 

[33:43] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Waking up on Christmas morning and clearing up the mess I made outside from getting sick on the way home on Christmas Eve.  Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  I had 1 beer after playing golf.  My cousin asked me if I wanted another, and that moment where I realized I was driving, and knew 1 more beer would put me over the limit.

 

What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I enjoy reading, and listening to podcasts. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Alcohol is shit, that’s it.  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  From day 1 start to focus on it as a challenge, and the benefits of it.  Don’t focus on what you are giving up.  Don’t focus on how hard anything is going to be.  Focus on the benefits of giving it up, and how it’s going to make your life better. You might be an alcoholic if... you drink for absolutely no reason whatsoever.  Not a celebration, not a sporting event, not a birth, not a wedding, if you sit there and drink at night watching crap TV, and you’re drinking a bottle of red wine.  You might need to have a little think.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

"This Naked Mind" - Annie Grace

Allen Carr's Easy Way

Sober Grid

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code Opportunity to waive set up Fee

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!”

 

RE 143: The Reverse Intervention

Nov 13, 2017 48:28

Description:

Paul discusses reverse interventions.  They, “normal drinkers” don’t get it.  How can we expect normal drinkers to understand what we are going through?  What do you need to cover in a reverse intervention?  Let them know this isn’t easy for you.  Having the real conversation and being vulnerable.  Lay out your game plan.  Accountability is key.

Amy, with 11 years since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:40] Paul Introduces Amy.  I’m 54, a Midwestern housewife.  I have two grown sons, and husband of 34 years.  What I do for fun has changed quite a bit over the years.  I enjoy recovery, and spending time with my 4 dogs.

 

[23:35] Paul- You said when you finally discovered you had alcoholism, you started to recover.  What is your definition of alcoholism?

 

Amy-  My last drunk I ended up hospitalized.  I didn’t believe you could drink enough to kill yourself.  But I came real close.   My husband found me, and got me to the hospital, or I would have died from alcohol poisoning.  My doctor told me I had alcoholism.  They handed me a meeting list, and I immediately started going to 12 step meetings.  I finally felt like I landed on the planet I belonged in that I was seeking for 43 years. 

 

[27:02] Paul-  What did it feel like when you finally found your herd, you found your tribe?

 

Amy-  It so radically changed my life.  My husband calls me his second wife without the paperwork.  I didn’t interact with society.  I now seek out social situations.  I have more friends than I can handle.

 

[33:25] Paul-  Amy you mentioned something earlier you said “Give up the mind fight.”  Tell us more what it meant for you to give up the mind fight. 

 

Amy-  When I heard a man say two things.  I knew it was true.  I can drink; I can drink with the best of them.  I can’t say I can drink safely.  The other one I heard was once I take the first drink; I have no control over my decisions, or where it will take me next.

 

 

[43:33] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Driving my children and neighbor kids to Great America and home in a blackout.  It is over an hour on major highways from our home. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Second pregnancy, the day I brought him home, I wanted one glass of wine.  I got really drunk, and when I woke up, there was a newborn in the house.

 

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  12 step meetings, personal relationships, and doing things like this out of my comfort zone. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Just try; cause you can always go back to hell.  Hell doesn’t close its door. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?  I don’t have a plan.  That’s one of the best things about sobriety. I wake up and go OKAY. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  The only thing I can say, is come join us.  It’s a wonderful thing.  Everything I was trying to get from alcohol I have gotten 10 fold in sobriety.  All is 10 times better in sobriety. You might be an alcoholic if... you wake up five years married thinking, “Did I really do that?”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Brenaim1@yahoo.com  (Amy’s email)

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!”

 

RE 142: We Were Powerless Over Alcohol

Nov 6, 2017 47:25

Description:

Paul discusses Step One: “ We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.” from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. 

David, with 46 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:20] Paul Introduces David.  I’m a dad of 2 great boys aged 11, and 7.  We live in Atlanta.  I work at a software firm.  I have been there for quite some time.  I’m 42, and divorced.   For fun there is a lot of baseball, I help coach basketball.  Both my boys are in scouts.  I love to play and collect guitars.

 

 

[12:52] Paul- When did you realize that perhaps you didn’t drink normal?

David-  I have several memories of self-questioning my drinking habits going back a decade.  I have milestones in my life I questioned my drinking. 

 

[29:02] Paul- You are identifying yourself as a non-drinker.  Have you experienced a different case of the F-its like I have 3 years of sobriety, F-it, I might as well keep moving forward?

 

David-  I love this concept, I have not felt this feeling of you have come this far, you might as well keep going.  I feel like that day is going to come.  You have to be hopeful for the future.  I am doing this.  You have to balance that with healthy caution around relapse.  I can be proud, I can be hopeful, but I have to be cautious.

 

[34:28] Paul- I know from the retreat you met a lot of people who have the same life goal, how has that affected you moving forward?

 

David-  I described it when I started this journey.  I didn’t have any tools.  I had no institutional knowledge of what I was getting myself into.  It was through your podcast I was introduced to AA in a meaningful way.  What I learned from the retreat is that this is something where community helps.

 

 

[39:23] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? You can insert any viscous hangover here.  Missing a flight out of Vegas after a night of tearing it up.  Head throbbing, and having to rearrange flights and childcare back in Atlanta while my head was throbbing. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? When I figured out that the unit of measure was no longer 2 beers, it was a six-pack.  No longer 3 glasses of wine, it was the entire bottle.  What’s your plan moving forward? My number one internal dialogue is that I am no longer like that.  I am no longer that person.  It is almost a chant I give myself daily.  I’m plugging back in with my therapist. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? While you’re working on your sobriety, your addiction is doing pushups. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Your litmus test is if you have you every asked yourself if you have a problem with alcohol, that is the test.  I know I did that hundreds of times over a decade.  Sick and tired of being sick and tired.  The management of chaos we all endure as we introduce chaos into our evening routine.  You might be an alcoholic if your favorite drink is “lots of it”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Alcoholics Anonymous- Big Book

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!”

 

Re 141: Alcohol and "Hanxiety"

Oct 30, 2017 43:27

Description:

Anxiety as it relates to drinking is discussed.  Alcohol suppresses the nervous system.  It is a depressant.  If we depress the nerves for long periods through binge drinking, our body reacts once the alcohol is gone by releasing adrenaline to compensate.  This gives us severe anxiety in return.  Which totally unbearable, and creates a fear that grabs you right in the chest.

Aaron, with 16 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:12] Paul Introduces Aaron.  I’m 38; I live in Albuquerque NM, I work at a print shop.  I’m separated, I used to like to fish, and want to get back into that.  I like to be out in nature.  I have a miniature pincher named Packer. 

 

 

[13:29] Paul- How is it different this time?   Explain that feeling that something clicked.

 

Aaron-  My body was telling me with the anxiety and the insomnia.  It wasn’t fun anymore.  I was drinking miniatures while I was at work, and tried to hide all the time.  Tired of being tired.  I’m 38 years old, the party is over already.

 

[26:13] Paul- Talk about your experience with Opioids.

 

Aaron- I started off with the pills.  Hydrocodone etc.  Then I started doing oxy, and for a few years I was doing that.  I was going through withdrawals because I couldn’t get them.  I started going to the clinic and got on methadone. 

 

[30:28] Paul- 16 days ago you were sick and tired of being sick and tired.  What happened, and how did you do it?

 

Aaron- I started downloading and listening to podcasts.  I was trying to figure out what this was, and how to stop.  I jumped into it with both feet.   I went through the tough first few days of detox.  I stopped doing things that were triggering me.

 

[37:00] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Waking up in a Virginia jail, and couldn’t bond out because I was considered a flight risk.  Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? The time I was in San Diego and hit that show and ended up in jail in another state. What’s your plan moving forward? I’m going to hit the podcast circuit.  I’m going to create a program that will work for me. 

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Stop beating yourself up.  Don’t try to think ahead too far.

 

You might be an alcoholic if get pulled over in your work car going the wrong direction down a one way road and you didn’t know until you read the police report the next day.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 Anatomy of an Epidemic- By Robert Whitaker

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!”

 

RE 140: Those Uncomfortable Feelings Serve a Purpose

Oct 23, 2017 48:48

Description:

Paul discusses anxiety and depression as interpreted through an episode of the Dharmapunx Podcast. 

Heather, with 269 days since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:50] Paul Introduces Heather.  I’m 37; I live in Los Angeles, CA.  I’ve been here for about 7 years.  I grew up in south Texas.  I work for a small cable network.  I love yoga, hiking, going to the movies.  I have an identical twin sister. 

 

 

[16:04] Paul- When did you realize perhaps that you don’t drink normally?

 

Heather- I think its been varying stages of that.  Moving from Texas to New York was an adjustment.  I got a job in a bar, and that was my life. 

 

[25:54] Paul- What was the impetus that really forced you to make that jump into sobriety?

 

Heather- I had been reading “A Happier Hour” and the light bulb went off when I was reading that book.  I was also reading a blog from tired of thinking about drinking.  I started a 100-day challenge.

 

[35:02] Paul- When did AA come into the picture?

 

Heather- I am still going.  I am kind of afraid of the steps.  Around day 60 or 70 I was feeling lonely about talking about it, and I was afraid to go.  I put it out there, and things happened. 

 

[40:28] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? One of my best friends husbands passed away.  Her father didn’t want any of us to be drinking, and I drank anyway.  I should have not drank, but I had to. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? One of the last conversations I had with my boyfriend when he said it will be okay and we will both stop.  But if we break up, I’m fine, and I can continue to drink. What’s your plan moving forward? When I started the 100-day challenge, I want to keep clarity.  I’m going to work the steps, and go to more meetings, and build more of a sober community here. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Recovery Elevator, and a speaker meeting I attend in LA. 

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  What you gain is so much more than you are giving up. You might be an alcoholic if you know your boyfriend is, and you decided to move in with him after 9 months, and you still don’t think you have a problem.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode was brought to you by RXBAR. Visit RXBAR.com/recovery for 25% off your first order.

Dharmapunx Podcast Link

Tired of Thinking About Drinking

A Happier Hour- By Rebecca Weller

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!”

 

RE 139: PAWS - Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms/Syndrome

Oct 16, 2017 46:16

Description:

This week’s topic is PAWS- Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms/Syndrome.  Paul explains what PAWS is, how to deal with it, and some of the signs to look for.

Josh, with 15 months since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:13] Paul Introduces Josh.  I am from Phoenix originally, now living in LA; I am a digital content producer.  I am 36 years old.  I like hiking and exploring with my miniature golden retriever Diego.

 

[10:30] Paul- You left AA in recovery determined to find a way to drink normally.  How did that go?

 

Josh- Once you’ve been introduced to recovery and then you go back out, it’s tough because you can’t enjoy drinking the way that you were.  I just wanted to learn to drink responsibly.  To me it felt like there were people with more serious problems than me. 

 

[19:35] Paul- Why did things start to change after you adopted Diego?

 

Josh-  It took me out of myself.  Talking to others about their dogs.  Going to the dog park, and meeting other people.  I kept myself busy in early sobriety.  Having Diego at home with me really helped me more than I can explain. 

 

[27:49] Paul- Talk to me about outpatient treatment, what was that like?

Josh- I didn’t feel connected to the group, it wasn’t a good experience because I wasn’t’ putting the work into it.  When I was finally ready in 2016, it was a really good experience.  I went 6 days a week for the first month. 

 

[35:07] Paul- Where are you at these days with 12 step programs?  Do you go to AA meetings?

Josh- I do.  I was anti- AA for a long time.  I don’t embrace everything about it.  What I admire is that it is organized so well.  There is a core connection of people there if you want it.  I was going to 5-6 meetings a week the first year.  I definitely get something out of it.  It is not everything to me.  I am working the steps.

 

 

[38:31] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? I blacked out in the middle of trying to go to Jack in the Box and moved my roommate’s car out to the street where it got towed.  We had to go to the tow yard and get his car. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Too many to mention.  One being at my friend’s house and drinking his entire liquor collection.  Another one would have been when I almost been fired from my work.  I told myself I wouldn’t drink at work anymore, and 6 weeks later I was. What’s your plan moving forward?  My plan is to keep doing what works and stay connected.  I count my day’s everyday.  I take pride in each day as a separate milestone. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Diego, my dog. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?  “It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be.  I hope you live a life that you are proud of, and if you find you are not, I hope you have the strength to start over.” What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  This has to be the most important thing in your life.  You might be an alcoholic if you are out with friends at a bar, and you go to the bathroom, but you stop at the bar to have a shot by yourself, and then return to the table to resume to drinking.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Post-Acute Withdrawal (PAWS)

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!”

 

RE 138: The Science of Addiction

Oct 9, 2017 50:36

Description:

Paul summarizes an article from National Geographic “The Science of Addiction.”  Nearly 1 in 20 adults worldwide are addicted to alcohol.  21 million Americans have a drug or alcohol addiction.  Making the disorder more common than cancer.  Addiction is a pathological form of learning.

Carey, with 40 days year since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:52] Paul Introduces Carey.  I am 30 years old; I’m an RN from Rochester New York.  I used to say I liked to do a whole lot of things, but I put a lot of it on the back burner when I was drinking. 

 

[14:45] Paul- Did you have a rock bottom moment?  What caused you to make this decision to get into sobriety?

 

Carey-  I feel like there are so many situations in which I should have chosen that time.  40 days ago was the time I decided to make the decision for myself.  I hated when people told me I should quit drinking. 

 

[19:39] Paul- Before 40 days ago, was that your first time tried to quit drinking?

 

Carey- Back in the day when I first started noticing issues, I was trying to narrow it down.  I went through the whole cycle.  After the wedding I had quit drinking for 10 weeks.  If I got into nursing school, I was going to celebrate with wine.  A few months after starting nursing school I got a DWI. 

 

[35:28] Paul- You were sick and tired of being sick and tired.  You used the word excited.  How has that shift in mindset?

 

Carey-  I was excited at the fact that I didn’t have to worry anymore.  I didn’t have to go out to dinner and worry if my second order of beer would be frowned upon.  I am excited about meeting other sober people. 

 

 

[42:39] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Let me count the ways.  One of the worst ones was when I got home from a concert, and drove to my friend’s house because I thought I left my phone in his car. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  I would say my DWI.  I also hate to admit that my dog was with me at the time.  That scared me for sure. What’s your plan moving forward?  Right now I want to keep learning and getting out of my comfort zone.  I love Café RE, which has been amazing.  I want to explore the steps.    What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  The Recovery Elevator Podcast.  I am going to be sober today, and plan on being sober tomorrow. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?  Tell somebody else.  Do research, look into sobriety and come up with a game plan.  You are not alone. You might be an alcoholic if you don’t like being called an alcoholic.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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!”

 

RE 137: The "ISM" or the Incredibly Short Memory

Oct 2, 2017 33:41

Description:

I want to talk about the word Alcoholism, more specifically, the tail end of that word, the ISM- Incredible Short Memory, the painful acute memories are sobriety fuel.  We cannot do this alone. 

Adam, with 57 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:50] Paul Introduces Adam.  I’m 36; I live in New Hampshire, married with 2 awesome sons and a beautiful wife.  I love being outdoors.  I began drinking in my early twenties.  I was drinking to get away from stress problems.  It got to the point where I was drinking everyday. 

 

[15:05] Paul- What was different on July 17th?  Was it a shift in mindset? Did you go to an AA meeting?

 

Adam- It was more of a mindset.  Everywhere I looked there was something about recovery.  It was my mind putting it out there.  I created the accountability, and it made it harder to go back on.

 

[21:40] Paul- Was there some sense of discomfort before you quit drinking?  What was the source of pain?

 

Adam-  It wasn’t anything huge.  I called myself a high bottom drunk.  There wasn’t anything that set it off.  I was sick of relying on it everyday.  Waking up every morning sleepier than I should be.  It became too much a part of my life, and I didn’t want it there anymore. 

 

[23:56] Paul- What was it like the first 24 hours? The first couple of days, the first week?

 

Adam- It was not the easiest time in my life.  I had a little bit of the shakes, some headaches the first 3-4 days was the worst of it.  I remind myself how great I feel now.

 

[26:53] Paul- What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?  What do you want to achieve with this new life you’ve been given?

 

Adam-  I want to spend more time with my family Instead of playing with the kids, the first thing I would do would be to grab a drink.  They are 3 and 7 years old right now.  Be closer to them.  This time of their life I really want to remember.

 

 

[29:45] Rapid Fire Round

 

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Just realizing that everyday that was the first thing when I got home from work that I wanted to do. What’s your plan moving forward?  Just to keep enjoying life, get to know my kids better, and getting healthy. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? It’s the Recovery Elevator Podcast. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? The accountability.  Creating that accountability and making it a real thing. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Suck it up and talk to somebody.  It has to be someone that you care about and trust and respect.  Once you make it a real thing, you will not want to let them down. You might be an alcoholic if you lie to your wife when you are sick as a dog, because you know she will say you don’t need that beer tonight.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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!”

 

RE 136: One in Eight Americans are Alcoholics

Sep 25, 2017 42:05

Description:

New data has revealed that one in eight Americans are now alcoholics due to an alarming rise in alcohol consumption in women, elderly people and ethnic minorities.

Experts at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism say that the rise could constitute a public health crisis that is being overshadowed by the opioid epidemic and marijuana legalization. 

During an 11 year gap, the number of people who received a diagnosis of alcoholism shot up by 49 percent, meaning 12.7 percent of the population - or roughly one in eight Americans - are alcoholics. 


Megan, with 11 hours since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[5:15] Paul Introduces Megan.  I’m from Baltimore, Maryland.  I am 38, single, with a live-in boyfriend. 

 

[7:19] Paul- What forced you to reach out to me again, and give us a little background.

Megan-  The whole point of what you are doing is when you can relate to other people.  I love that you are an advocate for the acceptance part of it.  People are ashamed to come out so to speak.  I didn’t start drinking until late in college.  I liked the way it made me feel.  I wasn’t self-conscience.  It was never really a problem.   One day in my late twenties I realized I was drinking everyday. 

 

[23:49] Paul- Talk to me about your withdrawal symptoms.

Megan-  It’s usually worst the second and third day.  The shaking and the anxiety is the worse.  I can’t shut my brain off. 

 

[26:36] Paul- What’s your plan?  How are we going to do this?

Megan- I am going to get through today.  One day at a time.  Right now it is just getting through today.  I know that I want to get sober and stay sober.  Am I done yet?  I’m not entirely sure.  I want to be there, but I don’t know if I am.

 

[32:36] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Blacking out.  I started drinking after a run; I woke up the next day and had no memory of how I got home. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? About a month ago, I got up in the morning and was walking to the grocery store and I couldn’t walk.  I inched across the street and went back home. What’s your plan moving forward? What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I love podcasts.  The HOME Podcast, the Shair Podcast, Recovery 101. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Don’t beat yourself up. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? You are going to feel crappy.  Don’t make it worse on yourself by pouring poison into yourself.  It’s going to get a little bit better everyday. You might be an alcoholic if the liquor store on the corner knows exactly who you are, and lines up 4 mini bottles of Fireball everyday at 9:00 in the morning.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

It's a public health crisis: 1 in 8 Americans are now alcoholics By Abigail Miller for Dailymail.com

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!”

 

RE 135: Key Tips For Early Sobriety

Sep 18, 2017 37:11

Description:

Paul reads posts from members of Café RE answering the question: “What are some things that helped you in early sobriety? 

There are some emerging common themes from these responses.  Change, you don’t have to change much, you just have to change everything.  Accountability is the key, you can’t do this alone.  Alcoholism is a thinking disease.  You can’t think your way out of it.  Knowledge is not power unless you use it.

Marybeth, with 8 months since her last drink, shares her story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:40] Paul Introduces Marybeth.  I’m 51; I live in southern New Hampshire.  I am married with 4 children, 2 of which have special needs so that takes up some time.  I like to visit with friends and family, downhill ski, and exercise.

 

[13:39] Paul- Tell us about your drinking habits, how much did you drink prior to November 26th, 2016?

Marybeth-  I was a big red wine drinker.  I did a sugar cleanse, and then I ended up sipping Tequila neat.  Then I switched back to wine.  I knew I would never be a morning drinker, or drink before 5:00.  I typically had 2 glasses of wine a night for years. 

 

[17:45] Paul- Was there a bottom moment, or were you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Marybeth- I attribute my sobriety to an accident.  I broke my ankle while I was walking and texting.  It was difficult to be on crutches, and drink at the same time.  I came upon the 30-day sober solution while I was in my cast.

 

[21:48] Paul- How important do you think accountability has been these past 8 months?

Marybeth- It’s been really great.  I couldn’t handle my alcohol, and was passing out early.  Now I can stay up late and have fun.  I was asleep and numbing my self with alcohol.  I was snared by it socially, and numbed by it unintentionally.  I wasn’t seeking to numb anything.

 

[29:05] Paul- What does your sobriety portfolio consist of?  Walk us through a typical day of sobriety.

Marybeth- I wake up everyday and meditate for 30 minutes.  I use the headspace app.  It is like exercising a muscle.  I connect with friends, and do things, which interest me.

 

 

[30:16] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? I was separated from my husband, and got into a car.  I put the car in drive instead of reverse and ran over the curb. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? When I broke my ankle.  I had a bloody Mary on board when that happened. What’s your plan moving forward? I am going to continue with meditation, my wellness, helping others, and reading books.  Possibly attending an AA meeting. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? The Recovery Elevator Podcast.  I love listening in the car on the way to work. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? My dad was a recovering alcoholic.  He would always say don’t sweat the small stuff. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Just do it.  You can always go back to drinking if sobriety doesn’t work for you. You might an alcoholic if you are at a weight watcher meeting and all you are concerned about is if you have enough points left for wine at the end of the day.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

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!”

 

RE 134: What I Learned at the Recovery Elevator Retreat

Sep 11, 2017 51:01

Description:

Paul summarizes the Retreat, which took place in Bozeman, Montana.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[13:22] Paul Introduces Kristin 238 days sober, Amy 11 years sober, Dave 12 days sober, and John with 18 and ½ years of sobriety.

 

 

[15:55] Paul-  What did you think the retreat was going to be like?

 

Dave- I didn’t have any set expectations.  It has been sharing, but so much more.  I have connected with every single person here. 

 

[16:50] Paul- What surprised you so far on this retreat?

 

Kristin-  I was surprised at how easy it was to talk to everybody here.  I am not extremely comfortable around strangers.  Since we have been in the online community the past year, it was easy to chat with everyone.

 

Amy- I enjoyed the camaraderie.  It is beautiful here.

 

[27:30] Paul- Tell us what made you decide to come, and a little about your story?

 

Kristin-  My drinking career didn’t start until 2001.  I realized about 5 years ago that I had a problem, and tried to moderate.  My bottom was New Years Eve.  I have not lost any friends in sobriety.  It’s been a wonderful 8 months.

 

Dave- I grew up in a household of Tea Totalers.  I got into a high stress job with expense accounts.   The “sick and tired of being sick and tired” resonated with me.  There is a new chip on my shoulder.

 

Amy- I started drinking when I was 13.  I had the epiphany that this was the missing link.  I didn’t think there would be this much joy in sobriety. You can’t love other people until you love yourself.  Everything I wanted alcohol to give me, I got sober. 

 

John- My drinking career began in high school.  My mom passed away when she was 47, many family members had alcohol related deaths.  I became a daily drinker from college to 40 years old.  January 5th of 1999 is when I got sober.  My biggest breakthrough was writing a letter to my mother who had passed away.  I stay sober due to the people in my community.

 

This podcast episode was brought to you by Hello Fresh. For $30 off your first week of Hello Fresh visit hellofresh.com and use the promo code recoveryfresh30

 

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!”

 

RE 133: America's Drinking Problem Is Much Worse This Century

Sep 4, 2017 41:28

Description:

Paul summarizes the article “America’s Drinking Problem Is Much Worse This Century” by John Tozzi

 

Alcohol abuse has shot up since 2001, and the number of adults who binge weekly may top the population of Texas. Americans are drinking more than they used to, a troubling trend with potentially dire implications for the country’s future health-care costs.

The number of adults who binge drink at least once a week could be as high as 30 million, greater than the population of every state save California, according to a study published on Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry. A similar number reported alcohol abuse or dependency.

Between the genders, women showed the larger increase in alcohol abuse, according to the report.

Kristi, with nearly 9 months of sobriety since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:09] Paul Introduces Kristi.  I live in northern California near Stanford; I am 44, married and have 2 boys.  I worked 25 years in software sales.  I have been spending most of my time volunteering.

 

 

[16:28] Paul- When did you start realize after your Mom passed away, that this might be going in the wrong direction?

 

Kristi- Honestly, around 38-39 I started to realize I was drinking differently than I had in the past.  I was working full time with 2 young kids, and I had to have 6-7-8 drinks at the end of the day. 

 

 

[20:23] Paul- What was your first AA meeting like?

 

Kristi- I was so overwhelmed.  It was 9:00 on a Saturday morning, and there were 300 people there.   I realized that all meetings weren’t this way.  I jumped right in, started going to meetings, got a sponsor, and worked the steps.  I was working on will alone.  I don’t think I realized the importance of a higher power, and letting go.  I managed to stay sober for quite awhile.

 

[28:43] Paul- You sound like you are a high bottom drunk, and have a lot more to lose, am I correct?

 

Kristi-  I didn’t get the DUI, or drive my kids drunk.  But I wasn’t present.  I can really sit and appreciate the moment now.  I am feeling good; I have a skip in my step.  When you live in gratitude, you can’t live in fear and resentment.

 

[32:07] Paul- What’s on your bucket list in sobriety, what do you want to accomplish in this life?

 

Kristi-  I would like to learn Spanish.  I would really like to write a book. 

 

[33:31] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?  My husband and I went to San Francisco.  I took a small bottle of vodka with me.  I got so wasted at the party I don’t remember conversations I had, and I woke up in the hallway.  Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Repeat times over and over again being drunk on a Tuesday for no reason. What’s your plan moving forward?  Live in the present, and being of service. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I really like the book “Living Sober” and the Recovery Elevator podcast.  What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?   I don’t have a problem I can’t make worse by picking up a drink. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Do it, you will feel better.  You will live in a more honest and peaceful world.  Quit poisoning yourself. You might be an alcoholic if you are hosting a party, and drinking wine with the guests, and sneaking off to have shots of vodka by yourself.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

America's Drinking Problem is Much Worse This Century- By John Tozzi

A.A. Literature Living Sober

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!”

 

RE 132: Don't Beat Yourself Up - Alcohol Already Does That

Aug 29, 2017 45:14

Description:

Self-Loathing is rampant in addiction, and it needs to be addressed and curtailed if we want to find long-term recovery.  Self-trash talk is a double whammy when we judge ourselves harshly.  We are both the attacker, and the attacked.  Dr. Kristin Neff’s book “Self Compassion” is summarized.

Tori with 16 days since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:25] Paul Introduces Tori.  I am from Gainesville Florida; I have lived here since I was 10.  I am 24 years old.  I am a proud mom to a Chi Wawa named Tucker.  I like to craft, and go to the springs. 

 

[14:39] Paul- What was the deciding factor to listen to the RE podcast, and contact the host?

Tori- My DUI was my bottom, the way I portrayed myself to the officer in December of 2015. 

 

[18:35] Paul- I’m going to read one sentence from the email you sent to me. “I don’t drink everyday, I don’t have withdrawals, what I do have is the inability to control myself once I start drinking”.  Talk to me more about that. 

Tori- During the workweek I like to keep my head on straight.  The culture in town is to drink, and to binge drink.  I have been doing these bar tours since I was 17. 

 

[24:34] Paul- What has it been like these past 16 days?

Tori- I have been preoccupied with work.  I was moving for one of the weekends.  The hardest day was when two of my best friends came over and brought wine.  I didn’t drink, and they didn’t care.  I haven’t had that breakthrough of clarity yet.  I kind of feel that I am in limbo.

 

[32:58] Paul- To this point, what have you lost to alcohol?

Tori- A lot of my dignity, you gain more dignity in sobriety.  Other things I have lost are trust with my parents.  I have lost my sense of safety.  I was taken to the back seat of a car and taken advantage of.  I was beaten up, and had a concussion; I lost a ton of money. 

 

 

[37:01] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? The DUI, it affected many more people than myself.  The sexual assault was the worst, but I try not to associate drinking with that. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Every single time I do something dumb.  Every time I lose a notch of my dignity.  What’s your plan moving forward? What I have been doing has been working.  I like listening to the podcasts.  Most of my friends probably all have a drinking problem. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Take it one day at a time; realize that you are better than your addiction. You might be an alcoholic if spend the night on a chair that is not yours in front of a house that you do not own or rent.  Or if you choose to not take the advice of the people that care about you the most, and continue with your bad habits.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Self-Compassion Dr. Kristin Neff

Dr. Kristin Neff- CMSC website

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!”

 

Re 131: The Hungry Ghosts

Aug 21, 2017 46:13

Description:

Paul summarizes a talk by Tara Brach named “Healing Addiction: De-Conditioning the Hungry Ghosts”

 Addiction is addiction, it doesn’t matter what it is, it is applicable.  Tara talks about the “hungry ghosts” of addiction.  There is a sense that something is missing.  A feeling that this moment does not contain enough happiness.  How you live today is how you live the rest of your life.  When we don’t have basic needs met, we reach out for a substitute.  We must find a way to love ourselves.

Peri, with 81 days since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:11] Paul Introduces Peri.  I have been sober since May 8, 2016.  I am a bartender, I live in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I am a poet, and have been writing more in sobriety.

 

 

[12:58] Paul-  Describe your drinking habits, how much did you used to drink? 

Peri-  I think by the end I was drinking 20-30 shots of whiskey a day, and 5 beers.  I tried all types of rules with most of them meant to be broken.  I think I started to derail when I was 17 years old.  I knew by the time I was 21, I had a problem. 

 

[16:13] Paul- Talk to us about some of the things you have had to change?

Peri- A big thing for me is friendships.  Almost everyone I associated with drank like I did.  I had to cut almost everyone out of my life.  I had to start fresh like I knew no one in the city.

 

[20:19] Paul- You quit smoking and drinking at the same time, tell us about that?

Peri-  I quit soda at the same time too.  5 aspirin and a large Coke used to get me through the hangovers.  I had massive blood clots, so I had to quit both to avoid the health consequences.

 

[25:11] Paul- What’s on your bucket list in sobriety, what do you hope to accomplish?

Peri- Some days it is One Day at a time, others it is the moon.  I am saving up for a truck, I would like to travel more.  I would like to get off my blood thinners.  Healing my body would be a huge moment for me.

 

[29:45] Paul- What do you do when you have the cravings?

Peri- I eat a lot of ice cream.  Either Pistachio, or Peanut butter ice cream, sometimes Raspberry. 

 

[35:27] Paul- How is it today?  How are you on day 81?

Peri- I feel really great, doing an interview right now.  Meeting up with my friends, having some dinner.  I legitimately haven’t experienced a sober birthday in 10 years.  I am looking forward to remembering it.  I have been trying the meditation.  I have been researching alcoholism.  I have been pretty active in Café RE.  Occasionally, I will go to AA, but only when I need an extra boost.

 

 

[37:30] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? I don’t know, there were a lot.  I was hanging out with a shady group of people who had alcohol.  I fell, and these people left me on a curb with a big gash on my head. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? My last job I got fired from, because I was taking shots of alcohol in the bathroom before my shift. What’s your plan moving forward? I’m going to keep digging in; reading, writing, and it will all figure itself out. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Café RE.  I listen to the podcasts, but the Facebook group is great to describe what I am feeling, and have the communication with the group. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.  What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Anything in your life that is a toxic influence, get rid of it.  It is not conducive to your sobriety. You might be an alcoholic if you wake up on the sidewalk. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Healing Addiction: De-Conditioning the Hungry Ghosts

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!”

 

Re 130: When Things Fall Apart

Aug 14, 2017 42:51

Description:

Paul summarizes the book “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron. 

How can we live our lives when everything seems to fall apart—when we are continually overcome by fear, anxiety, and pain? The answer, Pema Chödrön suggests, might be just the opposite of what you expect. Here, in her most beloved and acclaimed work, Pema shows that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined. Drawing from traditional Buddhist wisdom, she offers life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into habitual ease and boundless joy.

 

Tyler, with 137 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:45] Paul Introduces Tyler.  I’m 33, live in Austin, Texas.  I am an editor for a national magazine, and I am an HIV pharmacy rep in Texas.  I have 2 standard Poodles named Jones and Indy (Counting Crowes reference, not the movies).

 

 

[12:57] Paul- When did you realize that maybe your drinking is not normal?

Tyler- I started about 3 years ago evaluating my own behavior.   I wanted to look into my own behaviors and recognize that I’m 33, and I am binge drinking 3 nights a week.  I took a 30-day sober challenge, and then I was wasted on day 31.

 

[17:06] Paul- Was it a question in your mind that you were getting worse?

Tyler- I still question whether I was or not (having a problem with alcohol).  Let’s just go ahead and say I have a problem with it.  My balance is none at all.  If I weren’t so exposed to alcoholism, it wouldn’t have showed me what it could do to a person.

 

[21:21] Paul- It sounds like you woke up one day and said “I have a drinking disorder.”  How did that feel when you reached that conclusion?

Tyler- It was terrifying, I was going slowly in the process.  I did go to an AA meeting my first month.  It is a wonderful program, and I will never close my door to that program.  It was organizing my thoughts around what I am, and what I’m not.

 

[29:19] Paul- Walk us through a typical day for Tyler.

Tyler- I am still figuring out how I do it.  I went to a wedding in Mexico at a resort, which had, it struggles.  I volunteer a whole bunch; I volunteer at an animal shelter, and at a local clinic.  I do meditate quite a bit for 20-30 minutes a day.  I am on a kickball team here in Austin.  The hardest part about my journey is navigating my same social circles sober.

 

[32:47] Paul- What have you learned most about yourself in recovery?

Tyler- I’m honestly a very intense person.  Alcohol used to water down my intensity.  I have to find other ways of chilling out. 

 

 

 

[35:23] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? The memory that I lost.  The worst memory is having zero memories. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? It boils down to that one last night.  It turned into an all night party.  What’s your plan moving forward? To stay sober.  We are getting married, and working on adoption.  Talking about it publicly, and being an open book for others helps me keep my head on straight. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  A Recovery podcast episode- RE 74: 50 Ways to Stay Sober This Summer. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Alcohol is literally shit, and why are you putting it in your body? What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  If you are thinking about getting sober, do it.  Lean to the side that says you have a problem, don’t run the other way. You might be an alcoholic if you wake up with a wig on, and you don’t know how it happened.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

RE 74: 50 Ways to Stay Sober This Summer

Gay, Fabulous, and Drinking Myself to Death

"When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron

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!”

 

RE 129: No One Really Believed I Was An Alcoholic, Even When I started Going To AA

Aug 7, 2017 47:45

Description:

Paul  comments on a video show on stopdrinkingexpert.com titled “Alcohol will kill you”  If we can put “smoking kills” packaging of cigarettes, why can’t we put similar labels on alcohol?  This documentary takes place in the UK, but is contemporaneous throughout the globe.  They found that 50% of the people tested had elevated liver values.  The price of alcohol has become significantly cheaper than it was 30 or 40 years ago.  Fear does not harness long term sustainable sobriety.
www.stopdrinkingexpert.com
 
[8:26] Paul introduces Randy with a sobriety date of 12/30/2016.  I am 39 years old, with 4 kids aged 12, 10, 4, and 2.  I am from Indianapolis, IN, and currently relocating to the Denver area.  I am a restaurant manager who enjoys hiking, and spending time with my kids.  Drinking wasn’t really fun anymore.  I found myself drinking alone by myself most of the time.
 
[17:05]  Paul- Would you classify yourself as a high bottom drunk?
Randy- No one really believed that I was an alcoholic, even when I started going to AA, and getting into recovery.  The older I am getting the hangovers became too difficult to deal with.  People who aren’t involved in recovery, have a difficult time understanding what we go through.
 
[22:41]  Paul- Is AA the main vein for how you got sober?
Randy- I hit a streak of RE podcasts where AA wasn’t mentioned at all and I remember being excited that I didn’t have to go to any meetings to get sober.  Then I heard a few RE episodes where people started to get traction with their sobriety had success with AA.  I went to a few meetings before I found one I really liked and connected with the people there.  I found a sponsor, and have been working the steps and making progress.
 
[25:56]  Paul- What was it like when you first quit drinking?
Randy- I wasn’t sleeping great initially.  Sleep is amazing now.  The second day without drinking I woke up at 6:00 am, and was binge listening to podcasts and working out.  The first few days were rough for sure.  Finding those activities and things to do that replace drinking are important.  I joined the RE Facebook group within the first 2 weeks.
 
[30:53] Paul- Walk us through a typical day in sobriety now.
Randy- I am there for my kids more now.  I like to spend time with my sponsor at least once a week.  I always check in with the Café RE Facebook group.  I am trying to eat a little better, and exercise more.  I look forward to so many more things now, instead of trying to get everything accomplished so I can drink.
 
[35:37] Paul- Has it been tough being in the restaurant business through sobriety?
Randy- It has it’s challenges, but hasn’t been too bad.  Seeing the hangovers on my servers faces keeps me grounded in my recovery, and reminds me of what I don’t miss from drinking.
 
[38:06] Rapid Fire Round
What was your worst memory from drinking?  We went out with my little brother, and I tried to keep up with his friends.  We did shots of Irish car bombs, I was so hungover the next day.  We had to get up early and go to a “Fun Fair” at my daughters school.  All the parents were happy and engaging, I didn’t want to be there and just wanted to hide.
Did you ever have an “oh shit” moment”?  I remember coming home from work and finding only 8 beers in the fridge.  I was angry because I knew that wasn’t going to be enough.  I had to go to the liquor store and get more before I could start drinking.
What’s your plan in sobriety?  I want to keep moving forward in my sobriety.  Meditation is on my list, and I want to continue doing what has worked for me so far.
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  “This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace
What’s the best advice you have received?  Find what works for you.  Talking to people who are sober have all sorts of different paths, but end up sober.
What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners who are thinking of quitting drinking, or in early recovery?  If you are thinking about getting sober, then let’s do it!  I haven’t regretted a day of sobriety thus far.  If my life doesn’t improve, I can always go back to drinking.  If I don’t make changes now, I know I will regret them later.
You might be an alcoholic if you still pack a cooler to take to parties, but now it is full of La Croix and other sparkling waters.

RE 128: The Spiritual Consequences of Alcohol Consumption

Jul 31, 2017 41:13

Description:

Paul breaks down and discusses the article: “The Spiritual Consequences of Alcohol Consumption” by Zahrah Sita

Although it is mass produced, mass promoted, legal, and ingested by a multitude of people all over the world, most people don’t ever consider or understand the spiritual consequences of drinking alcohol.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the etymology of the Word alcohol. Etymology means the root of the word… where it is derived from.

The word “Alcohol” comes from the Arabic “al-kuhl” which means “BODY EATING SPIRIT”, and gives root origins to the English term for “ghoul”. In Middle Eastern folklore, a “ghoul” is an evil demon thought to eat human bodies, either as stolen corpses or as children.

The words “alembic” and “alcohol”, both metaphors for aqua vitae or “life water” and “spirit”, often refer to a distilled liquid that came from magical explorations in Middle Eastern alchemy.

Odette, with 7 days since her last drink, shares her story.

 

[5:45] Paul Introduces Odette. I have been sober one week, so still riding the “Pink Cloud”.  I am from Guadalajara, Mexico and currently reside in San Diego California.  I am 29 years old, I am married and have 2 kids, and I am a wellness and fitness coach.  For fun I love going to the beach, cooking, and going to concerts.

 

 

[8:00] Paul- Describe your drinking habits over the last 10 years, 5 years.

Odette- I started only drinking on weekends.  Then over time it turned into drinking everyday, and heavy drinking on the weekends.  I noticed a natural progression of my drinking habits.

 

[16:02] Paul- When was it you that decided you needed to quit drinking?

Odette- It had been on my mind for months.  I am a very optimistic person, and the past few months I was living from a place of fear. 

 

[19:23] Paul- What’s it been like the past week?

Odette- It’s been hard.  I have a 3 year old and an 8 month old.  Being grounded helps me kick the urge.  My number one assignment is to be a mother, a present mother.  I really just enjoyed being a mom.  Listening to podcasts every single day, exercise and self-care.  One day at a time.

 

[22:40] Paul- Have you ever had a rock bottom moment in regards to alcohol?

Odette- The morning after the Super bowl.  I spoke with my dad about not drinking anymore.  Pay attention to your own compass.  People perceive you differently than you are. 

 

[29:14] Paul- What advice can you give to someone struggling to recognize his or her own addiction struggles?

Odette- I think the best advice I can give is I wish I would have known two concepts.  If you know your why, it will help you surrender quicker.  Write out your vision. 

 

 

 

[33:18] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? That event we talked about, the Super bowl where I didn’t spend a moment looking at the screen. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I don’t think I had a clear moment; I was tired of listening to the little voice telling me it was time. What’s your plan moving forward?  Accountability for sure.  I love listening to personal development. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Melody Beattie’s book: “The Language of Letting Go”.  I love the Recovery Elevator podcast, and Café RE. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? You can’t do it alone. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Own your truth, own your story.  Do an inventory on yourself.  It will help you to surrender.  You might be an alcoholic if you start creating rules for yourself around drinking.  Also if you have any parents that have struggled with addiction.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

http-//educateinspirecha#4A112C

https://www.eckharttolle.com/books/newearth/

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=the%20harmony%20tribe

http://melodybeattie.com/books/language-letting-go-hazelden-meditation-series/

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!”

 

RE 127: Present and in the Moment Without Alcohol

Jul 24, 2017 42:03

Description:

Rule Number One of podcasting is plug in the microphone.

Pete, with 488 days of sobriety shares his story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[2:19] Paul Introduces Pete.  I am 38 years old, and golfing is my favorite leisure activity.  I have an 8-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son.  I am in construction sales, mostly traveling around Ohio and surrounding states. 

 

[6:07] Paul- When did you realize you had a problem with alcohol Pete?

Pete- I’ve always known, or at least had the fear of having a problem.  I could drink a case of beer by myself in High school. 

 

[12:23] Paul- Was this a bottom you experienced, or where you done?

Pete- I hit a spiritual bottom.  Things that were important, no longer seemed important.  My wife, great job, and truck were all things that weren’t making me happy.  I realized that doing these things that I was taught would make me happy weren’t.  I was bankrupt spiritually and emotionally.  My wife opened the work bench, and the drawer was full of  empty and full booze bottles.  They were devastated.  I realized that suicide wasn’t’ an option.  That was the moment that made me change everything.

 

[17:25] Paul- What was the outpatient therapy like?  Walk us through that.

Pete- I went to a state certified program.  I attended with several other professionals who learned a great deal about addiction and recovery.

 

[24:44] Paul- What have you learned most about yourself these past 488 days?

Pete- I have learned that I like peace, calm, and serenity.  I accepted chaos because that is what I knew.  My life is really good, but I made it really bad by a lot of choices that I made. 

 

[28:18] Paul- Have you had cravings, and how do you overcome cravings them?

Pete- My cravings as of today are more “I would like a drink” but more thoughts than cravings.  In the beginning I had physical cravings.  I don’t have the impulse to drink now.  Alcohol was the medicine that fixed everything for me.

 

 

[30:25] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? The experience with my wife and daughter not being able to ride bikes because of my booze hidden in the drawer. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? For me it was when my mother in law died from alcoholism, in the nursing home my biggest thought was how do I get out of here and have a drink without anyone noticing. What’s your plan moving forward? Continue to present in the moment, and doing, not thinking about things I don’t do, and then regretting them.  I just need to do the best I can. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Meditation and Prayer.  I’ve used the Headspace app, there is a meditation guru that lives in our village. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Follow direction.  Putting faith in a blind process. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  You are feeling the way you are supposed to be feeling at that time.  Talk to other people.  My feelings are normal; it’s okay to relearn. You might be an alcoholic if when you walk out of your recovery center, and you see one of your friends that you’ve been partying with forever and he says “Hey Pete, I was surprised to see you here.”  Then I thought about it, and It’s really not much of a surprise to see you here.

 

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!”

 

RE 126: The Most Effective Way To Do It... Is To Do It

Jul 17, 2017 51:02

Description:

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”  - Amelia Earhart

Paul discusses his difficulties in quitting smoking, and it’s parallels to quitting drinking.  Alcohol is not your friend.  Stop drinking cold turkey, and don’t try to a taper off strategy.  Rip the Band-Aid off.  Get rid of the booze from your house.  At this moment, you are not stronger than your addiction.  One day at a time.  Thinking must be flipped.       Quitting drinking is an opportunity to get your life back, not a sacrifice.  Write down a list of pros and cons from quitting drinking.  Don’t worry about your weight initially.  Get through sobriety first.  Schedule personal time for exercise.  Life happens, and we need to build up our coping skills muscles without alcohol.  Accountability is the underlying theme of this entire podcast.  Celebrate the milestones, and be happy with your progress.

Leah, with 19 days since her last drink, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:20] Paul Introduces Leah.  My last drink was June 3rd, so my sobriety date is June 4th.  I am 34; I have been married since 2010.  I have a 6-year-old daughter, and a 2-year-old son.  I’m not really sure what I do for fun; I’m still figuring that out.

 

 

[13:01] Paul- When did you realize that perhaps you had a drinking problem?

 

Leah- I grew up with drinkers.  My dad will still get wasted and he is in his 70’s.  I would watch him pass out at the table at 7:00, and that was normal.  It really hit home over the past few years.  I would go to bed drunk, and wake up foggy and disconnected from everybody.  I didn’t drink to relax; I drank to feel normal again.

 

[17:35] Paul- With 19 days of sobriety have you noticed an uptick of being mindful and present in the moment?

 

Leah- Absolutely.  I want to give a spin on my story as a mom.  It is hard to have moms admit that they are an alcoholic.  As a mom, I would watch other moms accomplish so many tasks, and didn’t know when they had time to drink.  Now I have all this energy to do things.  I took my 2-year-old running.

 

[20:28] Paul- 19 days ago was something building up?  Was there a rock bottom moment?

 

Leah- I didn’t want to quit drinking.  I wanted to change my life to accommodate drinking.  For the past 2 years we have had some family issues.  I am not the person I wanted to be, and it started to impact my happiness. 

 

[27:58] Paul- What was it like the first 24, 48,72 hours?

 

Leah- I had thought over the past year that I wasn’t physically addicted.  I had a habit, and I had to create a new habit.  Now I drink coffee when I get home instead of wine. 

 

[35:08] Paul- If you had an open schedule, would you go to an AA meeting?

 

Leah- Yes.  I am skeptical, but I have gotten to the point where I realized you can get something valuable from whatever is out there.  You can make anything work for you if you have that desire. 

 

[39:17] Paul- What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?  What do you want to accomplish with this new life.

 

Leah- Be present, be engaged, and mindful.  Get fit, and spend quality time with my family.  I would like to wake up earlier, and center myself.  Checking in with like-minded people will be important.  I would like to add meetings to my resources.

 

 

[42:55] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?  There was one night where I thought I was losing my mind.  Screaming matches with my husband.  I was losing the grip on reality. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Waking up with my hands shaking.  The times I would stop to get a “juice box” on my way to pick up the kids.

 

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  Recovery Elevator podcast.  Something to hold onto when you need it.  Something you can grab when you need a reminder. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?  Writing a goodbye letter to alcohol.  My relationship with alcohol is over.  It’s time to break up.  If I need to go back, alcohol will be there.  I don’t want to go back. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  If you’re thinking about quitting, it’s probably something you need to do.  You’ll get there on your own time if need be. You might be an alcoholic if the running joke is you fall asleep on the toilet multiple times.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode

Thanks to Kathy Von Lintel for doing the show notes the past 6 months!

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!”

 

RE 125: Focus on the Action and Not the Results

Jul 10, 2017 42:12

Description:

Paul discusses the webinar, which took place in Café Re, and focused on why taking action is so hard.  It’s much better to focus on the action and not the results.  We are definitely in a results oriented society.  Focus on the journey and not the destination.  Success can follow a flawed effort, and failure can follow a flawless effort. 

If your happiness is predicated on your success, and if your success is predicated on a specific outcome, then you are setting yourself up for a high likelihood of frustration and disappointment.  If you instead let go the need for any particular outcome, you increase your chances for success and contentment.  View each attempt as practice for the next attempt. 

Dawn with a sobriety date of November 27th 2016, shares her story.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:09] Paul Introduces Dawn.  I’m single, 42, and I’m from Poole in the U.K.   In the daytime I work in accounts, in the evening I’m generally working on my blog. I love going out to dinner with friends, and walking to work.  Set myself a challenge to do 10,000 steps a day.

 

[10:10] Paul- Tell us more about this experiment to live you life without alcohol.

 

Dawn- The plan was to give up alcohol for a year.  I was struck down with flu, and I gave up alcohol then, instead of waiting until the New Year.  I decided to write down my journey, and document it on my blog.  It’s been filled with positivity. 

 

[13:35] Paul- The way I’ve made it this far in sobriety, and been successful, is that I looking at it as an opportunity instead of a sacrifice.  Is that something that you are experiencing as well?  You’re looking at this as an opportunity instead of a sacrifice?

 

Dawn- Yeah, definitely.  I don’t think I realized how unhappy I was drinking.  I was more of a binge drinker than a drink everyday, drink in the morning type person.  My weekend would be properly drinking from Friday through Sunday.  Drinking copious amounts of alcohol to the point that I was sick the next day.  I don’t see that as a sacrifice, giving that up that kind of mentality, since it was so much binging and purging.

 

[14:53] Paul- When did you first realize that perhaps that you wanted to quit drinking?  Was it something that happened?

 

Dawn- I was conscience that I was drinking too much in one sitting, not remembering how I got home, kind of dangerous drinking really.  If I drove somewhere I would have nothing, instead of a single glass of wine.  Because if I had one, it wouldn’t stay at one.  Once I started, it was difficult to stop.

 

[18:06] Paul- Can you tell me about a time when you started drinking and you found the “off switch” a little difficult to find?  Was that progressive for you?  Did it become harder and harder to stop?

 

Dawn- Yeah, I was born without an “off switch”.  The first time I really remember getting drunk I was probably about 15 or 16.  Early twenties living with friends, drinking was a massive part of our lives together.  The men that I met were a massive part of that as well.  It didn’t spiral rapidly. 

 

[22:16] Paul- How are you staying sober now?   

 

Dawn- It’s a matter of changing everything.  I thought life would carry on the same.  Everything has changed.  I write a post for my blog at least once a week.  Trying to keep other people encouraged to carry on.  I used to always have a special drink as a reward for hard work.  I no longer do that.  I have a drink when I am thirsty.

 

[26:31] Paul- There’s a quote in recovery- You don’t have to change much, you just gotta change everything.  Is that how it went down for you?

 

Dawn- I still struggle with the social side of things.  I was the party animal.  It’s difficult to go from that to- it’s dark and I’ve got to get home.  I find it hard to socialize without alcohol.  I’m not good with big crowds.  I’ve come to terms that I won’t be that person again.

 

[28:40] Paul- What have you learned most about yourself in these past 6 months of sobriety? 

 

Dawn- I’ve never really believed in loving yourself.  Now I keep saying to people you have to love yourself.  I haven’t loved myself for 40 years.  I realized I’m not the person I thought I was.  In my previous job I wasn’t really helping people and I didn’t think I could. It’s being confident in myself, rather than what other people think.

 

[31:31] Paul-  How do you feel about alcohol being an addictive substance, and perhaps there is no void?

 

Dawn- For me, the feeling is what was addictive.  I was the crier.  Alcohol gave me an emotional release.  For me it gave me an emotional release, woe is me!  For a window of 15 minutes I would feel amazing, then I would go over the top.  Then you’re miserable.  I think really it was the way it made me feel for 15 minutes before the crying would start.

 

[33:27] Paul- What are your goals in sobriety?

 

Dawn- I’ve always wanted to go to Thailand.  Stop waiting around for something to happen.  I was too tired, and lazy, and in bed.  Now I’m full of energy, and I’m going to make it happen on my own in January.

 

[35:18] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Getting home, and waking up the next day at 4:00, and not remembering getting home in a taxi. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I was a drunk texter.  Sometimes I couldn’t even touch my phone.  They were my worst moments really working out who I had contacted the night before. What’s your plan moving forward? Keep the blog going beyond being sober.  Maybe the hope rehab center in January.  Listening to podcasts more than music, listening to other people’s journeys. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I love the online forums.  Club soda, team sober UK, and listening to Podcasts.  It is amazing listening to other peoples journeys What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? The best thing to do is go for each day at a time.  Breaking it into chunks can work.  Un-break the habit. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Never give up.  I admire those who never give up.  I recommend writing down how you’re feeling.  I literally flooded my mind with sobriety. You might be an alcoholic if you find yourself questioning that you might be an alcoholic, then you probably are.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

dawn@soberfish.co.uk

 

http://www.soberfish.co.uk

http://www.hope-rehab-center-thailand.com/

http://www.belvoirfruitfarms.com/

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!”

 

RE 124: It Helps To Talk About It

Jul 3, 2017 41:22

Description:

Garrett, with 16 days since his last drink, shares his story

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 9:15 ] Paul Introduces Garrett.  I’ve had stretches of sobriety, I had 14 months, and I’ve had 3 years.  I live in Southern California, in Santa Clarita.  I work in outside sales, which is a non-structured job perfect for an alcoholic with hangovers.  I’m 43, married, like going to Dodger Games.  I have 2 kids, 1 in high school, and one in junior high.

 

 

[10:45] Paul- What was the impotence behind you quitting alcohol for 3 years, and then for 14 months?

 

Garrett- The hangovers for me are the body’s way of saying you’ve put a bunch of poison willingly in your body, and this is the result of it.  I would be laid out for a full day.  Thinking in the moment there is no possible way this could happen again.  The feeling in my stomach, I can’t move, or get out of the bed until 4:00 or 5:00 in the evening.  One of those times I stopped for 3 years, didn’t go to any program.  I lost weight, and started drinking again without any reason.  I would romanticize drinking, and once I got the buzz, there was no way I could stop now.  I would have to drink to continue with only a short window of feeling good.  The cost of that was being completely laid out the entire next day.

 

[13:35] Paul-  What was it like when you first drank after 3 years? Do you remember the first night?  Did you pick up right where you left off?

 

Garrett- No, not really.  It was a gradual thing, a slow buildup.  My elevator is kind of chaotic; it’s like the elevator at the tower of terror at Disney world.  At that point it was gradual.  I would wait for people to go to sleep, get a six-pack, and when that was gone, drunk drive to the liquor store and buy some more.  I would start with a bottle of wine, then I would go back to the store for tall boys.  I don’t know how many I would buy, but I would wake out, the room would start completely shaking, I would close my eyes, and that would be it.

 

[15:45] Paul-  Garrett you mentioned a word earlier that I would like to explore- Fascinating. You would tell yourself I’m only having a couple, but then just game on.   Can you tell me more about that fascinating part for you?

 

Garrett- It was complete and total amnesia every single time.  Forgetting the hangovers.  The amount of times I would lose not doing the things I wanted to do because I would be hung-over.  Because I’m not a bum in the street, I didn’t feel I was a true alcoholic.

 

[19:30]  Paul- Was there a rock bottom moment 16 days ago?   How come you quit drinking?

 

Garrett- It wasn’t a single rock bottom.  I have season tickets for the Dodgers.  If there was ever a sport made for sitting and drinking beer it is baseball.  The beer vendor at the stadium recognized me; I would have to go different vendors because I was embarrassed.   The drunk driving home from the games, then going to bars, then drunk driving home again.  I dented the garage with my car, and realized with a moment of clarity that this sh#t has got to stop.

 

[22: 01] Paul- Before I hit the record button you mentioned you felt like you were ping ponging back and forth between:  Am I an alcoholic?  Do I have a drinking problem?  Tell us more about that.

 

Garrett-  It was a stretch of a few days where I would just continually have a few days (of sobriety), and then I would be like “I’m not” because I would have a few days and that proves it.  The hangover goes away and I would think I’m not (an alcoholic) again. 

 

[ 24:00] Paul- Is it harder this time around, do you remember?

 

Garrett- This time I’ve got 16 days.  I’m trying to arm myself with some resources.  I’m in a Pink Cloud at the moment.  History does repeat itself, and I have a plan to address what I know is going to start coming down the road.  The key thing is accountability.  I never had accountability with another person.  I think if I were not anonymous, I wouldn’t have taken that first drink on the New Port Harbor cruise after 14 months of sobriety.

 

[27:57] Paul- You mentioned you had a bad experience with AA, tell me more about that.

 

Garrett-  I was raised Christian evangelical, about 10 years ago I broke with that, and I am an atheist now.  I saw a lot of the judgment, dogma and there was trust that was broken in AA.  That combined with the God thing I’m still wrestling with.  I need to focus on the positive.  I’m ready to explore going back to AA, maybe a different meeting time.

 

 

[30:14] Paul-  With 16 days of sobriety, what have you learned most about yourself?

 

Garrett-  This time around is more of a sense of inner peace.  What I’m realizing now is that I don’t have to keep living the way I was living.  There’s no reason I have to pick up a drink again.  My life does not have to be how it’s been.  I’m choosing not to drink.  When cravings strike, I’ve been setting a timer on my apple watch to allow the 20 minutes to pass.

 

[34:10] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

 Waking up and having to tell my wife that I was too hung-over to go down to my mom’s house for Easter.  Then spending the entire day in a state of despair.

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  Back in college when I just got too hung-over and missed a final.  That was the first “oh-shit” moment. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward? Accountability.  Reaching out and talking to other alcoholics, and seeking ways to help each other. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Podcasts, Recovery Elevator, and the big book on my kindle. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? You don’t ever have to drink again if you don’t want to. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  If you were thinking about getting sober… I would say: Do it, you’ll never feel better. You might be an alcoholic if:  Every night after you down many many bottles of beer, that you put those bottles of beer in a trash bag, put them in your trunk, and then the next morning drive them to a dumpster so that your wife doesn’t find out that there were all these empty bottles of beer in the trash can.

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!”

 

RE 123: The Drunkest Cities in America

Jun 26, 2017 41:36

Description:

Mary, with 3 years since her last drink, shares her story….

We all think that the cities we live in should be on the “Nations Drunkest Cities” list.  The state of Wisconsin wins the prize for the largest number of cities on this list.  Listed below are a few of the favorites:

Greenbay, WI O’Clair, WI Appleton, WI Fargo, ND Missoula, MT Iowa City, IA Lincoln, NE Milwaukee, WI

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[6:31] Paul Introduces Mary

 

Mary – I am 3 years sober, live in Louisiana and am married with 5 children.  I like to run and bike and am currently raising puppies.  I am a college student and am enjoying getting to know my new sober self.

 

[9:32] Mary tells the story of her younger 13 year old self

 

Mary – I was 13 years old and baby-sitting an infant.  I invited some friends over and we started drinking.  I left the baby in her crib and we drove around.  I backed the car into a ditch and hit a palm tree.  The police ended up bringing me home.

 

[12:23] Mary describes her drinking habits

 

Mary – I was a daily beer drinker and would try to abide by my rules of not drinking before 5 pm.  This never worked.  At night, if I couldn’t sleep, I would have a drink.  If I woke up later in the night, I would have another drink.  Pretty soon my window of “not drinking” had shrunk.

 

[14:00] Did you see any signs that you had a problem?

 

Mary – If I went out, I would immediately have to have a drink and was always looking for the next one.  I would start my night with some drinks at home.  In my 20’s and 30’s, I surrounded myself with other drinkers so it seemed normal.  My drinking really took off in my 40’s.  I started noticing I had a problem more when I became a mom.

 

[17:21] What was the progression like into alcoholism?

 

Mary – 1 drink was never enough.  I started focusing more on when I could have a drink.  Alcohol helped me cope with life.  I hated myself.

 

[18:03] Tell me about this self- loathing

 

 Mary – I used to think “this is as good as it gets?” I had accepted that my life was going to suck.

 

[18:45] Did you have a bottom?

 

Mary – I had grown sick and tired of drinking.  My family called me out as being drunk when I was slurring my speech.  A close friend of mine went to rehab.  I stopped drinking in order to support him.  As each day passed, I could not believe that I was still not drinking.  I went to Al-Anon in order to further support my friend.

 

[21:05] How did you do it?

 

Mary – I kept going to Al-Anon.  When I visited my friend, he took me to a meeting.  As I sat there listening, I realized I wanted what they had.  I worked the 12 steps.  My life has changed to being joyous and free.  It is freeing not having any more secrets.

 

[24:00] Paul and Mary talk about being sober emotionally

 

Mary – It felt good to get rid of all of my secrets.  I listened to other people in the program and did what they said.  I wanted to be happy and try to remain teachable.

 

[27:23] Describe a day in your life

 

Mary – I pray every morning and evening.  I also meditate (U-Tube 11th step guided meditation).  I reach out regularly to friends in the program.  I listen to AA recordings (Joe and Charlie AA tapes), read The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

 

[30:00] What is on your bucket list?

 

Mary – Continue to share my story, bring hope to others, and be of service to others.

 

[31:21] What have you learned the most?

 

Mary – That I am OK just the way that I am.  I am trying to have a good life and do the best I can.

 

[31:57] What are your thoughts on relapse?

 

Mary – For some people, it is an important part of their recovery.  I try to accept just this 1 day that I have and not “future trip.”  Relapse can be an important learning tool in recovery.

 

[33:00 ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? leaving that sleeping baby alone when I was 13 and driving around while drinking Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? at my daughter’s 16th birthday party, I was too drunk to drive but did anyway.  I hit the curb and flattened my tire. What’s your plan moving forward? keep going to meetings, keep breaking the stigma What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? keep falling forward, everywhere I go, there I am. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Continue to move forward, talk about it, give voice to  your pain You might be an alcoholic if… you take the computer test “Are you and alcoholic,” and focus on your No answers.

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

www.southerrunningmom.wordpress.com

bmjopen.bmj.com (article on how women millennials are catching up to men in their alcoholism)

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!”

 

RE 122: Lessons Learned From a Weekend With Drunk People

Jun 19, 2017 44:35

Description:

Becky, with 10 months since her last drink, shares her story…………

What I learned after spending the weekend with 12 other people at a lake house:

People did not care that I was not drinking People were appreciative to have a designated driver Drunk people have the memory of a goldfish Hangovers still suck Noticed potential problem drinkers Everyone overshot their mark Alcohol makes you act like an ass The yawn game sucks Snap Chat only exists because of drunk people Sober check ins are a good idea You can do sober weekends

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:30] Paul Introduces Becky.

 

Becky – I have been sober for 10 months and live in Indiana.  I work in the HR industry, am married and have 2 children.  I like to garden and cook.

 

[13:00] Tell me about hearing your friend Lisa on the RE podcast.

 

Becky – I was starting to listen to a variety of podcasts on sobriety and heard Lisa’s story.  I reached out to her via face book and she talked me through the process of AA.  I was able to ask her questions.  Something was guiding me.

 

[18:00] When did you realize you had a problem?

 

Becky – I was a binge drinker in high school but my drinking tapered off during my first marriage.  I soon fell into having a glass of wine every night as a reward.  I suffered from a major episode of depression and my therapist suggested I stop drinking. After the depression lifted, I continued drinking 1-2 bottles a night.  I tried moderating but could not stop.  I felt miserable inside.

 

[20:30] Tell me about your “yets”.

 

Becky – I would stumble around parking lots and pass out on the sidewalk.  Anything could have happened.  I would usually drink after a long day at work.  I knew my mother was an alcoholic but I had so much shame that I could not stop.  I suffered from black outs and self- loathing.

 

[24:21] How did you get sober?

 

Becky – I spoke with Lisa and told my husband.  During the first week, I went to meetings.  The first 30 days were tough both physically and mentally.  Shortly after 30 days, I started to feel better.

 

[27:16] How was your patience during the first 30 days?

 

Becky – I was anxious and very short on patience during the first 30 days.  The more I fought the craving, the worse it got.  I allowed the craving to wash over me instead of fighting it.  I was able to take a step back and just look at it.

 

[29:00] Paul and Becky talk about her hesitation with AA because of God

 

Becky – I was probably an agnostic before AA.  I did not know how I was going to bring God into my life.  But there were too many coincidences.  There had to be a type of HP intervening.  I just know that I could not do this by myself.  Some people choose G.O.D. (group of drunks)

 

[31:49] How important is it for you to be surrounded by others in recovery?

 

Becky – I could not have gotten sober without my local meetings.  I stay active in on-line support groups.  It is critical for me to be able to connect with others.

 

[33:41] Describe a day in your life

 

Becky – I meditate every day and journal.  I try and stay balanced between exercise and work.  I have also created my own blog for personal accountability (www.my2point0project.com).

 

[36:26] What have you learned the most about yourself?

 

Becky – I am more of a type “A” personality than I thought.  I want things done a certain way and have to learn to let that go.

 

[37:47] What is on your bucket list in sobriety?

 

Becky – I want to continue to wake up feeling good and strong.  I want to help others find jobs and help schedule interviews for them.

 

[38:45] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? not being sober when my father passed away Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? my decline was more slow and pervasive What’s your plan moving forward? go to bed sober tonight What’s your favorite resource in recovery? SHAIR and Rich Roll podcasts, book “Being Sober” by Harry Haroutunian What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? I drink but we don’t What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? reach out, this is not a weakness You might be an alcoholic if…..you schedule your grocery shopping experience to not happen on Sundays – (because your state is dry on Sundays)

 

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

www.my2point0project.com

Book – Being Sober, author Harry Haroutunian

 

 

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

 

RE 121: Recovery Can be Confusing

Jun 12, 2017 40:57

Description:

Dan, with 27 years since his last drink, shares his story……

The new Café RE Blue has been launched.  This face book group will cap @ 200.  If you would like to join, go to www.recoveryelevator.com.  Enter the promo code 1month to get the first month for free.

Getting sober can be confusing.  14 medical schools only offer 1 class on addiction so it is no wonder doctors do not always “get it.”  Just how do we navigate sobriety?  Since alcohol is legal and we are bombarded by an estimated 50 alcohol related ads a day, the path is not always clear.  We often think we are cured after having some consecutive days of sobriety but achieving emotional sobriety is where the real work happens.

The main point to remember is that recovery can take different paths.  What works for one may not work for another.  Since this disease tells us that we do not have a disease, we have to be ever mindful of that inner voice and realize that we do not have to have all of the answers.  Help is available, but you have to ask.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:27] Paul Introduces Dan

 

Dan – I have been sober for 27 years and am from New Hampshire.  I am a professional skier, film producer and love most things outdoors.

 

[12:06] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Dan – I was always a partier.  During high school, I was a daily pot smoker and weekend binge drinker.  I always wanted to be around people who were drinking.  I had this mental obsession with booze and drinking was a part of my life.

 

[15:23] Did your drinking progress faster as you continued using?

 

Dan – I was introduced to cocaine in the 8th grade.  My tolerance progressed and drinking and driving was just normal for me.

 

[17:11] Were you always chasing those euphoric feelings?

 

Dan – I was always chasing the rush of the party.  We would throw huge parties any time that we could.

 

[18:00] Did you have a rock bottom?

 

Dan – We got kicked off of a booze cruise after only 45 minutes.  I told everyone I was going to stop using but instead I hid it.  One of my friend’s mothers was in AA and she could tell that I was not comfortable in my own skin.  I went to a meeting and first learned of the term “stinkin thinkin”

 

[22:35] What finally worked?

 

 Dan – I was involved in a tragic storm accident in Russia that resulting in people losing their lives.  There was a lot of fallout from this accident.  Anger built up within me and soon I started drinking and using again.  I reached out to my friend’s mother and she got me into an outpatient center.  I also got into therapy and started going to more meetings.  I traveled for my job and got sober going to meetings all over the world. 

 

[29:18] What is your day like?

 

Dan – I am involved in a large sober community.  My Catholic faith continues to grow stronger and helps me every day.  I go to 2-4 meetings a month and like to read spiritual readings.

 

[31:14] What do you value most in recovery?

 

Dan – my relationships with God, family and friends

 

[32:00] What advice would you give to someone who is resistant to AA because of God?

 

Dan – you can attend AA without believing in God.  The more you attend the meetings, a light will begin to shine.  You will start to find peace and contentment within the AA program.  It is a program built on faith and love.

 

[34:06] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? totaling my mother’s car on Mother’s Day What’s your plan moving forward? living a full life and not tying myself down with negativity What’s your favorite resource in recovery? people What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? alcohol is a time bomb just waiting to go off You might be an alcoholic if…….every time you are in trouble, you’ve been drinking

 

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!”

 

RE 120: Another One Joins Team Sobriety

Jun 5, 2017 51:48

Description:

Jason, with 4 years since his last drink, shares his story…………….

Sign up now, there are only 3 spots left for the RE Retreat in Bozeman, MT (www.recoveryelevator.com)

Paul reviews the GQ interview with Brad Pitt.  Pitt states that he was boozing too much and learned that either you deny your feelings and stay where you are or you feel the feelings and evolve.  He did not want to live that way anymore.  Pitt is learning to accept the things about himself that he does not like.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:13] Paul Introduces Jason

 

Jason – I have been sober for 4 years and live in Big Sky, MT.  I am a firefighter/paramedic and enjoy outdoor activities.

 

[11:10] How did you meet your wife?

 

Jason – I had walked into a bar in the middle of a scuffle.  My “soon to be” wife was on the ground and bleeding from her head.  I felt the need to come to her rescue.  We have been married for 9 years now. 

 

[13:45] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Jason – I did not know I had a problem because all of my family were heavy drinkers.  One night I went out with friends and drank very heavily and then drove home.  The next morning I had the worst hangover of my life.  I really thought I was having a medical emergency, I felt so bad.

 

[16:46] What were your drinking habits like?

 

Jason – For the last 10 years, I would get off of work and start drinking.  I would spend the last 2 days of my days off sobering up.  We had lots of house parties where there was plenty of drinking.  My wife and I would also take yearly sailing excursions.  They would turn into 2 weeks of binge drinking.

 

[19:48] How did you get sober?

 

Jason – I reached out to a family friend who has been sober for 42 years.  At first I did not want to go any meetings but I had wanted my wife to stop drinking so we both ended up going to a meeting.  The meeting was a total mix of people and completely changed my life.

 

[23:59] How do you remain sober?

 

Jason – I go to AA meetings.  In early sobriety, I would just show up at meetings and listen.  Currently, I stay very involved with my sober community.  I also send out daily recovery related e-mails.  It helps me stay accountable.  If anyone else would like to be added to this e-mail list, send Jason and e-mail (jgras@sailingscubeadventures.com)

 

[29:52] Paul and Jason discuss being a grateful alcoholic

 

Jason – I have learned to be grateful and humble.  The program has allowed me to change.  It has been a journey through self-restoration.

 

 

 

 

[31:51] Paul and Jason discuss Sober Scuba Sailing Tours

 

Jason – My wife and I thought it would be a great idea to offer sober sailing excursions.  We are organizing a trip in June.  For more information on future trips, go to www.sailingscubaadventures.com and send Jason a message.

 

[39:42] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? that horrible hangover that made me feel like I was having a medical emergency Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? when my hangovers would last for days What’s your favorite resource in recovery? the Big Book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Tony Robbins “I’m Not Your Guru” What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? make your bed every morning, the miracle will happen You might be an alcoholic if…..you see a half full cocktail and think, “Now that’s alcohol abuse;” then you finish it yourself

 

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

Jason’s e-mail = jgras@sailingscubaadventures.com

www.sailingscubaadventures.com

Tony Robbins – I am Not Your Guru (available on DVD and Netflix)

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

 

Hold on tight as we follow Paul’s journey coming off his anti-depression meds.  Good luck Paul!

 

 

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

 

RE 119: The 13th Step

May 29, 2017 52:11

Description:

Kari, with 4 years since her last drink, shares her story……………….

Café RE is now on a waitlist to join.  Once the list gets to approximately 30-40 people, another group will be formed.  To be placed on the waitlist, go to www.recoveryelevator.com and click on the Café RE tab at the top of the page.  Enter the promo code RE1month to join.

Paul reviews the video “The 13th Step.”  The 13th step (where new comers are “preyed” upon by others in AA) is joked about in and out of the rooms.  The fact is that courts are ordering violent sexual predators to AA for a plea deal.  AA should not be a punishment but 40-60% of its attendees are court ordered.  This movie depicts AA in a negative light.  Sure, there are flaws with AA.  Every program has negative aspects and positive aspects.  I personally dislike movies that bash any recovery program.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 8:39 ] Paul Introduces Kari

 

Kari – I am 4 years sober and live in Montana.  I am married and enjoy skiing, hiking, biking and running.

 

[11:42] What were your drinking habits like?

 

Kari – I drank through high school but it really ramped up after college.  I was a binge and social drinker but would drink until I blacked out.  I would often try and regulate my drinking and could do this for a little while.  I would track my drinks on a calendar but was miserable when I tried to moderate.

 

[22:00] Did you have a bottom?

 

Kari – After my college boyfriend committed suicide, I just didn’t care to keep my drinking in check.  Another bottom was when I locked myself out of my truck after a concert.  My husband had to come and get me.  He was very angry and I came to the realization that my life and marriage would not continue if I was still drinking.

 

[29:17] How did you get sober?

 

Kari – I reached out to some friends who were in AA and attended my first meeting.  I immediately knew that I belonged.  I saw hope in these meetings and a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

[36:00] Describe what your day is like.

 

Kari – Every morning I do some type of reading about recovery (Today’s a Gift, Each Day a New Beginning).  I enjoy the beauty around me and it helps keep me grounded.  I say thank you every night.

 

[39:30] Paul and Kari discuss her recent sailing trip

 

Kari – Both my husband and I were nervous that we wouldn’t have fun.  We still enjoyed our fruit drinks without alcohol and kept up our tradition of drinking during the sunsets.  I was able to remember the entire sailing trip.

 

[42:40] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? when I was in college and went up to the rooftop thinking it would be a good idea to jump Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? when I realized I couldn’t control my drinking What’s your plan moving forward? sharing my story as often as possible What’s your favorite resource in recovery? AA What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? there is nothing that says that you have to figure this all out on your own What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? no matter how bad you feel, you can turn your life around You might be an alcoholic if….you order 2 drinks and slide the first one to the side because it’s the first one that gets you

 

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!”

 

RE 118: The Black Dog

May 22, 2017 38:43

Description:

Steph, with 6 months since her last drink, shares her story

Café RE is now on a waitlist to join.  Once the list gets to approximately 30-40 people, another group will be formed.  To be placed on the waitlist, go to www.recoveryelevator.com and click on the Café RE tab at the top of the page.  Enter the promo code RE1month to join.

It is often said that our HP will not give us more than we can handle.  For the last 8-10 months, Paul has been suffering from depression.  Around this time, he received a link from his brother about the black dog aka depression (www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc).  God shout out? The video basically describes how depression creeps up on you whenever it wants to.  It is very exhausting trying to keep the symptoms of depression hidden from others.  Depression is like losing all of the joy in your life.  Your addiction can start talking to you and may say that 1 drink may help.  But this is only temporary.  Drinking will not help!

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:00] Paul Introduces Steph.

 

Steph – I am 6 months sober and feeling great!  I am 46 years old, married and have 2 daughters.  I currently live in Canada and enjoy cooking and gardening.

 

[9:25] When did you first realize that you had a problem?

 

Steph – I have known that I had a drinking problem for the last 25 years.  I would drink and drive, blackout, etc. and went to a few AA meetings in my early 20’s.  I was sober for 3 years.  I do not think that I was ready to give it up entirely yet and started drinking again.  My drinking started out slow but steadily got worse.  I worked in bars and surrounded myself with other drinkers.  After I had my children, I tried to moderate but would still drink to get through the stress of parenting.

 

[15:53] What was it like to start drinking again after taking some time off?

 

Steph – After my pregnancies, my drinking very rapidly increased.  I reached a point where I was physically addicted and had to drink to keep the symptoms of withdrawal away.  If I did not drink, I would get severe anxiety.

 

[18:35] Did you have a rock bottom moment?

 

Steph – I tried to quit cold turkey and ended up in the hospital.  My children saw me being put into an ambulance.  1 week later, I was drinking again.  I felt like I had severely damaged my brain chemistry with all of the alcohol and I could not sleep without sleeping pills.  I eventually felt suicidal.

 

[20:45] How did you get sober 6 months ago?

 

Steph – I had to start tapering off because I was so physically addicted.  My husband helped me by locking up all of the alcohol and only giving me limited amounts each day.  I slowly decreased the amount of vodka over 10-12 days.  I really wanted to get sober so I did not drive to any liquor stores myself.

 

[27:22 ] What did you do after those 10-12 days went by?

 

Steph – I took Kevin O’Hara’s “How to Quit Drinking” course.  I would also start my day with recovery books and podcasts.  I also got very involved with an on-line community.

 

[29:00] How has your physical and emotional state evolved since quitting drinking?

 

Steph – I was on an emotional rollercoaster in the beginning.  Now, I have learned to respond rather than react to things.

 

[29:41] Paul and Steph talk about her U-Tube videos and blog.

 

Steph – my blog can be found at https://bestirredblog.wordpress.com.  Another friend in recovery and I started doing video blogs which can be found on U-Tube, called The Way Back.  I also do group skypes with other people in recovery.

 

[31:20] What have you learned the most?

 

Steph – I am a lot stronger than I thought.

 

[31:45] What is on your bucket list in sobriety?

 

Steph – I would like to help other people get sober.

 

[32:37] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? all of the non-memories Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? when I tried to stop drinking and couldn’t What’s your plan moving forward? helping others What’s your favorite resource in recovery? A Facebook group called “Onwards and Upwards” What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? get out of your comfort zone What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? put the same amount of time and energy into your recovery, that you put into your drinking If you decide to start a family with hope that it will help you moderate your drinking, you just might be an alcoholic.

 

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!”

 

RE 117: Alcohol Does Not Bolster Intelligence

May 15, 2017 44:50

Description:

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

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

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

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

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:22] Paul Introduces Ashley.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[38:35] Rapid Fire Round

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

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

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

 

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

 

RE 116: Duped by Alcohol

May 8, 2017 45:27

Description:

Laura, with 41 days since her last drink, shares her story…….

Do you ever feel duped by alcohol?  Throughout high school, we were all told to “just say no” to drugs but not much was ever said about alcohol.  The reality is that only 1 in 10 people with an alcohol problem get treatment.  The research shows that the number 1 most addictive drug is alcohol.  It kills more people than all other drugs combined.

In 2015, Paul started the RE podcast just to stay accountable for himself.  Now, the podcast has gotten so popular because so many people are still struggling.  Even though addiction is a chronic disease of the brain, the stigma attached keeps people from getting the help that they need.  The challenge for all of us in recovery is to be open about out alcohol use, and get it out in the open.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[13:29] Paul Introduces Laura.

 

Laura – I am 40 years old and have not had a drink in 41 days.  I am married with 2 boys and I live in Michigan.  I am a special education teacher and enjoy most outdoor activities.

 

[16:41] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Laura – I had been drinking pretty heavily since my 20’s.  Last summer when I wanted to stop, I could not.  During a routine physical, I mentioned to my Dr. that I had some liver issues and that perhaps I should go to rehab.  He advised against it stating that there were only drug abusers in there.  He suggested I see their social worker but she wouldn’t see me because I was still drinking.  I felt like I was going around and around.  I even tried Harm reduction which did not work.

 

[19:46] When you stopped drinking did your health problems go away?

 

Laura – not entirely but they have gotten better.  I exercise more since I am not drinking and that makes me feel better.  My rheumatoid arthritis is still there.  I thought that once I quit drinking, I would be pain free but that was not the case.  After 40 days of not drinking, I am starting to feel some relief from pain.  I have started reading “The All Day Energy Diet.”

 

[23:14] Paul and Laura discuss the Harm Reduction Plan.

 

Laura – you are supposed to moderate and keep track of how many drinks you have each day.  It wasn’t working for me.  I found it difficult remaining in contact with the other people in the group.  School started and things got crazy so I started drinking again every night.  I wanted to stop but just didn’t want to put the work in to do it.

 

[25:25] How did that feel when you wanted to stop but just wasn’t ready?

 

Laura – I could get a few days of sobriety under my belt but would always drink on that 3rd day.  I was a responsible drinker and would get everything done in my household by 8pm so that I could start drinking.

 

[30:00] So how did you get 41 days of sobriety?

 

Laura – I kept myself very busy or would go for a walk just to keep my mind off of it.  Every morning I try to exercise and it feels great to not have the guilt about drinking the night before.  After work if I get cravings, I will drink a cup of coffee.  I also enjoy reading sobriety books and once the summer starts, I would like to check out some AA and SMART meetings.

 

[32:14] Do you have anything on your sobriety bucket list?

 

Laura – I would like to run a 5K, travel, and spend more quality time with my children.

 

[32:59] What advice would you give to your younger sense?

 

Laura – Stop drinking when you are young.  Drinking is not realistic.  It is OK to experience your emotions.  Do not be afraid to feel them.

 

[33:03] What are your thoughts on relapse?

 

Laura – The thought of relapse scares me.  I do not want to lose control like that again.

 

[35:00] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?  I mistakenly hid my husband’s iPad instead of my son’s.  The next morning I could not remember where I had hidden it. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I was at a bar with my then boyfriend.  I made him so mad that he never spoke to me again and I have no idea what I had done What’s your plan moving forward? stay connected, trying some AA and SMART meetings and giving back to the community What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I am reading the 30 Day Sobriety Solution, the RE podcast and the RE Face Book group What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? take it 1 day at a time What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Use the resources that are out there and do not give up. You might be an alcoholic if….. you order 2 drinks at a time because the bartender is to slow

 

Interesting fact – India has passed a law that establishments that serve liquor cannot be close to federal highways.  They have 400 traffic fatalities a day and a big portion of these are due to alcohol.  You might be an alcoholic if you remove federal highway signs and replace them with city signs, so that your business is not affected by this new law.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

Check out the new Recovery Elevator sobriety tracker

AALRM – run for recovery.  The link is at recoveryelevator.com/run.  Enter the promo code    recoveryelevator to receive a discount

Book – The All Day Energy Diet by Yuri Elkaim

 

 

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

 

RE 115: Big Alcohol

May 1, 2017 41:32

Description:

Julie, with 92 days sober, shares her story………

Big alcohol companies like to blame the individual rather than the poison that they sell.  The liquor industry spends millions of dollars on advertisements that tell us we should drink responsibly.  If we do not drink responsibly, than we are to blame.  We should know when to say when, right?  The facts show that alcohol kills 85,000 people each year.  But to the companies selling the booze, money is the name of the game.  These companies make billions while avoiding high taxes because alcohol is not taxed as high as other beverages.

*********************************Don’t be duped by alcohol advertisements*****************************************

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:21] Paul Introduces Julie

 

Julie – I have been sober for 92 days and it feels really good.  I did not think that I could do it.  I am 35 years old and work as a nurse.  I enjoy music and going to concerts.

 

[11:00] When did you realize you had a problem with alcohol?

 

Julie – I have known for years.  I just could never get enough.  My first issue was with drugs so I did not focus on my alcohol problem.  I went to rehab for drug abuse in 2010 and stayed sober for 18 months after that.  The rehab helped with my drug use but then I turned to alcohol.  When I tried to quit alcohol, I had hallucinations and ended up spending 4 days in the psych ward.

 

[14:24] What happened after your 18 months of sobriety?

 

Julie – I had already started planning to drink.  I knew I was going to attend another concert and thought I could drink normally.  I ended up drinking so much that I blacked out and continued to drink for 5 more years.  I always told myself, “when _______  happens,” I will stop drinking.  But I never stopped.  I woke up each morning feeling defeated, angry and bitter.

 

[18:00] Was your rock bottom 92 days ago?

 

Julie – I did not have a bottom 92 days ago.  I was just tired of being sick and tired.  I kept wondering when I was going to lose my medical license.  I knew it was just a matter of time before this happened.  Then, I thought I would try to quit and when it didn’t work, I could at least say that I had tried.

 

[19:05] Paul asks Julie how she got sober 92 days ago.

 

Julie – I listened to a lot of podcasts and made it to 30 days.  I was feeling really good but still ordered a glass of wine while at lunch with my brother.  I did not even enjoy it.  I finally admitted to my family that I was done drinking.

 

[21:23] Paul and Julie discuss accountability.

 

Julie – My family has been super supportive of my sobriety.  I try to take it 1 situation at a time.  I still have not been completely honest with them about how much I was consuming but my parents are very encouraging to me.

 

[25:00] What else did you do?

 

Julie – My best friend has been sober for over a year and she has been supporting me.  I do a lot of reading and am constantly working at changing my mindset.

 

[27:47] How have your cravings been?

 

Julie – I try and distract myself by taking my dogs for a walk or keeping busy. I know that the cravings will pass.

 

[28:34] How did you feel during your first week of sobriety?

 

Julie – I was pretty apprehensive the first week.  I did not think that I could do it.  Once 30 days went by, I felt that I had a chance at making it.  I am more confident as each day passes.

 

[29:34] What advice would you give to your younger self?

 

Julie – You pay a price for everything that you do.  You do not know everything when you are young.  Drinking is not fun and games anymore.

 

[30:00] What have you learned in sobriety?

 

Julie – When I was drinking, I was not living in reality.  I was just going through the motions.  I have learned that it is possible to live sober and have a clear mind.  I did not want to accept that I would be drinking for the rest of my life and possibly losing my career.

 

[31:00] What are your rules in sobriety?

 

Julie – Attitude is everything and I am learning as much as I can.

 

[33:38] Do you have a bucket list?

 

Julie – I would like to get out of my comfort zone more, try meditation and yoga.

 

[34:47  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? withdrawing while in the pysch ward Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? every day was an oh shit moment What’s your plan moving forward? staying active and reading What’s your favorite resource in recovery? RE podcast and the private FB group What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? do not feel like you have to do it all at once What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? take the first steps and worry about tomorrow when it gets here You might be an alcoholic if….. you loathe the existence of everyone at the gas station because when they see you, they know that you cannot drink normally

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

Good Reads to Check Out: Blackout, This Naked Mind, Beyond the Influence

 

 

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

 

RE 114: Genetic Predispositions to Alcohol

Apr 24, 2017 46:46

Description:

Coral, with 7 months since her last drink, shares her story……

Do we have to say it again?  Let’s drop the stigma regarding addiction.  The research shows that alcoholics have a genetic predisposition towards alcohol.  It is not a character defect, nor a moral weakness.  Yet, even after these results are published, about 20% of the general population, along with many psychiatrists still believe that it is a personal weakness.

Kenneth Bloom conducted early experiments on neurology and molecular genetics.  Hundreds of these experiments showed that alcoholism is hereditary.  Many adoption studies have also been done and they show that children with at least 1alcoholic biological parent were 3 to 4 times more likely to become an alcoholic, regardless of their non-alcoholic adoptive parents.

When an alcoholic drinks, our neurotransmitters go awry and our bodies break down booze differently than normal drinkers.  That’s the facts folks. 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[14:08] Paul Introduces Coral.

 

Coral – I am 32 years old and live in Idaho.  I work in an industrial plant.  I am married and have a 9 year old son.

 

[16:08] Did you think you had a problem with drinking?

 

Coral – My husband and I have been trying to conceive but after our IVF failed, I went on a 2 week bender, full of self- pity.  I would grab a beer first thing in the morning.  Drinking was not helping anything.  Now it just feels surreal to be sober.  I did not think that I could do it.  Drinking has always been a part of my life.  But being in a recovery program keeps me from getting stagnant.

 

[19:21] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Coral – There were plenty of times I told myself that I should slow down.  These slow down plans never worked.  I would try to limit hard liquor or not drink during the day.  Sometimes I was able to slow down but it never lasted long.

 

[22:11] Paul and Coral discuss her bottoms.

 

Coral – One of my worst memories was having some new friends over to my house for a BBQ.  I ended up tripping over something in the yard and fell into the fire pit.  I was burned over 10% of my body.  Even after this, I never looked at myself as having a problem.  It took a few months to re-cooperate after this accident.  I was on heavy pain medications and still drank while on them.  After 3 months, I went to the doctor to get a refill of my pain medication.  He would not refill my prescription and I ended up going through withdrawal.

 

[26:00] How did you quit drinking 7 months ago?

Coral – I started listening to podcastsand going to meetings.  I joined the Club Soda club on-line and I also started seeing a therapist.

 

[30:00] Paul and Coral discuss her relationship with her husband and his drinking.

 

Coral – My husband was also a drinker and struggles a little bit.  He has been very supportive of my recovery.  He has his own path in recovery and I have mine.   

 

[31:33] When did your thinking shift from “I can’t do this” to “I can do this?”

 

Coral – Probably around 90 days.  I had been denied a promotion that I thought I had in the bag.  I felt like jumping out of my own skin.  I decided to get in the car and drove many miles to a meeting.  I left the meeting wondering why I hadn’t gone to a meeting in so long.  It was so good to be around other people with this same problem.  Sobriety is my #1 priority now, otherwise I will lose everything.

 

[33:33] What have you learned the most about yourself?

 

Coral – I am still learning about myself.  Right now I am in the middle of the 4th step and it has been very eye opening.

 

[34:34] How have your cravings been?

 

Coral – I do eat a lot of sugar.  I gave up alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes at the same time.  So I need my sugar.  When a craving hits, I try to meditate, exercise or go to a meeting.

 

[35:40] How have your relationships changed?

 

Coral – My husband and I get along much better.  Instead of having arguments, we discuss things now.  I am also closer to my extended family since they are non-drinkers.

 

[36:43] What is a typical day like for you?

 

Coral – I usually say a prayer every morning and then head off to work.  I will go to a few meetings each week and enjoy spending time with my family.

 

[37:00] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? falling into the fire pit Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? I had a major blackout while drinking as a teen.  Everyone told me I was running around screaming and I do not remember a thing. What’s your plan moving forward? working the steps and helping others What’s your favorite resource in recovery? SHAIR podcast, The Bubble Hour podcast and The Big Book What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? You are the average of the 5 people that you hang around with the most. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? If you think you have a problem, than you probably do.  You can still have fun without drinking. You might be an alcoholic if… you fall into a fire pit but still blame it on the misc. objects in your yard

 

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!”

 

RE 113: Healthcare, Alcohol, and Addiction

Apr 17, 2017 43:41

Description:

Michael, with 32 years since his last drink, shares his story.

In a recent CNN interview with Jeremy Broderick, he talks about how the GOP replacement plan for Obamacare makes things worse for the addict.  Many treatment plans were covered under Medicaid as well as the Affordable Care Act.  Trump-care isn’t what is seems to be and pushes more for accessibility instead of universal coverage.  In the meantime, 200 people die a day while the government sorts this out.  It is estimated that for every $1.00 spent on treatment, $4.00 is saved on healthcare and for every $1.00 spent on education/prevention, $50.00 is saved on healthcare.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:18] Paul Introduces Michael

 

Michael – I am 60 years old with 32 years of sobriety.  I have 2 twin sons and I run health and wellness websites.  I like to walk, hike and meet like-minded people.

 

[10:48] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Michael – it was long before I was 28 years old.  I started drinking alcoholically at age 14.  I was in an accident and arrested for DUI at the age of 19.  My drinking slowed down a little when my uncle died but I picked up smoking weed instead.  Cocaine was finally my downfall.  I was starting to spend hours in blackouts and was continuously apologizing for things that I had done.

 

[13:14] What were your drinking habits like?

 

Michael – During nights’ outs, I could drink 20 bottles of beer.  We would go out to the bars starting at midnight and  drink until 7am.

 

[14:08] Did you ever put any rules into place to control your drinking?

 

Michael – I couldn’t start drinking early in the day because I would keep going.  I intentionally started drinking later in the day so that I had a chance to make it home safely.

 

[15:23] What drug do you think led you to cocaine? Pot or alcohol?

 

Michael – It was probably the pot.  I needed it when I first woke up in the morning just to be able to get to work.

 

[16:04] How did you do it?

 

Michael – I started going to meetings and was completely overwhelmed by the love of the community.  They enveloped me with their hugs and love.  Our motto was hugs, not drugs.  I went to 1 sober party after another.  There wasn’t any time to do drugs.  I learned to be careful who I surrounded myself with.  Build your community of sober friends.  Community is everything to me.  I never feel alone when I surround myself with people who are moving in the same direction.  There is no addiction sigma within these sober communities.

 

[22:29] Did you start with NA or AA?

 

Michael – I started with NA and we were a small group.  We were sponsoring 5-10 people at a time.  I received some advice that I should try an AA meeting in order to see what longer term sobriety was.  My first AA meeting had some old timers who basically told me to, “sit down and shut up.”  They taught us what real time recovery was.

 

[25:35] What is your advice for finding real recovery?

 

Michael – You’ve got to tap in to your resources.  There are many milestones that are going to happen to you in recovery.  Your world can still fall apart at any time.  You will always have to deal with emotional experiences.

 

[27:27] What advice would you give to your younger self?

 

Michael – When we are drinking, we tend to gravitate towards other drinkers.  Most of the rest of the population does not drink like we do.  It is OK to be with these normal/non-drinkers.  There is an entire world full of incredible people who do not care whether you drink or not.

 

[30:00] Tell us your thoughts regarding sugar addiction.

 

Michael – I think that sugar is the real gateway drug.  It is so subtle that you do not realize it is even happening.  Sugar is a powerful psychoactive drug.  You can become physically and mentally addicted to sugar.  We crave it when we need a mental break.  When we eat sugar, we temporarily feel better about ourselves.

 

[35:40] What is viral recovery.com?

 

Michael – It is my website where I advocate to change the stigma of addiction with healthcare.  I post what others are doing (such as Paul!) to change the attitudes surrounding addiction.

 

[36:51] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? I had been in a car accident and a telephone pole was literally sitting in the passenger seat of my car Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? every time I woke up in the morning with wet pants What’s your plan moving forward? spread the message and stay tight with your sober community What’s your favorite resource in recovery? On-line recovery tools What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? my sponsor had me look up at the stars and asked me if I thought it was possible that the whole world just might not be about me What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? be kind to yourself, learn to self-care and be aware of not degrading yourself You might be an alcoholic if…..you look ahead through weeks of weddings, work parties, etc. and it’s exhausting trying to juggle and control your drinking.

 

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

www.viralrecovery.com

www.sugaraddiction.com

www.facingaddiction.org – to sign the petition

 

 

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

 

RE 112: Can I Successfully Cut Down or Control My Drinking?

Apr 10, 2017 38:12

Description:

Heath, with 40 days since his last drink, shares his story…..

*****Please review the RE podcast in iTunes*****

Can we taper off alcohol?  It is nearly impossible to cut back on alcohol because it is so addictive.  Our own addictive mind lies to us and tells us that we can cut back.  In all of the interviews done on the Recovery Elevator podcast, there has not been 1 interviewee who claimed they were able to moderate.  If you have, send a message to info@recoveryelevator.com.  Paul would love to interview you!

What happens when we try to taper down our alcohol consumption?  Each day gets more painful than the last as we try to limit our drinks.  We often try to implement rules to control ourselves but these never last.  The question to ask yourself is, “Where does alcohol stand on your priority list?”

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:00] Paul Introduces Heath.

 

Heath – I am 40 days sober, live in Atlanta and am 41 years old.  I enjoy running, working out and spending time with my 9 year old daughter.

 

[11:14] When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Heath – I knew that I had a problem all of my life.  The last few years I have been trying to get sober.  I finally wanted to get sober for myself.

 

[12:19] Did you ever put any rules in place?

 

Heath – I could not drink around my wife so I needed to keep my drinking limited to 9-5.  I would occasionally go without drinking for a few weeks.  Being self-employed made it difficult to remain sober.  I turned to marijuana and Xanax to try and get through the day.  Once the Xanax ran out, I went back to drinking.

 

[16:19] Did you hit a rock bottom?

 

Heath – I had multiple accidents where I totaled cars but this time nothing big actually happened.  I thought to myself that either I have to deal with this now or deal with it later.

 

[17:31] How did you do it?

 

Heath – I kept very busy the first week of sobriety.  Exercise was super important and I started running every day.  I also go to SMART meetings.  I want to be prepared once the pink cloud dissipates.  When I go to SMART meetings, I try to look for similarities.  When I see that someone has relapsed, I immediately think that I do not want that to be me.

 

[24:23] How have your relationships changed?

Heath – I no longer carry any guilt.  My wife is still skeptical that I have quit for good but my daughter is super thrilled that I am sober.

 

[25:30] How have your cravings been?

 

Heath – When I first got a craving I raced right to the gym.  45 minutes on the elliptical machine stopped that craving.  Exercise releases the endorphins I need. 

 

[27:36] What have you learned about yourself?

 

Heath – I am not as anxious as I thought I was.  Once I got off the booze and Xanax, I was more relaxed than I had been before.

 

[30:00] What have you accomplished in sobriety?

 

Heath – I still feel very humble in sobriety.  I am looking forward to getting my relationship back with my wife and possibly starting to save some money.

 

 

[  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? seeing the disappointment in my wife’s eyes Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Continuous moments!! What’s your plan moving forward? SMART meetings, exercise What’s your favorite resource in recovery? SMART meetings and exercise What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Your drinking problem is never going to go away.  You are going to have to deal with it. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? do not give up trying, your chances of recovering go up the more you try You might be an alcoholic if….you use a sobriety app to keep you sober

 

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

Annie Grace “This Naked Mind” video course.  Find it at www.recoveryelevator.com/annie.  Enter promo code elevator50 to receive $50 off

AALRM = Run for recovery in Bozeman, MT on 5/20/17.  Sign up link below: https://runsignup.com/Race/MT/Bozeman/AALRMRunforRecovery

 

 

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

 

RE 111: Is Quitting Drinking a Sacrifice?

Apr 3, 2017 47:36

Description:

Lou, with 2 years since his last drink, shares his story…

5/20/17 – Join us for Run for Recovery in Bozeman, MT.  Not a runner?  Sign up for a virtual run @ RecoveryElevator.Com/Run.  Enter promo code recoveryelevator to receive $5.00 off.

Is quitting drinking a sacrifice?  We often fear that we are giving up on pleasure if we have to give up alcohol.  This is absolutely false.  If we are in the right mind set when we quit drinking, there will not be any void.  Instead, you will be giving up all of the shitty things that booze does to you.  Soberity is not a sacrifice but an opportunity.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:46] Paul Introduces Lou.

 

Lou – I have been sober for 2 years and live in NJ.  I am 27 years old and enjoy meditation, yoga and living for a higher purpose.  My work is my fun.

 

[9:17] When was your rock bottom?

 

Lou – My actual sobriety date was not my bottom. I fell in love with drinking during high school and college.  I was arrested for attempted burglary in college because I was trying to get into people’s houses during a blackout.  I made some bad decisions that were very shameful.  I started seeing where I could have been and comparing it to where I actually was.  I had been living for the weekends and the rave parties.  In 2014 I heard a whisper that said, “I’ve got to stop this.”  I started my journey towards personal development and connected with some young ambitious people.  I finally started to see that I had a higher purpose than drugs and alcohol.

 

[20:46] Paul and Lou discuss meditation.

 

Lou – I was hiking up in Joshua State Park when I decided to stop and meditate.  I started breathing and fell into a loving peace that I had never felt before.  I kept thinking, “You are fulfilled.”  The next day I started journaling.  Again, I felt the spiritual experience.  “Do I want what life has to offer?”  I decided, at that point, that I needed to quit drinking.  

 

[27:29] How did you quit drinking?

 

Lou – I wrote in my journal – On this day, I am done drinking.  Started with just 1 day at a time.  I kept having these spiritual energy experiences.  I felt a call for a higher purpose.  I quit my job without any notice which was totally out of character for me.  My co-workers sent the police to my house.  They were afraid that I was going to commit suicide.

 

[31:00] Did you use AA?

 

Lou – I did not go to AA.  I had such a spiritual shift that I was a completely different person and did not want alcohol at all.

 

[32:30] What advice would you give to your younger self.

 

Lou – Look at who you are surrounding yourself with.  Life is a natural high.  You can live an exciting life without drugs and alcohol.

 

[33:00] What do you value most in sobriety?

 

Lou – I am proud of being a non-drinker.  I do not feel labeled or an outcast anymore.

 

[34:07] What is your proudest achievement in sobriety?

 

Lou – I have written a book that tells my story.  “Find Your Truth” can be found on Amazon.  I like getting the message out to others that we all have a higher purpose.  Once you get addicted to the right things, life is amazing.

 

[36:32] What does a day in the life of Lou look like?

 

Lou – I do a lot of journaling, meditation, yoga, and work on my business.  I really do not think about booze at all.

 

 

[38:00] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? waking up in jail to my mother picking me up What’s your plan moving forward? spreading the message and being an example to others What are your favorite books? “Outwitting the Devil,” by Napoleon Hill and “Conservations with God,” by Neale Walsch. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? what you are searching for in the bottle, is there for you in something else. You might be an alcoholic if……you hide Hennessey bottles, consistently blackout, or are called Liquor Lou.

 

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

www.louredmond.com

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!”

 

RE 110: Does Alcohol Give Us Courage?

Mar 27, 2017 45:06

Description:

Chris, with 11 months since his last drink, shares his story……

Does alcohol relieve our fears?  Absolutely not.  It may initially feel like it does but what booze is really doing is taking away our survival instincts.  It removes our ability to face our fear (and fear is there for a reason).  We become the turtle hiding away in its’ shell.  Or worse yet, alcohol takes away our inhibitions which can put us in dangerous situations.  It doesn’t make us courageous.  We may feel like Superman after 1-2 drinks but who stops there?  Alcohol impairs our judgement and we end up attempting to fly like Superman, but without a cape.

SHOW NOTES

[8:58] Paul Introduces Chris.

Chris – I have been sober for 347 days and it feels great!  I am 45 years old and live in Portland Oregon.  I am married with a 12 year old daughter.  I like to travel, spend time with my family and watch stand-up comedy shows.

[10:27] When did you first realize that you had a problem?

Chris – I started noticing that I drank too much in my early 20’s but for the last 2 years I could not go without alcohol for a week.  When my sister got married, I was pretty much in a blackout the entire week.  My final bottom came after a vacation in Hawaii.  On the last day I went on a total binge and couldn’t even be out in public.  The day was entirely wasted and I had to sleep it off.  I told my wife that I needed help and could not do it alone.

[14:11] How did your wife react?

Chris – We had both been trying to cut back and since she works in the healthcare field, she knew of some phone numbers I could call.  I contacted the support line and was seen by a therapist the following day.  I honestly told the therapist how much I had been drinking and he informed me that I was destroying my liver.  This was a good thing for me to hear.  It made me realize just how bad my drinking had gotten.

[17:53] What type of treatment did you receive?

Chris – I saw a therapist pretty quickly and then told my wife how much I had been consuming.  She was surprised when I told her I had been hiding it.

[19:25] What was your first week of sobriety like?

Chris – The first few days were physically rough but after the 1rst month I felt great.  Mentally, it is still tough.  I still have days that feel fuzzy.  Drinking caused me to lose that spiritual light.

[21:33] How are your relationships now?

Chris – my relationship with my daughter is better than ever.  I am finding new layers to me by reading and doing self-help work.  My wife and I are working on our relationship.

[22:33] What have you learned about yourself?

Chris – I can survive discomfort and unhappy feelings without drinking.  It is OK to not feel good sometimes.

[24:45] What does a day in the life of Chris look like?

Chris – I check the RE face book page every morning.  I am learning to meditate but at least try and take some time to myself each day.  I also go to SMART recovery meetings once a week.

[27:00] What are SMART meetings like?

Chris – the meetings can vary.  Some follow the SMART handbook and they help you look at your priorities and choices.  Other meetings are more like open discussions.  You can talk about anything.  The basic premise is that you can control your reactions.

[30:00] Have you had any cravings?

Chris – They are a lot weaker and occur less frequently now.  I made changes to my life like not going to bars.  I also always have an escape plan if needed.  By planning ahead, I do not put myself in any drinking situations if possible.  If someone offers me a drink, I simply say “No thanks” or “Drinking isn’t working for me right now.”

[35:11] What are your thoughts on relapse?

 

Chris – This addiction is tough.  I am not sure why I haven’t relapse just that I haven’t for today.  I think relapse is more common when you are not fully ready to embrace sobriety.

 

[37:13] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? getting lost is a parking lot and not being able to find my way out. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? when I promised my daughter that I would quit drinking and then started again What’s your plan moving forward? stay engaged by listening to other podcasts (The Bubble Hour, That Sober Guy, Mental Illness Happy Hour) What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Be kind to yourself.  Don’t drink today, and if you did, don’t drink tomorrow What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? You are not giving up your identity when you quit drinking You might be an alcoholic if…..you nurse a beer all night so that it covers up your breath from sneaking vodka

 

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

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

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Book – The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

 

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

 

RE 109: How To Quit Drinking

Mar 20, 2017 45:37

Description:

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

How to quit drinking

Do not drink. Replace the beverage in your hand with a Popsicle or a ginger beer Watch the movie Leaving Las Vegas and then watch it again Listen to every Third Eye Blind Song ever written Do not watch the movie Beer Fest Go to 90 meetings in 90 days Get a sponsor or an accountability partner Think about joining Café RE www.recoveryelevator.com/cafere Have you ever asked yourself, “Do I have a drinking problem?” Well think no more because that’s your answer Remember that alcohol is pure shit 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. Change everything: where you get your haircut, the color of your walls, and probably most of the friends you hang out with. Tell the people closest to you that you will no longer be drinking. Create accountability = the most important thing on this list. 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. Find a higher power. This higher power could literally be a pigeon sitting on a power cable. 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. Did I mention that alcohol is shit? If you are just starting this journey, you do not know any answers yet. Please put the cotton in your mouth and start listening. If you ever say the words to yourself “I think I got this” you’re f@#$%@. Those are the three most dangerous words an alcoholic can say. Always give yourself an exit strategy. Drive your own car, scooter, skate board or hover board. It is right around that time when your friends start getting tipsy that the danger zone approaches and I’m not talking about the Top Gun soundtrack. Look at yourself in the mirror. What do you see? Do you like it? Do you want to change what you see? Ask yourself if you are reaching your full potential in life. Most likely if you are drinking that answer is no. Your dead relatives would not be proud. If you were thinking about quitting drinking for someone else, you’re f@#$%! You have to quit drinking for yourself. 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. 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. 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. 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. Educate yourself. Knowledge is useless unless you do something with it. There are a tremendous amount of great podcasts out there about recovery. 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. 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. Start to develop a recovery portfolio. Jam pack this recovery portfolio full of books, a list of contacts, AA meeting schedules, etc. 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. La Croix soda water is your best friend. Do not beat yourself up because alcohol has done a good job of doing just that. 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. 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. Alcoholics Anonymous. Get outside your comfort zone and go to a meeting. Stop making excuses. No wimps allowed! 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. 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. 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. 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. Watch the show “The Anonymous People” on Netflix. This is a very powerful documentary. For one week straight write down any triggers that make you drink alcohol. This is 7 straight days of putting pen to paper. 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. There is no chance of getting sober if you are not honest with yourself and others. 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. 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. 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 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. 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

What was your worst memory from drinking? my son found an empty beer can and was bopping the family dog with it 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 What’s your plan moving forward? staying accountable and feeding myself with knowledge What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? you have to do the work, “you don’t got this” What are your thoughts on relapse? Don’t beat yourself up.  Keep going. What has been your proudest moment in sobriety? making it this far 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!”

 

RE 108: 5 Reasons Why We Drink Alcohol

Mar 13, 2017 45:44

Description:

Amanda, with 19 months since her last drink, shares her story

 

Why we drink:

 

Alcohol is everywhere. Drinking appears to be the norm.  We are bombarded with alcohol advertisements 67 times a day.  Our society has a love affair with booze. We have a genetic make-up to become addicted to alcohol. Our environment is flooded with alcohol. We think everything we do should be accompanied by alcohol. Alcohol is a highly addicted drug. We have shitty coping skills.

 

Not on the list of why we drink: a moral failing or a weakness of character

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 7:45 ] Paul Introduces Amanda.  How long have you been sober?

 

Amanda – I have been sober for 19 months.  This is the longest I have ever been sober.  I feel very proud of myself.

 

[ 8:51 ]  What is your background?

 

Amanda – I am from Mississippi but now live in Florida with my 15 year old daughter.

 

[ 10:27 ] Did you ever try to put rules in place to moderate your drinking?

 

Amanda – I started drinking when I was 16 so there were no rules in the beginning.  I was that sloppy drunk girl in the room.  I would start watching the clock for 5:00 which meant it was time to drink.

 

[ 12:34 ] When did you first realize that you had a problem?

 

Amanda – In 2010, one bad thing after another happened to me.  I was put in jail for domestic violence.  I was so ashamed of not being able to control myself with alcohol.  I felt that I was a strong person since I had raised my daughter alone.  I did not want to appear weak and vulnerable.

 

[ 14:26 ] Amanda and Paul discuss the stigma of addiction.

 

Amanda – I had twin cousins who died because of alcohol.  Their memory and my daughter were the only reasons why I didn’t commit suicide myself.  I felt like no one cared about me so why should I care about myself?

 

[ 16:01 ] How did you get sober?

 

Amanda – I did not use AA.  I went to a rehab that taught the 12 steps but after I was released, there was no support.  No one called or checked on me.  My parents had basically just dropped me off at rehab.  I still drank for 4 years and then turned to meth.  I finally decided that I was either going to die or go back to jail.  I moved to another state but was still hanging out with the same type of people.  I knew I needed to give up booze so I started looking for something else to do.  This led me to find a group of people who were into mud runs.  I got into fitness.

 

[ 21:42 ] Amanda and Paul discuss her days in rehab and her personal development.

 

Amanda – I did not feel like anything had changed after my 60 days in rehab.  Afterward I started looking into motivational development.  Someone told me that I was born with a purpose.  Everyone has the power to help others.  I was under the false assumption that life was going to be a piece of cake.  I joined a personal development community (Breather University).  The people in this group accepted me and my life has completely changed.  I am Amanda and I am amazing!  I am not a part of sobriety groups because I hate the alcoholic label.  What you say about yourself is what you are.

 

[ 33:36 ]  What is your pump up song?

 

Paul – Limp Bizkit, “Nookie” (Life is an opportunity, not an obligation).

Amanda – Jason Aldean, “Gonna Know We Were Here” (Self-affirmations are super important to me). 

                       

[ 34:08 ]  What is your relationship like with your daughter?

 

Amanda – We have had to rebuild our relationship.  She lived with my parents for the last 6 months that I was using.  She moved in with me when I went to Florida.  There has been a lot of growing and we have had to push through the hard times.

 

[ 36:50 ]  What is a typical day like for you?

 

Amanda – I say positive affirmations to myself every day.  I list 3 things that I am grateful for every day.  I try to exercise, read or watch personal development videos every day.

 

 

[ 39:09  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? getting knocked out by a big guy I had tried to beat up Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? jail What’s your plan moving forward? sharing my story to give others hope What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? everything that you go through, isn’t always about you What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? life is beautiful, fill your void with goodness You might be an alcoholic if….. you duct tape 2 beers to your hands so that you do not lose them

 

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

Amanda U-Tube videos – Patched Wangs

Book “Beyond the Influence,” by Katherine Ketcham

 

 

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

 

RE 107: What Is Mindfulness

Mar 6, 2017 44:57

Description:

Paul G with 10 years of sobriety, shares his story……

What is mindfulness?  Mindfulness is basically a type of coping strategy.  It is being in the moment, paying attention and being present.

Why should we practice mindfulness?

It is good for our bodies It helps boost our immune system It increases positive thoughts while decreasing negative thoughts It changes how the brain functions and helps us focus It enhances our relationships

Unfortunately many alcoholics have terrible coping skills and we can live entirely in our head.  Mindfulness training can help us stay in the moment.  It is the art of being, not doing.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 9:05  ] Paul C Introduces Paul G from Hope Rehab in Thailand.  How long have you been sober?

 

Paul G – over 10 years.  My first round of rehab happened when I was 19 years old.

 

[ 11:00 ]  Tell our listeners a little about yourself.

 

Paul G – I am originally from Ireland but now live in Thailand.  I am married and have a 10 year old son

 

[ 11:30 ]  Did you ever try to implement rules to control your drinking?

 

Paul G – I did not have any rules in place at the beginning of my drinking life.  Alcohol gave me comfort.  After taking my first drink, I finally liked who I was and where I was.  I moved to England and worked in a bar where I was able to drink all day long.  A girlfriend convinced me to leave that occupation and I realized I had not gone a day without drinking in many years.  I went to rehab for her, not because I wanted to stop drinking.

 

[ 16:14 ] Paul C and Paul G discuss his first stay in rehab.

 

Paul G – After I left rehab, I did not stay sober.  I knew if I drank, I would lose my girlfriend.  I chose booze over the girl.  I got back into school and immediately went on a drinking bender.  I was having panic attacks and suffered from alcohol induced depression.  I was just hoping for someone to get me psychiatric help because I could not even complete the forms to have myself admitted to the hospital.

 

[ 19:11 ]  So you basically drank yourself  homeless?

 

Paul G – Yes, I was walking the streets and wandered in to a recovery house.  They sent me to a dry house for 1 year and stated that I did not need psychiatric help.  My panic attacks had all been alcohol induced.  I stayed sober for 2 years.   

 

[ 20:40 ]  What happened after 2 years?

 

Paul G – I got sick of thinking and talking about recovery.  I had been so enthusiastic in early recovery but was starting to feel like I was missing out on something.  The mental obsession had returned.  Perhaps I had opened that door again.  I was going to bars with my sober friends but it was a very slippery slope.

 

[ 23:00 ]  What was your bottom like?

 

Paul G – I drank for another 10 years because I felt like I had some control in the beginning.  I did not end up back in that poor mental state so it gave me a sense of false confidence.  Things eventually did go downhill and I moved to Saudi Arabia thinking that because it is a dry country, it would make it easier to stop drinking.  My first day on the job, I was shown the bins where all of the illegal alcohol was stored.  Booze was readily available and even stronger since it was home brewed.  I knew that I would die if I stayed to I moved to Thailand.

 

[ 28:00 ] How did you get introduced to meditation?

 

Paul G – I have been into meditation for years.  After every relapse I would always go back to meditation.  My problem was that I was using meditation to escape reality instead of using in to get “into” reality.  I would use meditation to get into a blissful state when it should be used to get grounded. 

 

[ 31:22 ]  How is meditation similar to mindfulness?

 

Paul G – Mindfulness is the ability to objectively observe our thoughts.  It allows us to take a backward step and see our thoughts.  Mindfulness is a part of meditation.

 

[ 32:11]  What are some things we can do to enter into a mindfulness state?

 

Paul G – You need to bring your thoughts to a physical sensation.  We use feel beads in therapy.  With true meditation, you start to see how your mind has been tricked.  The craving, which is that voice in our heads, is not always obvious.  Mindfulness helps you identify what your brain is doing and the craving loses its’ power.  Addiction is like having an allergic reaction to our emotions.

 

[ 37:35  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Sitting is a bar after learning that my liver was damaged from drinking. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Selling my girlfriend’s music tapes for booze What’s your plan moving forward? Showing up for life every day What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Inside timer App What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? You will never regret not drinking yesterday What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? If you are really willing to change, there is an option for you. You might be an alcoholic if…… You keep saying you are sorry for things that you are not really sorry for.

 

              ******Congratulations to Allison for reaching 1 year of sobriety!  You rock!******

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Recovery Elevator Retreat – (A Personal Recovery Wellness Retreat – non 12 step based)

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

Inside Timer App (mindfulness app found in iTunes)

Podcast – Hope Rehab Mindful Compassion Show (www.hoperehabcenterthailand.com)

 

 

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

 

RE 106: How Most People Get Sober

Feb 27, 2017 40:02

Description:

Henk, 5 years sober, shares his story…..

How do most people get sober?  We all assume that it is through rehab or 12 step programs and that your odds are slim if you try to do it on your own (www.addiction.com).  During the 1980’s an idea was promoted that the only way you could get and stay sober was through rehab programs or AA.  However, a study that followed problem drinkers from 2001-2005 showed that 85% of these drinkers got sober without any outside help (a phenomenon known as spontaneous or natural remission recovery).  It should be noted that the majority of these people still had strong support systems at home and in their community.      

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 7:53 ] How long have you been sober?

 

Henk – I have been sober since Sept 13, 2010.  I am originally from Holland but now live in Thailand where I for work for Hope Rehab.  I also love to ride motor bikes.

 

[ 9:30 ]  When did you realize that you had a problem?

 

Henk – I have been in and out of various treatment facilities since I was 23.  At the age of 13, I began drinking and using drugs.  This quickly escalated into selling drugs at the age of 15.  By the time I turned 30, I had been in 5 long term treatment programs.  They did not work because I did not want to stop drinking, I just wanted the problems to stop.

 

[ 11:15 ]  Do you think that alcohol is the gateway drink?

 

Henk – Yes, when I drank I became a completely different person.  We believe that it is more alcohol than marijuana that leads to destructive behavior.

 

[ 12:29 ]  Paul and Henk discuss what lead him to finally seek treatment

 

Henk – My family did not want anything to do with me anymore.  I had racked up high debts and I could not even take care of myself.  I was living in dilapidated conditions.  I finally realized that you cannot run away from what is in your head.  You cannot drink those thoughts away.   

 

[ 13:37 ]  What was the biggest difference between your last 2 rehabs?

 

Henk – I had lost everything and was mentally and physically dying.  I decided that I could not go back to that kind of life.

 

[ 15:00 ]  Paul and Henk discuss the “gift” of desperation

 

Henk – The gift of desperation is very painful but it helped get me clean.  It made me realize what I had done to myself.

 

[ 16:32 ]  Paul and Henk discuss the value of a fishing rod

 

Henk – Right after leaving treatment, I found that I had no hobbies and no friends.  I had to find some type of higher power and since I had a love of nature, I decided to buy a fishing pole.  Anytime I was bored, angry, and lonely or upset, I would go to the canal and sit with my fishing pole.  I would feel the wind and watch the water move.  It really helped settle my mind.  I also bought a pair of running shoes and began running.  It was time to move forward.

 

[ 21:47 ] Paul and Henk discuss the classroom exercise he observed while visiting Hope Rehab in Thailand

 

Henk – I try to make the patients understand that work is needed if you want to remain sober.  Relapse rates are very high and I try to stress the importance of putting in the effort.  You want to remain sober?  You’ve got to do the work.

 

[  25:20 ]  How are you staying sober now?

 

Henk – My sobriety is still my #1 priority.  I have a sponsor and still go to meetings, especially when I travel.  Since I work in a rehab facility, I am constantly seeing new comers.  It helps remind me that addiction is so painful.  When I reached 1 year of sobriety myself, I had tears running down my face because I could not believe that I had done it!

 

[ 27:50]  What are your thoughts on relapse?

 

Henk – Relapse is a sign of some type of reservation in recovery.  As alcoholics, we can think of a million reasons to drink.  Nothing that happens to you justifies a relapse.  Drinking only makes it worse.  

 

[ 30:39  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Sitting by myself at Christmas one year.  My life was a mess, my girlfriend had just left me and no one wanted anything to do with me. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  When I crashed my scooter in front of all of my friends What’s your plan moving forward? Right now I am feeling very stable and calm in my recovery.  It helps that I love where I work. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Intherooms.com, meetings, and the book Living Sober What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “Stop being a dick Henk!” and “Take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth.” What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  The best thing you can do for yourself is get sober.  I used to think that my life would be over if I could no longer party.  Life has only just begun for me since I got sober. You might be an alcoholic if………you think alcohol is the solution

 

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 Interested in volunteering for Hope Rehab? – Send a message to Henk@hoperehab.com Annie Grace – This Naked Mind video course can be found at com/Annie.  Enter promo code elevator50 to receive $50 off On 4/8 in Bozeman MT, Paul will me speaking on a Ted X Talk about how alcohol is duping society

 

 

 

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

 

RE 105: Does Getting Sober Mean Just Not Drinking?

Feb 20, 2017 41:42

Description:

James, with 79 days sober, shares his story……..

Paul starts the show by recommending Annie Grace’s video course on how to get started in sobriety and how to make lasting changes.  www.recoveryelevatory.com/Annie.  Enter promo code elevator50 to receive $50 off.

Does getting sober mean simply not drinking?  No – not drinking equals a dry drunk.  Getting stuck as a dry drunk also means that your life will not be as happy and fulfilling as it should be.  This can lead to a slow downhill decline until you pick up drinking again. If giving up alcohol feels like a punishment, than you have entered into dry drunk land (www.alcoholrehab.com).  Recovery does not mean returning to the life you had before drinking; it means moving through the challenges of what life throws your way.

Symptoms of a dry drunk:

Low stress tolerance Picking up other unhealthy choices (lay off the smokes Paul!) Loneliness Denial Refusal to accept what recovery means Romancing the drink Self-pity Being over-prideful

Getting involved in meetings and being engaged in your recovery program can help you recognize these symptoms.  If you feel like a dry drunk, you should examine your program to see what is missing.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 12:30 ] Paul Introduces James who has been sober for 79 days.  James feels lucky that the gifts and goodness of sobriety have come to him already.

 

[ 13:15 ] James is 29 years old, lives in NJ and sells software.  He enjoys going to the gym daily and golfing.

 

[ 14:53 ]  James discusses his drinking history

 

James – I was your typical teenage binge drinker.  When I went to college, I got involved with religion and the Bible and really did not drink much.  After college, I ended up taking a job on Wall Street where drinking and drugs were prevalent.  Even though I was drinking just like everyone else, I still struggled with my internal beliefs (Why are we all here?).  I was making good money on Wall Street but my addictions kept me from making emotional connections.  

 

[19:25 ]  James discusses how drugs and alcohol were only the solution.  Reality was the real problem.

James – I wanted to be able to look back on my life with pleasure regarding my relationships and the bonds that I had formed.  Alcohol and drugs were keeping me from reaching this ultimate goal.  I had tried to control my drinking but finally the pain was just too much to take.

 

[ 21:06 ] James discusses his rock bottom

 

James – I had been skidding against the rock for quite a while.  I would go 3-4 weeks without drinking and then would just tear it up.  This behavior went on for 2-3 years.  It was like having 2 separate lives.  I finally checked myself in to an outpatient rehab.  This allowed me to start reconnecting to other people in the program.   

 

[ 25:00 ] What was it like after connecting with these people?

 

James – I immersed myself in recovery (reading, writing, dialytic behavior therapy).  It was hard getting out of my comfort zone but I started communicating better with my girlfriend, I stopped lying and began telling everyone I was done with drinking.

 

[ 28:30 ]  What were the reactions of the people you were telling?

 

James – I was surprised at the amount of support I was receiving.  My friends would joke that I should have gone to outpatient rehab 3 years earlier.  I also felt like people respected me more for the work that I was doing in recovery.

 

[ 30:21 ]  What is your plan moving forward?

 

James – I am taking it 1 day at a time.  Not drinking enables me to have the life that I want to have.  I am trying new things and keeping recovery fresh.

 

[ 31:54 ]  Paul and James discuss the passing of his father and how he is dealing with those feelings without using alcohol.

 

James – I feel like I have only scratched the surface of life without alcohol.  The full extent of my father’s passing has not hit me yet.  I want those feelings to come even if by a freight train.

 

[ 32:58 ]  Which recovery tool is resonating with you right now?

 

James – Outpatient rehab has been the most helpful so far.

 

[ 34:12  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? When I was arrested and had to see my family’s faces the next day. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? After my grandfather had passed away, I went out drinking and drugging.  The next morning I woke up with the terrible feeling that something wasn’t quite right. What’s your plan moving forward? Keeping up with my DBT and trying to be of service to others What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? 1 size does not fit all What is DBT and what is it like?  It helps with mindfulness and with staying in the moment.  It teaches you how to not be impulsive. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Take a good hard look at yourself and try to find out what your underlying issues are.  Get real with yourself. You might be an alcoholic if…..  You continually feel depressed and anxious after a night of drinking.

 

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

 

May 20th in Bozeman MT is the AALRM (run for recovery).  You can sign up for a virtual run at www.recoveryelevator.com/run.  Enter promo code recoveryelevator to receive $5.00 off

 

DBT (dialytic behavior therapy) for people struggling with substance abuse problems, is a way to achieve self-acceptance while simultaneously accepting the need for change. There are four basic aspects to DBT: mindfulness, interpersonal relations, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance.  

 

 

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

 

Re 104: What I Learned In Rehab

Feb 13, 2017 50:11

Description:

James, who has been sober since Dec 5, 2016, shares his story……

 

Paul starts the show recounting his 2 weeks visiting Hope Rehab in Thailand. (www.hope-rehab-center-thailand.com)

 

What I learned in Rehab

People came for other drugs but quickly realize that alcohol was the real issue Most people were still in denial of their addiction and will not stay sober A lot of the clients were just going through the motions Addiction does not segregate; there were people from 4 continents, lawyers’ doctors, social workers, accountants, etc. Thailand is hot and wild pythons are a real thing Alcohol is communal. I have the same story as a guy in Malaysia and we had an instant connection within 5 minutes We are the lucky ones Some people are close to hitting the “fuck it” button at all times If you experience mild depression once, you have a 16% higher chance of experiencing it again. It takes your body 3 days to recuperate from 20 minutes of stress The old saying, “It takes 21 days to learn a new habit,” is a myth. It really takes 66 days. Once a habit’s circuity is created it can never be unlearned, but a new habit can be started. NVC or non-violent communication is the way to solve 99.4% of problems. Watching TV does not lower cortisol levels, but reading does Cortisol from stress impairs learning new things and problem solving The ego lives in the past and future, only the heart can live in the moment Even though the Recovery Elevator podcast is free and rehab may/may not be free,  we’ve all paid a tremendous price with our pain and suffering The road to and in recovery narrows The problem is not the problem We need to find a way to stop the relationship with the chemical alcohol. It boils down to us not being satisfied I am not powerful and I am not special when it comes to alcohol. Step 0 = Trying everything to drink like a normal person (moderation, only beer, no hard alcohol, etc.) To quit drinking, we only need to quit one thing.  Everything! The solution to quitting drinking is to have a spiritual experience without alcohol You must find a higher power and it cannot be yourself.  Your ego is not your amigo! There is a lot of laughter in rehab People stop maturing emotionally and spiritually once addiction takes hold Resentments are offensively dangerous You do not have a chance at sobriety unless responsibility falls on your own shoulders Buddhism basically consists of 5 pillars that prevent harm to ourselves and others There is an AA waltz; 1 step, 2 step, 3 step drink. That damn 4th step. Addicts and alcoholics are a sensitive group of people. I was a summer camp counselor in 2007 and it felt at times we were dealing with teenagers. Tammy said this, and Roger said that. Sometimes we will worry over not having anything to worry about.  Don’t worry Paul, there will always be something to worry about We tend to not relapse over divorce, bankruptcy, or a family death.  A broken shoelace?  Bring on a drink! A counselor asked a group to do an exercise each night for 1 week. The following week only 20% of the participants had done as the counselor has asked. The counselor then responded with “and that is why only 20% of you will stay sober after rehab, the majority don’t go through the work.” My addiction told me that I didn’t need to do the rehab work since I have been sober for over 2 years. Nice try Gary (my addiction).

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 9:28 ]  Jeff’s full e-mail to Paul is posted on the Recovery Elevator blog

 

www.recoveryelevator.com

 

[ 10:30 ] Tell us a little about yourself and when your last drink was.

 

Jeff – My last drink was on 12/4/16.  I am originally from Denver, married and have a 17 year old son.  I am entrepreneur who likes to fish and wakeboard.  

 

[ 11:48 ]  Did you ever try to put rules in place in order to control your drinking?

 

Jeff – I really had not tried to stop until this past fall.  I would only spend a specified amount of money on alcohol or only drink on the weekends.  This tango dance with booze never worked.

 

[ 14:08 ]  Why do you call yourself a high bottom drinker?

 

Jeff – It took me a long time to label myself as a problem drinker.  I got married young, I owned a small business, and was a normal drinker for a long time.  I was able to justify my drinking because my life was good up to a point.

 

[ 17:57 ]  When did you realize that you were not a normal drinker?

 

Jeff – By my late 20’s, my drinking was really progressing.  I was living for the weekend parties with my neighbors.  This was normal behavior among all of us.  We would also hold church services at the house in which drinking was included.

 

[ 21:43 ]  Walk us through your first DWI.

 

 Jeff – We had gone out with all of the neighbors.  Our designated driver had started drinking so I offered to drive us to the next restaurant.  When I was pulled over, it was more embarrassing than anything.  By 2008-2009, I was suddenly divorced and had primary care of my son.  I was full of self-pity and this justified my drinking.  Later that year I was out drinking and called my cousin to come pick me up.  She had a few cocktails at the bar as well.  She was driving us home later and swerved off of the road and we hit a concrete barrier.  I still continued to drink after this. 

 

[ 28:47 ]  Paul and Jeff discuss how he successfully cut back drinking in 2016

 

Jeff – I still did not think that I had an alcohol problem.  I thought it was more of a relationship problem.  My current wife’s child was in the hospital and I suddenly thought that I did not want to end up there because of my drinking.  I had a good marriage and a rock star son.  I did not want to lose everything that I had.

 

[ 33:27 ]  Tell us more about your obsession with alcohol.

 

 

Jeff – I could not get past the first step of admitting that my life was unmanageable.  I still think that I can manage my life, just not as well.  I finally realized that I couldn’t manage my life if I were dead.  I started listening to the RE podcast.

 

[ 38:42 ]  How do you feel now?

 

Jeff – I feel great on most days.  It was hard over the holidays and I’ve had to break old traditions that involved alcohol.  My wife keeps me accountable and suggested that we make new traditions.  The RE podcast helps remind me of where I was.

 

 

[ 41:57  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? I was supposed to be the Officiant at a friend’s wedding.  I was feeling really down towards marriage at the time and proceeded to drink all night before the wedding.  I was not competent to perform the wedding the following day.  What’s your plan moving forward? Keep listening to podcasts, reading Annie Grace’s book, “This Naked Mind,” and staying open to what my higher power has in store for me What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Listen to RE podcast episode 99.  Ask yourself, “Which person do you want to be?”

 

           ********If you want to stay sober, you’ve got to do the work********

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

Send us an e-mail if you would like to volunteer at Hope Rehab in Thailand

 

 

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

 

RE 103: Why I Quit Drinking

Feb 6, 2017 41:05

Description:

Shane with 3 days since his last drink, shares his story…..

Paul starts the show off by listing his reasons for quitting drinking:

I wake up eager to start the day I’m not lying to myself anymore Because It’s a progressive disease and I know the pain and misery that awaits I do not have a beer gut anymore  THIQ was being deposited into my brain after every binge drinking episode which made it harder and harder to stop I do not want to get dumber.  I want to get smarter. Most alcohol tastes like moldy tootsie rolls I was sick of telling myself “One day we are going to ________” Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs in the world and it kills more people than any other drug combined I was failing as a dog owner… big time I do not wonder if I have Alzheimer’s anymore Because alcohol is shit, total and complete shit Money is neat, and I have a lot more of it now I do not black out anymore, I’m only on this planet once and I don’t want to miss a thing I haven’t had a serious physical injury since stopping drinking. That would be a torn hip flexor doing Limbo in 2012. No joke No more black eyes Sometimes I feel “High on Life”  A diet based on calories from alcohol doesn’t work. I’ve tried it I put an Altoids in my mouth because I like the taste, not to mask the vodka on my breath No more cavities - In those blackouts, brushing my teeth wasn’t a priority for some reason My face no longer looks like a swollen pumpkin I quit because one day I would like to share my life with a very special person. Slim to no chance of that happening before My standard poodle Ben looked at me to go play on a beautiful summer day in 2014 and I was drunk in bed at 3pm on a sunny afternoon. Those eyes broke my heart. Ben, I am so sorry Alcohol was my best friend and it turned on me I couldn’t stop drinking once I started I found I needed more and more alcohol to obtain the same effect  I quit drinking because I heard the Brave Heart soundtrack for 3 weeks straight - When it wasn’t playing, it was in my head I wasn’t free Alcohol determined where I worked, who I hung out with, when I went to bed and when I woke up Music didn’t look like much of anything  I want to look at myself in the mirror in the morning and say “Hey, I know that guy!” I do not want to go to rehab, but if I do, I’m going to Thailand I want to stop living a life of life or death. I would probably commit suicide within 5 years and I’m not really living. It’s been 8 years since I got a black eye at a bar… by a girl Girls like me now-well more than when I was talking to them cross eyed and blacked out I was sick and tired of being sick and tired My body doesn’t randomly ache anymore My right elbow hurt when I swam for about 7 years. Not anymore I can now run a 7:30 mile - three of them in a row actually  I do not want a DUI… okay another one Alcohol is shit. Did I mention that already? I saw Guns and Roses in Bolivia and remembered it. I saw 311 at Red Rocks and do not remember any of it. I’d like to remember concerts in the future. I wanted to stop blaming others for my problems Ulcers are painful, and I’ve got a several ulcers due to a compromised immune system I do not want to go to jail… okay go to jail again Shovels give me blisters, so I decided to quit digging… See what I did there? I’m AHDH and being in the moment is something I struggle with,  now I’ve got a shot My parents just retired and I can fully be there for their golden years Alcohol wasn’t cheap. Per the Recovery Elevator tracker app I’ve saved $11,867  I’ve learned to get to it, you need to go through it. Today, I feel uncomfortable feelings at face value and lean into them instead of jam them into a box only to have them explode and an inopportune moment, like my best friends bachelor party My stomach hurt from laughing 4 times 2016; from 2007-20014 that number was zero This is going to sound lame but it’s the truth. At about 6 months without a drink, the childhood feeling that I can do anything I put my mind to had returned… and is still here… watch out stigma I don’t want to kill myself anymore. That’s pretty cool eh? I watch my favorite episodes on TV instead of being the lead actor in the drunken episodes  I can play 4 Third Eye Blind Songs on the Guitar. Okay, 3.5 Stars. Holy shit. Have they always been there and so bright?  It is liberating to not need a mind altering substance at social functions Depression and anxiety are unpleasant feelings. They still lurk around at times, but not for nearly as long nor as thick Turns out I do not suck at kickball or dodgeball.  I was too drunk to kick or dodge the ball Being a business owner overseeing a staff of 22 is easier without a splitting headache In sobriety, I’m learning that that guy Bob was on to something and everything is gonna be alright – Hey Mon! Problems pertaining to money have pretty much dissolved Anxiety = 98% better now Shirley Temples, I have rediscovered, are the best drink known to mankind The people that I surround myself with are my true friends, not drinking friends Binge drinking in airport stalls and then throwing up in the boarding line was miserable. I want to enjoy 100% of my vacations, instead of around 30-40% I still get depressed, but no longer than a couple days. Before, it would be for weeks/months. Because today is the best chance I have at staying sober.

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 8:58 ] Paul Introduces Shane.  When was your last drink?

 

Shane – My last drink was on Christmas day (which was 3 days ago at the time of this interview).  These past 3 days have been tough.  I’ve been doing a lot of sweating.

 

[ 11:00 ] When did you first realize that you had a problem?

 

Shane – I received my first DWI when I was 18.  That was my first time in jail and it was horrible.  When I first starting drinking I thought I had found my soul mate.

 

[ 13:08 ] Tell us a little about yourself.

 

Shane – I am 32 years old and from California.  I like to play tennis, golf and travel.  I like to do anything outdoors.  Booze took away the fun I used to have in these activities.

 

[ 14:26 ] Did you ever try to put rules in place in order to control your drinking?

 

Shane – You name the rule and I have tried it!  I tried to limit myself to specific types of alcohol but would always forget the rule once I started drinking.  The best rule you should remember is to just not drink.

 

[ 17:50 ] What is so different now?

 

Shane – I did not chicken out when I thought of calling Paul.  I try to live in the moment and stay busy.  I also try not think too far into the future.

 

[ 19:45 ] What was your bottom?

 

Shane – 1 bottom was that I was mentally draining my family constantly.  Other bottoms were all of the 4 times I ended up in jail.  I was basically blacking out my entire life.  Alcohol made me feel like I was going crazy.   

 

[ 24:40 ] You have mentioned a few times how bad going to jail was.  Whose fault was it that jail was so bad?

 

Shane – It was my fault that I had ended up in there.  But the guards were really harsh.  The other inmates were fine.

 

[ 25:40 ] What have you lost to alcohol?

 

Shane – I’ve lost many days of my life and plenty of girlfriends.

 

[ 26:40 ] What happened this past Christmas day that made you want to stop drinking?

 

Shane – I’ve wanted to stop drinking for years.  It had just become too exhausting to continue.

 

[ 28:50 ]  How have you gotten 3 days so far?

 

Shane – Right now I do not feel like I am white knuckling it.  I am not going to AA.  I’ve had bad experiences with church in the past and AA has too much religion in it.  Praying to a higher power does not work for me.

 

[ 31:53 ] Rapid Fire Round

What’s your plan moving forward? Staying busy, listening to podcasts and U-Tube videos on recovery What was your worst memory from drinking? I was punched in the face by a girl What’s your favorite resource in recovery? The support of family and friends What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? If you are comfortable than you are not growing, do not become stagnant water What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Do not give up on yourself.  Be true to yourself.  There is hope. You might be an alcoholic if……. you wake up with pee in your pants and you are not sure if it’s yours!

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

www.alcoholmastery.com (by Kevin O’Hara)

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!”

 

RE 102: 4 Types of Drinkers, Which One Are You?

Jan 30, 2017 42:34

Description:

Amelia, with 79 days since her last drink, shares her story……

According to the HBO documentary, Risky Drinking, 70% of people drink.  Most drinkers fall within the following spectrum: no risk, low risk, mid risk, moderate risk, severe and death.  The documentary chronicles 4 people in different stages of alcoholism.  If you are drinking to fix the problem that drinking has caused, you may need to watch this program and see where you fall on the spectrum.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 10:39 ] Paul Introduces Amelia who’s last drink was on 10/10/16.

 

[ 11:12 ]  Have you had any close calls since you stopped drinking?

 

Amelia – Not really, although I was pretty irritable during Christmas time.  Instead of drinking, I just went to bed.

 

[ 11:48 ]  Tell us a little about yourself.

 

Amelia – I was born and raised in San Francisco.  I am a social worker and work with children in the foster care system.  I love to watch baseball games and travel.

 

[ 13:19 ] When did you realize that you had a problem with alcohol?

 

Amelia – I started noticing I had a problem approximately 10 years ago, but I was always able to justify my behavior.  79 days ago, I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired!

 

[ 14:32 ]  Did you ever put rules into place to try and moderate your drinking?

 

Amelia – I would try to drink only at night and on the weekends.  After a hard days’ work, I felt like I deserved it.  I had not had any bad consequences yet so this helped justify my drinking.  Soon I implemented the “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” mentality.

 

[ 15:56 ]  Did you have a bottom?

 

Amelia – I was kicked out of the Peace Corp for drinking too much.  It was Independence Day in the Caribbean and after drinking all day, I decided that I wanted to go home.  I ended up walking 7 miles in the rain back to my apartment with a co-worker.  I would also not report to the Peace Corp my location at all times and this was a requirement.

 

[ 18:42 ] How did you get to 79 days without alcohol?

 

Amelia – I had a phone call with my parents to wish them a Happy Anniversary.  I did not remember the phone call at all the following morning.  It was a total blackout.  I had asked myself, “Do I really want to be this person?”  I called a friend who I trusted and they encouraged me to go to an AA meeting.  I felt accountable.

 

[ 20:21 ]  Tell us more about this accountability piece?

 

Amelia – I had spoken to this same friend about my concerns with alcohol about a year before.  I also spoke to my mother.  She informed me that she had attended an Al-Anon meeting 1 year ago as well because she too was concerned with my drinking.

 

[ 22:53 ]  What was it like having repeated bottoms?

 

Amelia – I never thought they were real or deep bottoms.  I did not have consequences or anything taken away from me because of my drinking yet.

 

[ 24:40 ] What do you think would happen if you drink again?

 

Amelia – It would be just a matter of time before something really bad happened.

 

[ 26:00 ]  What is your plan going forward?

 

Amelia – So far AA has been working.  If I think about drinking, I just follow the drunk all of the way to the end.  I am attending the RE Retreat in Montana so that will hold myself accountable.  Soon, I would like to start working the steps.

 

[ 30:12 ] What have you learned most about yourself?

 

Amelia – that I can be happy and have a better life without drinking.

 

[ 31:00 ] What advice would you give your younger self?

 

Amelia – to look at your bottoms and see them for what they really are.  I would also listen more to my mother when she told me how alcoholism runs in our family.

 

[ 33:00  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? getting kicked out of the Peace Corp and hitting a parked car while drunk Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? one of my clients told me I smelled like alcohol and I blamed it on hand sanitizer What’s your favorite resource in recovery? AA What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? follow the drunk, be gentle with yourself and say the Serenity prayer often You might be an alcoholic if….. you pee in your bed after a night of drinking

 

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!”

RE 101: What Is Alcohol and How Is It Created

Jan 23, 2017 41:05

Description:

Erik, with 67 days since his last drink, shares his story….

What exactly is alcohol and how is it created?  According to the book, Beyond the Influence, by Katherine Ketcham, the basic ingredient of alcohol is yeast.  Let’s just call it what it is; yeast dung to be exact.  The yeast eventually dies off during the fermenting process leaving alcohol in its’ basic form, which is ethanol.  That’s right folks!  We have been consuming the same ingredient that is used in lacquer and dyes.  Once we drink, the alcohol quickly passes through our cell membranes and enters the blood stream.  Depending on our age, gender, or whether or not we have eaten, etc., alcohol affects us all differently.  Beyond just the physically changes, alcohol also affects our emotional state.  It has been known to exacerbate anxiety, stress and fatigue by triggering the body to release adrenaline artificially.  No wonder those hang overs are so awful!

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 10:44 ] Paul Introduces Erik and asks when was his last drink?

 

Erik – 67 days ago and it feels good on most days

 

[ 11:13 ] Erik tell us a little about himself.

 

Erik – I am 31 years old and currently live in Dallas.  I play and teach music and also enjoy cooking and exercise.

 

[ 13:42 ] When did you realize you had a problem with drinking?

 

Erik – After graduating from college, consequences started happening.  I had crashed a few cars and received a few DWI’s.

 

[ 15:11 ] Did you ever try to implement rules in order to moderate your drinking?

 

Erik – I was not real great at even putting rules into place.  But I had an interlock (breathalyzer) put on my car and would try to moderate so that I could still start the car.  One time I blew over the limit 3 times.  I was more of a binge drinker.  Once I started, I could not stop drinking.

 

[ 17:24 ] After your probation ended, you started drinking again.  What happened?

 

Erik – When you are on probation, I think mentally you are just waiting for the time to be over.  Once it is over, you can drink again.  I continued to drink for 2-3 years without suffering any real consequences.

 

[ 19:00 ]  Did your drinking progress or remain the same?

 

Erik – It progressed and I started driving when I shouldn’t be again.  I also started experiencing episodes of anger and rage, which was completely uncharacteristic of me.

 

[ 20:45 ]  Erik shares a recent story of a wedding he attended.

 

Erik – I was running late for a wedding in which I was a groomsman.  My mind made this a much bigger deal than it actually was so when I finally arrived, I headed straight to the bar.  I stumbled to the service and was late for the photo shoot.  I continued to drink and my mood kept deteriorating.  After the wedding was over, I went to the after party and eventually blacked out.  When I came to, I was in the middle of a brawl with a friend.  I was very disappointed in myself and was worried that I had destroyed some friendships.

 

[ 27:45 ] How did you get to 67 days without drinking?

 

Erik – I had worked the AA program many years ago and basically got re-plugged in.  I reached out to some previous people that I knew in the program, started going to meetings and got a sponsor.

 

[ 31:00 ]  Paul and Erik discuss the gift of desperation

 

Erik – My last drinking memory was that wedding I attended.  I am not sure if I can fix the damage that I did to some of those relationships.  I do not want that last memory to define me.

 

[ 32:00 ] What is your plan moving forward?

 

Erik – I will continue to work my program, meditate and go to meetings.  I would also like to start my own life now, by moving out of my parent’s house and getting back on track.

 

[ 33:33  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? wrecking 3 cars, being in jail and having to call my parents Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? One night I was playing a show in Dallas.  I knew I should not have driven home but I did it anyway What’s your favorite resource in recovery? AA meetings, listening to podcasts and reading. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Recovery is a process.  Stay busy with projects and fill in that time that you would normally drink with different things to do. You might be an alcoholic if…. You use a blood alcohol calculator (BAC) in order to get past your car interlock

****Congratulations to our very own Brandy for reaching 1 year of sobriety****

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Books – Beyond the Influence by Katherine Ketcham and Living Sober by AA

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!”

RE 100: Binge Drinking Is the Problem

Jan 17, 2017 42:58

Description:

Tricia, with 30 days since her last drink, shares her story….

Congratulations Recovery Elevator on 100 episodes!  How did we make it to 100 episodes?  How else, but one episode (day) at a time.

Problem drinking that becomes severe is often given the medical term alcohol use disorder or AUD.  Some interesting studies from the NESARC show that in 2012, 7.2% of the population surveyed had an alcohol use disorder (article found here: www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders.) 

Europe also has an organization (the ECA) who conducts alcohol related surveys.  They found that although people in Southern Europe drank larger amounts of alcohol, they were able to moderate their drinking.  In comparison, there were more alcohol related fatalities in Northern Europe.  Could this be because of binge drinking?  Perhaps the folks from the South can drink 1-2 glasses of wine with their meal while people from the North are drinking larger quantities in one sitting?  We will let the ECA draw that conclusion.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 8:23 ] Paul Introduces Tricia who’s last drink was approximately 30 days ago

 

[ 9:00 ] When did you realize you had a problem?

 

Tricia – I knew I wasn’t a normal drinker even at the age of 23.  I always knew that I would have to quit one day.  I never drank just for the taste, it was always to get drunk.  Once I started drinking, I could not stop.

 

[ 11:28 ] Did you ever put any rules in place in order to control your drinking?

 

Tricia – I tried switching to a drink that I did not like.  This never worked and I would end up doing shots of something else.  My fellow drinker friends thought this was a great idea!  I was always into fitness and nutrition so I would make sure my daily caloric intake would allow for booze.

 

[ 15:41 ] Tell us about yourself?

 

Tricia – I am 35 year old chef who now owns her own business.  I have always been a runner but also enjoy anything in the outdoors, such as skiing and snowboarding.  I like to knit and cross stitch Gangsta Rap lyrics into items for friends.  My only hobby before was drinking.  I would work and drink.  That was it.   

 

[ 19:18 ] Did you have a bottom?

 

Tricia – I was a high functioning alcoholic.  My bottom was very high.  I would always pretend that I wasn’t drunk or that I didn’t have a hangover. My motto was, “I’ve Got This.”   When I went on a 3 day binger, 30 days ago, I was so hung over that I could even fake it.  I had to stay in bed all day.  That was the first time I experienced the physical withdrawals of sweating, fever and shaking.

 

[ 22:15 ]  How did you reach the conclusion that you did not have control over alcohol?

 

Tricia – My friends and I were going out one night and rented a party bus.  I was terribly anxious for weeks up until this party.  I was afraid I would drink too much and black out.  The black outs were getting to be very common.  I ended up drinking too much and woke up the next day with bruises all over my legs.  I did not remember falling down but obviously it had happened. 

 

[ 24:48 ]  Did alcohol play a role in your divorce?

 

Tricia – there were many other factors but both my ex-husband and I drank.  When we fought, we had usually both been drinking.  I wasn’t supposed to be the drinker of the family.  My brother was the center of attention since he had the alcohol/drug problem for years.  I was the over achiever who still managed to get to work on time and function normally.  Until I could no longer fake it.

 

[ 26:56 ] How did you get to day 1 without a drink?

 

Tricia – I had not planned on stopping drinking entirely.  It basically snuck up on me.  I had that terrible hangover and the physical withdraw symptoms so I called my brother who is now in recovery.  He is very supportive.  I went on-line and found the RE podcast and starting listening and hearing similar stories.

 

[  30:28 ]  What does a day in the life of Tricia look like?

 

Tricia – I started going to AA meetings.  I ended up being late to my first AA meeting because I went to the wrong room.  The security officer at the church shouted to everyone that the AA meeting was in the other room.  Even though I was 10 minutes late for that meeting, I was really 10 years late in trying AA.

 

 

[ 34:51  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? the blackouts and everything that I do not remember Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? trying to moderate and being fearful that I would over indulge and put myself in danger What’s your plan moving forward? Every morning I read the Big Book pp 86-88.  I meditate on those pages.  I am also reading a book by Tara Brock called Radical Acceptance. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? AA meetings and connecting with other alcoholics What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? keep an open mind and forget everything you think you know.  Do not try to do this alone. you need alcohol to do simple tasks you put vodka in your water bottle to go to the gym you think you are an alcoholic You might be an alcoholic if….

Paul ends the podcast with some questions for the listeners: What type of role does or did alcohol play in your life?  Does alcohol dictate your life?  Be honest with yourself.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Paul will be speaking at a “This is My Brave” even on 1/22/17.  The event is at the Moss Theater @ 4pm.  The address is 313 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA.  Tickets can be found here:  www.bfrb.org

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!”

 

RE 99: God, Spirituality and a Higher Power: Run For the Hills

Jan 9, 2017 42:14

Description:

Mona, with 2 weeks since her last drink, shares her story…….

Paul starts the show by answering some “fan“ mail questions about God and AA.  Many listeners wonder how they can participate in AA without accepting a higher power.  When the pain of drinking outweighs everything else, you just may be willing to try anything.  Statistics show that alcoholism is on the rise but attendance at AA meetings is stagnant or even on a slight decline.  Attendance at AA meetings may be on the decline because it is a religious based program and also because of the stigma involved (don’t be a hater!).

In a recent article found on TheInfluence.org, http://theinfluence.org/american-gulag-the-five-ways-hundreds-of-thousands-of-people-are-coerced-into-rehab-and-aa/ , it is discussed how people are being forced into AA or rehab, either by employers or the Courts.  Legally, however, a person cannot be forced into AA because it is considered a religious program.  Experience shows us that you will be more successful in a program that you choose voluntarily.  So whether it is AA, SMART, Life Ring, or your own personalized plan, find a program that makes you want to live and love life.  Work that program as if your life depended on it (because quite frankly, it does!).  

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 10:08 ] Paul Introduces Mona 

 

She currently lives in Chicago.  She is 23 years old, loves to read and create playlists.  Mona is still figuring out all of the new things she likes to do now that she does not drink.

 

[ 13:43 ] When did you realize you had a problem?

 

Mona – it has been about 4 years in the making.  When I was 19 years old, I drank way too much and was super hungover.  I was totally embarrassed because my parents witnessed this.  I quit alcohol for the next 30 days but knew that I was not completely done with it,

 

[ 16:21 ] Did you ever put any rules in place to try and moderate your drinking?

 

Mona – for 2 years I tried to manage the amount of drinks I would have in 1 sitting. I set my limit at 4 and after that I would just leave the bar.  I realized I had a problem when I was putting so much energy into trying to moderate.

 

[ 20:13 ] What was your bottom?

 

Mona – I did not really have a rock bottom.  I remember my parents had paid for this great trip to the Grand Canyon and the entire trip I was trying to keep control of my alcohol intake in front of them.  The Grand Canyon was so beautiful and it just showed how messy my life had become because of alcohol.

 

[ 21:57 ] How does it feel to be sober at 23 years old?

 

Mona – I feel proud but also overwhelmed at the thought of never drinking again.

 

[ 23:15 ] How did you do it?

 

Mona – I tried will power at first and I was also seeing a therapist who I was finally honest with.  So far the temptation to drink has not been too bad.  My holiday work party was slightly difficult and I left early.  I also started telling my close friends that I had stopped drinking.

 

[ 26:30 ]  What do you think would happen if you started drinking again?

 

Mona – nothing productive would happen.  I would be totally stagnant in my life and in my job.  I would not be happy at all.

 

[ 28:38 ] What is your plan moving forward?

 

Mona – I am experimenting with creating my own plan of recovery.  I want to explore all of my options.

 

[ 32:52 ] What do you want to achieve in sobriety?

 

Mona – I would like to have deeper and more authentic relationships.  I want to become connected to who I really am and to go after the jobs that I really want.

 

[ 35:07 ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? After doing drugs and drinking, I had a horrible fight with a guy I was interested in.  I ended up stumbling back to my apartment and just feeling totally empty. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Seeing the Grand Canyon and comparing its’ beauty to my “not beautiful” life What’s your plan moving forward? Creating my recovery plan What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Look for the similarities , not the differences What is your best advice for the newcomer? If you are continually thinking about alcohol or listening to recovery podcasts, have the courage to try out sobriety You might be an alcoholic if……you empty a bottle of perfume and fill it with alcohol in order to bring it on the airplane in your carry on

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Book of the Month – The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

http://theinfluence.org/american-gulag-the-five-ways-hundreds-of-thousands-of-people-are-coerced-into-rehab-and-aa/

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!”

 

RE 98: Non Alcholic Beverages in Sobriety | How To Blend In

Jan 2, 2017 45:12

Description:

Shaun, with 2 months since his last drink, shares his story

One of the most common questions we get asked as alcoholics is, “What do you drink now that you no longer drink alcohol?”  Or, “How do I fit in at social functions now?”  There are plenty of tasty non-alcoholic drinks to choose from, so when water is just not cutting it, check out the list below:

Shirley Temple (don’t’ forget to double up on the cherries!)              

Ginger Beer (Cock N Bull brand)                  

Sugar Free Red Bull

La Croix (basically flavored soda water)

Soda water with a splash of cranberry

World Market is the place to go if you are looking for a large selection of ginger beer.

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[ 11:48  ] Paul Introduces Shaun

           

Shaun is 30 years old and currently living in Bozeman, MT.  In his free time, he plays hockey, snowboards and coaches little league flag football

 

[ 13:13 ] Paul asks Shaun to describe his bottom

 

Shaun – I was drinking all day and through the night.  I proceeded to drive home after fighting a friend for my keys.  I drove down a very dangerous canyon and hit the guard rail with my car.  The police eventually pulled me over.  I woke up in the hospital and my father was there, looking very disappointed with me.

 

[ 18:00 ] When did you realize the gravity of your drinking situation?

 

Shaun – Even though I knew right away how bad it was, it still just seemed surreal.  A few weeks went by before I realized this wasn’t a dream.  I went about 3 weeks without a drink.  I started drinking again at my 30th birthday party and went on a 6 week bender.  I then started to just slow down on my own.  I was suffering from deep depression, had walked away from my job, and realized that I was not attaining the goals I had set out for myself. 

 

[ 21:54 ] What do you think would happen if you started drinking again?

 

Shaun – I would be right back to where I was before.  I really do not want to know.

 

[ 23:00 ]  What were your drinking habits like?  How much did you drink?

 

Shaun – I was your typical college drinker.  When I started drinking, I was ready to party.  My drinking escalated when I moved to Bozeman.  

 

[ 25:47 ]  What was your depression like while drinking?

 

Shaun – My depression was usually triggered by the hangovers.  I would think to myself, “What could I have done instead of drinking?”  I would feel worthless about myself the next day.  Alcohol just kept the depression going.  Without alcohol, mild depression is still there but overall I feel more even keel and it is easier to deal with.   

 

[ 27:39 ]  How about anxiety?

 

Shaun – My anxiety was also heavily triggered by booze.  It is still with me now, but has lessened greatly.  Normally after a night of drinking, I would feel totally anxious and would end up with the “screw it’s,” it’s time to drink this away.

 

[ 29:00 ]  How did you get sober?

 

Shaun – I just took it day by day.  I would think that today may suck but tomorrow will be better.  I told many of my friends that I had stopped drinking.  Some of these friends understood, while others are still waiting for me to start drinking again (they are no longer friends).  I also tried to keep focused on my goals and my profession.  Alcohol does not fit within my goals anymore.

 

[ 32:00 ] What is your plan moving forward?

 

Shaun – I will continue to surround myself with positive peers, see my therapist, and basically build a new friend base that does not revolve around alcohol.

 

[ 34:00 ]  What is it like getting sober at a young age?

 

Shaun – It is very hard.  Beer seems to follow all activities but I am trying to make new sober friends.  You have to work through the uncomfortable feelings of being in a situation and not drinking. 

 

 

[ 39:35  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? After a birthday party, I punched my buddy in the head and he proceeded to throw me down the stairs. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? When I would make jokes about being an alcohol and suddenly stop laughing because I knew it was me. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Hitting the gym What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Just take it day to day.  Win the fight for that day. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Just start.  Start talking to people about your problem. You might be an alcoholic if……you make jokes about being an alcoholic but stop laughing because you know you are talking about yourself.

 

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

 

If you are in the LA area on 1/22/17, Paul will be talking at a “This is My Brave” event.  The event will be held at the Moss Theater in Santa Monica.  Just google the event to search for tickets.

 

 

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

 

RE 97: Cognitive Dissonance | Your Addiction In Your Own Voice

Dec 26, 2016 37:45

Description:

Bubba, with 1 year since his last drink, shares his story.

SHOW NOTES

Cognitive dissonance = the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.  “First they ignore you, than they laugh at you, than they fight you, than you win.”  Sobriety is measured one day at a time and if we take it slowly, we will be the winner.  Tell your addiction this quote, over and over again.  Our minds keep telling us the tricky stories that keep us drinking.  This is exhausting.  It’s like holding 2 conflicting beliefs.  How can we break through these conflicting beliefs?   Hang out with people that are on the same path as you.  Educate yourself.  Read, read, and read some more.

 [ 8:51] Paul Introduces Bubba.

Bubba has been sober for 1 year and he’s feeling great.  He had been drinking so long that he did not realize just how much it was affecting his life until he quit.  He enjoys photography, the outdoors and riding his Harley.  He has also lost approximately 46 pounds during this past year.

[12:04] When did you realize you had a problem with alcohol?

Bubba – one of my earliest memories was when I came out as gay at the age of 29.  I thought that I wouldn’t drink as much since I no longer had that stress.  I thought it would be the magic switch but I still continued to drink.  About 4 years ago, I started to try and moderate.  This did not work.  For the next 2 years I was always telling myself that I could drink that night and stop the following day.

[14:14] What was your bottom?

Bubba – one day I starting drinking at 6am and just kept going.  Instead of going to bed, I continued moving from bar to bar and did not make it to work.  The next day I woke up and was officially done.  My journey had started.

[16:35 ] What were some of the rules you tried to put in place in order to moderate your drinking?

Bubba – I’m not going to drink during the week and this will satisfy my desire to drink.  My drinking voice had become so strong that it just over rode any common sense.  My conscience mind knew I was doing something wrong, but my un-conscience mind wanted to continue drinking

 

[17:45 ] What were you feeling that day after your all night drinking bend?

Bubba – I was so hungover it was unbelievable.  I had just had enough and couldn’t take it anymore. 

[20:00] How did you stay sober during that first month?

Bubba – I listened to RE podcasts back to back.  That really kept me going that first week.  I kept telling myself to try for another week, and then try again for another week.  I had to keep convincing myself that I was not going to drink.  I had friends wondering why I wasn’t at the bar.  These are no longer my friends.  They were just my bar friends.

[21:56] How does it feel to be so open about being gay as well as open about being in recovery?

Bubba – feels fantastic!!  Being so open helps me to be accountable.  My friends and family all know what I am doing and it helps keep me sober.  Defining myself as an alcoholic was surprising to some people since I was just known as a heavy drinker.  I knew that I had a problem and that was the important thing. 

[25:00 ]  Describe your relationship with your grandmother

Bubba – I was self- medicating for the pain that my grandmother made me feel.  She was able to make you feel horrible very easily.  Constant little digs.  I would try to avoid being with her which caused tension among family members.  At some point you have to learn to just let it go.

[27:45 ] What are your recovery tools now?

Bubba – keeping myself busy, workout every day, spend quality time with my friends.  I also utilize what other Café RE members are doing and saying. 

[ 29:57 ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?  Waking up in my lazy boy covered in beer too many times Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Whenever I would wake up the next morning and say to myself, “Oh shit, I drank too much last night.” What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Café RE, I’m trying to also integrate AA meetings into my life What is your plan moving forward? Continue to do what I do, maybe more charity work, trying to be helpful to others, and just keep moving on What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? You are the only 1 who can force yourself not to drink everyday What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Stick with it, it does get better, things that you do not even know are wrong now will correct themselves You might be an alcoholic if….. you slam 6 beers before you go to the bar because you do not want to have to wait once you get there.

“Spread your Wings and Fly – Focus on What You Can Do”

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Book of the month = The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meetups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code Elevator.

Promo Code: Elevator

 

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!”

 

RE 96: The Relationship Between Food and Alcohol Cravings

Dec 19, 2016 48:29

Description:

Wynn, with 28 years of sobriety, shares his story...

SHOW NOTES

Tis the season to be jolly and sober…..

What are the differences between food cravings and alcohol cravings?  Our gut sends signals that tell us to eat.  We can only go 14 days without food and 80% of our serotonin is created in our gut.  This feeling is very similar when we are craving a drink.  The mind starts chirping and gives us false ideas of how good a drink would be.  The problem is that when we start drinking, the need is never satiated with only 1 drink and thus the saga continues.  The main things to keep in mind is that food keeps us alive.  Alcohol is nothing more than a poison in its’ basic form.  Food also helps build muscle.  Alcohol transforms your body into Barney from The Simpsons.  We all needed food to survive from the beginning of our lives.  Obviously we can survive without alcohol.  Finally, food satiates our hunger cravings.  Alcohol cravings are never satisfied until we are beaten to a pulp.                                                                      

[ 6:20  ] Paul Introduces Wynn. 

Wynn is a retired engineer.  He has been married 3 times and has a total of 5 children.  He currently lives a wonderful life in sobriety, although in his previous life he did many “unlawful” things in which he was never caught. 

[ 9:15 ] When did you realize that you had a problem with alcohol?

Wynn – the first time I drank was at 12 years old and it just felt magical.  I soon became known as wino Wynn.  I came from a good family.  Neither of my parents were alcoholics however, the disease was there with my aunts and uncles.  Unfortunately my brother was also an alcoholic and his life ended too soon.

[ 14:22  ] Paul asks Wynn, “How do we know when alcohol is trying to convince us that we do not have a problem.”

Wynn – you will know when the change happens.  Recognize the pain and do not hide from it.  Own your problems.  Your HP is showing you what your pain points are.

[ 18:00 ] Wynn discusses an interesting visit with his psychiatrist.

Wynn – my psychiatrist was asking me what I thought was important.  I told her that my car, my money, and my house were important to me.  She asked if I knew exactly, down to the penny, how much money I had in my account.  I could not tell her.  She then asked me if I knew how much booze I had at my house.  I was able to tell her the amount and type of alcohol, down to the drop, that I currently had in my home.  I realized that there was nothing in my life that I kept track of, like I kept track of alcohol. 

 [ 19:00 ] When was your bottom?

Wynn – I was putting up a new house and borrowed money from some shady characters.  I signed a life insurance policy as collateral and walked away with a paper bag full of money.  I knew that that bag of money would be my coffin if I did not pay it back.  If I drank that money away, I would be dead.  Once the house was completed, I paid the money back and tore up the life insurance policy.  I started to read The Big Book and found it incredible.

[ 24:00 ] What did you do then?

Wynn – Even though I was talking the talk of AA, I was not walking the walk.  I had lost my house, my family and my companies.  I was 3 years into AA when I finally got a sponsor.

[ 25:32 ]  Paul discusses terminal uniqueness and how dangerous it can be.

Wynn – you have to be trustworthy enough to believe that your HP will take care of you.  Everything that happens is exactly how it is supposed to happen.  You have to pay attention.  I soon realized that my problem with misery was really about myself.  I had fear, control and domination issues.  We cannot play God.  God is willing to be anything we need him to be.

[33:23]  Paul asks Wynn if he has every had a close call in 28 years.

Wynn – Yes, I was at the airport and had just been fired.  There were no flights outbound and the clerk literally poured me a shot of whiskey.  He was handing me my new ticket in 1 hand and the shot of whiskey in the other.  I found myself reaching for both when suddenly I heard a voice that told me not to reach for the glass of whiskey.  I grabbed the ticket and left.                                                           

[ 36:40  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?  Jail Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Too many times I woke up in the hospital or jail. What’s your plan moving forward? Keep redoing the 10th step What’s your favorite resource in recovery? All of my sponsees’ who stay sober and watch them carry on the message What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Stop digging and put down your shovel   You might be an alcoholic if?  You know more about the quality and quantity of alcohol at home, than you do anything else.

[ 41:00 ]  Paul ends the show with a shout out to Brandy – for hitting her 1 year of sobriety mark.  He also shares a story about a recent airplane experience.

A flight from Orlando to Denver reinforces Paul’s conviction to remain alcohol free.  It is never fun to have to sit next to 2 drunks on a plane.  Even worse is to be escorted from the plane by the police. 

 Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

RE Retreat – Bozeman Montana – August 24-27.  Check the website for details

 

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meetups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code Elevator.

Promo Code: Elevator

 

recoveryelevator.com/survey

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!”

 

RE 95: I Can't Quit Drinking Because Alcohol is my Identity

Dec 12, 2016 46:03

Description:

Melissa, with 1 month of sobriety, shares her story...

SHOW NOTES

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….

Many of us believe that we cannot quit drinking.  “I am the life of the party, that’s just who I am!”  (I bet the crowd around us would beg to differ but that’s besides’ the point.)  Life will not be fun if I do not drink.  Yeah right- blackouts, hangovers, depression, and anxiety; now that is fun.  Paul reviews the time in his life when he owned a bar in Spain.  You heard correctly.  Paul C = Bar Owner.  Seems like an entire lifetime ago.  Listed below are the pros and cons of that time period in Spain:

Pro’s - I didn’t die, it accelerated me towards my bottom, I learned to play some fancy Flamenco guitar chords

Con’s – Ambien and booze are not a good combo, missed out on many opportunities/road trips with the senoritas, playing football after being awake for 30 hours straight (the next Peyton Manning? I think not), blackouts, blackouts, and more blackouts, DUI, re-introducing myself to a previous hookup (ouch!), contemplating a 5th floor sky dive                                                                   

[ 8:38  ] Paul Introduces Melissa.  How long have you been sober?

Melissa – 30 days.  Melissa explains her background.  She is a bartender, married, with 4 children.  During her free time, she likes to go to the gym. 

Paul asks Melissa what it is like being a bartender.  Melissa has been in “The Industry” all of her life (Industry = restaurant, club or bar scene). She felt that bartending would be the way to go early on because of her love of drinking and it seemed fun.  Melissa’s family are serious drinkers so she grew up in that environment.  She thought normal drinking was boring.  Melissa states that when you are in “The Industry” you tend to share similar stories of drinking and it justifies your own behavior.

[ 13:54 ] What is it like bartending with 30 days of sobriety?

Melissa – It’s been easier since I left Las Vegas and now live in Pennsylvania.   The environment is also easier.  I work in a fine dining establishment instead of a Las Vegas casino.  I am used to going through shifts without drinking but would always drink after my shift ended.  One of my go to drinks was a kids’ cup filled with ice and straight vodka.  Five minutes from home, I would down it.

[ 17:54  ] Staying sober is easy when drunk people are idiots

Paul and Melissa swap stories about working in the industry surrounded by drunk people.  Do your local DJ a favor and do not request any more Michael Jackson songs!

[ 18:47 ] What was your bottom?

Melissa – I was attending a birthday party and had brought my 14 year old daughter and her friend.  We were staying at a hotel so there were no limits.  My daughter and her friend had to come get me from the bar downstairs.  She video-taped me while feeding me chicken nuggets.  I was a mess and my daughter thought it was hysterical.  I didn’t want her thinking that that situation was OK.  Our family culture was turning into a dangerous life.

[ 23:55 ] Paul and Melissa discuss the tragic death of her sister

Melissa – she was drinking and driving and attempted to go around the car in front of her.  Her car was hit.  The accident caused her to break her neck.  She was only 21 years old when she was killed.  My sister’s story, however, did not stop me from continuing to drink.

Paul – we have all had plenty of “You would have thought (…insert tragic event here…) moments that should have stopped us from drinking.  Fear can get you sober but it cannot keep you sober.

Melissa reviews her history of trying AA and remaining alcohol free for 2 years.  During that time she picked up a pill addiction.  After 2 years she was drinking and taking pills.  She weaned herself off of the pills and suffered heavy withdrawal systems.  She did not think she was an alcoholic because she was able to stop while pregnant with all of her children.  Once the children were born, however, the pressure of motherhood soon had her reaching for the wine bottle.

[ 32:48 ] How have you made it to 30 days?

Melissa – RE podcast, constantly reminding myself of my worst drunk moments and comradery with other recovering alcoholics.

[ 42:35  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?  Celebrating my 36th birthday and waking up in the hospital not remembering a thing Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Too many CRS (can’t remember shit) moments. What’s your plan moving forward? To find a local AA meeting and do the 12 steps.  Time to locate those weeds and pull them out! What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Listening to the Big Book will driving and listening to various recovery podcasts What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Inside of every alcoholic’s home are 2 doors with different paths.  Behind door #1, there is a monkey who is going to kick your ass down a shorter path.  Behind door #2, there is simply a longer path.  It’s time to choose door #2! You might be an alcoholic if?  You have company over and you are sneaking gulps of vodka in between your glasses of wine.

[ 41:00  ] Paul ends the show discussing 3 main themes

Man in the Mirror – drinking causes us to not want to see ourselves in the mirror.  What often reflects back is shame and disgust

False Dreams – drinking brings about the notion of false dreams.  The actions needed to make these dreams come true are taken away by booze

Geographical Changes – Paul sells his bar in Spain and moves back to the states, eventually ending up in beautiful Bozeman MT.  Recovery is an opportunity to change the course of our lives.  It’s time to change everything in order to get there.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meetups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code Elevator.

Promo Code: Elevator

 

recoveryelevator.com/survey

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!”

 

RE 94: Alcohol Abuse Isn't a Character Issue? You Don't Say...

Dec 5, 2016 48:14

Description:

John with 17 years of sobriety and Adrianne with 11 years, share how they did it.

This is their story...

SHOW NOTES

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is a brain disorder, not a behavioral problem.  This is nothing new so why are we still talking about it?  Probably because even though society is starting to finally believe that addiction is a disease and not a moral failing, the stigma attached to addicts remains the same.  Wake up people!  The studies have shown that addiction can be defined as a primary disease, not an emotional or psychological problem.  Our brains become rewired and our choice to pick up flies right out the window when we are in active addiction.  Our real choice happens when we reach out for help.  It is never too early to reach out.

[ 8:27 ] Paul Introduces John and Adrianne, authors of The Painting and the Piano.

John, sober since 1/5/99 and Adrienne, sober since 7/11/05 currently live in Florida.  For the past 3 years they have been working on their story of survival and love.  Their book, The Painting and the Piano is like a divine intervention of how they first met and their lives together through the recovery process.  John feels that they were chosen to get sober and to pass this on to others.

[ 17:00 ] What was your bottom?

Adrianne – my daughter had to go to the ER after an accident at school.  I stopped home before going to the hospital in order to get my pills.  I didn’t know how long I would be at the hospital with her and was afraid I would be sick without my pills.  My need for the drugs was more powerful than getting my injured child to the ER.

John – driving out of my driveway and seeing my 2 small children looking through the window at me.  I knew I was leaving to get another drink and going to have a possible affair.  I left anyway and that memory still haunts me of their faces.  Looking at myself in the mirror and seeing an 80 year old man looking back was another bottom.  I had 3 DWI’s, was losing my business, my friends and was drinking around the clock without bothering to eat.

[ 20:11 ] Do you feel that you can skip any steps in the recovery process?

Adrianne – No, all of the steps you go through were meant to happen and lead you towards your bottom.  This needs to happen.

John – Everyone’s bottom is different and how we get there is also different.

[ 23:00 ] John talks about patience

Take time in your relationships.  Advised to wait for 1 year before dating.  Patience is super important.  Let patience be your virtue.  12 steps should be looked at as an opportunity for personal growth

[  26:53 ] What is on your bucket list for sobriety?

John and Adrianne – this book, educating others on the steps and the AA culture, doing more podcasts, and helping as many people recover as possible.

Adrianne – I would also love to work in the judicial system.  There are so many children that are pulled from dysfunctional homes, only to be placed back in them too soon.

John – I believe that 95% of our issues go back to some type of childhood trauma.

So what happened to privileged Paul C who grew up in Vali Colorado?  Hmmm, might have to think that one over a bit.

[  30:00 ] Adrianne shares about her physical pain

I was born addicted to heroin.  Later on after years of back pain, I became addicted to pills.  All of the surgeries lead to harder addictions.  It was a perfect storm of the emotional “F it’s”

[ 34:14  ] What advice would you give your younger selves?

Adrianne – stay off the pity pot!

John – there is no shame in asking for help.  Do it now.  Change 1 thing every day.

[ 38:25  ] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Adrianne – When I stopped home before going taking my daughter to the hospital in order to get my pills.  John – the memory of my children’s faces as I drove out of the driveway on my way to drink Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Adrianne – breaking down in front of my counselor and realizing I had a problem.  John – drinking in the mornings just to stop the shakes What’s your plan moving forward? Adrianne – continue to be of service.  John – reaching just 1 person, paying it forward. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Adrianne – don’t be afraid to ask for help.  John – stick around for the miracle

Resources mentioned in this episode:

www.paintingpiano.com

www.asam.org

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meetups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code Elevator.

Promo Code: Elevator

recoveryelevator.com/survey

Sobriety Tracker

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!”

RE 93: Why Some Descend Faster Than Others

Nov 28, 2016 42:09

Description:

Stephanie has been sober for nearly 5 years... 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

Why do some go down the path of alcoholism faster than others? Why do the wheels come off at different times for all of us? Is it an 'addictive personality' disorder? Well, truth is, we can't find real scientific evidence to prove that an 'addictive personality' is a real thing. What we do know is that genetic makeup combined with environmental factors that someone is living with have huge factors in whether or not someone will become addicted to alcohol. For Paul, the wheels came off right around age 21, but there is no way to determine if and when someone will become addicted to alcohol. There are many envrionmental factors that can slow down or speed up this factor...

[ 7:25 ] Paul introduces Stephanie.

Stephanie has been sober for almost 5 years. She got sober December 31st, 2011. She is 33 and from Alabama. Stephanie works in a Bradford treatment center. She loves to run, kayak and hangout with her family.

[ 8:12 ] Do you have a pink cloud? 

Stephanie tries to make her own 'pink cloud' every day in that she looks for the positive in everything. She is aware of the things she is grateful for and recognizes where she could be if she didn't have her sobriety.

[ 14:09 ] Stephanie talks about her drinking experience and the associated health problems that she dealt with. 

[ 23:04 ] Stephanie's Mom and Dad took her to a treatment center on December 30th, 2011.

[ 24:39 ] Do you think you could've gotten sober without rehab?

"For me, I don't think I could. I had to be removed from my situation, completely removed. I had tried little things here and there, but I didn't know coping mechanisms. I know people can do it, but I just know that I couldn't have done it."

[ 25:35 ] Stephanie talk about her program. 

Stephanie was able to relate to the AA program. She has had the same sponsor for almost 4 1/2 years. "It was necessary for me."

[ 26:41 ] Can you pinpoint one rock bottom moment? 

"After totalling my car and trying to hide it..." Stephanie was making frequent trips to the liquor store to buys half pints of vodka. When she started drinking in the morning, she realized something had the change.

[ 33:04 ] Walk us through a day in the life of Stephanie.

"Usually I wake up and do a reading from the Hazeldon Foundation and I use an app called 'My Spiritual Toolkit. I also have a page saved on my phone which has a prayer for each step. Then I'll take some quiet time. I'm not very good at meditation." Stephanie takes time to herself in the mornings. She gets up early and tries to go for a run before heading into work. At work, she tries to take 3-4 minutes just to breath and calm down. At the end of the day, Stephanie takes time to reflect on her day, looking for the positive and places where she can do better tomorrow. "I try to get a lot of sleep. I need my 8 hours of sleep and my prayer and meditation time."

[ 36:09 ] Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking? "Pancreatitis... That was pretty horrible." What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward? "To not stay stagnant. To change and grow and try to help others as much as possible." What's your favorite resource in recovery? "The Big Book, My Spiritual Toolkit and that prayer page." What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? "Continue. Make a continuous effort to put one foot in front of the other." What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? "Do it. Seek treatment if you can. Ask for help and know that you don't have to be alone." “You Might be an Alcoholic If…”

"...You are waking up drinking vodka a 6am and hiding bottles all throughout your room!" 

Resources mentioned in RE 93:

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Hazeldon Foundation Digital Resources

My Spiritual Toolkit

Podcast Resource Info - 'Addiction now defined as brain disorder, not behavior issue'

“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!

RE 92: How Alcohol Played a Part in the Presidential Election

Nov 21, 2016 43:22

Description:

Sara, with 5 months and 10 days of sobriety, tells us how she did it.

[9:21] Paul introduces Sara

Sara has been sober for 5 months and 10 days, or a total of 163 days. Sara is feeling better than she has ever felt, which is a common response in early recovery. Sobriety has not been all wonderful colors, tastes, and smells. Sara's experience  so far has been overall great, but not without challenges; she has had to overcome some adversity. Which is a very big foundational pillar of life, as nothing comes easy in sobriety, and getting sober is a blind leap of faith. Sara is originally from Louisiana, currently living in New Jersey, she is a psychiatrist who is married with no children. For fun, she does everything she used to do but is learning to do it sober. One of her best sober activities she has enjoyed was attending a Coldplay concert, in which she remembered every single minute. The concert was amazing, as was Sara's first sober football game, feeling every emotion so much more. One not so cool activity in sobriety was joining friends bar hopping after a football game. Sara struggled, but realized she is no longer "that guy" and could drive home sober. 

[13:21 ] Talk to us about your Elevator. When did you hit bottom?

Sara made small attempts to stop two years prior to her sobriety date. During that time, she read a book titled "Freedom from Addiction," which inspired her; only until an invite to socialize and drink. She would start again and not be able to stop. Eventually, Sara was at a happy hour followed by dinner with lots of drinking. She thought she was good to drive home. She ended up in an accident after which the entire night was a blur. Realizing that she could lose her life and career, even though there were no legal ramifications involved. Sara realized how lucky she was to come out of that situation safe and not in a legal battle. Paul shares his driving while intoxicated experiences. Sara woke up the next day and through the next week she was dazed and confused her memory was foggy as she was self-blaming herself. Everting in her life was going well other than drinking, she questioned why she was sacrificing everything for drinking.

[16:27] How much did you drink?

Sara drank vodka in airplane size bottles, they were easier to consume, leaving no evidence. She would usually drink a few throughout the day, over time it progressed. Her consumption amounts were often up and down, Sara was never one that could have just one or two at dinner, she would always continue drinking through the night. When she decided to stop drinking, she was up to 6-7 drinks per night, and was starting early in the day. For Sara, her disease progression was more about the time of day she started rather than the amount. Usually a couple glasses of wine and some shots of alcohol. Sara tried to put multiple plans of control in place; only drink on the weekend, only after work, no hard liquor. Paul realizes the question of control is a dumb question. The thought that one day we can drink normal must be dismissed.

[19:38] How did you do it? Walk us through the first day, the first week.

Sara's first week she doesn't remember much, but had a lot of family events and weddings with open bars where she was put to the test. After she got through all the events without a drink, she wondered why she drank when she was loving everything she was doing sober not understanding why she ever started in the first place. Sara's first few months have been filled with new activities; biking, hiking, gym. She has replaced drinking with trying new things.

 

[21:00] Tell us about your program.

Sara didn't enlist any kind of program. Yet, even before the accident she was listening to sobriety podcasts, as she was contemplating sobriety. Sara then found RE which became her program. While doing her morning routine she has the podcast playing as her preferred recovery resource, along with fitness and other new routines. Paul reminds us that willpower is exhaustible and finite, eventually running out, leading to relapse. We need a daily affirmation to remember why you don’t drink.

[24:07] Sara shares her fears about being "found out" on the podcast: Being a psychiatrist and worried about people learning of her addiction. A lot of friends still don't understand, and see alcoholics as worst case scenario. Images of bums is the picture normal people have. Sara knows that is not alcoholics are like, but struggles with the stigma even though she knows that is ridiculous. Paul sees Sara's alcoholism as an untapped asset in her career. Sara chats with addicts face to face in a hospital setting and listens to their struggles. Many of her patients have been through been recovery. Sara's advice to her patients is to take it one day at a time, she tells them about podcasts as many haven't found a program. She is also able to offer resources that she uses herself. Paul suggests she uses her own experiences. Sara hopes to get to that point. She remembers to focus on the similarities not the differences. She is just not realizing that she has a problem. Paul is curious when she will get there. Sara realizes she needs to get rid of the fear of judgement. Paul shares how he came out as an alcoholic. Everybody knows somebody in recovery. Paul feels within time her superiors will admire her strength. What if she tells her first patient tomorrow? Sara was trained to never put focus on yourself, but you make exceptions to help with the rapport of the patient. How prevalent is addiction in the ER? Most of the ER is filled with intoxicated people, or those who are experiencing withdrawals; mostly in the evenings on weekends, and during the holidays. Paul knows counselors who have succeeded because they are also in recovery. Sara feels like telling Paul was her first big step going out into the digital world. Sara wants to connect with more people, and thinks she is in the right direction to come out of the closet about her sobriety.

[32:02] How do you stay sober today? Sara is awake at 5 AM does yoga, meditation, and plans her day. Sometimes she works out. After work Sara comes home and starts her evening routine: working out, meditation, and/or some planned quality time with friends and family, tennis lessons, or something new. Sara hopes to try out martial arts. She plans to do something new every few months to continue to grow and bring happiness to life.

[33:00] What is on your bucket list at one year? Sara hopes that after one year she is more involved in the sober community; she doesn't have any support right now. Besides Cafe RE. She plans to surround herself with more people like her.

[33:57 ] What have you learned about yourself through sobriety? Sara learned that she doesn't need alcohol to have a good conversation with people, she is OK just being herself. That has been the most intoxicating thing about being sober. Everything is even better without alcohol.

[34:41] What are your plans to stay sober during the holidays?

Sara thought the holidays would be hard, luckily for her she has a lot of family functions that were once her crutch, have become growth experiences. She doesn’t even think about drinking anymore; she auto looks for non-alcoholic beverages. While she misses the one glass of wine once in a while, she is content with beet juice now in a wine glass.

 

[36:01] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking? Night of car accident and the day after; blackout Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Sara has had a lot, mostly waking up not remembering what she did What’s your plan moving forward? Using Recovery Elevator and other podcasts. Paul recommends the Bubble Hour podcast What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Taking it one day at a time What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Stop trying to define if they are an alcoholic or not, wasting too many thoughts. Not drinking makes your life better

“You Might be an Alcoholic If…” Your idea of dieting is doing straight shots instead of mixed drinks.

Paul’s Life Hack: ?

7:10-8:40 PM 11/17/2016 - - - 6:10 - 6:50 AM 11/19/2016

RE 91: 12 Ways to Stay Sober Over the Holidays

Nov 14, 2016 45:01

Description:

 Sasha has been sober for just over 5 years... 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

12 ways to help you stay sober through the holidays. Last year, in Episode 43, I introduced a long list of ways to stay sober, and now, it's a year later. This holiday season, don't beat yourself up! Maybe you only get 1 day, but shoot for all the days, and if you miss a day, get back on the wagon without beating yourself up... Be kind to yourself. The holidays are about giving, give yourself kindness.

12 Ways to Stay Sober Through the Holidays:

Meditation - All of the following activities have a meditative and creative quality; guitar, piano, painting, woodwork, organizing, stuffing envelopes, whatever it is for you. Set a timer and chill-out for 10 minutes Headspace App Water - Hydrate! First thing I do in the morning is drink about 35 oz of lemon water. Give yourself a Hall Pass! I plan on eating 70% of the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving Dinner this year Exercise for 10 min during the first hour of the day. I stretch, do band work, and pushups. Practice visualization. I practice saying no to drinks and practice making good decisions in my sobriety. Tell someone no and put yourself first, i.e. "I will not be driving your ass around on NYE." Shovel snow or push dirt around. Think, "Service, service, service." Talk to yourself. Start doing something small and then in two years tell me how much of a difference that has made in your life. Turtle and not the hare. I'm playing the long game. Connect with your Community daily - Café RE. Share!

 

[ 12:34 ] Paul introduces Sasha.

Sasha's last drink was a couple days before Sept. 2nd, 2011...Sasha is from Washington D.C. She is 31 and has her own coaching business. For fun she likes to hangout at home in her pajamas, being a mega-introvert!

[ 14:38 ] Talk to us about your Elevator. When did you hit bottom?

September of 2011 was the culmination of a long summer of heavy partying. "I was sitting in my therapists office with my head in my hands trying to recap my summer which I couldn't remember. My therapist handed me an AA flyer and slowly I started going to a weekly meeting."

[ 17:01 ] How much did you drink? Talk to us about your drinking habits.

"I was an all or nothing binge drinker. I probably partied one night on, one night off. When I went out, I drank as much as I possibly could. As soon as I had 2 or 3 drinks there was a switch, there was no off button."

[ 27:17 ] How did you do it? Walk us through the first day, the first week.

"I dropped into an AA meeting to listen. I heard stories of human suffering, pain and joy. It was like a humanities class. People were honest and really told the truth about how they were feeling." Sasha talks about how isolating alcohol is and the antidote was really learning to connect and let her walls down. Sasha was going to one 'speaker' meeting a week. She got a sponsor after 10 mos.

[ 30:43 ] Sasha talks about her experience as a 'dry drunk'.

[ 31:07 ] Tell us about your program.

"Principles of recovery flow throughout my day. I like to let things flow. I wake up with a prayer. I have daily readers (an app and a book) that set the tone for my day. I make several 12-step meetings a week and try to meditate for 10 mins. a day." Sasha also does yoga. Yoga has been crucial to her recover journey, connecting mind, body and soul.

 

[ 40:02 ] Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking? "The summer before my freshman year of high school. I drank 2 beers and passed out." Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? "Chronic stress from acting so poorly." What’s your plan moving forward? "Sit with my self. Sobriety is all about staying with myself." What is your favorite resource in recover? "The Hazelden App. The books "The Language of Letting Go" and "Journey to the Heart," both by Melody Beattie. Yoga and 12-step meetings." What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? "When in doubt sober is always a better choice. Sobriety never hurt anyone." “You Might be an Alcoholic If…”

"You spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince yourself that you're not an alcoholic."

  Resources mentioned in RE 91:

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Connect with Sasha:

www.sashaptozzi.com

Hazelden App

The Language of Letting Go - by Melody Beattie

Journey to the Heart - by Melody Beattie

 

“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!

 

RE 90: Why Being a Dry Drunk and Using Will Power Doesn't Work.

Nov 7, 2016 42:12

Description:

Christine has been sober for 129 days... 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

What is a dry drunk? It is someone who just doesn’t drink anymore, who has 'quit' using sheer willpower... ***Spoiler Alert*** Willpower eventually runs out. We need a program, something and someone to fall back on to support us. Your program can look completely unique to yourself and doesn't just have to be AA (although many do recommend it).

When you quit using sheer willpower, sure, you become healthier, physically feeling like you’ve been born again and the memory of passing out in a Cracker Barrel buffet line begins to fade. You'll start to gain confidence in your recent found 'sober' success and you say to yourself, "I did this. I quit. I got this." (Uh-oh, those three little words, think RE #86... Problem right there!) Eventually, we will forget entirely about the Cracker Barrel buffet line, which is a problem because, A – their cornbread is fantastic and, B – that was the reason you quit drinking. That was not a highlight in your life.  Studies show that humans have selective memory and we tend to remember the good things (i.e. the Cornbread) and not the bad things (i.e. the Ambulance, the Buffet Line, and the Cracker Barrel experience).

As a dry drunk, when we quit drinking, our genius plan is to simply not drink, thinking that one day we’ll be able to drink normally again. If you have this thought, don’t worry, every alcoholic has, but the dry drunks don’t ever address this or relinquish the thought. The key is to surrender.

This is what I call 'white knuckling it'. I think everyone is white knuckling it when they quit drinking but the dry drunks keep white knuckling it. Right about the time when all the physical healing has taken place (for me, it took over a year), is when the true white knuckling takes place. It’s when Gary (Paul's alter-ego) starts to make an appearance. It’s when 'we' start having the internal dialogue of justification. It’s when our unconscious minds have seen the barrage of alcohol adds on social media, television, and everywhere else our open eyes and ears look. This is when the cognitive dissonance starts to take place... Translation, we need help! We can't do this alone...

[ 08:12 ] Paul introduces Christine.

Christine's last drink was June 13th of 2016, about 129 days ago. She has been sober for just over 4 months. Christine grew up in a small town in central Michigan. She is now studying chemistry at Montana State University and is almost finished with her Ph.D. She loves hunting, fishing, camping and anything else outside...

[ 09:23 ] Paul talks about first meeting Christine in 2011 when he was a dry drunk and how she helped him in 2014 to make a change after hitting his bottom.

Christine remembers that Paul was hurting so badly and she was so glad that Paul gave her a call. There were lots of tears, lots and lots of tears (and it wasn't just the horses and pastures they were passing causing an allergic reaction) as they drove down canyon from Big Sky Ski Resort where Paul was DJ-ing a wedding. Christine urged Paul to call his mom, dad, and brother, to seek support... Christine has been an integral part of Paul's sobriety.

[ 14:03 ] Talk to us about your Elevator. What was your bottom?

"Bottoms are always defined differently... I had decided back in December of 2015 to quit drinking. I stopped drinking for 2 weeks before deciding that I wasn't a 'quitter'! I picked right up where I left off. I wasn't fully committed, I hadn't taken the steps I needed." In June, Christine had a "what am I doing with my life" moment on her way to fishing... She had a couple beers on the road and stopped to let the dog out before getting to the fishing spot, where she realized that her bottle of whiskey had spilled everywhere. "I was horrified, my heart started to flutter and I started to panic..." On the way back from fishing, Christine smacked a deer. This really opened her eyes as so much more could have gone wrong... Christine took this as a sign that it was time to make a change.

 

[17:51  ] How did you do it? Walk us through the first day, the first week.

"Those first few days were such a blur. I started intensive outpatient therapy (IOP)... I was a wreck. The IOP really helped. I had a friend in West Yellowstone who I relied on heavily during my early days of sobriety. I spent a lot of time on the fishing boat out in the middle of nowhere."

[ 19:36 ] Christine comments on how important it is to get outdoors... 

"Fly fishing has just become my absolute passion. To this day, anytime I feel wrong, or off, or I have cravings, I throw whatever I'm doing to the side and head to the river." Since being sober, Christine has not torn any waders or taken any 'accidental' swims in 43 degree weather! Fishing has taught Christine the beauty of being totally present.

[ 22:51 ] How much did you drink? Talk to us about your drinking habits before you quit.

"I was on an exponential curve downwards... That last month of drinking was just sliding... I was finishing almost a bottle of whiskey a day."

"I'd use booze to handle work, to handle stress, to handle literally everything..."

[ 24:31 ] Christine talks about her bipolar diagnosis.

Christine is diagnosed with bipolar II, which is an elevated state of mood... "My doctors and counselors kept telling me that I drank too much... They told me that my moods, the ups and downs, would improve if I stopped drinking. Alcohol would just make the highs higher and the lows lower... I could just drink and drink and drink when I was in a mania state, but when I was depressed, it would drag me down and down and down..."

Christine got honest with herself and those around her...

[ 29:40 ] What changes did you see?

"The biggest part was telling people about it. When I didn't have the strength, I had other people to keep me in line. I don't think anybody can do it alone." Christine lost 25lbs. just from quitting drinking. Going to bed at night is still challenging for Christine, but it's a lot better than pounding shots to blackout. "Some days are still absolute hell, my emotions get the best of me... These are the hardest. Sometimes I head into work at 3am to keep me from drinking."

[ 33:29 ] Walk us through a day in your life and how you stay sober today.

"I don't really have a day to day sobriety plan. I haven't fully gotten on board with AA, but I do go to a Friday and Saturday AA group at 9pm. I have a bunch of friends there. I listen to this podcast and participate in the Facebook Group... So many times I have looked at that and have been so thankful. I see two different counselors, an addiction counselor and a mental health counselor. Honestly, I'm so busy that I just dig my head into what I'm doing and be there and be present."

[ 35:38 ] Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking? "I was 16 and I was binge drinking. I pounded 8 shots of UV-Blue and 10 minutes later was puking blue... My mom was not so thrilled." Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? "When I smacked into that deer... I realized it was time." What’s your plan moving forward? "To keep sober. I consider future events that could be triggering and talk out a plan to stay sober, making sure that I have an out." What's your favorite resource in recovery? "My group at the Alcohol and Drug Services here in Bozeman, MT." What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? "Get an accountability partner, giving them permission to call you out on your crap!" What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? "Dive in. Do it. Don't give up. It's going to suck at first, but a week from now it'll be better, just keep going." “You Might be an Alcoholic If…”

"If you try to drink the split whiskey in the bottom of your cooler that's mixed with the water...." (Thanks Paul!)

 "If you start selling your fly rods so you can buy another bottle of whiskey." - Christine

  Resources mentioned in RE 90:

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

“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!

 

RE 89: Rehab vs No Rehab and Success Rates?

Oct 31, 2016 48:26

Description:

 Zach has been sober for 3.5 years... This is his 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

"You gotta get through it to get to it..." Open your eyes and start to notice those around you. Often, you'll find others who don't drink. Talk to them, discover why they don't drink... Some of these people quit for religious reasons, some for health, and others for personal reasons. Some are able to just quit on the spot, others not so much. Yeah, not all of us are so lucky to just suddenly decide to quit drinking... These individuals who do own up to their problems and the fortunes in their life. They take ownership. There are tons of studies highlighting different stats on sobriety (check out the links in the show notes below).

[ 10:53 ] Paul introduces Zach.

Zach has twin boys and has been sober for 3.5 years, his last drink was March 9th (4 years ago) at about 3am. Zach is 27, and born and raised in a small city just North of the Atlanta area. He has been married for two years. By day Zach is a marketer and by night he is a self-proclaimed beat-boxer for his kids.

[ 13:28 ] Talk to us about your Elevator. What led up to you quitting drinking?

"I quit 1,000 times in my own head... It's a revolving circle." Zach started drinking when he was about 12 years old, when he had about 3 Budweisers and remembered waking up in the pool. "I remember at that point wanting to make my life all about drinking." Zach continued to drink all through high school... Zach got expelled from school for the last half of his senior year due to drinking. "That's kind of where I kick-started my 'drinking career'." Zach was 19 when he got his second arrest due to drinking and had to spend 30 days in jail. This was the first time when Zach thought, "Ok, this is me, this is alcohol."

[ 18:25 ] What were your drinking habits like?

The second Zach got out of jail he found a Bud Ice in a friend's fridge and was at the bar that night, still underage. Zach usually took Mondays and Tuesdays off... In his early 20s it shifted to needing a drink to feel calm. "I started buying airplane bottles of rum. I was living with my girlfriend at the time and she knew I drank often, but I would drink all day long when she was gone and then pop a beer open when she came home in the evening, acting like it was my first drink."

[ 21:31 ] Did you ever try to moderate? 

"I'd kick liquor away and just focus on beer. I'd binge drink real hard on the weekends. Right at the end of 22 I started diving into other substances... I got into meth and then I didn't have to drink. Once I made that leap I felt really defeated." Zach's own father introduced him to meth. (Unfortunately, his dad is still walking that story.) Thankfully, Zach didn't get addicted to meth and was able to back off of that substance, which let the drinking pick back up.

[ 25:02 ] Alcohol is an extremely addictive substance. How do you feel about that?

"I completely agree. It was like relearning to walk and talk (on choosing sobriety). Everything used to spike my interest in drinking... It's so highly addictive."

[ 26:36 ] Zach talks about his father and living with a family of addictive patterns.

[ 28:56 ] How did you do it? Talk to us about how you got sober.

"It was just an ordinary night... I got home at about 3am. I had to crawl through the window because I couldn't find my keys. I slept in 'til about 10am and awoke to missed calls from my girlfriend..." Zach had missed her Crossfit competition, something that was extremely important to her. "It was like the 10th time I had missed something. She was broken... Mentally, I couldn't tell another lie. I was exhausted." When she came home later Zach broke down and asked for help.

Those first few months were tough. "I was trying to fit in, I was not answering any phone calls. I was rationalizing it... I was white-knuckling it for about 2 mos. I was just a dry drunk..." Zach ended up at an AA meeting on his way to the liquor store... He was blown away by the diversity of the room and yet everyone was telling 'his' story. Zach discovered his first glance of hope at this AA meeting. "You can have a better lifestyle, a better life."

[ 35:23 ] Zach talks about getting a sponsor and working his program. Buddy, from RE #67, became Zach's sponsor. 

[ 37:53 ] How do you stay sober today?

"I try to get up earlier than my kids so I can read... If I meet with Buddy we go through the step work, the stories or just kick it and drink some coffee... I try to hit 3 meetings a week, it allows me to share. It helps me hold myself accountable. I'm involved in a non-profit, Orphan Aid Liberia. Humility has been a big word in my recovery... Now, I can actually look outward and give back."

 

[ 41:23 ] Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking? "Blue light. Anything to do with a cop." Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? "Woke up one morning, my head was hurting so bad and I couldn't find a bottle opener to open a Corona, so I smashed the bottle on the counter to get a drink." What’s your plan moving forward? "To do daily amends, doing the next right thing day after day and just trying to give back." What's your favorite resource in recovery? "Besides Buddy, is having AA to fellowship with." What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? "Let go or get dragged." What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? "There's nothing quite like the experience of sobriety... Sobriety has given me so much more than I ever thought. You deserve this. You deserve to live whatever life you want to." “You Might be an Alcoholic If…”

 "Your job gets in the way of your drinking." 

  Resources mentioned in RE 89:

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Recovery & Rehab Links:

WebMD The Atlantic

NIAAA: "Alcoholism Isn’t What It Used To Be"

Join Recovery Elevator for a Recovery Retreat Summer Camp Style in Bozeman, MT! Stay tuned... More information to come!

“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!

RE 88: If We Drink Alcohol Again, It's Like We Never Stopped and Why

Oct 24, 2016 33:01

Description:

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 What was your worst memory from drinking? “Not having a memory… Blacking out and not remembering what I did.” Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “That morning I woke up so sick that I couldn’t go to work.” 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.” What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “You can’t fix it right away, it’s going to take awhile.” 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/

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Sobriety Tracker

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

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!

RE 87: Why Alcohol Eventually Stops Working

Oct 17, 2016 31:41

Description:

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 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…” 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…” 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…” What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “Just don’t drink.” 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:

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. 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

Dr. Levitin's Ted Talk 

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!

RE 86: I Got This | The Three Most Dangerous Words an Alcoholic Can Say

Oct 10, 2016 46:50

Description:

Jenny has been sober for 13 months... This is her tale... Resources mentioned in RE 86:

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Sobriety Tracker

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

  SHOW NOTES

Ok, so you’re doing a pretty good job of following your rules, your systems, or you're experimenting with sobriety… Have you ever said the words “I got this”? "I would say these words over and over again while putting these rules, systems, games, etc. in place when trying to get sober on my own…" Paul was sober for over 2 years when those mean little words came back, “You know what Paul, we got this… We’re totally good.” And, DAMN IT! After two years of sobriety, we drank (me and Gary)... “We didn’t got this…” If you ever catch yourself saying, “Hey, you got this…” be very cognizant, very aware, and very, very cautious... "I got this," the three most dangerous words an alcoholic can say.

[ 05:33 ] Paul Introduces Jenny.

Jenny has been sober for just over a year, since August 25th, 2015. “My life is better than it was when I was drinking.” Jenny grew up in Helena, MT and currently lives in Bozeman, MT. She is married to an amazing man and has 4 kids, ages 4-14. She loves to run, workout and go to the gym. “If it involves exercise, I love to do it!”

[ 06:59 ] Jenny speaks about her drinking history.

The alcoholic tendency has always been there for Jenny… “I don’t think that ever in my life I had just one drink. It was always like game-on. In High School I was “the party girl.” Jenny knew she had to stop before she hit the absolute bottom.

[ 10:46 ] What was it like drinking and taking care of 4 kids? (Paul openly admits that he could barely take care of Ben, the Standard Poodle, when he was drinking…)

“When the drinking started to escalate, it was sort of the perfect storm. My husband is a firefighter and started working 24-hr. shifts… Things really started to get out of control. When I was drinking, I felt like I was the best mom in the world… But, I was really checked out. I was selfish. In the back of my mind I was always concerned with refilling my glass.” Saying those words, “Yes, I am an alcoholic,” was the scariest thing Jenny has ever said… "Admitting that I didn’t have all of my shit together…”

[ 14:06 ] Jenny talks about how admitting “I am an alcoholic” is liberating.

“That dirty little secret I had been carrying around... I had been doing all of these things to convince myself that I didn’t have a problem. I was volunteering, doing insane workouts at 5am (sometimes still drunk)... After, a lot of moms came to me and said, “Hey, I think I have the same problem.”

[ 16:43 ] Talk to me about Run for Recovery.

Run for Recovery is a run supporting Alive Again Life Recovery Mission which exists for the purpose of creating a safe Christian environment for individuals of all ages to fellowship, learn and heal from addiction and addiction-related effects. Running and exercising has helped Jenny so much through this process (choosing sobriety).

[ 18:39 ] How did you do it? What was Day 1 like?

“I just did it. I just quit. I went moment by moment, minute by minute. I binge listened to Recovery Elevator. After about a week I got into my crying phase. I was ashamed. I beat myself up over poor choices and poor parenting…”

[ 20:20 ] What other methods besides running do you use?

“Reading a lot, educating myself, and sometimes just forcing myself to sit still. Forcing myself to feel those feelings.” Jenny has found that her athletic performance has increased since being sober. “I feel one million times better than when I was drinking.” Working out is definitely an outlet for Jenny. “It’s definitely better than vodka.”

[ 29:06 ] What’s on your bucket-list?

“Half marathons, Spartan racing, keep volunteering, discover more about myself, and to be a little kinder to myself…”

[ 30:02 ] What have you learned about yourself?

“I’m a type-A, over-achieving, control freak, and working on being a little nicer to myself… We need to be nice to ourselves. We need to talk to ourselves like we talk to a friend. We really beat ourselves up.” Jenny has learned about what triggers her and how to manage cravings (they do come). She finds other things to do, like playing with her kids, going for a run, or just sitting with the craving and letting it pass.

  [ 35:17 ] Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking?  “4 or 5 months before I quit drinking, my husband and I went to Las Vegas. My husband went to bed and I went to the "gift shop," which just meant that I went drinking. I couldn't get the key to work to get back into the room and I ended up passing out just outside of our bedroom. My husband found me at 3am.” Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “That panicky feeling that would come when there were only a couple of drinks left in the vodka bottle, and over-thinking my kids activities because it was going to affect my ability to drink.” What’s your plan moving forward? “Continue to volunteer and be of service. Get more involved with RE and really staying accountable.” What’s your favorite resource in recovery? “Cafe RE, the Bubble Hour, going to the gym, getting out of my own head, staying in the moment…” What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “You can do anything, you just can’t do everything.” What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “Set yourself up for success. Cut yourself some slack. Make sure you have a plan.” “You might be an alcoholic if you go to the liquor store and browse around, ask some questions, yet know full well that you’re going to go to the vodka section and buy something from the bottom shelf.”   Paul’s Life Hack:

Take your ball and go home. You don’t have to put yourself in precarious situations. You don’t have to drink just to appease others. Just take your cell phone and go home. Be kind to yourself. Take your ball and go home. Take your beach toys, your camper, your R.V., your whatever… Take it and go home.

  “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!

RE 85: Do You Have a Drinking Problem Part II

Oct 3, 2016 43:25

Description:

John has been sober for 5 years... This is his story... Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Sobriety Tracker

AA

Recovery Elevator Episode #1: Do You Have a Drinking Problem

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

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  SHOW NOTES

“In Episode 1 of RE, we (the human Paul & the dog Ben) do a test to determine if I am an alcoholic. The results… Blatantly clear. Yes, I am an alcoholic.” Paul found it extremely difficult to stop drinking after having just one drink. For about a decade, he lived in the pickle of “one drink was too much and 1,000 drinks was just not enough.” How the hell do you navigate that? Well, the answer is definitely, “Don’t drink.” Now, at Episode 85, Paul has an even better test to determine if you’ve got a drinking problem.

Preliminary steps before taking this self-assessment:

Make sure you are hydrated. Drink lots of water (if you are already drinking a beer during this portion, then yes, you too are an alcoholic). Stretch out. Loosen up. Maybe even do some burpees! Make sure you’ve got enough lead in your pencil and ink in your pen! Take some deep breaths. Paul’s Self-Assessment Test:

(***This is going to be the new metric moving forward, I guarantee it! No need to go spend a ton of money on any other tests...This assessment is free and accurate.***)

Have you ever wondered, “Do I have a drinking problem?” YES or NO

***FEEL FREE TO PRESS PAUSE, GRAB A GLASS OF WATER, SHARPEN YOUR PENCIL, ETC., AS THIS IS THE HALF WAY POINT OF THE SELF ASSESSMENT TEST***

Have you ever asked yourself, “Would my life be better without alcohol?” YES or NO

CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have just finished the Recovery Elevator self-assessment!

Answer Key: Listen to Paul on RE 85 @ [ 5:11 ] 

"Quitting drinking isn’t easy, but my life is exponentially better since I’ve quit drinking." In the previous 84 podcasts, there's a pretty good roadmap already laid out for you… Not only will your life improve (yes, there will be speed bumps), but the lives of those around you will improve too! In all honesty, these self-assessment tests are this simple. It’s not easy, but it’s better.

 

[ 10:25 ] Paul Introduces John.

John was born and raised and lives in Wichita, Kansas. He has a 3-year old son. He enjoys working on his car, experimenting with cooking, and comic books… He is engaged to be married to a woman who is also in the program (AA). John’s last drink was August 28th, 2011…

John kept trying to do it (quit drinking) on his own, but time and time again, it just didn’t happen! After telling himself, “I’m just going to have two beers..." 3 or 4 beers, a few mixed drinks, sake for the whole table (they were going to a bar after dinner) and a $400 bar tab later… "I woke up on the floor in my undies, covered in puke (puke in the hallway, puke in the bathroom)... I just felt that someone was telling me to get help.” John realized he just couldn't do this alone.

[ 20:29 ] When did you decide to first quit drinking?

“I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I kept trying to do it myself, but I’d always find a “special” occasion to drink.” This is one of those things (choosing sobriety) where you actually have to do the work!

[ 22:19 ] “I think I got this.” John explains what this means for him...

To John, this phrase means that he’s letting his ego tell him how to run things. “I tried on my own without a program, guidance or a schedule and it just wouldn’t stick. Ever.” When John got his 2nd DUI, he knew something was up… John knew that if he drank again, he would get behind the wheel.

[ 24:15 ] Talk to us about Alcoholics Anonymous.

John was completely blown away by the spectrum of diverse people that made up his first AA meeting, which was quite contrary to what he “knew” AA was going to be!

[ 31:08 ] John discusses weight loss, cooking and what he does with all his booze-FREE time!

[ 32:59 ] What’s your favorite dance move?

Thanks Paul for getting in some humor! In his sobriety, John has really enjoyed running, but he does not prefer the “Running Man,” and claims that the “Robot” is more his style...

[ 35:48 ] Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking? “I had the DUI 50-moped (the scooter I rode when I had my license suspended) and I had been drinking. I got on the moped… I just could not stop myself from drinking and driving.” Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “That day that I swore to myself that I’d only have 2 beers at the restaurant and ended up wondering, “How the hell did this happen?” What’s your plan moving forward? “Keep going to meetings, keep being thankful for my sobriety, keep asking for more sobriety, keep being honest with my sobriety, and keep reaching out to people.” What’s your favorite resource in recovery? “Right now, it’s the podcasts. I can take them anywhere. I can listen to it and nobody even knows.” John listens to Recovery Elevator, SHAIR Podcast, and the Bubble Hour. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “Look for the similarities. We all want to stay sober.” What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “Just do it. You’re going to want to find a reason to not start, to give it one more day. Just do it. Just stop. Today. Right now. Just stop."   “We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up. WE can do this!”

Drop us a line: 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!

RE 84: Lean Into Those Uncomfortable Emotions in Sobriety

Sep 26, 2016 45:30

Description:

Elaine has been sober for 15 days… This is her story... Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

recoveryelevator.com/survey

Sobriety Tracker

AA

Elaine’s podcast: Throttle Podcast

Instagram: @throttlepodcast

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

  SHOW NOTES

"Today, I want to talk about feelings…" Feelings. Fun, right? We often hear that “drinking is but a symptom…” But, what the hell does that mean? It means we have feelings, experiences, and other life situations that we don’t want to deal with, so we choose to cover them up with distractions, like drinking… “Two years and one week ago I used to drink all of these emotions away.” Through some serious research, Paul has discovered that dogs (thanks to Ben for being part of this study) can teach us something about these feelings. Ok, so it’s obvious that humans and dogs are different, but dogs can actually teach us how to lean into negative sensations and feelings… Take riding in a car for example, a dog (like Ben) will actually lean into uncomfortable sensations like curvy roads and the blowing wind. We can learn from our four-footed friends.

5 Strategies for Leaning Into Emotions:

When you feel that negative emotion, lean into it. Don’t categorize emotions as good or bad, just notice that the emotions are here. Breath and count to 10. Recognize where these feelings come from and begin to let-go. Let-go of the sensation, let-go of the experience.  Know yourself. Begin to observe yourself from a 3rd-person point of view. Just watch.

 

[ 09:24 ] Paul Introduces Elaine.

Elaine’s last drink was 15 days ago! Elaine has lived in a number of cities across Canada. She’s in her 40s and does freelance work. She has been happily married for 25 years. She loves practicing karate (green belt), archery and riding her motorcycle. She is an introvert and an atheist. Elaine loves karate because of the mental part. “You really have to be focused and mindful.”

[ 13:44 ] When did you decide to first quit drinking?

“That’s a long road…” This time around, Elaine has joined AA. “My husband came home one day and told me a story about a great friend who was doing AA and it completely changed my view of AA.” Elaine didn’t feel that she had a rock bottom, but really resonated with the group the first time she joined an AA meeting. “I just couldn’t fool myself any longer. It’s a really open and honest group and I am an alcoholic.”

[ 17:31 ] What was it like, your first 24 hours, 72 hours…?

It was a Wednesday, the day before we were leaving for a trip to my husband’s family cottage, typically a long-weekend that involved drinking. “It was a white-knuckle weekend. I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself.” Elaine realized that in prior years the cottage was always an excuse to drink.

[ 21:26 ] Talk to me about depression?

Elaine has lived with depression since her teens. “When you mix alcohol with depression, it’s never a good thing.” During bouts of depression, everything becomes very arduous. Elaine now has the awareness to notice when depression is creeping up on her. “I used to start off with a couple of cocktails, have wine while making dinner and during dinner, and then finish off the night with a few night-caps. I would wake up the next day and feel terrible and would spend the whole next day beating myself up about it (the depression and the drinking). It was a vicious cycle.”

[ 26:44 ] What have you learned about yourself in the last 15 days?

Elaine has learned that it is okay to feel really vulnerable and that it can be really hard to ask for help, but that she is also stronger than she thought and can do this and ask for help often.

[ 27:56 ] What is your plan moving forward?

Elaine plans to continue going to AA meetings where she finds a lot of strength in sharing stories with others and building camaraderie. “I really value their honesty. I find that alcoholism is like depression in a toolkit sense. I make sure that I get enough sleep, and I incorporate meditation and mindfulness. Fortunately, I have built these practices up in dealing with depression.”

[ 29:47 ] Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking?  “The things that I don’t remember due to blackouts.” Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “So many! Waking up from being asleep and rather than going back to sleep I got up at 3am and made myself a vodka tonic…” What’s your favorite resource in recovery? “Other alcoholics, the Recovery Elevator podcast, and going to meetings.” What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “Stand up and take the 24-hour sobriety chip at the AA meeting.” What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “Get help today. Tomorrow things aren’t going to change. Don’t delay, just go get help today in whatever form that means to you.” Life Hacks from Paul You know that voice inside your head? - Change the way it speaks to you. Replace “I’m an idiot” with “Oops, I made a mistake.” Take responsibility for your actions. That alone can get you sober.

 

 

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

Drop us a line: 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!

RE 83: Keeping Expectations Realistic in Sobriety

Sep 19, 2016 32:21

Description:

Kendall has been sober for 130 days… Here’s his story... Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

recoveryelevator.com/survey

Sobriety Tracker

AA

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

SHOW NOTES

Paul on Lowering the bar… “I have a  podcast about being okay with the way things are, and I’ll admit, this episode is not perfect, there are some things left out.” Paul has been sober for 730 days. “Life at two years sober is better than life 730 days ago… My anxiety, that has pretty much gone away. But, on day 729, I had a near meltdown… The bar of expectations I had put in place for myself, had slowly risen up over the past 1 ½ years. On day 730, I realized that I needed to be kind to myself, to be patient and to get realistic. 2 years is not a long time, I still have so much more to go. On day 729, self-loathing showed up… again… I was so far out of my comfort zone, but that is where the growth happens, and that is where I have been for the past year and a half. So, I’m lowering the bar, I’m going to take the time to observe what I’ve done, what’s going on around me and enjoy the moment. What’s my plan moving forward? Well, I’m not going to change a darn thing.” Paul is taking this one day at a time… One day at a time…

 

[ 10:16 ] Paul Introduces Kendall:

Kendall is 28 and has been sober for 130 days. “It feels great, I’m free. I don’t have to carry the weight of being drunk.” Kendall is from Lawrence, Kansas and moved to Montana 5 years ago as a professional painter, in his free time he likes to head up into the mountains.

[ 11:25 ] What made you want to stop?

Kendall surrendered to alcohol on the anniversary of a death of a best friend who died from a drunk driving accident. Kendall reset his sobriety date after smoking a bowl after attending another funeral of a close friend.

[ 13:42 ] What were your drinking habits like?

“I would drink at least a 12-pack if not more. I’d start in the morning just to calm the jitters, then the moment I got off work the fun began.” Kendall used rules like “no hard alcohol,” “just O’Douls,” anything to maintain his sanity. “I got to drinking on the job, anything to keep my mind on alcohol.” After being dismissed from a family Christmas dinner, Kendall knew something was up.

[ 16:28 ] How did you do it? (on choosing sobriety)

Kendall utilized the rules of AA. “They spoke my language, they have a plan and they know how to do it.” Kendall felt connected once he got a sponsor, a home group and started doing service. “It works if you work it.”

[ 17:55 ] “Drinking is but a symptom…” Kendall dives into this idea.

[ 18:32 ] What was it like, your first 24 hours, 72 hours…?

“Oh boy, was that something else!” Kendall’s brain was so hard wired to drink. “The people in the world aren’t the problem, I always played the victim… It was all me. Selfish and self-centered.”

“The moment that you’re able to accept some humility, that’s when the freedom begins.” Now, in sobriety, Kendall feels like the world is brighter and clearer. He can focus, eat and sleep, and do the things we do to be able to take care of ourselves. “It’s crazy how I’m now able to read a chapter and comprehend what I’m reading… It’s a gift.”

[ 23:36 ] What have you lost to alcohol?

“I’d say I lost my job, an education, an opportunity for an education, family, friends, relationships…”

[ 24:50 ] Have cravings come and what do you do to move forward? Kendall will pray and utilize his sponsor. “One time I went to the Wal-Mart parking lot and pushed carts back just to do something, to get out of my head.”

[ 27:34 ] What does your recovery portfolio look like today?

“The moment I wake up, I pray. I have gone through “the big book and the 12 & 12”. The first 30 minutes of my day are all geared towards AA. I use the serenity prayer. The moment I get off work I go to a meeting, come home, cook dinner and go to bed. I like to keep it simple."

 

[ 28:37 ] Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking?  “Christmas dinner when I wanted to see my family but I couldn't because I had been dismissed because of my habits.” Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “The morning after I had been fired for drinking on the job and I had to go meet with my boss… I just couldn’t.” What is your plan in sobriety moving forward? “To serve others and keep going to meetings.” What’s your favorite resource in recovery? “My sponsor.” What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “Keep coming back. It works if you work it.” What parting piece of guidance can you give to our listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “Keep your head out of the clouds and feet on the ground. Go to your local AA meeting.”   QUOTABLES

“Sobriety is just straight up nothing.” - Paul

“Deep down I needed an answer, I needed a solution… Really, I needed to check into reality…” - Kendall

“I’m able to be Kendall, the Kendall that everybody knew that I could be when I put the bottle down.” - Kendall

“What is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular.” - Kendall

“You might be an alcoholic if after your 3rd DUI and losing 2 best friends to alcohol, you think you still don’t have a problem with alcohol.” - Kendall

“You don’t have to hangout with people you don’t like.” - Paul

 

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

Drop us a line: 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!

RE 82: I Nearly Forgot How Scary Addiction Is

Sep 12, 2016 48:46

Description:

Chad, with 37 days of sobriety shares how he is doing it... Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meet-ups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Join Cafe RE in April for a trip to PERU! Trip details can be found here: http://www.recoveryelevator.com/peru/

Reddit Stop Drinking Forum - /r/stopdrinking

SMART Recovery

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

  SHOW NOTES

Paul Introduces Chad

Chad has been sober for 37 days! Boom! Chad racked up about 2.5 years of sobriety in a previous life... "It doesn't get any easier. The best thing you can do is to get sober and stay sober." Chad is 25 and works in the communications field. He was born and raised in Atlanta and has lived all over the world. Chad is currently single (and recommends staying this way in early sobriety). Chad is really into backpacking... He got totally hooked during his time in rehab.

What were your drinking habits like?

"I avoided drinking and other habits until the summer before I went to college. I was afraid that something would happen to me if I drank. Little did I realize that that would become a self-fulfilling prophecy." Chad joined a fraternity in college and was drinking close to a 750ml of "nasty" Burnett's vodka a day...

Did you ever try to “cut-back” and put rules in place?

"You name it, I did it... But nothing ever worked." Chad went to rehab around age 22/23 to a place in the Pisgah National Forest, where he relearned how to live life -- survival techniques, meditation, etc. Chad attributes the program to his sobriety.

After 2.5 years of sobriety, what was your shoelace? What made you drink again...?

"Oh man, as with so many men in sobriety, it was a lady friend..." Chad was going on a first date with a girl that he perceived to be way out of his league... Chad was so nervous and remembered how embarrassed he would feel if he had to explain on a first date that he doesn't drink... Looking back, Chad now knows that honesty is the answer. "One drink led to two drinks... And three months later I was back to blacking-out..." The girl left Chad after two months when she realized something just wasn't right. Chad believes that he had this experience so that he could add it to the long list of reasons why he doesn't drink.

Chad talks about recovery and his recovery portfolio.

Chad is working with a sponsor (AA) as he feels that he needs to get relief quickly. Chad is working one step every week right now -- it's like a mini 12-week program. AA is working for Chad and he is going to keep doing it... Besides listening to the RE podcast (Chad's favorites are RE 67 with Buddy and any that highlight the newly sober). "These relationships that we form (in recovery) go way beyond the face value of most relationships. People in recovery can relate on such a deeper level."

When your next shoelace comes, when life happens, what do you plan on doing differently?

Chad is now asking for help. "It's admitting that you need help, that I need to reach out for additional resources. I see this as a sign of being a man." It's calling his sponsor, connecting with his recovery groups/contacts, and listening to the RE podcast. It is a courageous thing to be vulnerable and ask for help.

Who's your favorite Atlanta hip-hop star? 

Listen in to get an update on ATL stars from Paul & Chad!

  

Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking?  "In November of 2015, I got behind the wheel of my car and decided to visit a friend 4 hours away... Short of the long of it, I woke up in jail the next day in Raven Co. I was off by quite a bit..."  Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? "37 days ago when a co-worker pulled me aside and asked me if I was drunk in a meeting. It was no longer a personal thing." What is your plan in sobriety moving forward? "Continue to utilize and build 'that' network. I'm so afraid to ask for help, so if I'm constantly surrounding myself with other alcoholics in recovery I know that I can always reach out for help." What’s your favorite resource in recovery? "On Reddit - Stop Drinking sub-Reddit, where people can chat in a forum, and SMART recovery." What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? "Footwork. It's what action you're taking in order to stay sober the next day. Putting one foot in front of the other." What parting piece of guidance can you give to our listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? "Listen to the examples that people have provided, examine the evidence and determine for yourself what you're willing to do to get back on track and to be happy because what you're doing right now clearly isn't working. Take an objective look and take action." QUOTABLES

"When you make it through a craving, that feeling of accomplishment, that general good feeling... That's the new high that I'm chasing." - Chad

"I'm finally doing it for myself, not for other people." - Chad

"You might be an alcoholic if you get behind the wheel of a car with 2-bottles of vodka and end up floatin' in a canoe in Raven Co. where they filmed Deliverance... You might have a problem." - Chad

 

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

Drop us a line: 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!

RE 81: Famous Musician Alcoholics: Some Made it, Some Didn’t

Sep 5, 2016 51:36

Description:

Julie, with 118 days of sobriety, shares how she does it... Resources mentioned in this episode:

RE needs your input! Follow the link below to fill out a quick survey to determine the future of the RE Podcast! Recovery Elevator Survey

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can have unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meetups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

Join Cafe RE in April for a trip to PERU! Trip details can be found here: http://www.recoveryelevator.com/peru/

 

Rockstars Who are Sober:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/recovery/12-rock-stars-proud-to-be-sober/#/most-popular

http://www.eonline.com/news/271628/amy-winehouse-s-cause-of-death-accidental-alcohol-poisoning-blood-level-five-times-the-legal-limit

Good reads mentioned by Julie:

Drinking: A Love Story, by Caroline Knapp

Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship, by Gail Caldwell

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

  SHOW NOTES

Paul Introduces Julie

Julie has been sober for 118 days. Julie is 46, she grew up in Annapolis and Germany. She has been working with the same marketing company for 20 years. Julie is on her 4th year in a relationship with a great guy who is a normal drinker. She loves to stay active and be outside.

What are you going to do differently this time?

Julie was sober for 129 days before relapsing at a wedding. Now, the next thing for her is to get to 130 days. Julie was “white-knuckling” it, doing it all on her own. This time around, the difference is that Julie is reaching out and connecting through Cafe RE, sober friends, and she is holding herself accountable.

Julie speaks on how to tell your friends, “I don’t drink,”

Talk to me about your bottom?

“I let down a friend. I had promised to help a friend at a certain time. I drank. And I passed out… Sleeping through my commitment.” Despite many other signs that somehow didn’t get Julie to quit for very long… this was the final trigger. “I’d have many incidents where I would stop for one to three days, but this last one was it.”

What were your drinking habits like?

“I was a wine drinker. When one (referring to either 'red' or 'white') would present a problem to me, I would switch. Sometimes it was ‘red’ and then it was ‘white.’ I don’t like beer or hard liquor. In High School I felt that my shyness was hurting me, so I started drinking to “loosen-up.” Come college, I’d be the one passed out on the couch. It never occurred to me that I had a problem. In my 30s, it got pretty scary. I started drinking alone. I just took the ball and ran with it.” 

Did you ever try to “cut-back” and put rules in place?

Julie played games. The ‘red’ wine, ‘white’ wine game. She wouldn’t keep wine in the house, but would play games where she based her whole lifestyle around the wine shop hours. She used day/time constraints to “control” the drinking… Shockingly, it didn’t work. “I remember standing on my front porch thinking, drinking is my biggest problem ever.” Julie used to drink to calm her anxiety, but what she found was that drinking actually caused anxiety.

Walk me through the start of your sobriety.

“Whatever works for you, grab it and go with it!” Julie does not participate in AA, but sees it as a very valid way to support a sober journey. Julie uses the Cafe RE Facebook group to connect and create sober like-minded friends. Julie reads a lot of books, listens to podcasts, and connects with others.

What does your recovery portfolio look like today? 

“In recovery, I have a whole lot more free time.” Julie is very connected to Cafe RE’s Facebook Group (unsearchable and private group).  

Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking?  “I passed out in an Uber and the driver couldn’t wake me up when he got to my house so he called an ambulance.” Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “I had a couple of these… My habit was that I would take my wine to bed. I wanted to be safe, so I’d take my wine to bed… If I woke up at 6am and there was still wine left, I’d finish the bottle.” What is your plan in sobriety moving forward? “I’m going to stick with Cafe RE, the facebook page, and continue reaching out and connecting and sharing with people.” What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Besides Cafe RE! “Drinking: A Love Story, a book by a woman who has now passed away. She wrote about her drinking story in a way that I was able to connect with.” Julie also mentions, Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “Life is better sober.” What parting piece of guidance can you give to our listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “You can do it. It is absolutely possible. You just can.” Julie recognizes that she is in early sobriety, “But, it is doable!” What did you lose to alcohol? “I lost a lot of self respect and I lost time. I lost evenings to red wine. But, the good news is as soon as you stop, you get those back.” What advice would you give to your younger self? “I wish I never started drinking. I was just fine the way I was, I didn’t need to fit it.” What’s on your bucket list? “My goal is to visit 50 countries by the time I’m 50, including going to the Galapagos and on a safari.” QUOTABLES

“That’s the thing I didn’t know about our problem, it doesn’t back dial. It just picks up right where you left off.” - Julie

“There is no better time to get sober. If today is the very best day to quit alcohol, do it.” - Paul

“You might be an alcoholic is you shop for the test online that is going to tell you that you aren’t an alcoholic.” - Julie

 

SOBER & NOT-SO-FORTUNATE MUSICIANS

We can learn from the past. Although some stories are not so bright, we can learn from the successes and the tragedies of others. Some of the musicians below made it and are still able to share their art and creativity with the world... Unfortunately, some were not so lucky and left this world too early.

Sober Musicians

Steven Tyler - The Aerosmith frontman maintained sobriety for 12 years when he became seriously clean in 1988. Though that streak was compromised by a relapse into prescription drug addiction in 2006, Tyler checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic three years later and has said to be dedicated to his sobriety ever since.

Neil Young - Young finally commented publicly about his sobriety two years ago, stating that he had achieved sobriety in 2011 after decades of alcohol and drug use. According to Young, he wanted to see what his life would look like from a sober perspective and has been going strong, viewing life with a new lens for over three years now.

Eric Clapton - Clapton, who has made a career off of his work with Cream as well as his solo work, has been sober since the late 1980s. He is publicly dedicated to recovery, holding benefit concerts and acting as founder of Crossroads Centre, an addiction treatment center in Antigua.

Elton John - Elton John has been sober for over 20 years. The main source of inspiration for his own sobriety was witnessing the death of Ryan White, an Indiana teenager and poster child for HIV/AIDS. John felt that as a gay man he needed to get his life together to help those suffering from HIV. According to many different sources, John claims that getting sober has been his greatest achievement.

Ringo Starr - The drummer from The Beatles has been sober since the 80s-- a time which he has referred to as an “alcoholic haze.” Today, he exercises three times a week, practices daily meditation and is a vegetarian.

Tom Waits - Known for his booze-drenched voice and persona, Waits has been sober for over 20 years now and credits his wife Kathleen in helping him get there. The singer went to AA and though he’s happy to be in recovery now, says that it was a struggle.

Keith Urban - Keith Urban has battled with drug and alcohol addiction since the 90s and also salutes his wife, Nicole Kidman, for intervening and helping him achieve sobriety--though he also indirectly attributes her to be the cause of his relapse. After being sober for six years in 2004, Urban found himself drinking again after marrying Kidman and having to cope with time apart during her filming obligations. One day, after returning home from a shoot, Kidman staged an intervention. Urban reentered rehab in October 2006 and rededicated himself to sobriety.

Anthony Kiedis - Kiedis, the singer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, has been sober for years after having grown up alongside an addict (his father) and later becoming one himself. Now, he’s dedicated to fitness and Men’s Fitness has listed him as having one of the best rock star abs.

Chris Martin - Coldplay’s front man openly talks about the days when he used to use, but he is now dedicated to clean and sober living. In fact the musician doesn’t even drink coffee today.

James Hetfield - The Metallica singer entered rehab in 2001 and has been sober ever since. His journey has been documented in the film Some Kind of Monster.

Moby - Moby is known for his straight-edge Christian (though he’s not really Christian) look but this musician had more passed-out drunk moments than revelations in the 90s. After fearing that he was going to lose his memory from all the drug use, he left New York a few years ago to start over in LA and began attending AA meetings.

David Bowie - Bowie spent decades off the wagon due to a heavy cocaine addiction, but finally kicked the habit sometime in his 50s. Now, at the age of 68, he is enjoying a full life in sobriety with model wife Iman.

Not so fortunate Musicians

Amy Winehouse - Honorable British musician Amy Winehouse died of an alcohol addiction in 2011. Known for her eclectic style and deep contralto vocals, Winehouse had much going for her but turned to drugs and alcohol due to stress and her sad life story. ***Tune in to RE81 for a full story on Amy Winehouse, her struggle and ultimate demise from alcohol.***

Whitney Houston - Singer Whitney Houston, cited by the Guinness World Records as the most awarded female act of all time, was repeatedly in and out of rehab. She passed away in 2012, allegedly as a result of her addiction.

Flava Flav - Rapper Flava Flav has had his license suspended as a result of DUIs at least 43 times.

Billie Holiday - Holiday suffered from alcoholism for most of her life.  She died of pulmonary edema and heart failure caused by alcohol induced cirrhosis of the liver on July 17,1959. She was 44 years old.

Bon Scott - AC/DC singer Bon Scott died of alcohol poisoning combined with choking on his own vomit after night of heavy drinking on February 19, 1980.  He was 33 years old.

Hank Williams (the original) - On January 1, 1953, Hank Williams died as a result of hemorrhages in his heart and neck. His chronic alcohol abuse was believed to be a factor in his death at age 29.

Jim Morrison - On July 3, 1971, Jim Morrison died of a heroin overdose after a night of heavy drinking (accounts are hazy and disputed, but we’re going to allow his inclusion). He was 27 years old.

John Bonham - On September 25 1980, Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham died after drinking over one liter of vodka. He died choking on his own vomit. He was 32 years old.

Keith Whitley - Country musician Keith Whitley died of alcoholism on May 9, 1989. His blood alcohol level was .47 at the time of his death. Whitley was 34 years old.

Lester Young - On March 15, 1959, Jazz musician Lester Young died from heart failure after years of alcohol abuse. He was 49 years old.

 

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

Don’t forget to 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!

RE 80: Celebrity Alcoholics: Some Made it, Some Didn't

Aug 29, 2016 35:02

Description:

Lo, with 7.5 months of sobriety, shares her story...

FYI! Alcoholism does not segregate. It is straight-up an equal, all around ass-kicker… Alcoholism does not care about your gender, race, social status, height, weight, athletic prowess, economic status or celeb status. Yep, that’s right, this mean celebrities can be alcoholics too! It’s just that you don’t ever hear about the list of celebs that fade away because their drinking habits become too much… They just literally fade away. Adios…

But, what you maybe didn’t know is the list of recovering alcoholics that run the Hollywood gamut. So here it goes, a short list of the Famous & Sober: Stephen King, Ben Affleck (rehab in 2001), Michael J. Fox, Jamie Lee Curtis, Diana Ross, Mel Gibson, Johnny Depp, Mickey Mantle, Eminem, Anthony Hopkins, and Harry Potter (became sober is 2010). 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meetups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator.

RE Community Forum

info@recoveryelevator.com

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

www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

 

SHOW NOTES

[ 08:40 ] Paul Introduces Lo

Lo has been sober for 7.5 months. She is originally from Northern Minnesota with a bad (but proud) habit of moving back to Bozeman, Montana time and time again. “It has been a good place to keep coming back to.” Lo is a massage therapist. She enjoys running, hiking, coffee, theatre, and is rediscovering her passion for art. “There are so many more hours in the day now that I’m practicing sobriety,” comments Lo on making time for creativity and art.

[ 10:52 ] What brought you to the decision to stop drinking?

“I surrendered enough.” It took Lo close to a year to truly decide to get an AA sponsor and stick with the plan. “The previous day I had wanted to drink so bad. The next day it returned, so I drank. It was enough, the shame, the guilt, the wanting to commit suicide the next day. It was enough. My emotional hangovers were just so heavy.”

[ 14:29 ] Did you have any ‘plans’?

“Sometimes I would wake up and feel shitty enough that I didn’t want to drink. My therapist told me to try to have only x amount of drinks per week… I usually hit the mark by Monday or Tuesday. I would tally up the drinks at the end of the week, and I just never could make it…”

[ 17:23 ] How did you do it 7.5 months ago?

“I finally got serious with the program (referring to AA). It took me several months to come to the understanding that I was an alcoholic. It was time to take the program seriously.”

[ 19:45 ] Paul refers to the idea of “breaking up with the word alcoholic.”

Check out RE #75 for more on this!

[ 21:07 ] Lo speaks about her struggles, discovering who she is and what having a higher power means to her.

“I have to learn to trust it. To let go.” Lo finds relief in this technique, knowing that she has relief from her mind and anxiety.

[ 25:39 ] What does your recovery portfolio look like today? Walk me through a day in recovery with Lo.

Lo gets out for a morning run a couple times a week, drinks coffee, meditates, and tries to stay conscious of being connected to her higher power. Lo also stays in contact with people from the program (AA), texting, calling and just connecting.

[ 31:48 ] Lo talks about the ‘Pink Cloud’ that has not shown up yet.

 

[ 29:00 ] Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking?  “Last summer when I drank TOO much. I wasn’t planning on drinking that evening and then had a suicide attempt.” What is your favorite Flow Riders song? “That’s a great band!” Paul is also a comedian... Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “The same night that I had the suicide attempt. My actions were just going down a road that I wasn’t even thinking about.” What is your plan moving forward? “Keeping up with my friendships, connecting, going to meetings and listening to RE.” What’s your favorite resource in recovery? “AA Program and the Podcast (RE).” What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “The goal is not to feel better about life, but to stay sober.” What parting piece of guidance can you give to our listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “It’s worth all the hard work and it will pay off. Don’t quit before the miracle happens.”

 

QUOTABLES

“Adios alcohol, welcome back hobbies and passions.” - Paul

“If you’re concerned enough about your drinking and you’re at an AA meeting (you’re probably an alcoholic)” - Lo

 

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

Don’t forget to 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!

RE 79: Alcohol and Relaxing | What Really Happens

Aug 22, 2016 46:42

Description:

Randy, with 124 days of sobriety, shares how he did it.

Ponder this. We have been conditioned to think that alcohol is relaxing. Now, cue the visions of a Corona commercial; a couple on the beach, kicking back beer after beer… In fact this notion of “relaxation” has the exact opposite effect on our bodies.  Alcohol actually slows down your brain’s function, affecting two neurotransmitters, Glutamate and GABA. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is released by nerve cells in the brain. It is responsible for sending signals between nerve cells, and under normal conditions it plays an important role in learning and memory. When we consume alcohol, Glutamate production slows W-A-Y down, completely bogging down your brain’s neuro-highways. GABA, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that reduces energy and slows down brain activity. Alcohol increases GABA productions…. Folks, that is just not a good thing. This process starts instantly after just one drink… And stays with you long after you stop drinking…

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you receive unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via in-person meetups, unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code: Elevator. RE on Facebook RE on Instagram

Jason Vale’s book : Kick the Drink...Easily!

Support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link: www.recoveryelevator.com/amazon/

 

SHOW NOTES

[ 07:34 ] Paul Introduces Randy

Randy has been sober for 124 days (using the sobriety tracker). “It feels great, every day is a new experience.” Randy is from the East Coast (grew up in RI) and made his way around the world in the Air Force. Randy found his career through the military. Randy now works in aviation with the FAA in Guam, U.S.A. Randy is a hardcore cyclist, with a renewed passion for pedaling.

[ 11:29 ] What was your elevator like? What was your bottom?

“I’d been a lifelong drinker and never thought that I would have a problem, I thought drinking to some degree was healthy…” Randy made all  kinds of "plans"… a 30-day sober binge, operating in moderation, writing, using apps, etc… “IT DID NOT WORK!”… “I have that switch, once you turn it on, it doesn’t really turn itself off…”

In preparation for his daughter’s baby shower, Randy noticed that he went through a 6-pack within an hour… He quickly opened up the next 6-pack and shortly thereafter found himself drinking a bottle of wine… “The next morning I’m completely useless, I wasn’t there, I wasn’t available…” The shower happened and the next day I thought to myself, ”I don’t want to do this anymore, that continuous vicious cycle.”

[ 26:30 ] Randy speaks about his clarity and peace of mind being sober.

[ 26:59 ] What does your recovery portfolio look like today? Walk me through a day in the life of Randy.

“It’s staying engaged with the process and the journey of sobriety. I think about alcohol multiple times throughout the day, and then I just have to let it go…” “Yeah, yeah, there’s the beer (commenting on the coolers full of beer @ Kmart),” says Randy. "Just noticing these thoughts and letting them go, constantly reminding myself why I’m doing this. Cafe RE is the strongest network that I have. I’ve been to one meeting (AA), and it was a candlelight vigil. I just haven’t found myself showing up at meetings, just not yet anyways.”

[ 36:02 ] Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking? “The day that I ran my own sailboat on the ground. I haven’t shared this with too many people, I nearly lost my boat that day and it was absolutely alcohol related. I was boating under the influence and couldn’t execute all of the steps necessary to avoid the reef.”   Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “Oh many! The sailboat ride where I had my hand in the cooler for 8 hours was one for sure…” What is your plan moving forward? “More of the same. Reminding myself of all of the positive things that have come from leaving alcohol behind. And, living my life! Just knowing that I don’t have to have a drink to experience things.” What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “Listening to yourself. If it doesn’t feel right to you, then it probably isn’t okay.” What parting piece of guidance can you give to our listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “Just to be honest with yourself. If you wake up with that heavy feeling like you’ve gotta take action, do it. Don’t beat yourself up, listen to yourself and take it one day at a time.” What brand of boat shoes would you recommend? “If you’ve got a boat, you don’t need shoes… unless you’ve got a staff…” You've got listen to really get it! 

 

 

QUOTABLES

“Enough is enough. I was tired of waking up with that dull, heavy feeling in the mornings.” - Randy

“I’ve got to take this one day at a time.” - Randy

“If you’re a real boater, you don’t need shoes.” - Paul

“Maintain a clean deck.” - Randy

 

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

Drop us a line: 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!

RE 78: What I've learned about the Stigma Surrounding Alcohol

Aug 15, 2016 46:02

Description:

Annie has been sober for 2 years. She never thought twice about her drinking because she didn’t know enough about it. Annie started journaling about her drinking habits as an exploration in March of 2013 which enabled her to stop drinking in December of 2013. Annie is from Colorado and works in marketing. She is married with children and loves the outdoors (hiking, skiing).

[ 02:08 ] When did your Elevator hit its bottom? When did you finally decide to stop drinking?

Annie was living in London when her Elevator hit bottom the first time. Annie and her family were going to the London Eye (an amusement park) and she had decided it was a good idea to bring in two large beers, packed in her purse, to sip on. “I dropped my purse and the beers exploded, spraying beer all over my children and my parents.” "I had a 'What the fuck has happened, what am I doing?' moment right then.” On another trip, Annie was traveling all over the world for work, she comments, “You’d take off on the airplane and get drunk, and then I’d justify having drinks in the lounge… I was pretty much existing on coffee and alcohol. I realized that I had to get back into regular mommy life. I just remember sitting there thinking, Whoa, what is this?'"

[ 04:27 ] Talk to me about your drinking habits?

“The plans are my worst enemy! As soon as you start to try to stop something, it becomes even more tempting. It’s like putting yourself on a diet.” Annie had all sorts of ideas/plans: no drinking until 5pm, only having 2 glasses of wine (but after two she didn’t care how many more she consumed), trying to have a sober day... “I remember finding an excuse every single day to drink. I was driving myself further and further into separateness and defensiveness.”

[ 06:31 ] How did you make the change (into sobriety)?

“I didn’t seek help. I just didn’t know any better. I didn’t know what I didn’t know (referring to all the resources out there). I had a different kind of 'talking-to' with myself one day in the Heathrow airport, I decided to give myself permission to write about this, to explore this in a mindful way." Dr. John Sarno’s work really inspired Annie to dive deeper into understanding her need to drink.

[ 09:59 ] What was it like?

Annie’s research took her on a journey for 8-9 months. “I was still drinking during the research, but by the time I stopped, I had made peace with it. On an emotional level, I felt free.” “It was like being sick to save my life for about a month. There were a lot of tears and a lot of laughter and joy.”

[ 13:23 ] This Naked Mind - Control Alcohol by Annie Grace

Paul lets the Cat out of the Bag (meow!) - Annie Grace wrote, “This Naked Mind - Control Alcohol”. It is a MUST read for recovery.

[ 14:40 ] What was the push back like after writing a book that wasn’t based on AA?

“I questioned the word 'alcoholic' because in my research, any organism can become addicted to something. I took issue with this because we are all built with flesh, blood, bones, and cells… We are all the same. The word 'alcoholic' is really a solace for people.”

[ 20:12 ] Annie talks about the Hedonic Threshold and the fact that alcohol is just plain addictive.

[ 25:17 ] What is the difference between the conscious and the unconscious mind?

Annie speaks wholeheartedly about protecting her unconscious mind and understanding the need to have self-compassion, self-worth and acceptance in this process.

[ 31:15 ] Annie’s Projects

This Naked Mind - Control Alcohol is available on Amazon. She is also working on a second book that focuses on the first few years of her sobriety, highlighting techniques she used to maintain a clean and naked mind and keep the garbage out. Annie is also putting together a video-based course complete with worksheets and exercises that she hopes to launch this Fall (2016).

 

[ 32:12 ] Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking? [ 32:20 ] “Not having the memories. I don’t remember moving day and moving days are supposed to be special. I lost that day.” Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? [ 32:52 ] “I had a lot of those. They were all at 3AM when I'd wake up and couldn’t remember how much I’d drank the night before.” What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward? [ 33:10 ] “Continuously protecting my unconscious mind, continuously asking “why” and “what.” What is your favorite resource in recovery? [ 33:33 ] “Ten minutes of watching my breath every single day.” What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? [ 34:11 ] “It’s more about living than it is about sobriety. Living alcohol free and living your life.” What parting piece of guidance can you give to our listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? [ 34:56 ] “Right now, in this moment, FORGIVE YOURSELF. Realize that you’ve been caught in an addictive trap. The sooner you can get to a place of acceptance and love yourself through this, opens the journey to becoming sober.”

 

QUOTABLES

“There are so many people who are heavy drinkers, who don’t believe they are alcoholics, because we use it (the word ‘alcoholic’) as a shield to defend our addiction.” - Annie Grace

“Shame, guilt and self-loathing just don’t work. We need understanding, acceptance and love.” - Annie Grace

“Acceptance is the answer.” - Paul

“As soon as you start to try to stop something, it becomes even more tempting. It’s like putting yourself on a diet.” - Annie Grace

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Connect with Cafe RE

For $12.00 per month, you can unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via meetups, private-unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code Elevator.

Promo Code: Elevator

Connect with Annie - https://thisnakedmind.com/annie-grace/

Facebook  YouTube  Instagram

This Naked Mind - Control Alcohol

Dr. John Sarno’s work

 

 

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

Don’t forget to 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!

 

RE 77: I Would Have Missed This

Aug 8, 2016 48:53

Description:

Westin, with over 3 years of sobriety shares how he did it. Some of my best memories are those of camping with my family in Southern Utah. Camping growing up used to consist of fishing, catching lizards and snakes, watching the sunrise and sunsets.

It was a simple and joyous time that I spent with my family. These are fond memories. But, somewhere along the line, my camping experiences diminished, the joy of spending time in nature was replaced with Hot Dogs, Booze and Passing Out.

Last weekend, I was camping with Ben (my partner in crime, my four-footed friend), we had called it a night and crawled into the back of my truck in the woods of Montana. Now, these are real woods, mountain lions, grizzlies, etc. Nature is not to be taken for granted around here. Suddenly, around 2am, I awoke to Ben’s perked ears and sounds of snapping branches. The sounds grew louder as whatever was roaming the woods got closer… I reached for my headlamp… And...

GOATS! Rocky Mountain Goats, a herd of them… Now, if I had been camping with Hot Dogs and Booze I would have been PASSED OUT (probably face down in a pile of biting red ants at that!) and would never have experienced this beauty, this joy. The Goats brought me out of the truck where I was then able to see the expansiveness of the sky and the stars and experience the cooling sensations of the pine trees. Nothing needed to change. I didn’t need to drink a Keystone Light or 50 of them…

I am now getting back my memories and creating new memories that are more than just a party. Memories such as this that fill me up with satisfaction, connection, and awe.

 

AND NOW… onto the podcast!

 

SHOW NOTES

Paul Introduces Westin

Westin is from Indianapolis, Indiana. He is 33, has been married for 7 years, and has an amazing little girl who is turning 4 in September. “She is the most important thing in my life alongside my sobriety.” Westin works at an addiction treatment center as a “Recovery Coach.”

 

How long have you been sober?

Westin has been sober for 2 years and 363 days, he is 2 days away from 3 years of sobriety! “Right now I’m in a place where I have to count days again. I’m in a weird place where I just have to count.” says Westin on his sobriety.  

 

When did you realize it was time to quit drinking?

“My bottom was 3 years ago almost to the date. I woke up face down on my Mom’s couch, not knowing how I got there, and not knowing what happened over the past 24 hours. I was highly addicted to Klonopin and drinking on top of them. I looked up from the couch and just saw this look of utter disappointment on my Mom’s face. It was different. I had unknowingly gone through her medicine cabinet the night before, and found all sorts of pills in my pockets.”

 

What were your drinking habits?

“I was a blackout drinker from the age of 17. I was never trying to control it, I thought it was normal. I was proud of the amount of alcohol I could consume…” “But, I was physically addicted to it… Always struggling with anxiety and shaking. I couldn’t function without that first drink, and then the pills took over.”

 

What does it mean, when you’re back to counting the days?

In the early days of sobriety Westin was counting: 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 1-year sober… Getting those next tokens, proving to himself that he could do this. “I needed the external motivation. From 2-years sober to just now I didn’t count, I didn’t need to, but now, I’m back to counting the individual days. I’ve been referencing my sobriety tracker, and just trying to get through each day. It’s not a comfortable feeling.”

 

The whole ‘God’ word in AA. That one word kept you from getting sober… Expand on that.

Westin discusses his “religious” philosophy and how he made AA work as an agnostic. Westin had been agnostic (without knowledge, an individual who does not claim to say whether God exists or does not exist) most of his life. AA taught Westin to own his agnosticism, his belief system. “I’m now more comfortable being honest and open with who I am, and AA taught me this. I found a way to make my beliefs, or lack thereof, work within the framework of AA.” The gift of desperation allowed Westin to take what works and leave the rest…

 

How did you do it? (on getting sober)

Westin went to a treatment center, Fairbanks Hospital in Indianapolis. “I looked at my wife and said, I think I need some help with this.”… “We tried to do a walk in, but like a good addict I had just finished the rest of my klonopin refill (half of the prescription), so I had to wait. I went through a 7-day long detox and then a 6-week intensive outpatient treatment.”

 

What emotions did you feel?

“I had anxiety through the roof. Drinking brought about terrible, terrible anxiety… But now, I didn’t have my self medicating procedures in place. I had to face it. My anxiety was peaked out for 6 months. Drinking was not an option.” “That was my first time going into treatment, I had been looking for a solution, and I just kept doing all the things that were recommended to me. I still struggle with social anxiety. I still can’t attend a basketball game or a big social event…”

 

What is your recovery portfolio like today?

“My recovery is inspired by my work, surrounded by people who are on this same journey. I don’t want to be that guy who is physically in shambles and I get to see that every day. I attend a minimum of 2-3 meetings a week. If I’m struggling, I hit the meetings hard.” Westin takes a holistic approach that includes: AA and the 12 steps, eating better, daily physical exercise, and alone time…

 

Rapid Fire Round What was your worst memory from drinking? “Waking up with the shakes, just yelling out in pain with the convulsion I was feeling in my body.” Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? “In retrospect, yes. I was drinking at my Mom’s house, everyone else had gone to bed and I’m up taking shots by myself… She comes downstairs and gives me that look like, “What is wrong with you?!” I was past the point of control.” What is your plan moving forward? “Continue moving forward one day at a time, continue being teachable, and sharing my experiences with others.” What’s your favorite resource in recovery? “Meetings are really, really important along with interactions with recovery podcasts - Recovered Podcast & Beyond Belief - and the recovery community.” What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? “Take what works and leave the rest.” What parting piece of guidance can you give to our listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? “If I can find a way to make this work, then literally anybody can. Anybody can find a way to make it for them.”

 

QUOTABLES

“I need to get plugged-in, connected back to my recovery network.” - Paul (on being in a recovery rut)

“Take what works, and leave the rest.” - Westin

You might be an alcoholic if…

“You continue to drink once everybody else has been asleep for hours.”

“If you are still thirsty at 2am in the morning.”

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Connect with Cafe RE

Cafe RE Meetup in Chicago Oct. 14-16 - If you’d like to join us, head over to Cafe RE! For $12.00 per month, you can unlimited, private access to groups of like-minded people via meetups, private-unsearchable Facebook groups, and travel. First month FREE with Promo Code Elevator.

Promo Code: Elevator

Recovered Podcast

Beyond Belief Podcast

Fairbanks Hospital

 

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

Don’t forget to support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link:

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

 

 

RE 76: The Conscious and Unconscious Mind

Aug 1, 2016 55:24

Description:

Simon, with 15 years of sobriety, shares how he did. Three years ago, Simon started the Hope Rehab Center  in Thailand and has been helping people change transform their lives.

The Conscious and the unconscious mind. I recently read the book "This Naked Mind - Control Alcohol" by Annie Grace and the chapter covering the how the brain worked was fascinating.

Conscious: Aware of something, knowing that something exists or is happening.

Unconscious: The part of the mind a person is not aware of but is a powerful force in controlling behavior.

Consciousness: Being aware of something within oneself. The upper level of mental life that a person is aware of as contrasted with unconscious process.

Warning: This may blow your mind...

 

The unconscious mind is responsible for desires Studies show, we have two separate thinking systems. The conscious mind, and the unconscious mind When we want something to change in our life, we usually make a conscious decision. However, drinking is no longer a conscious decision. The unconscious mind doesn’t get the memo Unconscious learning happens automatically and unintentionally We are conditioned to think drinking enhances our lives and makes us happy This is why when we want to drink less, our unconscious mind tells us to drink more. Insert major dilemma here. We have been conditioned to believe in alcohol. To believe that me and some random captain would make it happen. The unconscious mind is not logical. It’s comprised of feelings, observations. It’s the source of love, jealousy, fear, kindness and sadness. When a person makes a decision to quit drinking alcohol, their unconscious mind is never in on that conversation. Gary, pull up a chair. Studies dating back to the 1970’s indicate our unconscious mind makes 1/3 of a second fast than our conscious mind. The unconscious mind controls the emotions. When someone tells yourself to stop having a bad day, that never works. But over time, this positive reinforcement can work. Liminal thinking, which we will get to in later podcast episodes, is how will cover how to converse with the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is formed by beliefs, conclusions, assumptions, experiences and observations. Often time, it is far separated from reality which is where the conscious mind lives. Our culture of drinking makes everything better has been ingrained into our unconscious mind without us ever knowing. One easy way to challenge this, which we often never do, is look for external validity. For example, the bud light makes you a better beach volleyball player. Go to a beach and try to find a real life example if this. It won’t happen. We let the unconscious mind determine our thinking because we like certainty. In the conscious mind, there is so much unknown and that is always scary. The unconscious mind is a bubble of safety where we feel comfortable. Why did I find it so hard to quit drinking? Well, I knew I wouldn’t have a good time at a social event sober, I knew I wasn’t funny, I knew I wouldn’t be able to chat with girls. I never stood a chance at quitting drinking unless a pain point was strong enough, aka, the bottom. We can address this by bringing unconscious experiences, observations, assumptions and conclusions, into conscious thought. We do this through knowledge. Before we drank alcohol, we were happy joyous and free, we didn’t miss it. The Author Terry Pratchett says, we need to be able to at any time, accept that fact that we all could be absolute and utterly wrong.

Don’t forget to support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link:

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RE 75: I'm Breaking Up With The Word Alcoholic

Jul 25, 2016 46:32

Description:

Paul, with 18.5 months of sobriety, shares how he did it. That's right, I'm breaking up with the word alcoholic and opting for a simpler less defining answer of I don't drink.

I got the idea for this podcast after reading the following article and I hope you like the show notes. As you can probably tell, I've had some recent help with show notes since mine leave much to still be desired.

COUNT ME OUT OF “RECOVERY NATION” - NEGATIVE SELF-IDENTITY IS THE CRUELEST STIGMA

(Stanton Peele: July 7th, 2016)

 

The labels “alcoholic”, “addicts”, and “in recovery” dehumanizes people, both for the person

    themselves and their children.

 

            -Influence contributor, Meghan Ralston, wrote in her article (I'm Breaking Up With the Word

             Addict),

 

Agree - “Even in a chaotic stage of drug use, we are not “other.” We are women, we are someone's daughter, we continue to laugh, we continue to like jazz and cheeseburgers and comfy pajamas. We cry, we get so lonely, we hate sitting in traffic. Addiction can be wretched, no question, but we do not ever stop being human beings, even during the times in our lives when we are dependent on drugs.”

 

Disagree - “For many people, myself included, the word “addict” is incredibly harmful and offensive. You do not have my permission to call me an addict. You can of course refer to yourself as an addict, if you wish.”[1]

 

Don't refer to yourself as an “addict.”

 

            -It's depressing

            -No one should highlight/define themselves by their worst trait or period in

             their life.

 

These concepts arose in conversation between Dr. Peele and Talk Recovery Radio:

 

“Dr. Stanton Peele was today’s thought provoking live guest on Talk Recovery.… our show is meant to be a platform where all pathways to recovery are welcomed to be discussed… But today, that almost didn’t happen. There was an 'us and them' feel to the show… Why do people feel the word addict is stigmatizing?”[2]

 

            -Peele explains that the host seemed to feel that he was part of a movement

             that set people recovering apart from everyone else.

 

                        -Culture seems to encourage this separation.

                             -public policies

                             -celebrities' confessionals

                             -treatment circles

                             -recovery high schools

                             -etc.

 

            -Show host ironically wonders why there's a stigma towards addicts while he himself labels

              himself as one.

 

Peele refuses to label himself by marching with Recovery Nation, a group that lets themselves be lead

    by their labels.

                        -”Thinking of yourself as an alcoholic causes you to behave the way you think alcoholics

                           behave.”

 

     -To quote Peele and Ilse Thompson,

 

“You are not your addiction; you are a valuable human being whose qualities endure and exceed your addiction. … It’s impossible to expect a person to achieve wellness by focusing on his or her faults and mistakes. Perhaps this is why conventional recovery asserts that people must remain 'in recovery' forever and continue to identify themselves as addicts, no matter how long they are sober.”[3]

 

 

-Today people seem to expect labeling. Peele states,

 

“Imagine a child with a learning difficulty looking at you and saying, 'I am retarded,' or 'I am stupid.' We would cry and hug them and tell them that wasn’t true!”

 

-Peele goes on to pose the question of why it is that people always discourage each other from

  identifying themselves by their problems or illnesses, except when it comes to addiction.

 

-While debating former head of treatment at Hazelden, Peele asked how he short-circuited his family

  heritage.

 

            -While the clinician had a cynically humorous answer, Peele gave his answer for the man to the

              radio show hosts. The method to preventing his children from taking on addictive traits was to

              raise them in emotionally and financially stable home, encourage them, provide for them, and

              allow them to be who they want to be.

 

            -What doesn't help children, is to burden them with the “destiny” that they would most likely be

              an alcoholic.

 

-The “tough love” approach often comes in too late, Peele says.

 

            -Before a child can misbehave during drug use, you ought to instill him with morals of

              responsibility to themselves and others.

 

-Peele is reframing addiction in an opposite direction from the “disease” mindset. He puts it like this:

 

“Addiction is not a consequence of taking drugs and drinking. Rather, it arises from the way in which these and other compelling activities fit into people’s lives and meanings.”

 

-To end the interview, Peele asked how the show host quit smoking cigarettes.

 

            -His response was that his recovery program didn't allow it, but also that it didn't allow him to

              call himself a cigarette addict. Rather, they insisted on the generic term addict.

 

            -He then was able to quit smoking (one of the  hardest substance addictions) without patches.

              This was because it didn't address smoking, or label them as cigarette smokers.

 

FOR COPYRIGHT PURPOSES

 

All content read here has been cited appropriately. The content is based majorly from the article written by Doctor Stanton Peele: Count Me Out of “Recovery Nation” - Negative Self-Identity Is the Cruelest Stigma of All. For original sources, please consult the bibliography located below.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

Peele, Stanton Dr. “Count Me Out of 'Recovery Nation': Negative Self-Identity Is the Cruelest Stigma of All.” The Influence (blog), July 7, 2016. Accessed July 14, 2016.http://theinfluence.org/count-me-out-of-recovery-nation-negative-self-identity-is-the-cruelest-stigma-of-all/.

 

 

Peele, Stanton. Recover! An Empowering Program to Help You Stop Thinking Like an Addict and Reclaim Your Life. Boston, MA: Da Capo Press, 2015.

 

Talk Recovery. “Interview with Doctor Stanton Peele (Facebook Post).” World Addiction Treatment Expert Dr. Stanton Peele | Last Door(blog), June 30, 2016. Accessed July 14, 2016.https://www.lastdoor.org/world-addiction-treatment-expert-dr-stanton-peele/.

 

4.Ralston, Meghan. “I'm Breaking up with the Word 'addict' and i Hope You'll Do the Same.” The Huffington Post (March 25, 2014): 1. Accessed July 14, 2016.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meghan-ralston/breaking-up-with-the-word-addict_b_5028999.html

[1]           Meghan Ralston, “I'm Breaking up with the Word 'addict' and I Hope You'll Do the Same,” The Huffington Post (March 25, 2014): 1, accessed July 14, 2016,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meghan-ralston/breaking-up-with-the-word-addict_b_5028999.html.


[2]                 Talk Recovery, “Interview with Doctor Stanton Peele (Facebook Post),” World Addiction Treatment Expert Dr. Stanton Peele | Last Door (blog), June 30, 2016, accessed July 14, 2016, https://www.lastdoor.org/world-addiction-treatment-expert-dr-stanton-peele/.

[3]                 Stanton Peele, Recover! An Empowering Program to Help You Stop Thinking Like an Addict and Reclaim Your Life (Boston, MA: Da Capo Press, 2015).

Don’t forget to 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!

RE 74: 50 Ways To Stay Sober This Summer

Jul 18, 2016 43:18

Description:

Ronnie, with 25 years of sobriety shares how he did it. We also discuss 50 ways to stay sober this summer.

 

Ronnie Marmo

Ronnie got sober a few times throughout his life, once at age 17 and again at age 20. At age 20, he found himself smoking crack on the sidewalk after 3 years of sobriety… One drink of alcohol was his gateway drug.

 

Ronnie’s background:

Lives in L.A. and works as an actor and director, running two theater companies. Check out 68 Theatre Company. Ronnie is 45 and married with a dear family… For more information on Ronnie and his work - ronniemarmo.com.

 

Take us back to age 20...

Was that your bottom?

For me, “I was out of control ever since I started drinking. I always drank and got high in the same way. I was never a social drinker, I had no interest in drinking socially.”

 

It went something like this - one gallon of vodka, one quart of Yukon Jack, and then I found myself waking up at a sober picnic. My sponsor asked me if I was humble enough… I said yes, and went back to rehab for the 3rd time.

 

What is it like being sober in your industry?

It’s like anything, many people are sober, once you start talking “our” language. Those who do drink and get high, it’s never an issue, but I tend to gravitate towards people who are sober.

 

Let’s talk rules: Did you ever try to put rules into place?

“I thought alcohol was a problem, but I didn’t think it was my biggest problem. I constantly negotiated with myself. Normal people don’t hide bottles. Normal people don’t wake up needing a drink.”

 

People have gone on retreats and think that anxiety is the issue, or depression is the issues, when underneath it is really the alcohol.

 

Literally, every day of my life I spent my day trying to figure out how to get more booze.

 

Do you remember your first intensive rehab?

“I hadn’t even seen the STEPS on the wall!”

 

Now, I have a healthy fear of booze.

 

Talk to me more about this healthy fear, I’m terrified of this stuff…

When I look at it, it’s rare that I glorify a drink. When I see booze, I get nervous. If I ever take a second to glorify it. I immediately think I could destroy my life. It happens quickly.

 

That thought is so fleeting, it’s not even an option.

 

Bill W. and Dr. Bob:

http://theatre68.com/

Playing in north Hollywood, CA

 

Soon to star in the movie, Back in the Day.

 

Walk me through a day in your sobriety:

I don’t go to as many meetings as I should, but I never miss my Wednesday home meeting.

If I do these things daily:

 

Give thanks Reach out to a newcomer Walk with love and grace Attend a meeting

 

If I don’t do these things, life is just harder...

 

What are your thoughts on relapse:

It’s a weird disease because you have to self-diagnose it. It’s 2:30 in L.A. right now, if I had a drink right now, I’d be smoking crack by 7:30pm… Relapse doesn’t have to happen, but if it does, hopefully you can choose sobriety again quickly.

 

What would you say to your younger Ronnie:

“The sooner you can get past being so dependent on the drink or the drug the sooner you can get on with your life, doing what you really want to do.”

“No matter where you go or what you do, drink a lot of water and walk slow.”

 

What’s still on your bucketlist:

Doing what I love Helping others Shoot a movie in Italy for a summer...

All these items are attainable with sobriety.

 

Rapid Fire Round:

1.What was your worst memory from drinking?

Stealing my mother’s pocket book.

2.Did you ever have an oh-shit moment?

I had a spiritual awakening in the courtroom, asking the judge for help. The things that came out of my mouth were nothing that I had intended to say when I walked in.

3.What is your plan for sobriety moving forward?

Keep showing up and trying to be graceful, reaching out to others, and trying my best on a daily basis to stay with a formula that works. Keeping it super simple!

Favorite resources?

Meetings

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Drink a lot of water and walk slow

What parting piece of guidance can you give?

If you are thinking about it (getting sober) and it’s on your mind, there’s a really good chance that you should be doing it. Give it a really strong 90 days.

 

“You might be an alcoholic if…”

You might be an alcoholic if you steal from someone you love just to get a drink or a drug.

You might be an alcoholic if after 2 years of sobriety you take a drink and later you end up smoking crack.

 

Connect with Ronnie:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronnie.marmo

Twitter: @Ronniemo22

 

50 Ways to stay sober this summer

 

Wear sun screen – Lots of sunscreen La Croix Soda water. Drink lots of soda water Enjoy time in a hot tub / spring or sauna Beach trip: The small stream behind your neighbor’s house even has a beach Movie Day: The Anonymous People Scroll through your phone contacts and call someone you did wrong in the past. Don’t tell them what they did wrong, but what you did wrong Binge watch old TV episodes: Prefably not Mad Men, they drink like fish Yoga / Meditation Create a new sober drink concoction. Watermelon and milk is one I stumbled upon Do that fitness thing: Biking, swimming, whiffle ball, golf etc. Join a Book Club that actually reads the book Adopt-A-Pet, dog, cat, gecko Think of the most pressing issue in your life right now… and then write down what your part of it is. Go to a museum Pinterest - find new recipes or a DIY project on Diypete.com Google Mindfulness and what that really means Buy a new car; one that you have never drank in Learn how to shoot a bow and arrow Find something like Jolly Ranchers to subside cravings Build a pergola or Sauna at your house Gauge your emotional sobriety (in the future) by purposefully removing the staples out of your stapler Volunteer – be of service (This is a big one) Acceptance is the answer - period Take a look in the mirror and observe what you see. Get REal with yourself New Hobbies- Painting / Coloring Travel - take photos of you wearing your RE shirt Fundraise for the Recovery Elevator trip to Peru in April 2017 Go to an outing wearing a shirt that says something like “sober as shit” so no one offers you a drink Listen to the RE Podcast episode 52 – one of my favorites Play a good natured joke someone Pay for the person’s order behind you – Regardless of what line you find yourself in Attend a 12 step meeting on the other side of town that speaks a different language Enjoy NA Drinks such as a virgin a piña colada Announce to the world you’re an Alcoholic via facebook and become accountable – the results will pleasantly surprise you Read page 471 in the big blue book: daily Once again, tell yourself acceptance is the answer Put your forehead on a baseball bat, spin around 15 times, and give the person closest to you a hug Google CBT - Charlie Beta Typhoid Jump rope – I’ve never heard of a relapse while jump roping We all know someone who should probably think about giving the bottle a rest. Invite them to Dairy Queen for their lunch specials from 11:30pm - 2pm and then take them to an AA meeting. They will most likely thank you later Water balloon fight - freezing balloons the night before is optional Watch the movie dodgeball with Ben Stiller, and then watch it again Third Eye Blind – All of it - #bestbandever Check out your local events calendar and go to an event you’re not interested in attending Laser Tag Take a sober road trip with another sober buddy of at least 100 miles each way. On your way, stop and say hello to me in Bozeman MT Get flowers or a gift card for someone you absolutely cannot stand to be around Ask yourself if you’re where you want to be in life at this very moment. If the answer is now, ask yourself if you’re willing to something about it Sunscreen – wear Lots of sunscreen Go get a natural high – sky diving, jump off the high dive at the local pool, go carts etc. Don’t Drink

 

Let me know at info@recoveryelevator.com how many of these you tried this summer!

Don’t forget to support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link:

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

RE73: The Drunken Founding Fathers

Jul 11, 2016 43:12

Description:

Barb, with 15 days of sobriety, shares her journey.

I got the idea for today's podcast from an article sent to me from a dear friend that was in the Lush. Fitting publication eh?

Don’t forget to 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!

 

RE 72: Helping Others is the Key To Getting Sober

Jul 4, 2016 43:21

Description:

Ty, sober since March 2008, shares how she implements service into her life to stay sober.

I want to give a huge personal thank you to Ty for helping me with the Recovery Elevator podcast. I can't do any of this alone. Thank you Ty.

Also in this episode I interview Jesse from My Sober Roommate.

 

Don’t forget to support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link:

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

RE71: Alcoholism and Addiction is a Disease and I Shouldn't Still be Talking About it.

Jun 27, 2016 54:14

Description:

Kevin, in remission for 13 years, shares his story and why he created We Face it Together.

 

RE70: Kellie, at 8 months sobriety, Realized She Didn't Know Who She Was, and She Was Fine With That.

Jun 20, 2016 43:10

Description:

Kellie, with 2 years of sobriety, shares how she has been successful in sobriety.

 

Kellie has been part of the Recovery Elevator podcast since the beginning. She was written blog posts, helped line up interviewees and helps with social media.

Don’t forget to support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link:

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

RE69: How Many of Us Have Stayed Sober?

Jun 13, 2016 53:41

Description:

Stephen, with 32 years of sobriety, explains how he's made it this far.

 

I often get asked if any of the interviewees on this show have relapsed and the answer is yes. Sure, some of them have relapsed, but how many. When I really got to thinking about this, my optimism wavered and when I dug deeper into the question, I realized it was more than just a few had relapsed; it was a lot.

Don’t forget to support the Recovery Elevator Podcast by shopping at Amazon with the Recovery Elevator link:

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

RE 68: The Stigma is Even Worse for These Alcoholics

Jun 6, 2016 36:26

Description:

Matt, sober since 12/11/15, who is the 4th lawyer to be interviewed on this podcast, shares how leaving a law firm to start a private law practice while drinking, can be tumultuous; to say the least.

 

I got the idea for this podcast from the a article I recently read in the Fix called My Top Five Female Recovery Memoirs by Regina Walker .

 

Statistically, women don’t recover from alcoholism at nearly the rate men do. A study in Germany concluded that alcoholism was twice as fatal for women as for men. The women in the German study with alcohol addiction were five times more likely to die during the 14-year period of the study than women in the general population.

 

As a culture, we often judge women with addiction issues far more harshly than we do with men. Alcohol advertising often portrays men drinking as a bonding experience, while portraying women who drink as sexual predators or, at the very least, sexually objectified (“if she is going to get drunk, she is asking for it”). Though it’s difficult for anyone with a substance abuse issue to ask for help, it is that much more difficult for a woman, who often bears an additional, gender specific stigma.

 

Turnabout, by Jean Kirkpatrick

Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood by Koren Zailckas,

Blackout Girl: Growing Up and Drying Out in America by Jennifer Storm

Drunk Mom by Jowita Bydlowska

Yellow Tale, by Tiffany Goik

 

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

 

 

RE 67: Can Alcoholics Form True Relationships?

May 30, 2016 46:07

Description:

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

 

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

 

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

 

Page 53 in the 12&12:

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

RE 66: Being a Recovering Alcoholic Should be an Assett instead of a Liability in the Worforce

May 23, 2016 46:17

Description:

James with over 2.5 years of sobriety shares how we earned his family's trust back.

Being sober has huge advantages at the workplace and this should be marketed as such.

Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery Elevator Private Forum.

Support the podcast and make your Amazon purchases through the Recovery Elevator affiliate link. 1/2 of all revenues will go to recovery non-profits.

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

RE 65: Movies about alcohol, sobriety, recovery, drunkness, and getting sober

May 16, 2016 50:51

Description:

In this episode Angela, with nearly 10 months of sobriety, shares how she did it.

Here are some great movies about alcohol, sobriety, recovery, drunkenness, and getting sober!

 

Thank you to Marueen from Cafe RE who helped put this list together!

Burnt (2015) Bradley Cooper 1 hour, 40 minutes Comedy/Drama

Synopsis:
Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars.
Director: John Wells
Writers: Steven Knight (screenplay), Michael Kalesniko (story)
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl | See full cast & crew »

2.  Smashed (2012) Aaron Paul 1 hour, 21 minutes Drama

Synopsis:

A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober.
Director: James Ponsoldt
Writers: Susan Burke, James Ponsoldt
Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Nick Offerman | See full cast & crew »

3.  Everything Must Go (2010) Will Farrell
Comedy/Drama

Synopsis:

When an alcoholic relapses, causing him to lose his wife and his job, he holds a yard sale on his front lawn in an attempt to start over. A new neighbor might be the key to his return to form.
Director: Dan Rush
Writers: Dan Rush, Raymond Carver (short story "Why Don't You Dance")
Stars: Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Christopher Jordan Wallace | See full cast & crew »

4.  Shakes The Clown (1991) Bobcat Goldthwait Drama/Comedy/Murder

Synopsis:

Shakes plods about his duties as party clown, and uses all of his free time getting seriously drunk. Binky, another clown, wins the spot on a local kiddie show, which depresses Shakes even more, and his boss threatens him with unemployment if he can't get his act under control. When someone murders Shakes' boss and makes it look like Shakes did it, he goes undercover, posing as a hated mime, and tries to find information that will clear his name.
- Written by Ed Sutton

RE 64: Why some grow out of the heavy drinking days and some become alcoholic | Who will graduate from college binge drinking?

May 9, 2016 47:23

Description:

In this episode Rachael, with 2.5 years of sobriety, shares how she did it.

I got the idea for today's topic from an article I read by Sarah A Benton called: Why some phase out of college binge drinking and others are alcoholic. It piggy backs perfectly off last weeks episode with Johnny Manziel. Manziel appears not to be growing out of this phase and it's becoming apparent he has a real problem with alcohol.

Why do some people simply not "grow out" of this phase? Here are some reasons the article states:

• The Surgeon General's 2007 "Call to Action" report indicates that genetics account for 50% of the risk of developing alcoholism, therefore, family history is one of the strongest determinations of who may be alcoholic. In addition, the drinking culture of the individual's family and the role that alcohol plays.

• The age that he or she began drinking is another key factor. Specifically, research by the NIAAA indicates that teens who begin drinking before the age of 15 have a 40% greater chance of becoming alcoholic with or without a family history of alcoholism.

• Certain work or graduate school environments tend to incorporate alcohol into their social events such as going out after work or class for drinks or drinking while networking (ie, law, business). These cultures may normalize heavy drinking and also breed a "work hard, play hard" mentality that enables alcoholic drinking patterns.

• The drinking patterns of the group of friends that he or she lives with or socializes with. Heavy drinkers tend to migrate towards spending time with others who drink like they do and this often allows them to justify and minimize their excessive drinking.

• The individual's predispositions toward mental illness (such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety) or a trauma history (PTSD) may lead he or she to self-medicate with alcohol.

Impulse-control issues that include thrill-seeking behaviors and a need for immediate gratification.

• Certain drinking patterns are "red flags" for alcoholism including: blacking out (ie, memory loss when drinking),inability to have just 1-2 drinks, obsessing about alcohol, rotating their social life around alcohol, drinking daily or frequently, behaving in shameful ways while drunk, always needing to drink excessively before going to a party (ie, "pre-partying") and surrounding themselves with peers who drink heavily.

Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery Elevator Private Forum.

Support the podcast and make your Amazon purchases through the Recovery Elevator affiliate link. 1/2 of all revenues will go to recovery non-profits.

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

RE 63: This Alcoholic Probably Won't Just Grow Out of It.

May 2, 2016 41:35

Description:

Kelly, with 9.5 months sobriety shares how she did it!

 

Johnny Manziel is an alcoholic who isn't having any fun. We has drafted 22nd overall in the 2014 NFL draft and the wheels have been coming off since. The media seem to wonder why he hasn't simply grown out of his crazy party lifestyle and realized his potential a an NFL quarterback. It was refreshing to see an article in written in the Bleacher Report about how Johnny's problem isn't a maturity one, but a clinical one.

RE 63: Nutrition, Exercise and Sleep to Jump Start Your Recovery

Apr 25, 2016 56:57

Description:

Robert, who has been sober for nearly 3.5 years shares how he has made it this far.

In this episode we hear from Shawn from the Model Health Show Podcast and he gives us valuable tips on how to get a grip on alcoholism with these tips and tricks. Below are links to some of the items he mentions in the podcast.

Rebounder - Mini trampoline for cardio. NASA says this is the most effective form of exercise and detoxification. Moves your lymphatic system and starts to remove the muck that has built up into our systems over years of drinking. Start with no more than 10 minutes. . This helps drop your cortisol levels which will reduce stress throughout the day.

Magnesium - Key to the early sobriety.

Spirulina - Highest form of protein in the world by weight. Rich in B vitamins

Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin (B2) great for depression

Vitam B3 - Niacin. Helps capillaries dilate and get blood to your system and help eliminate waste in the body.

Vitamin B12 - Great for Energy

Multi B Vitamin - A great combination of all the B Vitamins.

Green Super Food Blend - Not processed in a laboratory and is great for early recovery.

 

Shawn's Bio:
Shawn Stevenson is a bestselling author and creator of The Model Health Show, featured as the #1 Health podcast in the country on iTunes. A graduate of The University of Missouri - St. Louis, Shawn studied business, biology and kinesiology, and went on to be the founder of Advanced Integrative Health Alliance, a company that provides wellness services for individuals and organizations worldwide. Shawn has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine, Men's Health magazine, ESPN, FOX News, and many other media outlets. He is also a frequent keynote speaker for numerous organizations, universities, and conferences - all with outstanding reviews. To learn more about Shawn visit TheModelHealthShow.com

Join Team RE on May 21st for the 3rd annual run for recovery at AALRM.org and use promo code Recovery Elevator for a 10% discount.

Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery Elevator Private Forum.

Come join the ultimate Recovery Elevator meet-up in Peru where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian Hearts, working with local alcoholics, and why not hike the 38 mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while were down there!

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

RE 62: Alcohol is Deadly, but These Facts, Won't Keep you Sober

Apr 18, 2016 40:48

Description:

With 91 days of sobriety, Sarah shares how she did it!

In this podcast episode I cover an article from Sober Nation covering why Alcohol is such a potent drug.

Sarah also shares how she made it to 91 days of sobriety!

In this episode I review The Staying Sober Handbook, by Howard P Goodman and I would definitely recommend it for someone who is in recovery or as an informational piece if you want to know more about the disease in general.

Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery Elevator Private Forum.

Come join the ultimate Recovery Elevator meet-up in Peru where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian Hearts, working with local alcoholics, and why not hike the 38 mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while were down there!

This episode was brought to you by Sober Travel and Sober Nation.

In this episode I review The Staying Sober Handbook, by Howard P Goodman and I would definitely recommend it for someone who is in recovery or as an informational piece if you want to know more about the disease in general.

Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery Elevator Private Forum.

Come join the ultimate Recovery Elevator meet-up in Peru where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian Hearts, working with local alcoholics, and why not hike the 38 mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while were down there!

This episode was brought to you by Sober Travel and Sober Nation.

RE 60: Is Alcoholism a Disease or Do I Drink Because of My Environment?

Apr 11, 2016 42:27

Description:

Johan, who has been sober since November 15, 2015, shares how he did it.

 

Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery Elevator Private Forum.

Come join the ultimate Recovery Elevator meet-up in Peru where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian Hearts, working with local alcoholics, and why not hike the 38 mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while were down there!

This episode was brought to you by Sober Travel and Sober Nation.

RE59: Friends and Family Actually Can't Read the Mind of an Alcoholic

Apr 4, 2016 01:08:13

Description:

Molly Shares how she has made it to almost 30 days sober. I also interview my brother who has stuck with me from day one. I expected Mark to understand my pains, struggles and inner thoughts. I even developed unnecessary resentments towards him which he didn't deserve.

 

Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery Elevator Private Forum.

Come join the ultimate Recovery Elevator meet-up in Peru where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian Hearts, working with local alcoholics, and why not hike the 38 mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while were down there!

This episode was brought to you by Sober Travel and Sober Nation.

058: The Not So Smooth Transition | The Stigma

Mar 28, 2016 01:00:33

Description:

Matt from California shares how he has made it over 5 years sober. He went to seek treatment for PTSD and realized he was also an alcoholic.

In this episode I discuss the not so smooth transition from a free community to a paid community. Below is is the post I placed in the group trying to clarify the point of the transition.

 

“I woke up this morning and binge listened to the Recovery Elevator podcast, and later that day I went to my very first AA meeting/Told my spouse/reached out for help...” I have received probably 75 of these messages.... Recovery Elevator is not about me, it’s not about the people in this group, it’s about the people who are still struggling.

I’ll be the first one to admit, I am flawed. I am far from perfect. I am fully aware I have made several mistakes and (“spoiler alert”) I will make many more mistakes moving forward. I think my biggest mistake thus far is not being able to communicate my vision for Recovery Elevator and why this transition is taking place. Sure it’s about sustainability, and the time commitment is not feasible over time. However, our #1 goal, the mission, the force that continues to find the RE team at the same coffee shop every Friday morning at 7am for almost a year now is to shred the shame. Does that sound familiar?  What that means in one word is Stigma.

The stigma surrounding this disease is just as lethal if not more potent than alcohol itself. It was this stigma that led me to a failed suicide attempt in the summer of 2014. I hated myself for not being able to drink like a normal person and was ashamed. I was even more upset when the suicide attempt didn’t work. I woke up that morning pissed off and angry. I wasn’t happy to be taking in precious breaths of air with a new outlook on my 2nd chance on life. I was devastated I had to keep on living my life of misery from the disease. Can anyone think of another disease where we let ourselves and loved ones get to the most critical point before treatment or help arrives? Many times, that assistance arrives at a car crash when it’s too late (my friend in 2006) and our friends don’t get a second chance. Why do alcoholic bottoms have to be so low???? The Stigma.

A gentlemen, who removed himself from the group (We didn't), brought up some great points last night and I’m very glad he did. Before this message goes any further, I want to remind people that I have stated multiple times that Recovery Elevator is not affiliated with any 12 step or other recovery programs in particular Alcoholics Anonymous. I am just about to complete my own 12 steps and I plan on passing on that “service” with a sponsee when I finish. This person mentions RE is preying on people with monetization goals. It doesn’t any ivy league business degree to make that connection.  If I want a fighting chance at battling this stigma, I am going to need resources.

This may come as a surprise, but I’m definitely not the first one to prey on alcoholics and here are some examples: Budweiser, Miller, Coors, Pabst, Jose Cuervo, Jack Daniels, Crown Royal, Smirnoff, Boones, Corona, rehab facilities,  and many more are also targeting alcoholics. Battling the the stigma with resources will be tough, but shredding the shame with a cash flow of -$200 a month is a near insurmountable task. Think of the monthly fee going to the struggling alcoholic and not Recovery Elevator. Perhaps in 2014, if I saw a Recovery Elevator sponsored Facebook ad instead of a Bud Light Lime ad, I wouldn’t have bolted to a liquor store before they closed at 2:00 AM. A profitable sober travel company? I must be missing something, is there anything wrong with that?  When I was 24, I went on what seemed to be a very profitable, packed booze cruise in Cabo, Mexico, and my actions on that boat were probably more shameful than trying create a sustainable operation which provides services to people like myself.  I personally would have loved to go on sober adventure travel. Imagine being on an airplane and in the in flight magazine you see an add for a 7 day sober trip through the Grand Canyon. Am I supposed to not create a sober travel company due to traditions Recovery Elevator has never aligned themselves with?

In my opinion, I wish the market was already saturated with Sober Travel companies, but unfortunately it’s not. Take a guess anyone why? The stigma. Look at the monthly fee as a fund for a common goal or the passing of the basket. I will not be getting rich off this, but for imaginative purposes, what if I did?? What if I became as rich as Bill Gates and I was open and proud about being an alcoholic. What if I even donated millions of dollars to recovery organizations.  Does it really matter if I get rich or not doing this?

This is my last post about this transition because my time needs to be spent trying to reach struggling alcoholics and not on people who are making the stigma even more inflammatory. I am going to give you a choice to make the transition at whatever price you would like, $1, $5, $8 or $10. If you have already signed up at $5  and would like to change to $1 per month, then email me at info@recoveryelevator.com and I will make the change.  If you do have negative comments, call me personally at 970-376-7558 and we can chat about why a Sober Travel ad during the Super Bowl is such a terrible and shameful thing.

 

$1
https://recovery-elevator-sandbox.chargify.com/subscribe/w96vt4f374kp/join_one
$5
https://recovery-elevator-sandbox.chargify.com/subscribe/dyzjt7zsv937/fivedollarsmonthly
$8
https://recovery-elevator-sandbox.chargify.com/subscribe/88c8hk957b5d/eight
$10
https://recovery-elevator-sandbox.chargify.com/subscribe/vkq76q3q7vnk/ten_dollars_monthly

 

 

 

Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery Elevator Private Forum.

Come join the ultimate Recovery Elevator meet-up in Peru where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian Hearts, working with local alcoholics, and why not hike the 38 mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while were down there!

This episode was brought to you by Sober Travel and Sober Nation.

057: There's a Pill That Can Cure My Drinking Problem?

Mar 21, 2016 47:57

Description:

In this episode Penni from Australia shares how she made is 6 months sober!

Also discussed in the episode the Radio Lab's podcast episode The Fix. Is there really a pill that an cure alcoholism? Believe me, I have searched high and low.....

 

Don't isolate yourself and join the discussion in the Recovery Elevator Private Forum.

Come join the ultimate Recovery Elevator meet-up in Peru where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian Hearts, working with local alcoholics, and why not hike the 38 mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while were down there!

This episode was brought to you by Sober Travel and Sober Nation.

056: Traveling Drunk

Mar 14, 2016 54:38

Description:

In this episode Bill, who has been sober October 22nd 2015, shares how to successfully navigate retirement as an alcohol. Also in this episode how exhausting and potentially dangerous it can be while drinking and traveling. That is when the light bulb for sober travel went off about two weeks.

055: What I wish I heard in High School

Mar 7, 2016 41:07

Description:

Brandy shares how she has successfully made it to 69 days sober! I also talk about how I mapped out my talk to the largest school audience yet. Footage from this YouTube video to come shortly, but here the video that I made for the freshman and sophomore classes. 

 

-if when on vacation, every time you go out to eat with your boyfriend (who does not want you to drink) you make sure he sits in a place with his back to the bar so you can sneak a drink on your way to the bathroom. -Phenina

-if you wake up in the hospital and have to ask the nurse to help you look up impound lots after your car was totaled 4 days earlier and you have no recollection of where the accident happened. -Maureen

-if you check your bank online to find charges that you don't recognize...after all, you haven't been to that bar in months! You call the bar to contest the charge and then realize that it was your signature on the bill and you had been there in a blackout. -Jill

-if you get so desperate for mixers that you use mint tea or similar to mix your vodka, decided it tastes worse somehow, and just start doing shots, alone, on a Tuesday. -Sarje
-if your podcast app says you've heard those 15 podcasts, but you don't remember a single one. -Arista

 

Be sure to join the Recovery Elevator Private Accountability Facebook Group.

Come join the ultimate Recovery Elevator meet-up in Peru where we will be volunteering at orphanages with Peruvian Hearts, working with local alcoholics, and why not hike the 38 mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while were down there!

054: Why You Need to Laugh in Sobriety

Feb 29, 2016 44:04

Description:

In episode 54, Gavin from England shares how he made it too 100 days of sobriety, and his humor in the accountability groups is what gave me the inspiration for this topic.

Ideas for this podcast topic came from an article I read on The Fix and the benefits of laughter are from Help Guide.

 

053: Terminal Uniqueness | Personal Exceptionalism

Feb 22, 2016 40:34

Description:

In this episode Dawn, shares how she has made it to 6 months of sobriety as a mother of three. We also discuss terminal uniqueness which basically is when we focus on the differences and not the similarities. I have been culpable of this many times, and I am working on being cognizant of how to avoid this. Here are some of the key reasons why terminal uniqueness is so dangerous.

-It allows people to ignore the likely consequences of their actions

-It provides a false sense of security

-It divides the world into me and them

-It means that the individual will be unwilling to believe that treatments that help other people can help them

-It leads to the individual thinking that they are either worse than everyone else, or that they are better than everyone else

-It prevents the individual from seeking help for their problems

-It can be a barrier to communication

-It leads to feelings of loneliness and desperation (isolation)****

052: 10 Value Bombs After 1 Year of Podcasting

Feb 15, 2016 01:05:39

Description:

What I learned in 1 year of podcast is remarkable. It will help me stay sober and I want to thank everyone who has been a part of Recovery Elevator. I really hope you enjoy this summary because I had a great year compiling them.

Value Bombs

What I learned from a year of podcasting about my sobriety.

By Paul Churchill (with Elliot P.)

 

Podcasting about your sobriety isn’t exactly the best way to stay anonymous.   However, after years of struggling to stay sober I was willing to try anything and nothing seemed more powerful than the accountability I’d create by checking in with “the world” every week.   So I bought a few simple pieces of recording equipment, signed up for a podcasting service and started talking.  I was terrified to release the first episode – it felt like I was jumping off a cliff.  I knew my life would never be the same.   I was right.

 

This year has been the best year of my life but strangely, also the hardest.   I know what you are thinking, “of course it was the hardest as getting sober isn’t easy” and you’d be right.  But there is something especially terrifying about getting sober in front of anyone who wants to watch.  I’ve been told that some people thought my podcast would be a train wreck and they were listening for entertainment value.   Luckily, so far, I have beaten the odds and probably made this pretty boring for my macabre listeners.   My goal is to make this podcast as boring as possible for this demographic of my audience!  How is that for a podcasting goal?  Really though, I think we have had a lot of fun this year and I’m all for the suspense each week as I sign in, once again, still sober.   If I can do it, maybe some of my listeners realize that they can too.

 

Now I don’t claim to be very smart but the most unexpected part of this journey has been meeting hundreds of listeners who can relate to my story.   I honestly felt like I was the only one who suffered exactly like I did.   It turns out that alcoholism is ironically a communal disease where everyone afflicted feels isolated.  Part of the solution involves finding like-minded people who you can get honest with.  Little did I know, just by talking openly into the microphone, this group of like-minded people would come to me.   Listenership has grown beyond my wildest dreams.  I love you guys.

 

I’ve been asked what have been the most impactful lessons I’ve learned over this year of podcasting.   The beauty of listening to the stories of those I’ve interviewed is that everyone can relate to the stories differently depending upon their place in their sobriety journey.  Below is a list highlighting ideas that have meant the most to me:

051: Contempt Prior to Investigation

Feb 8, 2016 45:56

Description:

Scott, an attorney on the east coast, shares how he has reached 2.5 "great" months of sobriety.

Contempt prior to investigation!

Today marks the 51st episode of what started almost a year ago as a way for me to simply hold myself accountable. I made the commitment then to do at least 52 episodes and as I approach this number its hard not to be overwhelmed with the impact this podcast has had on myself and also, unexpectedly, on many of you.

I mean, first off, 51 episodes later, I’m still sober!  (1 year, 4 months and 6 days according to my recovery elevator app) – which is a miracle!  But I see an unintended consequence is that many of you are also finding ways to stay sober and find happiness in recovery.   It’s amazing to see what happens when we all put our minds together!

So for that, and all of you listening, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. There is rarely a day that I don’t get an email from a listener who shares how touched they are by something one of our guests said on the podcast.   I mean there have been over 50 guests who have shared their story and these stories have been downloaded over 160,000 times.   The impact of us simply, and honestly, sharing our stories is bringing hope to many who might not have otherwise found it.  Please keep sending me emails with your story, I never get tired of reading them even if I don’t have time to respond to every one know that I read every one and cherish them all.

And because of you and your desire to continue the discussions after each podcast we started the private Facebook recovery elevator accountability group.  I remember being amazed when we reached 60 members of the group and as I release today’s podcast we are rapidly approaching 450 members with new members being added every day.   Its so amazing to see you all in the group sharing your story, asking questions, sharing wisdom and encouragement, checking in on each other and ultimately helping yourself and others stay sober.  And it’s because of the things happening in this group that we are in the final stages of setting up an even better platform for us all to interact outside the podcast which will be several regions accountability groups which feed into the community forum.

Its all something I could not have imagined a year ago and it is a testament to the power of what can happen when we get honest and get out of our comfort zone.   So, just in case you are wondering, I may get a bit sentimental and maybe even a bit emotional as we approach our 52nd episode but I’m not planning on stopping after our 52nd episode.  You guys have stuck with me so I’m staying here and stick’n with you.

You know, after doing today’s interview, I was reminded of one of the most devastating things I’ve noticed during this busy year of podcasting, being interviewed by others and speaking at schools.  It is the stigma associated with alcoholism.   Because most people don’t even know the definition of who an alcoholic really is, they associate it with the worst stereotypes society has with problem drinkers.   Bums under a bridge, domestic violence, liver cirrhosis, drunken driving, weak “will power” and the list can go on.    The truth is, I don’t even like to talk about this stigma because it seems to only strengthen it.   Heck, it is this stigma, and the repulsion we feel about being associated with this stigma that keep many of us from ever getting help!

The truth is, this stigma is wrong, dangerous, and it needs to change.   I’m thinking of coming up with a name for it, like I did for Gary – my addiction.   Maybe I’ll name this stigma Stanley. Sure, like any good lie, there may be an element of truth in this stigma but many of the people I’ve met over the last year have lives that in no way resemble this stereotype.  I think today’s guest is another good example of this.

Alcoholism, like many of this century’s hot social issues (race relations, women’s rights, gay rights, etc) also suffers from something I like to call “contempt prior to investigation.”  For when we really investigate who an alcoholic is we find that there is really only two defining factors:  1) We tend to have a mental obsession that makes it seem impossible to not have that first drink and  2) When we start drinking a physical allergy kicks in and we can’t control our drinking.    That’s it. Period.   Let me repeat it: 1) We tend to have a mental obsession that makes it seem impossible to not have that first drink and  2) When we start drinking a physical allergy kicks in and we can’t control our drinking.  Alcoholism has been defined as a disease by the American Medical Association in 1056 and it does not make person good or bad.  Period.

Do you guys want to know the crazy thing about this stigma?!... With all the alcoholics I have spoken with over the last year, and all the non-alcoholics, it is BY FAR the “still drinking alcoholic” who has the most negative association with the word alcoholic.  Normal drinkers often see it as a medical issue and one with treatment options.  Recovering alcoholics have often worked through the association and seem to have no problem being associated with the term.  Ironically, it’s the very people who need the help who have the most negative association with the word.

And if we have done one thing by sharing our stories this year, I hope it is that we’ve helped each of us realize that we are not all that different, and we are not all that bad!  In fact, most of us are making amazing and courageous progress in our lives.  We are doing the things that, I believe, we will find the most meaningful when reflecting back on our lives from our deathbed.   We are making amazing friendships, we are looking at our career not as a job but as a way to serve others, we are learning to love ourselves and we are finding joy.  We truly are the lucky ones.

So, it’s simple.  It’s not easy.  But it’s so simple when you take away the stigma!  Stanley, goodbye!

Our guest today, Scott, seems to have this figured out and I love when we talk about how being an alcoholic is only one area of our life and it by no means defines us.

In today’ talk he keeps it simple and he is a man of action.  He is a successful lawyer, who has raised a nice family of 4 kids and has been married for over 30 years.   By all accounts, looking in, he is living the dream.  He is highly functional, very intelligent, and what we call in Montana “a man’s man.”    But you will hear him say it: he regrets the “blank memories” or the memories not made while drinking.   He is a great, and honorable, person who see’s that drinking has held him back from truly being the person he was designed to be and he is making a change.

So as you listen today, be reminded that you too are on a journey of becoming the person YOU were designed to be.   For most of us it happens slowly as we continually take action applying the principles of recovery to our lives.  For others, like you will hear today, there can be a profound spiritual experience which kick-starts the process.    The key is, that no matter what the catalyst is, we never forget why we march this path of happy destiny.   It’s in this mindset and in our daily actions, that we find freedom from the obsession to drink and freedom to become a little more of the person we want to be.    I think you will find that today’s guest, Scott, is well on his way.

His story is so inspiring and so full of value bombs it could be a 2 part series! But instead of doing that, I’ll just encourage you to listen to a few powerful themes:

- Without saying it, Scott touches on all three of the first 12 steps in a powerful way.

- Scott is not a “wu-wu” spiritual guy and I cant help but be inspired by how profound spirituality is in his recovery.

- Scott’s journey from “contempt prior to investigation” of alcoholism to now having an acceptance that is super charging his life.

 

"You Might be an Alcoholic if" - Thank you Megan for compiling these for me on weekly basis.

-You go snow-snorkeling in the nude in Wisconsin. -Christine

-You know you are out of wine so you stop and "borrow" / steal a bottle from your in laws house on the way home. The next day when you go to replace "borrowed" /stolen bottle you get busted in their house and make up some lame story about how you were just looking for your child's coat that he may have left there. -Julie

-The only reason you write the newspaper is to advocate repealing the ban on Sunday alcohol sales. -Jon

-You are a youth elder at Church and decide, not only to drink before driving a van full of middle schoolers around town for a holiday event, but continue to drink while driving. The only reason you do not smoke the pot you have with you is that you did not get the chance. (but did so immediately after!) TY

-You might be an alcoholic if... you use a bar stool as a walker so you don't fall down!

Maggie

 

 

Be sure to join the Recovery Elevator Private Accountability Facebook Group.

Be sure to expand your recovery network in and Seattle on February 27th and San Francisco on March 5th. Dates for NYC, San Francisco, Denver Costa Rica and Norway are coming soon.

This episode was brought to you by Sober Nation.

 

050: Alcoholic and Match.com, Who Would Have Thought?

Feb 1, 2016 41:38

Description:

In this podcast episode Cameron shares how he has successfully navigated nearly 6 months of sobriety.

In the early stages of a relationship, I was always terrified of the moment when I had to fess up to why I don't drink. I came up with every answer besides the honest answer which is the simple fact I'm an alcoholic. Below is my Match.com profile summary I created eight days ago. The results of this experiment have been miraculous. 2 years ago I would have been surprised by the results, but knowing my fear was completely irrational, I'm not surprised at all.

 

Hello, my name is Paul and I'm a recovering alcoholic, I'm extremely allergic to horses, at times I struggle with anxiety, and I have been diagnosed ADHD 4 different times by medical professionals.

You're probably wondering why I would lead off with this enticing intro, but after reading a couple profiles, I couldn't get a real idea of who the gals really were... so by being upfront, honest and transparent, I am saving both of us time.

None of these things truly define me, but this is an honest description of who I am. When I first started writing my profile it contained words like funny, outgoing, motivated, happy, and all the other generic descriptors, which do describe me, but I thought I would tell it straight.

 

 

You might be an alcoholic if..

 

- you walk your dog at night with a glass of beer in your hand!!! -Penni

 

.you make a trip to the liquor store for beer but forget the grocery store for the much needed milk. -Angela

 

- You go to pee before bed but realize in horror the next morning that you missed the toilet seat by an entire room. -Jamey

 

-You misplace things..like a decade -Dee

 

- The first thing you do in the morning is check your Facebook, email, and call record to see what you may have done the night before! -Kathy

Be sure to join the Recovery Elevator Private Accountability Facebook Group.

Be sure to expand your recovery network in and Seattle on February 27th and San Francisco on March 5th. Dates for NYC, San Francisco, Denver Costa Rica and Norway are coming soon.

This episode was brought to you by Sober Nation.

049: Songs About Recovery and Getting Sober

Jan 25, 2016 55:51

Description:

Colin shares how he has made it to 16 days of sobriety.

I'd like to give a special thanks to Maureen for helping me compile this great list of songs about recovery and getting sober. There are some great artists putting recovery on the map.

 

 “Hate Me” - Blue October.  What alcoholic cannot relate to these lyrics?  I know I’ve felt this so many times.  When we disappoint our loved ones after a relapse or crisis.  It would be so much easier if they would just hate me and go away.  The voice of his mother can be heard at the beginning on his answering system.  She’s calling to check on him and see if he’s taken his medications. He’s got 90-days sober and wants to thank her.  Good song.  “You’re Not My God” - Keith Urban.  “You’re not my God and you’re not my friend.  You’re not the one I will walk with in the end”. I view this as a goodbye letter to alcohol and drugs.  It’s got a great message.  Urban is public with his recovery as well.  “That’s Why I’m Here” - Kenny Chesney.  This is a great song and it’s one man’s  take on his first AA meeting.  It gives the impression I know I’ve felt of wanting what other people had.  “They started talkin’ about steps you take. Mistakes you make and the hearts that we break”.  There are a lot of 12-step references and I found it so relatable.  In the beginning he says “Well I ain’t had nothin’ to drink. I knew that’s probably what you’d think”.  I know this hit a chord with me as people would often if I really was sober.  Macklemore has a bunch of good songs.  “Fallin’” has lyrics, “Another drink at the bar but I’m not drunk enough..”. He goes on to describe his downward spiral in pretty good detail. “Otherside” is a great song about relapse and how low that can make you feel.  He describes going back to a meeting after a relapse and a fan tells him how much he’s inspired her with her own recovery.  He can’t even look at her as he is so ashamed and feels like a “fake”. It’s a great song for starting all over.  Remember, relapse is part of recovery and I know I’ve beaten myself up so bad in the past.  “Inhale Deep” has an inspiring message about “...every struggle in life, is there to teach you a lesson...”.  “But if you make the end You will never know the beauty of being able to stand up again”.  Very powerful lyrics.  He has a new song for his next album entitled “Kevin”.  He teams up with Leon Bridges and this song talks about the epidemic of doctors prescribing medications and people getting addicted.  You can’t buy the single yet but I strongly recommend you watch the YouTube clip of the two of them performing it at an awards show this fall.  Leon Bridges is like a throw-back to Sam Cooke and says, “Doctor please, give me a dose of the American Dream.  Put down the pen and look in my eyes...we’re overprescribed”.  Great song.  “Not An Addict” - K’s Choice.  This song is clearly about heroin addiction and the denial of being an addict. The song says “We’re so creative, so much more.  We’re High but on the floor”.  “It’s not a habit, it’s cool.  I feel alive”.  It’s like they are trying to tell themselves that they can “stop anytime I want to” trying to justify their use.  Old 90s song but I think it’s powerful.  “Recover” - Natasha Bedingfield.  This is a great song and it is so positive.  She stresses “It’s now what we’ve done but, how far we’ve come”.  The message is: WE WILL RECOVER, the worst is over, now.

10 “God of Wine” - Third Eye Blind.  “She takes a drink and then she waits.  The alcohol it permeates.  And soon the cells give way. And cancel out the day”.  Wow, this is so true for me, that feeling that I was wasting my life away when drinking.  It also speaks of the frustration of “Where do we begin?” when new to recovery.

 “The A-Team” - Ed Sheeran penned this one about a drug-addicted girl he met on the streets of London.  He befriended her and describes her as a “cool girl, with no phone”.  It sends the message of what lengths this girl goes to for her habit.  Sound City (Dave Grohl collaboration with Stevie Nicks and some other artists) “You Can’t Fix This” . It’s about dancing with the “devil” (addiction).  I know Stevie Nicks is vocal about her recovery. “One Day At A Time” - Joe Walsh “One Day At a Time” Yusaf Islam (the former Cat Stevens “Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace” - Sinead O’Connor.  I just like this song as it is the Third Step Prayer.  Its kind of somber though but pretty.  “Losing My Way” - Justin Timberlake.  “I used to be the man in my hometown until I started to lose my way”.  It spells out his downward spiral into addiction. “Sober” - Pink  “Amazing” - Aerosmith.  I think we’ve all known this band has long been in recovery.  Steven hit a rough patch in 2006 with painkillers after surgery but checked back into rehab and has since been okay.  This song is great as it tells how his life is “amazing” post recovery.  How inspiring for all of us struggling!  “Leave The Light On”  Beth Hart.  She says, “I want to love. I want to live. I don’t know much about it.  I never did. Seventeen and I’m all messed up inside.  I cut myself just to feel alive”.  Wow, what pain is she in....who cannot relate?  Addiction sucks!  "Semi-Charmed Life” - Third Eye Blind (your band) “Doing crystal meth with lift you up until you break”.  “We tripped on the edge of wanting  to feel alive and now I’m struggling to stay alive!

Be sure to join the Recovery Elevator Private Accountability Facebook Group.

Be sure to expand your recovery network in and Seattle on February 27th and San Francisco on March 5th. Dates for NYC, San Francisco, Denver Costa Rica and Norway are coming soon.

This episode was brought to you by Sober Nation.

048: The Mirror Test | Can You Look Yourself in the Mirror

Jan 18, 2016 50:24

Description:

James with 8 days of sobriety shares why he wants to quit.

There was a period of time from around 2004-2014 where I could not look at myself in the mirror. I didn't want to admit it, but I was disgusted with myself. I didn't recognize the person standing there and I didn't know what to do about it. I thought the problem was others, I thought the problem was stress, I thought the problem was anxiety and depression. I definitely wasn't ready to examine the problem could possibly be my ally alcohol. No way. Not at all. That couldn't be the problem. Nope.

It wasn't until I reached emotional sobriety in 2014 when I started to catch glimpses of the real Paul Churchill in the mirror. It didn't happen day one of sobriety. It didn't happen day 30. But like the seasons change, I was eventually able to look myself in the mirror without total disgust. Fast forward to January 18th, 2016. I embrace that man in the mirror. We challenge each other to be better. To make others better and that man in the mirror is my best friend. Here is the poem a football coach read to us in High School.

 

The Guy in the Glass

by Dale Wimbrow, (c) 1934

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,

And the world makes you King for a day,

Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,

And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn't your Father, or Mother, or Wife,

Who judgement upon you must pass.

The feller whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He's the feller to please, never mind all the rest,

For he's with you clear up to the end,

And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test

If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,

And think you're a wonderful guy,

But the man in the glass says you're only a bum

If you can't look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,

And get pats on the back as you pass,

But your final reward will be heartaches and tears

If you've cheated the guy in the glass.

Dale Wimbrow 1895-1954

"You might be an alcoholic if"

 

-your spring cleaning meant clearing out the alcohol hiding spots, nooks and crannies to make room for the new ones -Brandy

 

-you know more about what's happening in your bartender's life, than in your best friend's. -Sarje

 

-as the sun rises over the curb, you notice you have one shoe on and aren't sure if you lost a shoe or found one. -Frank

 

-you do your recycling at 2am in the morning so no one will see you. -Claudia

 

-you don't remember leaving a bar with a guy, wake up at 2am and find a note from a guy you swear you've never met. You text him. You confirm your worst fear. Then start drinking again. -Kelly E.

 

"If you can't wait to get home from the corner store, so you start drinking your beer while driving home in the car...you might be an alcoholic." -Alvin

 

 

Be sure to join the Recovery Elevator Private Accountability Facebook Group.

Be sure to expand your recovery network in Bozeman and Seattle. Dates for NYC, San Francisco, Denver Costa Rica and Norway are coming soon.

This episode was brought to you by Sober Nation.

047: Americans are Drinking Themselves to Death

Jan 11, 2016 46:31

Description:

An article written by the Alaksa Dispatch News titles "Americas are drinking themselves to death at record rates"  was recently posted in the Recovery Elevator Private Accountability Group on facebook and I was blown away by what I read.

Here are some of the bullets that I want to point out from the article.

Facts about the booze:  Last year more than 30,700 Americans died from alcohol-induced causes In 2014 there were 9.6 deaths from these alcohol-induced causes per 100,000 people, an increase of 37% since 2002. in 2014 28,647 people died of heroin and prescription drug overdoses which is less than the 30,700 from alcohol. The top 10% of American adults consume the lions share of alcohol in this country with close to 74 drinks on average. Line between "moderate use” and “Dangerous use”can be a thin one. A recent study quantified the rise of death associated with the use of a variety of common recreational drugs and they found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroine and cocaine.

 

Meetup! Bozeman in January 23rd and Seattle February 27th 2016

This is huge Recovery Elevator. The first Recovery Elevator meetup will be taking place in Seattle on Saturday February 27th, 2016. Details to come. Email info@recoveryelevator.com for more info on this meetup.

You might be an alcoholic if:

- you feel like you have to hide it from anybody at any time. Bill - Interviewee

-you swish mouthwash to freshen your breath and you notice you cannot taste or feel it... it's like swishing water  -Margaret

-at 476 days you are still finding empty beer cans in the garage, workshop, musical equipment cases etc because you were hiding so many empties thinking that you were fooling everyone about how much you were actually drinking. -James P

-you carry the tiny wine bottles in your purse and one falls out when you go to pay for your mani pedi at the nail salon.  -Larecia

-you live in a really small tourist town with 3 liquor stores within walking distance and you go in the liquor store to buy your usual, and the clerk offers you the "locals" (read frequent buyer) discount! -Tyrrell

You find a half-empty flask of flavored vodka that you hid under the sink months ago and actually contemplate drinking it, even though you just hit one week sober. -Me

 

This podcast was brought to you by Sober Nation.

046: Sobriety in the New Year and Resolutions

Jan 4, 2016 45:37

Description:

Are New Years resolutions really a good thing? In my opinion, if there is anything in life really worth changing, then waiting till a certain day to make that change seems silly to me. However, if the spirit of the New Year is to create goals and accountability, then I am all for it.

My new years resolution is to quit the gym. I know that sounds really strange but I have gotten way to comfortable with my routine at the gym to the point where I am in the center of my comfort zone circle. Last night I cancelled my gym membership and will be making an effort to to outdoor activities with my dog and use my own body weight for resistance. I'll let you know how it goes.

 

Here is an outline of what is discussed in today

 

1)  For people thinking of making “stop drinking” a new years resolution:

 

Resolutions are good and its a great time to start something new.   However, alcoholics are experts at making promises (even to ourselves) and then letting ourselves down.

There are thousands of self help books on reaching goals (i.e. tony robbins) but a true alcohol problem requires more than will power and knowledge.

I think we have all made the resolution to stop drinking on new years day - and that is good! But when dealing with addiction, the day doesn’t have much power than the other 364 days a year if we don’t take a few steps to get us on the path to sobriety.

If this is you, I encourage you to save yourself a lot of grief and supplement this resolution with some action such as: attending a meeting (maybe your resolution includes attending at least one meeting a week for a year), telling someone close to you, and maybe even join our private Facebook accountability page and post to the group introducing yourself.  Its a lot easier to quit drinking when you are part of a community that cares about you.

2) For people well on their way in sobriety that are making new resolutions:

We are experts at making promises and failing.  We are also experts and trying to do things our own way, only to find ourselves humbled as we constantly "bang our head on a wall” hoping the outcome will somehow “be different this time.”   I almost want to save myself (and all of you) the agony of defeat by just skipping resolutions this year.   However, not trying something is way worse than not trying and failing!    What if we tried something and we actually succeeded!

Sobriety can be so fragile in the beginning.  Maybe skipping resolutions and just “working your program” is the right move.  Without sobriety nothing else in life really matters.

However, if you are at a point in your recovery where your program is working and you still have some energy to spare.  Improving other areas of your life can actually strengthen your sobriety.

The key then, is to skip the standard mode of operation (make a big promise and use willpower to try and fulfill it) and instead use some of the tools we have learned in recovery to help turbo charge our progress.

A few ideas:

 

What tools  in your “recovery portfolio” can help you achieve your goals.

Is the resolution necessary and realistic?

Example:  quit all sugar vs quit processed sugar.   Necessary because regulating or moderating has produced nothing but failure.

Is it measurable:

Lose weight vs, loose 5 lbs every 3 months for a total of 20 pounds in the year.

Can you vision yourself and what it will be like when you achieve the resolution?

How good will you feel!  Weight loss and how you will look?  Pride from being successful.

What are you doing to hold yourself accountable?

Telling others, scheduled review times, public posting?

Have you laid out the steps necessary to get there?

i.e.  learn to fly…. what steps does that take?

This is all good and can really improve our health, happiness and thus sobriety.  One thing is for sure, achieving lofty goals were probably not possible when we were drinking!  Its okay, its more than okay - its so powerful to do awesome things in sobriety!   New years is a good time to expand upon our sobriety by really living.   Improving our lives through by achieving resolutions another way we can express gratitude for our sobriety.

 

You might be an alcoholic if: You might be an alcoholic if you get arrested for trying to pump your own gas at a closed gas station while your friend is taking a leak outside your car. -Rob You might be an alcoholic if you teach your kids how to play beer pong, but you are the only one that drinks every cup. -Rob You might be an alcoholic if you go on vacation in the first thing you do is locate the nearest liquor store. -Chris H You might be an alcoholic if you have to replace your debit card once every few weeks, because you black out and lose it on a regular basis. -Amber O. You might be an alcoholic if you have to buy a replacement bottle of wine for special occasions because you drink it before the event. -James M You might be an alcoholic if you are upset by facebook ads relating to alcohol. -Meg You might be an alcoholic if the remedy (alcohol) has become the ailment. -Dee M.

 

This is huge Recovery Elevator. The first Recovery Elevator meetup will be taking place in Seattle on Saturday February 27th, 2016. Details to come. Email info@recoveryelevator.com for more info on this meetup.

 

045: Recovery is Moving in the Right Direction | A Recap of the 60 Minute Segment on Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Dec 28, 2015 49:52

Description:

Micheal Hilton, with over 10 years of sobriety, discusses his recovery portfolio.  Micheal Hilton is a leader in the recovery community and does personal coaching with his company Breakthrough Coaching.   60 minutes recently did a segment on addiction.  Micheal Botticelli, the "Drug Czar” is someone who from first hand experience knows the intricacies of alcoholism and addiction. Here are some key points of what I took from this segment. 40 years and a trillion dollars, nation has little to show of the war on drugs. 21 million americans are addicted to drugs and alcohol and nearly 1/2 of federal incarcerations are in for drug crimes. “can’t arrest addiction out of people.” “We have learned that addiction is a brain disease.” “ We can’t expect cancers patients to just stop having cancer.” Addicts should be patients and not prisoners. Michael Botticelli has created a high school for teens in recovery in Massachusetts. Convicts can choose rehab over jail and this actually reduces crime. in 1998 crashed his car and woke up hand cuffed to a gurney. Alcohol free for 27 years. Oversees 26 billion dollar budget across 16 government agencies. Over 1/2 of the money goes to drug enforcement. Says the heroin crisis was created at home. Pain scripts have risen from 76 million in  1991 to 207 million in 2015. More than 120 americans die of drug overdoses each day. Tried an experiment in 2010 with the quincy police department. Officers are armed with Naloxone. A nasal spray for an overdose. Also changed laws called the good samaritan law. Today, 32 states have adopted similar laws and more than 800 police departments carry Naloxone. In Massachussets, Botticelli has made treating addiction routine health care. The affordable care act requires the most of insurance companies to cover addiction treatment. Substance abuse is one of the only disease where we let people reach their most acute point of the disease or “bottom” before we intervene. Botticelli prefers the word disorder instead of addict. Sees a model in the attitude towards the stigma with the gay rights movement. He was more comfortable being a gay man, before saying he was an alcoholic. “We have more work to do.” over 1/2 a million a year are killed by legal drugs. Alcohol and nicotine. Botticelli is not in favor of legalizing marijuana. Grew up as in insecure kid. A very wise judge said you can either get care for your drinking problem or you continue the path of this criminal behavior. You Might be an Alcoholic if...

Claire

You keep a note pad by the phone so you can take notes about your drunk dialings, but then you can't read your handwriting

You're now sober but want to wear a sign on your shirt that says you are enjoying a piece of gum to merely blow bubbles, not to cover up the vodka smell

 

Caleb

You buy canned beer so you can hide it in your bag without anybody hearing the glass clinks

 

Simone

If you log into MyFitnessPal as soon as you wake up...to log in the calories of the 8 double whiskeys you'll be drinking later...to know how much not to eat today.

 

Shane

If after a night of drinking an entire 26er of scotch, the only thing you can think of is "what am I going to drink today?"

 

Brian in KC, MO

You might be an alcoholic if it's your turn to be the DD, so before the baseball game you pound beers at the tailgate before the game hoping it carries you through to the end of the game....but then the game gets rained out in the 5th inning and you are still too drunk to drive home.

 

This episode was brought to you by Sober Nation.

044: Is Alcoholism a Disability? According to Former USC Head Football Coach it is.

Dec 25, 2015 22:00

Description:

In this episode we heard from 33 year old Autumn, explains how she has been a successful student and a mom in sobriety.   According to an article from the Los Angeles Times, Steve Sarkisian is suing former employer University of California for improper dismissal when he was recently fired as Head Football coach due to his drinking problem. Coach Sarkisian is seeking monies of $30,000,000, which he feels is properly owed to him due to California state laws. Here are this weeks "You Might be an Alcoholic if's" Tommy- You wake up mid black out and you’re being arrested.   Richard- Indiana If you leave a message at work while blacked out saying you’ve been up all night throwing up and you won’t be in to work the next morning. Only when you wake up, you forgot you called in sick and the first thing the boss says to you is, “Richard, I thought you were vomiting all night and weren’t coming in this morning”?   Shelly- If you tell your family on Christmas Day that this is your big hurrah before quitting, and then everyday until New Years you sneak beer and pour it into a large mug to hide it.   Racheal- If you've gone two weeks sober, and then you decide to have wine at lunch while out with your (sober) husband, and the minute you decide to have that wine you are instantly irritated that the server is taking too long to come back to take your food order. At this moment, you can no longer hear anything your husband is saying, and then you drink your glass in 10 minutes and order a second one while he's in the bathroom so he doesn't judge you.   Carrie- You cut the end off the wine bag and drain it out so you don't ware any. This podcast episode was brought to you by Sober Nation.

044: Is Alcoholism a Disability? According to Former USC Head Football Coach it is.

Dec 21, 2015 44:40

Description:

33 year old Autumn, explains how she has been a successful student and a mom in sobriety.

According to an article from the Los Angeles Times, Steve Sarkisian is suing former employer University of California for improper dismissal when he was recently fired as Head Football coach due to his drinking problem. Coach Sarkisian is seeking monies of $30,000,000, which he feels is properly owed to him due to California state laws.

 

043: 63 Ways to Stay Sober Over the Holidays

Dec 14, 2015 57:42

Description:

In this Episode Shannon, who is a high bottom drunk explains how she made it to nearly 80 days sober. She mentions she loves Karaoke and you can check out Jimmy Cliff's "I Can See Clearly Now" on YouTube because that's how we both feel these days!

 

While listening to the Bubble Hour Podcast a few weeks ago on my drive home for Thanksgiving, I heard some great ideas on how to stay sober over the Holidays. One of the segments was how to respond when someone offers you a drink at a Holiday party. I heard from great responses, but none of the answers were the truth. What I have learned in recovery, is the best answer is the truth. The truth is liberating and you will be surprised by the lack of questions you will get after telling someone you don't drink. Most people are happy for you, and encourage your decision to not drink. A small percentage will give you flack, and this is a great way to quickly find out who are not your friends. Another small group will become inquisitive and start asking questions like, how much did you used to drink? Or, why are you not drinking? These people are asking for themselves because they have been questioning their own drinking habit.

But here are 77 additional tips on how to stay sober over the Holidays. I do not claim for this to be a full and comprehensive list, and with certainty, I can predict leaving out some very important ones. But here ya go.

 

63 ways to stay sober over the Holidays

Hang out with another alcoholic: That guy Bill was on to something there. Dedicate 5 minutes today, 10 minutes tomorrow, 15 minutes the next day and increase by five minutes each day on a dormant hobby that you used to love so much. This could be the guitar, model trains, knitting, or swimming. Endless possibility of fun things to do. Find conduits to your higher power: Forest, Snow, Trans Siberian Orchestra in a Starbucks coffee shop, painting and so much more. Music: Listen to music. Have you heard flamenco? It’s incredible. Write a letter to a friend. Not an email, but place a stamp on an envelope and send it out. Write down 5 things you are thankful for each day. My first sponsor requested this of me, and after 16 days, I had 8 things listed in my gratitude list. Not because I wasn’t thankful for things in life, but because sometimes these small, seemingly infinitesimal tasks were very had. Have a sit down chat with your addiction: Hey Gary, as you know the Holidays are approaching… Call a family member that isn’t immediate family and tell them how much you appreciate them. This could be a cousin, uncle, etc. When in a drive through (preferably not fast food), pay for the person behind you. Cartwheels: 94% of cartwheels result in laughter and a great time. The other 6% are broken coffee tables. Go to a 12-step meeting. Buy paint, a canvas, and start painting Go on a 3-mile walk/hike where there is no cell service. Or make it a point to leave your phone at home. Write down the goal of not drinking over the holidays. And then place this goal in a place you will see everyday like on your bathroom mirror or inside your gym locker (if you work out everyday). Volunteer your time at the animal shelter and walk some dogs. In Montana, you may even be able to walk a pig or goat. Dogs are service animals for a reason. Their company is therapeutic and they also don’t judge. You’re simply the “bees knees” since your taking them on a walk. Affirmation: Remind yourself daily that you will not be drinking because you have an allergy to alcohol. Read a book. More specifically, “A Drinking Story” by Caroline Knapp When someone asks if you want a drink at his or her Christmas Party, you respond with “is your snowmobile insured”? Stay a minimum of 300 feet away from Burger King, McDonalds, Arby’s Wendy’s and other fast food chains at all times. Actually the chili at Wendy’s is okay. But that’s it! Pray Say the serenity prayer out loud while looking into the mirror. Learn the serenity prayer in a different language. Make it a point to get outside of your comfort zone. Be okay with uncomfortable feelings. Take 10 minutes and feel your uncomfortable feelings. Embrace them. Get REal with yourself. Hot tea. Hot Tea Hot Tea. Tea that is not injected full of caffeine if possible. Listen to recovery podcasts. Read: Read and be a sponge. Go through your cabinets and remove anything with over 10grams of sugar on the carton. Also look for bags of sugar, powdered sugar, and stashes of Reece’s pieces. Cook brussel sprouts When someone asks if you would like a drink at his or her holiday party, tell them you don’t drink. When that person asks why you don’t drink, answer their question unequivocally. Ask siri to set the timer to 5 minutes. For the first minute, while in a calm still place, sit down, keep your eyes and just focus on sounds. Minute two, breath in for 5 seconds, and exhale for five seconds. Minutes three, close eyes and tell yourself what you are thankful for. Minute four, pump yourself up with affirmations like Paul Churchill, today we will something great and minute five, envision what you want your life to be like in 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, 5 years and 10 years. Write down your goals. 95% of people don’t write down their goals and 95% of or people, who write down their goals, achieve their goals. Think that one through. Wake up before the sun comes up fro five consecutive days. Put your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you physically have to get out of the bed. Write down who your recovery team is. This doesn’t matter if you are drunk now, or have 10 years of sobriety. Be clear with who is on your team in case of emergency. Have the baby bag packed by the door. Avoid self-loathing: in other words, don’t kick the crap out of yourself over your drinking. Alcohol does a fine job of this already. Get to know your addiction. My addiction is named Gary, and I fully respect him. Whoever or what ever that God thing is, just remember, you’re not it. Find a way to create accountability. Tell someone you are planning to quit drinking, or this Christmas you plan to have less than ten eggnogs. Don’t judge yourself. Be truly accepting of who you are. Call your sponsor and if you don’t have one, get one. Acceptance is the answer. My favorite paragraph in the Big Book. Find a way to accept your current situation. Get creative: Create something with clay, pick up a new instrument, use your mind to create something. Learn a new skill or task. You tube is a great way to learn new things. Remove temptations: There are the obvious ones like that bottle of Tequila in your pantry, but get rid of all the maple syrup in the house while you’re at it. Have an exit strategy at outings. Give up control. Hang out with that group of friends who implausibly seem to be enjoying themselves without alcohol. De-friend 5 negative or non-supportive friends on Facebook. Write goals down: Don’t drink today, build a fence, or write a book. Celebrate: Milestones are huge. Get back up on your feet. Reward yourself with a treat: The treat shouldn’t be booze or consist of more than 92% sugar. Stay busy. Remind yourself the last 256 times you planned to only have a couple beers tonight, didn’t end up as planned. Netflix, HBO, and Hulu Learn a new recipe. One that doesn’t need maple syrup to make it delicious. Check out some animals in their natural environment. Go Carts. Do the steps. Remind yourself, it was my brilliant ideas that got me into this predicament (if you’re in a predicament) so maybe I don’t have all the answers.

 

This is huge Recovery Elevator. The first Recovery Elevator meetup will be taking place in Seattle on Saturday February 27th, 2016. Details to come. Email info@recoveryelevator.com for more info on this meetup.

This podcast was brought to you by Sober Nation.

042: Recovery on a Road Trip Home for the Holidays

Dec 7, 2015 46:24

Description:

Ferril from Party Sober clothing, with over 5 years of sobriety shares how has been successful sober entrepreneur.

041: Emotional Sobriety and Not Just a Dry Drunk

Nov 30, 2015 42:58

Description:

In Episode 41, I talk about emotional sobriety which is a topic breached with trepidation because fully understanding emotional sobriety is near impossible and I have so much more to learn about it. Also in this episode, I interview Erik from Massachusetts who is doing a great job in recovery working with other alcoholics. He mentioned in his interview that it isn't a requirement to hit rock bottom in recovery, a concept I wasn't familiar with in 2014 when I hit my bottom. The bulk of the content for this episode comes from Elliot P who just reached 2 years of sobriety earlier this month. Way to go Elliot!

040: Self Loathing in Recovery Continues | Stop Beating Yourself Up

Nov 23, 2015 48:29

Description:

Felicia shares how she reached nearly 60 days of sobriety and we check back in with Robert who has been interviewed twice on the podcast.

Recovery Elevator Bonus Episode 1: Why I got Sober

Nov 19, 2015 01:12:57

Description:

Paul Joins Shane Ramer from that Sober Guy Podcast, Micheal from the UK  and Omar the Shair Podcast and talk about why they got sober.

039: Signs of Alcohol Relapse and How to Avoid Them

Nov 16, 2015 44:48

Description:

Douglas Lail with the "Hello My Name Is" project, uses painting to help him stay sober.

038: Quotes About Sobriety

Nov 9, 2015 38:49

Description:

Jessica Shares how she made it to 141 days of sobriety!

037: Sex, Dating and Relationships in Sobriety

Nov 2, 2015 53:29

Description:

Anthony from Rise Together, with nearly 3 years of sobriety joins the Podcast.

036: Four Types of Alcoholics | Which One Are You?

Oct 26, 2015 53:33

Description:

Robert with 5 days of sobriety joins the podcast again. Robert was previously on episode 17 and he is determined to achieve sobriety.

035: What Courage Looks Like in Sobriety

Oct 19, 2015 32:02

Description:

Jason, with 4 years of Sobriety, climbs a 14,000 + foot peak each year on his sobriety date.

034: Alcohol Myths and Realities

Oct 12, 2015 54:18

Description:

Omar from the Shair Podcast joins the show.

033: 5 things that are holding you back from quitting drinking | Matthew shares how he has made multiple years of sobriety.

Oct 5, 2015 39:58

Description:

Matthew shares the Smart Recovery program and how counting years of sobriety isn't the best motivation to stay sober.

032: Paul makes 1 year of sobriety and shares his story: Part 3 the Solution

Sep 28, 2015 57:38

Description:

Tim explains about how Smart Recovery has helped him stay sober

031: Paul makes 1 year of sobriety and shares his story: Part 2

Sep 21, 2015 01:13:24

Description:

Also in this podcast episode Lindsey shares how she made it out of her first 30 days of sobriety which she was in for over 4 years.

030: Paul makes 1 year of sobriety and shares his story: Part 1

Sep 14, 2015 01:11:51

Description:

Also in this episode, Jon shares how he reached 103 days of sobriety without AA or a 12 step program. He does however, have his own program in place.

029: Why you can't stop drinking after you take that first drink

Sep 7, 2015 41:13

Description:

Jeff has been sober since 2013 and he shares how he made that dream a reality.

028: 5 Ways to Avoid Relapse | 27 year old Hollie shares her story in sobriety

Aug 31, 2015 37:25

Description:

 27 year old Hollie shares her story in sobriety

027: If the Media Covered Alcohol Like Other Drugs

Aug 24, 2015 42:01

Description:

Lisa, 39 and a mother of 3, explains how she has made it to 18 months sobriety.

026: The Other Side Part 4 | Paul Does Las Vegas Sober

Aug 17, 2015 53:15

Description:

This is the 4th part of the 4 part series called the other side where Paul interviews a non alcoholic who has been directly affected by an alcoholic. Diane is the the daughter of two alcoholics, the sister of an alcoholic who passed away earlier this year and a mother of a 19 year old alcoholic.

In this episode, we also hear from Ian, who shares how he has successfully made it to 18 months of sobriety.

Paul discusses how he made it 3 days in Las Vegas Sober through his fantasy football draft.

 

This episode was brought to you by Sober Nation.

025: The Other Side Part 3 |Cassy Married an Alcoholic

Aug 10, 2015 46:49

Description:

47 year old Claire, from Michigan explains how she reached 9 years of sobriety!

024: The Other Side Part 2 | Emma is the daughter of an alcoholic and is headed into her junior year of high school

Aug 3, 2015 43:04

Description:

Jim shares how surrendering is vital to his sobriety.

023: The Other Side Part 1 | Spouses and loved ones of alocholics

Jul 27, 2015 01:00:41

Description:

Shelly from Hawaii, who has nearly 3 months of sobriety, shares how she plans to be successful in recovery.

022: Some not so sobering information about drunk driving

Jul 20, 2015 40:17

Description:

Brigder decides to call it quits with alcohol after he wakes up in his car passed out covered in his own urine.

021: 10 Ways to meet new friends in sobriety

Jul 13, 2015 33:14

Description:

Simone from South Africa tells how she made it 8 months of Sobriety

020: I didn't have to drink over that |Using alcohol to cope with life struggles

Jul 6, 2015 37:41

Description:

Dez, with 18 months of sobriety shares her experience

019: Is Sugar your friend of foe after quitting alcohol?

Jun 29, 2015 49:44

Description:

Robert, with 5 days of sobriety, shares his journey.

018: Tim from Sobernation.com shares his story and how in recovery he has created online community of over 200k people in recovery

Jun 22, 2015 44:01

Description:

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

017: 9 ways to stay sober in social gatherings without drinking

Jun 15, 2015 43:13

Description:

Leleah, from Mission Canada, reaches 30 days of sobriety and shares how she did it

016: Do I have to go to rehab to get sober?

Jun 8, 2015 38:56

Description:

Lee Pepper from Foundations Recovery Network explains how rehab works.

015: Acceptance Was/Is the Answer

Jun 1, 2015 01:01:43

Description:

Shane Ramer from That Sober Guy Podcast tells us how he has successfully navigated sobriety and addiction.

014: Anxiety, depression and alcohol? Be honest with your doctor

May 25, 2015 38:12

Description:

Randy Raphael has 8.5 years of sobriety and he tells how getting sober doesn't have to be such a struggle.

013: Expectations in sobriety and what needs to be addressed

May 18, 2015 35:38

Description:

Eric finds himself in a wheelchair at 6 months of sobriety and doesn’t drink. He talks about what he thought sobriety was going to be like and what to expect.

 

012: Why today is the best day to start your sobriety and quit drinking alcohol

May 11, 2015 38:51

Description:

Alcoholism is a progressive disease and Paul, with 34 years of sobriety explains how he has made it this long with out a drink. Below are the key points Paul discusses.

 Drinking destroys the intelligence

After 34 years is still taking it one day at a time

Drinking destroys in this order: Spiritual, Mind then body. Healing is in reverse order

This disease is beautiful (the solution, continuing to be of service to the community and others)

ISM – incredibly short memory

Wants to be reminded on a daily basis that is doesn’t get any better

Gets gooder and gooder and gooder

Sick and tired of being sick and tired

 

 

 

011: 7 characteristics of a dry drunk and how to avoid this

May 4, 2015 50:31

Description:

Moira has 9 months of sobriety, has lost 55 pounds and explains how her life is so much better without alcohol.

 

A dry drunk is someone who:

1.     Has made no emotional or behavioral changes.

2.     Someone who simply doesn't drink and does not work a programs or invest time into their recovery

7 Characteristics of a Dry Drunk:

1.     Selfish

a.      Alcoholics are all extremely selfish and we think we are in total control at all times. We think we have beat the system

2.     My Way or the Highway – Tom Cochrane "Life is a highway"

a.      Spontaneous decisions with only one person in mind

3.     The Blah……

a.      Things are getting boring. You’ve quit drinking, you're riding the pink cloud, but soon things start to get mundane and boring

4.     We start to forget

a.      The magic of how our brains are wired to forget the past

5.     Sunsets aren’t quite as magnificent

               a. Interesting things in life have lost their allure

6.     Negativity

               a. A continuous trend in negativity

7.     You’re still bat shit crazy

a.      Drinking is a thinking disease and not a drinking disease

b.     Our drinking is but a symptom of our disease

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

010: Shred the shame of being an alcoholic and be proud of your decision to quit drinking alcohol

Apr 27, 2015 33:38

Description:

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

Here are some of the resources discussed in Episode 10

AA on Air Wellington

Hello Sunday Morning

Foundations Recovery Network

And of course, the battle with the iPhone

 

009: 6 ways to take action in sobriety before really taking action in recovery

Apr 20, 2015 36:10

Description:

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

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

1. Wake up - set a routine

2. Pray, say something positive to yourself and meditate

3. Make  healthy meals

4. Clean - organize the space you live in

5. Exercise - walk, jog, run, stretch

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

 

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

008: Nate, who has 5 years sobriety and is about to become a father, shares his amazing journey

Apr 13, 2015 36:07

Description:

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

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

Paul speaking to the girls of the Peruvian Promise program

 

 

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

Paul and Nate in El Salvador March 2011

007: I could not stop drinking alcohol while in route to Cusco, Peru where I was slated to be a chaperone

Apr 6, 2015 41:47

Description:

I was headed to Cusco, Peru as a chaperone for a group of highschool students around this same time last year, and when I started drinking on the first flight I kept drinking all night and up until moments before meeting the students. It was insane, which is exactly what this disease is.

006: Alcohol is the most dangerous drug in the world

Mar 30, 2015 25:35

Description:

Alcohol is the most