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 247: Is Alcohol to Blame for Bad Behavior?

Nov 11, 2019 50:05

Description:

Jody took her last drink on October 20, 2015.  This is her story.

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

On today’s episode Paul shares with the listeners the many (12) steps, and team members, it takes to put a podcast episode together.  And listeners…you are part of the team! 

Paul also covers an article he came across that talks about the relationship between alcohol and antisocial behavior is well documented.  You can find a link to the article here.

 

The question is, can we blame our bad behavior on the alcohol?  The study in this article says no.  Alcohol, according to the study, does not change your personality.  Drunken you has the same moral compass as sober you. 

 

[10:20] Paul introduces Jody. 

 

Jody is 30 years old and lives in Orlando, Florida.  She is a flight attendant and a mindset and transformation coach.  Jody is not married and does not have any kids, yet.  She loves to travel, read, cook, and do yoga. 

 

[13:25] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Jody was introduced to alcohol her freshman year of college.  She found that alcohol helped her social anxiety.  After graduating from college, she thought she would leave the binge drinking behind.  That didn’t happen.  She continued to drink and smoke and have blackouts, and this frustrated Jody. 

 

[17:15] Can you dive deeper into your frustration?

 

She moved back home and that addiction followed her.  It helped her find people that made her feel normal.   Once she decided she wanted to become a flight attendant she knew she would have to stop smoking because they drug test you.  So, she did, and she got the job.  During this time Jody started drinking more and drinking alone. 

 

[22:40] Get us up to speed, did you try to moderate, was there a rock bottom moment? 

 

When she started drinking alone, she tried to make rules and moderate, always breaking the rules.  The voice inside got really loud and she started to believe that the world would be a better place without her.  She felt her problem was too big.  This is when she started to listen to the Recovery Elevator podcast.  She got a new therapist and at the age of 27 she identified herself as an alcoholic, a word she does not use anymore. 

 

[24:30] Tell me your thinking on not using the word alcoholic anymore?

 

Jody feels very passionate about this…this feels it’s a very dangerous and harmful term to use.  

 

[27:40] Bring us up to October 20, 2015.

 

Jody says she was just sick and tired or being sick and tired.    

 

[28:20] What happened after that?

 

Jody says she’s pretty much did it on her own.   She took it one day at a time.  Jody structured her days and it helped her stay sober and grounded.   

 

[29:15] In the first couple months did you experience cravings, and how’d you get past them?

 

Jody says she made a really firm decision that she didn’t want to drink and she didn’t experience cravings. 

 

[30:20] Share with us your biggest life lessons during the last 4 years. 

 

Jody’s first year was dedicated to loving herself.  Year 2, 3, & 4 was all about mindset.  She changed the way she viewed what had happened and how alcohol was viewed in out society.  This ultimately made her leave AA. 

 

[33:40] Tell us about being a Mindset and Transformation Coach.

 

About a year ago Jody decided she wanted to do something to help others that want to be alcohol free.  There is nothing to be ashamed of. 

 

[38:25] You are loud and proud on social media, what has been the response?

 

Jody says her posts are never about her, they are about the people that need to hear it.  About sharing her story for those that need to hear that message. 

 

[43:30] Where can people get in contact with you? 

 

You can find Jody on Instagram here

 

[44:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

Realizing I am not my addiction, I am not what I have experienced. 

 

What is a gift that sobriety has given you?

 

Being fully present at all times.    

 

What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Recently I had a spicy AF jalapeno margherita.  

 

What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?

 

Annie Grace’s This Naked Mind, Alan Carr’s The Easy Way to Quit Drinking for Women, this podcast, and anyone that is loud and proud on Instagram. 

 

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

 

I want to help as many people as I can through coaching. 

 

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

 

Be open, and committed.  Stay curious. 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

 

If you use the layering technique in your recycling bin.    

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Connect with Jody via Instagram @jodyventura

 

You Can’t Blame Alcohol for Acting Like an A-hole Anymore, Say Scientists

https://www.inverse.com/article/58809-alcohol-study-does-it-change-your-personality

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 246: Oops! I Accidentally Posted That I Quit Drinking on Social Media

Nov 4, 2019 01:02:31

Description:

Wendall took his last drink on June 13, 2019.  This is his story.

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

On today’s episode Paul talks about the 5 responses you get when you tell people you don’t drink.  He also discusses what you do when you accidently post on social media that you no longer drink. 

The 5 responses: 

70% of the time you hear total support, “Wow that’s so cool, because I want you to be the best version of you.”

 

20% of the time the response will be that the person you told has a family member or close friend that has also quit drinking alcohol. 

 

5% of the time you will get bombarded with questions as to why you don’t drink. 

 

4% of the time they will be supportive but will no longer be a part of your life, drinking was the reason they were. 

 

1% of the time they will not be supportive of your decision to ditch the booze. 

 

[22:30] Paul introduces Wendall. 

 

Wendall lives in Toronto Ontario, Canada.  He is 42 years old and is a director, producer, and cinematographer of documentaries.  Wendall is married and has a 6-year-old son.  For fun Wendall enjoys getting out in nature. 

 

[23:35] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Wendall says he didn’t really start drinking until he was in university, about 1996.   Up until his late 30’s he was mostly a social drinker.  Things shifted then.  He was working a lot, traveling a lot, was stressed.  Drinking became habitual at this time; it was both a reward and a stress reliever.  With added responsibilities, came anxiety.  Drinking then became a coping mechanism.  In 2018 Wendall realized that all the rules of moderation he had tried to put in place weren’t working. 

 

About 6 months ago binge drinking really started to rear its ugly head.  He finally decided he couldn’t drink anymore. 

 

[34:00] How did it feel after you set the bottle down?

 

It felt like every new beginning comes from some others beginnings end.

 

[35:25] What was it like living life without alcohol the first few days and weeks? 

 

Because his drinking was habitual Wendall realized he would have to create new habits.  He started listening to recovery podcasts.  His first 30 days was done pretty much in solitude.  Instead of having his normal evening drinks he would listen to a podcast and read a few chapters. 

 

[39:20] How long did it take for the new habits to take hold?

 

Wendall says it only took about 14 days because he wanted it so badly. 

 

[43:00] Have you told your film crew or others in your industry?

 

Wendall has told his film crew as the situation came up, he simply tells them he just doesn’t drink. 

 

[48:24] This project, Sober House, showed up on your plate when you were also exploring a life without alcohol?

 

Wendall says it showed up in and around the time he was having some internal conflict with his drinking.  Listening to the kids in this film talk about how much alcohol has impacted their lives was like the hammer hitting the nail square on the head. 

 

[51:52] How can the listeners find out more information about this project? 

 

They can go to www.soberhouse.ca , they can follow us on Instagram and Twitter at soberhousefilm.

 

 

[53:27] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

Moments with my son are way better without a hangover. 

 

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

 

While filming in the Yukon and coming out of the tent in the morning, mist rising off the lake, the sun streaming down and the mountain revealing itself. 

 

What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Does ice cream count?  

 

What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?

 

I really dialed back into my love of reading.  The Recovery Elevator podcast, I binged that pretty hard the first 30 days, same with Recovery Happy Hour. 

 

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

 

To really have great experiences with my family.   

 

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

 

I have 2, the first one is to listen to your body.  The second one is listen to your body. 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

 

If you know where every liquor store is in every major airport in your country. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Sober House film

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oERDuy1WxgU&t=72s

 

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

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 245: The Runaway Car

Oct 28, 2019 46:30

Description:

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

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

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

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

The intention to stop is the most important thing. 

 

[9:44] Paul introduces Jay. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[32:20] How’d you do it?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

There is no courage without vulnerability. 

 

[41:05] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Those moments where this incredible peace overcomes you. 

 

What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

I drink coffee and water.  

 

What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

You might need to ditch the booze if...

 

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

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 244: The Opposite of Addiction is Connection

Oct 21, 2019 57:55

Description:

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

 

[14:25] Paul introduces Gracie. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[50:25] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

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

 

What is a gift sobriety has given you?

 

So much energy.

 

What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

You might have a drinking problem if...

 

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

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

We can do this.”

RE 243: Hope is the Problem

Oct 14, 2019 48:53

Description:

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:00] Paul introduces Patty. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[43:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

That I don’t have to drink. 

 

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

 

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

 

What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

LaCroix, hands down.     

 

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

 

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

 

What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

You might have a drinking problem if...

 

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

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

ZipRecruiter

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

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – We can do this.”

RE 242: When to Tackle the Next Addiction

Oct 7, 2019 01:01:39

Description:

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

 

[15:15] Paul introduces Kelly. 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[53:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

That I am as strong as I am. 

 

What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

I like kombucha, and I like coffee.   

 

What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?  

 

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

 

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

 

Eventually liking the outdoors.  Getting outside more. 

 

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

 

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

 

You might have a drinking problem if...

 

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

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Honey

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

 

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 241: Life Synergies

Sep 30, 2019 51:43

Description:

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:10] Paul introduces Dan. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[18:10] What happened after the accident?

 

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

 

[24:05] How are you feeling now?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[43:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

A better connection with my children and my wife. 

 

What is your favorite poison free drink?

 

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

 

What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?  

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

You might have a drinking problem if...

 

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

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

ZipRecruiter

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

 

 

 

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 240: How do I Make it Stop?

Sep 23, 2019 01:00:52

Description:

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

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

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

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

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

Rise Brewing Co., provided Nitro Cold Brewed Coffee!

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

 

[22:20] Paul introduces Rose. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[28:25] What happens next? 

 

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

    

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

 

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

 

[35:15] What happened on March 12th? 

 

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

 

[38:50] How did you do it?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[55:05] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Pineapple and lime sparkling water. 

 

What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?  

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

You might have a drinking problem if...

 

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

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 239: This Has to be Fun

Sep 16, 2019 47:13

Description:

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:30] Paul introduces Dan. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

    

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[40:40] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

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

 

What is a gift that sobriety has given you?

 

The biggest gift is time. 

 

What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

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

 

What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?  

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

You might have a drinking problem if...

 

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

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 238: Ditch the Only

Sep 9, 2019 44:58

Description:

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:30] Paul introduces Brandi. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

    

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[40:40] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

How many times have I thrown wine glasses away.

 

What is a memorable moment that sobriety has given you?

 

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

 

What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

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

 

What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?  

 

My friends that know me, my affirmation books.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

You might have a drinking problem if...

 

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

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Honey

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

 

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 237: Celebrities Who Ditched the Booze

Sep 2, 2019 01:00:41

Description:

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:30] Paul introduces Aisha. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

    

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

  

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

 

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

 

[51:20] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

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

 

What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Mango Bubly

 

What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?  

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

You might have a drinking problem if...

 

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

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

ZipRecruiter

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

 

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 236: There is Always a Plan B

Aug 26, 2019 40:22

Description:

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:33] Paul introduces Sarah. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

  

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

  

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[33:30] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

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

 

What is your favorite resource in recovery?   

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

You might have a drinking problem if...

 

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

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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RE 235: What is Spontaneous Sobriety?

Aug 19, 2019 53:44

Description:

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:40] Paul introduces Joy. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[24:35] What did you do after that? 

 

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

 

[27:00] What happened after that? 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[46:50] Rapid Fire Round

 

Worst memory from drinking?

 

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

 

What is your plan moving forward?

 

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

 

What is your favorite resource in recovery?

 

Women for Sobriety and Yoga of Recovery. 

 

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

 

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

 

What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

 

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

 

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

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

 

You might have a drinking problem if...

 

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

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Betterhelp 

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

 

 

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

RE 234: The Scientist

Aug 12, 2019 53:44

Description:

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

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

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

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

 SHOW NOTES

 

[16:05] Paul introduces Tiffany. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

  

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

[30:20] What tipped the scales?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

she did start talk therapy. 

 

[45:56] What’s on your bucket list? 

 

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

 

[47:47] Rapid Fire Round

 

Worst memory from drinking?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

What is your plan moving forward?

 

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

 

What is your favorite resource in recovery?

 

Definitely Recovery Elevator podcast and the Café’RE group.    

 

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

 

That it’s ok not to have perfect day. 

 

What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

 

If you think you have a problem you probably do. 

 

You might have a drinking problem if...

 

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

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Honey

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

Zip Recruiter

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

RE 233: It’s Okay to Struggle

Aug 5, 2019 55:22

Description:

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

[10:30] Paul introduces Daz. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[21:55] What happened next?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[48:50] Rapid Fire Round

Worst memory from drinking?

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

What is your plan moving forward?

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

What is your favorite resource?

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

What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

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

You might have a drinking problem if...

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

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 232: What is Sober Curious?

Jul 29, 2019 52:40

Description:

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

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

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

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

 

SHOW NOTES

[9:30] Paul introduces Arlina.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[46:40] Rapid Fire Round

Worst memory from drinking?

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

Year 26, how’s it going to happen?

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

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

Follow your heart.    

What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

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

You might be an alcoholic if...

You end up in an AA meeting. 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

BetterHelp 

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

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

http://odaatchat.com/

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 231: Control

Jul 22, 2019 01:01:37

Description:

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

[8:10] Paul introduces Odette. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[55:44] Rapid Fire Round

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

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

What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

Trust your gut. 

You might be an alcoholic if...

You burn all the ships and you still drink. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 230: Calming the Mind

Jul 15, 2019 58:52

Description:

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

[15:50] Paul introduces Mark. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[46:55] Rapid Fire Round

Worst memory from drinking?

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

When was your ‘oh-shit’ moment?

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

What’s your plan moving forward?

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

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

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

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

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

You might be an alcoholic if...

When its your shot for beers you buy yourself 2.

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 229: Alcohol Has Been Ruined For Me

Jul 8, 2019 54:17

Description:

Melissa, with a sobriety date of October 29,2019, shares her story.

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

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

SHOW NOTES

[11:00] Paul introduces Melissa. 

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

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

Scuba diving!      

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[47:28] Rapid Fire Round

Worst memory from drinking?

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

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Definitely the podcast and AA.    

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

Trust the process. 

What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

You’re not alone. 

You might be an alcoholic if...

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

  

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

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

RE 228: Only in My Darkness Did I see My Light

Jul 1, 2019 58:20

Description:

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

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

“Only in my pain, did I find my will.

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

         Only in my fear, did I find my might.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

[10:00] Paul introduces Sara. 

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

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

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

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

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

[15:25] Talk to us about your 20s. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[44:43] Rapid Fire Round

Worst memory from drinking?

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

When was your oh-shit moment?

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

What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

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

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

One day at a time. 

What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

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

You might be an alcoholic if...

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

 

 Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 227: 8 Things to Remember When Going Through Tough Times

Jun 24, 2019 55:57

Description:

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

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

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

 

SHOW NOTES:

[13:40] Paul introduces Chris. 

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

[14:20] When did you start drinking?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[47:00] Rapid Fire Round

Worst memory from drinking?

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

What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

To keep moving and not get comfortable. 

What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

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

You might be an alcoholic if...

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

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

BetterHelp 

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

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 226: Americans Are Drinking Less Alcohol

Jun 17, 2019 01:00:50

Description:

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

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

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

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

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

 

SHOW NOTES

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

[15:10] Paul introduces Tim. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[25:20] What happens next? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 [45:21] Rapid Fire Round

Worst memory from drinking?

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

When was your ah ha moment?

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

What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

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

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

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

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

Stop feeling so fucking sorry for yourself. 

What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

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

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

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

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Alcohol Use is Rising Around the World

 Americans Drank Less Alcohol in 2018

 

BetterHelp 

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

 

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

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

RE 225: Why I Drank After 2.5 Years Alcohol Free

Jun 10, 2019 01:03:25

Description:

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES 

[18:40] Paul introduces Nick. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[56:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

Worst memory from drinking?

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

When was your oh shit moment?

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

What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

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

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

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

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

You’re exactly where you need to be. 

What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

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

You might be an alcoholic if...

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

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Green Chef

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

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 224: Which Wolf Will You Feed?

Jun 3, 2019 59:51

Description:

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW NOTES

[13:00] Paul introduces Gerald. 

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

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

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

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

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

[19:11] What happened after that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[28:45] What was day 1 like? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[48:30] Rapid Fire Round

Worst memory from drinking?

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

When was your ah-ha moment?

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

What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

My morning practice, it has served me very well.   

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

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

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

That I am a miracle. 

What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

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

You might be an alcoholic if...

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

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

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

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 223: Let Authenticity Replace Positivity

May 27, 2019 50:58

Description:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

   

SHOW NOTES

 

[13:45] Paul introduces Alex. 

 

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

  

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

 

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

 

[20:45] What was your anxiety like?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

    

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

 

[44:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

Worst memory from drinking?

 

All the times I made my wife feel like shit. 

 

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

 

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

 

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

 

Definitely this podcast. 

 

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

 

To think about the positives instead of the negatives. 

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

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

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

 

Thank you to today’s sponsor Betterhelp 

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

 

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

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

RE 222: The 20/40/40 Rule

May 20, 2019 49:30

Description:

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:15] Paul introduces Ryan. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[23:20] What happened 90 days ago?     

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

    

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

He would have done it sooner. 

 

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

 

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

 

[41:30] Rapid Fire Round

 

Worst memory from drinking?

 

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

 

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

 

When I went to the hospital my senior year with that .39 BAC.

 

What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

I don’t have a true plan; I think that’s part of the plan.  It’s not that I’m focused on just being sober.  I’m focused on being the best version of myself and that just happens to include sobriety.    

 

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

 

Honestly, this podcast and my wife. 

 

In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

Don’t let the past dictate your future. 

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

Stop worrying about if you’re an alcoholic or not, who cares about the labels?  Ask yourself, does drinking cause you problems in any part of your life?  And if so, then it’s a problem and you can fix that problem by not drinking. 

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You refuse to listen to someone’s story about sobriety because you don’t actually want to stop drinking alcohol, you just want all the problems from drinking alcohol to magically go away. 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

 

Babbel

This episode is brought to you by the language learning app Babbel and right now, my listeners can try Babbel for free

 

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 221: In Sobriety, We Must First Learn Who We Aren’t

May 13, 2019 49:41

Description:

Liz, with a sobriety date of July 8, 2017, shares her story.

 

Workshops for the Bozeman, MT, retreat in August are lined up!  There are still a few spots left!  You can find more information about this event here

 

On today’s podcast Paul talks about a common misconception people have as they move forward in a life without alcohol.  That misconception is that when we get sober, we will finally find out who we really are.  But that isn’t how it works.  We do get to that point, but first we must find out who we aren’t.  

 

During this phase; people, places, things, ideas, thought patterns, identities, that are no longer in line with your new direction in life will start to fade away.  Just allow this process to happen.   Recovery is all about action, but this is a process of inaction.  This is a recurring process. 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:05] Paul introduces Liz. 

 

Liz is 29 years old and is originally from Indiana but is now living in Frankfurt, Illinois.  She is a licensed, board certified, acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist.  She is married.  For fun she enjoys working out, hiking, yoga, reading, going to concerts, and she is a big foodie. 

 

[11:00] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Liz started drinking when she was about 12 or 13 years old.  She was an only child and grew up in an abusive household, with addict parents (who are still active in their addictions).  She was sexually abused by her father and his friends between the ages of 8-10.  All of this trauma laid dormant until Liz was 21 years old. 

 

Liz’s father would give her drugs and alcohol whenever she would ask, she believes it was his way of keeping her numb, so that she would never speak up.  Her house was the party house in high school, and even middle school. 

Liz dated an ecstasy dealer, which led her into an ecstasy addiction and an overdose.  At the age of 20 she went to jail for underage drinking.  She moved to Chicago when she was 21.  She was working and going to school full time, and drinking. 

 

[16:55] You are the first person interviewed that has said they always knew they had a drinking problem, please explain.

 

She knew that when she started drinking at 12/13 years old that she was drinking to cover something up.  It was always a numbing agent for Liz, never a feel-good agent.  It was just the way I coped with everything.  Knowing she needed help she found an addictions counselor in Chicago.  Within the first session the counselor was telling her she was an alcoholic and addict, needed AA and to enter inpatient treatment. 

 

She continued to go to therapy, but did not enter into inpatient.  It was during this time that the sexual abuse from her childhood started to surface and her drinking and drugging intensified. 

 

[20:24] What was it like when these memories started to bubble up? 

 

Liz says this is when the downward spiral of her addiction really started to intensify.  She was still going to work and school, but was blacking out nightly.  If she didn’t go to bed drunk, she would have vivid night terrors. 

 

[22:23] Tell us about what it was like when you were meeting with the hypnotherapist.      

 

She assessed Liz, told her she needed AA and to stop drinking and basically told her she was not willing to work with her unless she stopped drinking.  Liz told her she was unwilling to stop drinking and insisted on the therapy.  The therapist agreed to proceed although she told her she may not get much out of it due to her alcohol consumption.  Liz showed up for every appointment, about twice a week for 6 months.  It was the most intense therapy Liz has ever gone through.  She relived the trauma and was able to heal from it. 

 

 

[24:45] What happened next?     

 

She continued to see the therapist, continued to drink, and she finished school.  Once she was done with school she moved to Illinois.  Her drinking//drugging slowed to the weekends, although she was still blacking out and her weekends were spent hungover.  She tried moderating.  She started breaking out in hives when she would drink.  It did not matter what she drank, or how much.  One drink would lead to hives from head to toe.  So, she started taking Claritin before she drank, so she could continue drinking without the hives.  Her hangovers started to get worse and last longer. 

 

She got engaged in 12/2015 and married in 8/2017.  July of 2017 was her bachelorette party weekend, and July 8, 2017 is her sobriety date. 

 

[31:16] What was it like in early sobriety?

 

She remembers being really scared to go anywhere, not wanting to explain anything to anyone.  Feelings were new to her and made her nervous.  She continued with her therapy during the first year of sobriety.  She did AA for about 6 months.  

 

[35:00] Talk to us about how acupuncture can be helpful in sobriety. 

    

Acupuncture can help release endorphins, increase serotonin levels, help get people off of anxiety meds, and help with overall cravings. 

 

[37:25] How has your life changed in sobriety?

 

She finally feels content, no longer feels restless. 

 

[40:10] What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

 

Liz wants to travel; Australia and New Zealand are next on her list.  She would also like to find a good yoga retreat to attend.  She wants to help others and to be more open about her sobriety. 

  

[42:19] Rapid Fire Round

 

Worst memory from drinking?

 

Ending up in the hospital in Memphis for alcohol poisoning, also waking up and not having memories.   

 

Do you remember a specific ‘oh-shit’ moment?

 

When she couldn’t make it through a whole day of class without going across the street to the bar.  Waking up without a phone or wallet.  Getting arrested for underage drinking. 

 

What’s your plan moving forward?

 

Being more open about my sobriety and using my acupuncture background to help other addicts.  Really being part of a good sober community. 

 

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

 

This podcast and hypnotherapy as well. 

 

In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

You are not defined by your past traumas.  Drinking is not going to fix anything. 

 

The best parting piece of advice you can give the listeners.

 

Work on your shit. 

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

Alcohol gives you hives, but you take a Claritin and drink anyways. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by Care/Of. For 25% off your first month of personalized Care/of vitamins, go to TakeCareOf.com and enter the promo code ELEVATOR

 

Babbel This episode is brought to you by the language learning app Babbel and right now, my listeners can try Babbel for free.

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 220: Depression, Stress and Anxiety

May 6, 2019 58:54

Description:

Nick, with 111 days sober, shares his story.

 

On today’s episode Paul discusses anxiety, depression and stress.   “These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.” ~ Rumi.    

 

Depression is when mental energies are stuck in the past, anxiety is when we are living in the future, and stress accumulates when the end goal is more important than the task at hand.   Liberation from all three of these dysfunctions resides in the present moment. 

 

There is an undeniable connection between alcohol and depression.  Remove alcohol and the bulk of melancholy should be lifted within a matter of months.  Anxiety levels should also return to baseline after removing alcohol from your life.  When we are primarily focused on the end outcome, and not the task at hand, we experience stress.  Stress can be devastating to the equanimity in the body.  The most powerful remedy to depression, anxiety, and stress is to ground yourself in the moment. 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:40] Paul introduces Nick

 

Nick is 32 years old and lives in Vancouver, Canada.  He works in the career center at a university.  He has been married for 2 years.  For fun, he is still trying to figure that out in sobriety, but he enjoys having conversation and making connections with people. 

 

[13:20] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Nick didn’t really start drinking until his early 20’s.  He says he liked to drink, that there never really was a time that he did not enjoy it.  He felt he could drink more than most and still be OK.  And what that ended up doing was it basically normalized drinking large amounts of alcohol, because he wasn’t getting sick or waking up with a hangover.  Things slowly escalated from there.

 

In 2010 Nick moved to Vancouver.  There were a few times when he decided that he didn’t like how much he was drinking, and he would just stop for a few months at a time. 

 

[17:00] What was the catalyst for you to decide to go a month or two without alcohol?

 

He went through a really messed up experience between his best friend and the person he was dating at the time.   He dealt with that experience by drinking.   What he came to realize was that alcohol just made him feel worse.   So, he distanced himself from those 2 people and from alcohol.  He went 3-4 months without drinking, not thinking he would never drink again, but more because he felt he needed a break from it. 

 

When Nick started to drink again, the next year or two, it wasn’t that bad.

But what came back very quickly was the familiar feeling that alcohol made him feel comfortable, safe, more confident. 

 

The thing that tipped Nick off to drinking becoming a problem was in order to feel normal or comfortable in a situation, he needed alcohol. 

 

[20:15] When did you realize that your drinking was a problem? 

 

It’s hard for him to pinpoint exactly when that happened.  It built very slowly over time.  It snowballed and it wasn’t until many years later that he realized that he had lost control.  

 

[22:05] When was the moment that you did stop and see that alcohol was the factor that was causing that unease in your life?    

 

Nick says there were lots of smaller moments, but when he really knew it, it was about 6 months after a good friend died from leukemia.  He started isolating and drinking alone. 

 

[25:50] Did you have a rock bottom moment?  How did you finally make the push forward into sobriety?     

 

Nick tried to moderate, which didn’t work.  He then started to go to counseling on a regular basis.  He was honest with his therapist about his drinking.   He started journaling which helped him to see why he was drinking.  He became more self-aware and was communicating better.  He was still sad and grieving.  Over the next year his drinking escalated.

 

Around September 2018 he was listening to a lot of podcasts and just knew that he had to give up drinking.  He came home one day, after listening to the RE podcast, took his earbuds out, and just cried.  Part of the reason he cried was because he realized that he was not alone. 

 

[34:05] When the tears came flowing, what did it feel like to fully lean in?    

 

Nick says it felt terrifying and he felt very vulnerable, but also so relieved.  That began a long series of day ones.   On December 1st he joined the Café’RE Facebook group.  After drinking a lot after a staff party on December 7, he has not picked up since. 

 

[41:30] What was the first week like, the first month?  How did you do it? 

    

The first few days were a little rough.   Because of all the journaling he had done he knew the hours that he needed to keep himself busy.  He changed the route he would take as he would walk home so that he would not be passing liquor stores.  He got connected and reached out to others in the group. 

 

[44:16] With 111 days what’s he biggest challenge you’ve encountered so far? 

 

The feeling of plateauing.  He’s sober and isn’t experiencing cravings, so the question of “what now”? 

 

[45:50] What was the Recovery Elevator Nashville event like?

 

It was great.  As soon as he heard about the Nashville event, he knew he had to try to get himself there. 

 

[48:30] What are you going to do next in recovery?

 

Nick would like to work with people in addiction and recovery.

  

[51:20] Rapid Fire Round

 

Worst memory from drinking?

 

Waking up and realizing that you hurt someone you care about, but you can’t remember why, is the absolute worst feeling in the world. 

 

Do you remember a specific ‘oh-shit’ moment?

 

The last night he drank.  It was though the scotch he was drinking was water.  It just wasn’t working anymore.    

 

Best advice you’ve ever received? And what advice can you give to someone who is thinking about getting sober?

 

Be open and vulnerable, be willing to give and receive love.      

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You go to slide a wine bottle under your couch, and you hear it hit another bottle, which hits another bottle.    

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 219: Let's Talk Surrender

Apr 29, 2019 47:53

Description:

Sami, with a sobriety date of July 21, 2018, shares her story.

 

On today’s podcast Paul discuses surrender.  What does is really mean to reach a point of surrendering?  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  Surrendering simply means yielding to your next stage in life.  As Paul mentioned on a previous podcast, addictions are no more than sign posts in life, and surrender is when we fully accept them and make, what is most likely to be the most important change in our life, quitting alcohol. 

 

Once we reach that moment when we realize that there are no more ways to moderate, when we clearly see that any attempt at moderation results in a dumpster fire, we usually find ourselves saying things like; f*ck it, I quit, I’m done, or I can’t do this anymore.  If you’ve ever muttered those words then congratulations!  You’ve hit what Paul calls the ‘now what’ milestone, which is huge.  This is when we enter into a moment of clarity and surrender. 

 

Surrendering is not a one and done thing.  Surrendering is something you will repeatedly do as you continue on your journey in sobriety.

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[11:35] Paul introduces Sami

 

Sami is 28 years old.  She lives in Prescott, Az.  She has a 9-year-old son, 2 wiener dogs, and a cat.  For fun Sami likes to hike/wander around the woods, do yoga and is into crystals. 

 

[13:00] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Sami says she comes from a whole family of alcoholics.  She had her first beer at the age of 14.  She remembers being jealous of her older brothers, at the age of 13, because they could party and she was too young.  During her teenage years she smoked pot more than she drank.  When Sami was 17 her mom, who had a drug problem, passed away.  At the age of 19 Sami got pregnant with her son. 

 

When Sami turned 21, she went out to the bars, got wasted, felt horrible the following day, and said she would not do that again.  And she didn’t, for about a year.  She split up with the father of her son, reconnected with a high school girlfriend, and started going out.  She says her drinking progressed from, ‘I’m not drinking alone.”, to bringing home beer to drink alone.  She tried to hide being an alcoholic behind liking craft beer. 

 

When her son started asking her how many beers she had had she realized that drinking may be an issue. 

 

[19:00] When your son started asking you that question did you stop and think…this might not be right?    

 

When he would ask her that she would get irritated. 

 

[19:55] What through the next couple years up until your sobriety date in July 2018. 

 

Eventually she was drinking every day, and also driving.   Drinking and driving with her son in the car.  April 14, 2014, she went to visit a girlfriend and they hung out by the pool drinking.  On her way home, swerving along the way, she pulled over to ask her son if he was OK.  He replied he was, she continued, and about a mile from home she saw the flashing lights in her rear-view mirror.  She was handcuffed, taken to jail.  Her dad came and picked her son up.  It was the worst night of her life…her rock-bottom.  

 

[25:40] Bring us up to July 21, 2018.   

 

She got her DUI and had a restricted driver’s license.  She still didn’t fully get it.  After the DUI and after drinking she asked a friend to go get her cigarettes and he got in an accident on the way.  She blamed herself for the accident…if she hadn’t been drinking, she would not have asked him to go.  This was her last drink.  

 

[28:55] Walk us through what happened after July 21, 2018.   

 

 Sami had to humble herself to ask for help getting herself to work and her son to school.  She had to get comfortable staying at home.  She started to learn more about alcohol and started to feel better 

 

 [32:15] Talk to us about how you got through the intense cravings in the early months. 

 

She had cravings but she learned that they are fleeting and that they would go away.  She started to realize that so many of the things she thought would not be enjoyable without alcohol were in fact more enjoyable.  

 

[35:25] How has your life changed without alcohol?

    

For the better.  She has more confidence and likes herself more.  She is a better mom and her relationship with her son is better. 

 

[37:45] What does a typical day in your sobriety look like? 

 

She wakes up, gets her son to school and herself to work.  Gets off work and goes home.  Goes to yoga some evenings.  She draws, reads and does a lot of art projects.  She stays away from things that may trigger her.  She surrounds herself with girls that are good for her sobriety.  She spends time with her family, who are also sober and understand. 

 

[40:24] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

When was your oh-shit moment?

 

I would say it was Christmas 2017.  I drank a bottle of Jameson and got so wasted I don’t remember if my son had any fun. 

 

What is you plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

I’m really excited about re-doing things that I have totally screwed up, like my son’s birthday.  Continuing my yoga practice and continuing finding myself. 

 

What’s your favorite resource in sobriety?

 

The Recovery Elevator podcast.  Tell Better Stories on Instagram. 

 

In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

One day at a time.  If you’re going to drink again, play the tape forward. 

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

If you wake up in the morning and half to ask your 8-year-old son, “what the hell happened last night?”. 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 218: Let's Talk Relapse

Apr 22, 2019 52:24

Description:

James, with a sobriety date of November 12, 2016, shares his story.

 

Recovery Elevator is on Instagram!  Please follow Paul and Ben here .

 

On today’s podcast Paul discuses relapse.  For some, and Paul has only met a few, relapse isn’t part of their story.  But for the vast majority it is, and it isn’t something to be ashamed of.  Spontaneous sobriety is rare.  Paul feels that the word ‘relapse’ is another word in recovery, similar to the word ‘alcoholic’, that needs to be thrown out.  The word ‘relapse’ has implications of failure. 

 

When we drink again, after having made the internal declaration not to, we are simply doing more field research, learning lessons along the way.  If you find yourself in a continuous cycle of field research, self-compassion is key.   Stop placing success and failure parameters on whether you drank last night or not.  When we start addressing what we are using alcohol to cover up than relapse will become less frequent and even a thing of the past. 

 

When you do find yourself on stable footing, beware of the 3 most dangerous words on this journey…I got this. 

 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

**Listeners you can listen to James’ first interview back on episode 105 when he had 74 days of sobriety, today he has 850 days. 

 

[8:05] Paul introduces James

 

James is 31 years old and lives in New Jersey with his wife and their pomsky, Milo.    He works in Manhattan.  For fun he likes to golf, go to the gym, and hang with his wife and pup.     

 

[10:50] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

James started drinking when he was 13, stealing beers and wine coolers from the liquor cabinet.  In high school he was not a big drinker, although he remembers how drinking helped make him feel comfortable. 

 

He started college, on a golf scholarship, became good friends with one of his teammates that was a Christian, started going to bible study and church and didn’t drink his entire freshman year.   Later, one of his teammates from England, was graduating so they threw a party and James drank.  He picked up right where he left off and the next three years of college he was binge drinking and dabbled in drugs. 

 

The spring semester of his senior year his coach called him in to his office and told him not to come to practice anymore, that he was coming in smelling like liquor and bringing the rest of the team down.  This was the first time that he realized his drinking was affecting other people. 

 

[13:44] Can you tell us what it felt like to have someone on the outside call you out on your drinking. 

 

Immediately James was embarrassed and ashamed.  He walked out of the office feeling sad and like he had let everyone down.  He was able to curb his drinking enough to not be a burden and make it through the last 3 months playing golf. 

 

2010 James was in Barcelona, caddying at a nice country club, the 2nd day he caddied he met a man that offered him a job which he took a week later.  This was the beginning of the end.  From the time he graduated at 21 years old to 28 years old, when he got sober, it was a quick progression of drugs and alcohol.  In the span of 5 years James lost his Grandfather, his uncle and his Dad.  Instead of dealing with the losses he used alcohol and drugs. 

 

At 27 he was arrested for possession of cocaine, theft, and disturbing the peace.  This leads to an intervention by his family and his Mom gives him the option to go to rehab or see a therapist.  He picked the therapist.  He went through a number of therapists and his girlfriend of 2 years left him during this time.    

 

[22:40] What did it feel like that moment when you told yourself you were done. 

 

He immediately felt a sense of relief.  He reached out to a friend from college, that he used to party with, but from his posts on Facebook knew that he had gotten sober.  At this time neither his family, or his girlfriend, would talk to him.  He went to see his friend from college the next day.  Talking to him helped, and he also started 12 weeks of IOP.  Everyday he would ask himself, is this going to honor my father.  He knew he had to make some changes and he firmly believes his father died to save his life. 

 

[24:45] Once you surrendered, how did you make it one week, one month, how did you do it?

 

One day at a time.  James says he was never a half-in guy, so once he decided to get sober, he dove in.  He found the RE podcast, started reading a lot, went to AA, and was going to IOP and therapy 3 times a week.  Very early he burned the ships with everyone, which he says was very therapeutic.  He could finally breath and no longer had all the guilt and the shame. 

 

[28:00] What was the transition from drinking/partying like you did, to the clean and sober life, like?   

 

James said it was hard, but that it was almost like he was going back to the person he was the whole time, and it was a relief.  In the last 6 months he shifted from playing the victim and feels he is becoming exactly who he is supposed to be. 

 

[33:05] Talk to us about your year 1 and year 2 and the differences between the two.      

 

James says he definitely had the classic pink cloud and felt great.  At the end of year 1 he started to struggle a bit but after he hit the year mark, he felt rejuvenated.   He booked the trip to Peru with Café RE and between months 13-15 things took another turn.  Things felt dark and he was asking himself if this was what he got sober for.  It was then he had a conversation with a friend, and with Paul, about ayahuasca and stayed in Peru to attend a ceremony.  James says it wasn’t a magic bullet but that ayahuasca, hiking Machu Picchu, and getting married in October, is what changed his attitude about everything. 

 

[35:15] On a group chat we were on you said one of the lessons you learned was that you no longer have to be the biggest guy in the room, talk to us about that.    

The first night, of the first ceremony he did, there was a gentleman there from New Zealand who was bigger than James.  (Who is 6’3” and 220 pounds, which he had always identified himself by.)  During the ceremony James was weeping and this gentleman came up behind him, put his arms around him, held him like a baby, and told him to just let it all out.  It was at this time he let go of feeling like always had to me the biggest guy in the room.  He was supposed to do 3 ceremonies but after the first one he told the shaman that he had gotten what he needed and didn’t do the remaining 2. 

 

[39:30] Talk to us about Cardamone Coaching.

 

Even as a kid James knew he wanted to help people.  Wanting to become a recovery coach was something he discussed with Paul while in Peru.  He realized fear was what was holding him back and that that was all bullshit, so he got certified to be a recovery coach.  His goal is to help people in recovery by using his own experience. 

James’ coaching website is: https://www.cardamonecoaching.com/ .

 

[45:06] I saw your registration come in for the Bozeman retreat, what are you looking forward to at this retreat?

 

Going back to Bozeman, it’s a change of pace from New York City.  Seeing some of the same people and meeting new people.   The retreats have changed James’ life.  

 

[47:25] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

What is you plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

Continue doing what I’m doing, stay the course, one day at a time, and helping people. 

 

What’s your favorite resource in sobriety?

 

Reading, I must have read 35 books in the last 2 ½ years, reading has really opened me up to different things. 

 

In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

It gets better and you never have to feel this way again if you don’t pick up a drink or a drug. 

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

You are good enough

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

If you get arrested outside of a nightclub with drugs in your pocket, a stolen credit card and no shoes on. 

 

 

 

 

You can sign up for a FREE 5-day Recovery Elevator video course here

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Babbel This episode is brought to you by the language learning app Babbel and right now, my listeners can try Babbel for free. Download the app, or text Elevator to 48-48-48   Green Chef For $50 off your first order, go to www.greenchef.us/elevator

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 217: 10 Ways to Ground Yourself in Sobriety

Apr 15, 2019 57:05

Description:

Brad, with a sobriety date of August 31, 2018, shares his story.

Paul talks about the ‘now’ and ways we can ground ourselves while we find ourselves taking this thing one day at a time.  At some period in our journey we will find ourselves logging our days in our tracker like it ‘ain’t no thing’.  Then there are other days when we wake up and keeping the mind in check can be a constant struggle.   Paul shares some of his own favorite personal techniques that he uses to ground himself. 

Acknowledge what is really happening. Think in terms of “we” rather than “I” Take your shoes off and walk barefooted outside. You are nature…take time to go out in your natural setting, nature. Slow down. Do not multitask Pay close attention to the body Go from saying, “I can get through this’, to saying, “I AM getting through this”. Go with the gut. Last one is I tell myself “Dude, Paul…this isn’t you!”

If you have a grounding technique that you use, that isn’t listed here, email it to Paul and put “Grounding Techniques” in the subject line. 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:10]  Paul introduces Brad

 

Brad is 31 years old and is from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He is a traveling salesperson and sells health care products to providers.  He is married and has a daughter.  For fun he likes to golf and recently has joined a kick boxing gym.  

 

[14:15] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Brad was a good kid all through high school.  At 17 he had a job as a barback where he learned a lot about alcohol.  He was pretty much alcohol free all through college.  When he was 20 years old he went to England and that is when he started to drink, not having too many sober days while there. 

 

Later, at 21 years old, he is back in the states working as a resident assistant and is spending as much time as he can at the bar.  Later he moved back home into his parent’s basement and was sneaking off to the bars, rather than spending time with them, as much as he could.  This is where he met his wife.   

 

They got married and, on their honeymoon, because he had had so much to drink, he almost drowned himself.  He continued to drink the duration of the honeymoon.  Fast forward to his wife being pregnant with their daughter, a lot of changes taking place in their relationship and he is no longer the focus of it. 

 

After his daughter was born, he was laid off from his job.  He spent a lot of his nights, while helping care for his daughter, drinking heavily.  In January of 2018 his grandfather committed suicide.  Brad found another job and then there was a spiral from June to August, 2018.  August 31, 2018, he got pulled over for drunk driving.  He hit his bottom in a jail cell.  The next day his dad took him to his first AA meeting.  After appearing in front of a judge he his charges where dropped. 

 

[19:40] Talk to us about a couple moments where the writing was on the wall (before your sobriety date).

 

He missed a flight home because he was drinking in the airport bar.  Spending too much time drinking after golf. 

 

[23:15] Did you ever try and quit before your sobriety date?

 

He tried to moderate, but never felt that the problem was great enough to quit. 

 

[26:25] Walk us through the 3 options you gave yourself after your DUI.

 

Laying on the cot in jail, after just calling his wife who was driving all over Fort Wayne looking for him, he realized he had 3 options.  He could run, he could figure out his life was meaningless, or he could get help.  So he picked getting help.  Getting to a meeting the next day and, if his wife didn’t divorce him, he could live in his parent’s guest bedroom until they figure it out.  For 2 months after that he was going to AA meetings every day, making living amends to his wife every day, and going to work.  On day 4 he found the Recovery Elevator podcast. 

 

[31:25] Talk to us about burning the ships with your mom, dad, and wife. 

 

His wife was pissed, his parents were in shock.  He told them how he missed flights because of drinking, and how he needed to have a drink to help him sleep.  His parents were in tears, but supportive.  His wife told him that if he ever drank again, she was taking their daughter and would be gone.

   

[33:37] How did it feel when you let your parents and your wife know what’s going on with you?    

 

A small weight was lifted, but there was an extreme sense of guilt.  It felt freeing but he also knew he had a lot of work to do. 

 

[34:45] Talk to us how the charges were dropped and then the bomb you got about the charges on January 31, 2019. 

 

He appeared in court, expecting the worst, and was told ‘case dismissed’.  That was not one of the options he was prepared for.  His attorney told him to go live his life.  His new life was to not touch alcohol, continue with his sobriety and his meetings, and that’s what he did.  Sometime later he got a call from a friend, who is an attorney, that infored him that his case was back up.  His case had been refiled.  He was booked, back in and out of jail, sober this time.  He was ready to accept responsibility.  He called his employer and told them that he may need something to ‘blow into’ so he can drive.  He realized that he may lose his job over this.  He was fighting and was doing it sober. 

 

[39:26] I feel like this is going to be a good thing for you Brad, how do feel about it?

 

Brad agrees.  It has made him live day to day.  It has made him mad at alcohol.  He has stopped focusing on himself and more on his wife.  It has helped him get through his 4th and 5th step. 

 

[41:45] How did you get and stay sober?

 

He did a lot of candy eating.  He did his best at doing the 90 AA meetings in 90 days.  He tried not to put any pressure on his wife to forgive him.  He tried to show what he wanted through his actions and not his words.  He goes to a therapist/marriage counselor.     

 

[43:47] What do you feel you were using alcohol to cover up?

 

He says he’s awkward and that there was some abuse growing up.  Possibly some depression.  Mostly it was just to find connections with other people.    

 

[47:50] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

When was your ah-ha moment?

 

When I was in an airport boozing with a pilot. 

 

What have you learned about yourself on this journey?

 

That it is OK to ask for help and OK to be vulnerable. 

 

What is you plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

I want to be a resource to help people. 

 

In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

Stop kicking your own butt. 

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

Never be afraid to reach out, you are never alone. 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

If you switch from Maker’s Mark to vodka on the back nine because you think you play better with vodka in your system than whiskey.   

 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

  This episode is brought to you by the language learning app Babbel and right now, my listeners can try Babbel for free. Download the app, or text Elevator to 48-48-48

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 216: The Unfu*ck Yourself Movement

Apr 8, 2019 52:03

Description:

Libby, with 112 days of sobriety, shares her story.

Paul talks about a trend he noticed in the airport bookstore.  Amongst the ’20 best sellers’ there were several books with clear, unambiguous titles.  Our society is collectively starting to wake up and are looking for ways to unf*ck ourselves.  He says that all of these books, including the one he is currently writing, are not fulfilling a trend or a niche, but that it’s a movement. 

https://newrepublic.com/article/153153/age-anxiety

Paul recently read an article titled the Age of Anxiety in the New Republic,

According to studies by the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 20 percent of Americans experience an anxiety disorder in a given year; over 30 percent experience an anxiety disorder over the course of their lifetimes. And the rate is rising: The American Psychiatric Association, in a May study drawing from a survey of 1,000 American adults, diagnosed a statistically significant increase in national anxiety since 2017.

But listeners listen closely, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with you.  Never has been, never will be. This anxiety is a good thing. This collective state of unrest will eventually show us the way.

This jittery national mood has given rise to what Rebecca Jennings at Vox has dubbed “anxiety consumerism”—the rise of a plethora of products, from fidget spinners to essential-oil sprays, to weighted blankets.  Perhaps the most well-known product to fall into this anxiety consumerism category is alcohol.

Those who struggle with addiction are the trailblazers in the collective unf*ck yourself movement. Not just for those who grapple with addiction to alcohol, but for everyone. 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:15] Libby how long have you been sober? 

 

She has been sober since October 23, 2018, giving her 112 days of sobriety. 

 

[7:40] In these last 112 days what is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered? 

 

She says that the cravings and the obsession to drink in the first couple months was definitely the toughest time. 

 

[9:00] Paul Introduces Libby.

 

Libby is 32 years old and lives in Louisville, Kentucky.  She is an interior designer and is currently waiting tables at night.  She has been married for 5 years, has no kids, has a dog named Boomerang, and a cat named Brice.  For fun she works out, does crafts, is decorating her house, and enjoys hiking when the weather is nice. 

 

[11:05] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Libby had her first drink at 15 and throughout high school she drank on the weekends.  By early 20s she was drinking daily, but still highly functional, holding two jobs.  She was coasting by until 2017 when she got fired from a job.  Libby says this is when her drinking ‘got wheels’. 

 

[12:30] What led you to seeking out alcohol to alleviate the pain?

 

She was fired suddenly, in a hateful way, and she had never gone through anything like that.  She was devastated and started drinking all day.  After a couple of weeks, she was experiencing morning tremors, or shakes, which she had never experienced before.  By the end of 2017 she was drinking in the mornings just to function.  During this time, she tried out AA a couple times and decided she just wasn’t ready.

 

[14:50] What was it like when you went to the AA meeting?

 

Before going into her first AA meeting Libby had the shakes so bad that she had to have a shot of alcohol.  She didn’t really have any intention to stop drinking, she just wanted control over it.  She wanted to stop drinking during the day and get control of her life again and just be a functional drinker.  Fast forward to 2018 and she had managed to cut back on her drinking, only drinking at night.  That lasted a couple months.  In April 2018 she found herself drunk at work and went home and told her husband that she needed to get into a treatment program, that drinking had taken control again. 

 

The next day, after drinking, she tried to get into an inpatient treatment program.  The first place turned her away because they didn’t take her insurance, the second place allowed her to stay for 3 days for ‘medical detox’ and then released her due to her insurance as well.  After being dry for 3 days she thought she had things under control, but she picked up right where she left off. 

 

[21:40] Take us through the next steps in your journey.

 

Not having a day job Libby was able to drink all day.  After about 2 weeks her husband, tired of coming home and finding her drunk on the couch, packed his bags and left.  He called her best friend and told her that Libby was in trouble, but that he didn’t know how to help her.  Her best friend made some phone calls and found a free center, The Healing Place, that would take Libby.  She stayed there for 4 days while she detoxed and went home.  Back at home she stayed sober for 11 days and then again was right back to where she left off.  After showing up at work drunk and hitting what Libby calls her first bottom, she went back to The Healing Place and stayed for 30 days. 

 

[26:35] Take us from when you got out after your 30 days up to your sobriety date. 

 

After about 74 days of sobriety, meeting with her sponsor and going to 3 AA meetings a day Libby found herself at the liquor store buying a bottle without giving it any thought.  Looking at this as a ‘slip’ she got right back on the wagon and back to her meetings.  Sober for another 46 days she then relapsed, drinking for 6 days straight.  This was her 2nd bottom, this binder ended on October 22, 2018 and she has been sober ever since. 

 

 

[28:40] How do you look at those ‘relapses’?    

 

As lessons, she learned that they start in her head first.  Now when her thoughts start going in that direction, she recognizes it and has a new method to deal with it. 

 

[33:15] Why do you think you drank?

 

She said that in the beginning it was just because she enjoyed it.  During her 20s she had a lot of trauma and it helped her feel better.  Drinking became a habit, then she physically depended on it. 

 

[34:40] Paul and Libby discuss what steps she can take to protect her sobriety while her husband continues to drink. 

 

[40:55] I’ve seen where sobriety thing is contagious, what are your thoughts on that?

 

Libby agrees, attraction rather than promotion. 

 

[42:50] What have you learned about yourself in this journey?

 

She has learned she is a lot stronger than she thought she was. 

 

[43:30] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

What was your absolute worst memory from drinking?

 

Libby describes her last couple days of drinking.

 

What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

I am going to continue working the AA program and working with my sponsor and I want to eventually help other people stay sober. 

 

In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

Don’t believe the lies. 

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

Give AA a shot.   

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You drink mouthwash in the morning to try and get rid of the shakes before work. 

 

 

 

A pint of beer takes 15 minutes off your life

https://www.ksbw.com/article/wine-beer-early-death-extra-glass/26532630

For someone in their 40’s every glass of alcohol above the suggested weekly threshold of 5 shortens their life by 15 minutes. Alcohol is shit.

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 215: Addictions are Signposts in Life

Apr 1, 2019 58:26

Description:

Ashley, with 192 days of sobriety, shares her story.

Paul talks about how alcohol is the invitation.  What is this invitation?  It’s called addiction.  Depending on how you RSVP you could have a life filled with infinite joy.  The fact that you are listening to this podcast right now is a good clue as to how you’re going to RSVP.  At first the invitations may not show up with enough frequency to connect the dots.  But, sooner or later, these invitations will start to show up more frequently, once a year, once every 6 months, once a week, once a day in every aspect of our lives.  For many that struggle with addiction they ignore this invitation their entire lives and it is not pretty.  If we stick to this long enough it will become clear that our addiction is the best thing that has happened for us. 

For those of you listening, you have earned your invitation.  Keep in mind the pain and suffering required to initiate this positive change in behind you.  This thing called life, if it hasn’t already, is about to get good.  So how will you RSVP to this invitation? 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[12:30] Paul Introduces Ashley.

 

Ashley lives in Chicago, IL with her sister and their 2 dogs.  She is single and is 31 years old.  She recently finished cosmetology school and is currently an apprentice to become a hair stylist at a salon in the city.   For fun Ashley likes to cook, enjoys music and going to concerts, power lifting, meditation, and is back playing soccer. 

 

[14:30] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

She was 13/14 years old the first time she got drunk, in her neighbors’ basement.  She remembers going home and telling her mom that she had been drinking, and that she got sick.  During high school she hung out with a lot of different crowds so went to, and drank at, a lot of parties.  She says she knew right away that she had a problem.  From the moment she would start drinking she would fixate on how she could drink more. 

 

When she got into college, she hit the ground running with partying.  She did a lot of partying and blacking out, had a lot of fun and didn’t get into any sever trouble, which she says, she thinks is why she continued to drink like she did.  In the back of her mind she was telling herself that once she was done with college things would change and she would grow up. 

 

After college she moved to Chicago and continued to drink on the weekends (Thursday-Sunday), which felt normal to her.  When she was 25, she woke up one morning, grabbed her phone, and Googled “what is an alcoholic?”. 

 

At 27, after a relationship that ended badly, she found herself in a super dark place.  She was depressed, having panic attacks, eating disorder flair ups, drinking, and drugging.  She managed to pull herself out of that dark place, and to prove to herself that she didn’t have a problem she didn’t drink for 30 days. 

 

[22:15] What was it like when you did prove it to yourself and not drink for 30 days?    

 

She felt she had it under control, although she continued to do drugs.  Then she slowly started drinking again until she was drinking more than she was before the 30 days.  She started blacking out every time she drank. 

 

After a really bad incident with her ex she walked into AA.  She made it 65 days before she went back out for another year and ½.  That year and ½ it got even worse, she was drinking hard and using a lot of drugs. 

 

On July 23, 2018 she came clean with her doctor and walked back into AA where she found an amazing group of women and her home group.      

 

[28:37] Comment a little more about honesty. 

 

Because of her issues with depression and anxiety her whole life she had been in/out of going to therapists.  She said she always lied to them about her alcohol/drug use.  After also being diagnosed bi-polar she knew she had to come clean with her doctors. 

 

[32:15] Why do you think you drank?

 

She said that to begin with, alcoholism runs in her family.  She wanted to escape from the feeling of having to micromanage her up/down feelings all the time and that unfortunately she thinks she was just made for it. 

 

[36:00] How did you do it?  You talked about AA, what else did you do to get sober?     

 

She stopped going to the places where she always drank, like concerts and bars.  She sought out a higher power.  She started running.  She made sure she got to her AA meetings and listened to the podcast, of course. 

 

[38:00] Tell us how you got through your week-long family reunion during the early days of your sobriety.

 

With about a week of sobriety she tried to look at the trip as a way to take advantage of the beautiful nature, instead of a big party.  She listened to podcasts and hiked.  With only a week of sobriety she wasn’t comfortable telling her family yet, and she was terrified of failing if she did. 

 

[42:15] After burning the ships on FB you mentioned you got reactions you didn’t expect, what kind of reactions did you expect??

 

She thought that people really wouldn’t care, or that they would think that it would change who she is.  She didn’t expect all the positive response. 

 

[43:30] Talk to us about some wins in sobriety. 

 

She can fly with out hitting the airport bar first.  She can go to concerts and remember everything.  She can go out with friends and have fun without drinking. 

 

[44:50] What is something you learned about yourself during this journey? 

 

She is super sensitive and can feel others emotions which used to be scary, but now that she is sober, she has learned how to use it to help other people. 

 

 

[46:38] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

What was your absolute worst memory from drinking?

 

My mom had surgery one time and we were in the recovery room and I was so hungover, and probably still drunk, from the night before that I threw up all over the hospital room. 

 

What was your ‘oh-shit’ moment, indicating that alcohol had to go?

 

The morning I woke up and just knew I couldn’t keep doing this. 

 

What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

To keep building a network.  Keep working the steps and stay in AA.  To keep on doing what I’m doing, one day at a time. 

 

In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

To take everything one day at a time.    

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?

 

Avoid things that are triggering to you and strive to do things that are healthy and look for self-care.

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You constantly find yourself keeping tabs on other peoples’ drinking. 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 214: Your Body and Mind Have the Capacity to Heal Itself

Mar 25, 2019 01:00:57

Description:

Dr. Sue Morter, talks to us about how our bodies and minds have the capacity to heal themselves if we allow it.

Registration is now live for the Recovery Elevator retreat in Bozeman, Montana this upcoming August.  You can find more information about this event here

Paul discusses addiction and how there are hundreds of definitions for what addiction is.   He has covered several of them on this podcast already, and covers many more in the book that he is currently writing. Some definitions are scientific. Some are psychological. Some explain the disease theory.

He brings up another definition that, in his opinion, may be the simplest and most accurate. Paul suggests that addiction(s) are nothing more than signposts in life. Addictions are nudges from the body, your internal and external environments, that signify that a change needs to occur.

Many people struggling with addiction ignore these internal and external cues their entire lives, and this gets ugly. There are signposts everywhere in life.  Paul’s advice? Get out of the way and let life happen.

The content that Dr. Sue Morter writes about in her book, The Energy Codes, which was released about a week ago, is profound.  (You can find the link here .)  She explains through quantum science how we can use our own energies to heal ourselves if we let it happen. Be prepared to have your mind blown.

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:44] Paul Introduces Dr. Sue.

 

Dr. Sue is an international speaker, master of bioenergetic medicine, and a quantum field visionary. She explains how quantum science and spirituality are speaking the same language. Dr. Sue redirects the flow of energy patterns in the body to activate full human potential. Through her presentations, seminars, retreats, which Paul attended one this past February in Colorado, and her book The Energy Codes, Dr. Sue illuminates the relationship of quantum science and energy medicine, as well as the elevation of human consciousness and life mastery.  In the book The Energy Codes, and at her retreats and conferences, she teaches individuals how to clear subconscious memory blockages.

 

[9:45] What is addiction? What causes it, and can it be overcome Dr. Sue? 

 

Dr. Sue is about the flow of energy in the body. If the energy is flowing in the body then the body is healing itself.  What happens with addiction is that there are sets of circuits that are supposed to be connecting our enteric system, meaning our digestive, hormonal, and chemical balance system, with our heart, with our mind. We're supposed to be one big communication system, everything having a check and balance on everything else. 

 

What happens is we have a tendency to kind of land and splat when we get here. We land in this life and our mind goes one way, our body goes another way, and our breath goes another way, and we're kind of not operating on all of our cylinders because of that.

 

Addiction happens when we bypass certain aspects of our own personal power, and we reach outwardly for some kind of reassurance, whether it's an addiction to an emotion, an addiction to needing to know the future, or to control things, an addiction then later turns into chemical addiction, substance abuse, those kinds of things.

 

[13:08] What do you feel about addictions, and can we overcome them?

 

She says we can absolutely overcome them. In fact, she feels that they are in place to reveal to us where we are here to evolve. We come into this life for a reason, and the addiction itself shows up in a certain pattern.  Dr. Sue says it's an avenue to our wholeness, not a problem. It's just a very intense solution.

 

[14:37] Earlier I talked about addiction being a signpost, almost an invitation of where to go next in life, and that many of us miss this. Can you comment on that a little bit?

 

We miss the lamp post, the light house, because we're so consumed in guilt, and shame, and fear because we start to observe our addictive patterns, and we start to try to outrun them even faster because we are afraid that something is inherently wrong. That whole sensation is generated because the mind is not connected to the rest of who we are.

 

When we do see the light post, the sign post, everything shifts. When we don't see it it's because we haven't created enough of a vibrational frequency to get the mind's attention yet.

 

[17:16] Talk to us about how disconnection can lead to addiction.  

 

When we land and we splat, we come up from the splat attached to the mind. We are attached to the mind. It's important to realize that we are not the mind. We have a mind, but we are so infused and inter-meshed with it that we think it's who we are.  Bear in mind that the mind is based in duality, and the mind's job is to separate things, to see the differences, to make distinctions.  If we're attached to the mind, we inherently feel different and distinct from other things. When we're attached to the heart, or to the soul, or to the truth of who we are, our true essential selves, we are connected, vibrationally speaking, to nature, and to everyone else, and to all that exists.

 

When we are disconnected to our heart, and our deep wisdom, we don't experience ourselves as wise, loving, brilliant, smart, and enough to meet the bill. What happens instead is we divert, we deflect, and the energy moves around this area.  The next thing you know we're looking for an imitation. We're looking for some other sense of self that gets hidden in our activities, or our substances.

 

[21:40] Talk to us about the trap door.

 

This energy that's rising up through the body that either does or does not pass through our own personal identity on its way through to love, and to manifesting the life that we would choose to have, it's rising up through the primitive brain and it hits a trap door that's either open or closed. That trap door is closed if we've experienced too many things in our past that we couldn't really resolve. 

 

[25:00] What advice, or what do you have to say to people who, the first month of sobriety, first six months of sobriety, they feel these uncomfortable emotions? (PAWS) Do they run away from them? Do they go towards them? What are these emotions, and what do you recommend they do when they experience them?

 

It's not that the body generates those emotions when you stop drinking. Those emotions were always there. You just couldn't sense them or perceive them, because you were either running from them, or you were numbing them out. They are your power. Your power is inside of those emotions that currently might feel a little intense, or a lot intense. And we can learn how to grab ahold of those energies and get them back into the flow, breathe them into the flow that's trying to happen in our system that keeps us connected.

 

 [29:10] If we feel a meltdown coming do we squash it? What do we do? What are they?

 

Dr. Sue 100% suggests that we lean into it. The body is trying to get us to implode back into the soul.  Just by allowing ourselves to sit in presence with what is rising is a victory beyond what we were able to do before.

 

[35:48] Can you talk a little bit about how everything that happens, even on a day to day basis, is there for our advantage?

 

All of it is ultimately serving you. You are made of the entire cosmos, and you are packed into a body. And more of it is arriving every second, and it's 100% in support of your awakening to this truth, to your greatness, to your magnificence. Everything that happens in your life is guiding you, and steering you toward a great shakedown that will make you let go of being attached to the mind and this idea that you're a separate self, and accept, and receive, and perceive this amazing support that is constantly here supporting you toward you realizing a different version of life altogether.

 

[38:50] You did an incredible job of explaining how science, quantum physics, is blending with spirituality, with a higher power. Talk more about this.

 

What's happening is science and spirituality are kind of meeting on the same page and recognizing that there is a great unifying presence, and each of us has the opportunity to allow that to guide us in particular ways.

 

[42:06] Dr. Sue walks listeners through exercises so they can build circuits and create new connections, inside the body, on their own. 

 

 

[55:13] Listeners, Dr. Sue’s book The Energy Codes was just released about a week ago and you can find it here.   

 

She also has incredible retreats, taking people to sacred sites all over the world, along with teaching all kinds of coursework across the country.   For more information you can go to DrSueMorter.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 213: The Most Controversial Word in Recovery

Mar 18, 2019 51:33

Description:

Mina, with a sobriety date of May 30, 2017, shares his story.

You can sign up for a FREE 5-day Recovery Elevator video course here

Paul discusses the most controversial word he has encountered in AA.  The word is recovered, as in your addiction to alcohol is behind you.  Although recovered is mentioned in the books of AA, after Paul said the word in an AA meeting, he noticed a shift in the energy in the room.  Ty (who has been editing the podcasts for over 150 episodes straight…Thank you Ty!), found the word recovered mentioned over 20 times in The Big Book and the Twelve and Twelve. 

So why is the word recovered so controversial?  Is recovered even such a thing? 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:30] Paul Introduces Mina.

 

Mina with a sobriety date of May 30, 2017, is 37 years old and is from Stockholm, Sweden.  He is single and has no children.  He is a software engineer.  For fun Mina likes to read, visit museums and exhibitions, and spend time in libraries.      

 

[12:20] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Mina had his first real drink at the age of 17, it was his first high school party and the first time he blacked out.  From 17 to 25 he was drinking hard.  He was drinking on his own, drinking Friday to Monday.  During those years he didn’t really mix drinks, he would have a couple beers and go straight to vodka or tequila.  After a couple years it was just bottles of vodka or tequila, and he was drinking alone.  After a humiliating experience in 2003 he tried to regulate his drinking for the next 3 years, which did not go well. 

 

In 2007 he decided to move back to South Africa, where his parents were living.  Before leaving his friends threw him a going away party, which ended with Mina waking up in a hospital emergency room and not knowing how he got there.  For the first time he realized he had a drinking problem.  The next 11 years he says he was a textbook dry drunk. 

 

On May 29, 2017 Mina had his last drink.  The following day he walked into an AA meeting, was done fighting, and introduced himself as an alcoholic. 

 

 

[28:22] How did it feel when you said you were an alcoholic?    

 

The word itself wasn’t that difficult.  But saying it in front of a group of people, who then clapped, gave him a sense of relief and he started crying. 

 

[32:45] You mentioned that you had the shakes for two weeks after your last day of drinking, what is your take on that?

 

He says he doesn’t even remember those first two weeks.  He knows he called his AA sponsor a couple times, he took a couple days off work, and that he was doing things to take care of himself.

 

[35:20] What kept you going during those first two miserable weeks?   

 

He knew he was going to die if he drank again. 

 

[36:30] What are some of the lessons you learned in the first 30 to 60 days?     

 

In the first 30 days he had to learn how to be honest about everything. In the first 60 days he had to learn how to trust other people.  Both of these were incredibly hard to do.     

 

[39:48] Share with me how important it is to bring other people on in your recovery.

 

Mina started telling his closest friends during the time he started to do his amends (AA step 9).  Most of his friends were in shock because he was so good a lying that they had no idea he had a drinking problem.  The friendships became closer after he told them. 

 

[41:30] Why do you think you drank?

 

There are several reasons.  He drank to feel normal and it helped him to socialize.  When he drank alone drinking was the elixir for everything that was wrong.  He drank because he wanted to die. 

 

[43:50] Is there anything you would have done differently when getting sober?

 

Mina says he would have listened to his sponsor regarding dating. 

 

 

[46:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

More spirituality, more service, and working on myself in terms of projects I never did because I was drunk. 

 

What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?

 

The practice of meditation I one.  Music is another resource.  The third resource is to really work on some deeper issues. 

 

In regards to sobriety, what is the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

Do you want to be right, or do you want to be at peace?

 

What parting piece of guidance do you want to give to listeners?

 

Choose yourself today. 

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You wake up in your own piss and shit after a hard night drinking. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Blinkist

This episode is brought to you in support by Blinkist. Right now, my listeners can try Blinkist for free. Visit blinkist.com/elevator for your seven-day free trial.

 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 212: The Body Tells us Where to go Next in Recovery

Mar 11, 2019 01:01:39

Description:

Tricia, with a sobriety date of November 14, 2016, shares her story.

Sometimes we reach a moment in our journey where we say, “what’s next?”.  Paul discusses what he would recommend when you reach this moment.   Do not go ‘seeking’, that reinforces a mind state that we are lacking something.   Instead, listen to the body.  The body is going to tell you where to go next. 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:30] Paul Introduces Tricia.

 

Tricia with a sobriety date of November 14, 2016, is 37 years old and lives in Dallas, TX.  Tricia is a chef by trade, a business owner, and has a few side hustles.  She is divorced and does not have kids, but has a ‘manfriend’.  For fun Tricia likes to do crafts and puzzles, and enjoys live music. 

 

[8:40] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Tricia grew up around alcoholism and addiction.  She had her first drink at 16 years old, getting drunk at a party to get back at a boy who had hurt her.  She says she always drank to get drunk.  Blackouts started in her early twenties and she started to try to moderate by her mid-twenties.   Tricia was always a high achiever and she soon became a high achieving, high functioning, alcoholic.   The hard part was coming to terms with the fact that she had a problem when she was sure everything looked fine from the outside. 

 

 

[15:10] Did you have a rock bottom moment, or was it an accumulation of many moments?    

 

Her drinking took a turn for the worse when she got divorced at the age of 34.  She was blacking out every time she drank, waking up with injuries and didn’t know where they came from.  Tricia says at a certain point you can no longer negotiate with alcohol.  After a 3-day physical detox she decided to keep the dry spell going. 

 

[20:22] Why do you think it’s so hard to quit drinking?    

 

We love to get in our own way.  Alcohol is highly addictive.  Our egos get in the way. 

 

[26:16] What got you from the beginning of your sobriety to where you are now?   

 

First and foremost, she had an open mind.  Tricia stopped doing what she wanted to do and started doing what other people told her she should do…and she tried everything.  She started attending AA regularly.  She was open and honest, and she started doing the things that were uncomfortable.  

 

[30:20] Is RECOVERED a thing?     

 

She says it depends.  In Tricia’s opinion, alcoholism isn’t about the alcohol it is about the stuff you are drinking over.  She says you (she) can be recovered from the alcoholism while at the same time not be recovered from the stuff you (she) drank over. 

 

[34:00] With 2 years and 3 months, what are you working on in your recovery now? 

 

She says she’s in some transition right now.  Being patient with the things that are out of her control is something she is working on, on a personal level.  She is also trying to bring more sober events to the forefront, such as the Sober by Southwest event she is bringing to Austin, TX on March 16th. 

 

[40:00] Paul and Tricia talk about the RE events and her podcast, Recovery Happy Hour. 

 

[46:00] What are some themes you are seeing in your podcasts?

 

Grey area drinking is a big one.  People are over the label ‘alcoholic’.  Sober dating is another one. 

 

[53:00] Paul and Tricia talk about how things have changed since the beginning of their sobriety to now. 

 

 

[56:20] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

What parting piece of guidance would you give to listeners?

 

You do not need to be an alcoholic to decide to change your relationship with alcohol. 

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You wake up and you plan your entire day around accommodating your drinking or your hangover. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Robinhood 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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside.”

RE 211: Courage to Face the Unknown in Sobriety

Mar 4, 2019 46:57

Description:

Steven, with a sobriety date of August 7, 2016, shares his story.

Registration for the Bozeman, Montana Retreat opened up this past Friday.  Space is limited for this retreat.  You can find more information about events here

Internet memes…a picture, coupled with a few short words, can spread powerful messages.  Paul describes one he saw the other day.  It was an old school telephone with the words, “when the phone was attached with a wire humans were free”.  Paul encourages listeners to put their phone down for a couple of hours each day. 

Paul talks about courage.  Courage is being OK with not knowing what is happening next.  We don’t know what’s going to happen when we quit drinking.  This can be frightening.  In recovery we don’t need to be at level 10 courageousness at all times.  Paul’s advice is to listen to your body, it will tell you when it’s time to be courageous or time to go a little slower. 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:36] Paul Introduces Steven.

 

Steven, with a sobriety date of August 7, 2016, is 30 years old and is from Bakersfield, CA.  He works for a utility company.  He has a beautiful girlfriend.  Steven has always enjoyed outdoor activities and since being sober he has added reading and meditation to his list of things he enjoys. 

 

[10:00] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Steven had his first few beers at the age of 13, but didn’t start drinking heavily until his senior year of high school when he started binge drinking on the weekends.  That mind-altering feeling, that that first drink at the age of 13 gave him, filled a void that he always felt he had.  Steven was kicked out at 18 and got his first DUI/wreck at 19.  He continued to drink and 8 yrs. later he got his 2nd DUI with a BAC of .29.  This 2nd DUI was an eye opener for Steven, and walking out of jail after it he decided to take a break from alcohol…that was August 7, 2016. 

 

[18:30] What would you say to listeners that are trying to “think their way” through sobriety?   

 

He would tell them it’s not going to happen. 

 

[21:22] Walk us through what happened when you walked out of jail on August 7, 2016.    

 

The first few weeks were tough.  Nobody knew about his 2nd DUI because he was too embarrassed to tell anyone.  For a few months he went into hibernation mode, only going from home, to work, and back home.  He met, and started dating a girl at about the 4th month mark and that lasted until he had a year of sobriety.  That breakup did not go well and he started obsessing about drinking again.  He went as far as pouring himself a glass of Jack Daniels, but because he had a healthy fear of alcohol, he played the tape forward and called a sober friend instead of drinking it.  The next night he went to his first AA meeting and has continued to go ever since.

 

[26:10] Talk to us about your experience with AA.   

 

Because Steven’s mom was in NA he knew that there was something out there that could help.  He didn’t know what to expect when he walked into his first meeting, but he knew he needed some help staying sober.  When he left that first meeting he wasn’t sure if he would go back.  A man at the meeting followed Steven outside to talk to him and invited him to a meeting the following night.  That man became Steven’s sponsor.  He had a willingness and felt hope in the rooms of AA. 

 

[35:54] Are you open about the fact that you are in recovery?    

 

At first he wasn’t, he was still worried about being judged.  After 6 months of AA he realized that he shouldn’t be ashamed of this part of his life.  He is now very open about it and feels that that helps him.  He also hopes that by being open about it he will be able to help others. 

 

[38:20] What is on your bucket list in sobriety? 

 

He just wants to live the best life he can live.  He wants to get out there and travel the world and be able to remember it. 

 

[40:30] Rapid Fire Round

 

 

What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

Waking up out of a blackout after I wrapped my truck around a power pole, took out a tree, a no parking sign, and went through a brick wall. 

 

 

Apart from AA what are some other resources you can recommend?

 

The book This Naked Mind, the Recovery Elevator podcast and other podcasts. 

 

In regards to sobriety what is the best advice you have ever received?

 

A lady once told me, “everything is going to be OK and you never have to drink again if you don’t want to,” and that just burned in my brain. 

 

What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

 

Get honest with yourself and give yourself a chance to be that person that has been locked up inside of you all this time.

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You wake up 2 hours from your hometown, at a train station, you don’t have the slightest clue how you got there, with a massive headache, a massive hangover, and without a shirt.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside.”

RE 210: Cravings - What They are and How to Deal With Them

Feb 25, 2019 48:47

Description:

Juan, with a sobriety date of May 29, 2018, shares his story.

Congratulations to Kirk S. in Florida for hitting 1 year of sobriety. 

This Friday, March 1st, registration for the Recovery Elevator Retreat in Bozeman goes live.  Space is limited for this retreat.  You can find more information about events here

After the interview with Juan, Paul will discuss detoxing from alcohol and how dangerous it can be. 

Paul talks about cravings.  What they are, what they represent, and what to do when we experience them.  Also, are all cravings the same?  In simple form, a craving is a desire to regulate our inner state with an external substance or behavior.   

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[9:25] Paul Introduces Bill.

 

Juan, with a sobriety date of May 29, 2018, is 32 years old and is from Los Angeles, CA.   He is a personal assistant, and single.  For fun Juan likes to play music (he is in a band), go to the movies, hike, workout.   

 

[10:25] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Juan started drinking at the age of 19 to ‘fit in’.  He had recently come out as a gay man and drinking helped him feel more confident and comfortable in his own skin.  Touring with his band all over the country and world, drinking was the way he got rid of his performance anxiety.  Around age 25 things started to get messy.  Towards the end of his drinking his anxiety was through the roof.  

 

[13:25] Tell us more about your anxiety.   

 

At first drinking would calm his anxiety, but once he ‘went over the threshold’ he would start to get paranoid.  The worst part was the fear he would have when waking up in the morning.  His self-esteem was at an all time low.  In May of 2017 Juan hit this internal rock bottom, got into a horrible physical altercation with a friend and knew something had to change.     

 

[18:35] Walk us through what happened after May 27, 2107.    

 

He went through a ‘dry drunk’ stage.  He just stopped drinking, started avoiding going out, avoiding certain people and situations.  It wasn’t easy and he was not feeling the benefits right away.  He felt like he was on a diet and depriving himself.  He did this for about 4 months and then felt like his relationship with alcohol had changed, and he decided to drink again.  By his birthday in February his drinking was back to where it was when he quit.       

 

[22:15] Continue from where you are back to drinking and your anxiety is back.   

 

On May 28, 2018 he decided to try sobriety again.  This time he would do it differently.  He started to read books and watch movies about alcoholism.  After about a month and a half, and at a friend’s suggestion, he went to his first AA meeting.  Although he was nervous and uncomfortable, he immediately felt like he found what he needed.  He got a sponsor and attends about 4 meetings a week. 

 

[25:20] Tell us about your first AA meeting.    

 

His first meeting was very small and intimate.  It was a lot to take in and he left thinking he would go back, but still feeling confused.   He continued going once a week for a while, ducking in and out, until it felt more comfortable. 

 

[26:40] What advice do have for someone that is saying there is no way they could go to AA? 

 

If you are open and ready AA can work for you. 

 

[29:10] Walk us through a typical day in your recovery.

 

Juan wakes up earlier, prays, makes a gratitude list, goes to work, 4 evenings a week he catches an AA meeting.  Everyday in sobriety is different but he tries to something of service for someone every day.  He always tries to keep connection with someone throughout the day. 

 

[31:40] What has been the biggest hurdle you have had to overcome in the past 7 ½ months?

 

It has been in just that last few weeks, he is transitioning out of his job that he has had the 9 years.  It’s the first time in 9 years he is unsure about where he will be working.  Although it is a scary time for Juan, he feels a lot calmer than he thought he would and is taking it one day at a time.  He doesn’t think he would’ve been able to handle this situation before sobriety. 

 

[35:05] What was harder, coming out of the closet as a gay man, or coming out of the closet as an alcoholic?

 

Definitely coming out of the closet as an alcoholic. 

 

[37:15] What is it like playing music and being on stage in sobriety? 

 

At first it was difficult because of stage fright.  But now being nervous and being in the moment is a good thing. 

 

[40:08] What have you learned about yourself in this journey?

 

He is more confident and enjoys people more. 

 

[41:15] Rapid Fire Round

 

What is your favorite guitar rift to play?

 

The intro rift in Smashing Pumpkin’s - Today

 

What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

The fight he got into with his friend.    

 

Did you have an ‘oh-shit’ moment?

 

Coming home with friends in an Uber and feeling so alone and desperate. 

 

What is your plane moving forward?

 

Continuing with his step work, finding new sober friends and hopefully finding a whole new career.   

 

What is your favorite resource in recovery?

 

AA is the go-to for me. 

 

Regarding sobriety, what is the best advice you have ever received?

 

Letting go of control. 

 

What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

 

Contrary action, doing what you don’t want to do. 

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

Your bandmates on tour lock you in a basement because you are that out of control and everyone is scared of you. 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside.”

RE 209: 4 Themes From 4 Years of Podcasting

Feb 18, 2019 53:05

Description:

Bill, with a sobriety date of October 8, 2018, shares her story.

We want to thank Mike Noll for his commitment to doing the podcast show notes for the previous 35 episodes and welcome Kerri, from California, to the position, who will take over doing the next 26 episodes.    

We still have a couple spots left for our Nashville event coming up this February 22 – 24.  Registration for Bozeman Retreat will open up on March 1, and registration for our Asia Adventure will open up on July 1.  You can find more information about events here

Paul shares the news he is writing a book, which he hopes to launch by July 1.  As that date gets closer, he will be asking for volunteers to be part of the launch team so be on the lookout for that opportunity if that is something you would like to be a part of.

After doing something long enough some trends start to appear.  In Ep. 52, after 1 year of podcasting, Paul did a summery of what he learned during the 1st year.  In this episode he will cover the 4 themes that people successful in sobriety have fully embraced. 

Community Accountability Thinking Trust

 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[10:15] Paul Introduces Bill.

 

Bill, with a sobriety date of October 8, 2018, is 49 years old and is from northern New Jersey.   He does investment research for an insurance company.  Bill has been married for a little over 20 years and has two kids.  Bill finds fun in outdoor activities such as camping and fishing.   

 

[12:56] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Bill started drinking at an early age and drank all throughout college and through his 20s.  He got married, finished grad school, their daughter was born, and things seemed fine.  Although he was drinking during this time there was nothing significant that made him feel as if he had an alcohol problem.  His son was born in 2005 and there were complications.  They soon realized his son was not meeting his milestones or developing like their daughter had. When his son was 14/15 mos. old, after watching a Home Improvement episode about a family with 4 autistic children, they just knew what their son’s problem was. The day that the doctor confirmed their fears is the day that Tom feels he became an alcoholic.  That was in 2006 and when the progression started.  

 

[18:53] When did you decide you needed to evaluate your alcohol consumption?

 

Things started to unravel for Bill in April of 2017.  After a mini-breakdown and a call to a sister, who called their father, an intervention was set up.  He started seeing a counselor who was the only person he was honest with, including himself.  At this time, he was not drinking, but white knuckling it.   By May he was drinking again.  He tried moderation and no matter what he tried it always failed. 

 

Fast forward to October 8, 2018, at the gym Bill pulls up podcasts, types in alcohol addiction and finds the RE podcast for the first time. 

 

[29:30] When did you finally get honest with yourself?    

 

The point of surrender was driving home the evening of Sunday, October 7th.  He finally said he had had enough. 

 

[32:34] Who are the first 3 people you ”burned the ships” with?

 

The first person he told was his best friend.   The second person he told was his cousin, who actually confronted him about his drinking.  The third person was the most difficult.  That was his wife and that was just two weeks ago. 

 

[38:36] Back to October 8, what were the things you put in place to get you to 90 days? 

 

The first few weeks he broke his days into 3 parts, the mornings, the afternoons, and the evenings.  All he was wanting to do was make it through the day to make it to bed.  The biggest differentiator is instead of pushing the cravings away he acknowledges them.  

 

[43:00] Talk to us about the progress you have made in accepting your son for who he is. 

 

He has gone from the feelings knowing that his son wasn’t going to be the baseball star to now recognizing the potential he does have.  His son has made great strides.  He tries to live in the present and not look too far into the future and celebrates his son’s accomplishments daily. 

 

 

[46:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

When his daughter wanted to watch the first Star Wars with him one Sunday night and he drank so many Vodka Cranberries during the day that he got violently ill after the 1st five minutes of the movie. 

 

Did you have an “Ah-Ha” moment?

 

The mini-breakdown I had in April 2017. 

 

What is your plan moving forward?

 

Reminding myself that I need to make progress each week and I can’t be complacent. 

 

What is your favorite resource in recovery?

 

Recovery Elevator podcasts.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

 

Burn the ships. 

 

What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

 

Alcohol is but a symptom. 

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

Your 14 year old daughter says to you, at 10:45 in the morning, “Hey Dad, aren’t ya hitting the bottle a little too early?”, and you simply ignore her and walk away with the glass of wine in your hand. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

 

You can find more information about these events here

 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Blinkist This episode is brought to you in support by Blinkist. Right now, my listeners can try Blinkist for free. Visit blinkist.com/elevator for your seven day free trial. 

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside.”

 

RE 208: You Have This Power

Feb 11, 2019 45:00

Description:

Crystal, with 84 days of sobriety, shares her story.

This is a special podcast episode!  It marks 4 consecutive years of podcasting…208 straight Mondays in a row. 

Paul talks about how Recovery Elevator and the RE community has saved his life, and shares ways we can all help others stop drinking.

 

SHOW NOTES

[11:00] Paul Introduces Crystal.

Crystal has been sober for 84 days and lives in San Antonio, Texas.  She is a life style/transformation coach.  She is 30 years old and recently single.  For fun Crystal likes to workout.    

 

[12:56] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

Crystal considered herself a binge drinker.  She tried to moderate her drinking by only drinking on the weekends, as her drinking was starting to affect her work and relationships, but that led to going hard core on the weekends. 

 

[15:00] When did you first realize you had a problem with alcohol?

 

That was a couple of years ago when she realized she didn’t drink like other people.  She always wanted more to drink, always wanting to be buzzed or drunk.  One drink was never enough.  It was in 2018 that she realized that she really had to make a change.    

 

[19:38] You started your sobriety journey in January 2018, walk us through that. 

 

She became sober curious in January 2018, but feels like it didn’t stick at that time because she wasn’t doing it entirely for herself.  She was sober for a few months but eventually lost her “why” and fell back into her old habits.  There was a moment in 2018 that she felt like she had no control and that was a scary moment for her. 

 

[21:33] Do you feel like there were times in the last year that you were running on willpower alone?    

 

She definitely thinks it was on willpower alone and was trying to do it on her own.  

 

[24:04]  You mentioned when you first got sober you didn’t think of it in terms of being sober the rest of your life, talk about that. 

 

She thought it was going to only be a temporary thing and that she would learn how to moderate it.  She realized that she couldn’t moderate it, that only having a one or two drinks would never be enough. 

 

[26:13]  What did you change 84 days ago?

 

The first couple weeks were difficult for her.  She got connected with friends at church and let her family know.  She shifted her focus and became really honest with herself. 

 

[30:11] What have you learned about yourself in these last 87 days?

 

She learned she could have a personality without being drunk.  She learned that she could have fun and accomplish a lot more without being drunk. 

 

[31:48]  Why do you think you drank?

 

She thinks she started drinking because it gave her liquid courage in the social scene and then it just turned into a habit.  She feels it was a coping mechanism this last year as she was dealing with her breakup. 

 

[33:43]  Walk us through a typical day in your sobriety. 

 

Working with her clients daily helps her as well.  Working out, meditating, staying in the Word, staying connected helps her on a daily basis. 

 

 

[39:20] Rapid Fire Round

 

What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

The moment when she realized she could not control her drinking. 

 

Tell us about a time when you could not control your drinking.

 

Just having the feeling that she couldn’t stop was definitely her A-ha moment that she realized that she needed to make a big change.

 

What is it like being 30 and getting sober?

 

It’s a challenge but what she has found that helps her is connecting with other sober people. 

 

What is your favorite resource in recovery?

 

The community aspect, podcasts like Recovery Elevator, filling my mind with positivity and being around like minded people. 

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

 

Being reminded that her feelings were valid, and so is her story. 

 

What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

 

Stay connected, embrace the journey, and know that there are going to be good days and bad days.  Know that being sober is not weird. 

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You’re downloading multiple sobriety trackers trying to decide which one works best for you. 

 

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

 

You can find more information about these events here

 

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

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Robinhood 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

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside.”

 

RE 207: The Joy of Missing Out

Feb 4, 2019 58:25

Description:

Tom, with a sobriety date of June 6, 2018, shares his story.

Events – I am excited about the upcoming events for Recovery Elevator.  As already mentioned on the podcast we have Nashville on Saturday, February 23rd.  We also have the Bozeman Retreat from Aug 14-18th.  The Bozeman Retreat was a huge hit in 2017 and it is back on the calendar for this year.

Guys, what I am particularly excited about these days is sober travel.  We are putting together the sober travel itineraries and the next one we are doing is an Asia trip in late January 2020.  This will be a 12 day trip, flying into Bangkok, Thailand and then making our way over to Siem Reap, Cambodia where we will make our departure.  Experiencing the culture, service work, and recovery workshops will all be a part of this trip. 

You can find more information about all these events at recoveryelevator.com/events. 

We’ve all heard of FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out.  Today I want to talk to you about JOMO – the Joy Of Missing Out.  The Joy Of Missing Out is the emotionally intelligent antidote to FOMO, and is essentially about being present and content where you are at this moment in life.  Instead of constantly trying to keep up with the Jones’, JOMO allows us to be who we are in the present moment, which is the secret to finding happiness.

At the end of the episode I have a bunch of ”You might be an alcoholic if…” lines.  Listeners I would love to hear your own “You might be an alcoholic if” lines.  Email them to info@recoveryelevator.com and put YMBAAI in the subject line. 

SHOW NOTES

[6:55] Paul Introduces Tom.

Tom, who considered himself a high-functioning alcoholic, is 50 years old, lives in Seattle, Washington, and has a sobriety date of 6/4/18.  He is married, has two children, and a pug named Violet.  He works in the high tech field. 

[10:30] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

He had his first drink when he was 14, and although he didn’t really like it his friends were doing it, so he kept doing it.  Drank a lot in high school, it was almost like a sport.  The first 10-15 years he feels he was a regular drinker, that he could take it, or leave it.  He began binge drinking in college.  The last 20 years he was drinking every day, but didn’t think he had a problem. 

[16:50] When did you know that something was not right with your drinking?

That started about 2 years ago when he started getting numbness in his fingers, enough times that he went to the doctor about it.  The doctor asked him what his drinking was like.  About a year ago he had a major stressor in his life and the way he dealt with it was by drinking.  Up until that point he always thought he drank for relaxation. 

[24:30] Walk us through your early part of sobriety.

Tom says the first 4-5 were hard and talked about the drinking dreams he had.  He changed his whole routine and became what he called a "sobriety savage”.  He attends AA at least once a week but is not sure it is something he wants to continue to do for the rest of his life. 

[35:25] What have you learned most about yourself in these past 7 months?   

That you are never too far gone. 

[38:50] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

When he went on a church camping trip and he got so drunk that he packed up the family early and snuck away the next morning. 

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

 He had never told anyone this; about a year ago he went out driving at 3:00 AM and was driving in a manner that he was basically putting his life in God’s hands.  He spun out, the car stopped, and he finally came to his senses and balled like a baby.  

What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?

Keep it simple.  Live in the moment.  Continue going to AA.  Really connect with people. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

His son telling him to go to AA. 

What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners?

 Do what you need to do to keep yourself sober and keep yourself safe.  You don’t need to know everything at that moment.

You might be an alcoholic if...

You can’t recall which Netflix shows you have binged, or plan to binge, even as you are possibly watching them. 

 

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

 

 

RE 206: The Tipping Point in Sobriety

Jan 28, 2019 52:11

Description:

Dusty, with a sobriety date of  9/21/15, shares his story.

 

On January 1st, I launched the 3rd private, unsearchable Facebook accountability group.  All Café RE signups starting January 1st-January 31st will be placed in the new group.  This group will be capped at 300 members to ensure intimacy.  For the entire month of January, you can use the promo code 2019 for 75% off registration.

If you’re a Recovery Elevator podcast listener and you live in or close to the Nashville area, join us Saturday, February 23rd for Recovery Elevator LIVE in Nashville at 7 pm.  Go to recoveryelevator.com for more info.

I recently finished reading the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.  The book isn’t specifically a recovery book, but some of the ideas and themes can be applied to getting sober and staying sober.  When it comes to the journey into sobriety there are 2 tipping points I want to cover in this episode.  The first one happens when you start to question whether alcohol is serving a positive purpose in your life and the second one occurs when you quit drinking. 

At the end of the episode I will talk about a third tipping point, one to avoid. 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[6:55] Paul Introduces Dusty.

 

Dusty is 38 years old, lives in Bozeman, Montana, and has a sobriety date of 9/21/15, just over 39 months since his last drink.  He is an accountant.  He loves playing recreational sports, just started playing hockey this year, after learning how to skate. 

 

 

[10:30 ] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

 

He started drinking when he was in high school and fell in love with it.  Same thing through college, but once he finished college that is when his drinking progressed.  It was at this time drinking was no longer fun and started to get out of control.  He was drinking alone in his apartment. 

 

[11:43 ] Did you ever try and put any rules into play, or try and quit?

 

He would try and only drink on the weekends, try and cut out beer, try to regulate.  It never worked. 

 

[15:01 ] What was your rock bottom, or your tipping point?

 

After going on a 10 hour bender, watching college football one Saturday in the downtown bars of Bozeman he was informed the following day that he had kicked a girl that night before.  He had no recollection of doing that.  Running into the girl on Sunday and seeing the look on her face was his rock bottom. 

 

[24:52 ] How did you stay sober after the first month?

 

He has a great group of friends that once he shared that he was an alcoholic they gave him 100% support.  He also got really involved in the RE Facebook group. 

 

[30:35 ] Referring to the quote, “drinking is but a symptom”, do you know why you drank?

 

Probably genetically predisposed to it, it’s on both sides of his family.  And like he stated earlier, he started drinking for fun in high school and then it turned into more of pity drinking in his late 20s. 

 

 

[38:50 ] Rapid Fire Round

 

True or False, love is the answer…and why?

 

Absolutely!  Love conquers all.

 

What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

After moving back from Kentucky he was living with his Mom for a couple of months.  She came into his room asking if he was going to work and she screamed after discovering a puddle in the middle of his room.  She blamed it on Buster the cat but he was sure it was from him.   

 

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

 

Probably the look on Buster’s face.

 

What’s your plan moving forward?

 

Staying involved with the CaféRE community and creating those relationships.  Going to Nashville.  Getting out of his comfort zone.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

 

Get some sober friends. 

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

You pee on the floor in the middle of the night and blame it on your cat. 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by Blinkist. Right now, my listeners can try Blinkist for free. Visit blinkist.com/elevator for your seven day free trial. 

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

 

RE 205: Recover Who We Were Meant to Be

Jan 21, 2019 53:13

Description:

Kane, with 49 days of sobriety, shares his story.

On January 1st, I launched the 3rd private, unsearchable Facebook accountability group.  All Café RE signups starting January 1st-January 31st will be placed in the new group.  This group will be capped at 300 members to ensure intimacy.  For the entire month of January, you can use the promo code 2019 for 75% off registration.

If you’re a Recovery Elevator podcast listener and you live in or close to the Nashville area, join us Saturday, February 23rd for Recovery Elevator LIVE in Nashville at 7 pm.  Go to recoveryelevator.com for more info.

Recover Who We Were Meant To Be

Tony Robbins and Russell Brand recently did a podcast titled Recover Your True Self.  In this episode there are two value bombs I want to talk about.  The first is Russell Brand’s definition of recovery, and the other is his idea of the main intention of the 12 steps.

At the end of the episode, I share a story about letting go. 

  

SHOW NOTES

[6:49 ]  Paul introduces Kane

Kane is 45, lives in Adelaide, Australia, and has 49 days of sobriety.  He is a government worker.  He loves hiking and doing yoga in the mornings.  He is also a birdwatcher.  He likes socializing, and has been doing more social events since he’s been sober. 

[ 11:00 ]  Give us a little background about your drinking. 

He started drinking in late high school, and quickly progressed to “drinking for drunkenness.”  In college, alcohol became an escape from “this busy brain.”  He surrounded himself with friends who drank like he did.   

[31:40 ]   What does a typical day in your recovery look like?

He gets up early, does yoga and goes to work.  After work, he takes his dog Rusty for a walk, and spends time with his wife (without fighting).  He has been surprised by how much he enjoys socializing in sobriety

[40:39]   What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

First and foremost, to continue to improve his relationship with his family.  He wants to keep expanding his honesty.  He is looking forward to eventually getting a caravan (camper) and going on road trips with his wife, birdwatching along the way.  He also looks forward to continuing having good times without alcohol.

[44:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

What was your worst memory from drinking?

 

Not being as good a father as I thought I was.

 

Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

 

Waking up after a blackout, and finding a misspelled note on his phone that he’d written to himself telling him where he’d parked his car after trying not to drive while drunk.

 

What’s your plan moving forward?

 

Socializing, yoga, taking responsibility.

 

What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

 

The Recovery Elevator Podcast.  He also has gone to an AA meeting, and enjoyed it. Learning to be able to be honest with others about not drinking.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

 

Asking “Is this working for me?” and if the answer is “no” change it.

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

 

Take responsibility for how you act.

 

You might be an alcoholic if...

 

you ask your mother for lift to your car, because you’d been drinking the night before.  When you get to where you think you left your car, it’s not there.  You then remember that you’d driven it home drunk.  You then ask your mother to drive you a little past your home where you had parked your car so your partner didn’t know you’d driven home drunk.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Tony Robbins and Russell Brand Podcast, Recover Your True Self:

This episode is brought to you in support by Care/Of. For 25% off your first month of personalized Care/of vitamins, go to TakeCareOf.com and enter the promo code ELEVATOR

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

 

RE 204: Should I Avoid Social Events Where Alcohol Will be Present?

Jan 14, 2019 51:38

Description:

 

Lucy, with 65 days of sobriety, shares her story.

 

Do I need to avoid social situations where alcohol will be present? 

 

The answer is yes, then no, then yes.  Sorry if that’s confusing. I explain better in the episode.

 

On January 1st, I launched the 3rd private, unsearchable Facebook accountability group.  All Café RE signups starting January 1st-January 31st will be placed in the new group.  This group will be capped at 300 members to ensure intimacy.  For the entire month of January, you can use the promo code 2019 for 75% off registration. 

 

[8:40] Paul introduces Lucy

 

Lucy, with 65 days of sobriety, lives in London England.  She is a freelance makeup artist, which she loves doing.  She is single, likes walking, hiking, cooking, and drawing.

 

[11:30] Give us a little background about your drinking.

 

Lucy had her first experience with alcohol at age 12.  Her drinking kicked into full swing after she was 18, when she began working in bar and nightclubs.  She feels that it was a very quick descent into binge drinking and blackouts.  By the time she was 21 she found herself drinking alone more and more.  She lost every bar job she had because she would not show up for work because she was hungover.

 

[17:34]  Lucy’s first venture into sobriety.

 

At age 26, after moving to London to be a full-time makeup artist, Lucy realized that she might lose the career she loved if she continued to drink.  She tried AA, but it just didn’t resonate with her.  Within a year, after white knuckeling sobriety, she went back to drinking.

 

[20:01]  Her rock bottom.

 

Lucy had a suicide attempt at age 30, which she feels was a cry for help.  She regrets what she put her family through at that time.

 

She then had a second try at sobriety, and found that she had a lot of anger and resentment toward drinkers.

 

[23:40]  Since then, Lucy has realized that each relapse has taught her something.  She cannot moderate her drinking at all.

 

[27:50}  Did you attempt to moderate your drinking?

 

Never doing shots.

Having three blood alcohol calculators on her phone.

Avoiding going out as much as possible.

 

[44:28]  What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?

 

Not drinking, staying connected, putting sobriety first.

 

 

 

 

[45:04]  Rapid fire round.

 

What is your worst memory from drinking?

 

That night in the hospital after her suicide attempt.

 

What was your “oh shit” moment?

 

My 10th blackout in a row, and a four-day hangover.

 

In regards to sobriety, what is the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

Find your tribe.

 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners?

 

Believe in yourself, you’re stronger than you know.  There’s a way out for everyone.

 

     

[46:45]  You might be an alcoholic if . . .

 

            You factor in an extra 100 pounds ($150 US) for every time you go out drinking

            Because you never know in what part of the city you’ll wake up, and you might

            need to call a cab.

 

 

 

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

RE 203: Shaken, Not Stirred

Jan 7, 2019 51:11

Description:

Jeff, with over 2 years since his last drink, shares his story…

That could never happen…

Analysis of the famed James Bond movies reveals that James Bond is a full-blown functioning alcoholic living on borrowed time. 

“There is strong and consistent evidence that James Bond has a chronic alcohol consumption problem at the severe end of the spectrum… His workplace, MI6, needs to become a more responsible employer and refer him to support services and change their corporate drinking culture.” 

The amount of alcohol that James Bond is consuming in the films is enough to leave someone far too disabled to engage in any kind of crime fighting. 

SHOW NOTES

 

[7:07] Paul Introduces Jeff.

Jeff has been sober just over two years.  He’s 43 years old and lives near Denver, Colorado.  He is married with one adult son.  He and his wife enjoy Netflix, boating, and writing.  He is the same guest as a previous guest, episode 104.  He is a genetic researcher.  He is extremely busy, with three jobs.  He found that most people just drink in their downtime.  He went from habitual drinking around age 34 to a downward spiral once his wife left him.  There was a DUI, and a crash.  It enabled him to reboot. 

 

[12:20] What happened during that five year period where you drank normally, but the obsession was still there?

He was still micromanaging the quantities of alcohol that were available to him.  He was constantly making sure that consuming alcohol was going to be part of the plan and available just in case.  Even though he found like he had a new life, he included alcohol in his activities. 

 

[14:00] Did you try to moderate your drinking with rules?

Definitely.  Switching from hard alcohol to beer, or only on the weekends.  They seemed to break all the time.  Other parts of his life were great at the time.  His step daughter had a stroke, but when those three days were up he craved alcohol.  He realized he was using alcohol to take a break from difficult emotions and he figured out that he needed to try and find a better way.  He realized that he wanted someone else to step in and help him control his drinking.  He emptied a bottle and kept it around as a reminder of his efforts to get sober.  He discussed it with his wife, and they had a great conversation.  He’s grateful that she met him in the middle of his struggle.  She knew who he was and what he was dealing with.  She agreed to get sober with him to help him along, even though she didn’t have a problem. 

 

[22:50] How important is it to have your significant other or spouse on board with your decision to get sober?

Incredibly important.  There were times when he wanted to crack, but she was there to support him.  They agreed to find alternative ways to get through the holidays, etc.  It is better, to be honest than to be hiding it. 

 

[24:21] What is it like for you in the different stages of sobriety?

In the first 90 days, everything is new.  He binge listened to podcasts to help him rewire his thoughts.  He spent the first six months just learning.  In the first year, you are testing whether or not you can do things without drinking.  He was surprised at how much his brain came back online.  He found himself to be highly creative.  Sobriety has been a surprise.  The second year found him being a lot more available in his business.  He found surprising success in his business.  One never stops growing.  He began to look at his priorities.  He had to decide which areas of his life needed growth.  The second year is way more empowering.  You start hitting your stride and liking yourself more as a person. 

 

[33:06] What’s the most challenging thing you’ve encountered in sobriety?

The lake trip was the most challenging.  He was isolated on a boat, and everyone was drunk.  He would climb up to get cell reception and check in with his internet support group.  He felt incredible when he made it through without drinking. 

 

[35:09] What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

He’s working on a book that involves sobriety.  He wants to learn how to schedule unproductive time.  He feels too busy.  He feels like he’s still learning.  He isn’t involved with formal recovery groups.  He’s still trying to explore the depths of who he is. 

 

[39:28] What are your thoughts on relapse?

It’s all an experiment.  How would it feel to spend a long time away from alcohol?  The results have been that sobriety is the way for him.  He feels better, more empowered. 

 

 

[42:00] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Not officiating his friend’s wedding.  He was trying to prepare the wedding, and he was in a dark place and dreaded the whole process. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? What’s your plan moving forward?

He is excited to live one day at a time. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Recovery Elevator, and Cafe RE.  They are his support group. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

“And remember, you don’t drink anymore.” 
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Just keep at it.  It takes grit.  You can’t think your way into sobriety.. you have to act your way into changing your thinking.  Be patient; it takes time. 
You might be an alcoholic if…

“...you stash shooters in your friend’s son’s coat while going to a football game because he’s less likely to be searched than you are.”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by Blinkist. Right now, my listeners can try Blinkist for free. Visit blinkist.com/elevator for your seven-day free trial.    This episode is brought to you in support by Care/Of. For 25% off your first month of personalized Care/of vitamins, go to TakeCareOf.com and enter the promo code ELEVATOR

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 202: 12 Reasons to Stay Sober in 2019

Dec 31, 2018 43:04

Description:

Warren, with 48 hours since his last drink, shares his story…

12 reasons why sober is better:

1 - Look your best.  
2 - Look and feel properly rested.
3 - Alcohol fixes things you didn’t notice were broken. 
4 - Make the most of your time. 
5 - Build better relationships.  The opposite of addiction is connection.
6 - More confidence.  You can do anything you put your mind to. 
7 - Less fear!
8 - Save your money. 
9 - Be more present. 
10 - Avoid unnecessary disasters. 
11 - Create the future you want. 
12 - Improved memory


SHOW NOTES

 

[8:20] Paul Introduces Warren.

 

Warren is 40 years old, from Martinsville, Virginia, and has been sober for 48 hours.  He’s married with two children.  He is the executive director of a domestic violence outreach program.  He also owns a sound company.  He enjoys fishing and camping, and the outdoors.  He thinks you shouldn’t always believe what you think.  He’s struggled with worrying about what other people think. 

 

[12:09] Give us a bit of background about you drinking. 

He started drinking relatively young.  His parents both drank, and were very social.  They were involved in politics.  He and his cousin found some champagne and they drank until they blacked out.  He always felt different from everybody else.  When he put substances in his body, it made him feel right.  So he would drink/use every chance he got.  Once he had a son he began to drink heavily.  He attempted to quit drinking.  He was in a car accident.  When he got out of the hospital, he began to drink again and also use other drugs.  His gf/wife was fed up.  He tried to quit cocaine, and it just made him drink more.  One thanksgiving he woke up in his yard covered with blood (it was from a deer) and it freaked him out.  He went into an outpatient program.  They recommended AA.  He got into it.  He stopped going to meetings and started smoking pot.  His wife left him and he tried to commit suicide.  He went into another program.  He decided to get back into AA.  He got into another relationship with someone in AA, and it ended badly which made him stop going.  He was in debt.  After two hours of sobriety, he decided that he had it under control.  He relapsed, and when he did it was as if he had never stopped.  He felt like when he controlled his drinking, he didn’t like it, and when he liked it he couldn’t control it. 

 

[23:50] What’s your plan for getting past it?

To try and stay connected with people.  He might go back to school.  He wants to help people somehow.  He studied social work, which paid but was a heavy responsibility.  He recognizes that if he can’t find balance he is at risk of losing his job.  He’s thought about getting back into AA again.  He is worried about the stigma.  He’s worried about anonymity.

 

[25:57] What are some lessons you have learned about yourself so far in this journey?

He now believes that there is an all powerful god that cares about him.  When he got to chapter 4 in the big book, he realized that his idea of a higher power wasn’t helpful.  He associated prayer with drinking.  He needed to see that prayer can exist without drinking. 

 

[28:59] When you get cravings, what do you do?

Right now he is trying to binge listen to the podcast.  Helping other people stay sober helps him stay sober as well.  There is no one correct answer. 

 

[30:47] What would you like to talk about right now?

How blessed he’s been since he started recovery.  He’s in a new world where he can help other people and even though he doesn’t know the plan for his life, he’s okay as long as he stays present and awake.  He has learned that the problems arise when he thinks too much, or when he focuses on himself.  As long as he is useful to other people, it’s easier. 

 

[33:47] When are you going to get your help and how?

He’s been researching counselors in the area.  He agrees that he needs to focus on helping himself help himself.  He wants to relieve the pressure that he puts on himself.

[36:22] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

The mornings when he would wake up and he would have no memories. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

Gradual moments over the last 18 months or so.  Watching the rules he set for himself continually break.  When he realized the progression is real. 
What’s your plan moving forward?

To “Fill my bucket”.  To do what’s best for me.  One day at a time with no substances.  

What’s your favorite resource in recovery? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

You have got to take care of yourself.  You can’t help anybody else if you’re all jacked up. 
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Don’t wait too long.  The longer you wait the harder it is to stop.  Surround yourself with a community of people who are sober and will show you how it’s done. 
You might be an alcoholic if…

“You wake up naked in the living room and you’re lying on the floor with no idea how you got there.”  

 

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
Have you filled a bucket lately - A book by Carol McCloud

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

 

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

 

RE 201: Alcohol, Calories and Your Waistline

Dec 24, 2018 47:23

Description:

Jeff, with over 38 days since his last drink, shares his story…

During this festive holiday season, we will, no doubt, we encouraged to drink at one point or another.  We can’t think ourselves out of long-term addiction, but in the moment, there are tools we can use to help gives us the ability to say no.  Follow the drink, and play the tape forward.  There is plenty of data behind us to help us make an informed decision.  If I have this drink, what will happen?  Remember why you quit in the first place and remember all of the positive benefits you have experienced from sobriety. 

We all know alcoholic beverages can pack in the calories, but does alcohol have any nutritional value?  It’s safe to say that a Twinkie has more nutritional value than any alcoholic beverage.  By not drinking, you are not denying yourself of any vital nutrients.  In fact, alcohol inhibits general digestion in a big way. 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[8:57] Paul Introduces Jeff.

Jeff has been sober for 38 days.  Jeff is 27 years old, from Quebec City, Canada.  He has a corporate job and also works in digital marketing.  He is trying to transition to doing his digital job full time.  He owns a dog and enjoys sports and reading.

 

 

[10:30] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

He started when he was 13 years old.  He never felt in control.  He was shy and insecure.  Marijuana was his drug of choice for a long time.  When he would try to quit smoking marijuana, he found himself drinking more.  When he would travel for sports he would notice that eventually he would revert to the same substance abuse patterns. 

 

[13:10] Did you experience a rock bottom moment?

Most recently, a few days before his quite date.  He went to a bar with the intention of only having a few drinks but ended up staying the entire night, consuming many drinks and then driving home afterward.  He feels that one can’t quit until the subconscious figures out there is a problem.  He needed to re-evaluate his relationship with alcohol.  He started with a 30 day sobriety challenge.  He recorded a video of himself to help remind him of why he was quitting.  He watched a lot of sobriety videos on YouTube. 

 

[21:30] Did you follow a program for your 30 day sobriety challenge?

Yes, he followed a program from James Swanick.  He sets a daily reminder to help keep him grateful and motivated. 

 

[27:27] Elaborate more about the idea that sobriety has to be a choice for a better life.

Make sure that you don’t just stay home.  Don’t deprive yourself of pleasures.  You need the brain to realize that it can be sober if all sets of circumstances.  He went to a hypnotherapist.  He convinced him that everything had to be a conscious choice, and that there were choices happening in his life that he didn’t consider.  He had to switch the words from “have to“ to “choose to”. 

 

[32:06]  Have you had any cravings or challenges in early sobriety?

He keeps listening to podcasts.  He is doubling down on what is working.  He is reminded of his gratitude and how much energy he has.  He hasn’t experienced any cravings.  His toughest moment was during a doubt of depression caused by a relapse dream.  He reached out to the Cafe RE community and got support right away.  Just talking about helped him a lot.  Cravings are normal and just talking about them will make them go away. 

 

[35:26] What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?

He wants to execute his business ideas.  He wants to share his story.  He wants to help other people quit alcohol and drugs.  He loves traveling and sports.  Sobriety gives him the energy and emotional intelligence to reach his full potential.  

 

[36:48] What have you learned about yourself in the past 30 days?

Being vulnerable is being courageous.  He has tried to act tough in the past and now he realizes that reaching out and asking for help is the better path to take.  This is what true courage is about. 

 

[38:25] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Just waking up so feeling so terrible and realizing that he could have lost everything.  Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

On his first day of sobriety, recording a video of why he wanted to quit, and the emotional outpouring that came with it. 
  What’s your plan moving forward?

Keep doing what’s working.  He tries to keep his thinking positive so he doesn’t look for something to help him cope with the pain that comes with negativity. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

Cafe RE.  He enjoys connecting with the community.  Also sobriety videos on YouTube.  What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

To not associate with the word “alcoholic”.  He preferred to say that he was a sober person with a drinking problem.  He’s still understanding that he has an issue but it helps point him in the right direction. 

What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

Rewire your subconscious.  Also stack your resources.  Don’t put all of your sobriety eggs in one resource basket.  Create accountability.  You might be an alcoholic if…

“...it’s Sunday night and you have consumed 14 beers.  You talk to your mother on the phone and she can’t tell that you’ve been drinking.” 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

30 Day No Alcohol Challenge - a 30 day sobriety challenge by James Swanick
Beyond the Influence - a book by Katherine Ketcham
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 200: The Cure to Addiction

Dec 17, 2018 56:40

Description:

Walter, with 2½ years since his last drink, shares his story…

The Cure to Addiction…

Is it possible?  Are we close to a cure?  No.  AA was founded in 1935, and since then we still don’t know what causes it or how to treat it.  A holistic cure will attack/treat the root causes.  

The Rat Park experiment by Bruce Alexander points to the conclusion that the causes of addiction are social and environmental, rather than genetics or chemical dependency.  In the study, the addictive tendencies were eliminated when the stress was reduced and the environment changed. 

Johann Hari’s Ted Talk says that the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety, it’s connection.  Addiction is not about the pleasurable effects of substances, rather it is a symptom of the user’s inability to form deep connections with other human beings. 

The phenomena that is addiction will likely die out in a global community whose only borders are the sky. 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

[16:19] Paul Introduces Walter.

Walter is 47 years old, in Waco, TX.  He’s been sober for over two years.  He works in real estate.  He is divorced and has a son.  He likes hiking, movies and reading.  He feels more present with his son now that he is sober.  His son had just turned 3 when his wife left. 

 

[19:22] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

He came from an alcoholic family.  Both his dad and uncle both died from alcoholism.  His mom got sober when he was 15, right around the time he started to drink.  He was a binge drinker.  He went to a party school in Colorado.  He moved back in with his parents and began to drink alone.  He drank his way through his 20’s.  In his 30’s, he married his drinking partner.  They had a child.  She didn’t want to be a mom.  He wanted to clean up.  They split.  The first 90 days were tough.  He also quit smoking.  He relapsed but hasn’t relapsed since then.  He is now serious about sobriety.  He’s active in AA.  He just went to Peru with Cafe RE. 

 

[25:15] At what point did your drinking partner relationship turn? 

They were a rebound relationship.  They had a lot in common.  She was a great adventure partner.  They had a similar relationship with alcohol.  They helped each other hide drinking from other people.  He feels the presence of his son saved his life. 

 

[29:40] Did you try to moderate?  Did you experience a rock bottom moment?

He definitely tried to moderate.  He always knew about recovery because of his mom.  When he drank at a friend’s house he woke up and realized he had a problem.  He and his wife got divorced.  They made it painless, and were both fair.  They focused on their son and his needs.  He’s glad he didn’t stay married to another alcoholic. 

 

[34:11] How did you know that this time would be different?

Every previous time before this one, sobering up in a jail or spending time in a hospital, he always thought it was bad luck.  He still felt in control.  At first he went to AlAnon because he thought his wife was the one with the problem, then he realized that he was also an alcoholic.  He came out to his mother and spilled everything to her.  He needed to tell people he was an alcoholic. 

 

[37:45] What did early recovery look like for you?

He didn’t know of any other options other than AA, so he jumped in pretty quickly.  He started to work the program, and he feels lucky that he has met some great people.  Reconnecting with men in sobriety has been good.  He has found hope and resilience. 

 

[40:49] What was the Peru trip like for you?

It was an awesome opportunity on so many levels.  He didn’t really know most people when he arrived.  He got to know everyone there a little bit at a time.  It was not an easy hike but it was worth the trip. 

 

[45:48] What is your recovery like after 2 years?

He is addressing his underlying fears that lead him to drinking.  His feelings of not being good enough or not being loved.  He still deals with a negative inner dialogue.  He feels more self aware.  His interactions with people have changed.  He used to live for comedic validation.  He’s more accepting of himself and the present moment. 

 

 

[50:50] Rapid Fire Round

What was your worst memory from drinking?

Waking up in jail on his 5th wedding anniversary. 
Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?

drawing a blank
What’s your plan moving forward?

Keep taking it one day at a time.  Keep doing what’s working.  Keep looking for opportunities to be present for people. 
What’s your favorite resource in recovery?

AA, and sober traveling.  He loves meeting like minded people. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?

Focus on what you can control.  Accept what you can’t.  Know the difference. 
What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?

It’s ok, just keep trying.  When you’re ready, it will happen.  You don’t have to hit bottom first. 
You might be an alcoholic if…

“...if you get arrested on your 5th wedding anniversary.”  “...if you’re using a fake ID to buy booze so you can drink by yourself before you’ve turned 21.” 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.com/elevator

Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com

 

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

 

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

 

 

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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.

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“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.

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“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:

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Shick Shadel Hospital
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“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

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 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

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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 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?</