Recovery Elevator

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Here’s an idea. When you’re a closet alcoholic who’s quit drinking more times than you can count, start a podcast to hold yourself accountable as publicly as possible. Share your struggles, your triumphs, and every lesson you’re learning along the way. While you’re at it, invite others to share thei…

Paul Churchill


    • Jun 27, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 50m AVG DURATION
    • 388 EPISODES

    Listeners of Recovery Elevator that love the show mention: odette, recovery elevator, stay sober, alcoholism, elevator podcast, quit drinking, get sober, maybe you're, paul is so real, stop drinking, days sober, anyone in recovery, months sober, part of my recovery, alcoholics, problem drinking, listening to re, sobriety journey, paul and his guests, great recovery.



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    Latest episodes from Recovery Elevator

    RE 384: The Path of Least Resistance

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 74:17

    Episode 384  - The path of least resistance   Today we have Matt. He is 40, from Edmonton, Canada, and took his last drink on April 8, 2019.   Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20   Café RE Chats:  https://recoveryelevator.com/cafere/   Highlights from Paul   Sobriety is the path of least resistance. Moderation was miserable, and drinking is killing me. Paul describes his own experiences with moderation and points out that with moderation, you continue to have decision fatigue and only moderately heal.    Moderation is often a step along the journey toward ditching the booze.   The path of least resistance means – you won't get a DUI or be sent home from work because you smell like booze. Your sleep improves, your liver health improves along with your connections and relationships, and you enjoy more fun (and skittles).    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [13:06]  Matt has been sober for three years. He is a recovery coach, engaged, and enjoys music, nature, hiking, camping, and his dogs. He is learning about sound therapy and how music can influence your mindset.   Matt came from a family of heavy drinkers. He remembers listening to the excitement of the adults' conversations while drinking when he was young. He was often given sips of beer if it felt exciting. As a teenager, music became a way to express himself. The rock and roll lifestyle complimented the music, which included booze. Drinking helped Matt to overcome his shyness and awkwardness.    His early 20s presented the perfect storm of opportunities to drink excessively. He went from a happy-go-lucky drunk to having a chip on his shoulder. He began to recognize his drinking habits were changing. A breakup with his girlfriend sent him into a tailspin of depression, and his drinking escalated. External pressure to quit drinking led to rebellion, and Matt learned that change had to come from within. Matt was hospitalized with acute pancreatitis after a drinking binge. He continued to drink and had another health incident. He took some time off work and launched it with a bender, then turned to a friend to bring him to an AA meeting. His first meeting was a profound emotional/spiritual shift that led him to over three years of sobriety.    Matt's firsts during his first year of sobriety was difficult and rewarding. It was his first opportunity as an adult to experience life without alcohol. Self-help books, podcasts, and a growth mindset helped him embrace sobriety. He was quiet about his sobriety. At a friend's wedding, he had a shot of tequila, and the wave of the high hit him quickly. He had a creative outburst and wrote ten songs. He convinced himself that the drinks enabled his creativity. He repackaged all his views of alcohol to return to drinking moderately. The moderation bargaining started, and at one point, he heard a voice telling him, if you keep doing this, it will kill you. Matt continued drinking. After a sloppy party weekend, Matt realized it was time to stop while driving to his dad's celebration of life. He decided to stop the cycle as a tribute to his father.    Matt recently made a plant-based medicine retreat. His healing journey continues, and the sense of peace has returned. He is focused on a growth mindset and allowing the journey to happen because life is not a to-do list.   Matt's podcast:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/beyond-recovery/id1618862620   Kris's Summary   Embracing summer plans as a sober person is new for many of us. Give yourself grace. Create accountability, set boundaries, try new things, create new habits, and remember it's okay to go slow.    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator –it all starts from the inside out I love you guys.

    RE 383: Chapter 4 - Clearing Space

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2022 55:58

    Episode 383  - Clearing space   Today we have Phillip. He is 46 and took his last drink on February 28, 2019.   Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20   Bozeman Retreat:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/cafere/ Early Recovery Podcast Guests:  email info@recoveryelevator.com   Highlights from Paul   It's hard to visualize a sober life when you are still drinking because your body is using every drop of energy to get rid of the poison that is alcohol from your body. Paul suggests once you ditch the booze, sit back and be the observer to watch your life unfold and resist the urge to control everything. In his eighth year of sobriety, Paul bought a home in Costa Rica, a longtime dream. After quitting, his life became a blank canvas, and now he is exploring his love for nature in his new home – which would not have been possible if he was still drinking. Paul feels connected to his inner child and is grateful for his life today.   In chapter 4, Paul wants to showcase listeners' talents. Feel free to send an edited MP3 file in under 3 minutes to info@recoveryelevator.com, and you may hear yourself on the podcast.    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [12:55]  Phillip lives in Minneapolis, lives with his partner, has no kids, and works as an attorney. He is a marathon runner. Phillip started drinking in college. As life unfolded, he noticed drinking was part of all his life activities, from work to time with friends. He realized he drank every day, even the night before running a marathon.    In 2017, he started to question if he had a problem. The thought of quitting drinking felt like quitting fun. In 2018, Philip decided to explore his relationship with alcohol as his New Year's resolution. He quit for four months with few problems. He kept a diary that tracked his cravings and triggers. He drank during a vacation which ended his streak. He found several reasons to start and stop. By the end of 2018, he returned to daily drinking and stopped keeping his diary, and brandy was his drink of choice. He noticed he was gaining weight, and his depression was worsening. He realized that moderation was a challenge. Choosing to drink or not drink daily was exhausting and caused decision fatigue. Phillip's sleep was terrible; one day, he found himself drinking at 3 AM so he could sleep … two hours before a run. It occurred to him that he was now drinking in the morning.   As he reflected on his behavior, he saw three paths:  continue drinking, moderate, or abstain altogether. He concluded that quitting was the past of least resistance because moderation involved constant decision fatigue. He joined the "no matter what" club. He got sober, learning how to get through the moments. He kept a spreadsheet that became a diary of his cravings. He tracked his cravings to he could identify trends. His most challenging moments came later in sobriety. Three months in, Memorial Day weekend was a huge struggle. Podcasts are a huge part of Phillip's recovery. He joined Café RE and began to connect with people. Many say you are the average of your top 5 people, and surrounding himself with non-drinkers has brought his life to a better level. He now enjoys a runner's high when he runs, which he never experienced when drinking.   Phillip believes sobriety can be for everybody.   Paul's Summary   Keep track of how much energy your addiction takes. Write it down. Never take yourself too seriously. I love you guys!   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator –it all starts from the inside out. I love you guys! I love you guys.

    RE 382: So Now What?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2022 66:40

    Episode 382– So now what?   Today we have Ryan. He is 40, from Denver, and took his last drink on January 7, 2013.   Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20   Bozeman Retreat:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/cafere/   Highlights from Paul   Recovery Elevator Newsletter:  https://recoveryelevator.com   Paul shares Odette's wise words,  “we can't be hard on ourselves when we do hard things.” He also examines those who abuse alcohol and the correlation with being hard on ourselves. Could the pace you are setting for yourself be driving you to drink?   Not drinking isn't an activity. I quit drinking, so now what? You are making space for a new chapter in your life. A theme you will find in that chapter is your relationship with yourself.   Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [11:15]  Ryan has been sober for over nine years. He is the founder of Free Spiritual Community for addicts to break the cycle of addiction. He is married and has four kids.   He loves being outside, the mountains, travel, and family life.   Ryan has been in ministry for 14 years, and sobriety brought him a spiritual awakening. He went to bible school, and during the first month, his brother was killed in a car accident. The addiction began to take over. Alcohol helped Ryan deal with pain, fear, and uncertainty. He experienced shame and fundamentally did not like himself as a person.    Ryan didn't know how to stop the pain or creating pain. While in the seminary, his drinking escalated. One Christmas Eve, his sister asked him not to come around anymore because she didn't want her kids to see him drunk. He describes putting on a mask, so nobody could see who he was. Ryan describes the grace that helped him connect to his relationship with God, knowing that God was there during his addiction.    Admitting that he was spiritually disconnected created spiritual freedom that changed his life. Shame, anger, and self-hatred helped him connect to God and explore a different way of life. An intervention from his wife made the difference. She used the word “we,” and knowing he didn't have to do it alone propelled him into recovery.   Nine years in, Ryan still practices letting go. He began his journey in 12-step programs, and he went from sitting in the back of the room to actively engaging, getting vulnerable, and being of service. Today, Ryan and his wife have a church filled with addicts, loved ones of addicts, and spiritual refugees, https://freespiritualcommunity.com. Insta:  freespiritualcommunity, YouTube: freespiritual community. https://wagoncoffeeroasters.com/   Kris' Summary   Kris talks about his wife Aimee being on the Recovery Elevator podcast. Check out episode 321. Kris thanks listeners for giving him the room to grow.   Keep going. Finds some peace.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator –it all starts from the inside out. I love you guys! I love you guys.

    RE 381: We're All Addicted to Something

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2022 50:52

    Episode 381– We are all addicted to something   Today we have Amy. She is 39, from Canada, and took her last drink on August 21, 2016   Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20   Highlights from Paul   Paul talks about a book he is reading called, The Urge. It's about an Indian in the Seneca Tribe named Handsome Lake. He developed a program similar to AA about 150 years before Bill W and Dr. Bob created AA.    Connection pulled people out of addiction. The Urge:  https://amzn.to/37KVS3Y   Paul describes an experience at a Sauna in the hot springs where a group of men started talking about addiction. It began with one man sharing that he had ten years without a drink and moved to Montana for a fresh start. After he burned the ships, the other men in the sauna talked about their struggle to control substances beyond alcohol and drugs. When one person opens up and shares from the heart, it gives others a safe space to do the same.    Paul reminds us:  1) It's a challenging universe to live in; 2) we are all addicts trying to survive, and 3) we all need help. Continue exploring coping strategies, and you will find the ones that work for you.   Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [10:55]  Amy has been sober for six years. She is from Toronto, Canada, and works as a sobriety and mindset coach. She loves reading, cycling, traveling, cross stitching, is single, queer, and has a cat.    Amy started drinking at 16 and grew up in a family dealing with addiction. Alcohol relieved Amy from the trauma and complication of her parent's separation and divorce. She was hiding alcohol and drinking alone very early into her drinking.   The volume and frequency of her drinking progressed rapidly, and she was prone to blackouts. Externally she was high functioning. Internally, she struggled quite a bit.   Amy was overcome with grief after her dad's sudden death, and her drinking escalated to cope with her volatile emotions. She achieved six months of consecutive sobriety and committed to being done with drinking. Her first attempts included moderation, rewards, and bargaining, which continued for a year. In 2015, questions started to emerge for Amy, forcing her to examine her drinking.    Amy became a coach and learned to share her story more publicly. She now helps other women create change for themselves. She has taken her life and her power back. Breaking the cycle of addiction has been very empowering for Amy. Compassion and sadness have become her primary emotions. Compassion for her father and sadness for what she went through and what might have been had her childhood been more stable.   Small steps, habit stacking, and new habits created momentum for Amy. Committing to making real change, even with discomfort and struggle, helped Amy to stack days. She began to follow other sober women on Instagram, which made her feel hopeful. Learning about addiction and alcohol, from biology to mental health, helped Amy strengthen her commitment to abstinence. She avoided events, social situations, and people who created a risk to her sobriety.   She shifted her priorities to change her life. Find Amy on Instagram @MsAmyCWillis and Holandwell.com.   Odette's Summary   Odette discusses non-scale victories and tiny wins that are difficult to measure. She encourages listeners to be mindful of those small victories that snowball into meaningful momentum.    Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator –please believe in yourself. I believe in you. I love you guys.

    RE 380: What is Sober?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2022 56:50

    Episode 380– What is Sober?   Today we have Shrene. She is 46, from Arizona, and took her last drink on September 10, 2019   AF Photography Class for beginners will start in August.  Details to follow. AF Ukelele Course #2 starts in June.   Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20   Highlights from Paul   Paul talks about the word sober.  For this podcast, sober refers to alcohol, because alcohol is what got Paul behind the microphone to launch Recovery Elevator.   Paul suggests not getting too attached to any idea of what sober looks like.  It's not about the substance, but the freedom you have from the substance.  Try not to judge others for their definition of sober, because it's rarely black and white.  When you judge others, you judge yourself and create separation.  Defining sobriety can be a fool's errand.   Sobriety is living authentically.  Sobriety is not being a slave, to a substance, behavior, or action.   Sobriety is living your life how you want to live, living with a connected head and heart, recognizing  beauty, art, sunsets,  a different vibration. Sobriety is hope, taking off the chains, meeting yourself, a manageable life. Sobriety is “downgrading additions.” Sarah Hepola - Blackout   https://www.amazon.com/Blackout-Remembering-Things-Drank-Forget/dp/1455554588   If you remove alcohol and aren't ready to say goodbye to everything else, go slow, take your time, and listen to your body. There is no right or wrong way to do this, and there is no generally accepted definition of sobriety.   At Recovery Elevator, we accept all versions of sober.  We accept all versions of you.     Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [12:04]  Shrrene is married with two children, two dogs and is a lunch lady who makes lunch for 700 kids daily.   Shrrene remembers drinking as early as age three to four.  She drank through her high school years.  She stopped drinking when she got married at age 16 and she stopped drinking until after her son was born at age 26.  She was a casual drinker.   At 40, she started drinking daily.  She would sneak her drinking, hide bottles, and hide in her closet to drink.  She quit during her pregnancy.  She had open heart surgery at 39, then had a stroke.  At age 41 she had a second open heart surgery but continued to drink.  Her husband brought an AA Big Book home from an Al-Anon meeting.  Her husband joined Celebrate Recovery and she joined him for meetings.  She began to moderate but went back to field research regularly until 2019.  Shrrene got sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Prayer was instrumental for getting the desire to drink lifted.  Now she doesn't have a desire to drink, other than the fleeting thought and she plans to stay active in recovery and help others.   Shrrene slowly started talking to her husband, in AA meetings, journaling and learning to share.  Journaling helped when she was too afraid to talk to others and it is a tool that still serves her today.    Attending AA and CR meetings were helpful, but Shrrene was reluctant to share.  When she learned to open up, she felt less alone.  She found the similarities in the stories of others.  She encourages listeners to keep trying and never give up.    Odette's Summary   Odette reminds us “we can do hard things”.  We can't do hard things and be hard on ourselves. Chose yourself, chose kindness and be your own cheerleader.   Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator –we are here for you, don't quit quitting. I love you guys.

    RE 379: Doing Your Part

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 65:53

    Episode 379 – Service   Today we have Aaron. He is 40, from South Carolina, and took his last drink on September 15, 2021.   Jeff was interviewed for the podcast on episodes 104 and 377, has a book out, and is now leading sober travel trips. See links below.   Finding Bishop Castle: A Road Trip to Recovery -- https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Bishop-Castle-Road-Recovery/dp/0578882612/ref=sr_1_1?crid=350FVMX9SZBRI&keywords=finding+bishop+castle+jeff+bowersox&qid=1649339640&sprefix=Finding+Bishop+%2Caps%2C213&sr=8-1#customerReviews   Afterglow Recovery -  https://ourafterglow.com   Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20   Highlights from Paul   Paul talks about the benefits of service and climate change in recovery. Service gets you out of your head and out of your story. Dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin are released when we help others.   Climate change could save us as a species by forcing us to work together and develop a collective strategy. Alcoholics can help because there's one thing we can do that others can't, and that's meeting as a group, putting all our differences aside, and talking about healing, recovery, and LOVE.   Paul wants climate change to unite us instead of dividing us. He is encouraging Recovery Elevator listeners to plant a tree, take a picture and tag us on Instagram @recoveryelevator.   “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under the shade you don't expect to sit.” Nelson Henderson   Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [15:06]  Aaron has been sober for seven months and is married with two kids. He has an athletic household. He loves cooking, sports, and power yoga.    Alcohol wasn't part of his life until his senior year of high school.   When he went to college, binge drinking was the norm. Alcohol came with comradery for Aaron. All his memories with his friends involved alcohol. At 23, he totaled a car after drinking to excess. He quit for a month after the accident. When he started working, he got an outside sales job involving entertaining customers. Both his work and his social life revolved around drinking. At times it felt like an obligation. His tolerance built up, and it never occurred to him to stop.   His wife noticed and began to comment on his drinking. Aaron said to drink as he wanted meant being drunk. He saw a therapist specializing in addiction who helped him see several things.    Aaron's 40th birthday was enough of a nudge to get him to address his drinking. His wife bought him a ten pack of hot yoga classes, and he went to his first one on his birthday.    Odette and Aaron discussed the dynamics of alcoholism running in the family and how to talk to children, siblings, and cousins about being mindful of the patterns that can develop.   Accountability has been a big part of Aaron's sober journey. His cousin has become his accountability partner, and they talk about the ups and downs of sobriety with each other.   Odette and Aaron talk about the differences in sobriety that are new. Managing customers has worked well in sobriety. Aaron remembers his deliverables more readily and has found that as many customers want to be home with family as they want to party. Grieving your old life is allowed and makes sense.   Ditching the booze makes room for new experiences.    Odette's Summary   Odette reminds listeners that you keep us going. We want to hear from you about what you would like to hear from us in the podcast, social media, and newsletters. You can reach Odette at info@recoveryelevator.com.   Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator –It all starts from the inside out. I love you guys.

    RE 378: Finding Grace

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 68:00

    Episode 378 – Finding Grace   Today we have Susan. She is 46, from Ohio, and took her last drink on June 14, 2019.   Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20   Highlights from Odette   "Whatever courage got you here is going to take you far." You are brave, and you have courage. Learn to trust yourself. Define far for yourself. The unfolding of healing takes time, have patience with yourself. Odette has two sentences of a poem on her forearm: "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." Those words are a reminder of her strength, courage, and perseverance.    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [09:20]  Susan has been sober for nearly three years. She is speaking on the podcast to get out of her comfort zone and overcome some complacency in her sobriety.   Susan is married and lives in Ohio with a stepson and two dogs. She works for an investment company and loves the outdoors, the beach, paddle boarding, running, and Jeopardy.   Susan grew up in a house of addiction and described it as WWIII. Her father was an abusive alcoholic. Her parents tended to numb out and not deal with anything. She realizes now many of her behaviors result from a trauma response.    Susan was often the caretaker for her mom, so the roles were reversed. She partied a fair amount in her twenties. Her mom died, and her sister was diagnosed with lung cancer. Her sister and brother-in-law died within seven months of one another. Susan retreated into her addiction. All the grief and pain from losing her sister was overwhelming.    Addiction was like a cocoon for Susan. It became so uncomfortable, and she had to stop. Susan tried naltrexone, but she wasn't ready to quit. Shame kept her drinking for some time, and in retrospect, Susan regrets that she didn't ask for help. Alan Carr's book podcasts and terror helped her to quit for good. Two months into sobriety, she attended Recovery Elevator's Bozeman retreat.    At Bozeman, Susan learned that community is essential. Susan struggled to share her recovery with her drinking friends.   She often said she was "on a cleanse."    Susan describes recovery as a radical act of self-love. Her progress in the last 3-years eclipses her progress in the previous ten. She is learning to get uncomfortable with being uncomfortable.    Meditation, gratitude practice, and Women for Sobriety zoom meetings are essential sobriety tools for Susan.    She suggests getting clear on your "why" to reinforce your commitment to recovery.   Susan believes you are worth it and deserve to be happy and have some peace.   Kris' Summary   Kris encourages you to share your story. Contact Kris:  Kris@recoveryelevator.com.    Kris describes his daughter's work to win a photography merit award. Even with life's ups and downs, her consistency reminds him of the consistency needed to maintain sobriety. Managing struggles, triumphs, and learning to grow through challenges is how you stack days and keep your commitment.    Sometimes our plans work out perfectly, while others kick us in the face. We don't know what's around the corner. Meet every challenge with love, patience, and grace.    You are the only one who can do this, but you don't have to do it alone.    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator –It all starts from the inside out. I love you guys.

    RE 377: Your Favorites

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2022 56:47

    Episode 377 – Your favorites   Today we have Jeff. He is 47, from the Dominican Republic, and took his last drink on December 4, 2016.   Bozeman Retreat:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/bozeman/   Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20   Highlights from Paul   Listeners provided highlights of some of their favorite episodes of the Recovery Elevator podcast.   330 – Learn to love yourself as your dog (or cat) loves you. You have a certain amount of energy and days in your life, and it is your choice on what to spend it on.   207 and 220 – Tom Topp inspired a listener to see social anxiety as a similarity. Another listener helped her learn that the body does heal from elevated liver enzymes without alcohol.   Another listener couldn't name one episode but instead said, sharing your story and recovering out loud helps shred the shame of addiction. It made me realize that I'm not alone, and together we can fight and overcome this!   370 Stephanie – a listener, learned to put the same energy into her recovery that she did into drinking.   Odette speaking about her relapse was also powerful   Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [15:21]  Jeff feels great, thanks to five years of sobriety. He is married and splits time between Colorado and the Dominican Republic. He has a concierge service for people in recovery to enjoy a beach vacation without the triggers of alcohol. Jeff's services help sober experience sober fun.   Jeff experimented with alcohol as a teenager and described alcohol as a warm hug. He married at 18 and put alcohol on the sidelines to become a provider. In his mid-thirties, Jeff spiraled into self-pity. After DUI's and jail time, it took him several years to embrace recovery. He remarried and was a grey area drinker, until his drinking was problematic again.    Codependency caused Jeff to take on identities for other people. In sobriety, he started to get to know himself. When triggered, he asks his wife for help. Jeff listened to ninety episodes of the Recovery Elevator podcast in thirty days. Stubbornness helped to make sobriety stick. Writing is a great tool for Jeff and posting in Café Re provides him with great feedback.   Collecting the sober moments retrains the synapses in your brain to have different responses to triggering events.   Odette's Summary   You can handle this. Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator –It all starts from the inside out. I love you guys.

    RE 376: You Can be Right or You Can Have Peace Part II

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2022 59:22

    Episode 376 – You can be right, or you can have peace – Part 2   Today we have Ronda. She is 56, from New Orleans, and sober for 2.5 years.   Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20   Highlights from Paul   We are all human, with faulty machines in the dome. It's okay to be right or want to be right, especially in the moment. Sobriety teaches us that we must choose peace. We don't have to choose peace immediately, but eventually, we must, or we develop resentments. Resentments, for many of us, can kill us. Why?   Resentments separate us. Disconnect us. And what's the opposite of addiction—connection.   Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [10:23]  Ronda and Odette discussed the sobriety journey and celebrating the decision to quit vs. the date of your last drink. Ronda is from New Orleans and recently moved to Colorado. She has three grown children, and she is an anesthesiologist. She loves sailing, hiking, and traveling.   Ronda's first addiction was an eating disorder. She coped with stress and shame with food. She recovered from the eating disorder at age 30, and alcohol became a problem. She got a DWI in her mid-forties. Ronda said she ignored all the signs. She didn't want to have a drinking problem. The culture in New Orleans portrays day drinking and excessive drinking as the norm, so it made denial easier.   Ronda was more of a binge drinker than a daily drinker. Her kids started noticing her drinking. Her middle daughter was vocal about her concerns early on. So, Ronda began to hide her drinking. Ronda and the kids evacuated to Phoenix during Hurricane Katrina. Her problem with drinking started then, and it took her ten years to get help.   After getting a DUI, Ronda had to go through a program to align with the recommendations of the medical board. Even her colleagues said, "it could have been me."   When visiting her daughter in sober living, Ronda got sloshed at the airport and faced her daughter's disappointment when she landed. When her daughter stopped protecting Ronda, it was another AHA moment that she had a problem. After her daughter went to rehab, Ronda started moderating when her kids were with her.    There are multiple ways to get sober, and Ronda tried everything and found a mix of programs that worked. Ronda leveraged AA, The Tempest Sobriety School (run by Holly Whittaker), Recovery Elevator, and Café RE in early recovery. With a heavy emphasis on self-care, Ronda was able to find her true soul, her wounded inner child, and the ego that were all within herself. Learning to take care of herself allowed Ronda to stack days and helped her to deal with shame. Plant-based medicine was a pivotal moment in her recovery journey.   Ronda was molested as a young child, and it was one of many childhood traumas that contributed to her addiction. Shortly after confronting her abuser, she took her last drink. It was a burden off her shoulders that she didn't have to hide anymore.   Joy has permeated Ronda's life. She has learned new skills, confronted her past, and found many ways to have fun, including mediation, music, dancing, nature, bubble baths, community, and board games (particularly Bananagrams). Morning routines are critical to Ronda's sobriety routine. She removed herself from social media other than her recovery groups.   Odette's Summary   Odette talks about shame, day counts, and restarting. Committing to sobriety should add value, not shame, to your recovery. It's not about the date. It's about staying on the journey. Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator –We took the elevator down. We need to take the stairs back up. I love you guys.

    RE 375: Decoupling

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2022 59:02

    Episode 375 – Decoupling   Today we have Amanda. She is 40, from Florida, and took her last drink on March 25, 2019.   The Bozeman Retreat has openings for men:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/bozeman/   Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20   Highlights from Paul   Paul discusses anxiety and decoupling. Paul's tipping point was in 2017 when his anxiety or hangxiety was so bad that he thought he was having a heart attack. As he sobered up, the anxiety temporarily worsened, then improved dramatically. 85-90% of Paul's anxiety is gone today. Anxiety no longer controls him.   Decoupling is untangling the thoughts, actions, and behaviors no longer serving you. Decoupling is a muscle. Start small and watch the momentum build.    You are the Placebo:  https://amzn.to/3M3ChKJ     Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [10:20]  Amanda is married to a military husband and has two children. She works as a mental health provider. She loves time with her kids, baking, working out, and spending time with other sober people.    Amanda grew up in an alcoholic home. She grew up with verbal and emotional abuse and struggled with anxiety for most of her childhood. She was an athlete but quit. She began hanging out with an older crowd, and illicit drugs entered her life. She quickly reigned in the drug use. Going to school in New Orleans, her drinking escalated. Eventually, she discovered prescription drugs. She mixed them with alcohol.    She observed her mental obsession with alcohol during her second pregnancy. After having her first baby, she used alcohol to cope with the stress of motherhood and having a military husband who was gone a lot. At a birthday party, she drank a bottle of wine and still wanted more. She hoped her tolerance would reset, but it didn't work that way.   Amanda was highly functioning, working full time, eating well, exercising, and caring for her children. Amanda described herself as arrogant because she knew the ins and outs of addiction because of her career but continued to drink.   After relocating from one part of the country to another, Amanda thought it was time to reign in her drinking. She started a fitness plan that included some aggressive nutritional goals that excluded alcohol to be more present. She felt great, but her drinking resumed. At her grandfather's funeral, her husband noticed she drank an entire bottle of wine at 9 AM. Shortly after that, she knew she was “done” and told her husband she had a problem and needed help.    Amanda discovered Recovery Elevator and Café Re during her first two years. She has found the resources she needs to maintain her sobriety. She was initially active in AA. Community is now the core of her recovery. Feeling understood and accepted for all her parts is amazing. Amanda is learning to create distance from her thoughts, accept them and have compassion for herself and others.   Odette's Summary   Odette thanks listeners for all the support and kind words she received during her last introduction to the podcast.   Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator –Every time we say no to booze, we say yes to ourselves. I love you guys.

    RE 374: Then Go Back Again

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2022 62:52

    Episode 374 – Then go back again   Today we have Meegan. She is 37, from Georgia, and took her last drink on April 21, 2019.   Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20   Highlights from Paul   Addiction has the propensity to crack you open. We fight and dig our heels in, but eventually, the Addiction wins. This doesn't mean you are destined to drink forever, but the Addiction cracks you open. Paul encourages listeners to use their energy to find what recovery method works for them. When you find it, go back again to the beginning. You will find that the messages you heard early in recovery have different lessons for you later in recovery. Go back again. Listen to those podcasts again, read the quit lit again or recovery books again, and do the steps again. You are a different person with a new set of skills,  experiences, and tools.    Revisiting those messages often provides a new value bomb.    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [11:24] Meegan is a Family Nurse Practitioner and is married with three children. She loves running, snowboarding, and writing. Meegan describes a happy childhood until her parents had a tumultuous divorce, and it broke her heart. Life felt out of control. Meegan developed an eating disorder. She experimented with drinking in high school and described it as a rite of passage. Meegan made a few geographic moves for school.   After a few moves, Meegan landed in Georgia, got married, and immediately had a baby. She was part of the Mommy wine culture. That was a lightbulb moment. She recognized that drinking with the baby at age 24 wasn't good. Wine calmed her down after dealing with the stress of night shifts. Meegan started having extreme panic attacks.    Training for a 100-mile ultra-marathon made her drinking take a back burner. Her panic attacks subsided. At 30, she got pregnant with twins. Her father died around the same time, and it broke her. The stress of twins and her father's death caused her drinking to escalate.    Value Bomb:  You can be the best version of yourself or be hungover, but you can't be both.    As her drinking progressed, her hangovers became more debilitating. During a trip to Europe, her solution to hangovers was to continue drinking. While in Capri, she started having bad withdrawal symptoms. As a nurse, she knew what that meant.   After returning home, she knew moderation wouldn't work. Shortly after an embarrassing time with her family, she had a moment of clarity. She fell to her knees and asked God for help. The moment of clarity was a combination of spirituality, physical health, and mental health. She called her two best friends and promised her daughter she would never drink again. Her sister encouraged her to get a therapist.   Meegan acknowledged that she didn't learn healthy coping mechanisms. In recovery, Meegan is learning to feel her feelings. Perfectionism was a theme in her early years. Telling her story is a way for Meegan to let others know that failure is okay.   Meegan “loves the quote, “Addiction is an experience, not an identity. “   Kris and Meegan encourage listeners to find the recovery that works for you.   Kris's Summary   Friendships in recovery are invaluable. You experience people who are present, listen with their hearts, and never shame you. Kris encourages listeners to lean in to discomfort. Share your experience.    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator –You are the only one who can do this, but you don't have to do it alone. I love you guys.

    RE 373: Control and Connection

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 11, 2022 51:37

    Episode 373– Control and Connection   Today we have Chris. She is 46, from Baltimore, and took her last drink on August 28, 2016.   Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20   Highlights from Paul   Paul thanks all the guests who have shared their stories to help us on the path toward sobriety. Paul wants to hear about your favorite episode or the value bombs that resonated with you. Please include the episode number if possible. Contact Paul at: info@recoveryelevator.com.   Support this AF bar - https://volsteadzeroproof.com/   How are you reconciling the elements of control in your life? Paul talks about our struggles with control at the macro and micro levels. Is the opposite of control connection? We have never been more disconnected.   Paul's homework for listeners is to invite a friend out to coffee instead of placing your mental energies on trying to control things. Go on a walk with your dog in Nature. Learn to play the ukulele with us, go on a meditation retreat, join Café RE, call your mom, volunteer at a soup kitchen, write a letter to someone in jail. All our lives depend on this, and we all have to do our part, which I know we can and know we will.   Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [10:16] Sherrie lives in Baltimore and has two adult children. She is a massage therapist and teaches movement. She is a competitive Irish dancer; she loves paddle boarding and hiking.   Alcoholism was a big part of Chris' family. There was a lot of shame, and she steered clear of alcohol. She was the designated driver for her friends in high school. After she was married, she started drinking, and it rapidly progressed into a problem. After losing a pregnancy, she had a white light moment, and she went down a very dark hole. Alcohol became her coping mechanism to turn off the pain. She began losing clients and students and realized it was time to stop.   Physical pain and discomfort were warning signs for Chris that she wasn't headed in a good direction. Her husband never thought her drinking was a problem. Moderation was his preferred choice. He didn't think she needed to quit altogether, even when she asked for help. Waking up in a blur became commonplace. Chris started listening to recovery podcasts, and fear became the impetus to get her to quit drinking.   Chris' clients started to notice a difference in her when she quit drinking. They asked, what's different? She began her sober journey alone and listened to sobriety podcasts, including Recovery Elevator. She kept it quiet, even from her partner.   Chris attended a Recovery Elevator retreat and realized she was a dry drunk. Community became part of her recovery, and she credits Paul's work for expanding her view of a sober life.   Lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, became critical to Chris' recovery. As she continued to get better, her husband got worse and tried to sabotage her efforts. Chris relies on community and meditative movement to maintain her sobriety.    Talking openly about alcohol use with her daughters has been crucial to Chris. They have open discussions about alcohol, marijuana, and other addictive substances. She reminds her daughters that she doesn't drink and why and is very open about the predisposition for addiction in their family. Chris appreciates the power and control that have returned to her in a life without alcohol.   Odette's Summary   [48:12] “The crap does not mean you are broken; it means you have room to grow.”  Odette encourages us to look at the opportunities to learn, change our perceptions and live a different life. You are not alone – together is always better.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator –Let's continue to be trailblazers in recovery together.   I love you guys.

    RE 372: The Three Stages of Healing

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 4, 2022 60:14

    Episode 372– The three stages of healing   Today we have Sherrie. She is 58, from Oregon, and she took her last drink on January 21, 2019.   Highlights from Paul   Paul explains the stages of healing have less to do with how much time you were drinking and more to do with how you view your problems.  “The Energy Codes”: https://amzn.to/3I9MgMh   The three stages of healing are: Victimhood – you are playing the victim card Self Help – you identify the problem, then solve it Creatorship – there was never a problem; drinking was there to help me. You take responsibility for everything in your life.   Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [13:52] Sherrie lives in Oregon, has two children and three grandchildren. She loves hiking, kayaking, house projects, and her dog.   Sherrie lived overseas during her childhood. She started working at 16 and drank because older workers never asked about her age. Drinking was prevalent in her youth.   She was married young, but drinking wasn't an issue until there was a turning point in her marriage. Her marriage had its ups and downs for many years. Empty nest syndrome changed her drinking, and gastric bypass surgery changed how her body processed alcohol. She could drink large amounts of alcohol and began to blackout.    Sherrie gained weight in hopes that her husband would leave her. As she approached her fifties (her father passed at age 54), she developed patterns of self-sabotage. After her second DUI, she knew it was time to make a change. She started counseling and stayed away from triggering moments like going to the grocery store. Her life revolved around recovery. Anytime she wasn't working, she was focused on recovery.   AA is a significant part of Sherrie's recovery, AND she incorporates other things that work for her like Café RE, sober travel, meditation, etc. Finding activities that take her focus off wanting to drink helps Sherrie stay on track. Sherrie has a positive outlook and looks forward to fun adventures ahead.   Odette's Summary   [56:52] You are doing a great job. Acknowledge the work and effort you are making. Validate your own work. Be your own cheerleader. You are not alone – together is always better.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator –You took the elevator down. You've got to take the stairs back up.   I love you guys.

    RE 371: Define Your Sobriety

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 28, 2022 55:35

    Episode 371– Define your sobriety   Today we have Cyndi. She is 52, from California, and she took her last drink on  July 1, 2021.   Registration for the Bozeman retreat opens April 1. https://recoveryelevator.com/bozeman   Highlights from Paul   Recovery is recovering the person you were meant to be or is the most authentic version of yourself. This isn't a practice you want to end. It's not a checkbox or to-do list item. Besides, if you stick with it, you will start enjoying this work.   What is success in recovery? Paul says YOU should define success for the most essential endeavor of your life. Know your why and write it down. Loving yourself and being okay with yourself should top the list.   Kala Ukelele: www.kalabrand.com/elevator - 15% off your first ukelele Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [11:12] Cyndi is married loves hiking, puzzles, and pets.   Alcohol entered Cyndi's life when she was sixteen. She loved it and had fun in the beginning. Cyndi's recovery journey was progressive. Her drinking escalated after she got married. After a few comments from her husband, she tried an intensive outpatient program which wasn't effective. Cyndi found herself reneging on all the promises she made to herself. She tried AA. After some soul searching and a request from her husband, she completely changed her approach. Her drinking was progressing, and things she swore she would never do, she was doing. Defiance, a desire for control, and physical cravings fueled her relapses.   Today Cyndi doesn't isolate. She goes to AA daily, and she doesn't put herself in situations where she may be tempted to drink. Podcasts, doing the work with her sponsor, and leveraging Café RE keep her sober.   Odette's Summary   Give yourself permission to recover regardless of where you are in alcohol's progressive nature.      Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator – without the darkness, you can never know the light. I love you guys.

    RE 370: R is for Recovery

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 21, 2022 64:49

    Episode 370– Phases of Recovery   Today we have Stephanie. She is from Pennsylvania, and she took her last drink on  January 2, 2020.   Ditch the Booze:  https://recoveryelevator.com/cafére   Promo Code:  OPPORTUNITY   Finding your better you with Odette   After ten years of being in recovery, Odette discovers that she never asked herself what recovery means to her. Success means different things to different people. When Odette decided to add alcohol to her recovery journey, she enjoyed counting days and celebrating milestones. Fear is a common theme Odette noticed among her sober soulmates,  fear of failure.    Relapse has been part of Odette's journey, and she spoke about how common relapse is for those in recovery. As she searched for the reasons she relapsed, she discovered depression, perfectionism, and shame patterns. Shame dissolves hope, and without hope, you stop showing up. Sobriety for Odette is about walking toward herself and her truth.   Odette encourages listeners to define sobriety and recovery for yourselves. Stay in the game, and don't quit on yourself.   Kala Ukelele: www.kalabrand.com/elevator - 15% off your first ukelele Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month                                                                               [10:48] Stephanie is 42, a single mom of two boys, and lives in Pennsylvania. She loves running, cooking, and fund-raising. She is enrolled in nursing school.    Stephanie describes year two of sobriety as different:  a little less pink cloud and more work. She enjoys running and cooking.    Alcohol was an escape for Stephanie. She had a great 80's upbringing but did encounter some trauma that she rarely spoke about. The trauma influenced her relationships. She became the girl who could outdrink the boys.   Much of her early drinking years are a blur for Stephanie.   After separating from her son's father and her Dad's diagnosis, Stephanie realized she had a problem. She was drinking to cope and not eating. She started running, quit smoking, and lost 50 pounds. She recalls having blackouts and not remembering conversations with her kids. Getting healthy for them became critical to her, so her kids wouldn't have to care for her.   Community has always been important to Stephanie. She joined Café Re and has a group of friends in recovery. She bought the book, Alcohol is Sh!t, and once she finished the book, she knew “this was it.”  She knew moderation wasn't enough.   Sobriety has opened Stephanie's mind to all kinds of possibilities. The pandemic forced her out of the restaurant industry, and she found a nursing school. She is now in her second year of nursing school, making excellent grades. She created the “merch” department for Café RE. She is passionate about service and gift-giving. Stephanie is focused, driven, and living a life of possibilities. Recovery isn't perfect. Life still has ups and downs, but recovery is worthwhile. She plans to incorporate recovery into her nursing career. “Find your people!”   Kris's Summary   Recovery to Kris includes mediation, podcasting, service, meetings. He is learning that recovery isn't a resume of self-awareness. Faith taught Kris to surrender. The quality of his recovery is because of the grace of God. Kris wants to keep learning. Recovery is an opportunity; it's a chance, and Kris will do his best.    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator – only you can do this, but you don't have to do it alone. I love you guys.

    RE 369: You Can Be Right or You Can Have Peace

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 14, 2022 63:31

    Episode 369– You can be right, or you can have peace   Today we have Katherine. She is from Colorado and took her last drink on September 24, 2021.   Ditch the Booze:  https://recoveryelevator.com/cafére   Promo Code:  OPPORTUNITY   Kala Brand Ukelele:  www.kalabrand.com/elevator   Highlights from Paul   Paul speaks to the rise of post-pandemic alcohol-free bars. Check out: https://www.wweek.com/bars/2022/02/17/portland-is-getting-its-first-zero-proof-bar-courtesy-of-no-booze-cocktail-kit-vendor-suckerpunch/   Paul speaks to brain fog and how much it impacts those of us with a history of drinking problems. Fortunately, Paul has experienced continued improvement in his cognitive function since ditching the Booze. Paul also credits meditation with improving his critical thinking and problem-solving skills. There is ample scientific evidence that meditation can rewire your thinking.   Paul also credits plant-based medicine, playing music, and being less reactive with helping his brain fog and mental cognition. Paul encourages listeners to be patient and allow mind, body, and soul to recalibrate after leaving alcohol behind. Once the PAWS (post-acute withdrawal symptoms) disappear, you will also see improvement in cognitive dissonance.   Paul describes a recent experience where he chose being right over peace and reminds us that he learned the hard way that it's better to have peace than be right.   Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator                                                                               [13:46] Katherine is 45 and married with three children. She loves reading, working out, and skiing.    Katherine tried drinking in high school, but it wasn't until the last twelve years that her drinking was problematic. She joined the army at 21. When she started drinking wine, she became infatuated with the hype of wine. She became the last one to leave the party. Work troubles and being stationed in a different place than her husband contributed to her escalated drinking.   Katherine and her husband drank together regularly. He quit with her, even though his drinking wasn't problematic. He often expressed concern which Katherine experienced as controlling. She didn't understand how much her drinking was affecting him. Signs appeared that her drinking was a problem, but she dismissed them. Now, she has her friend back.    Katherine is reluctant to admit that she medicated with wine and used it to overcome the stresses of motherhood. A heavy-drinking mommy peer group became a permission slip to drink more. A series of divine interventions inspired her to quit for good. She completed a 90-day intensive outpatient program and listened to Recovery Elevator podcasts for inspiration.    Katherine encourages listeners to be gentle with themselves; give yourself grace. She has learned that expressing her feelings out loud takes away their power. Reading has become a great escape.    Odette's Summary   Know how to sit with others when they are in pain. Odette read this in Brene Brown's latest book. Learning to hold space for others and just be with others is challenging but worthwhile.   Remember, you are not alone. Together is always better.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator – it all starts from the inside out. I love you guys.

    RE 368: The Mind F&ck of Alcohol

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 7, 2022 76:15

    Episode 368 – The Mind F&ck of Alcohol   Today we have Stephen. He is from New Jersey and took his last drink on September 15, 2020.   Ditch the Booze:  https://recoveryelevator.com/cafére   Promo Code:  OPPORTUNITY   Highlights from Paul   Paul shares an email from a listener who asks Paul how people without a drinking problem can get help. He talks about the A&E show “Intervention” and how he often watched it while drinking alone, grateful he didn't have a problem with alcohol. The show, Intervention gave Paul countless examples of how alcohol “f&cks” with your mind.   After 276 interventions on the show, 270 accepted treatment, with 151 remaining clean and sober today, which is a 55% success rate. If those numbers are accurate, they are much more optimistic than the broadly accepted low teen success rate you hear from the industry.   Paul reminds listeners that you probably have a drinking problem if you are listening to a sobriety podcast. The point of addiction is to get to know yourself and love yourself.    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator                                                                               [13:10] Stephen is 45 and lives in New Jersey. He is a father (a “girl dad”), coach, and owns his own business. He loves coaching, sports, and everything outside.      Stephen's relationship with alcohol evolved over 25 years. Alcohol was his biggest challenge, but he also used marijuana. He dabbled in underage drinking and had fun on the Jersey shore. He managed his drinking well for many years. When his second daughter was born, he began to acknowledge his drinking was problematic. His drinking escalated over the years. He and his wife danced with moderation, and he occasionally took days off drinking. Stephen was the driver of the drinking in his marriage.   Stephen credits Paul Churchill's book with getting him sober. He tried several programs before he found Recovery Elevator. Ultimately, he went to a four-day detox. He was full of energy and enthusiasm after leaving detox. He relapsed a few times but rallied and has been able to stack days. Mismatched drinking habits pushed the end of his marriage. Meditation, journaling, exercise, and accountability are his best sobriety tools.    Value Bombs   Learning that alcohol was the symptom, not the problem, was eye-opening Enjoy the moments Once it gets good (in sobriety), it gets great quickly. Everything compounds.   Odette's Summary   If you are seeking anything outside of self, you are taking the long way home. Odette reminds us that everything we need is inside of us. There is no shame in having doubt. Stay on the path! Remember, you are not alone. Together is always better.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator – it all starts from the inside out. I love you guys.

    RE 367: Why Geographical Cures Don't Work

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 28, 2022 53:44

    Episode 367 – Why geographical cures won't work.   Today we have Aaron. He is from San Antonio and took his last drink on May 22, 2019.   Ukulele:  https://kalabrand.com/   Highlights from Paul   Paul advises listeners that if you aren't doing the inner work, your problems will follow you, whether you move, change jobs, or change relationships. That's why geographic cures don't work. He speaks about some of his geographic solutions and why they helped temporarily, but eventually, he discovered he was the problem and had to buckle down to do the deep inner work. Paul highly recommends getting out of toxic situations.    Paul describes the inner work as connecting with yourself, learning to love yourself, setting boundaries, making decisions that benefit your sobriety, and standing up for yourself. Ultimately, inner work often causes you to leave toxic situations, relationships, jobs, etc.   When you learn to respect yourself, you will choose environments that are conducive to your wholeness.    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator                                                                               [11:54] Aaron is 27, lives in Texas, and works in finance for a corporate bank. He is a family guy, loves hiking, getting outside, food truck Friday's and hanging out with his nieces and nephews.      Aaron was raised by an amazing single mother and had a great childhood. His world was rocked when his mom died of breast cancer when he was twelve. Entering high school after losing his mom left him feeling disconnected from family, people, places, and himself. He started drinking his sophomore year, and alcohol gave him confidence, popularity, and connection. He moved to the Midwest to live with his sister and encountered a new environment, including harsh winters. Boredom led to more drinking, pot use, and the wrong crowd.    Aaron spoke heartfeltly about the role shame played in his delay in maintaining continuous sobriety. Resentments and anger fueled his drinking. He was 24 when he first attempted sobriety. Eventually, an early morning AA meeting became the key to stacking days. He started working out and listened to the Recovery Elevator podcast during his workout. His mom became a higher power for him as he got sober. Sharing his story with you today is Aaron's way to give back and offer hope.    Aaron discovered some co-addictions along the way, including co-dependency and disordered eating,   Value Bombs   You don't have to have a hard physical bottom to get sober. You can get sober because you want a better life You can stay sober because you have a better life. A solid morning routine and discipline led him to stacking days. Discipline has taught him to choose what matters most: his health, career, and family. Aaron's relationships are now pure and genuine because he made a change. Sitting with his feelings and journaling have helped him live life on life's terms. Sobriety is an opportunity, not a sacrifice.   Odette's Summary Odette reminds us that baby steps are progress. She reminds us we are too hard on ourselves and encourages us to remember the small things we are doing that move us in the right direction. Baby steps add up and create a compound effect. Those baby steps are decisions and small actions culminating in meaningful differences. Take inventory of the small things you are doing that move you in the right direction, and be proud! Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator – we took the elevator down; we need to take the stairs back up. I love you guys.

    RE 366: Walking Each Other Home

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 21, 2022 62:35

    Episode 366 – Walking each other home   Today we have Hailey. She is 29, from Portland, OR, and took her last drink on September 3, 2019.   Connect with Cafe RE   Highlights from Paul   Focus on the similarities, not the differences – if you believe you are unique, your inner voice can sabotage your efforts. Create a plan or strategy that will help you in those challenging moments when you want to drink. Have it with you and use it. Be mindful of the inner voice that can cause you to self-implode. Awareness helps you override negative inner thoughts. Walk each other home – listen to others, help others, and shine the light on a new way of living. As you heal, you will help others heal as well. Say thanks to those that walk you home. When you find love, enjoy life.   Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator                                                                               [11:35] Hailey has been sober for 2 ½ years and describes sobriety as different in the third year.   She has been in the restaurant business forever. She lives in Oregon and has done several interesting things in the restaurant industry, including opening some restaurants in the Dominican Republic. She got sober in Minnesota and pivoted into the NA beverage business. She works for a non-profit that supports restaurant industry individuals in addiction crisis. Hailey loves longboarding but admits it's difficult in the rain.   Hailey tried alcohol and pot at age 12. She did a lot of experimenting with drugs at music festivals while her parents worked their food cart. She opened a cocktail catering company and developed an addiction to cocaine to get more done. Achievement and praise are Hailey's first addictions. She described taking it further than others to get uncomfortably high. She was reckless. She continues to feel she doesn't get enough done in a day. Her industry perpetuated that feeling.    She recalls marking the day it was one year from recognizing she had a problem and not doing anything about it. She wanted to get sober quickly and realized she had to take a break from her life to get sober. A friend connected her with a professional interventionist who helped her get into Hazelden.   Hailey's secret sauce for recovery is a robust gratitude practice coupled with things that make her proud. Hailey spent 31 days inpatient, followed by a month of outpatient treatment. She was convinced that her only problem was cocaine, not alcohol. Studying addiction instilled a healthy fear, and she became willing to work the steps. She went to meetings, sold her business assets, and took a part-time job to focus on recovery. "Ben's friends" (https://www.bensfriendshope.com/) and the right sponsor took her recovery to another level.   Hailey was very protective of her recovery during the first two years. With a solid foundation, she frequently explores other recovery venues. Service is vital to her success, and Hailey shares her story with Ben's friends to provide experience, strength, and hope to others in her industry. She relies on consistency over intensity.   Kris's Summary Kris speaks to consistency over intensity and avoiding risky behaviors to maintain his sobriety. Building a life he loves so much that drinking doesn't have a place in it is at the core of his recovery. He learns more about his faith as he digs into his spiritual practice. Kris continues to learn and grow his recovery portfolio. He focuses on what he needs right now. Accountability keeps him on track.    Kris encourages listeners to look at your recovery with curiosity instead of judgment. Complacency is dangerous in recovery. Show gratitude for the tools that work for you. Find the practices that build you up and bring you joy.    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    Recovery Elevator – you deserve a beautiful life. I love you guys.

    RE 365: So Who Do I Connect With?

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 14, 2022 66:41

    Episode 365 – So Who Do I Connect With?   Today we have Joshua. He is 36 years old and from North Carolina. His last drink was on October 31, 2020.   https://kalabrand.com/   Highlights from Paul:   Happy Valentine's Day! The opposite of addiction is connection. Paul shares that reality is a mirror reflecting your inner world. The most important connection we have is the connection we have with ourselves. If we don't love, treat ourselves with respect or stand up for ourselves, that will appear in our outer world. Connecting with yourself allows you to become your own healer. Once your inner connection/relationship is healthy, that will be reflected in your external connections.   Paul recommends splitting your internal and external actions 50/50. Connect with yourself first (via meditation, journaling, yoga, etc.), then connect externally (Café RE chat, Marco Polo chat, a family member).   Johan Hari's Ted Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY9DcIMGxMs   BetterHelp: www.betterhelp.com/elevator   [10:45] Odette introduces Joshua   Joshua is from North Carolina, loves music, and works as an optician.    “Should” never helped Joshua quit drinking. Focusing on what he wanted from his life helped him shift his thinking and made an alcohol-free life possible.    Joshua's first drink was a Zima at a party in high school. He was generally a good kid and had a strong desire to belong.   He recognized that alcohol did something for him early on before it did something to him. The first time he recalls getting drunk, he felt a euphoric escape. Alcohol was liberating and medicating. In college, a sneakiness appeared in his drinking. He wasn't aware of alcohol being problematic until 2014.   After divorcing, pent-up resentments led to accelerated drinking for Joshua. His drinking progressed. He attended his first AA meeting in 2017. After several false starts, AA helped him get 18 months of continuous sobriety. He stopped working his program and returned to drinking. He began to observe his drinking, and by Halloween, a dream helped him realize he wanted to be his best, and alcohol wasn't part of that vision.   Joshua credits AA for helping him and describes AA as binary; he has a realistic view of their history and acknowledges that many options are available for recovery today.     Therapy helped him with harm reduction and to be less black and white. Josh says quitting alcohol is hard, but the complications of drinking make your life exponentially harder. He is happier, more grateful, and knows the perceived benefits of alcohol were a lie. Life still has its ups and downs, which are easier to manage.   Odette's final thoughts:   You are enough. You are everything you need. You are loved. You are worthy. You are whole and complete, and you deserve a peaceful life.    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:   You can find more information about our events    Sponsors:   BetterHelp: www.betterhelp.com/elevator   Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.   The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!     Resources:  Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    “Recovery Elevator –lighten up!

    RE 364: Booze Cruise

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 7, 2022 77:49

    Episode 364 – Booze Cruise   Today we have Ben. He is 41 from England and took his last drink on September 26, 2021.   Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20   Highlights from Paul   Paul shares some highlights from Recovery Elevator's recent trip to Costa Rica. The group wound up on a booze cruise, remained sober, and had more fun dancing, swimming, and connecting than others who were drinking. The group trusted Paul and had a blast.   Anxiety and depression often happen when we feel disconnected. Paul described driving through Montana in a location where people waived to one another on the road. That simple gesture was a form of mini-connection; it feels good and elevates dopamine levels in a healthy way. When you perform an act of kindness, it always provokes another. Paul suggests waiving at someone at a stoplight and reminds us that the opposite of addiction is connection.    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator                                                                               [11:29] Ben looks at not drinking as an opportunity, not a punishment. The work inspires him, and it feels like a reward.    Ben is a musician; he's single and age 41. He loves reading, movies, exercise, board games, video games and aspires to get into amateur dramatics. He no longer needs alcohol to have fun, experience life, and do the things he can write songs about. His mindset is now hopeful and optimistic vs. trapped and hopeless.    Ben started drinking as a teenager at a party. He was under lots of pressure because he was into rock music, had long hair, and nobody approved. Drinking gave him an escape. He never drank when he played because he enjoyed the euphoria of performing. It was “game on” at the afterparties. He developed an eating disorder, which led to binge eating, drinking, and then starving. Hypnotherapy helped his eating disorder, giving him a sense of peace. Writing down what he ate to address his eating disorder helped Ben identify patterns in his drinking.    As his drinking progressed, it began to impact his performances. He often drank on the tour bus all night and partied into the next day. Anxiety, paranoia, and confusion crept into his daily life. He was constantly looking for something fun and continued drinking to avoid reality. He began drinking alone, which impaired his ability to enjoy music. Consequences began to emerge. Ben explored AA, and he was initially put off by those who continued coming to meetings after decades of sobriety. During his first share, he broke into tears. He was shaken to discover how much alcohol meant to him. His drinking progressed, and he became reckless. At some point, he recognized he was powerless over alcohol.    In 2021, Ben had three scary incidents that involved his work, health, and a friendship. He was scared sober. Initially, it wasn't difficult. Finding a new addiction or habit was his initial plan. He spent hours playing computer games and was grateful because those hours were time he wasn't drinking. Ben treats his sobriety like the levels of a computer game, adding new behaviors with each progression.     Odette's Summary Odette speaks about “The Happiness Trap,” a book she is discussing with her therapist. It debunks the myth that we are supposed to be happy all the time. The daily actions we take allow us to feel joy, pain, and boredom. Even uncomfortable actions propel us toward a life we want.       Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes      Recovery Elevator – embrace the journey of becoming. I love you guys.

    RE 363: The Most Powerful Pharmacy in the World

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 31, 2022 49:59

    Episode 363 – The most powerful pharmacy in the world   Today we have Brian. He is 48 years old and from Ohio. His last drink was on March 31, 2019.   For more information about our Denver event, please go here.   Exact Nature www.exactnature.com Code: RE20   Highlights from Paul: How do you leverage the brain to work in your favor?   Acknowledge there is a problem.  Make sure your mental energies match your goal. Use the thinking mind to pull up a good memory (vacation, significant accomplishment). The cycle: The more the nervous system is in check, the more you want to do things that bring you joy. The more you do something that brings you joy, the more your nervous system calms down.   Listen to the nature sounds playlist. We forget that we come from nature; we evolved with crickets and blue jays. All you need to do is listen to nature sounds and allow them to calm the nervous system.   BetterHelp: www.betterhelp.com/elevator   [11:19] Odette introduces Brian   Brian has been sober for 1000 days.  He is from Cleveland, Ohio, likes mountain biking, the outdoors, art museums, and travel.    Drinking became an issue for Brian after high school.  He experimented with drinking, pot, and methamphetamines.  He was an addict for a year and eventually went to rehab.  He dropped illicit drugs and continued drinking.  His family drank, so they wanted him to quit drugs but continue drinking.  Brian did everything to excess.  He had two failed marriages, and his drinking always led to bad situations.  He believed he could control his drinking.   In 2018, Brian started a new job.  He blacked out at the end of a training event, and he knew he had to quit.  He stopped on April 1 but was a dry drunk.  He was always angry.  He didn't know what to do because drinking was always a reward.   Today, Brian listens to podcasts and finds the similarities.  He meditates.  Regulating his emotions has been a struggle, but it's getting better.  Café Re drove his recovery.  His goal is not to be an embarrassment anymore.  Brian removed himself from all his prior activities to avoid triggers.  Now he follows the 7 Habits, s, lives his values, and sobriety is his number one priority.  He appreciates his wife's support, and they have a solid partnership.  After a year of firsts (holidays, anniversaries), he felt stronger in his recovery.  He is a better husband, a better stepdad, and his career has progressed.               You may have to say adios to booze if...    If you find yourself crying in the shower, not knowing how you got to your room.   Odette's final thoughts:   Getting through a year of firsts is a legitimate challenge.   Don't let the images of sobriety being easy or perfect discourage you.  Sobriety takes time.  It is uncomfortable; it is normal to feel angry; it's not always fun.  Focus on doing the next right thing.  It gets better.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:   You can find more information about our events    Sponsors:   Exact Nature www.exactnature.com Code: RE20 BetterHelp: www.betterhelp.com/elevator   Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.   The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!     Resources:  Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes    “Recovery Elevator –we took the elevator down; we need to take the stairs back up - I love you guys.”

    RE 362: Acceptance is the Answer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 24, 2022 63:16

    Today we have Noelle. She is 31 years old and from Colorado. Her last drink was on June 24, 2019.   Highlights from Odette   Odette is working on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with her therapist. ACT encourages people to embrace their thoughts and feelings rather than fighting or feeling guilty for them.   Odette is learning not to shove her feelings away but to accept them and learn not to fuse them. Embracing negative thoughts can propel you into the right thoughts and behaviors.    If I let this thought guide what I can do, will it help me create the life I want? Use the thought if it helps; diffuse it if it's not helpful.    betterhelp.com/elevator   [8:54] Kris introduces Noelle     Noelle has been sober for 2.5 years – over 900 days!   She is an engineer and works with her brother. She has a Doberman and loves hiking, skiing, and getting outside to enjoy Colorado.   Noelle had a fake ID at 17 and always thought about how to get alcohol easier. She got into college because of her basketball skills. She got a DUI at 18, but there were no consequences. She and others justified her drinking because she excelled academically, professionally, and in basketball. She drank to get drunk. She crashed her truck for her 2nd DUI, and the consequences didn't faze her yet. She continued to excel professionally. Workaholism and alcoholism went hand in hand for Noelle.    Noelle's got her third DUI at age 27. She went to jail and had five months of work release and in-home detention. She accepted a TOP 30 under 30 business award, but she wore an ankle monitor during the awards ceremony and slept in a cot in jail that night. Six months later, she stopped drinking. She was a dry drunk; she just removed the alcohol. She had a one-day relapse. The following day she went to an AA meeting. Noelle has now learned that sobriety is about quality vs. quantity. She has a sponsor, is working the steps, and spiritual elegance is part of her journey.   At her sponsor's urging, she wrote a drunkalogue which helped her see the wreckage of her past and the risky behavior. Noelle has learned that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. She is now learning to live in peace with unsolved problems.    Noelle met Odette in April when she was hiking at Zion National Park. Meeting Odette was a higher power "God shot" moment in front of hundreds of people. Recovery Elevator podcasts were critical to her early recovery and AA meetings.    You may have to say adios to booze if...    You get a Denver Business Award journal for the Top 30 Under 30 and sleep in a cot in jail that night.   Kris's final thoughts:   Kris spoke about the impact that his drinking had on his loved ones. A door opened after a challenging conversation with his wife. Acknowledging her comments, he was scared and hopeless and beginning to face the consequences of his actions. Faith carried Kris through, and he reminds us to do the next right thing. We heal with each step we take.    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:   You can find more information about our events    Sponsor: BetterHelp  www.betterhelp.com/elevator   Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.   The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!     Resources:  Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes          "Recovery Elevator –the door has been opened; let's walk through this together- I love you guys."

    RE 361: A Healthy Cycle

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 17, 2022 58:07

    Today we have Eric. He is 58 years old and from New Jersey. His last drink was on February 10, 2019.     The RE Alcohol Free Ukulele course registration is open! Sign up here.   For more information about our Denver event, please go here.     From Paul: Why is working with the nervous system so important?   The cycle: The more the nervous system is in check the more you want to do things that bring you joy. The more you do things that bring you joy, the more your nervous system calms down.   Listen to the nature sounds playlist. We forget that we come from nature, we evolved with the crickets and blue jays. All you have to do is listen to nature sounds and allow it to calm the nervous system.     [10:03] Odette introduces Eric.     Eric is 58 years old and from New Jersey. He is a teacher. He also enjoys performing in theater as well as teaching theater. For fun he likes hiking and going to the gym. Being in nature is important to him.   He grew up around alcohol and for him it was very normalized. As a kid in high school, he would take beer from his father and drink them on camping trips. In college is where he said his drinking ramped up. He was able to get drunk very fast and he began to black out from time to time.   After two DUIs in the Midwest he took a job in New Jersey and continued drinking. He then received a 3rd DUI and a 4th DUI. But because it was in a different state he skated under the radar and was able to deal with lower ramifications.   February 10, 2018 his mother passed. He thought to him as he was on the plane home “Now the healing can begin”. He's been learning what that means ever since.     You may have to say adios to booze if...    you are now dealing with your 5th DUI and you still think it's just a glitch and it's not a problem.       Odette's final thoughts:     Don't put so much pressure on yourself. Get off the rat race and be kind to yourself. Take a moment today and focus on something good. Accept where you are.       Upcoming events, retreats and courses:   You can find more information about our events    Sponsors:   Exact Nature www.exactnature.com Code: RE20 BetterHelp: www.betterhelp.com/elevator   Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.   The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!     Resources:  Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes          “Recovery Elevator –stay awkward and weird, you won't regret it- I love you guys.”

    RE 360: The Nervous System

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 10, 2022 51:34

    Today we have Lane. She is from San Francisco. Her last drink was on December 30, 1996.   The RE Alcohol Free Ukulele course registration opens January 7th 2022. Sign up here. For more information about our Denver event, please go here.     Paul reminds you that you're declining one drink at a time. When we think about quitting drinking, a scenario arises in our mind with 100's of people, simultaneously offering us drinks, all at once. That will never happen, and just like one day at a time, you're saying no to one drink at a time.     As Paul mentioned at the end of last year he wants to cover the Nervous System, which is what he'll be covering today, and in future episodes. Today he covers why it's important to have a balanced nervous system and he explains, in layman's terms, what the nervous system is.   [11:38] Odette introduces Lane.   Lane is in her 50s, and lives in San Francisco, CA.  She took her last drink on December 30, 1996.  Lane is a wife and mother and a mindfulness and meditation teacher.  Lane loves to hike, listen to really good music and dance.   Lane had her first drink at the age of 12 and blacked out.  This pattern continued with her into her 20s.  She loved the effect that alcohol had on her.  She was very involved in sports during school and nobody knew she was drinking like she was.    Everything on the outside looked normal, but on the inside she depended on that drink.  She didn't think she had a problem because her friends drank like she did.  To be hungover was normal, was life.    It wasn't until she sent her best friend to the hospital with a concussion, while in a blackout, that she started to think that something was wrong with her drinking.    On New Years Eve (1996) she went to a “meeting” with some friends, unknowingly this meeting turned out to be an AA meeting.  She heard the message of recovery that night and had hope.    When Lane was 5 years sober she fell into Buddhism and found a way out, through prayer and meditation and that has been the golden thread throughout the last 20 years of her recovery.    Lane says becoming a mother 12 years ago has been the most challenging thing in her recovery.    You may have to say adios to booze if...    you just drank and you get into a car and you drive.     Odette's final thoughts:   Take care of yourself, believe in yourself and believe in possibility.     Upcoming events, retreats and courses:   You can find more information about our events    Sponsors: SOBERLINK:Did you know there are 15 million people in the U.S. with an Alcohol Use Disorder? And yet, there is still a stigma that surrounds addiction and recovery. We need to stop being ashamed and start sharing in our sobriety. That's why we're so excited to have a sponsor like Soberlink who shares in our beliefs. If you haven't heard of the Soberlink alcohol monitoring system, it's the perfect accountability tool for those in recovery. It can help you rebuild trust and get back on track despite slips or relapses. We've teamed up with Soberlink to provide you with “Tips for Handling a Relapse” which is a guide that can be downloaded at www.soberlink.com/recovery-elevator. On that page, you'll also find a form to sign up for a $50-off promo code for you or a loved one who is ready to take the next step in their recovery journey.   Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code: RE20   Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.   The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!     Resources:  Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes        “Recovery Elevator –together is always better- I love you guys.”

    RE 359: Silence Bruno

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 3, 2022 50:51

    Today we have Shea. She is 42 years old and from Michigan. Her last drink was on August 9, 2021.     The RE Dry January course: REstore began January 1. There's still time to join us! Sign up here. The RE Alcohol Free Ukulele course registration opens January 7th 2022. Sign up here. For more information about our Denver event, please go here.       From Paul: “I cannot tell you how to quit drinking”   For Paul the most important thing that helped him along his journey to being alcohol free is: accountability. Paul tells his story of one of his attempts to stop drinking in 2014. He told his family he needed help.   Paul's 2022 goal is simply: To be sober.   As he continues to build time away from alcohol, he wants to remind listeners that even he doesn't have it all together. And the thing he's most proud of is the ability to recognize the insanity of his own thinking mind.   * Silencio Bruno *       [09:03] Odette introduces Shea.     Shea is 42 years old and from Michigan. She took her last drink on August 9, 2021. She has two boys, a full time physicians assistant for cardiac surgery and is also in Law School. For fun she loves to move her body, recovery related activities and build community.   In Shea's senior year of high school she began to develop coping mechanisms for trauma through her life. At first the focus was on an eating disorder and then she turned to alcohol. Immediately she took to alcohol and drugs and she lost all fear. While she knew this path was wrong, she wanted freedom and thought it was here. By 18 she had developed an addiction to heroin, but focused on school with daily drinking. During this time she also attended her first AA meeting. Through some admitted luck she was able to avoid jail time and was put into a court appointed drug and alcohol program.   After 13 years (2015) of alcohol and drug recovery she decided she wasn't an addict anymore and began to drink again and would be able to moderate. Before the first glass of wine was done she was planning the second.   The community and steps of AA work for her, knowing that there are a million different avenues she can take to recovery has made her experience this time around different and meaningful. Finding and accepting her own self honesty has given her freedom.     You may have to say adios to booze if...    you are finding bottles in your basement in old boxes and you don't remember putting them there.       Odette's final thoughts:     This is a great time to set some goals and intentions. Write down what you want to happen this year.       Upcoming events, retreats and courses:   You can find more information about our events    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code: RE20   Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.   The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!     Resources:  Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes          “Recovery Elevator –together is always better- I love you guys.”

    RE 358: Don't Forget to Sing Your Song

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 27, 2021 61:07

    Episode 358 – Don't Forget to Sing Your Song   Today we have Randy.  He is 43, from Indianapolis, and took his last drink on December 30, 2016.   Registration is now open for Restore which begins January 1,2022.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/restore/   Highlights from Paul   This week's tips from Paul include:  1) not everyone drinks, 2) sing, 3) give yourself a hug and say I love you.   There is a lot of uncertainty in the world and change is hard.  Find your song, that melody in your soul that is uniquely you that you sing over and over. You are the master creator of your life. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/   Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20                                                                               [9:27] Randy has been sober for nearly 5 years.  He is married with 4 kids and loves animals and running.   Randy was on episode 129.  Randy was in the restaurant business, and he was always surrounded by people who drank.  Toward the end, the hangovers and anxiety began to take a toll on him.    Drinking was a reward for Randy.  Today, Randy doesn't have to think about drinking.  He isn't spending money on alcohol.  Now he can afford season tickets to the Colt's game.  He doesn't have to think about getting there or getting back, because he is sober.    Randy is now methodical vs living on instant gratification.  He is more approachable and he loves giving service to others.   Initially watching football was really hard for Randy, because the sport was so engrained with alcohol.  Now he enjoys games more than ever.     Kris's Summary Kris speaks to the term chosen family.  Kris' recovery family wants him to be successful and free.   They take him at his best and his worst.  They laugh together, cry together, dance and walk the path together.  We need to open up, be vulnerable and let others love us until we learn to love ourselves.  You can do this.    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   Holiday 2021 AF Survival Guide   Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat. Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy. Develop a detailed craving game plan. FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out. Select a Holiday Theme Song. Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy One minute of intense mindfulness Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you'll see it each day Have a fun escape plan Offer to do the dishes Study your why's Rest Uno reverse card Remind yourself you are safe Play the tape forward Treat yourself to a gift Take 3 deep breaths   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 357: Practice Saying No

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 20, 2021 57:42

    Episode 357 – Practice Saying No   Today we have Jenn.  She is 34, from Michigan, and took her last drink on April 10, 2020.   Registration is now open for Restore which begins January 1,2022.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/restore/.  AF Ukulele course starts 2/5/22 at 3 PM EST. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/ukulele/   Highlights from Paul   Paul talks about the parameters for success.  There's an unhealthy paradigm in the sobriety world that it's all a bust if we drink once. While continuous sobriety is the ultimate goal,  getting there is never pretty, and most likely is launched off a series of relapses or field research.  If you are drinking less than you did last holiday season, that's a huge improvement.    This week's tips from Paul include:  1) say no, 2) practice saying no, 3) create your own pep talk.   Sometimes the desire to stop drinking only swirls in our thoughts.  Don't underestimate the power of thought.  Our thoughts are powerful.  They create our world.  Immediately discard the thoughts that don't align with your goals.  Deconstruct them and become aware of thoughts that are not congruent with what you want and need in life.  Use the thinking mind for creation and visualization.  Visualize that you no longer drink.  Repeat it, say it out loud and repeat it again.  What you put in is what you get back.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/   Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20                                                                               [12;43] Jenn took her last drink April 10, 2020.  She has a husband, two children and loves hiking, being in nature and spending time with her family.    Jenn said from her first sip of alcohol she felt some inner peace.  Her first black out was at age 14.  She started off with a bang and got in plenty of trouble.  She experienced some trauma and started to use alcohol as her coping mechanism. She had suicidal ideations and started cutting.  She drank a 5th a night.  Before she turned 21, she added cocaine.    She was a functioning alcoholic through her twenties and early thirties.  In her thirties, her drinking took on a dark shift.  She was suicidal and she knew that she had to save herself and get some help.  Jenn had to be brutally honest with herself.  She was asking the wrong people for help.  Her internal and external worlds were completely opposed.    Jenn had multiple attempts at sobriety.  She worked with a therapist for two years and real change began.  The accountability of Café RE reinforced her commitment to sobriety.  She is now a recovery coach.    Odette's Summary Odette reminds us that change starts with us.  If you are waiting for things to change, for people to change, for life to change, you may be waiting for a long time. Recovery is our responsibility. Everything that we wish to see in others needs to start with us. Be the person you wish everyone around you was and see how life can change.   “I really think the secret to being loved is to love. And the secret to being interesting is being interested. And the secret to having a friend is being a friend.”   Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   Holiday 2021 AF Survival Guide   Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat. Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy. Develop a detailed craving game plan. FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out. Select a Holiday Theme Song. Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy One minute of intense mindfulness Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you'll see it each day Have a fun escape plan Offer to do the dishes Study your why's Rest Uno reverse card Remind yourself you are safe Play the tape forward Treat yourself to a gift Take 3 deep breaths   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 356: Play the Tape Forward

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2021 61:19

    Episode 356 – Play the Tape Forward   Today we have Ashley.  She is 35 from Orange County, CA, and took her last drink on January 7, 2006.   Registration is now open for Restore, which begins January 1, 2022.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/restore/ Café RE:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/cafere/   Highlights from Paul   Paul encourages you to check in with yourself about your feelings about your AF journey.  There are more recovery modalities than ever.  Keep searching for the one that works for you.  This week's tips are:  Play the tape forward.  Treat yourself to a gift.  Take three deep breaths into the lower lobes of the lung.    Drinking served a purpose for you initially.  Alcohol suppresses your inner turmoil: It gives you a sense of calm.  As you continue to suppress those voices, they grow louder, and you must drink more to make those feelings go away.  If you continue to override your internal guidance system, you live life truly blind, and nothing of significance takes place.  When do the miracles of sobriety occur?  Day 1, day 500?  It's up to you to find out.  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/   Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20   [12:45] Ashley took her last drink on January 7, 2006.  She is married, has twin boys, and in 2010 co-founded an SV start-up that offers online outpatient addiction treatment.  She has a podcast called the courage to change.  https://www.lionrock.life/couragetochangepodcast  She is finishing her MBA, loves yoga, the outdoors, reading and comedy.  Since she got sober at 19, she has been revisiting fun at her current stage of life.   Ashley's first drink was a beer she stole from her parents' fridge, and it took her a week to finish it.  She felt like she was born with her skin too tight and always believed she was too much.  She tried to make herself into what others wanted her to be.   Ashley hired alcohol and drugs to do a job for her to make her feel okay and want to be on the planet.  By age 14, she was addicted to cocaine.  Through a boyfriend, she got addicted to heroin.   She was sent to several lockdown programs that were popular in early 2000.  She couldn't stay sober in treatment.  She would create disasters, leave, and change treatment centers.  She eventually left treatment and decided to drink instead of doing drugs.    In 2006 she started going to AA meetings, listening, and letting go of her old ideas, which was hard to do.  Her life became different when she let others help her and did what they said.  She went to college, had relationships, and started a company.  Instagram: @sobermomsquad ; https://www.lionrockrecovery.com/   Ashley went to meetings four days a week in early sobriety and participated in the fellowship.  Ashley did not heal her trauma in 12-step; therapy was essential for Ashley to do the work.  A young people's AA group in So CA allowed her to meet some great young people, and they partied without the alcohol.   She has been reinventing her recovery since having children.    Odette's Summary Where do I feel safe enough to be my best calm self?   Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   Holiday 2021 AF Survival Guide   Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat. Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy. Develop a detailed craving game plan. FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out. Select a Holiday Theme Song. Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy One minute of intense MINDFULNESS Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you'll see it each day Have a fun escape plan Offer to do the dishes Study your why's Play the tape forward Buy yourself a gift Take three deep breaths   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 355: The Uno Reverse Card

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 59:14

    Episode 355 – the Uno reverse card.   Today we have Rocio.  She is 42, from Washington state, and took her last drink on August 31, 2020.   Registration is now open for Restore which begins January 1,2022.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/restore/   Highlights from Paul   Paul reminds you if you drank over Thanksgiving or your sobriety plans aren't going so hot, don't kick the bucket to January or to the next holiday season.    This week's tips from Paul include:  1) rest, 2) Uno reverse card – remember that most criticisms and judgments have nothing to do with you, 3) remind yourself that you are physically safe.  Much of our addiction is tied to an overactive nervous system that prevents us from departing from the fight or flight emotions.   When we're drinking, there is no time left to create, to explore, to discover, to get to know, or reflect upon. Instead, we are picking up the pieces, sometimes trying to put the pieces together from the night before. Much of this behavior is the body seeking safety and refuge from situations that may have occurred decades ago. Relax and let your inner guidance take over.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/   Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20                                                                               [11:29] Rocio took her last drink August 31, 2020.  Rocio is married with three sons and lives in Edmonds, WA.  Rocio had an abusive marriage and had the courage to leave her marriage.  Her drinking wasn't a huge issue until the last 6 years.  As her kids started to grow, she became part of the mommy wine culture and alcohol was part of everything from sports events to PTA meetings and family gatherings.    She noticed she was starting to plan around events.   Her husband was concerned, and always approached her with an attitude of help.  Rocio didn't have a turn-off switch and she had some self-sabotaging characteristics.  She described that hamster wheel of parenthood, work, and fun.  Alcohol helped her numb.    Breaking her hip at a bike race became a turning point.  She didn't stop drinking but had to learn to walk again and the recovery took a year.  Rocio was sober curious and did several dry January's.  During a family vacation, she had some great insights about the role alcohol played in her family including some questions from her son.  About six months into sobriety, she started to get real clarity on her relationships and how she thinks.  Connection, accountability, quit lit, boundaries and self-care were great tools.  Her marriage is amazing, and she has great support.    Odette's Summary Odette reminds us to protect our energy during the holiday season.  Give yourself permission to take care of you.    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   Holiday 2021 AF Survival Guide   Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat. Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy. Develop a detailed craving game plan. FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out. Select a Holiday Theme Song. Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy One minute of intense mindfulness Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you'll see it each day Have a fun escape plan Offer to do the dishes Study your why's Rest Uno reverse card Remind yourself you are safe   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 354: Holiday Survival Kit

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 64:45

    Episode 354   Today we have Cordell.  He is 38, from North Dakota, and took his last drink on December 6, 2017.   Highlights from Odette   Odette has some helpful hints to contribute to Paul's Holiday Survival Guide.  Odette suggests 1) have a fun escape plan, 2) offer to do the dishes, 3) dig into your arsenal of why's.   Beyond tips, Odette suggests really focusing on effective communications.  Set expectations in advance, particularly with those closest to you so they understand you are committed to staying sober, even if it means leaving early.  You don't have to burn the ships either, you can reference plans early the next day.  Odette says having a puppy is a great reason to leave a party early.    Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20   [6:05] Cordell took his last drink December 6, 2017.  He is 38 and has a wife and 3 kids.  He spends lots of time chasing kids and he works in a coal mine.  Sobriety is the best choice he ever made.   Cordell was raised in a Christian family with lots of family gatherings in a small town with lots of alcohol.  Taking a sip of his parents' drink was common.  In high school, alcohol was a given, part of the norm.  Cordell didn't drink to have fun; he drank to get wasted.  He started working as a welder and drinking was part of the routine.   At 22 he decided he needed help.  He smoked pot and took other drugs, and it had a spiraling effect.  He went to a 30-day Intensive Outpatient program.  He was sober for almost a year and decided he had it under control.  He would drink 1-2 beers at a party and “drink responsibly”.    At 24, his girlfriend was pregnant.  He wasn't ready to be a father and his drinking really took off.   He lost his job, his friends, his car and was at rock bottom.  He met his son for the first time when he was 3 months old.  Meeting his son encouraged him to clean up his act a bit.  He quit taking drugs but continued to drink.  He moved in with his girlfriend, got a job and maintained as a functioning alcoholic.  His daughter was born two years later.  Almost immediately after his daughter was born, his girlfriend was pregnant again.      Cordell was often put in jail for fighting with his girlfriend.  He eventually got a job at the coal mine.  He and his girlfriend got married.  His drinking slowed, but extra income became an opportunity to start taking drugs again.  He was fired after a random drug screen.  His drinking and using escalated and his wife kicked him out.  He moved in with a buddy who was also drinking and drugging.    Ultimately, he went to rehab.  The withdrawal was hell, but he found new tools to have fun, and started to surround himself with healthy people.  Now he coaches wrestling, volleyball and is actively engaged with his kids.  He talks to his sponsor daily and he has learned how to apologize.    Kris's Summary Kris reminds us our path isn't linear.  He speaks about binging on feelings and emotions.  He is physically and emotionally exhausted.  Kris encourages us to shift our thinking an reframe recovery as a gift.  We learn how to feel and sit with our feelings, know they aren't permanent and move forward.  Stick with it!   Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   Holiday 2021 AF Survival Guide   Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat. Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy. Develop a detailed craving game plan. FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out. Select a Holiday Theme Song. Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy One minute of intense MINDFULNESS Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you'll see it each day Have a fun escape plan Offer to do the dishes Study your why's   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 353: It's a Week to be Thankful

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 57:33

    Episode 353 – It's a Week to be Thankful   Today we have Jan.  She is from Connecticut and took her last drink on February 1, 2021.   Restore – intensive on-online dry January 15 session course. Registration opens 12/1/21. Costa Rica starts January 15. Email kate@recoveryelevator.com to get on waiting list. AF Sober Ukulele (8 week) course starts 2/5/2022. Registration opens January 7th. Denver Retreat (3/31 – 4/2) Register: https://www.recoveryelevator.com/denver/   Café RE donated $15,094.73 to organizations and non-profits geared towards helping those affected by addiction.   Highlights from Paul   Paul is encouraging listeners to develop a game plan for the holidays.  Last week he encouraged us to: 1) create a detailed craving plan, 2) turn FOMO into JOMO by saying no and, 3) pick a holiday theme song.   Paul shares that when we make the decision to not drink, an unbelievable amount of energy is released. This is less about staying away from alcohol and more about creating a life that doesn't require alcohol. When we're drinking there is no space mentally for this new life.   This week Paul encourages us to:  1) select a Thanksgiving AF beverage, 2) schedule one minute of intense mindfulness and, 3) sticky note – write a reminder, goal or affirmation and put it somewhere you can see it.      Remember what the holiday is all about, being grateful for all the gifts we have including the adversity that inspired us to go alcohol free.  Paul's pep talks can be found here:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/   Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20   [14:34] Jan took her last drink 2/1/2021.  She is 71 years old and has a son.  She is a massage therapist, health coach, dog sitter and loves hiking, audiobooks, and photography.   Jan started drinking went she went to school overseas in Italy.  It was part of the culture. She drank and experimented with drugs through college.  She had serious health consequences because of her drinking.  She worked at several resorts and met her husband who loved to drink.    Jan went to AA and stayed sober for four years.  She returned to drinking for twenty years.   She struggled with mental health issues, anxiety, and panic attacks.   She spent a lot of time in psychiatric hospitals and was encouraged not to drink.  Jan went to 4 or 5 different treatment centers.  The tipping point came when her son pushed her to quit.  Jan pretended to take Antabuse in front of her son and maintaining the facade was exhausting.  A friend of her son's recommended Café RE; the connection she found within Café RE was very helpful.    Jan loves “We are the Luckiest” by Laura McKowen and recalls hearing, “find a room that works and stick with it,” and that resonated for her.  She steers clear of situations where people are drinking alcohol.  The obsession has lifted.    Odette's Summary Odette reflects on Café Re's recent regionals event.  The theme was acceptance.  Odette reads a beautiful passage from Melody Beattie about acceptance.  https://melodybeattie.com/acceptance-2/      Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   Holiday 2021 AF Strategy Guide   Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat. Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy. Develop a detailed craving game plan. FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out. Select a Holiday Theme Song. Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy One minute of intense MINDFULNESS Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you'll see it each day   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 352: Allow the Deeper You To Emerge

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 52:16

    Episode 352 – Allow the deeper you to emerge   Today we have Kendall.  He is 30, from Texas, and took his last drink on March 13, 2021.   Paul shares some personal insights on the growth of Recovery Elevator.   Highlights from Paul   Paul resumes the discussion about having a game plan for the holidays.  He reminds us that alcohol can have catastrophic effects.   A recap from last week:  1) Accountability, 2) Stock up on AF beverages, 3) Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy.  Paul introduces three additional concepts: 1) Develop a cravings plan and get specific, 2) JOMO – find something this holiday season to say “no” to and savor the new boundary, 3) Pick your holiday theme song.    When you begin the journey in a life without alcohol, an incredible thing begins to take place.  You get to experience a transformation that allows the deeper you to emerge.  You get to know yourself, your true and authentic self, your needs, wants, desires and more. Paul encourages us to listen to the inner voice and the guidance it provides to tell us what we need, when we need it and how to get it.  Our inner voice will help us to fully live a human life with all its ups and downs.  When we are true to our authentic selves, we get to embrace the full palette of human emotions, we learn to stand up for ourselves and learn to create a life that no longer involves alcohol.    Listen to the pep talk segment  here:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/    Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   [10:11] Kendall took his last drink 3/13/2021.  He is 30 years old and has a young daughter and enjoys skate boarding.  Kendall started drinking at age 14.  He smoked, drank, and hung out with his friends.  He didn't drink frequently, but every time he did, he got very drunk.    Kendall's sober journey began NYE 2019 when he was going through his divorce.  He didn't want to be “that guy” who drowned himself in alcohol.  He thought he was healed at 50 days.  He was out of control.  His drinking escalated dramatically.   He would quit for a day, but he was having fun.  At some point he reflected on his behavior.  His ex-wife sent him pictures of empty bottles she found in the house.  Kendall realized he was resentful at his wife for not letting him drink the way he wanted to.  Kendall hid his drinking.  He used it as an outlet to escape his depression.    Odette found Kendall through his participation in the Café RE roll call.  She watched him start to count days.  In April 2020, Kendall found RE.  He was in lockdown and still drinking daily.  Kendall connected with Paul's energy on the RE podcast.  He tricked himself through several day ones and eventually he hit a day 3, then a day 7, then a day 27.  He used the term, “field research” as a pass to drink.  Publicly posting on his social media helped him gain accountability and receive love.   Kendall's skating friends are incredibly supportive of his sobriety.  They have come to his house when he was having cravings.    Now Kendall is more emotionally aware.  Kendall's cravings are nostalgia cravings.  His slip-ups have created a strong foundation for him to stay sober.  Dating is hard because everybody wants to meet for a drink.  He was falling apart one day, and he got support from his community and they helped him through.   Odette's Summary If you are on the struggle bus right now, hold on!  Bad days and low emotions are part of the journey.  Just when you are completely overwhelmed and spiraling, you will have a normal day.   Emotions do level out and the intensity dissipates.  Hold on!  Know that you will turn a corner soon.  Reach out for help.  Slow and steady wins the race.   Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events Emo   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 351: Strength and Courage

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 46:01

    Episode 351 – Strength and Courage   Today we have Tom.  He is 47, from Bozeman, MT, and took his last drink on September 24, 2019.   Café RE's annual on-line conference called Regionals starts Friday 11/12-13/2021.  This is a Café RE members' only free event.  This will include yoga, sound healing, meditations, and breakout rooms.  Go to: www.recoveryelevator.com promo code: opportunity for more info.   Highlights from Paul   Paul shares some helpful hints from listeners to develop a game plan for the holidays.   There are 54 days left in 2021 and Paul is encouraging you to start now with your plan to ditch the booze.    1)  Accountability – get an accountability partner.  Café RE members' email: info@recoveryelevator.com with your name, age, location, male or female, and date of last drink and KMac will get you paired.  If you are going somewhere for a holiday gathering, let the host know you won't be drinking and ask them not to offer you any alcohol. 2) Stock up and treat yourself to AF beverages (+chocolate +ice cream). 3) Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy, so your focus isn't on what you are giving up, but on doing more of something you enjoy.   Paul reminds us to practice new habits including listening to music when you get triggered. Listen to some of Paul's favorites here:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/   If you find yourself overwhelmed with getting or staying sober, remind yourself that up until this moment, everything has worked out just fine. You don't have to have it all figured out. Nobody does. Your job is to keep moving forward and making progress. But not aimlessly. When we remove alcohol, we also remove the veil of illusion. At first this is lonely and scary. This allows us to be more authentic. Give this life reboot some time. Trust me. Trust yourself.   Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   [11:52] Tom took his last drink on September 24, 2019.  He is 47, a surgical nurse and is married with two kids.  He loves fly fishing, snowboarding, running, live music, hiking cooking, playing guitar and yo yo's.   Tom came from a long history of drinkers. Tom was a victim of sexual assault and bullying.  He didn't drink regularly until late high school/early college.  He described never feeling comfortable in his own skin.  Drinking helped him overcome that discomfort.  Tom's drinking ramped up in college.  He also smoked pot and was never a normal drinker.    At age 30, Tom made a career change and went to nursing school with the goal of being a family man.  He became a surgical nurse and has been in the field ever since.  After moving to Bozeman, the effects of years of drinking started to take their toll.  He drank to black out, drank and drove and hid his drinking.  He quit once on his own for two months, then drank for another five years.  After a difficult conversation with his wife, he quit drinking the next day.    Tom described living a double life because his behavior at work and at home were completely different.    Tom leveraged AA to help him quit drinking for good.  He went to meetings daily, got a sponsor, embraced spirituality, worked the steps, and did what he was told.    Tom can be himself now.  He loves his job; has become a leader and he is no longer depressed.  His marriage and his relationship with his children is better.  He is making new friends and repairing old relationships.    Odette's Summary Odette discusses moving toward your values to give you a new framework to evaluate your life and your sobriety.   Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 350: What's up Holidays

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 57:16

    Episode 350 – What's up holidays?   Today we have Blazik.  He is 28, from Kansas, and took his last drink on July 25,2021.   Café RE's annual on-line conference called Regionals starts 11/12-13/2021.  This is a Café RE members' only free event.  This will include yoga, sound healing, meditations, and breakout rooms.  Go to  www. Recoveryelevator.com promo code: opportunity for more info.   Café RE just made a $5149 donation to the McShin Foundation.  10% of all Café RE monthly memberships go towards a nonprofit geared towards helping those affected by addiction. The McShin Foundation  helps those struggling with addiction get access to detox facilities, sober living, transitional recovery houses and more. https://mcshin.org/   Highlights from Paul   Paul addresses the gauntlet of challenges coming up in the next sixty days, specifically Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's.  The holidays often spike anxiety.  Paul suggests it's time to create a game plan to enjoy your first of many AF holidays.    Challenges create opportunities.  There is an opportunity to rewrite the script and create a new norm for the holidays.    There are opportunities for self-love, self-reflection, self-care and putting the self aside.  There are also opportunities for connection.  Building deeper human connections requires us to exercise our vulnerability muscles.  This is an opportunity to be less reactive, go with the flow and practice mindfulness.  It is also a great time to be of service and give without expecting anything in return.  It is an opportunity to set boundaries with yourself, your loved ones, and people in the supermarket.  There is also an opportunity of the unknown, a time of repose and perhaps a chance to address loneliness.   Paul believes you can do this.  It starts with how you view it.  Simply reframing challenges to opportunities is a great start.  Lean in on this podcast, Café RE or whatever it takes so you do not go through this alone.  Willpower is not enough to stay sober.  Paul will provide more tools to help you build a game plan. This year is your opportunity to enjoy sober holidays.    Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   [9:47] Blazik took his last drink on July 25, 2021.  He is 28, single and has his own podcast.  He makes videos, music and is learning the guitar.  He spends a lot of time burning energy with his dog so he can enjoy down time.    Blazik experienced anxiety through his childhood.  He was high performing as an athlete and homecoming king.  He acted like the person he wanted to be but was filled with anxiety.  He drank to overcome anxiety and drinking made the feeling go away temporarily.  Alcohol made him feel and act the way he wanted to.  From age 17-27 he drank daily.    The effects of alcohol began to take their toll on him physically.   He woke up regularly at 2-3AM with heart palpitations or anxiety attacks.  He couldn't overcome the fatigue without drinking again. He listened to several episodes of the RE podcast and decided to explore not drinking.  He went 38 days on his first attempt to get sober.  He drank again and found himself drinking when he didn't want to, but he had to feel like himself.  He loved the instant fix.   Blazik says that concerts, vibing and dancing are still fun AF, and you can remember the event!  He is really enjoying learning to be present.  He loves looking and stars and listening to music.  He has learned that he doesn't need alcohol to be creative or to make music.    Kris's Summary   Kris talks about control and rejection.  If he lives for the approval of others, he will die from their rejection, and exhausted from the chase.  He is working on being authentically himself and that he is enough.    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 349: The Inner Voice

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 57:10

    Episode 349 – The Inner Voice.   Today we have Tara.  She is 37, from Canada, and took her last drink on February 20, 2019.   Café RE's annual on-line conference called Regionals starts 11/12-13/2021.  This is a Café Re members only free event. This will include yoga, sound healing, meditation, and break outs rooms.  Go to:  www.recoveryelevator.com promo code: opportunity.   Highlights from Paul   Paul talks about his inner voice and how it failed him as he was trying to stack days in early sobriety.  Inner narration can tell you in your own voice that it is okay to drink.  It's a subconscious voice.  Paul advises that the first step is to be aware of the voice.  Then you need to create distance between that voice and the first drink.  Inner narration isn't you, it's a bundle of thoughts.  Over time, you can let the space build between the thought and the drink so you can change your thinking.  Gaze at the stars, look up and take a breath.    Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   [10:37] Odette welcomes Tara   Tara took her last drink February 20, 2019.  She lives in Montreal and has learned to enjoy life – everything she does is for fun.  She is a voice actress and podcaster.   Tara described her relationship with alcohol as a product of self-loathing and rejecting herself.  She took her first drink at 12. She was well adjusted and had her needs met at the time.  She didn't drink again until 15 when she was unhappy, depressed and feeling alienated.  Alcohol filled a need to replace herself.  A major shift happened when she was 18 and she took her drinking to another level – drinking in the morning and drinking alone.  Alcohol became her primary relationship until she got sober.  Alcohol was linked with everything she did.  She had a lot of self-pity and thought the world was against her.  She felt like she belonged at the bottom.  Pain felt normal, like home.    Tara went to 12 different inpatient rehabs.  She would start to feel better and didn't know how to deal with feeling better.  Learning to care for herself emotionally was a big challenge.  Even some basic tasks were a challenge.  She escaped through relationships with men or would obsess about her looks to avoid facing herself.    She took pride in not being a good person.  She became a villain in her own story.  She put her family and friends through a lot.  She relapsed frequently and made false promises to herself and other people.  She is amazed her family is still supporting her recovery.  During her last stay in rehab, she was there for 12 days and had to leave because she had been so many times.  Post rehab she went through the motions and went to meetings, got a sponsor, and did the things she was told to do without running the show.   Her parents breathalyzed her which helped her become accountable.    Early recovery was a challenge.  Tara felt like a fraud and didn't have confidence in her own ability not to relapse.  Her brain was in a constant frenzy, and she had a partner who was struggling with addiction.  She felt privileged to be able to do full time recovery for several months.   She has learned to have a sense of humor about cravings or crazy thoughts.   She focuses now on how she shows up in the world.  She has expanded her spiritual practice and is learning to be consistent.  Tara has learned to enjoy her own company.  Her goal is to show up in her life in a way she can be proud of every day.   Odette's Summary What does bravery mean to you?  You can choose to ride or not ride a roller-coaster. The brave choice is the one that rings true to you; the choice that aligns with your values, inner knowing and truth.  Choosing to live an alcohol-free life is a huge act of bravery.  Sobriety can be lonely, but bravery means standing up for yourself and advocating yourself, even when peers may pressure you to do otherwise.    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 348: We Don't Plug In

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 59:50

    Episode 348 – We don't plug in.   Today we have Kerry.  She is 31, from Philadelphia, and took her last drink on January 2,2021.   Recovery Elevator is going to be Denver Colorado at the Hilton Garden inn at Union Station.  New Dates: March 31 – April 2.   Register: https://www.recoveryelevator.com/denver/   Paul will be teaching a ukulele 101 course in February 2022.  https://recoveryelevator.com/events   Highlights from Paul   Humans don't plug in like a phone with a charger, however we do recharge.  In the 21st century we are pulled in many different directions.  Addictions are adaptive behaviors that manifest in unhealthy, stressful environments, especially when we are running on empty.   Paul offers some practical ways for us to recharge including go barefoot on the earth/grass, eat live foods 2x a day, eat less frequently, sleep more, nap, read a good book, socialize with other sober people, get out in nature, do something that brings you joy, and JOMO (joy of missing out) – skip those stressful events.  Recharging takes practice.  Remind yourself that it is a gift you are giving yourself.   Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   [11:30] Odette welcomes Kerry   Kerry took her last drink January 2, 2021.  She is a registered dietician, is married and has two cats.  Her side hustle includes several books and mocktails.  See: https://thesoberdietitians.com/  Instagram:thesoberdieticians   Kerry didn't start drinking until college.   She did drink wine.   She was given an opportunity to write a mocktail book with her friend, Diana for pregnant women.  As with many, her drinking increased in 2020.  She was drinking daily.   Kerry read a lot  about the rise of alcohol use during the pandemic.  She and her friend, Diana were writing their 2nd book and began linking alcohol and health.  Kerry started looking at her own relationship with alcohol.  She completed a 30-day AF challenge.  She returned to drinking but drank mindfully.  She and Diana completed another 30-day challenge together.  They explored several AF options.  Diana quit drinking entirely and Kerry's drinking diminished.  Kerry celebrated a friend's engagement with champagne and that was her last drink.  She learned so much about alcohol as an author and realized she didn't need alcohol anymore.    Kerry didn't love the feeling that came with drinking alcohol.  She realized that she couldn't accomplish as much when she was hungover.  She also realized how prevalent alcohol is on TV or in movies.  We normalize problematic drinking.   She and her husband have enjoyed taking the sober curious journey together.  She misses red wine and pumpkin beer and hasn't found a great AF alternative to either yet.   She is tempted to return to drinking, but her current plan is to stay AF.  She served AF options including a signature mocktail at her wedding.    Kerry has become aware that ethanol is a carcinogen and has become more mindful about the ramifications of drinking while pregnant.  She is concerned that we promote red wine as being heart healthy when we can't measure how much of the antioxidants enter the body.  She has made great connections with the sober and sober curious people on social media.   Odette's Summary Odette has been sober for nearly three years.  She recognizes she is imposing a fair number of expectations on herself specific to what her recovery should look like.  She encourages us not to beat ourselves up.  Use the tools that are working for you.   Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 347: Can You Heal in Unhealthy Environments?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 53:20

    Episode 347 – Can you heal in the same environment you became sick?   Today we have Frank.  He is 42, from Omaha, and took his last drink on May 22,2021.   Recovery Elevator is going to be Denver Colorado at the Hilton Garden inn at Union Station April 14th- 17th.  Registration goes live this Friday, October 15th. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/denver/   Highlights from Paul Can you heal in the same environment you became sick in?  Yes, but you can't use the same consciousness or thinking that got you into the mess in the first place.  There is a line that goes, when you quit drinking you don't have to change much, you have to change everything.  The key is, not all at once.  Paul describes three critical changes:  awareness, boundaries and staying in the body (don't disassociate).    You are gaining strength.  Adversity makes you stronger.  You are healing and as you heal, those around you will heal as well.   Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   [10:38] Odette welcomes Frank   Frank to his last drink May 22, 2021.  He is married with two children, and he works in medical staffing.  He is a foodie, loves sports and playing guitar.   Frank started drinking in high school.  It was a rite of passage at the time.  He never had an off switch and could always outdrink everyone else.  His tolerance increased.   In his mid 30's he noticed the hangovers getting worse and he was eating shame meals.  By his 40's the hangovers lasted two days and it wasn't fun.   Frank was never a violent drunk. He was a raging jerk during recovery because he felt so terrible.  His hangovers became progressively worse.  He could barely get water down.  Frank was good at covering up his drinking.  He was sober for 30 days a few years ago and celebrated with a drink.  His drinking progressed from there.     Frank's turning point came during his anniversary dinner when his withdrawal symptoms were so intense, he was shaking, sweating, felt faint and nauseous.   He knew something had to change; he wrote a four-page letter to his wife, spoke with his counselor, and found Recovery Elevator.    His Dad and his brother were good sources during early recovery as they are both in recovery.  Listening to podcasts and playing the tape forward helped.   Managing through sober “firsts” this year (college football, golf, concerts, 3-day weekends) has been a win.    A self-described weekend warrior, Frank enjoyed the sensation of alcohol, but never drank to escape anything; he just wanted to fit in.  He used koozie cup holders to avoid questions from his drinking buddies.   He is now open about his recovery and his friends and family check in regularly and have let him know how proud they are of him.  He now observes others drinking to excess and is relieved he doesn't have to do that anymore.    Frank said his relationships are all positive.  He loves waking up rested and he appreciates the memories he is creating with his kids.  Frank and his wife are doing better.    Odette's Summary   Odette reminds us, “we are doing this”.  Alcohol works until it doesn't.  It dims the good and the bad.  Learning to stay present during uncomfortable moments give us an opportunity to grow.    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 346: There is No Manual

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2021 57:29

    Episode 346 – There is no manual   Today we have Kathryn.  She us 58, from North Dakota, and took her last drink on February 19, 2002.   Highlights from Odette There is no manual for recovery. We have tools, guidance, but no guaranteed formula for success. Learning to manage that uncertainty can be challenging, but it's normal.   Be gentle with yourself and others.   Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   [07:18] Kris welcomes Kathryn Burgum, the First Lady of North Dakota.  Kathryn has over 19 years of sobriety.    Kathryn's first drink was at age 8.  There was lots of alcohol in her household and her parents were regular drinkers.    In high school, Kathryn struggled with anxiety and depression;  drinking was her nirvana because it gave her some relief. She had her first blackout in high school, and they continued for twenty years.    Kathryn experienced many consequences due to her drinking; the loss of self-respect was at the top of her list.  Getting a DUI pushed her to begin recovery.    Kathryn made several deals with herself about regulating her drinking. She never kept those promises, because if she thought about drinking, she did.   The only choice she had was to start drinking ….  In the end, she lost the choice about drinking.   As Kathryn's drinking progressed, she was hung over every day.  She was unable to control her drinking.  When asked if she should be driving, she would respond that she was fine, because she didn't want people to think she had a problem with alcohol.    Kathryn worked in HR and drug tested employees.  When she got a DUI, it was published in the local newspaper.  Someone blew it up and posted it at work.  The shame kept her from admitting her problem.  She didn't want to ask for help because she was concerned about what others would think.     Kathryn recognized she was suicidal almost every time she drank; she had undiagnosed depression.   As a result of her DUI, she had to undergo a mandatory evaluation and went to outpatient treatment that was unsuccessful.  She went to Mayo Clinic for ten days and stayed sober for two years.  Over a period of 8 years, she quit and relapsed several times.    Kathryn's turning point came when she was walking and asked, “Is there anybody out there?  If there is, I need help.”  She has been sober ever since.  Slowly recovery became her life.  She found a community, began feeling better, and engaged a recovery coach.  She credits recovery with saving her life.    Kathryn now takes medication for her depression, reads meditations daily and connects with her God.    When her husband, Gov. Doug Burgum, announced that he wanted to run for governor, she had some concerns. They had candid conversations about boundaries during the campaign.    Kathryn made a conscious decision to talk about her recovery because of the opioid crisis and it became a platform she and her husband share.  Recovery Reinvented is an annual free conference.   Every week Kathryn has an opportunity to help someone who is struggling with addiction.  Helping others helps her stay sober.  After 8 years of relapse, she was losing hope.  Through faith she knows there is always hope for sobriety and recovery.    Recovery Reinvented 2021 is on 10/25/21.  Register to attend in person or online.  www.recovery reinvented.com.     Kris's Summary What could your voice do?  We don't know the impact that comes with sharing our experience.  I'm over the stigma; I am here to grow.   First Lady Kathryn Burgum can be found: Facebook (@FirstLadyND & @RecoveryND), Twitter (@FirstLadyND & @Recovery_ND), and Instagram (@firstladynd). Prior Recovery Reinvented speakers, award recipients, and segments can be found at  www.youtube.com/recoveryreinvented.   Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20 Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

    RE 345: The Neuroscience of Addiction Part II

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2021 51:57

    Episode 345– The Neuroscience of Addiction Part II   Today we have Stacy Jo, she is 34 years old, from Oregon and took her last drink on March 6, 2020.      Highlights from Paul   Paul wants to know your interest in a alcohol-free Ukulele 101 course.  If you are interested please email info@recoveryelevator.com.   Paul provides part 2 of highlights of a podcast with Rich Roll speaking with Dr. Anna Lembke. Rich Roll Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jziP0CEgvOw.    Dr. Lembke talks about how it's a known fact that when we are in our addiction, we can't accurately see the consequences or what's taking place. With abstinence, we can look back and say, OH MY   The interview focuses a lot on dopamine and why addiction has been on the rise for 30 years.   Being smart or highly educated doesn't make you immune to addiction, in fact, it might even backfire because you think you know everything.  More than 1/2 the world's deaths, under the age of 50, are attributable to addiction. Rates of alcoholism have gone up 50% for those aged 65 and up from the late 90's to today and have gone up 80% in women. Traditionally the rates for alcoholics were 5:1 for men to women. With Millennials, it's now 1:1. There are more burdens on women now than ever.   Dr. Lemke recommends a 30 day dopamine fast. But a huge warning of withdrawals for alcohol and benzodiazepines. How to do this? Well, we've got 345 episodes now on the HOW, but the trick is to go into the pain. Head into the storm (episode 341) and Forgive yourself.   Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   [12:41] Stacy Jo took her last drink on March 6, 2020.  She lives in Eugene, OR. with her partner of 15 years.  Her primary hobby is anything that has to do with yarn.  She has worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years until the pandemic hit, she recently was just at the University of Oregon.    Around the age of 20, after a breakup and miscarriage, Stacy Jo feels there was a switch in her drinking.  That was the same time her service industry career normalized and it all went hand in hand.   In 2018 Stacy Jo started some serious attempts to quit drinking but it wasn't until the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 that she was able to get good footing.    Stacy Jo joined Café RE when she was around 4 months sober and says she did it as a reward for herself.    She says her partner hated her drinking, and that it became a pretty big division between the two of them.  Stacy Jo also got a Driving While Ability Impaired (right below a DUI) when she was 28.    She feels like she slept the 1st three months of sobriety.  She treated herself like a toddler and allowed herself to sleep and snack.    Stacy Jo is grateful for the pandemic and her restaurant shutting down.  It allowed her to get away from the normalcy that is part of the service industry and to have the space to get on solid ground.    She does not get cravings any longer, but says she is not so cocky to say that she won't again.       Odette's Summary   Odette reminds us that change starts with us.  Recovery is our responsibility.    Remember you are not alone and together is always better.    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20 Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 344: The Neuroscience of Addiction

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2021 49:00

    Episode 344– The Neuroscience of Addiction   Today we have Bill.  He is 61, from Alabama, and took his last drink on April 29, 2021.   Events. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/events/   Ditch the Booze starts 9/21 at 8 PM EST.   Highlights from Paul   Paul provides part one of highlights of a podcast with Rich Roll speaking with Dr. Anna Lembke. Rich Roll Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jziP0CEgvOw.    “Persons with severe addictions are among those contemporary prophets that we ignore to our own demise for they show us who we truly are.” Dr. Lembke says that drinking is not a choice but seeking help for an addiction is a choice.    The interview focuses a lot on dopamine and why addiction has been on the rise for 30 years.  American society and economy are focused on an insatiable pursuit of pleasure.  Today's marketers target the dopamine system; thus, we all struggle to find homeostasis.  Addiction can show up as alcohol, social media, food, etc.  Addiction is a low-grade discomfort we all have as humans.  She believes we are all wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain, which works in an environment of scarcity, not our current state of abundance.    Paul reminds us we can't study or think our way out of addiction.  Community is key!   Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   [11:43] Bill took his last drink on April 29, 2021.  He enjoys hiking, movies, sports, windsurfing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.       Bill started drinking as a teenager.  He knew at spring break 30 years ago that he was a problem drinker.  He drank and got buzzed every five years but wasn't addicted.  Thirty years later, Bill's wife left, and he started drinking liqueur in the evening.  He slowly became addicted, and he drank every night.    When Bill hit rock bottom, he found himself broke, living in an extended stay hotel.  He scraped the floor of his room and his car to get enough money to buy a few shots.    In 2020, he joined Recovery Elevator and was a lurker until 2021.   Bill still has cravings and practices “doing 30 things” to keep him from drinking.  If the cravings continue, he goes to bed.  Loneliness is Bill's biggest trigger.  Ice cream and cookies also get him through.   Bill said everything got better when he stopped drinking. He is back in the gym and loves waking up without a hangover. His medications work better.  The community of Café RE is crucial to Bill, and he is led and inspired by others in RE.  He loves being of service and is grateful to the suggestions of others that helped him when he wanted to drink.   Bill credits Tim Grover's books, Relentless and Winning, with changing his mindset.  His takeaway was getting ‘obsessed' with sobriety.  Meditation helps his anxiety and cravings.   A friend of Bill's told him his greatest flaw was that he didn't like himself.  He described how the “I suck” mentality brought him down.   Bill made considerable strides in self-love since he quit drinking. He listens to a podcast called Unbeatable Mind and has learned to say “I love you” to himself daily, over and over.  Bill believes having an accountability partner is critical to his success.    Odette's Summary Odette shared about a Café RE member who shared at the Bozeman retreat.  The person said, ‘for a long time, I thought I didn't matter, that my existence didn't matter.  I recognize that I matter, I belong, and I can make an impact.'    Odette reminds us, we all matter.  We help each other become better and to heal.  We remind each other of our value.  The power of community is vital because it is rooted in love and non-judgment and a firm belief that we are whole.  We are whole, even when we stumble.    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20 Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 343: A Brief History of Alcoholism and Treatment

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2021 57:51

    Episode 343 – A Brief History of Alcoholism and Treatment   Today we have Charlie.  He is 35, from Missouri and took his last drink on July 7, 2020.   Events. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/events/   Ditch the Booze 9/21 ; Regionals 11/12-14; Costa Rica (1/15-23).  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/   Highlights from Paul   Addiction is a modern phenomenon.  Alcohol has been around for centuries.  Early “treatment” of alcoholics included being jailed, tortured, and often executed for being possessed by demons.  As treatment has evolved, we are moving toward FLOW states.  Our mental energies are redirected from addiction toward creating healthier neural connections.  In the 1930's, alcoholism was classified as a fatal medical condition.  In 1935 Bill W co-founded AA.  In 1949 the Hazelden Foundation was born, thus creating our modern-day rehab and treatment structures. https://www.cornerstoneofrecovery.com/a-history-of-addiction-and-addiction-treatment/   Fortunately, people are recovering from alcoholism because the stigma is softening, and people are recognizing this is more a disease of disconnection and lack of community.  Check out this video of the Recovery Elevator Bozeman retreat.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFoqj3xeFUI   Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   [16:09] Charlie took his last drink on July 7, 2020He has been to 54 different treatment He just wrote a memoir.  He writes, blogs, and enjoys experiencing life.    Charlie's mom passed away when he was 13.  He didn't know how to handle his emotions, so he turned to substances.  The emotional damage compounded over the years.    Charlie's drinking was a result of unresolved grief and trauma, emotional damage from a succession of stepmothers,  and lack of success as an actor.  Charlie drank and used drugs.  In 2017, his health became an issue.  He started exploring detox and learned about alcoholism.  In 2019 he was in his 15th IOP program, but still wasn't surrendering.   He had to go back to Lincoln to address some legal issues.  He relapsed several times; he was emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.  In June of 2020, he was receptive to love and faith from his higher power.  He decided to implement what he learned at the facilities he experienced.  He relapsed again, but in July he realized alcohol wasn't working for him.   Charlie maintained a job through most of his addiction which provided insurance and access to treatment.  He was privileged and knows he had access to therapists and treatment modalities many don't.  He did build up a lot of medical debt.     Charlie overcomes cravings or negative emotions with music, cleaning, calling friends, visiting family.  He also journals and meditates. He has learned to listen to his emotions and ask,  what do you need?    Cognitively Charlie processed his trauma in treatment.  He didn't process the trauma emotionally or spiritually until he had been sober for a few months.  Once he processed the trauma, he learned to love himself and heal the emotional trauma.  His relationships with his dad and his sister evolved in an amazing way.   Charlie began writing in 2018 but continued drinking until 2020.  His book has provided some built-in accountability.  https://www.amazon.com/At-Least-Not-Frog-Alcoholism-ebook/dp/B09B5MFT1X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_pb_opt?ie=UTF8   Charlie is a fan of gratitude list and believes that gratitude+humility=happiness.  He loves travel from beach to mountains and is grateful he can remember his adventures.   Odette's Summary Grateful Snacking is a company that makes delicious and healthy snacks to support our journey in recovery. Grateful snacking - https://gratefulsnacking.com/   Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20 Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/ You can find more information about our events Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 342: Do Your Part

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2021 61:14

    Episode 342 – Do Your Part   Today we have Michael.  He is 43, from N. Georgia and took his last drink on January 1, 2020.   Registration for Costa Rica (January 15-23) is open.  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/   Highlights from Paul   Paul discusses three elements that are critical to doing your part in recovery.  Paul believes self-respect, self-love, and well-being are fundamental to healing.  Doing the work is essential, and it eventually becomes embodied in your circuitry.  Over time, we retrain the brain to stop self-harming with alcohol, pop tarts, and disrespect from others.    The state of our world reflects our lack of connection with ourselves, our planet, and our community.  He believes a tipping point is upon us.  We can help the world by fixing our internal environment, our inner pollution that results in external contamination - that is our part.  The inner work (i.e., letting go of resentments) benefits others as well.    Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20   [11:01] Michael took his last drink on January 1, 2020.  He is from 43, married, and has two kids.  He is a graphic designer and enjoys painting, drawing, playing music, and running.   Michael started drinking in high school. He drank to fit in and didn't really like alcohol.  He trained himself to drink.  He used alcohol to celebrate, and it felt good. He now realizes he was trying to become somebody he wasn't.   In college, alcohol was everywhere, and he drank almost daily.  Michael noticed early on his drinking was an issue.   Post-college, Michael didn't want the party to stop.  Free booze was a great excuse to overindulge.  Alcohol and celebration went hand in hand for Michael.  He began moderating when his children were about to be born.  Over time, Michael continued to try moderation, and the voice in his head continued getting louder.  He started looking at pictures from events he attended and realized there was no joy in his eyes because he wasn't present for his own life.  Accepting love was a real challenge for Michael.  He quit drinking for an entire year but gradually returned to drinking. Michael now believes sobriety represents his authentic self, and that's why he had to train himself to drink.  Podcasts and the book “This Naked Mind” helped him understand addiction.  Michael discovered Recovery Elevator, signed up and became part of the community.    Recovery is fantastic for Michael.  He doesn't need alcohol to be himself, confident, present, feel his feelings, true joy, true love, and his life is greater than he imagined it would be.  He embraces his inner light and beauty as a human being.  He loves his wife and his family and appreciates his RE tribe, who understand what it's like to cope with addiction.    Michael talks to someone in recovery every day. He focuses on exercise, working the steps, and writing music to support his recovery.    Kris' Summary Kris spoke about learning the scientific reasons for addiction when he was in treatment.  He needed to understand that addiction was about more than poor personal choices. Kris believes you can't intellectualize your way out of addiction.  Kris attended his first sober meet-up six weeks after he left treatment.  He witnessed what ‘fun in sobriety' looks like.  A gathering of strangers came together to learn to live the life we were meant for can be fun and much more satisfying than addiction.  The healing spirit is amazing.  Shifting the energy we used to put into drinking toward a greater goal:  personal growth, showing up for others and community.  Kris appreciates everyone he has encountered in the RE community.  I am here; I am whole.  Feel it.  Believe it!   Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20 Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/ You can find more information about our events Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 341: Head Into the Storm

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2021 55:21

    Episode 341 – Head into the storm   On today's podcast we've got Britt, she is 45, from California and she took her last drink on November 13, 2018.   Registration for Costa Rica (January 15-23) opens Wednesday 9/1.  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/   Highlights from Paul   Solving human problems can be discovered in nature.  Lone bison run away from storms in the opposite direction.  Humans run away from cravings and tough life challenges.  Packs of bison walk through the storm together, shoulder to shoulder.  They know the quickest way to weather the storm is through.  It's vital that we work alongside others to weather the storm of addiction.  Facing the storm together is fun.   [6:52] Paul shares a great story about his adventures with Britt and how much he admires how she has embraced her AF journey.  Paul loves how Britt burned the ships and showed how invigorating life can be sans alcohol.    Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code: RE20   [09:54] Britt took her last drink November 13, 2018.  She loves the outdoors, hiking and music.   Britt had a slow burn into active addiction.  She struggled with depression and agoraphobia in her teens.  When she hit 30, she lost 100 pounds.   Losing that much weight is a challenge.  Drinking helped her deal with those emotions.  She quit drinking after the loss of a friend and white knuckled for over a year.  She went back to drinking, but it progressed.  Reviewing her journals helped her to see she made multiple attempts to quit and moderate.  She made a geographic change hoping for a cure.  She believed her rock bottom came when she was drinking daily, then she went to work for a liquor store while looking for full time work.  Cognitive dissonance was in play for two years, and she never gave up.  While listening to podcasts, she tried a 30-day solution and it stuck.   Britt found that drinking gave her a tiny feeling of satisfaction that ultimately turned into shame and loathing.  Control has been a theme that she is continuing to explore.  Once she was able to stack some days, she leveraged journaling and Café RE retreats.  Meeting other people who were also ditching the booze inspired a new level of accountability that worked.  Personal integrity helped her to honor her commitment to quit drinking.  Britt learned that she leveraged food, exercise, and relationships to soothe herself.  Now she explores new parks or trails.  Meditation has been instrumental to her sobriety.  Addiction has humbled Britt, softened her relationships, and opened her to more meaningful connections.   [42:17] Britt shares a powerful journal entry.  Addiction isn't in a place, and neither is recovery.  There is freedom in that.   Odette's Summary   Odette reminds listeners that her life is messy with ups, downs, good and bad days.  Keep showing up and remember you help others by showing up.    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20 Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/ You can find more information about our events Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 340: Give Yourself a Break

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2021 56:11

    Episode 340  – Give yourself a break   On today's podcast we've got Mike, he is 36, from Fort Worth, TX and he took his last drink on September 20, 2020.   Highlights from Paul   We are incredibly hard on ourselves. The point of this episode is to give us permission to let much of that go, and to move the needle slightly on how you view yourself and the drinking.   Hating yourself for drinking, for not being able to quit drinking, for not holding the promises made to yourself, etc. isn't productive.  The shame and guilt that accompany those statements isn't either.   Dr. Gabor Mate congratulates someone who experienced depression. Why? Because depression and anxiety are mechanisms that kick in for us to go internal and find ourselves. Give yourself a break if you experience addiction, anxiety, or depression. Use them as levers to learn to know and love yourself.    Check out Paul's YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2mVZadRTkA&t=1s   Paul suggests not making self-love conditional or transactional.  He also suggests finding healthier coping strategies.  They are infinite.   Exact Nature re20@exactnature.com   [12:44] Mike took his last drink on September 20, 2020.  He is married and expecting a baby boy.    Mike's drinking began in high school.  His drinking progressed from a 12 pack of Coors Light to 2 12 packs of white claws a day.  In his late twenties, he started logging his drinks on his calendar. He got married and hoped his behavior would change.  He could go for a few months without drinking but was a dry drunk.  He was very focused on being manly and Mike's version of that meant he struggled being honest with himself and others.  It was difficult to admit he had a problem.  On the outside, things seemed fine.  He was functional, but Mike's identity was in the approval of others and how he was viewed by the world.    He quit his job to enter rehab and entered a faith base rehab program.  When he returned, he was more prideful and selfish than ever before, and his marriage deteriorated.  He relapsed and projected his self-pity and hate onto his wife.  He knew he would drink himself to death or swallow his pride and admit himself to another rehab.    Mike entered one of the toughest rehabs in the country.  There he learned the root cause of his drinking was about unresolved childhood trauma.  Mike was physically taken care of, but his family emotional model taught him not to show weakness.  In rehab, he was taught the 5 why's model to deal with his unprocessed issues.    Mike starts his day with coffee and prayer.  He's in the best shape of his life and tries to treat his body as a temple.  He consistently and constantly surrenders every day.  He has learned to be well versed in apologizing and forgiving.  Mike says it's not easy, but pride doesn't go with you when you die.   Mike now defines being a man as being humble.  He talks about his feelings and tries to treat people the best that he can.  Mike is helping others through his Instagram channel.  Find him @fathfullysober.   Odette's Summary   Odette shared a passage from Melody Beattie.  Stop doing so much, if doing so much is wearing you out or not achieving the desired results. Stop thinking so much and so hard about it. Stop worrying so about it. Stop trying to force, to manipulate, to coerce, or to make it happen.   Making things happen is controlling. We can take positive action to help things happen. We can do our part. But many of us do much more than our part. We overstep the boundaries from caring and doing our part into controlling, caretaking, and coercing. Controlling is self-defeating. It doesn't work. By overextending ourselves to make something happen, we may be stopping it from happening…   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: You can find more information about our events including Costa Rica and Denver   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 339: Does Addiction Serve a Purpose?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2021 63:48

    Episode 339  – Does addiction serve a purpose?   On today's podcast we've got Nate, he is 39, from Ohio and he took his last drink on October 9, 2015.   If you like the Recovery Elevator podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes and help eradicate the stigma.    My favorite part of RE is back. And I hope to see you at an upcoming event. We've got Costa Rica January 15-23 and then we're in Denver Colorado April 14th -17th.   Highlights from Paul   Is addiction a disease or not?  Paul says that addiction isn't a disease, but a learned behavior that expresses itself in unhealthy environments.  In unhealthy, traumatic, or lonely environments, we develop adaptive behaviors such as excessive drinking to help us cope.  Check out Paul's thoughts in more detail in the following video.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKY4l7ez5pw&t=35s   Crossing the river of addition means letting go of our resentments, fears, anxieties, jealousies, attachments, and choose love. If you ride that wave of pain long enough, it will give you two choices:  life or death.  Thanks to the stigma which helps keep paradigms in check, we label ourselves dysfunctional, or broken. Addictions represent things that need deep healing.   People in recovery understand that love and acceptance is more important than you should be wearing a mask, or you should get vaccinated… and if you don't, we're no longer friends. We work together for one common goal. The rest of society is not equipped with the tools and emotional intelligence to do so.   Addictions are wake up calls. Invitations, to step into your true authentic self. Addictions give us the fast track to see that love always wins. We get there by seeing what's not working in life. I think an addiction exists to push us back to source. To creation. To love and light.   I encourage you to stop labeling your drinking problem as bad because it's not. And that a major waste of time energy.   Exact Nature re20@exactnature.com   [13:11]  Nate took his last drink 10/9/2015.  He grew up in Ohio in a traditional Midwest family with a family.  He started drinking at an early age to fit in and numb some insecurities.  He realized he was gay at an early age, needed to accept himself in an environment that didn't include role models or peers.    He recognized consequences on drinking early on with a DUI and fights at parties.  When he graduated from college, his drinking shifted from social drinking to misery drinking.  Nate described an era of drinking and when it became problematic.  He was able to cling to career success, a great work ethic and worked in the restaurant business in a management role.  He worked from home, which fed his disease.  He took micro naps after starting his morning with vodka and chardonnay to continue working.  He began regressing and turning inward.  Nate avoided sharing his secrets.  He came out to friends in high school.  He lived an open life in college.  It was a ten-year period before he was living an open life.    He remembers waking up with a stiff neck and that continued for several weeks.  While visiting his sister, he fell to the ground, his body went limp, he lost his vision.  He had a stroke at age 32 because of his drinking.  The doctors didn't ask many questions about his drinking.  He spent 6 weeks in the ICU and had to learn to walk and learn to use his extremities again.  His vision returned. They asked no questions about addiction, alcohol, or drugs.  While in the hospital he thought daily about his first drink when he left the hospital and he stopped at the liquor store for champagne on his way home.  He continued drinking after his stroke.   His best friend went into treatment, and she modeled the attraction of sobriety for him.  He remembers catching himself in the mirror and he paused wondering where the last 15 years went.  His sister took him to a treatment center 30 minutes later.  Nate believes being able to make the decision himself and not be forced into it was important for his success.    He has been entrenched in 12 Step recovery since.    Odette's Summary   Odette described recovery as an opportunity, not a sacrifice.  Creating and fostering a gratitude mindset can help you cross the bridge from being mad or sad that you can't drink anymore to one of gratitude.  Odette has a gratitude practice she uses every day.     Remember you are not alone and together is always better.    Sponsor Exact Nature Use code RE20 at exactnature.com   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: Bozeman 2021 You can find more information about our events including Costa Rica and Denver   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 338: Old Narratives

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2021 53:07

    Episode 338 – Old Narratives   On today's podcast we've got Rebecca she took his last drink on October 22, 2019, she is from Madison Wisconsin, and  is 31 years old.   Finding Your Better You Highlights When we don't know the root of our triggers, when we don't know the narratives that are ingrained in our brains and in our souls.  We think something is wrong with us. And when we think something is wrong with us, we feel shame. Part of taking responsibility of your healing is knowing yourself, so that you can get outside of this shame cycle and can walk the bridge over to self-empathy. When I know myself better, I can zoom out and see what was happening in my mind, understand myself better and allows me to manage my relationships differently. This makes me navigate my cravings better, because mine come when I feel this belief of, I am not considered.   Look within and find some narratives that are living inside of you? Stories that live in the past, yet they are being perpetuated in your present life. We can re-write those stories. But only until we detect them.   Insights from Rebecca's Journey   [09:18] Kris introduces Rebecca.  Rebecca began drinking at age 14 and she hated it.   She was afraid of drinking because her dad was in law enforcement.  She noticed a shift in her drinking at age 25.  In 2011, her dad went to prison and that trauma had a huge impact on her life.  She was also a victim of domestic violence.  She thanks alcohol for getting her through terrible times and for the life she has now.  Rebecca's drinking became all day drinking because she was isolated, alone, and bored.  She would binge drink to soothe loneliness.  She was falling apart, other than work.    She began listening to recovery podcasts and reached out to her employee assistance office.  She entered a therapy group that helped with alcohol addiction and trauma. She was holding on some trauma from her past that became an excuse for drinking.  She was stuck in a Day 1 cycle and a shame cycle. She went to rehab and detoxed from alcohol and Xanax.  It was a very structured program that gave her some tools.    Learning to connect was important for Rebecca.  She leaned in heavily on AA and found a local community of sober women.  She is now very engaged with Café RE which has helped keep her sober.  She constantly evaluates her program. She continues to suffer from anxiety and depression, but she isn't alone anymore.  She really wants to give back and is now able to do so.  She always challenges the narrative recognizing that a bad day can be turned around.   Rebecca said, keep it simple!    Kris' Message Kris is celebrating four years of continuous sobriety.   He shared a quote from Marianne Williamson, “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous.  Actually, who are you not to be?  Playing small does not serve the world.  We born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  As we let our own light shine, we give others permission to do the same.”  Take some time to recognize the work you are doing.  Resist the urge to minimize yourself.  You are a gift to this world.  You deserve happiness.    It all starts from the inside out.   Sponsor Exact Nature re20@exactnature.com Shout out to The Chocolate Moose, a Bozeman Retreat Sponsor.   https://www.thechocolatemoose406.com/ @thechocolatemoose406 on Instagram     Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: Bozeman 2021 You can find more information about our events including Costa Rica and Denver   Resources Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes   

    RE 337: The Canary in the Mine

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2021 52:08

    Episode 337 – The canary in the mine.   I was open with people about my decision.  I put myself out there to create a level of accountability.      Today we have Katie. She is 38, from Ohio and took her last drink July 12, 2020.  This is her story of living Alcohol Free (AF).    Events!   Alcohol-free travel is back! Recovery Elevator is going to Costa Rica January 15th-23rd and you should join us. We've got space for 34 AF rock stars, registration opens Sept 1. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/   You can find more information about our events here.     Paul's Intro   Native cultures believed that a sick person is like the canary in the mine and it's the sick person who represents an imbalance in the community. Or that something is off. They also believed this person should be thanked for raising the alarm that something needs to be corrected within a community. Almost like, yo, thank you for taking one for the team.   So Contrary to today's culture where mental illness, autoimmune disorders, and addictions are prevalent and on the rise, these environmental conditions were rare in most cultures prior to modern times. So this is what native cultures did when there was a sick canary in the community. The whole tribe came together to help this person because they knew they were all connected, that they were all one. The entire community would shoulder the cost to bring in healers from other tribes. All these ceremonies were different of course, but from I can deduce the two main commonalities were this: Music and dancing. For at least 3-4 days.   Okay, let's tie this into alcohol. It's in my opinion those who struggle with a drinking problem are the canaries in the mines. Side note, I was the canary in the mine in the Canary islands. I went to this set of islands located off the northwest coast of Africa in 2007 and was drunk and hungover for the whole trip. I don't remember much from that trip, but I recall popcorn being my lifeline one afternoon because that's all I could. That's how hungover I was. And fun facts about Canaries, yes they do come from the Canary islands. They have yellow feathers, and occasionally eat jalapeños.  Fun fact about Paul. I also occasionally eat jalapeños. We are covering some ground today team.   So in 2021, there have never been more sick canaries, and if we don't ALL address this, then we're toast as a species.   When I say we ALL need to address this, I mean problematic and normal drinkers. As in addiction/mental health is an external manifestation that something is highly out of balance internally with our species. This imbalance affects everyone. This is okay, it's how we grow and evolve.   The good news is…. The Canary can heal. It will heal. You, if you're listening to this podcast in hopes of quitting drinking, are the canary, and you will heal, just keep at it.   So how does the canary heal? I firmly believe there is no select methodology, or doctrine to follow. There is no right or wrong way to ditch the booze. There are infinite ways… But, there is one massive  commonality.   Ditching the booze in 21st century doesn't quite look like 3 full nights of ceremonial dancing under a full moon with the whole community anymore, but there are similarities.   Let's first check out what you don't hear when someone celebrates and alcohol-free milestone.   “Well, guys, I knew I was “fucked” so I locked myself in my room, read every quit lit book, listened to podcasts, learned how the mind works, and beat it.” I've yet to hear that one. Nothing even close.   What you do hear is, “I'd like to thank my best friend susan, my mom and dad, my AF community, my dog, the big oak tree in my back yard (That's an HP reference), and all my friends who were in my corner the whole time.” Or “I couldn't have done it without… Mike, Jim, Michelle  Javier and my pet canary ralph.” Okay, I think that's the last canary reference.   So, what does this mean? Let's get to the point. 1. You can't do this alone, and 2. You need community. This could be a close group or friends who know your desire to quit drinking, AA, Café RE, counselors etc. Ships need to be burned, or conversations with loved ones need to take place. Accountability is desperately needed. Even if you're not, and I'm using air quotes, “successful” with your decision to quit drinking, you're still developing tighter bonds and relationships in your life. According to Sebastian Junger, in his Book “Tribe” in times of crisis, people are wired to come together and help. This isn't a kind gesture from our friends, and family, or even completely strangers; it's biologically how we are wired. As I discussed in last episode, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin are released when we help others. So when a drinking problem reaches a pinnacle moment, and I'd classify this as a crisis as it was for me in 2014, the people around us want to help. They need to help, it's good for them. They need these feel good chemicals also. Denying the loved ones in your life the opportunity to help you, is doing them a disservice.   So if you're ready to get off the merry round of hell, aka a drinking problem, two main things needs to happen. 1. You need to ask for help, 2. Receive the help. Most likely both are outside your comfort zone, and that's how it's supposed to be. Let the drinking problem push you into connection. I feel that's the main point of an addiction. Yes, addiction, or drinking problem serves a purpose. Everything does. That's the topic of 339. Does addiction serve a purpose?  We must first become aware of the addiction. This is the first step in I think every program involving steps, and then, open up. Yes, open up. The addiction is trying to crack you open. To find a spot where the light can enter, if you allow it.         Let's hear from Exact Nature.      [8:42] Odette welcomes Katie   Katie took her last drink July 12, 2020.  She is excited about  her one-year milestone and she feels free of the prison on alcohol.  She is going sky-diving to celebrate.  Katie said life is still hard, but she has freedom and clarity of mind without drinking.  Katie is 38 and lives in NE Ohio.  She has two sons. She is an executive assistant to a CEO for a large company.  She loves all things fitness and reading.     [52:17] Rapid Fire Round   What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage? Sparkling water (lime flavor) with lots of ice and mint.   What has been an unexpected perk along this journey? Freedom and time that come with not planning how you will get your next drink.    What would you say to young people who are considering ditching the booze? Don't overcomplicate it, drinking is overrated.  You have more strength than you realize.  Everything in life you want to accomplish will be easier without liquor.  Having a clear head, mind and a simple life without the alcohol will be the beautiful things in your life.    You might need to say adios to booze if …. You stress months before the Christmas holiday about how you will cook the holiday meal and not drink all the wine in the house the night before.      Odette's Summary   Very well, team RE, that wraps our interview for today. Before I say adios I want to share something with you all. I asked all of YOU on our instagram a question that I normally ask in our podcast interview and I got some amazing responses. The prompt was: What would you say to your younger self?   Here is what some of you had to say:   Live for yourself. No amount of alcohol will make him see you. You are beautiful. Don't be afraid to show your true self. You are loved, you are worth it. You don't have to be “THEM” You are enough. It only matters what you think of yourself. Drugs and alcohol don't make you cool, being a good person does. It's ok to fail. Learn to love yourself. Being the wild party girl is not all its cracked up to be. You are going to make mistakes. It's inevitable. Handling the stress of it all will only be magnified a thousand if you drink about it. I love you. It wan't your fault. I see you and I am sorry you are hurting. See yourself, hold yourself at a high value. What you are chasing has been in your heart the whole time, not a bottle. Everything you think alcohol is helping you achieve is false. You are being held back. You can accomplish so much more sober. You are none of the things you say to yourself in your head. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. You are allowed to feel the way you do and you don't have to hide it to please those around you. Let your hair grow long, let your laugh grow loud. Take your intuition seriously.   WOW. What a list.   Remember that you are not alone, and together, is always better.   Recovery elevator, you deserve love, acceptance and belonging. We can do this.     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. Recovery Elevator listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/ELEVATOR.    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: Bozeman 2021 You can find more information about our events    The book, Alcohol is SH! T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!     Resources:  Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here! Sobriety Tracker iTunes      “Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never know the light - I love you guys”