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Recovery Elevator

Author: Paul Churchill

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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 their stories of addiction and recovery so that you can learn from them and be reminded: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Getting sober is just the beginning. Staying sober, and then becoming the person I know I’m meant to be is the real adventure. Join me?
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RE 291: Do Better

RE 291: Do Better

2020-09-1446:40

Kevin took his last drink April 11, 2020. With just over 3 months away from alcohol (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF).   Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding the Better You…..   Receiving feedback and how to do better. After a negative comment / feedback from a listener, Odette took the comments and the feedback and is seeing this as an opportunity to do better. It seems these days that “do better” is being used more and explored. This was the universe reminding her that she is worthy, the listener is worthy, and everyone is worthy. She has gratitude and love for the listener because they allowed to her see something from a different perspective. If you have feedback, please send an email to Odette.   [7:23] Odette introduces Kevin.   Kevin is 59 and originally from Philadelphia, he has lives in Florida for the past 20 years. He’s a printer and works for the schoolboard. He’s married and loves cooking, traveling and doing charcoal portraits.   [9:13] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking?   Kevin said that when he was 7, he became the drink maker at his grandparents’ card games. He would have some whiskey and ginger ale himself. In 4th grade he was bullied, so he would go home at lunch to eat but also to do a few shots of liquor so he could deal with that. In high school he fell in with a crowd that drank and also sold drugs. He continued in that pattern until he met his now wife at the age of 33. He quit the drugs, but his drinking continued to escalate. In 2017 he spent 3 days in a psych ward, leaving there he sent to AA and a counselor, but it never really took, and he relapsed.   [12:26] Did anybody notice that all this was happening when you were so young?   Kevin said that he was a latch key kid, so his use of alcohol wasn’t noticed. And when he was in high school, he was always out of the house and with friends, so again, it wasn’t noticed. However, he says that while in high school he knew he had a bad alcohol problem on his hands.   [14:22] Did you ever reach out to somebody in those early days or was alcohol normalized in your family?   Kevin said his grandfather owned a bar and his parents had an active social life and he was a bartender at different points, so alcohol was always a part of his life.   [15:03] How did alcohol cause conflict in your marriage(s)?   Kevin said in his first marriage they were both very immature and it wasn’t ever going to last. With his second wife, he emulated her and wanted her to be proud of him. It never worked out however and he felt he was always disappointing her.   [16:40] What happened that made you want to reach out and get help?   Kevin said there were a lot of moments. Between injuries, unhealthy arguments and car accidents there were lots of red flags. He always thought he had it under control. He doesn’t have an off switch.   [18:55] What happened in April of this year?   Kevin said this time he wanted to get sober and committed to AA, he didn’t have another second chance in him. He was tired of playing the alcohol game, wondering where he would get more and having alcohol control his life.   [20:49] What do you do when you get a craving?   Kevin said he changes his environment right away. He gets out of where he is and tries to get a new headspace. In about 30 minutes time the craving is gone. He doesn’t call them alcohol cravings, but more the idea of alcohol gets in his brain.   Kevin uses the Merriam Webster app and it gives him a “word of the day”. He takes that word and tries to apply it to his sobriety throughout the day. This gives him a fresh perspective to sobriety over and over.   [23:00] Tell me about your family dynamics?   Kevin said for 24 years he was a tornado leaving a path of devastation through his marriage. They are trying to figure things out and he wants his wife to be happy and have a good life.   [26:02] What is your favorite thing about the AA program?   Kevin said the communication and connection with other people in recovery.   [28:20] Are there any other resources that have been helping you in this journey?   Kevin said he always has something going on to fill his time. Between podcasts and reading or going to meetings.   [28:58] What’s your favorite NA drink?   Iced coffee, with coffee ice cubes.   [29:36] Did you notice a change in your sugar intake?   Kevin said he never had a sweet tooth until he stopped drinking. But now he adds honey to his oats! He’s trying to scale back his sugar intake.   [30:52] What’s your go-to response when someone offers you a drink?   Kevin said he tells people “I’m an alcohol and I’m living it sober”. He has no reservations about telling people.   [31:30] Do you notice any pushback from people who you tell?   Kevin said the friends he has in Florida are accepting and have been nothing but positive.   [33:07] What are you excited about right now?   Kevin is excited about the future. He wants to get involved with helping other people in recovery.   [34:47] Has your sleep improved?   Kevin said he wasn’t a great sleeper throughout most of his life, so while that pattern remains, he’s no longer sluggish and his body doesn’t hurt. He feels rested.   [31:30] Do you have to do virtual meetings during the pandemic?   Kevin said his room has been open throughout the pandemic and he is a little unsure if he would have had success doing virtual meetings. He needs the in-person/human connections.   [39:28] Have you been able to identify triggers?   Kevin said he drank for so long that he’s unsure if he actually has triggers. He drank simply because it was part of his life.      [41:13] Rapid Fire Round    What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had during this journey?   Realizing he could go through the day without alcohol.   What would you say to your younger self?   Love and value yourself. You matter. You have something to offer.   What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?   Coffee with chocolate covered espresso beans on top.   What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are thinking about ditching the booze?   It’s important to stay focused and keep your sobriety in front of you. Stay focused on your interests and keep your mind active. Stress is a killer.   You may have to say adios to booze...    If you come back to your table from an open bar with 4 drinks and 2 shots in your hand and ask if anyone wants anything themselves.   Odette’s challenge this week:   Try to build a practice around your negative self-talk. Swap out the negative with a kinder message for yourself. Give yourself the love you need.     Affiliate Link for Endourage: For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout.    Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.   Upcoming events, retreats and courses: Recovery Elevator’s first ever REgionals! Join us for our online zoom conference this October 23-24th. This event is for Café RE Members only. Not a member yet?! Sign up here and use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. The new course will start 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee. 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  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – “Be the light and shine bright, you have the power to make a difference – I love you guys”
Taylor took his last drink June 7, 2019. With just over 13 months away from alcohol (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF).   Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding the Better You…..   WAIT WAIT! It’s Paul’s 6 year Sober-versary! So instead we bring you Paul’s 6 big insights since his handing off the podcast to Odette. People are struggling right now due to Covid, but let’s not label this as a problem. Let’s go within and have some spiritual growth. Turn off the news. The ego always sets its own trap. Pets are the reason the human race hasn’t imploded yet. He has gained empathy. It’s never too late to accomplish a goal. Bonus insight: Paul’s parents are RAD!   [19:08] Paul introduces Taylor.   Taylor is 30 years old and lives in Thornton, Colorado with his two dogs, Harley and Rooster. While he’s lived in many places over the years, he grew up in Sacramento, California and now is in Colorado. He loves walking his dogs, record and write music, rock climbing, mountain biking, photography, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, wakeboarding, video editing and D&D. He likes to try all the hobbies now.   [23:54] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking?   Taylor said he started exploring alcohol around age 14. He wanted to see what alcohol was all about. He didn’t really touch alcohol again until he was about 16, mostly in High School he smoked weed. However, alcohol did allow him to fit in. His father and stepmother caught him smoking weed in college and made the decision to send him to live with his mother. This started his “victims’ story” because he wasn’t allowed to smoke weed anymore, so he was “forced to drink alcohol”. He saw his career grow however by quitting smoking weed, but there was alcohol ever present.   At 26 he found himself trying to moderate alcohol. Just before he deployed to Afghanistan, he thought to stop drinking a few days before, and he found himself in withdrawals. After not drinking while overseas, he ordered a drink on the plane home. Being home he was again trying to moderate.   [33:53] Tell me about going back to drinking after returning from Afghanistan?   Taylor said that he understood that he had seen the “other side of life” and you can never really go back. Alcohol just isn’t the same and he knew he was doomed. After his girlfriend left, was his rock bottom moment.   [42:19] Walk me through those first 30 days?   Taylor said he fully dove into recovery: “I sober like I drank”. When his father left, he kept going to therapy and AA. His pink cloud lasted 3 months and the energies to stay sober were stronger than his desire to drink. He found a lot of humility and got a sponsor and started working the steps.   [47:09] Can you share with listeners the difference between your 29th and your 30th birthdays?   Taylor said on his 29th birthday was in his first 30 days of sobriety. He sat at home and he didn’t have anything to do or anyone to hang out with. He called a newfound AA friend and he came over and they watched TV together. His 30th birthday he had 20 people show up to his birthday, from all parts of his life. He was humbled in that moment of the work that he had done to be the authentic Taylor.   [50:44] Do you still get cravings?   Taylor said yes. His alter drinking ego is named Gregory and he’s no longer the enemy of Taylor. Gregory still tries to get him to drinking, but he can have the conversation with Gregory about why they aren’t going to drink. Taylor treats Gregory like a sick child, with care and compassion. Cravings are now fleeting thoughts.    [57:47] Rapid Fire Round    What is your favorite ice cream flavor?   Peanut butter and banana with candied bacon milkshake   What would you say to your younger self?   Slow down, be gentle, be kind.   What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?   People, AA, The Calm App, Nature, Café RE, a picture of a dog. Books: Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn The Tao of Pooh & The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff   What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are thinking about ditching the booze?   To be kind to yourself today and do the next kind thing.   You may have to say adios to booze...    If you have driven to another state to buy more alcohol because the stores in your state are closed.   Odette’s final thoughts this week:   Congratulations Paul. You are loved, supported and you are worth it.     Affiliate Link for Endourage: For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout.    Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.   Upcoming events, retreats and courses: Recovery Elevator’s first ever REgionals! Join us for our online zoom conference this October 23-24th. This event is for Café RE Members only. Not a member yet?! Sign up here and use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. The new course will start 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee. 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  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – “We took the elevator down, we have to take the stairs back up, we can do this – I love you guys”
Early took their last drink November 16, 2019. With almost 8 months (at the time of recording) this is their story of living alcohol free (AF).   Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding the Better You. Co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis describes a person who has more than one medical issue either with two diseases simultaneously or one disease successively after the other. These may be mental or physical. Odette reminds us that we are not alone.   [5:23] Odette introduces Early.   Early is 32 years old and living off the grid on the Ozark Plateau. They have 3 dogs who are their very best friends. For work they go back and forth between migrant farm work and restaurant service industry. For fun they like to learn about the area surrounding them, the plants and animals. Also chopping wood and the other living in the woods chores. Living off the grid means that Early is not connected to the electrical power grid & any city water or sewage. They have solar power and collect rain water or spring water. They have a composting outhouse. Early says they are connected to the earth in a way that feels more ethical to them.   [8:33] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking?   Early said that their whole life has been characterized by very intense addiction. The first drink they had was a stolen Miller High Life at the age of 10. The first blackout came at 14, drinking in the mornings and vomiting in their sleep came at 16. They were drawn to alcohol due to being socially awkward and having few friends. Being a deviant led them into a world of acceptance. As an adult, along with therapy and their diagnosis as being on the spectrum, these factors make sense now. By 18 Early was drinking daily and that’s the first time they wanted to stop drinking. Willpower didn’t work and AA wasn’t the avenue they wanted to take. Between the ages of 18 and 31 they tried many times to quit.   [11:44] When did you receive your diagnosis?   Early said at 29 there was an incident in which they sexually assaulted their best friend. It never would have happened if they had not been under the influence of alcohol. After that they checked themself into a mental hospital for help. There they were diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Early’s therapist post that also diagnosed them with Autisms Spectrum disorder and PTSD from childhood sexual abuse.   [13:43] What went through your mind after all these diagnoses?   Early said leaving the mental hospital they were detoxed from alcohol and also on new anti-psychotic medicine for brand new diagnoses. They weren’t given any tools on how to handle not drinking and their only coping ability from the past 20 years, so to cope, they drank.   [16:20] What happened after you left the hospital?   Early said that they knew they needed to remove alcohol but had no tools. They would white knuckle it for a few days and then drink. Over time they began to find different tools that worked for them. They incorporated yoga, drinking more water, changing their diet, getting regular sleep (basic needs as Early says!). However, the feeling of shame and the belief that they are a bad person remained. Early began drinking in secret and isolating themselves in-between moments of white knuckling sobriety.   [20:12] You seem to have such grit. Where did this come from and how did you find the determination to keep trying?   Early said their last night of drinking was an average night of drinking. The change began a year ago when their father passed away suddenly. They saw life from outside their own for the first time. That winter they declared that they would do anything to get sober. They kept trying and using all the tools they had learned over the years of trying to quit. They stopped feeling sorry for themselves and that helped to cut the shame. Early learned they were worthy of love and happiness. They describe themselves as a hard headed stubborn determined person and that might be the grit that is seen.   [27:51] How is it balancing and navigating symptoms from these disorders?   Early said that preventative maintenance for everything has dulled down many of the symptoms day to day. Every day they make sure they are getting proper nutrition, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water and feeding their soul. Taking care of the body and mind at a baselevel is paramount.   [29:58] Tell me about the people surrounding you?   Early said they understands they hurt a lot of people and people who left did so for a reason. And now the longer they are sober and people see them out doing the work, people are slowly returning into their life.   [34:06] Can you tell me about your routine?   Early said that they have a morning routine. Every day they try to wake up at the same time, drink water, walk their dogs, eat, take herbs, do meditation, work on a project that makes them proud (currently building their own house). In the evenings, eat dinner, listen to a podcast, do some meditation and go to sleep at the same time.   [35:37] Tell me more about building your own house.   Early said when they first moved to this property there was a dilapidated shack there and they lived there for about 4 years. Upon getting sober, they demolished the house and started to build their own with their neighbors.      [35:57] Rapid Fire Round    What would you say to your younger self?   Stick with it, you’re worth it and things will change for the better.   What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had in this journey?   Neuroplasticity   What is your favorite ice cream flavor?   Chocolate chip cookie dough   What are some words of wisdom you can share with listeners that want help ditching the booze and help with their mental health?   Don’t compare yourself to others story. You’re worth getting ahold of your drinking and your mental health. Do the work.   You may have to say adios to booze...    if you have woken up covered in blue vomit…. Twice.   Odette’s final thoughts this week: “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” – Eckhart Tolle     Affiliate Link for Endourage: For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout.    Affiliate Link for Amazon: Shop via Amazon using this link.    Upcoming events, retreats and courses: Recovery Elevator’s first ever REgionals! Join us for our online zoom conference this October 23-24th. This event is for Café RE Members only. Not a member yet?! Sign up here and use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. The new course will start 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee. 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  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”-Eckhart Tolle- I love you guys”
Anika is the founder of Grüvi and a member of the sober curious community. This is her story of being an entrepreneur and helping to provide NA beverages to those who want them.   Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding the Better You. You are in charge of setting and honoring your own boundaries. Everyone has different triggers, for example if NA beers and beverages are triggering to you, then you don’t have to explore that avenue. You know how to best protect your journey. Stay open and stay curious and protect your energy.   [4:53] Odette introduces Anika.   Anika is sober curious so she’s not very strict on keeping track of dates. But her last drink was right around the beginning of Covid. She is 24 years old and lives in Canada. She enjoys being outdoors, yoga, hiking and traveling.   [6:56] Walk me through your sober curious journey.   Anika said her sober curious nature came out during her last year at University. She was a social drinker, but in her last year she found herself saying “I don’t want to have to go out with friends tonight, because then I will have to drink and then I will be hung over.” She experienced all the benefits of a life away from alcohol: better sleep, having more clarity and being more productive.   [9:38] Did something spark your thought process to become aware of a life away from alcohol at such a young age?   Anika said at first, she was like everyone else with regards to drinking and felt it was a stage in life. But when she created the Grüvi brand was when she really started to see how life can continue on without alcohol and with an alternate beverage. She was able to have a social life without having to have the social lubricant.   [11:15] How did Grüvi start?   Grüvi launched a year ago in Denver and it’s a family business. They have been a health focused family, led by their father. Finding that the NA category was lacking in options pushed them to create Grüvi.   [12:34] Where did the name come from?   Anika said Grüvi is taking the word “groovy” and making it fun and new. You can be fun and silly and youthful even without alcohol.   [14:59] Tell me about the specifics of Grüvi?   Currently, there are 4 craft beers and 1 prosecco. The beers are brewed through a process of arrested fermentation, which stops the brewing before any alcohol is introduced. However, because this does go through a fermentation process, there are trace amounts of alcohol (similar to kombuca). The prosecco is 0.0% ABV. They are expanding too! Anika says that hopefully they will be offering a bubbly Rose by the end of summer 2020.   [20:58] Are most people open to the dialogue (about this NA movement)?   Anika said that after living in Denver for over a year after University and returning to Canada and the friend group there, she was a little nervous. Through this she has realized that her friends support her no matter what. And she told them she is happy with her decision to not be drinking so they should be too.   [23:10] What’s it like working with your family?   Anika said so far, it’s been great! They are living together again as a family and it’s been smooth. She’s enjoying the opportunity to grow closer to her family through this.   [33:30] What are you excited about right now?   Anika said every day is new and exciting. Grüvi is at that step where they are expanding and growing. This includes new states and being able to be local and accessible to more people. They are expanding their ambassador program and Anika is spearheading this. She loves getting to talk to the community and grow the movement together.   [36:50] Rapid Fire Round   Other than Grüvi, what’s your favorite NA beverage?   Being her own bartender and making mocktails or a matcha latte.   What is a memorable moment you’ve had while not drinking?   Going out dancing with her friends and enjoying the music.   What are some of your favorite resources?   Books: The Sober Curious & This Naked Mind Instagram accounts: @Ditchedthedrink @soberbabes   What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners who are thinking about ditching the booze?   Take the first jump, the first decision is always the hardest. You have nothing to lose.   Odette’s challenge this week: Give a new tool a try. Maybe you go to an AA meeting for the first time, maybe you join Café Re, maybe you ask a friend to be your accountability partner, maybe you try a new Kombucha flavor or you try a new meditation. If we don’t try new things we will never know if it will help us in this journey. Email Odette here and tell her what you tried.   Grüvi discount detail: For 15% off your order with Grüvi visit their website and use the promo code recovery elevator at checkout.    Affiliate Link for Endourage: For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout.    Upcoming events, retreats and courses: Recovery Elevator’s first ever REgionals! Join us for our online zoom conference this October 23-24th. This event is for Café RE Members only. Not a member yet?! Sign up here and use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. The new course will start 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee. 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  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – Let’s be respectful of others, lets focus on similarities and not differences, let’s make space for those who are different than us instead of automatically canceling them out- I love each and every one of you guys”
Alan took his last drink December 23, 2019. With almost 6 months (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF).   Announcing Recovery Elevator’s first ever REgionals! Join us for our online zoom conference this October 23-24th. This event is for Café RE Members only. Not a member yet?! Sign up here and use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.   Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding the Better You. The New York Times article “Should We Be Drinking Less?” is from July 10th, 2020. It’s the stark contrast to articles which tout having 1-2 glasses of wine has healthy benefits or how rose will help you through motherhood. The idea that moderate drinking is acceptable actually keeps people drinking because it’s seen as ok in the eyes of society.   There is a shift that is happening and people are questioning the narrative of what’s acceptable when drinking.   [7:47] Odette introduces Alan.   Alan lives outside Atlanta and is 49 years old. His last drink was the day before Christmas Eve 2019. He drank everything and was blackout drunk that night. His 15 year old daughter had been at a friend’s house and came home to find her father passed out in a chair with a spilled glass of wine. The next morning knowing his daughter had seen that changed the course of his life. He didn’t want to live that way any longer.   Alan’s daughter mentioned above is actually one of triplets. He has three 15 year old children and has been married to his wife for almost 18 years. He’s in software sales and is trying to figure out what he likes to do for fun now that he’s sober. He enjoys health and fitness and has a Peloton.   [18:37] Walk me through your drinking career.   Alan said that he began drinking in high school and it started out normal, transitioned into college and that drinking atmosphere. College for him was one big party. He continued the pace of college drinking afterwards. He worked for a year in Aspen and drank 7 days a week. He returned to Atlanta, while his drinking slowed, he was always concerned about where the next drink was coming from and this is when his drinking became abnormal. Alan believes he was covering up fear with his drinking. Fear of fitting in, fear of getting a good job, fear of making enough money, fear of meeting the right girl, fear of getting a big title. The fear was gone when he drank.   [27:15] Tell me about joining Café RE and how was that first month?   Alan said Café RE was the springboard to connection. He didn’t realize the connection was so powerful with other people looking to live the same life. After feeling like he had been driving in foggy conditions for 10 years, the fog cleared and he was able to see finally.   [33:36] What works for you when you have a craving?   Alan said he has learned a ton of tools in Café RE. The biggest one is from Paul’s book, Alcohol is SH!T, which says to “play the tape forward”. While he can romanticize the drink on his porch, Alan can also now see where that one drink will lead. He’s seen the movie, he knows the ending and it’s not good!   [36:11] How has your family dynamic changed?   Alan said about 3 months in his wife looked at him and told him he was like a new person. He is present now. While he’s always been a father who was physically there, he always existed in the fog. He told his daughter that he was getting help for his drinking and that’s a huge accountability step for him, one he can never go back on.   [41:00] What have you discovered about yourself?   Alan said he’s learned he can juggle a lot of things in life. He has the ability to handle what life throws at him.   [42:51] If you could talk to day 1 Alan, what would you say?   Connect with likeminded individuals as soon as possible. Do not attempt to do this alone.   [43:20] Had you tried to stop drinking previously?   Alan said he probably tried about 4 times seriously. But never had connection, resources, understanding or community. He always went at it alone and would call himself a Dry Drunk.   [44:52] Rapid Fire Round    What do you bring to a BYO party?   Bubly, 1 can of Monster Energy drink    What is a drinking myth you’ve seen debunked?   Myth: You can’t have fun without drinking. Truth: You can have SO much fun without drinking (and the next day!)   Do you celebrate milestones?   Yes, but the journey is never ending.   What are some words of wisdom you can share with listeners?   If you are thinking about this path, I promise you life is better without the booze. The fog will lift!   You may have to say adios to alcohol...    if you’re at the airport bar and the gate is right across from you, but you intentionally miss your flight so you can keep drinking.   Odette’s challenge this week: Share the NY Times article with someone you know. Plant the seed of living a life away from alcohol.   Affiliate Link for Endourage: For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout.    Upcoming events, retreats and courses: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. The new course will start 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee. You can find more information about our events here.     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  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com “Recovery Elevator – How about we just stick to La Croix, sound good?- I love you guys”
Jim took his last drink April 7, 2020. With just over 70 days (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF).   Today Odette opens talking about finding the better you and her own take away from Holly Whitaker’s Quit Like A Woman. She focuses on what Holly says about when a craving strikes. Learn to relax into the craving rather than distract.   RASINS Recognize Allow Set aside the story Investigate what is happening in your body Name the sensations Surf   Let’s set the scene: You have finished your 100th zoom call of the day and you are ready to relax for the night. You want to pour a glass of wine. Here is how to implement RASINS. Admit the craving, allow the craving to build, set aside the negative thoughts telling you that you suck. Maybe try a meditation practice. Focus on how your body is feeling. Is your heart racing, are your palms sweating? Ride the wave of emotion, this is manageable.     [7:12] Odette introduces Jim.   Jim is 71 years old and he lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He is about to retire fully from his career in public education. He’s been married for 47 years and has 3 children and 4 grandkids. He enjoys hiking, reading, swimming and volunteering at church and in schools. He has recently picked up golf too!   [11:33] Can you give listeners a history on your drinking?   Jim said he began drinking in high school and also drank in college. He joined a fraternity and soon after stopped going to call and flunked out. His father told him he was not welcome at home, so Jim joined the Merchant Marines after that. He said that although drinking was prohibited on the boats, that was far from the reality. After a winter in the Merchant Marines he was drafted into the Vietnam War, however his college agreed to re-admit him. Once back in college he was right back where he started. He did meet his “beautiful bride” while in school and she got him going back to class and he did graduate. His chosen career was something that he felt was more important that his drinking. So, he didn’t drink before work, but after work, all bets were off. Once he began to approach retirement, he had more time on his hands and the habits of college drinking returned.   [15:14] Do you remember your emotional state when your father told you that you weren’t allowed back home?   Jim said at the time he was very resentful and thought his father was not loving and caring. He felt his father was putting his own reputation and career over Jim’s circumstances. Looking back on it, Jim can say he knows that his father made a great decision.   [22:15] Did you notice your relationships changing/eroding?   Jim said his own ability to be a pleasant person when he was drinking was almost non-existent. He had a lot of irritability over very little things.   [25:38] Do you still have cravings?   Jim said he still has cravings. He uses HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired) when a craving strikes. He then reflects on the thought and feeling and reminds himself this will happen and to “not let it shake your tree” because this will pass.   [27:29] How did you find Recovery Elevator/ resources for this journey?   Jim said was listening to NPR shows and thought that there must be something recovery specific out there. He found Recovery Elevator from a google search and made it a part of his every day.   [28:50] Did you notice you had to change certain aspects of your entire routine?   Jim said that he wakes up every morning and looks at a stack of notecards he has created. He reminds himself every day his reasons why he’s stopped drinking. He focuses on reading and reddit subs and meditation.   [33:46] Do you find nighttime to be a more challenging time of the day?   Jim said he doesn’t struggle at night. He also had notecards on his bedside table. He tries to end every day thinking about what he’s grateful for and on a positive note.   [34:44] Have you notice changes in your sleep patterns?   Jim said yes. His dreams are clear and amazing. He sleeps more soundly.   [37:23] What have you learned about yourself that has really surprised you?   Jim said he used to have a lot of self-doubt if he could do this. He’s learned we can all do this.   [39:00] What are you excited about right now?   Jim said he feels like a new person in life and so the possibilities are opening up. He’s no longer shackled by alcohol. His schedule is open.        [40:54] Rapid Fire Round    What is your favorite NA beverage?   Flavored water.   What is a drinking myth you’ve seen debunked?   If you’re old there’s no sense in trying to stop drinking. (not true!)   What would you say to Day 1 Jim?   Jim as you walk through day 1, walk through that door, it’s going to be awesome. You will not regret one second of this.   What are some words of wisdom you can share with listeners?   I could have done this sooner, just let it go. There’s a family out there ready to help you. You can do this.   You may have to say adios to alcohol...    Adios, good riddance and see you later alligator!   Odette’s challenge this week: Write down the meaning of RASINS and put it into practice this week.   Affiliate Link for Endourage: For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout.    Upcoming events, retreats and courses: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. The new course will start 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee. 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  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside out- I love you guys”
John took his last drink on August 31, 2019. With about 10 months (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol-free (AF).   Today Odette opens quoting from Pema Chödrön’s “When Things Fall Apart”.   “Impermanence is the goodness of reality. Just as the four seasons are in continual flux, winter changing from spring to summer to autumn; just as day becomes night, light becoming dark becoming light again-- in the same way, everything is constantly evolving.”   Everything that ends is also the beginning of something else. What happens when we see this chaos as harmony and change right now is the new normal. It takes time to get comfortable with change and this stage of life is a season. Let’s sit with it and see where we can go.   [6:53] Odette introduces John.   John is 38 years old and originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina. John is also married to Odette and they have 2 children together. They live in San Diego, CA. For fun John likes to surf, bike, run, or play golf… he just likes being active.   [11:19] Can you give listeners a history on your drinking?   John said growing up drinking was part of the culture of where he lived. He started drinking in high school on weekends and continued in college. His drinking changed when it became a post-work habit. He said he modeled his drinking after his parents: put your head down, do you work, have a drink after work. From the age of 25 - 38 he was drinking as a reward at the end of a day. However, he noticed that he was using alcohol to numb out other things in his life.   [14:00] Was there a moment when you noticed that alcohol was no longer working?   John said in his 30s was when he began to question if he had a problem with drinking. As his family grew, he saw a line in the sand. On one side of the line was keeping drinking and on the other side was his marriage and family. Odette and John discuss their marriage and how each of their paths to recovery has followed along both together and separately at different times. They discuss the work they have done on themselves and as a couple.   [25:26] From an inside look what are some of the biggest differences?   John said a lot of his initial quitting drinking was about trying to prove a point, prove to himself and others that he didn’t have a problem with alcohol. Within a month it changed and began to leave alcohol behind for himself. He noticed improvements in almost all aspects of his life.   [28:51] Can you tell us about how fatherhood has been different?   John said when he was drinking, he would show up to parenthood not ready to parent. He was physically there but not there mentally or emotionally. He is now trying to make amends to his children now by being as present as he can be. Every connecting moment with his children is a cherished moment.   [32:13] Tell us about a day in your life right now, what tools are you using?   John said he’s a little bit of a lone wolf. He relies a lot on Odette as an emotional outlet. He does not struggle with cravings during the day, but at night when he’s “done for the day” is when he has to dig a little deeper. He focuses on spending time with his family. John drinking a lot of soda water and kombucha and NA beer.   [34:55] What’s your favorite NA beer brand?   He has an order coming from Athletic Brewing and is looking forward to trying it. Gruvi IPA Two Roots, Straight Dank IPA- it’s a very hop-forward IPA.   [36:06] How has it been reintroducing yourself into social situations?   John said that the first few months were hard. There was a lot of pretending. Once he had the mind shift and was leaving alcohol behind for himself, it was a lot easier. There is a confidence that came with his decision.   [39:16] Have you received any pushback?   John said that his true friends are supportive. There’s the occasional random person who isn’t in the know that questions him, but not from a negative place.   [41:53] What possibilities in life are you excited about?   John said he’s just really excited to keep on this path and see where it takes him. He’s looking forward to his kids starting school, the next steps in his career, the fun trips they have planned as a family and with his wife. There’s a positive future ahead.      [43:59] Rapid Fire Round    What is a memorable moment you’ve had so far?   Surf trip sober over Christmas 2019.   What are some of your favorite resources?   Armchair Expert podcast (Dax Shepard)   What would you say to Day 1, John?   It’s going to be a lot easier than you think it is. Trust the decision. Strap in and lean in. Trust your wife.   What parting piece of guidance can you give to others?   Just do it, hop in. Do it for 3 months and see what happens.   You may need to ditch the booze if...    You go on a camping trip with your wife and the last thing you remember is having a great time at dinner and then you wake up in a tent alone, with none of your family there.   Odette’s challenge this week: What are you trying to hold on to right now? What do you think would happen if that changed? Are you not allowing yourself to enjoy it now that you have it out of fear that it will be gone? Everything that you have in your life right now is a gift if you choose to see it that way. So just think about that prompt.   Affiliate Link for Endourage: For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout.    Upcoming events, retreats and courses: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. REGISTRATION IS OPEN! The new course will start on 8/4/2020. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. There will be the DTB course starting 11/3/20. 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  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – Every single thing that you are looking for is already inside of you- I love you guys”
Andrew took his last drink June 02, 2020. With 9 days (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF).   Finding the better you with Odette. Today’s topic: Setting boundaries. According to https://positivepsychology.com/ Healthy boundaries are those set to make sure that you are mentally and emotionally stable. You can also think about it as our boundaries might be ridged, loose or completely non-existent. The lack of boundaries may indicate that we do not have a strong identity or that we are intermeshed with someone else or something else: insert alcohol. Odette lobbies for protecting your energy, which is a version of creating boundaries. Set and honor your boundaries. When you set new boundaries and start living them it might feel uncomfortable, and that’s normal. It gets easier and better when you stand up for yourself and share your boundaries with others. Check in with yourself often.   [8:25] Odette introduces Andrew.   Andrew is 37 years old and lives in Brisbane Australia. When Andrew and Odette first began talking about scheduling this interview, Andrew had more than 35 days AF. He did some field research and is now back with 9 days AF. He drives trucks for a living, is married and has 3 boys under the age of 7. For fun he likes to ride his trail bike.   [14:19] Can you give listeners a history on your drinking?   Andrew’s first drink was at age 13. Instantly he fell in love with alcohol. He liked the person he became when he drank. When he was 15 he worked in construction with older guys and that gave him access to alcohol. As an adult the drinking increased and increased, but he never thought it was a problem until his late 20s. Andrew has known over the past 10 years that he didn’t drink normally. He drank more than people and alcohol became an identity. His first son was born when he was 30 and he tried to grow up. Andrew noticed he couldn’t stop drinking. Andrew said his relationship changed from having fun as a couple to serious and his wife mentioning that it needs to be different. They couldn’t go to the shops without his kids mentioning “oh we need to go to the bottle shop for dad”.   [21:34] Did you hit a bottom or what made you decide to pursue an AF life?   Andrew said all the relationships in his life began to fail. He never blamed the alcohol but blamed the other person. A few years ago having a surgery that required him to stop drinking 2 weeks prior and his wife laughed at that suggestion. He wasn’t able to stop and drank up to surgery and that’s when he realized it was a problem.   [22:40] Did you seek help when you decided to try and stop drinking?   Andrew said he simply decided he wasn’t going to drink. He did reach out to a doctor who prescribed some pills that didn’t have any effect. His drinking continued on and off over the next few years. He often found himself googling if he was an alcoholic or not. This led right into the current COVID pandemic. Andrew decided he wanted to find a better life for himself, his wife and his kids.   [24:00] Did you attempt moderating before quitting?   Yes, Andrew said he tried to moderate his drinking. Being a truck driver for a living, he always had to have 0.0% alcohol to drive. He tried to promise himself he would only drink on weekends, but instead worked out how many drinks he could have in the afternoons and still have 0.0% alcohol level for work the next morning.   [26:06] Can you expand on the 6 week dry camp associated with your work?   Andrew explained that it wasn’t a company sponsored event. It was the work he was doing at the time and they lived on campus for a period of time. The campus he was on, was dry. He made it the 6 weeks, and on his way home he stopped for alcohol. He picked up exactly where he left off even through he was feeling proud for making it the 6 weeks.   [28:06] How had fatherhood changed?   Andrew said he’s more present now and is noticing how much his wife had been picking up in the area of childcare. He worries about different things now and he cares more about what is right and wrong.   [28:06] Tell us about a day in your life right now, what tools are you using?   Andrew said he’s still learning, this is a new journey for him. The traditional help isn’t available right now, everything is only online. He has discovered podcasts and listens as much as he can. He hopes to join an in person AA group.   [34:23] Have you received any negative feedback around your decision?   Andrew hasn’t received one negative comment from the people he’s told. Everyone is supportive, from family to friends to work colleagues.   [37:46] What possibilities are you excited for?   Andrew said in the long term he wants to have better and different relationships with his family. He’s looking to purchase a home with the money he’s saving from not drinking.   [38:54] If you could talk to Day 1 Andrew, what would you tell him?   You will encounter slip ups, but don’t beat yourself up. It‘s ok to not be perfect. Every day you don’t drink is perfect. There are no wasted days.      [39:40] Rapid Fire Round    What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had in this journey?   How different the world is sober. These a lot of good in small things.    What is a memorable moment you’ve had so far?   Knowing that I have enough strength to actually do this.   What is your favorite AF beverage?   Slurpees.   What parting piece of guidance can you give to others?   Just jump in and try. Build the muscle, keep working at it.   You may need to ditch the booze if...    You drink drive on the way home, but you actually ride a motorbike.   Odette’s challenge this week: Set a new boundaries and try it out!   Affiliate Link for Endourage: For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit this link and use the promo code elevator at checkout.    Upcoming events, retreats and courses: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. REGISTRATION IS OPEN! The new course will start 8/4/2020. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee. There will be about DTB course starting 11/3/20. 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. Sobriety Tracker iTunes  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – When you say no to somebody else, you say yes to yourself. Remember to stay weird and protect your energy- I’ll see you next Monday.- I love you guys”
Heidi took her last drink on May 20, 2020. With 19 days (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).   Odette opens today welcoming normal drinkers. It has come to her attention that there are some listeners that are tuning in for educational purposes as a loved one has a problem with alcohol. Question for you normal drinkers: would you be interested in a Café RE group focused on you? Email Odette if you're interested.   One of the most important books in Odette’s life is The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. It was referred to her when her father first went into rehab. Each day is a new passage to read and often she is overcome with the meaning and finds herself wanting to share the meditation for the day with others. While she’s not going to read from this book today, Odette is sharing with you all….   Storytime with Odette! What Do You Do With a Problem? By Kobi Yamada   [8:13] Odette introduces Heidi.   Heidi is 28 years old and originally from San Diego, but she’s lived all over. Right now she’s in Orange County, CA with her new husband. She works in career services with a focus on health and behavioral sciences. She’s an adjunct teacher and a CrossFit coach and group fitness leader. Heidi loves the outdoors and seeing live music, plays, and time with family and friends.   [14:05] Can you give listeners a background on your drinking?   Heidi’s first time really drinking was around the age of 16 / her junior year of high school. At the same time, she was a good student and took her studying and athletics very seriously. She only drank on weekends. In college she continued to be a good student and athlete while drinking, so she never felt that what she was doing should be questioned. At the end of her college career, she mentioned to a coach that she felt she might have a drinking problem. This coach dismissed her concerns because she “doing fine.”   [19:20]  When you expressed concerns to your coach and he was dismissive, did you doubt him a little? Heidi said internally she knew that her drinking was a problem, but at the same time, he gave her a free pass to keep drinking.   [17:16] Walk us through the last year or so of your drinking and what led up to your sober date?   Heidi grew up with obsessive-compulsive tendencies, specifically manifesting in self-harm. When alcohol became an option, it quieted the self-harm aspect. Once Heidi moved back to the West Coast and started working full time, she fell into a routine of grabbing some alcohol on the way home from work. A few glasses of wine became a bottle of wine became a few bottles of wine, then turned to liquor. She started a new job and it turned out to be miserable, so drinking in the evenings was what got her through the days. She and her husband were true drinking partners, so they fed off each other as well. Last summer she noticed relationships with family members and her husband began to crumble and then she began to take a serious look at her drinking. One of the changes she made was signing up for the Recovery Elevator Ditch the Booze course. The accountability provided was what she needed.   [33:49] Tell us about your experience with the Ditching The Booze course and the extra level of accountability.   Heidi craves connection and doesn’t find it overwhelming. Some people in her group check-in daily, some every few days, but the common denominator is everyone has the same struggle. So, everyone already understands. At a moment’s notice, she can give support and get support from the community.   [38:17] How has your family dynamic changed in these last 20 days?   Heidi said that due to the current pandemic there have been fewer social pressures to go out. At home, with her husband, there has been greater levels of connection. She did have a fear that all they had was drinking and that was why they were together. They began to open up and have new and genuine conversations about themselves. She’s having more moments of pure enjoyment with her husband.   [43:43] What possibilities have you excited right now?   Heidi said the increase in liveliness is exciting. She feels like a school kid again and full of hope. Being able to wake up early and coach at her gym without being still drunk or hungover. Being present with her husband and family member. Heidi is also seeing a new resurgence in her artistic side.        [42:20] Rapid Fire Round    If you could talk to Day 1 Heidi, what would you tell her?   You can do things that you don’t think are possible right now but stick with it. You can sit with the uncomfortable feelings of a craving.   What are some of your favorite resources in sobriety?   Café RE, This Naked Mind by Annie Grace, Alcohol is SH!T by Paul Churchill   What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?   You already know what that life is like, so why not just try.   You may need to ditch the booze if...    You pride yourself on your Christmas shopping by doing it all in one night with a few bottles of wine and then figure out what you bought when it arrives on your doorstep.   Odette’s challenge this week: Take time this week to notice what you’ve been putting under the category of problems in your mind. Think about those problems and try to reframe. Can you see some opportunities coming out of them? Let yourself feel hopeful about the possibility that problems bring with them. They are there you just have to look at things differently. Remember that you are not alone and that together is always better.   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. 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. Sobriety Tracker iTunes  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – This isn’t a no to alcohol, but a yes to a better life – I love you guys.” 
RE 282: Is it Working?

RE 282: Is it Working?

2020-07-1343:19

Michael took his last drink on May 13, 2019. With just over a year sober (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol-free (AF).   Odette opens today asking the question: Is this working? There are obvious moments where it is easy to recognize that life without alcohol is working. When people say you look refreshed, you wake up not hungover and you start sleeping well. But what about the not so obvious moments? The moments that are hard, the moments you miss drinking? Yes, those are the moment when growth and change and abundance are there and about to bloom. Trust, be patient, and stay the course.   [7:23] Odette introduces Michael.   Michael lives in Springfield, Missouri, and works in construction. He is married with 2 children. For fun, he works, plays video games and spends as much time as possible with his family.   [8:24] Can you give listeners a background on your drinking?   Michael said he started drinking around the age of 14. He said it was something he was good at and within a year he was drinking a pint or more of liquor a day. He soon began drinking before school and after. In 2002 he joined the Marine Corps, which was his goal. In the military, he often couldn’t drink for stretches of time, so it became binge drinking episodes. But at the end of his 4 years in the Marine Corps, he realized he had a problem with drinking and asked for help. He was enrolled in a daily program through the military to learn about drinking. After getting out of the military he worked construction, but then in 2008 re-enlisted in the Army. The 6 years he was in the Army, the drinking continued at a bottle a day, every day. He considered himself a very high bottom drinker because he was so high functioning within life.   [15:19] What was it that led you down the path to try going AF? Michael said that he tried to stop multiple times over the years. He began to realize he wasn’t living his life to his best potential. He always tried to be the person setting the example for others, yet his inability to stop drinking was weighing on him. He needed to show that he could stop drinking for good. The idea that he couldn’t quit was his bottom.   [17:16] Walk us through what went through your mind on your day 1.   Michael said he woke up and said to himself “I need to quit, again.” He searched for podcasts that day and found Recovery Elevator. Podcasts allowed him to saturate his entire day with recovery. He downloaded the Sober Grid app and started reading that and the resources offered.   [21:13] How has your life without alcohol been different than what you originally thought?   Michael said he had a lot of fear about what he would do and who he would be not drinking. Once he quit, he was no longer avoiding emotions and in a fog. He was freed to just live his life. Michael has learned it’s ok to be sad or angry and that he will make it through.   [25:24] How has your family dynamic changed since you have been on this path?   Michael said that he’s happy and no longer hiding from his family. He’s a present and active member of his family and at a higher plateau of being a husband and a father. He’s always working on trying to be a better husband and father while at the same time learning to be a husband and a father for the first time since this is the first time through sober eyes.   [27:44] Walk us through a day in your life right now.   Michael said he wakes up, goes to work, and hangs out with his family. He prides himself on being an open person; he’s open about his sobriety, his PTSD, and his anxiety. He tries to lead by example and with being so open, he allows space for others to be open about their own struggles.   [30:22] What is your social life like now?   Michael said from the beginning he was honest about his not drinking with friends and co-workers. They were respectful and always offered not to drink around him, but he was always ok about around other people drinking. He said that he understood this was his choice and his alone. There were a few times he did walk away in the beginning, but now he’s comfortable around alcohol.   [31:55] What have you learned in this AF journey?   Michael said that he is really motivated and setting goals and accomplishing them. This past year has really reinforced this. He’s also rediscovering who he is as a person, not just an alcoholic. One particular goal of Michael’s is to run a marathon.   [36:25] What possibilities are keeping you hopeful?   Michael said rediscovering daily life. He focuses on the little things in life and is finding joy in those things. He’s excited about mowing the lawn now!   [37:35] Do you still get cravings?   Michael said he doesn’t get cravings so much as he gets the idea of drinking still. Cravings are for the most part a non-thought.   [38:31] If you could talk to Day 1 Michael, what would you tell him?   Keep trying. Even if you don’t succeed today you can try again tomorrow.      [38:59] Rapid Fire Round    What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?   Being with my family after my father in law passed and really connecting with them.   What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?   That I am able to stop drinking.   What are some of your favorite resources in sobriety?   Any recovery podcast, any app that helps you track your sobriety and music.   What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?   Just keep trying, we will figure this out. You will never succeed if you don’t keep trying.   You may need to ditch the booze if...    You’ve ever considered putting on a resume that you are a daily drinker but have never been late to work.     Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. 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. Sobriety Tracker iTunes  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – keep going, trust the process and try not to throw up when the road gets bumpy, we can do this - I love you guys,” 
Sara took her last drink on December 02, 2018. With 18 months sober (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).   Odette opens today talking about re-writing memos. Take a look at the memos you write to yourself every day. Those memos we repeat to ourselves as fact. There are thousands of stories we have written as memos in our lives. Odette encourages us to take out a sharpie and re-write the memo. Change your mind, change your opinion.   [6:24] Odette introduces Sara.   Sara lives just outside Minneapolis, MN. She is 37 years old, married, and has one daughter. They just adopted a puppy. She works in communications and for fun she likes to go for hikes and walks with friends, hang out with her daughter and eat her husband’s food (he’s a great cook!).   [12:58] Can you give listeners a background on your drinking?   Sara said she didn’t drink in High School. She went to a party school for college and started to binge drink on weekends. When she first started drinking, she liked the permission that alcohol gave her to be extroverted. Towards the end of her 20s the binge drinking tapered off, but that was when she began daily drinking, first a couple of glasses of wine on the weekend, soon became 7 days a week. While she quit when pregnant with her daughter, she did feel deprived. And once her daughter was born the daily drinking quickly resumed. The anxiety resumed in full force and because Sara didn’t feel like she had a problem with a capital P, this was all normal. December 2, 2018, Sara found a book by Annie Grace and went from never considering quitting, to leaving alcohol behind all in the same day.   [20:16] How was it early in your journey?   Sara said at first she cried once the decision was made. She allowed herself to grieve the loss while at the same time being excited. The first 1-3 days she practiced going into social situations, being right before the holidays she had lots of opportunities to practice. Sara always had a treat for herself to keep the feelings of deprivation at bay.   [30:43] How was the dynamic with your husband? Did you burn the ships immediately? Sara said she told her husband right away. She thinks he didn’t believe her at first, she wouldn’t have believed herself at first either! However, he was supportive of her decision. Sara experienced some guilt when she stopped drinking because she felt like she was taking away something from him that was an activity they enjoyed together. They had to work to find new things to connect over.   [35:04] What’s in your recovery toolbelt these days?   Social connection is the #1 action item in her toolbelt. Sara said that she walks with her friends, she needs face to face meetups. Sobriety podcasts are 2nd. They keep her motivation up. And 3rd is “No treat is off-limits.” Sara knows that she has to protect her sobriety at all costs. She also uses meditation to monitor and identify uncomfortable feelings inside.     [40:37] If you could talk to Day 1 Sara, what would you say to her?    This is going to teach you more about yourself than you ever thought you could learn. It will be worth the challenges.      [40:00] Rapid Fire Round    What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey?   The awkwardness you feel at the beginning of any social gathering will be gone in 15 minutes whether or not you drink.   What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?   Remembering Christmas Eve and making memories with their friends and the kids.   What are you excited about right now?   The upcoming summer in Minnesota. Casual family time.       What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?   Don’t cut out alcohol without adding in other things you’re excited about.     You may need to ditch the booze if...    If you download a habit tracking app to make sure you’re sticking to your allotted amount of alcohol per day. And when it tells you that you’re over, you just delete the app instead of questioning the habit.   Odette’s challenge this week: Write down 10 negative memos that come to mind. Don’t think about them too much, just write them down. Then re-frame and re-write them and keep them close. Read them often and remind yourself of your power. Share on Instagram and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five! Or email them to odette@recoveryelevator.com   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. 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. Sobriety Tracker iTunes  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – Let’s walk this path and let’s walk it together - we love you guys,” 
Hannah took her last drink on April 16, 2020. With 45 days sober (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).   Paul has created a new meditation. It’s 20 minutes long and is specifically geared towards cravings. You can get it here for free.   Odette opens talking about the upcoming long weekend, which is the 4th of July. She asks “how can we leverage the current state of the world / the current pandemic and our desire to not drink this upcoming holiday weekend?” A celebration that is centered around food and also drinking, what does this mean for our own choices. There is an assumed permission slip that allows you to start drinking at whatever time you want. Given the state of the world and smaller gatherings happening, it might prove to be easier to not drink.   Here’s a list of how to not drink this weekend Bring your own drinks, make it special! Tell someone you don’t want to drink. It’s ok to ask for help Let yourself have fun. Have one goal for the day- Don’t drink. Leave if you’re uncomfortable.   [9:00] Odette introduces Hannah.   Hannah lives in Las Vegas. She is 30 years old. She has worked in the medical field in the past but will begin teaching soon. For fun recently she’s been doing puzzles. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and working out.   [12:33] How have you been feeling in these early days?   Hannah said she previously had some time away from alcohol under her belt, but had started drinking again. So, she was prepared for stopping again. This time it was emotional, but no physical withdrawal symptoms. She feels good and is looking forward to this path.   [14:12] What happened that made you decide to drink again?   Hannah said in January 2019 she tried to do dry January again, but only made it about 15 days. She restarted February 1st and this lasted for her until almost September. While she was for a time able to moderate her drinking, once quarantine began the drinking became a daily thing and she was feeling pretty awful, mentally, and physically.   [16:02] What started you on this path to wanting to live AF? What’s your drinking background? Hannah said she took her first drink around 14 or 15. When she was 17, she lost her mother to addiction and alcohol became her outlet to escape. She had a year of partying harder than any teenager should have. Two weeks after she turned 18, she found out she was pregnant and sobered up, promising her child a better life. She did eventually return to alcohol. While she was succeeding on the outside, she was drinking a lot. Around 25 years old she was experiencing high anxiety and was noticing how alcohol wasn’t serving her.   [20:38] Did you have a rock bottom moment or what pushed you to take action?   Hannah said there wasn’t a true rock bottom moment, but there were a lot of moments that weren’t the smartest: falling, driving drunk, drunk injuries. It was just the understanding that alcohol was what was causing her to feel bad all the time. The shame spiral was real. The end of 2018 was a heavy drinking period for Hannah and she did 15 days of dry January 2019 but drank. And in February 2019 was her first attempt at living AF.   [28:07] Does your son notice the difference in you drinking vs not drinking?   Hannah said he hasn’t ever said anything directly, but she knows he noticed when she was drinking in the past. As he gets older she wants to share more with him about her stopping drinking.   [30:26] Walk us through a day in your life now. What’s in your recovery toolbox?   Hannah said that she tries to wake up and get a workout in before work. Waking up early and doing something for herself helps make her day better. This also helps her identify her emotions for the day. After work she and her boyfriend will cook, listen to audiobooks, keeping herself busy is important.   [32:28] Has it been easy having an honest conversation with your boyfriend about your drinking? (Her boyfriend still drinks)   Hannah said it's been difficult; she was emotional in the beginning when she first stopped drinking and had to watch him drink a beer or two. He however has been very supportive. He checks in with her and is often the sober person with her. They no longer keep alcohol in the house.   [34:59] What’s your favorite NA drink?   Pamplemousse La Croix.   [35:25] What have you learned about yourself in this journey?   Hannah said over the years she has developed some coping mechanisms, but there’s still more work to be done. She wants to work on being more open and honest with those close to her. Expressing her feelings honestly and talk and not keep it all inside will be helpful.   [36:20] What gets you excited in life right now?   Hannah said that being there for her son as he gets older. Also, a new career in teaching is exciting. Being fully present.   [38:05] Did you get any pushback from friends when you decided to stop drinking?   Hannah said when she first went AF in 2019, a few friends gave her pushback about it. But this time around she’s trying to be more honest with friends. In the moment there are always people who question why she’s not drinking.   [39:22] If you could talk to Day 1 Hannah, what would you say to her?    Just wait it out. Life is so much better without alcohol.      [40:00] Rapid Fire Round    What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey? How quickly I can progress without alcohol.   What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you? Being in the moment and not being hungover.   What are some of your favorite resources? Recovery Elevator podcast, Café RE, talking to more people who don’t drink, Sober Happy Hour, Quit Lit,   What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners? If you think you have a drinking problem, you probably do. Only you can decide that.     You may need to ditch the booze if...    If you go to the store, buy a bottle of wine, pour ½ down the drain so you won’t drink it all, drink that and then return to the store to get another bottle of wine.   Odette’s challenge this week: Take a picture of your 4th of July contribution. Share on Instagram and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five!   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. 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. Sobriety Tracker iTunes  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – Stay cool, stay weird, stay safe and stay healthy- we love you guys,” 
Jamieson took his last drink on August 7, 2019. With almost 10 months sober (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol-free (AF).   Odette opens the podcast talking about “permission slips” and specifically giving yourself permission to feel certain things. She quotes Brene Brown, “For personal permission slips, you are in charge of your own behavior – so you're giving yourself permission to feel or act a certain way. It is setting an intention for how you want to behave in difficult situations.”   Here are some permission slips Odette gave herself after her first week as the new voice of the podcast: to be scared, to make mistakes, to ask for help, to feel uncomfortable, to fail, to succeed, to try again, to love myself. Writing these out she gained courage, the courage to run towards what she wants.   [5:23] Odette introduces Jamieson.   Jamieson is 28 years old and lives in Kansas City, MO. He works in special education and is starting grad school in the fall. He is single. For fun, he enjoys making music, reading, playing video games, hiking, going camping, and traveling.   [7:49] Can you give us a background on your drinking?   Jamieson said he started drinking when he was around 13 or 14 years old. But at the time it was a shot glass worth of wine at dinner every night. The first time he was drunk was when he was 16 or 17.   He never really felt like he ever had a normal relationship with alcohol, but problematic drinking began around the age of 21. In college he was always trying to be cool like everyone else, alcohol was an easy resource to make him feel cool and ease his social anxiety.   [10:50] What happened after you noticed your drinking increasing?   Jamieson said it became very consistent and an everyday thing. At the age of 22, he went without alcohol for one year. After a year of being a dry drunk, he decided he didn’t have a problem and returned to drinking. He continued drinking until his last drink in August 2019.   [13:58] After your year sober, and return to drinking, did you know in the back of your mind that eventually, you would stop drinking?   Jamieson said in the back of his mind, he always knew something wasn’t quite right about his drinking. The quiet voice in the back of his mind slowly crept into the forefront of his thoughts and he couldn’t ignore it any longer.   [14:51] Was there an event that made you go sober again?   Jamieson said it was a combination of things. Between multiple rock bottoms/events and seeing his younger brother struggle with alcohol as well, he realized he needed to cut alcohol out.   [20:15] What was your plan on the day of your last drink?   Jamieson said to himself “let’s just see how long I can go” and at about 2 weeks’ time, he was feeling pretty good and went to a Refuge Recovery meeting. That was a turning point for him.   [24:50] You mention that Buddhism has really changed your life, can you chat about that?   Jamieson said he’s been interested in Buddhism for a long time but was never able to fully dedicate himself to it while drinking. Mindfulness and meditation are not friends with alcohol and substance abuse. Meditation has been a key component in his sobriety.   [31:47] What else is in your recovery toolbelt?   Jamieson said podcasts and focusing also on leading a healthier lifestyle/routines. Being on top of himself for the little things like making his bed and brushing his teeth daily. He’s also begun practicing yoga.   [34:29] Did you feel like there were new triggers for you when COVID began?   Jamieson said it had a big impact on his routine. His school was on Spring Break at the start and they didn’t return afterward. He said it was abrupt and unexpected at how quickly it happened. His routine was a large part of his “staying sane” in sobriety. The lack of routine pushed him to seek out more meetings.   [37:04] What are your thoughts on self-awareness growing?   Jamieson said he has noticed he’s much more self-aware since he stopped drinking. He has learned more about addiction and specifically alcohol addiction and his compassion has grown towards others. He finds himself being less judgmental.   [39:32] What’s a narrative in your life that you would like to re-write?   Jamieson said he felt for a long time his issues with substance abuse, anxiety, and depression were his fault. He was messing up his own life because he wasn’t a good person. Jamieson has worked on forgiving himself over the past 9 months. Through Refuge Recovery and Buddhism he has learned that it’s not your fault you are this way, but it is your responsibility to deal with it.   [44:32] You’re so young, how has stopping drinking changed your social dynamic?   Jamieson said his social life was getting worse with his drinking. All of his friends have been supportive. He finds he’s able to appreciate spending time with his friends and his family now.      [48:15] Rapid Fire Round    If you could talk to Day 1 Jamieson, what would you say to him? Be patient with yourself and know you are stronger than these problems and alcohol.   What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey? Realizing that I don’t have to wake up every day feeling like garbage.   What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you? Every time I do something I couldn’t do while drinking.   What are some of your favorite resources? Refuge Recovery, Buddhist based recovery platforms, Recovery Elevator podcast, yoga, and AA.   What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners? If you’re struggling with drinking and think you have a problem, start looking into literature and different communities that are out there. When you find a community you like, put yourself in there. Try it for a little while without any promises.     You may need to ditch the booze if...    You’re so hungover and sleep-deprived you are barely capable of picking someone else up from rehab.   Odette’s challenge this week: Write yourself a permission slip. Snap a photo of it, share on Instagram, and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five!   Upcoming events, retreats, and courses: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. 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 mentioned in this episode:  Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Sobriety Tracker iTunes  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – We took the elevator down, we gotta take the steps back up, we can do this- love you guys,” 
Kris took his last drink on August 9, 2017. At just over 1000 days (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol-free (AF).   Odette opens the podcast talking about beginner emotions, also called day one emotions. “You can be brave and afraid at the same time.” Feeling scared and uncertain is natural and part of the process. Embrace those feelings and you can go far.   [5:26] Odette introduces Kris.   Kris is 38 years old, married with 2 children and a dog. They live in central North Dakota and he is a power plant operator. For fun he loves photography, videography, staying warm in the winter, and camping in the summer. ND summers are the best.   [8:28] What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?   As kids, Kris and his brother would always go for vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, roasted salted peanuts, and Smarties as a topping.   [10:00] Can you give us a background on your drinking?   Kris said he started drinking in high school, he was shy and quiet in High School and this brought him out of his shell. He felt like he could be himself. He joined the Air Force out of high school and alcohol continued to help him forge bonds with others. While he was stationed in Korea, he says he began using alcohol for more than just fun and instead used it to cope with depression. They lived by “work hard, party hard” while stationed there. He felt lost when he came home and struggled with his identity. He says the last few years of his relationship with alcohol was really a disaster. He didn’t want to stop, he was hiding his drinking and his relationship with his wife was falling apart.   [22:48] What happened after your wife told you that you had to stop drinking?   Kris and his wife separated after that and he experienced an “Oh sh*t” moment. At the same time, he began having a willingness in his life to make and action change. He signed up for a treatment program.   [25:34] How did you feel after you realized that you had to do this? When did the decision to get sober become yours?   Kris said it was during treatment. Working with counselors he learned that he needed to take responsibility for everything. He also met with a pastor who encouraged him to start praying every day. He began asking God to help guide him. He learned the burden of his past doesn’t have to hold him back from his future.   [30:50] Do you still have cravings? How different is from the beginning and how is it still similar?   Kris said for the most part he only has moments where he romanticizes drinking. He reminds himself that it’s never one drink. Exploring the truth of what it is, sets him straight. He notices that it’s more about behaviors than actual cravings. Being short with his kids or tense with his wife. Because he now actively works on these things, he’s able to more quickly correct the action. Both Kris and his wife, in their relationship, work on these things. They are both more tolerant of each other.   [40:34] Walk us through a day in the life right now. What does working your recovery in this type of crisis look like?   Kris is considered an essential worker, so he’s still going to the office every day and his wife is a teacher, so she is homeschooling their children. Kris says his recovery is very similar, he just isn’t getting to as many face to face meetings as usual. He’s recently begun working with a sponsor again, so they are connecting a lot. He’s staying connected with Café RE, his sponsor, posting videos, showing support to others through the Facebook pages and Marco polo’ing.    [43:23] How do you keep this journey fun?   Kris chooses the tone for his life. He celebrates the milestones with his family, he stays connected with his friends in the sober community, he goes to events, and this past fall he hosted his own independent Café RE meetup. He surrounds himself with the people he loves and can be himself and let loose now that alcohol isn’t a part of the equation.    [46:36] Rapid Fire Round    If you could talk to Day 1 Kris, what would you say to him? Take it easy and you are loved.   What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you? Being in the water swimming with my family and seeing their smiles.   What are some of your favorite resources? Recovery Elevator podcast, Café RE, That Sober Guy (Shane Ramer), Transitions Daily, Saddleback Church, Elevation Church and a good sponsor.   What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners? Be honest with yourself about where you are at. We can do hard things, but we don’t have to do them alone. Try to find a community, you are not alone.     You might be an alcoholic if...    If you’ve urinated in more corners of your house than you care to actually mention.     Upcoming events, retreats and courses: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. 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 mentioned in this episode:  Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee. Sobriety Tracker iTunes  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – We took the elevator down, we gotta take the steps back up, take that road less traveled, we can do this- love you guys,” 
Paul opens today’s episode talking about the short term & long term plans for Recovery Elevator: Paul is taking a break from the podcast and he will be focusing on the Recovery Elevator YouTube channel and creating meditations. 1-3 year plans: Recovery Elevator Retreat Center Long term goals: adding more Café RE groups Let’s all start putting thinking bigger and putting Big Energy out into the universe for Recovery Elevator.   [12:09] Paul welcomes Odette, the new voice of Recovery Elevator.   Odette’s last drink was 12/17/18. She is from San Diego, originally from Mexico and is married with two kids. They love the outdoors as a family. Odette enjoys learning about tea, puzzling and cooking. She often runs and uses her indoor bike for exercise.   [16:08] Paul: What have you been up to since Episode 231?   Odette is grateful for her recovery during this time of Covid-19. During her first year sober it’s all about relearning habits, restructuring life and setting new routines. Her year two has been about uncovering a lot of deeper seeded emotions and being more honest with herself.   [19:15] Paul: Can you cover what brought you to wanting to live an alcohol free life?   Drinking felt like a déjà vu of Odette’s previous addiction. (She is also in recovery from an eating disorder.) She had already walked this path and could her inner voice telling her that if she kept drinking the way she was, it would end badly. Her rock bottom was an emotional rock bottom. Odette has always felt like she wanted to be normal and because drinking is normalized in our culture she didn’t initially want to step away. Choosing to do the thing that is not considered normal would again put her in a spotlight. However, she knew internally this was the path she needed to take. For more on her story go listen to episode 128 & 231.   [23:00] They talk about Odette’s path with the podcast.   Odette likes relating to people. She will share when she hears her own story in others. She enjoys sharing books she’s reading and things she is listening to. Sharing a-ha moments.   [24:09] Paul: What are some topics you will cover moving forward?   Practical tips and recovery tools. Focusing on her recovery toolbelt and listening to what’s working for other people. Spiritual concepts and how those can be brought into our lives. Fun facts, history and what she can learn from others. Hearing from others and having the audience suggest topics.   [25:23] Paul: Same format?   For now, Odette plans to stay within the same format of an introduction and then having an interviewee. She loves talking and sharing and is really excited to take this forward, she is nervous at the same time. This is about a movement of living alcohol free and she wants to honor the path Paul has established.   [28:00] Paul: Talk about evoking Rule 22 on this journey.   Odette’s father was silly when raising his own family. She grew up with flawed parents, yet they showed her there was always a path of fun to be found. The life she’s living isn’t a dress rehearsal, it’s the only you she has and it’s too short to not have fun.   [30:06] Paul: Spanish or English?   English. But there may be an opportunity in the future for episodes in Spanish. If you want to share your story you can email odette@recoveryelevator.com   [32:32] Odette turns the tables and interviews Paul. Can you talk about your decision to step down?   Paul acknowledges that he needed to take a break. He thought he needed to start over again, instead of asking for help and delegating a lot of what he’s been doing. The community that he has created came to him with suggestions on how Recovery Elevator can keep moving forward. With some restructuring there is now a path.   [37:20] Odette: Overall how do you feel?   Paul says he feels incredible. That past year and a half has been the most spiritual he has ever experienced. And even more, the past 3 months he found his body cleansing itself of anything that didn’t need to be there.   [39:13] Odette: Tell us about some of the most fun experiences in your travels this past year.   Watching a woman connect with an elephant in Thailand. The elephant laid down on its side and the woman laid on top. Watching the elephant breathing and the two of them connecting was powerful. While in Australia someone from an AA meeting asked if he wanted to go feed the seagulls. Paul put aside his serious side and went to feed seagulls for an hour and a half.   [41:51] Odette: What’s flowing through your creative side right now?   Music has been creeping back into Paul’s life over the past 5 years. He’s been making meditation music. Also 3D meditations where you are walked through your future self, in the present moment. Focusing on the Recovery YouTube channel as well.   [46:20] Odette: Will we hear from you during your break?   Yes, Paul would love to pop in from time to time.   [52:30] Paul: Where do you think we can take this?   Odette says we can start small: have a podcast in Spanish for example. As large as: Traveling across the globe for service projects. A recovery center. She sees this growing in all directions. The opportunities are endless.    [55:08] Rapid Fire Round    What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey? Odette: I can’t accept myself if I don’t start with myself. I can’t ask for help, if I’m not helping myself first Paul: We don’t fight an addiction that’s been trying to guide us.   What’s your favorite AF drink? Odette: all Tea, anything with ginger, grapefruit Bubly. Paul: Cold tonic with square ice cubes and tiny peach slices.   What’s on your bucket list in this AF life? Odette: to run a marathon and working in the recovery field. Paul: finding a new home base, follow the body.   Favorite recovery resources? Odette: Café RE, Eckart Tolle, Pema Chödrön, Glennon Doyle, friends and Marco Polo. Paul: You, Café RE, the listeners, meditation.   What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners? Odette: What you resist, persists. Paul: Use the mind and locate the body.   This episode brought to you by: Gruvi, use this link and enter the promo code: Recovery Elevator for 15% off your order.   Upcoming events, retreats and courses: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee. 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 mentioned in this episode:  Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.. Sobriety Tracker iTunes  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com
RE 276: End of Season 1

RE 276: End of Season 1

2020-06-0101:06:25

Brian took his last drink September 18, 2019. At 213 days (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF).   End of Season 1   After 276 consecutive Mondays & 5 years, Paul is stepping down from the podcast and is handing Recovery Elevator over to a new and talented voice. He recaps his next steps and an overview of what the last 5 years has brought him. With 2076 days at the time of recording, Paul is filled with gratitude for all you listeners. Because of you, he is filled with enough. We are all in this together.   Don’t forget, you can rate and review the podcast and tell Paul the change this podcast has affected in your own life.   [13:36] Paul introduces Brian.   Brian is 45 years old, married and lives in Easley, SC. He is married with two children. He was in the Army for 17 years before moving to the South. For fun Brian likes to golf, ski, snowboard, BBQ his own meats. He also does podcasting and some PA events.   [17:20] Give listeners some background on your drinking.   Brian didn’t drink until he had almost graduated High School. He drank and got drunk the very first time. He said that was a theme throughout his drinking. He drank to get drunk each time. He went through military training and service and returned home to finish college in Baltimore. He was asked to leave after 2 years due to a 0.0 GPA the previous semester.   [21:16] When did your drinking progress?   Brian said there were waves of drinking. It picked up in his 20s after leaving college. Bartending made it easy to drink a lot. In 1999 he had to call out of his job a few times due to hangover. At that time, he saw there was a problem with his drinking and got sober for about 8 months from alcohol. In 2004, he tried to quit alcohol again for about 7 months. In 2007 he got into some legal trouble but during that his now wife became pregnant with their first child. He says his daughter saved his life. Thorough out this time, Brian says he would often be spoken at work about his behavior during events that involved alcohol. And in 2020 at an executive weekend event, he spent the entire weekend drunk. He said he was spoken to a few times throughout the weekend and that next week was his last drink with his cousin.   [30:55] Let talk about your last drink.   Brian said it was in his mind that something needed to change. He ordered a craft beer, and it didn’t taste good. He ordered a second, it didn’t taste good. At that moment he knew something was going to change.   [35:15] What was September 19, 2020 like?   Brian was familiar with the sober fellowship in his area and he began attending meetings immediately. However, this time, he felt very good about his decision to stop drinking. There was a sense of relief and peace that his suffering was over. 20 years of ups and downs and trying to get sober, culminated in this last drink in September 2019.   [40:43] In the first 60 / 90 days how did you get past some cravings?   Brian said that while he didn’t have cravings exactly, he had thoughts about drinking. Many of them situational. He’s forcing himself to remember the bad and not romanticize the good. Playing the tape forward helps to remind him of the bad. Seeing how that one romantic moment turns into a day of regret the next day. This time getting sober, Brian knew he needed to do something different and approached it in that manner. He put more effort into his getting sober.   [46:26] Do you recognize the profound leaps and bounds you have made over these past 7 months?   Brian said he has put the work into himself to try and find out who he is. Removing the masks worn and breaking down the facades of who he thought he was to find out who he truly is in this life. He tries to meditate every single day for 30 – 60 minutes a day and has been reading a lot more, both of which center him. All of this to try and put aside the ego.   [48:34] Comment on some other experiences where you have said “that’s no longer me / who I am”   Brian has seen a change in his personal relationships. In the past he was short to show his temper and is choosing to not be that person any longer. He now finds his stoicism a strength, while when he was drinking it was a weakness. While still drinking he bottled up his feelings which would then tumble out while drunk in an overexaggerated manner. And now while sober, he’s allowing himself to feel the feelings and understand more what they are telling him. Brian lets himself be sensitive and he can respond rather than react.    [52:50] Rapid Fire Round    What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey? I never knew who I was until these last 7 months.   What is a memorable moment a life without alcohol has given you? Rekindling my relationship with my kids.   What’s your favorite AF drink? Seltzer water. Cranberry lime specifically. And Kombucha.   What’s on your bucket list in this AF life? Pilots license.   What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners? Keep going. Even if you slip up, don’t beat yourself up. Every moment is a new moment to change.     You might need to ditch the booze if...    If your fraternity renames the yearly Biggest Partier award after you and disqualifies you from winning it.   Future Episodes: Please give this new voice a chance, please listen for at least a few episodes. Please let us know your thoughts. Paul has asked this person to honor the mission of the podcast, shedding the stigma surrounding addiction. And also to honor the path this new direction takes.   Upcoming events, retreats and courses: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee. 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 mentioned in this episode:  Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.. Sobriety Tracker iTunes  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this- I love you guys,” 
Belle took her last drink June 30, 2012. With almost 8 years of sobriety (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol free (AF). On today’s episode Paul opens discussing what alcohol promises and does not deliver. Many people are trying to fill a void by using alcohol, but it will never be enough. The journey you take and the reward you earn on this life being AF is the eternal knowing that you are enough and are fulfilled.   [7:58] Paul introduces Belle.   Belle is 53 years old, married and lives in Paris, France. She is a caterer.   [11:06] Because of the formal nature of the culture in Paris, is the recovery culture more secluded?   Belle says that because she interacts mostly with English speakers (UK, American, Australia, Canada) her insight into the recovery world in France isn’t that well-informed. But she does state that there isn’t the overindulgent alcohol community that you find other places and in nearby countries. “It’s not socially acceptable to be hammered outside your home.”   [16:58] Why is French onion soup so good in Paris?   It’s situational, exhaustion, dehydration and fantasy of France.   [18:40] Give us a background on your drinking   Belle felt alcohol talking to her around the age of 21. She thought everyone had that voice. For the next 15 years she felt she was keeping drinking in check by only buying what she would drink that day and not have other alcohol in the house. At 36 she was having 3 glasses of wine a night and found it hard to go a night without. Belle began putting into place unconscious moderating techniques to keep in control. She got married in 2005 and having that partner there opened the door to more drinking but with someone else there, so it appeared less harmful.   In March 2012, she tried quitting drinking for 1 month, just to prove that she could. She got 7 days.   [25:59] Can you expand on the feeling you had when you realized it was actually really hard to quit drinking?   Belle says it was embarrassing because there was no one to tell or talk about it with. She didn’t associate herself with alcoholics because of her high bottom drinking. She just thought she lacked self-discipline. Belle tried again with Dry July in 2012 and on day 9 knew again, this was going to be harder than anticipated. So, she started a WordPress blog to talk about the struggle. People began commenting on her blog posts and she in that moment she wasn’t alone.   From that blog grew her 100-day Sober Challenge, her penpal support system and a business venture.   [39:28] What are some of the lessons you have learned from doing this project?   Belle says everything she’s learned are from her penpals. They taught her that while her story may be unique to her, the core experience of quitting drinking is the same for everyone.   [48:37] Talk to us about the anonymity [of your project] and how you are anonymous.   Belle said that without anonymity she wouldn’t have been able to share the truth. People responded to her approach because it allowed them to also share the truth while being anonymous. Belle believes that you get sober and then you go on with the rest of your life and there exists the life you build on top of being sober. She believes that you don’t have to tell everyone or anyone else about your sobriety.   [52:25] Let’s talk about your book.   Belle’s book is titled Tired of Thinking About Drinking: Take My 100-Day Sober Challenge. Her subscribers wanted her to write a book, so she did.   [52:29] Do you think there will ever be a day you will shed the anonymity?   If Oprah calls and asks Belle to share her experience working with 3000 people, yes. She would probably do that. Otherwise, no.   [56:03] Rapid Fire Round    What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey? That I’m not alone. And most people have identical experiences.   What’s your favorite AF drink? Just tonic or tonic and grapefruit juice.   What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Her subscribers.   What’s on your bucket list in this AF life? Own a bakery.   What parting piece of advice can you give to listeners? It’s in the act of reaching out that things change.   You might need to ditch the booze if...   If you can’t quit drinking for 100 days, then you have a problem. The answer is in the question.   Belle’s website and all the information shared: www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com    Upcoming events, retreats and courses:   We are into week one of Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. And will be offering this a few more times coming up. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee. 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!     This episode sponsored by: Tiger Tail, use this link and enter the promo code: ELEVATOR15 for 15% off your order.   Resources mentioned in this episode:  Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.  Sobriety Tracker iTunes  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside out- I love you guys” 
Jeff took his last drink February 8, 2020. With 65 days of sobriety (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol free (AF). On today’s episode Paul opens discussing emotions. How it’s ok to feel all of them and how they help us to grow. In order to shift stagnant energy inside all of us, we have to talk about our emotions. It’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to vent out your emotions and break off little pieces of frustration. Are you looking to explore deeper your decision to live alcohol free and are already a Café RE member? If so, sign up for the six week course starting May 19th entitled: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set up fee. Paul shares the details about his free guided meditation. To find those meditations, go here.     [12:08] Paul introduces Jeff. Jeff is 29 years old, lives in Tampa, FL. He is a plumber. He doesn’t have a family, yet! He likes to hang out with his dog Bo and go fishing, camping and attend sporting events. [13:58] What’s your favorite alcohol free drink? Cherry Coke. [15:13] Give us a background on your drinking Jeff started drinking around the age of 15 with anything he could get his hands on. He remembers being 5 years old and having a sip of his father’s drink. He is the youngest of 3 and when he would visit his older siblings in college, their friends would slip his drinks, as young as at the age of 11. Drinking was just what you did when you got older, it was part of being an adult. Everyone seemed to enjoy drinking, so he should too. In college he joined a fraternity and it again drinking was just what everyone did, it was part of the culture of college and he went along for the ride. However at the age of 22, Jeff realized that stopping drinking might be the better choice for him. [19:52] What were the circumstances at 22 that made you think to stop drinking? Jeff said it was the physical effects of alcohol on his mind and body. He always felt like he could be doing more in life and alcohol was holding him back.  [21:45] Fill in the gaps from age 22 to 29 (7 years) as you were building awareness around your drinking. Jeff began working as a Sam Adams beer rep out of New Orleans/Baton Rouge, LA. At any given time there were 15 cases of beer in his home. Part of the job was sampling beers, so loading up a cooler full of beer every day and sampling with 10 different customers wasn’t out of the norm. The idea that something Jeff felt was in his way, but also his paycheck was difficult to reconcile. In 2015 Jeff began trying to moderate his alcohol intake. He didn’t keep much alcohol in the house, but he found when he did drink, he couldn’t stop. [23:46] Can you talk more about when you say, “Once you start it’s hard to stop”? Jeff described his drinking like a firework. Light the fuse, it shoots up, it’s great for 8/9 hours and then it blows up. His emotions would often get out of control. The days following his drinking were awful emotionally as well. No energy or mind power to do anything. [25:22] Was there a rock bottom moment? Jeff said the first rock bottom moment was in 2012. After a day of drinking, he completely lost it; throwing away his wallet, trashing the apartment he shared with a roommate, quitting his job via email with 2 hours notice. 65 days ago, after three weeks of not drinking, he had a beer and the next day got sick. He knew it was the alcohol and used those 4 days being sick as a springboard to make the change to fully living a life without alcohol.   [27:28] After those initial 4 days, how did you do it? One day at a time. Jeff said he would call old friends, not to talk about drinking, but just to talk. He would exercise, cook and focus on doing all the things he wanted to do that alcohol was holding him back from doing. Also journaling and feeling his emotions again. [30:34] Talk to us about how you are embracing your emotions? Jeff said he is trying to learn what emotion he is actually feeling at a particular time. Is this happiness? Why am I feeling happy? Jeff is giving himself permission to have these feelings. He’s focusing on gratefulness. [35:47] Where do you want to go in this AF life? Jeff said he’s trying not to look too far ahead in life. That’s been a problem for him before. He’s focusing on being present and happy. He wants to grow and have a family and grow his business. Jeff said, “If you drink today, you are taking away tomorrow’s happiness” and he wants to be happy. [38:08] What has it been like getting sober a little earlier in life? Jeff said that so far, it’s been easier than expected. However, he doesn’t discount the near decade of knowing he needed to try and live an AF life. There are no distractions right now during stay at home orders. He admits this might be a bigger test once COVID-19 is over. [43:10] What are your thoughts on relapse? Jeff said it does mean you’re a failure, it’s all about how you handle the relapse. The past is the past and you can start over in the present.   [44:11] Rapid Fire Round    What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey? December 2019, driving home after a party, Jeff drove through a construction zone. The police were called, and he was let go. Avoiding jail was a wakeup call.   What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you? Constantly being present and recognizing emotions.   What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Recovery Elevator podcast, other online stories of people overcoming addiction.   What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners? Give it a try. If you can do it for 1 day, you can do it for 2.   You might need to ditch the booze if...   You are 19 years old, get kicked out of a football game, on your way home call up a family member to curse them out, break into your RA’s room and finally wake up to the police carrying you to your own room   Upcoming Events and Retreats:  You can find more information about our event here.   The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!     This episode sponsored by: Tiger Tail, use this link and enter the promo code: ELEVATOR15 for 15% off your order. Resources mentioned in this episode:    Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set up fee.  Sobriety Tracker iTunes  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up. We can do this.” 
Carrie took her last drink April 7, 2020. With 7 days of sobriety (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).   On today’s episode Paul discusses the idea that you don’t have to quit drinking in order to quit drinking and what that means to different people and himself. When you give yourself permission to be happy in the now, the need to drink goes away. By not delaying happiness in life, an alcohol-free life emerges. If you have more questions about this, please email Paul directly here.   Are you looking to explore deeper your decision to live alcohol free and are already a Café RE member? If so, sign up for the six week course starting May 19th entitled: Ditching the Booze - The What, the Why and the How. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY for waive the set-up fee.   Paul shares the details about his free guided meditation. To find those meditations, go here.       [12:30] Paul introduces Carrie.   She is 42 years old, lives in Centralia, MO. She is a single mom of 2 boys. She sells cars for a living. Carries likes to read, spend time at baseballs games, spend time with her kids, to bike and be outdoors. She is looking forward to rediscovering new way to spend her time.   [16:29] Give us a background on your drinking     Carrie took her first drink at the age of 13 and was in treatment for alcohol twice before she was 18 years old. From the age of 18 to 27, she gathered 9 years of sobriety. After that time, she wanted to reach out and connect with other young people and thought she could pick up and drink without consequence. In 2015 after her son was born, was when she noticed her drinking was becoming unmanageable. She said her drinking got “way worse”, to the point of drinking in the mornings.   [23:43] Talk to us about the last two years of your drinking.   Carrie said she has always tried to moderate her drinking, but it was never possible. In March of 2020 her boss called her into his office and asked if she had a problem with alcohol, which she replied “no.” However a week later she walked back into his office and said she does have a problem and she wants help. While she did lose her job, she freed herself of the secret.    [27:38] Is something different this time around?   Carrie stated that yes, this time feels different. After getting through the withdrawals and praying that she wouldn’t die, she realized that this time around was the worst withdrawal she had experienced. She decided this was the last time she would ever go through this. Using those physical symptoms to propel herself forward.    [32:54] What are you struggling with most right now?   Carries says that seclusion is the hardest. She only interacts with her children and isn’t able to spend time with friends and family. She misses her church and the ability to worship with other people in the same room. She finds video meet ups helpful, but just not the same thing.   [35:25] What are some concepts/mantras you are putting in place to help you continue past these 7 days?   Carrie says that she keeps telling herself she is stronger than alcohol and she wants to be free from alcohol. Repeating that to herself over and over.   [41:07] What’s on your bucket list for this AF life?   She is looking forward to interacting with her children again. She is also looking forward to traveling again.   [43:17] Do you think you’ll be sober in 30 days?   Carrie: “Yes I do.”   [46:28] What advice would you give to your younger self?   Carrie doesn’t think that her younger self would have listened to any advice. Carrie of today would simply say “It’s going to be a rough road, but it will be ok in the end.”     [48:01] Rapid Fire Round    What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey? When she lost her job due to alcohol, that she needs to quit drinking.   What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you? Easter with her kids. She was able to hide eggs and baskets again.   What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink? Water.   What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Recovery Elevator podcast, AA meetings, reading about addiction.   What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners? You are stronger than alcohol and if you surrender to the addiction to alcohol, you can get past this.   You might need to ditch the booze if...    Your 18 year old comes into the closet you are hiding in and takes the bottle of vodka and dumps is down the drain.   Paul shares a poem written by a listener:   “12 Steps to Addiction”    A long time ago, I met a friend.    Oh, it was a god send.    Together,  Streams of blood turn into a rushing river,  Shaking loose an ancient rigidity.   Like a hot fired fever.  Cracking a cast of insecurity.    Oh paint my vision in saturated tones,  Warm my blood, loosen my bones.  Tell me stories that aren’t true,  The biggest lie you told,  Is that the only truth is you.    I’m tightly steered   by your white knuckled grip.  “I will make it better” it whispers in sips.  I buy another round of your intention.   To cure a mental infection,  Septic fears of imperfection,   Impermanence,  Loneliness,   And rejection.    Im being taught to say goodbye,  To friends I used to see.  These people surrounding you, you say,  “They are not like you, and not like me.  They are empty vessels floating by.”  I agree,  Because I no longer float,   My mind runs until it can fly.    I keep running running running,   But now I can’t catch up, and I can’t escape.  I’m talking, I’m laughing,   Sounds from my mind unheard,   Like a cold air’s breath, they dissipate.    I am alone.    You implanted these thoughts,  Rewired my synaptic circuits,  Into a million tiny knots.  I need you to keep making this true.  And when I wake up at four,  I need more.    I ignore the conscious mind,  breathing notes of despair,  In my ear and around my neck.  I’m unaware of the gun to my head,   And all the ways I’ve been mislead.    While I drink your poison,   It is me that you usurp.  I joyfully bask in your calm, dimming light,  Until I’m met with a darkness.  Thoughts reduced to a dizzying fog,  Words falling into meaningless,  Forgetful monologue.    Oh, I want more of this story you sold.  But you no longer talk.   Your skeleton sits with me in silence,  As I desperately chew on your bones.   Your eyes are barren stones.   I will use them to build a memorial,  To every drop of poison I tasted.  All the valuable time I wasted.    A long time ago, I met a friend.  It was a godsend.   I was introduced to my vulnerability,  Reduced to an insanity,  Succumbed to this power,   Quietly, stealing my vitality.    A godsend,  Who will make me climb a mountain,  To find my own cure.  A challenge I didn’t expect to endure,  To ensure that I don’t lose breath,  Running towards my destruction,    Towards a construct, an embodiment,  Of everyone else’s description,  Of who I should have been.    Ultimately I’ve become lonely.  Constructed a fraudulent personality,  Succumbed to a common abnormality,  I carry this world uninspired.  This void you left,  Is making me so,   Goddamn,  Tired.    -Mia     Upcoming Events and Retreats: You can find more information about all our events here.   The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!     Resources mentioned in this episode:  For 15% off your Tiger Tail order go to https://www.amazon.com/tigertaildog and use the promo code ELEVATOR15 at checkout.   In today’s episode Paul introduces listeners to a new company called Monument, an online treatment platform for those looking to change their relationship with alcohol. Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.  Sobriety Tracker iTunes  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies!- Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  -info@recoveryelevator.com   “Recovery Elevator – Go Big, Because Eventually, We All Go Home.” 
Ruth took her last drink March 21, 2020. With 13 days of sobriety (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol free (AF) during a worldwide pandemic.   On today’s episode Paul discusses the sale of alcohol / liquor stores remaining open worldwide during COVID-19 and its effects. ODAAT: it’s not just for those who are living an AF life anymore. The quarantine is an invitation to examine our lives and find new pathways to joy.   Paul shares the details about his free guided meditation. To find those meditations, go here.       [13:25] Paul introduces Ruth.      They start by discussing the email Ruth had sent to Paul directly to ask him what his own thoughts were about living alcohol free during COVID-19.   [15:56] What were you feeling when you sent me this email?   Ruth became aware that the pandemic was going to be a test for a lot of people. She wanted to let people know that this isn’t a time of hopelessness . For her, this is a time to be grateful because of choosing to stop drinking.   She is 40 years old, grew up in Denver, CO but now lives in Switzerland. She is a single mom. While currently out of work, she normally is a manager at a small restaurant. For fun Ruth likes to be outside hiking or running. She enjoys a good movie and reading.   [24:53] Give us a background on your drinking.    Ruth began drinking as a teenager. She first got drunk at the age of 14 with some classmates. She drank for fun as a teen, had a boyfriend that was of age and could purchase alcohol. Ruth got pregnant with her first child at the age of 20 and that stopped alcohol in its tracks. She drank very moderately through her 20s. In her early 30s Ruth noticed that drinking seemed to calm her anxiety, stressors and worries. The association of alcohol and the calming of anxiety stuck with her. In 2014 she moved to Switzerland and began a new romantic relationship that was “very boozy.” Her drinking ramped up quickly, drinking daily and often early in the day.   [30:43] Was there a time during the escalation of your drinking that you questioned this path?   Ruth remembered even during the moderate drinking in her 20s, if she couldn’t have a beer or the stores were closed, it created a grumpy feeling. And at the same time, she felt that wasn’t the proper emotion to be experiencing.   [33:25] Can you think of a definitive moment when you said “I need to quit drinking?”   Ruth indicated that there were several attempts, but the catalyst was the breakup from her most recent relationship. She said to herself “if you can survive this breakup, you can stop drinking.” Ruth learned about how a breakup and alcohol withdrawal create similar feelings/reactions within the brain.      [40:30] Thirteen days ago was your day 1 and in the email you sent me you said it was the hardest day 1. Talk to us about this particular day 1.   Ruth said that because she had had 42 days of sobriety before the pandemic started and then drank at the beginning of the pandemic to quiet the noise of everything happening in the world, everything that comes along with drinking was magnified. Thinking about having to break the cycle of drinking again, and in the extra stressful time of COVID was overwhelming. However, she found herself back in a place of joy within 3-4 days, once the chemicals left her body.    [45:30] What is something you’ve learned about yourself along the way?   Ruth said that she had a lot of unrealized strength and through that found herself again.   [48:00] How are you filling your time currently?   Ruth said reading, listening to podcasts, cooking from scratch, running, walking, yoga, watching Tiger King and taking it easy on herself.   [49:21] Rapid Fire Round    What’s a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey? Realizing her relationship was toxic as well as alcohol is toxic and how they were parallel.   What is a memorable moment that a life without alcohol has given you? Spending time with a family member recently and being 100% present.   What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink? Sparkling water and coffee.   What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Recovery Elevator podcast, This Naked Mind, the stopdrinking subreddit   What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol? Go to the Greenfield Festival in with her son sober and sober camping trips.   What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners? Don’t give up. Never quit trying to give up alcohol, no matter how many day 1s you have. Find and use all resources. It will eventually take if you keep trying.   You might need to ditch the booze if...    You go out for a couple drinks and wake up with confetti in the bed and you have no idea where it came from or how it got there.   You can read more about what the World Health Organization (WHO) says about using alcohol as a coping technique during this time of lockdown here.    Upcoming Events and Retreats: You can find more information about our events here.   The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!     Resources mentioned in this episode:    Connect with Cafe RE- Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY for your first month free  Sobriety Tracker iTunes  Sobriety Tracker Android  Sober Selfies! - Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to info@recoveryelevator.com    “Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”    
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Comments (23)

Joe Kerr

skip to 5 mins,Hawking products you don't need until then.

Aug 24th
Reply

Joe Kerr

skip to 5 minutes..your welcome 😉

Aug 23rd
Reply

Megan Xooli

woot woot Odette in the house! new beginnings! I'm excited for this new host because I know she's wicked smart and has a beautiful story to help enrich other people's lives! Yay! great choice Paul

Jun 8th
Reply

Megan Xooli

oh I'm tearing up!! we love you Paul thank you so much for everything you have done for this community! a well deserved break is in place for you. you'll still be involved, but I'm gonna miss hearing your quirky voice, however looking forward to whomever is handed the torch! cheers mate, you're a great human

Jun 3rd
Reply

Megan Xooli

this was one of the harder episodes to listen to only because Paul seemed at odds at time with the caller, it was slightly tense! however, she stick to her guns and that's her process! I felt uncomfortable, which I'm noticing is something that I have to push myself through, so even though this episode seemed slightly different than normal, I valued the input

May 29th
Reply

Josie Mitchell

I feel like I am listening to myself. I relate to Kirby more than any podcast episode I have ever heard! thank you so much!

Apr 28th
Reply

Lorrie Mullen

I needed this episde I am following as best i can

Nov 7th
Reply

Julie Rose Saccio

un-fuck urself thru sobriety

Sep 15th
Reply

Crystal

Hi, I'm crystal. struggling to stay sobor. found this and im so very grateful. Thank you so much! Your helping me and so many others. 🤗

Aug 3rd
Reply

Cecil Dubois

Great interview 👍. I identified with the speaker so much. Thanks for your efforts in bringing these incites and wisdom to a guy like me. Good questions also.

Jul 4th
Reply

Joe Kerr

skip to 20min mark,it's just a long ad before the 20min mark 😒

Jun 14th
Reply

Robyn Short

help me please. I want this so much. I am in Australia. thanks

Jun 3rd
Reply

Lisa Quick

awesome, inspiring interview. thank you both!!!

May 9th
Reply

Joe Kerr

skip to 08.10 minutes until the show actually starts.

Apr 22nd
Reply

CJ G (CJG82)

I just stumbled on this podcast this morning. after an extreme bout with binge drinking last week in the aftermath of the worst wreckage I've caused. I want to thank u for at least keeping me from drinking today. St Patrick's day. maybe even tomorrow

Mar 17th
Reply

Shane Burnham

really enjoyed this episode. needed to hear it.

Dec 13th
Reply

Audrey Costa

Awesome cast.thank you

Oct 24th
Reply

Ame Davis

Thank you for saying that

Jul 18th
Reply

cute

can you chat me plsss

May 23rd
Reply (1)

Lisa Quick

wow! Thank you for sharing that, Paul! what timing! I had just heard about Rythmia and the miracles happening there about a week ago, and had already decided that I wanted to go ASAP. I've been struggling with sobriety for 10 years, listening to your awesome podcast for about a year, and resetting my sobriety calculator almost every day. I am going to book my trip to Rythmia even sooner than I planned. Thank you for your inspiring podcasts!! I'm a huge fan. Much Aloha

May 21st
Reply (2)
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