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Recovery Elevator

Paul Churchill

57
Followers
616
Plays
Recovery Elevator

Recovery Elevator

Paul Churchill

57
Followers
616
Plays
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About Us

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?

Latest Episodes

RE 296: Swapped the Booze for your Smartphone?

EDeeDee took her last drink May 5, 2020. With 91 days away from alcohol, (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol free (AF). This weekend is Recovery Elevator’s first ever REgionals! Join us for our online zoom conference this October 23-24th. This event is FREE 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….. After watching the Social Dilemma on Netflix Odette has some thoughts about social media and its place in our lives. She wants us to continue to protect our energy and set boundaries. Talk about it. Uninstall apps, unfollow people, unsubscribe from emails. Turn off notifications. Look for chrome extensions that removed clickbait. Fact check yourself. Delay giving devices to children. Try to have devices out of your bedroom. [11:37] Odette introduces DeeDee. DeeDee lives in Santa Barbara, California and is 29 years old. She lives with her finance and their 2 dogs. For work, DeeDee is the Director of Development for a non-profit. For fun she’s trying to figure that out still, but recently she’s begun crafting again and making candles. [15:50] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking? DeeDee grew up being aware of alcohol because alcoholism runs in her family. Her father got sober 14 years ago. She didn’t drink a lot in high school. When she turned 21, she drank to fit in, but even then, didn’t really like alcohol. In the beginning of 2013, she noticed that she drew a correlation between being loved and being intoxicated. Her partner at the time only expressed love when he was drunk. In 2017 DeeDee realized she was drinking alone. In 2018/2019 she dabbled in sobriety for short periods of time. She got engaged in late 2019 and they used that excuse for more drinking to “celebrate”. [22:11] Did you ever connect the dots of alcohol being a problem in your family and your own drinking? DeeDee said she was in denial for a lot of it. She didn’t know a lot of women who had problems with alcohol, so she rationalized that it was only the men in her family who had a problem. [23:38] Did you and your finance decide together to quit drinking? DeeDee said they came to the conclusion of quitting drinking on their own, but also at the same time. During early sobriety they both experienced different things and she has learned how to set different expectations based on their own individual experiences. [26:28] Tell me about the last 90 days. DeeDee said in the beginning she was very focused on how to live a sober life and what that was going to look like for her. She was seeing changes in her thought patterns. DeeDee focused on finding out why she is the way she is. After a month or so, she began to try and find balance in her life and her recovery. [31:17] How did the conversation go with your father when you told him you weren’t drinking? DeeDee said it happened on May 5th 2020. He’s been incredibly supportive. The conversation was very matter of fact and easy for her. Both her parents were there, and they met her with understanding. [32:52] What do you do when you get a craving? DeeDee said she has more emotional cravings then physical cravings. Seeing people with a glass of wine on a patio on a Friday afternoon makes her want that feeling, not the wine. That connection and relaxation is what she’s looking for. Now she plays the tape forward, knowing that it will not ever just be one glass of wine. Instead now she chooses a different action, be it a walk or a podcast or ice cream. [36:47] What’s your favorite AF drink now? DeeDee said sparkling water and also making a fun mocktails. [38:54] What you been able to identify any emotional triggers? DeeDee said she’s learned that she has emotional triggers when she’s feeling had a difficult day or moment. She wants to sit on the couch and feel like the alcohol is helping her unwind. Leaning her emotions are temporary has b

50 min6 d ago
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RE 296: Swapped the Booze for your Smartphone?

RE 295: Perfectionism Sucks

EBrandon took his last drink October 28, 2018. With 645 days 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….. Now more than ever we need to stay rooted in kindness and live with the belief that people are just doing the best they can. In sobriety Odette has found she can give more grace to others because she is giving herself more grace and compassion. Looking at perfectionism, it doesn’t actually yield perfect results. It instead creates feelings of guilt, shame, stress, addiction, loneliness and isolation. Unsubscribe from perfectionism and just be yourself. Take care of yourself and everything else will take care of itself. And that’s the real gift. [7:08] Odette introduces Brandon. Brandon lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife and son. He’s a social media manager. For fun he likes to go on adventures with his son, he plays music and enjoys being creative. [10:42] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking? Brandon said he started drinking at the age of 21, he wasn’t interested in drinking while growing up. He was focused on sports and playing in bands. His first couple years of drinking he didn’t suffer the usual repercussions. At about 3 years in he began to experience hangovers. College drinking helped him deal with his anxiety. Brandon noticed the years after college he was using alcohol as a crutch. He found himself turning to alcohol for to handle anything that life threw at him. He was trying to show a front of perfectionism while internally struggling so much. [19:24] Did your wife every approach you about your drinking? Brandon said his wife would question sometimes the beer(s) he would have with dinner. He could tell she knew something was wrong. His rock bottom was a Halloween party in 2018 where he drank too much and they had a fight. She was 7 months pregnant and expressed concern about having to do the next stage of life alone. That was enough for him. [29:11] Talk to me more about the time right after you stopped drinking. Brandon said he was prepared for it to be hell but didn’t consider all the other things that go into it. He was open with his wife and friends. He turned to fitness to keep his mind moving. He took things hour by hour and focused just on the moment he was in. Brandon discovered a confidence in himself he didn’t know was there. [35:18] Do you still get cravings? Brandon said no, but there are times where it sounds good to take the edge off with alcohol. [36:27] What’s in your toolbox? Brandon said his wife is his biggest support. The /r/stopdrinking Reddit page. The idea of sharing with others gives him motivation. [39:32] Do you ever get push back from people? Brandon said yes, he does. He feels because he dealt with it silently for so many years, people had a hard time understanding the level of drinking he had come to achieve. [44:57] Rapid Fire Round If you could talk to younger Brandon what would you say? Listen to your parents, don’t try it. What is your go to NA beverage? Sparkling water. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are thinking about ditching the booze? Listen to your gut. What’s in your mind is the truth. There’s no better time than now. You may have to say adios to booze... If you’re in a meeting at 2pm and you’re thinking about what you’re going to drink tonight. Odette’s challenge this week: Try to see yourself differently this week. Be more compassionate when you make a mistake. Give people in your life the benefit of the doubt. Be nice to strangers. Affiliate Link for Endourage: For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit thislinkand 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 FREE for Café RE Members only

49 min1 w ago
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RE 295: Perfectionism Sucks

RE 294: What has Recovery Made Possible for You?

EErin took her last drink May 31, 2019. With 488 days away from alcohol, (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol free (AF). Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding the Better You….. Most long-term decisions have to be rooted in a place of love and not of fear. This applies to recovery and leads to the question, “What has recovery made possible for you?” This question helps to build the bridge from fear to love. Hearing stories of hope from others send out waves of survival. As you share your story, you don’t know who’s listening and how that might change the trajectory of their life. Odette chooses to live in the solution and show others, specifically her family, what’s possible. [6:23] Odette introduces Erin. Erin and her family split time between New Hampshire and Sedona, AZ. She is married with 2 children, ages 1 & 3, she is a stay at home mom. For fun she does yoga, plays with her children, exercises and is getting to know her body. [9:35] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking? Erin said she first took a drink when she was 14. While that drink wasn’t a problem, she began to experiment. The family setting was one where there was drinking and so it was part of what she knew growing up. Her parents separated when she was 17 and she rebelled from there. At 18, she went to the University of New Hampshire, which is a large party school. Drinking was part of the culture and it was just what everyone was doing. Erin can look back now and see how toxic it was, especially for her. [12:03] Can you expand on your college years? Her sophomore year, she tried sobriety. She took some time off college and did a “major health cleanse”. However, when she returned, the habits also returned. She convinced herself she could moderate. [13:14] Did you transition after college into a lifestyle that allowed you to maintain a frequency of binge drinking? Erin said she has lived all over the place and those geographic moves are part of her story with alcohol. With periods of binge drinking and sadness coupled with periods of living with a healthy focus. Looking back, she can see she was running from her feelings and not being able to be with herself. [15:33] What was your style of drinking and did anyone ever approach you about it while you were drinking? Erin said she did surround herself with heavy drinkers so she could ignore the reality, there were also consequences to her drinking. She married her first husband in 2010 and they were divorced in 2012. He would speak to her about her drinking. When they separated, she took herself to her first AA meeting. However, a relapse of Lyme disease and the toll the separation was taking on her, she continued to drink daily. Erin moved with her mother to Sedona, AZ and jumped into the AA community. She would wake up, go to a meeting, go to work at a health center and then come home and get drunk. This was when she saw that alcohol was turning her into 2 completely separate people. [21:00] Tell me about your pregnancy and the last few years. Erin said she got pregnant in 2016 and was able to stay sober through her pregnancy. She felt the highs and lows of pregnancy very severely and not having alcohol to help her numb was part of that. When her daughter was around 3 or 4 months, she convinced herself again she could moderate. She got pregnant with her son and again stayed sober throughout, but the pattern started again in the 4th trimester. In May 2019, she woke up violently ill and that was it. [27:08] Tell me what you do now when you have one of these tough emotions. Erin said she is getting to know herself again as a highly sensitive person (HSP). She taps into a lot of the digital community and is exploring the psychologic makeup of being an empath. She’s learning to lean in and explore the power of breath. [29:40] Did you go back to AA? Erin said she hasn’t gone back to AA yet (busy raising the future!) but has found there are so many options out there

45 min2 w ago
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RE 294: What has Recovery Made Possible for You?

RE 293: Does it Bring you Peace?

ERob took his last drink June 5, 2019. With over one year 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….. When we say no to alcohol, we are saying yes to a better life. Once the alcohol is left behind some people pick back up old hobbies, others go off to do things they thought they would never do. Give yourself some grace when you quit, and you are trying to figure out what you like to do now. Go for it, the possibilities are endless. Is how we are choosing to spend our time after quitting drinking bringing us peace? It becomes our responsibility to protect our peace and also seek peace. [6:22] Odette introduces Rob. Rob is 55 and lives in Littleton, CO. He has been married to his wife for 30 years, they have 2 grown boys. Rob likes adventure sports, specifically motorbike adventuring. He also enjoys hiking, being outdoors. He very much loves what Colorado has to offer. [9:34] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking? Rob said he moved from rural Indiana in 1978 to Denver, CO and that’s when alcohol became a big part of his life. Stemming from his desire to fit into a new school as a kid, he began drinking. He also took a job at a warehouse where the older employees found it funny to corrupt the 15 year old preachers kid. His parents found out and they put a stop to it. He began leading a dual life, the adrenaline seeker mountain climber motorcycle rider vs going to church 5 times a week. On November 11, 2012 his close friend Ted passes away from cancer. Rob didn’t know how to handle those feelings and after this he began drinking at home. By the end he was blacking out 3-5 nights a week. [17:02] Did you ever think to yourself “I might have a drinking problem?” Rob said he didn’t even have that thought. The mentality around the group he was in was “work hard, play hard”. [17:32] After Ted passed, were you conscious of the fact that you were using alcohol to hide the pain? Rob said that never occurred to him until he was in recovery. [19:12] Tell me about after your wife left? Rob said he gained enough clarity that night to realize the choice was alcohol or his marriage. He chose to fight for his marriage and that night was his last drink. That next morning on his drive to work, rather than listening to his usual drive music, he listened to a podcast about recovery. That night he found an AA meeting as well. [25:15] Tell me about the resentment you had and when you felt the shift. Rob said it was a progression for him. He didn’t really find a home until he found Café RE in September 2019. He felt the connections become real. [28:26] Tell me about those first few months after you quit. Rob said at 4 months he had done a lot of the brain work. He was trying to connect to his emotions and doing real work on himself. Then in October 2019, a driver ran a red light and collided with the side of his car going 55 MPH. He suffered a traumatic brain injury. While physically ok, he had to/has to work hard to get back to himself and heal himself, again. [35:00] Do you still get cravings and how do you handle them? Rob said he does still get cravings. And when he does, he goes into his sobriety toolbox. The first thing he does is wait 20 minutes and then he has to figure out why the craving happened. If that doesn’t work he page 84’s his sponsor. This means: working the steps in your everyday life. [39:16] Do you ever get push back from people when you tell them you don’t drink? Rob said no one gives him push back. [40:33] Rapid Fire Round What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey? That first night at AA, I’m ok and I’m not alone. If you could talk to day 1 Rob, what would you say? 10 deep breaths and give yourself a big hug. What are you excited about right now? Butt Burner Gold which is 1500 miles in 24 hours on a motorcycle. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are thinking about

45 min3 w ago
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RE 293: Does it Bring you Peace?

RE 292: Navigating the Storm

EWill took his last drink April 10, 2018. With just over 2 years 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….. Navigating through tough times. Removing alcohol allows you to actually do something about a problem, however sometimes without alcohol in front of it, a problem can present more clearly. It’s hard to do the hard thing and easy to pretend our problems aren’t really there. We have a choice to accept the problem (the storm) as it presents itself and its aftereffects as part of a life without alcohol. [7:01] Odette introduces Will. Will is 43 and lives in Queens, NY. He’s an IT consultant and married with a dog. For fun he loves to be outdoors, surfing, live music, cooking, biking, running and traveling. [9:34] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking? Will said he was 12 when he has his first drink on vacation, but he considers his real entrance to alcohol was around the age of 15. It dissolved the anxiety he felt in social situations. In college he went full force into drinking and it quickly became a daily habit. He sought out others who drank like he did. [12:57] Were you a high performer in school? Will said alcohol did impact his school work. He had no direction for what he wanted to do the rest of his life. He found himself drinking in exchange for doing things he loved. [14:22] What happened after college? Will said followed a band he loved around the country and fully fell into the drinking and partying culture. [16:18] Did you ever question your drinking? Will said no, because he had surrounded himself with a culture of drinking and partying. So, he was around it and it was normalized within his circle. [18:23] Walk me through your next life chapter? Will said he moved to Washington state with his now wife and went back to school. There was less drinking, and he was able to focus on his schoolwork and life. He found some balance mixed in with the pockets of crazy times. Once he finished school he moved back to New York and began work, but also was staying out late drinking. He noticed the change in his physical alcohol dependance at this moment. [22:34] Did you introduce moderation rules? Will said he attempted moderation at home and it simply evaporated over time. [23:21] Did you start having conversations with your wife about this? Will said him and his wife were both “in it” at the time. (She is also now in recovery.) There was enabling happening and it was difficult to navigate. [24:05] Did you have a rock bottom? Will said he sought out a doctor to prescribe him something to help him get through the physical dependency. However, looking back, that was just another layer onto addiction. This went on for years with a chaotic life and drinking. He sought treatment after two friends expressed concern in 2016. He did a 28-day inpatient program. While he wasn’t ready fully for recovery, but at the same time wanted to change his life. He made it through but relapsed within 60 days. [29:14] Walk me through 2016 – 2018. Will said he was trying in those two years, but it seemed impossible. While he was in and out of the AA rooms, he wasn’t doing the work that he was told was needed. April 10, 2018, he entered a detox again after 3 days of a mental psychosis. [33:13] What changed this time? Will said there was enough pain in his life, he realized he needed to make a change. [34:30] Do you still get cravings? Will said not really, he gets fleeting thoughts. [34:40] What your biggest way of coping with uncomfortable feelings? Will said you get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Once he started to take his sobriety seriously, he accepted the program he was being told to work. He can now make sense of his feelings without alcohol numbing them down. There’s purpose in the struggles we go through. [37:45] Have you healed the nerve damage in your feet at all? Will said the rest of his body has h

50 minSEP 21
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RE 292: Navigating the Storm

RE 291: Do Better

EKevin 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 recove

46 minSEP 14
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RE 291: Do Better

RE 290: Let's Not Label This a Problem

ETaylor 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

64 minSEP 7
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RE 290: Let's Not Label This a Problem

RE 289: Co-occurring Issues

EEarly 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 a

42 minAUG 31
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RE 289: Co-occurring Issues

RE 288: AF Drink Options With Gruvi

EAnika 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

42 minAUG 24
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RE 288: AF Drink Options With Gruvi

RE 287: Should We Be Drinking Less?

EAlan 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 D

51 minAUG 17
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RE 287: Should We Be Drinking Less?

Latest Episodes

RE 296: Swapped the Booze for your Smartphone?

EDeeDee took her last drink May 5, 2020. With 91 days away from alcohol, (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol free (AF). This weekend is Recovery Elevator’s first ever REgionals! Join us for our online zoom conference this October 23-24th. This event is FREE 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….. After watching the Social Dilemma on Netflix Odette has some thoughts about social media and its place in our lives. She wants us to continue to protect our energy and set boundaries. Talk about it. Uninstall apps, unfollow people, unsubscribe from emails. Turn off notifications. Look for chrome extensions that removed clickbait. Fact check yourself. Delay giving devices to children. Try to have devices out of your bedroom. [11:37] Odette introduces DeeDee. DeeDee lives in Santa Barbara, California and is 29 years old. She lives with her finance and their 2 dogs. For work, DeeDee is the Director of Development for a non-profit. For fun she’s trying to figure that out still, but recently she’s begun crafting again and making candles. [15:50] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking? DeeDee grew up being aware of alcohol because alcoholism runs in her family. Her father got sober 14 years ago. She didn’t drink a lot in high school. When she turned 21, she drank to fit in, but even then, didn’t really like alcohol. In the beginning of 2013, she noticed that she drew a correlation between being loved and being intoxicated. Her partner at the time only expressed love when he was drunk. In 2017 DeeDee realized she was drinking alone. In 2018/2019 she dabbled in sobriety for short periods of time. She got engaged in late 2019 and they used that excuse for more drinking to “celebrate”. [22:11] Did you ever connect the dots of alcohol being a problem in your family and your own drinking? DeeDee said she was in denial for a lot of it. She didn’t know a lot of women who had problems with alcohol, so she rationalized that it was only the men in her family who had a problem. [23:38] Did you and your finance decide together to quit drinking? DeeDee said they came to the conclusion of quitting drinking on their own, but also at the same time. During early sobriety they both experienced different things and she has learned how to set different expectations based on their own individual experiences. [26:28] Tell me about the last 90 days. DeeDee said in the beginning she was very focused on how to live a sober life and what that was going to look like for her. She was seeing changes in her thought patterns. DeeDee focused on finding out why she is the way she is. After a month or so, she began to try and find balance in her life and her recovery. [31:17] How did the conversation go with your father when you told him you weren’t drinking? DeeDee said it happened on May 5th 2020. He’s been incredibly supportive. The conversation was very matter of fact and easy for her. Both her parents were there, and they met her with understanding. [32:52] What do you do when you get a craving? DeeDee said she has more emotional cravings then physical cravings. Seeing people with a glass of wine on a patio on a Friday afternoon makes her want that feeling, not the wine. That connection and relaxation is what she’s looking for. Now she plays the tape forward, knowing that it will not ever just be one glass of wine. Instead now she chooses a different action, be it a walk or a podcast or ice cream. [36:47] What’s your favorite AF drink now? DeeDee said sparkling water and also making a fun mocktails. [38:54] What you been able to identify any emotional triggers? DeeDee said she’s learned that she has emotional triggers when she’s feeling had a difficult day or moment. She wants to sit on the couch and feel like the alcohol is helping her unwind. Leaning her emotions are temporary has b

50 min6 d ago
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RE 296: Swapped the Booze for your Smartphone?

RE 295: Perfectionism Sucks

EBrandon took his last drink October 28, 2018. With 645 days 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….. Now more than ever we need to stay rooted in kindness and live with the belief that people are just doing the best they can. In sobriety Odette has found she can give more grace to others because she is giving herself more grace and compassion. Looking at perfectionism, it doesn’t actually yield perfect results. It instead creates feelings of guilt, shame, stress, addiction, loneliness and isolation. Unsubscribe from perfectionism and just be yourself. Take care of yourself and everything else will take care of itself. And that’s the real gift. [7:08] Odette introduces Brandon. Brandon lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife and son. He’s a social media manager. For fun he likes to go on adventures with his son, he plays music and enjoys being creative. [10:42] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking? Brandon said he started drinking at the age of 21, he wasn’t interested in drinking while growing up. He was focused on sports and playing in bands. His first couple years of drinking he didn’t suffer the usual repercussions. At about 3 years in he began to experience hangovers. College drinking helped him deal with his anxiety. Brandon noticed the years after college he was using alcohol as a crutch. He found himself turning to alcohol for to handle anything that life threw at him. He was trying to show a front of perfectionism while internally struggling so much. [19:24] Did your wife every approach you about your drinking? Brandon said his wife would question sometimes the beer(s) he would have with dinner. He could tell she knew something was wrong. His rock bottom was a Halloween party in 2018 where he drank too much and they had a fight. She was 7 months pregnant and expressed concern about having to do the next stage of life alone. That was enough for him. [29:11] Talk to me more about the time right after you stopped drinking. Brandon said he was prepared for it to be hell but didn’t consider all the other things that go into it. He was open with his wife and friends. He turned to fitness to keep his mind moving. He took things hour by hour and focused just on the moment he was in. Brandon discovered a confidence in himself he didn’t know was there. [35:18] Do you still get cravings? Brandon said no, but there are times where it sounds good to take the edge off with alcohol. [36:27] What’s in your toolbox? Brandon said his wife is his biggest support. The /r/stopdrinking Reddit page. The idea of sharing with others gives him motivation. [39:32] Do you ever get push back from people? Brandon said yes, he does. He feels because he dealt with it silently for so many years, people had a hard time understanding the level of drinking he had come to achieve. [44:57] Rapid Fire Round If you could talk to younger Brandon what would you say? Listen to your parents, don’t try it. What is your go to NA beverage? Sparkling water. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are thinking about ditching the booze? Listen to your gut. What’s in your mind is the truth. There’s no better time than now. You may have to say adios to booze... If you’re in a meeting at 2pm and you’re thinking about what you’re going to drink tonight. Odette’s challenge this week: Try to see yourself differently this week. Be more compassionate when you make a mistake. Give people in your life the benefit of the doubt. Be nice to strangers. Affiliate Link for Endourage: For 10% off your first CBD order with Endourage visit thislinkand 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 FREE for Café RE Members only

49 min1 w ago
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RE 295: Perfectionism Sucks

RE 294: What has Recovery Made Possible for You?

EErin took her last drink May 31, 2019. With 488 days away from alcohol, (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol free (AF). Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding the Better You….. Most long-term decisions have to be rooted in a place of love and not of fear. This applies to recovery and leads to the question, “What has recovery made possible for you?” This question helps to build the bridge from fear to love. Hearing stories of hope from others send out waves of survival. As you share your story, you don’t know who’s listening and how that might change the trajectory of their life. Odette chooses to live in the solution and show others, specifically her family, what’s possible. [6:23] Odette introduces Erin. Erin and her family split time between New Hampshire and Sedona, AZ. She is married with 2 children, ages 1 & 3, she is a stay at home mom. For fun she does yoga, plays with her children, exercises and is getting to know her body. [9:35] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking? Erin said she first took a drink when she was 14. While that drink wasn’t a problem, she began to experiment. The family setting was one where there was drinking and so it was part of what she knew growing up. Her parents separated when she was 17 and she rebelled from there. At 18, she went to the University of New Hampshire, which is a large party school. Drinking was part of the culture and it was just what everyone was doing. Erin can look back now and see how toxic it was, especially for her. [12:03] Can you expand on your college years? Her sophomore year, she tried sobriety. She took some time off college and did a “major health cleanse”. However, when she returned, the habits also returned. She convinced herself she could moderate. [13:14] Did you transition after college into a lifestyle that allowed you to maintain a frequency of binge drinking? Erin said she has lived all over the place and those geographic moves are part of her story with alcohol. With periods of binge drinking and sadness coupled with periods of living with a healthy focus. Looking back, she can see she was running from her feelings and not being able to be with herself. [15:33] What was your style of drinking and did anyone ever approach you about it while you were drinking? Erin said she did surround herself with heavy drinkers so she could ignore the reality, there were also consequences to her drinking. She married her first husband in 2010 and they were divorced in 2012. He would speak to her about her drinking. When they separated, she took herself to her first AA meeting. However, a relapse of Lyme disease and the toll the separation was taking on her, she continued to drink daily. Erin moved with her mother to Sedona, AZ and jumped into the AA community. She would wake up, go to a meeting, go to work at a health center and then come home and get drunk. This was when she saw that alcohol was turning her into 2 completely separate people. [21:00] Tell me about your pregnancy and the last few years. Erin said she got pregnant in 2016 and was able to stay sober through her pregnancy. She felt the highs and lows of pregnancy very severely and not having alcohol to help her numb was part of that. When her daughter was around 3 or 4 months, she convinced herself again she could moderate. She got pregnant with her son and again stayed sober throughout, but the pattern started again in the 4th trimester. In May 2019, she woke up violently ill and that was it. [27:08] Tell me what you do now when you have one of these tough emotions. Erin said she is getting to know herself again as a highly sensitive person (HSP). She taps into a lot of the digital community and is exploring the psychologic makeup of being an empath. She’s learning to lean in and explore the power of breath. [29:40] Did you go back to AA? Erin said she hasn’t gone back to AA yet (busy raising the future!) but has found there are so many options out there

45 min2 w ago
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RE 294: What has Recovery Made Possible for You?

RE 293: Does it Bring you Peace?

ERob took his last drink June 5, 2019. With over one year 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….. When we say no to alcohol, we are saying yes to a better life. Once the alcohol is left behind some people pick back up old hobbies, others go off to do things they thought they would never do. Give yourself some grace when you quit, and you are trying to figure out what you like to do now. Go for it, the possibilities are endless. Is how we are choosing to spend our time after quitting drinking bringing us peace? It becomes our responsibility to protect our peace and also seek peace. [6:22] Odette introduces Rob. Rob is 55 and lives in Littleton, CO. He has been married to his wife for 30 years, they have 2 grown boys. Rob likes adventure sports, specifically motorbike adventuring. He also enjoys hiking, being outdoors. He very much loves what Colorado has to offer. [9:34] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking? Rob said he moved from rural Indiana in 1978 to Denver, CO and that’s when alcohol became a big part of his life. Stemming from his desire to fit into a new school as a kid, he began drinking. He also took a job at a warehouse where the older employees found it funny to corrupt the 15 year old preachers kid. His parents found out and they put a stop to it. He began leading a dual life, the adrenaline seeker mountain climber motorcycle rider vs going to church 5 times a week. On November 11, 2012 his close friend Ted passes away from cancer. Rob didn’t know how to handle those feelings and after this he began drinking at home. By the end he was blacking out 3-5 nights a week. [17:02] Did you ever think to yourself “I might have a drinking problem?” Rob said he didn’t even have that thought. The mentality around the group he was in was “work hard, play hard”. [17:32] After Ted passed, were you conscious of the fact that you were using alcohol to hide the pain? Rob said that never occurred to him until he was in recovery. [19:12] Tell me about after your wife left? Rob said he gained enough clarity that night to realize the choice was alcohol or his marriage. He chose to fight for his marriage and that night was his last drink. That next morning on his drive to work, rather than listening to his usual drive music, he listened to a podcast about recovery. That night he found an AA meeting as well. [25:15] Tell me about the resentment you had and when you felt the shift. Rob said it was a progression for him. He didn’t really find a home until he found Café RE in September 2019. He felt the connections become real. [28:26] Tell me about those first few months after you quit. Rob said at 4 months he had done a lot of the brain work. He was trying to connect to his emotions and doing real work on himself. Then in October 2019, a driver ran a red light and collided with the side of his car going 55 MPH. He suffered a traumatic brain injury. While physically ok, he had to/has to work hard to get back to himself and heal himself, again. [35:00] Do you still get cravings and how do you handle them? Rob said he does still get cravings. And when he does, he goes into his sobriety toolbox. The first thing he does is wait 20 minutes and then he has to figure out why the craving happened. If that doesn’t work he page 84’s his sponsor. This means: working the steps in your everyday life. [39:16] Do you ever get push back from people when you tell them you don’t drink? Rob said no one gives him push back. [40:33] Rapid Fire Round What is a lightbulb moment you’ve had on this journey? That first night at AA, I’m ok and I’m not alone. If you could talk to day 1 Rob, what would you say? 10 deep breaths and give yourself a big hug. What are you excited about right now? Butt Burner Gold which is 1500 miles in 24 hours on a motorcycle. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are thinking about

45 min3 w ago
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RE 293: Does it Bring you Peace?

RE 292: Navigating the Storm

EWill took his last drink April 10, 2018. With just over 2 years 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….. Navigating through tough times. Removing alcohol allows you to actually do something about a problem, however sometimes without alcohol in front of it, a problem can present more clearly. It’s hard to do the hard thing and easy to pretend our problems aren’t really there. We have a choice to accept the problem (the storm) as it presents itself and its aftereffects as part of a life without alcohol. [7:01] Odette introduces Will. Will is 43 and lives in Queens, NY. He’s an IT consultant and married with a dog. For fun he loves to be outdoors, surfing, live music, cooking, biking, running and traveling. [9:34] Can you give listeners some background on your drinking? Will said he was 12 when he has his first drink on vacation, but he considers his real entrance to alcohol was around the age of 15. It dissolved the anxiety he felt in social situations. In college he went full force into drinking and it quickly became a daily habit. He sought out others who drank like he did. [12:57] Were you a high performer in school? Will said alcohol did impact his school work. He had no direction for what he wanted to do the rest of his life. He found himself drinking in exchange for doing things he loved. [14:22] What happened after college? Will said followed a band he loved around the country and fully fell into the drinking and partying culture. [16:18] Did you ever question your drinking? Will said no, because he had surrounded himself with a culture of drinking and partying. So, he was around it and it was normalized within his circle. [18:23] Walk me through your next life chapter? Will said he moved to Washington state with his now wife and went back to school. There was less drinking, and he was able to focus on his schoolwork and life. He found some balance mixed in with the pockets of crazy times. Once he finished school he moved back to New York and began work, but also was staying out late drinking. He noticed the change in his physical alcohol dependance at this moment. [22:34] Did you introduce moderation rules? Will said he attempted moderation at home and it simply evaporated over time. [23:21] Did you start having conversations with your wife about this? Will said him and his wife were both “in it” at the time. (She is also now in recovery.) There was enabling happening and it was difficult to navigate. [24:05] Did you have a rock bottom? Will said he sought out a doctor to prescribe him something to help him get through the physical dependency. However, looking back, that was just another layer onto addiction. This went on for years with a chaotic life and drinking. He sought treatment after two friends expressed concern in 2016. He did a 28-day inpatient program. While he wasn’t ready fully for recovery, but at the same time wanted to change his life. He made it through but relapsed within 60 days. [29:14] Walk me through 2016 – 2018. Will said he was trying in those two years, but it seemed impossible. While he was in and out of the AA rooms, he wasn’t doing the work that he was told was needed. April 10, 2018, he entered a detox again after 3 days of a mental psychosis. [33:13] What changed this time? Will said there was enough pain in his life, he realized he needed to make a change. [34:30] Do you still get cravings? Will said not really, he gets fleeting thoughts. [34:40] What your biggest way of coping with uncomfortable feelings? Will said you get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Once he started to take his sobriety seriously, he accepted the program he was being told to work. He can now make sense of his feelings without alcohol numbing them down. There’s purpose in the struggles we go through. [37:45] Have you healed the nerve damage in your feet at all? Will said the rest of his body has h

50 minSEP 21
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RE 292: Navigating the Storm

RE 291: Do Better

EKevin 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 recove

46 minSEP 14
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RE 291: Do Better

RE 290: Let's Not Label This a Problem

ETaylor 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

64 minSEP 7
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RE 290: Let's Not Label This a Problem

RE 289: Co-occurring Issues

EEarly 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 a

42 minAUG 31
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RE 289: Co-occurring Issues

RE 288: AF Drink Options With Gruvi

EAnika 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

42 minAUG 24
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RE 288: AF Drink Options With Gruvi

RE 287: Should We Be Drinking Less?

EAlan 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 D

51 minAUG 17
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RE 287: Should We Be Drinking Less?
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