RE 266: Rule 22

RE 266: Rule 22

Renee took her last drink January 2, 2020.  This is her story.

If you have ever wanted to attend a Recovery Elevator event you should get yourself to Denver in June for the Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind – June 11-14th, 2020.  This event will be, essentially, the closeout event for Recovery Elevator.  You can find more information about our event here.

On today’s episode Paul talks about Rule 22.  What it is.  Why it is important to make this rule a part of your life ASAP.

Rule 22 = Lighten up.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Laughter really is the best medicine.  Life is never as serious as the mind wants us to believe.


[12:00] Paul introduces Renee. 


Renee is 40 years old and live in Greendale, WI.  She is a hair stylist and is currently working at a children’s hair salon.  She is married and they have 2 kids, a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old.  Renee also has a 20-year-old son from a previous relationship.  For fun Renee likes to hike, camp, go on vacations, paddleboard and jigsaw puzzles.


[17:25] Give us a background on your drinking.


Renee started drinking as a teenager, around the age of 15.  She says she did it to fit in and have fun.  She met her husband, in a bar, in her early 20s and they pretty much drank together every weekend.  It wasn’t until 2007 that Renee started drinking more than just on the weekends.  After getting married they were drinking 3-4 days out of the week.  Renee got pregnant early on and while she couldn’t drink due to being pregnant, her husband continued to drink.  That made Renee mad because she wanted to drink.  Renee did start drinking again, in the hospital, after giving birth to her children.



[20:30] Was drinking again, as soon as you had your baby, something that you had pre-planned? 


Renee said she could not wait to drink after her baby was born.    She did the same exact thing during and after her 2nd pregnancy a few years later.


[24:18] Why do you think your husband came clean about his drinking?    


Renee said he told her because he couldn’t do it anymore.


[24:40] What was your response?


Renee was pissed off when he first told her.


[28:35] When did you both recognize that alcohol was almost the driving divider?


Renee says it was in October of 2019 when her husband told her about his drinking.  They started to put all the pieces together and realized that everything bad that had happened between them was caused by alcohol, in some way, or somehow.    


[30:40] Has there been a moment when one of you was about to drink and you had that conversation where you lean on each other, and you both made it through?


Renee said yes, that there had been a couple of those moments.


[30:05] Was January 2 a planned date?


Renee said yes, it was a planned date.  She went to work that day and was cutting hair with shaky hands.


[35:40] How did you get through the last 45 days? 


Renee says that they bought a new treadmill, have been binge watching Netflix, just finding things to keep their minds off of it.  But that it was really hard at first.


[38:53] How has working with a counselor helped with your anxiety and depression?


Renee says it helped a lot.  She didn’t have any anxiety after the first couple weeks.  It just started to get a little better and better until now, when she says she has none.   


[40:40] Rapid Fire Round


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


I realized that alcohol has basically affected everything in my life.


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


Recently we got a lot of snow here and we took the kids sledding.


  1. What is some advice you’d give to your younger self?


To try and surround myself with people who aren’t party people.


  1. What are some of your favorite resources?


Well definitely your podcast, lots of reading.


  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?


We want to do a lot more traveling.


  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give to listeners?


If you are thinking about drinking, or if you are thinking that you drink too much, you probably do.


You might need to ditch the booze if…


You do a drunken cartwheel and wake up in the morning to find your whole hand is black and blue because you broke your middle finger.



Upcoming Events and Retreats.

Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind – in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

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!


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


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


Holiday Survival Guide: Tips and Tricks 

Holiday Survival Guide: Tips and Tricks 

A special holiday bonus blog from one of our Café RE members!  

Holiday Survival Guide: Tips and Tricks

By: Adrienne (Café RE GO)

The holidays are coming and everyone is drinking….Sending out an SMS (Save My Sobriety)!! 

We’ve all been there. The annual holidays set in and the only non-drinkers are you and the kids! 

The question you may be asking yourself is…

How do I stay strong when the holiday vibe is booming and everyone is in party mode celebrating all that we have to be grateful for?” 

To reframe this question I would ask…

How do I honor myself and my goals of sobriety in this time of annual appreciation for myself and my loved ones?” 

How do I want to celebrate in a way that is relaxing, Fun (Rule 22 here from Café RE), and supports me feeling great in the moment and the following day?

Play the tape forward and then imagine yourself remembering the gathering; how do you want that to look or feel? 

What tools will I bring with me to keep me accountable to the life I want to live? (The tools are different for everyone.)


For me, I bring my smartphone so I can stay close to my supports (Café RE peeps).  I bring AF drinks (Athletic Brewing Co., Run Wild NA beer is a favorite).  I bring an open mind.  I’ve even brought my list of my why’s before tucked in a back pocket.  And I bring an exit plan. The exit plan is my trap door and it’s a must. This could include me just leaving the party without saying I’m doing so, I may tell someone close to me that I’m out, or I may do the long goodbye; you know the one with all the hugging :). 

What do I say if they offer me a drink or ask why I’m not drinking? There are several ways to come at this.


You can bring your own drinks, if it’s an AF beer odds are they won’t even notice that you aren’t actually drinking the poison (I’ve tested this one out).  If offered a drink; “sure I’ll have a water”. 

If further probing into why you aren’t drinking stick to the facts.  You could say your not drinking anymore, you could say you are driving, you could say you aren’t drinking tonight.  The secret to this scenario is you are more invested in what’s going on with your path than they are.  Most people don’t really want the laundry list of your alcohol history.  They want to know, are you in or are you out.   Odds are they won’t even care what your ingesting once they are in the haze.

If things get awkward change the subject, use the bathroom to regroup, put your needs first, and if all else fails…trap door my friend. 

Buuuuut….What if they think I’m boring?. First, who are they specifically? Is there really a they or is it just your inner dialogue trying to sabotage you with old thought patterns?


Listen….YOU ARE NOT BORING! You are your beautiful, authentic, one and only self! Sober life is anything but boring. 


Buuuuut…What if they think I’m judging them or they are bummed I won’t drink with them? 

Oh that’s right, the people pleasing!

I know it well friends. If I do the thing they want then they will like me, think I’m cool, and/or want to hang out with me.

Maybe that’s all true, but is it worth compromising your own comfort for theirs?

In the moment this may be uncomfortable but I’m asking you to stay with it. Exposure to our fears/triggers and staying the course is important field work to success. Every time you overcome a situation with your own tools for change and growth you get stronger! Each time you succeed you are gaining experience to draw from that proves that you can navigate life and socialize sober! You learn who is an ally in your life, who to put your energy toward, and who you want to develop relationships with. 

On this holiday season my wish for you is that you put your needs first, protect your sobriety, be gentle with yourself, and please listen and honor yourself. I hope you find all the joy that exists with your family and friends 

Happy Holidays!

RE 307: 2021-The Year We Say F— You Booze

RE 307: 2021-The Year We Say F— You Booze

Chris took his last drink about 6 years ago. This is his story of living alcohol free (AF).



Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding Your Better You



A few weeks ago, Elle published an article titled “The Year of Drinking Dangerously” which explored how alcohol in 2020 was front and center. Alcohol effects everything in our society and it’s time we got serious and brought these issues to light. Alcohol is a drug that has been glamorized.  2020 taught Odette that she has grit, that she can speak up about things that matter to her, that she doesn’t have to be a people pleaser, to name a few. She is pledging to make 2021 the year where Recovery Elevator changes even more lives through unmasking alcohol. As more and more people are questioning their relationship with alcohol… LETS KEEP GOING.




[7:10] Odette introduces Chris.



Chris is 33 years old, originally from New Jersey and right now lives in Savannah, GA. His career began in finance, as he quit drinking, he transitioned to being a personal trainer. He also began a blog, writing the articles he wished he could have read when questioning his own drinking. This became his website and he now is a alcohol recovery coach and has a podcast related to sobriety. He likes to be physically active. Chris also has two dogs he rescued in 2020.



[16:57] Can you give listeners some background on your story?



Chris started drinking in high school but wasn’t really a partier. He was mostly into swimming and studying. However, when he did go out, he realized he could out drink all his friends. As he moved into an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, he felt like he was living a double life. Alcohol was the opposite of everything he stood for. Looking back he can see that he would have withdrawal symptoms at the age of 20 when he didn’t drink. When he left college and began working, the drinking was now just martinis and more expensive. When he did finally quit, he had to go to detox. Through his research he learned that he had been out of balance with his nutrients which alcohol only exacerbated.



[25:21] How aware were you that alcohol was the problem?


Chris said he was in deep denial, with outbursts of honesty. A story he tells is standing outside a liquor store one morning waiting for it to open while drinking from a bottle of water he had filled with vodka. He thought to himself “this isn’t normal.” Chris felt he was special because of that he needed to drink to deal with people and jobs. Alcohol to him was a performance enhancing drug.



[30:47] Tell me about those first couple months.


Chris said once he admitted to others that alcohol was a problem, he felt some inner peace and relief. He also felt the tug of war in his brain, would this be purgatory and him having to be a saint the rest of his life? Chris took the leap of faith that he would figure out what needed to be done. In rehab he began doing meditation and that opened his eyes to the fact that you can have a fulfilled life away from alcohol. Fueling his body helped him see the world in full color.



[39:35] What are simple tips help you restore your body balance?


Chris said there are two main factors: Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and deficiencies in neurotransmitters. Start with a daily multivitamin and look into amino acid therapy. L Glutamine can be helpful in repairing muscles and gut health. It also turned into glucose in the brain without a spike in blood sugar.

* always speak to your doctor before beginning any regiment.



[44:52] Sleep


Chris said he’s recently read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. Chris had always had trouble sleeping and he’s now trying to optimize his sleep. He tracks his sleep and tries to get to the bottom of why his sleep pattern might have changed. Chris recommends the power of tea and drinking tea to find a blissed-out state. There’s a whole universe of benign things that can help with the psychological distraction.



[50:39] Rapid Fire Round


  1. What would you say to your younger self?

Don’t drink alcohol.


  1. What has recovery made possible?

Deeper relationships and be present with people.


  1. What’s your favorite ice cream flavour?

Talenti Mediterranean Mint


  1. What book are you reading right now?

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor


  1. What parting piece of guidance would you give to listeners thinking about ditching the booze?

Try to solidify your support system and figure out how you can confide in. Don’t assume you will feel as bad as you think you will without the alcohol.



You may have to say adios to booze if…


you find yourself outside a liquor store before it opens with a bottle of water refilled with vodka.




Odette’s weekly challenge:


Did you reflect on who you are trying to become? Please don’t shy away from what your heart is telling you that you deserve.


Upcoming events, retreats and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events


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.


The book, Alcohol is SH!T, is out. Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here! You can get the Audible version here!



Connect with Cafe RE – Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

Recovery Elevator YouTubeSubscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

Sober Selfies! – Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to  –


“Recovery Elevator – Let’s continue to be trail blazers- I love you guys”

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