RE 281: Rewriting Memos

Sara took her last drink on December 02, 2018. With 18 months sober (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).

 

Odette opens today talking about re-writing memos. Take a look at the memos you write to yourself every day. Those memos we repeat to ourselves as fact. There are thousands of stories we have written as memos in our lives. Odette encourages us to take out a sharpie and re-write the memo. Change your mind, change your opinion.

 

[6:24] Odette introduces Sara.

 

Sara lives just outside Minneapolis, MN. She is 37 years old, married, and has one daughter. They just adopted a puppy. She works in communications and for fun she likes to go for hikes and walks with friends, hang out with her daughter and eat her husband’s food (he’s a great cook!).

 

[12:58] Can you give listeners a background on your drinking?

 

Sara said she didn’t drink in High School. She went to a party school for college and started to binge drink on weekends. When she first started drinking, she liked the permission that alcohol gave her to be extroverted. Towards the end of her 20s the binge drinking tapered off, but that was when she began daily drinking, first a couple of glasses of wine on the weekend, soon became 7 days a week. While she quit when pregnant with her daughter, she did feel deprived. And once her daughter was born the daily drinking quickly resumed. The anxiety resumed in full force and because Sara didn’t feel like she had a problem with a capital P, this was all normal.

December 2, 2018, Sara found a book by Annie Grace and went from never considering quitting, to leaving alcohol behind all in the same day.

 

[20:16] How was it early in your journey?

 

Sara said at first she cried once the decision was made. She allowed herself to grieve the loss while at the same time being excited. The first 1-3 days she practiced going into social situations, being right before the holidays she had lots of opportunities to practice. Sara always had a treat for herself to keep the feelings of deprivation at bay.

 

[30:43] How was the dynamic with your husband? Did you burn the ships immediately?

 

Sara said she told her husband right away. She thinks he didn’t believe her at first, she wouldn’t have believed herself at first either! However, he was supportive of her decision. Sara experienced some guilt when she stopped drinking because she felt like she was taking away something from him that was an activity they enjoyed together. They had to work to find new things to connect over.

 

[35:04] What’s in your recovery toolbelt these days?

 

Social connection is the #1 action item in her toolbelt. Sara said that she walks with her friends, she needs face to face meetups. Sobriety podcasts are 2nd. They keep her motivation up. And 3rd is “No treat is off-limits.” Sara knows that she has to protect her sobriety at all costs. She also uses meditation to monitor and identify uncomfortable feelings inside.

 

 

[40:37] If you could talk to Day 1 Sara, what would you say to her?

 

This is going to teach you more about yourself than you ever thought you could learn. It will be worth the challenges.

 

 

[40:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

The awkwardness you feel at the beginning of any social gathering will be gone in 15 minutes whether or not you drink.

 

  1. What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?

 

Remembering Christmas Eve and making memories with their friends and the kids.

 

  1. What are you excited about right now?

 

The upcoming summer in Minnesota. Casual family time.

 

 

 

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

 

Don’t cut out alcohol without adding in other things you’re excited about.

 

 

You may need to ditch the booze if…

 

If you download a habit tracking app to make sure you’re sticking to your allotted amount of alcohol per day. And when it tells you that you’re over, you just delete the app instead of questioning the habit.

 

Odette’s challenge this week:

Write down 10 negative memos that come to mind. Don’t think about them too much, just write them down. Then re-frame and re-write them and keep them close. Read them often and remind yourself of your power. Share on Instagram and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five! Or email them to odette@recoveryelevator.com

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze – The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events

 

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

 

Resources:

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – Let’s walk this path and let’s walk it together – we love you guys,”

RE 280: Prepping for an Alcohol Free 4th of July

Hannah took her last drink on April 16, 2020. With 45 days sober (at the time of recording) this is her story of living alcohol-free (AF).

 

Paul has created a new meditation. It’s 20 minutes long and is specifically geared towards cravings. You can get it here for free.

 

Odette opens talking about the upcoming long weekend, which is the 4th of July. She asks “how can we leverage the current state of the world / the current pandemic and our desire to not drink this upcoming holiday weekend?” A celebration that is centered around food and also drinking, what does this mean for our own choices. There is an assumed permission slip that allows you to start drinking at whatever time you want. Given the state of the world and smaller gatherings happening, it might prove to be easier to not drink.

 

Here’s a list of how to not drink this weekend

  • Bring your own drinks, make it special!
  • Tell someone you don’t want to drink. It’s ok to ask for help
  • Let yourself have fun.
  • Have one goal for the day- Don’t drink.
  • Leave if you’re uncomfortable.

 

[9:00] Odette introduces Hannah.

 

Hannah lives in Las Vegas. She is 30 years old. She has worked in the medical field in the past but will begin teaching soon. For fun recently she’s been doing puzzles. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and working out.

 

[12:33] How have you been feeling in these early days?

 

Hannah said she previously had some time away from alcohol under her belt but had started drinking again. So, she was prepared for stopping again. This time it was emotional, but no physical withdrawal symptoms. She feels good and is looking forward to this path.

 

[14:12] What happened that made you decide to drink again?

 

Hannah said in January 2019 she tried to do dry January again, but only made it about 15 days. She restarted February 1st and this lasted for her until almost September. While she was for a time able to moderate her drinking, once quarantine began the drinking became a daily thing and she was feeling pretty awful, mentally, and physically.

 

[16:02] What started you on this path to wanting to live AF? What’s your drinking background?

 

Hannah said she took her first drink around 14 or 15. When she was 17, she lost her mother to addiction and alcohol became her outlet to escape. She had a year of partying harder than any teenager should have. Two weeks after she turned 18, she found out she was pregnant and sobered up, promising her child a better life. She did eventually return to alcohol. While she was succeeding on the outside, she was drinking a lot. Around 25 years old she was experiencing high anxiety and was noticing how alcohol wasn’t serving her.

 

[20:38] Did you have a rock bottom moment or what pushed you to take action?

 

Hannah said there wasn’t a true rock bottom moment, but there were a lot of moments that weren’t the smartest: falling, driving drunk, drunk injuries. It was just the understanding that alcohol was what was causing her to feel bad all the time. The shame spiral was real.

The end of 2018 was a heavy drinking period for Hannah and she did 15 days of dry January 2019 but drank. And in February 2019 was her first attempt at living AF.

 

[28:07] Does your son notice the difference in you drinking vs not drinking?

 

Hannah said he hasn’t ever said anything directly, but she knows he noticed when she was drinking in the past. As he gets older she wants to share more with him about her stopping drinking.

 

[30:26] Walk us through a day in your life now. What’s in your recovery toolbox?

 

Hannah said that she tries to wake up and get a workout in before work. Waking up early and doing something for herself helps make her day better. This also helps her identify her emotions for the day. After work she and her boyfriend will cook, listen to audiobooks, keeping herself busy is important.

 

[32:28] Has it been easy having an honest conversation with your boyfriend about your drinking? (Her boyfriend still drinks)

 

Hannah said it’s been difficult; she was emotional in the beginning when she first stopped drinking and had to watch him drink a beer or two. He however has been very supportive. He checks in with her and is often the sober person with her. They no longer keep alcohol in the house.

 

[34:59] What’s your favorite NA drink?

 

Pamplemousse La Croix.

 

[35:25] What have you learned about yourself in this journey?

 

Hannah said over the years she has developed some coping mechanisms, but there’s still more work to be done. She wants to work on being more open and honest with those close to her. Expressing her feelings honestly and talk and not keep it all inside will be helpful.

 

[36:20] What gets you excited in life right now?

 

Hannah said that being there for her son as he gets older. Also, a new career in teaching is exciting. Being fully present.

 

[38:05] Did you get any pushback from friends when you decided to stop drinking?

 

Hannah said when she first went AF in 2019, a few friends gave her pushback about it. But this time around she’s trying to being more honest with friends. In the moment there are always people who question why she’s not drinking.

 

[39:22] If you could talk to Day 1 Hannah, what would you say to her?

 

Just wait it out. Life is so much better without alcohol.

 

 

[40:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

How quickly I can progress without alcohol.

 

  1. What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?

Being in the moment and not being hungover.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

Recovery Elevator podcast, Café RE, talking to more people who don’t drink, Sober Happy Hour, Quit Lit,

 

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

If you think you have a drinking problem, you probably do. Only you can decide that.

 

 

You may need to ditch the booze if…

 

If you go to the store, buy a bottle of wine, pour ½ down the drain so you won’t drink it all, drink that and then return to the store to get another bottle of wine.

 

Odette’s challenge this week:

Take a picture of your 4th of July contribution. Share on Instagram and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five!

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze – The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events

 

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

 

Resources:

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – Stay cool, stay weird, stay safe and stay healthy- we love you guys,”

RE 279: Permission Slips

RE 279: Permission Slips

Jamieson took his last drink on August 7, 2019. With almost 10 months sober (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol-free (AF).

 

Odette opens the podcast talking about “permission slips” and specifically giving yourself permission to feel certain things. She quotes Brene Brown, “For personal permission slips, you are in charge of your own behavior – so you’re giving yourself permission to feel or act a certain way. It is setting an intention for how you want to behave in difficult situations.”

 

Here are some permission slips Odette gave herself after her first week as the new voice of the podcast: to be scared, to make mistakes, to ask for help, to feel uncomfortable, to fail, to succeed, to try again, to love myself. Writing these out she gained courage, the courage to run towards what she wants.

 

[5:23] Odette introduces Jamieson.

 

Jamieson is 28 years old and lives in Kansas City, MO. He works in special education and is starting grad school in the fall. He is single. For fun he enjoys making music, reading, playing video games, hiking, going camping, and traveling.

 

[7:49] Can you give us a background on your drinking?

 

Jamieson said he started drinking when he was around 13 or 14 years old. But at the time it was a shot glass worth of wine at dinner every night. The first time he was drunk was when he was 16 or 17.

 

He never really felt like he ever had a normal relationship with alcohol, but problematic drinking began around the age of 21. In college he was always trying to be cool like everyone else, alcohol was an easy resource to make him feel cool and ease his social anxiety.

 

[10:50] What happened after you noticed your drinking increasing?

 

Jamieson said it became very consistent and an everyday thing. At the age of 22, he went without alcohol for one year. After a year of being a dry drunk, he decided he didn’t have a problem and returned to drinking. He continued drinking until his last drink in August 2019.

 

[13:58] After your year sober, and return to drinking, did you know in the back of your mind that eventually, you would stop drinking?

 

Jamieson said in the back of his mind, he always knew something wasn’t quite right about his drinking. The quiet voice in the back of his mind slowly crept into the forefront of his thoughts and he couldn’t ignore it any longer.

 

[14:51] Was there an event that made you go sober again?

 

Jamieson said it was a combination of things. Between multiple rock bottoms/events and seeing his younger brother struggle with alcohol as well, he realized he needed to cut alcohol out.

 

[20:15] What was your plan on the day of your last drink?

 

Jamieson said to himself “let’s just see how long I can go” and at about 2 weeks’ time, he was feeling pretty good and went to a Refuge Recovery meeting. That was a turning point for him.

 

[24:50] You mention that Buddhism has really changed your life, can you chat about that?

 

Jamieson said he’s been interested in Buddhism for a long time but was never able to fully dedicate himself to it while drinking. Mindfulness and meditation are not friends with alcohol and substance abuse. Meditation has been a key component in his sobriety.

 

[31:47] What else is in your recovery toolbelt?

 

Jamieson said podcasts and focusing also on leading a healthier lifestyle/routines. Being on top of himself for the little things like making his bed and brushing his teeth daily. He’s also begun practicing yoga.

 

[34:29] Did you feel like there were new triggers for you when COVID began?

 

Jamieson said it had a big impact on his routine. His school was on Spring Break at the start and they didn’t return afterward. He said it was abrupt and unexpected at how quickly it happened. His routine was a large part of his “staying sane” in sobriety. The lack of routine pushed him to seek out more meetings.

 

[37:04] What are your thoughts on self-awareness growing?

 

Jamieson said he has noticed he’s much more self-aware since he stopped drinking. He has learned more about addiction and specifically alcohol addiction and his compassion has grown towards others. He finds himself being less judgmental.

 

[39:32] What’s a narrative in your life that you would like to re-write?

 

Jamieson said he felt for a long time his issues with substance abuse, anxiety, and depression were his fault. He was messing up his own life because he wasn’t a good person. Jamieson has worked on forgiving himself over the past 9 months. Through Refuge Recovery and Buddhism he has learned that it’s not your fault you are this way, but it is your responsibility to deal with it.

 

[44:32] You’re so young, how has stopping drinking changed your social dynamic?

 

Jamieson said his social life was getting worse with his drinking. All of his friends have been supportive. He finds he’s able to appreciate spending time with his friends and his family now.

 

 

[48:15] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. If you could talk to Day 1 Jamieson, what would you say to him?

Be patient with yourself and know you are stronger than these problems and alcohol.

 

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

Realizing that I don’t have to wake up every day feeling like garbage.

 

  1. What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?

Every time I do something I couldn’t do while drinking.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

Refuge Recovery, Buddhist based recovery platforms, Recovery Elevator podcast, yoga, and AA.

 

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

If you’re struggling with drinking and think you have a problem, start looking into literature and different communities that are out there. When you find a community you like, put yourself in there. Try it for a little while without any promises.

 

 

You may need to ditch the booze if…

 

You’re so hungover and sleep-deprived you are barely capable of picking someone else up from rehab.

 

Odette’s challenge this week:

Write yourself a permission slip. Snap a photo of it, share on Instagram, and tag us @recoveryelevator on Instagram so we can give you a virtual high five!

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze – The What, the Why, and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events

 

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

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – We took the elevator down, we gotta take the steps back up, we can do this- love you guys,”

RE 278: Day One Emotions

RE 278: Day One Emotions

Kris took his last drink on August 9, 2017. At just over 1000 days (at the time of recording) this is his story of living alcohol-free (AF).

 

Odette opens the podcast talking about beginner emotions, also called day one emotions. “You can be brave and afraid at the same time.” Feeling scared and uncertain is natural and part of the process. Embrace those feelings and you can go far.

 

[5:26] Odette introduces Kris.

 

Kris is 38 years old, married with 2 children and a dog. They live in central North Dakota and he is a power plant operator. For fun he loves photography, videography, staying warm in the winter, and camping in the summer. ND summers are the best.

 

[8:28] What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

 

As kids, Kris and his brother would always go for vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, roasted salted peanuts, and Smarties as a topping.

 

[10:00] Can you give us a background on your drinking?

 

Kris said he started drinking in high school, he was shy and quiet in High School and this brought him out of his shell. He felt like he could be himself. He joined the Air Force out of high school and alcohol continued to help him forge bonds with others.

While he was stationed in Korea, he says he began using alcohol for more than just fun and instead used it to cope with depression. They lived by “work hard, party hard” while stationed there. He felt lost when he came home and struggled with his identity.

He says the last few years of his relationship with alcohol was really a disaster. He didn’t want to stop, he was hiding his drinking and his relationship with his wife was falling apart.

 

[22:48] What happened after your wife told you that you had to stop drinking?

 

Kris and his wife separated after that and he experienced an “Oh sh*t” moment. At the same time, he began having a willingness in his life to make and action change. He signed up for a treatment program.

 

[25:34] How did you feel after you realized that you had to do this? When did the decision to get sober become yours?

 

Kris said it was during treatment. Working with counselors he learned that he needed to take responsibility for everything. He also met with a pastor who encouraged him to start praying every day. He began asking God to help guide him. He learned the burden of his past doesn’t have to hold him back from his future.

 

[30:50] Do you still have cravings? How different is from the beginning and how is it still similar?

 

Kris said for the most part he only has moments where he romanticizes drinking. He reminds himself that it’s never one drink. Exploring the truth of what it is, sets him straight. He notices that it’s more about behaviors than actual cravings. Being short with his kids or tense with his wife. Because he now actively works on these things, he’s able to more quickly correct the action. Both Kris and his wife, in their relationship, work on these things. They are both more tolerant of each other.

 

[40:34] Walk us through a day in the life right now. What does working your recovery in this type of crisis look like?

 

Kris is considered an essential worker, so he’s still going to the office every day and his wife is a teacher, so she is homeschooling their children. Kris says his recovery is very similar, he just isn’t getting to as many face to face meetings as usual. He’s recently begun working with a sponsor again, so they are connecting a lot. He’s staying connected with Café RE, his sponsor, posting videos, showing support to others through the Facebook pages, and Marco polo’ing.

 

[43:23] How do you keep this journey fun?

 

Kris chooses the tone for his life. He celebrates the milestones with his family, he stays connected with his friends in the sober community, he goes to events, and this past fall he hosted his own independent Café RE meetup. He surrounds himself with the people he loves and can be himself and let loose now that alcohol isn’t a part of the equation.

 

[46:36] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. If you could talk to Day 1 Kris, what would you say to him?

Take it easy and you are loved.

 

  1. What is a memorable moment sobriety has given you?

Being in the water swimming with my family and seeing their smiles.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

Recovery Elevator podcast, Café RE, That Sober Guy (Shane Ramer), Transitions Daily, Saddleback Church, Elevation Church and a good sponsor.

 

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

Be honest with yourself about where you are at. We can do hard things, but we don’t have to do them alone. Try to find a community, you are not alone.

 

 

You might be an alcoholic if…

 

If you’ve urinated in more corners of your house than you care to actually mention.

 

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Ditching the Booze – The What, the Why and the How. We will be offering this again, starting 8/4/2020 and 11/3/20. It’s free for Café RE members. Not a Café Re member? Sign up here and use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
  • You can find more information about our events

 

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

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

Sobriety Tracker Android 

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – We took the elevator down, we gotta take the steps back up, take that road less traveled, we can do this- love you guys,”

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