RE 347: Can You Heal in the Same Environment You Became Sick?

RE 347: Can You Heal in the Same Environment You Became Sick?

Episode 347 – Can you heal in the same environment you became sick?

 

Today we have Frank.  He is 42, from Omaha, and took his last drink on May 22,2021.

 

Recovery Elevator is going to be Denver Colorado at the Hilton Garden inn at Union Station April 14th- 17th.  Registration goes live this Friday, October 15th. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/denver/

 

Highlights from Paul

Can you heal in the same environment you became sick in?  Yes, but you can’t use the same consciousness or thinking that got you into the mess in the first place.  There is a line that goes, when you quit drinking you don’t have to change much, you have to change everything.  The key is, not all at once.  Paul describes three critical changes:  awareness, boundaries and staying in the body (don’t disassociate).

 

You are gaining strength.  Adversity makes you stronger.  You are healing and as you heal, those around you will heal as well.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[10:38] Odette welcomes Frank

 

Frank to his last drink May 22, 2021.  He is married with two children, and he works in medical staffing.  He is a foodie, loves sports and playing guitar.

 

Frank started drinking in high school.  It was a rite of passage at the time.  He never had an off switch and could always outdrink everyone else.  His tolerance increased.   In his mid 30’s he noticed the hangovers getting worse and he was eating shame meals.  By his 40’s the hangovers lasted two days and it wasn’t fun.

 

Frank was never a violent drunk. He was a raging jerk during recovery because he felt so terrible.  His hangovers became progressively worse.  He could barely get water down.  Frank was good at covering up his drinking.  He was sober for 30 days a few years ago and celebrated with a drink.  His drinking progressed from there.

 

Frank’s turning point came during his anniversary dinner when his withdrawal symptoms were so intense, he was shaking, sweating, felt faint and nauseous.   He knew something had to change; he wrote a four-page letter to his wife, spoke with his counselor, and found Recovery Elevator.    His Dad and his brother were good sources during early recovery as they are both in recovery.  Listening to podcasts and playing the tape forward helped.

 

Managing through sober “firsts” this year (college football, golf, concerts, 3-day weekends) has been a win.

 

A self-described weekend warrior, Frank enjoyed the sensation of alcohol, but never drank to escape anything; he just wanted to fit in.  He used koozie cup holders to avoid questions from his drinking buddies.

 

He is now open about his recovery and his friends and family check in regularly and have let him know how proud they are of him.  He now observes others drinking to excess and is relieved he doesn’t have to do that anymore.

 

Frank said his relationships are all positive.  He loves waking up rested and he appreciates the memories he is creating with his kids.  Frank and his wife are doing better.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds us, “we are doing this”.  Alcohol works until it doesn’t.  It dims the good and the bad.  Learning to stay present during uncomfortable moments give us an opportunity to grow.

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

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RE 346: There is No Manual

RE 346: There is No Manual

Episode 346 – There is no manual

 

Today we have Kathryn.  She us 58, from North Dakota, and took her last drink on February 19, 2002.

 

Highlights from Odette

There is no manual for recovery. We have tools, guidance, but no guaranteed formula for success. Learning to manage that uncertainty can be challenging, but it’s normal.   Be gentle with yourself and others.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[07:18] Kris welcomes Kathryn Burgum, the First Lady of North Dakota.  Kathryn has over 19 years of sobriety.

 

Kathryn’s first drink was at age 8.  There was lots of alcohol in her household and her parents were regular drinkers.    In high school, Kathryn struggled with anxiety and depression;  drinking was her nirvana because it gave her some relief. She had her first blackout in high school, and they continued for twenty years.

 

Kathryn experienced many consequences due to her drinking; the loss of self-respect was at the top of her list.  Getting a DUI pushed her to begin recovery.

 

Kathryn made several deals with herself about regulating her drinking. She never kept those promises, because if she thought about drinking, she did.   The only choice she had was to start drinking ….  In the end, she lost the choice about drinking.

 

As Kathryn’s drinking progressed, she was hung over every day.  She was unable to control her drinking.  When asked if she should be driving, she would respond that she was fine, because she didn’t want people to think she had a problem with alcohol.

 

Kathryn worked in HR and drug tested employees.  When she got a DUI, it was published in the local newspaper.  Someone blew it up and posted it at work.  The shame kept her from admitting her problem.  She didn’t want to ask for help because she was concerned about what others would think.

 

Kathryn recognized she was suicidal almost every time she drank; she had undiagnosed depression.

 

As a result of her DUI, she had to undergo a mandatory evaluation and went to outpatient treatment that was unsuccessful.  She went to Mayo Clinic for ten days and stayed sober for two years.  Over a period of 8 years, she quit and relapsed several times.

 

Kathryn’s turning point came when she was walking and asked, “Is there anybody out there?  If there is, I need help.”  She has been sober ever since.  Slowly recovery became her life.  She found a community, began feeling better, and engaged a recovery coach.  She credits recovery with saving her life.

 

Kathryn now takes medication for her depression, reads meditations daily and connects with her God.

 

When her husband, Gov. Doug Burgum, announced that he wanted to run for governor, she had some concerns. They had candid conversations about boundaries during the campaign.

 

Kathryn made a conscious decision to talk about her recovery because of the opioid crisis and it became a platform she and her husband share.  Recovery Reinvented is an annual free conference.

 

Every week Kathryn has an opportunity to help someone who is struggling with addiction.  Helping others helps her stay sober.  After 8 years of relapse, she was losing hope.  Through faith she knows there is always hope for sobriety and recovery.

 

Recovery Reinvented 2021 is on 10/25/21.  Register to attend in person or online.  www.recovery reinvented.com.

 

Kris’s Summary

What could your voice do?  We don’t know the impact that comes with sharing our experience.  I’m over the stigma; I am here to grow.

 

First Lady Kathryn Burgum can be found: Facebook (@FirstLadyND & @RecoveryND), Twitter (@FirstLadyND & @Recovery_ND), and Instagram (@firstladynd). Prior Recovery Reinvented speakers, award recipients, and segments can be found at  www.youtube.com/recoveryreinvented.

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

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Resources

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

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RE 345: The Neuroscience of Addiction Part II

RE 345: The Neuroscience of Addiction Part II

Episode 345– The Neuroscience of Addiction Part II

 

Today we have Stacy Jo, she is 34 years old, from Oregon and took her last drink on March 6, 2020.

 

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul wants to know your interest in a alcohol-free Ukulele 101 course.  If you are interested please email info@recoveryelevator.com.

 

Paul provides part 2 of highlights of a podcast with Rich Roll speaking with Dr. Anna Lembke. Rich Roll Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jziP0CEgvOw.

 

Dr. Lembke talks about how it’s a known fact that when we are in our addiction, we can’t accurately see the consequences or what’s taking place. With abstinence, we can look back and say, OH MY

 

The interview focuses a lot on dopamine and why addiction has been on the rise for 30 years.   Being smart or highly educated doesn’t make you immune to addiction, in fact, it might even backfire because you think you know everything.  More than 1/2 the world’s deaths, under the age of 50, are attributable to addiction. Rates of alcoholism have gone up 50% for those aged 65 and up from the late 90’s to today and have gone up 80% in women. Traditionally the rates for alcoholics were 5:1 for men to women. With Millennials, it’s now 1:1. There are more burdens on women now than ever.

 

Dr. Lemke recommends a 30 day dopamine fast. But a huge warning of withdrawals for alcohol and benzodiazepines. How to do this? Well, we’ve got 345 episodes now on the HOW, but the trick is to go into the pain. Head into the storm (episode 341) and Forgive yourself.

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[12:41] Stacy Jo took her last drink on March 6, 2020.  She lives in Eugene, OR. with her partner of 15 years.  Her primary hobby is anything that has to do with yarn.  She has worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years until the pandemic hit, she recently was just at the University of Oregon.

 

Around the age of 20, after a breakup and miscarriage, Stacy Jo feels there was a switch in her drinking.  That was the same time her service industry career normalized and it all went hand in hand.

 

In 2018 Stacy Jo started some serious attempts to quit drinking but it wasn’t until the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 that she was able to get good footing.

 

Stacy Jo joined Café RE when she was around 4 months sober and says she did it as a reward for herself.

 

She says her partner hated her drinking, and that it became a pretty big division between the two of them.  Stacy Jo also got a Driving While Ability Impaired (right below a DUI) when she was 28.

 

She feels like she slept the 1st three months of sobriety.  She treated herself like a toddler and allowed herself to sleep and snack.

 

Stacy Jo is grateful for the pandemic and her restaurant shutting down.  It allowed her to get away from the normalcy that is part of the service industry and to have the space to get on solid ground.

 

She does not get cravings any longer, but says she is not so cocky to say that she won’t again.

 

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds us that change starts with us.  Recovery is our responsibility.

 

Remember you are not alone and together is always better.

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

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Resources

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

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RE 344: The Neuroscience of Addiction

RE 344: The Neuroscience of Addiction

Episode 344– The Neuroscience of Addiction

 

Today we have Bill.  He is 61, from Alabama, and took his last drink on April 29, 2021.

 

Events. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/events/   Ditch the Booze starts 9/21 at 8 PM EST.

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Paul provides part one of highlights of a podcast with Rich Roll speaking with Dr. Anna Lembke. Rich Roll Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jziP0CEgvOw.

 

“Persons with severe addictions are among those contemporary prophets that we ignore to our own demise for they show us who we truly are.” Dr. Lembke says that drinking is not a choice but seeking help for an addiction is a choice.

 

The interview focuses a lot on dopamine and why addiction has been on the rise for 30 years.  American society and economy are focused on an insatiable pursuit of pleasure.  Today’s marketers target the dopamine system; thus, we all struggle to find homeostasis.  Addiction can show up as alcohol, social media, food, etc.  Addiction is a low-grade discomfort we all have as humans.  She believes we are all wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain, which works in an environment of scarcity, not our current state of abundance.

 

Paul reminds us we can’t study or think our way out of addiction.  Community is key!

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[11:43] Bill took his last drink on April 29, 2021.  He enjoys hiking, movies, sports, windsurfing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

 

Bill started drinking as a teenager.  He knew at spring break 30 years ago that he was a problem drinker.  He drank and got buzzed every five years but wasn’t addicted.  Thirty years later, Bill’s wife left, and he started drinking liqueur in the evening.  He slowly became addicted, and he drank every night.

 

When Bill hit rock bottom, he found himself broke, living in an extended stay hotel.  He scraped the floor of his room and his car to get enough money to buy a few shots.

 

In 2020, he joined Recovery Elevator and was a lurker until 2021.

 

Bill still has cravings and practices “doing 30 things” to keep him from drinking.  If the cravings continue, he goes to bed.  Loneliness is Bill’s biggest trigger.  Ice cream and cookies also get him through.

 

Bill said everything got better when he stopped drinking. He is back in the gym and loves waking up without a hangover. His medications work better.  The community of Café RE is crucial to Bill, and he is led and inspired by others in RE.  He loves being of service and is grateful to the suggestions of others that helped him when he wanted to drink.

 

Bill credits Tim Grover’s books, Relentless and Winning, with changing his mindset.  His takeaway was getting ‘obsessed’ with sobriety.  Meditation helps his anxiety and cravings.

 

A friend of Bill’s told him his greatest flaw was that he didn’t like himself.  He described how the “I suck” mentality brought him down.   Bill made considerable strides in self-love since he quit drinking. He listens to a podcast called Unbeatable Mind and has learned to say “I love you” to himself daily, over and over.  Bill believes having an accountability partner is critical to his success.

 

Odette’s Summary

Odette shared about a Café RE member who shared at the Bozeman retreat.  The person said, ‘for a long time, I thought I didn’t matter, that my existence didn’t matter.  I recognize that I matter, I belong, and I can make an impact.’

 

Odette reminds us, we all matter.  We help each other become better and to heal.  We remind each other of our value.  The power of community is vital because it is rooted in love and non-judgment and a firm belief that we are whole.  We are whole, even when we stumble.

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • You can find more information about our events

Resources

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

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RE 343: A Brief History of Alcoholism and Treatment

RE 343: A Brief History of Alcoholism and Treatment

Episode 343 – A Brief History of Alcoholism and Treatment

 

Today we have Charlie.  He is 35, from Missouri and took his last drink on July 7, 2020.

 

Events. https://www.recoveryelevator.com/events/   Ditch the Booze 9/21 ; Regionals 11/12-14; Costa Rica (1/15-23).  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/

 

Highlights from Paul

 

Addiction is a modern phenomenon.  Alcohol has been around for centuries.  Early “treatment” of alcoholics included being jailed, tortured, and often executed for being possessed by demons.  As treatment has evolved, we are moving toward FLOW states.  Our mental energies are redirected from addiction toward creating healthier neural connections.  In the 1930’s, alcoholism was classified as a fatal medical condition.  In 1935 Bill W co-founded AA.  In 1949 the Hazelden Foundation was born, thus creating our modern-day rehab and treatment structures. https://www.cornerstoneofrecovery.com/a-history-of-addiction-and-addiction-treatment/

 

Fortunately, people are recovering from alcoholism because the stigma is softening, and people are recognizing this is more a disease of disconnection and lack of community.  Check out this video of the Recovery Elevator Bozeman retreat.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFoqj3xeFUI

 

Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

 

[16:09] Charlie took his last drink on July 7, 2020He has been to 54 different treatment He just wrote a memoir.  He writes, blogs, and enjoys experiencing life.

 

Charlie’s mom passed away when he was 13.  He didn’t know how to handle his emotions, so he turned to substances.  The emotional damage compounded over the years.

 

Charlie’s drinking was a result of unresolved grief and trauma, emotional damage from a succession of stepmothers,  and lack of success as an actor.  Charlie drank and used drugs.  In 2017, his health became an issue.  He started exploring detox and learned about alcoholism.  In 2019 he was in his 15th IOP program, but still wasn’t surrendering.

 

He had to go back to Lincoln to address some legal issues.  He relapsed several times; he was emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.  In June of 2020, he was receptive to love and faith from his higher power.  He decided to implement what he learned at the facilities he experienced.  He relapsed again, but in July he realized alcohol wasn’t working for him.

 

Charlie maintained a job through most of his addiction which provided insurance and access to treatment.  He was privileged and knows he had access to therapists and treatment modalities many don’t.  He did build up a lot of medical debt.

 

Charlie overcomes cravings or negative emotions with music, cleaning, calling friends, visiting family.  He also journals and meditates. He has learned to listen to his emotions and ask,  what do you need?

 

Cognitively Charlie processed his trauma in treatment.  He didn’t process the trauma emotionally or spiritually until he had been sober for a few months.  Once he processed the trauma, he learned to love himself and heal the emotional trauma.  His relationships with his dad and his sister evolved in an amazing way.

 

Charlie began writing in 2018 but continued drinking until 2020.  His book has provided some built-in accountability.  https://www.amazon.com/At-Least-Not-Frog-Alcoholism-ebook/dp/B09B5MFT1X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_pb_opt?ie=UTF8

 

Charlie is a fan of gratitude list and believes that gratitude+humility=happiness.  He loves travel from beach to mountains and is grateful he can remember his adventures.

 

Odette’s Summary

Grateful Snacking is a company that makes delicious and healthy snacks to support our journey in recovery. Grateful snacking – https://gratefulsnacking.com/

 

Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • https://www.recoveryelevator.com/costarica/
  • You can find more information about our events

Resources

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

Recovery Elevator YouTubeSubscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

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