RE 324: Puzzle Pieces in Recovery

RE 324: Puzzle Pieces in Recovery

Episode 324 – I guess it’s my pride.  It’s ego which is not a good thing.  It’s almost a year and I realized, OMG, it’s the best year of my life.

 

Bobbie took her last drink on December 16, 2019.  She is from upstate New York.    This is her journey of living alcohol free (AF).

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message.

 

Odette was inspired by Brian who hosted one of the Café RE chats.  Evolution of sobriety isn’t always linear or a straight shot.  We assume it will be an upgrade.  However, sobriety can be messy.  You can feel stuck and get into victim mentality.

 

Odette compared sobriety to a puzzle.  Sometimes it can feel like we are going backwards.  When looking at the puzzle, we grab different pieces.  Sometimes the piece doesn’t fit, but we make a mental note and later in the journey, the puzzle piece fits.  Traveling backwards is common because the tool or lesson may have not made sense at the time, but it does later in the journey.

 

Everything has a purpose and it’s there for a reason. We don’t always see the bigger picture.  We need to accept that unlike a puzzle …. the journey never ends.  There is no destination, it’s about the journey.  It’s not about being (un)loveable, morality, making mistakes, it’s about discovering our wholeness.

 

We don’t quit quitting.  It’s about resilience.

 

[11:59]  Odette introduces Bobbie

 

 

Bobbie took her last drink on December 16, 2019 She lives in snowy upstate New York.  She has family in Connecticut.  She has two business that she launched in 2020.  She loves volleyball, reading, puzzles, Zumba and is learning how to adjust the fun in our new environment.

 

[13:54] Tell us about your history with drinking?

 

Bobbie started drinking at 15.  She remembers the first time she got caught for drinking.  Her biological father was an alcoholic.  She knew she shouldn’t drink because she didn’t want to be like her father.

 

Growing up, Bobbie spent a lot of time with people in recovery because there was a lot of addiction in her family.  She went to Al-Ateen and many AA picnics.  She believes that she developed an addiction to gambling because she was trying to avoid an addiction to drinking.  She resented having to go to these events because it wasn’t her problem.  Now her view has evolved.  She didn’t embrace anything 12-step until 2017.

 

[17:32]   What was your trajectory of drinking vs. gambling?

 

Bobbie said she was a truck driver in her early twenties.  She didn’t party when she was driving.  She drank to excess on the weekends which she felt was normal because everyone was doing it. In her thirties she drank with her husband (he was the DD).  She was gambling in the background, but her drinking was a problem.  In 2017 she went to rehab and focused on gambling first.

 

She went to rehab on her own accord.  She had an executive level job, but all her perceived obstacles were removed.  She owed it to herself to address her addictions.  She was getting in trouble at work events.

 

[21:06] How long were you at the rehab center?

 

Bobbie said she was in rehab for 28 days.  Rehab left quite an impression.  She was in the gambling wing.  Her freedom was removed because she couldn’t even choose when to take a shower.  It felt like a cross between summer camp and jail.  She knew she needed to focus on herself and didn’t want to ever lose her freedom again.

 

[23:51] How did you handle being in the gambling wing versus the drug and alcohol wing of rehab?

 

Bobbie said that they were not allowed to interact with people in the drug and alcohol wing.  Everything was separate.

 

Before entering rehab, Bobbie interviewed for a job.   She left rehab at 28 days (vs 30) and went to after care.  She was called out frequently for drinking.  The aftercare team didn’t hold back.  In 2019 Bobbie decided not to use alcohol as a coping mechanism.  She discovered Café RE in 2018 and knew she needed to focus on her drinking.

 

Bobbie was frustrated that alcohol was a problem when she was doing all the work for her gambling addiction.  She broke up with a guy and was drunk texting her ex and recognized her texts were mean and venomous.  Having another personality was a rock-bottom moment.

 

Bobbie signed up for the Recovery Elevator Asia trip.  She knew she needed to be sober for 30 days and joined the trip with a little over 30 days of sobriety.  She was following the rules versus deciding not to drink.  When she returned from Asia, she learned that her biological father and grandmother had passed away within a week of each other.  She hosted her father’s funeral the day before the world shut down because of COVID.  She was at a bar when she got a text about her father’s death.  She knew she had to decide how to cope with overwhelming emotions.  She was afraid to drink because she was concerned, she wouldn’t stop.

 

A friend she met on the Asia trip inspired her to achieve a year of sobriety.  She realized it was the best year of her life because she started a podcast, opened a second company and was so much more productive without drinking.

 

Bobbie recognizes her journey is different than many others in Café RE because she wasn’t as intentional about not drinking as many others, it happened almost as a side-effect of her gambling addiction.

 

[35:47] What made you decide to take the Café RE trip?

 

Bobbie said she knew she needed the trip to quit drinking.  A friend helped her pay for the trip.  When she left rehab, she didn’t make the decision to quit drinking.  The sober trip helped her explore her curiosity about sobriety and laid the foundation for the tools she needed to explore sobriety.

 

Bobbie said she was mesmerized by the RE community and by Paul Churchill.  Paul inspired her to start her gambling podcast and was her first guest.

 

[41:55] What do you do now when you have a craving or a trigger?

 

Bobbie said everything has happened for a reason.  She believes she can overcome anything.  In a few situations (golf, road trips, etc.) she has urges, but now she has a conversation with herself that people can love and accept her without alcohol.  She focuses on what she has learned along the way.  She doesn’t want to return to a destructive life.  She hasn’t committed to quit drinking forever.  She is focused on her goals and sees alcohol as an obstacle to her achieving those goals.  She has gratitude for her drinking career because it withheld some of her opportunities in corporate America.  She is now helping others with addiction.  She feels like she won.

 

[45:52] What other tools are helpful for you?

 

Bobbie is active in Gambling Anonymous (GA).  She meditates and does a daily reflection every day.  She likes Recovery Dharma through Café RE.  She has integrated self-care into her everyday life.

 

Bobbie wasn’t sure what she was supposed to feel and began to understand that resentment over her father helped her move from resentment to neutral and she is working on forgiveness.

 

The value of community and accountability have been helpful.   Her obligation and accountability to others has helped her push through difficult moments.  She tries to practice what she preaches in her podcast.

 

[51:02] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What would you say to your younger self?

It’s all going to be fine. It all has purpose and will take you where you are meant to be.

 

  1. What has recovery made possible for you?

Everything – from relationships, work, business, transparency, vulnerability – everything.

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

All of them.

 

  1. What advice would you give to listeners who are thinking about ditching the booze?

It’s so worth it.  It may not feel like it in the moment, but stick with it, it’s so worth it.

 

You may have to say Adios to booze if …

Your friends are surprised there is coffee in your cup instead of Long Island iced tea.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette challenges us to think about one of the puzzle pieces in your sobriety journey that didn’t make sense recently that now makes sense.  Share what you have learned with a friend.

 

You are not alone, together is always better!  Odette believes in you!

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021). This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • 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!

 

Resources:

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

Recovery Elevator YouTubeSubscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light – I love you guys”

 

 

RE 323: Leading a Double Life

RE 323: Leading a Double Life

Episode 323 – I have to say I feel less isolated in a pandemic than I ever did drinking.  It has been so good to go through a pandemic sober.

 

Lauren took her last drink on December 19, 2018.  She lives in Canada and is 37 years old.    This is her journey of living alcohol free (AF).

 

Shout out to Jeni’s ice cream who is one of the sponsors of our Bozeman retreat.

 

https://jenis.com/

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message.

 

Odette reflected on a March NPR article titled, “A sharp, off the charts’ rise in alcoholic liver disease among young women.

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/03/16/973684753/sharp-off-the-charts-rise-in-alcoholic-liver-disease-among-young-women

 

It’s important this article is placed in a bucked about the global crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic.   The article referenced a 30-year-old woman who was diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis.  She drank nearly a liter of liquor every evening.  Doctors are seeing patients whose drinking has edged up in the last year.  In conversations, physicians recognize it’s astronomical and life threatening.  The survival rate for alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis varies but can be as low as ten percent.  The CDC has not compiled additional statistics since the pandemic began, however physicians are aware of the upswing as they see more hospitalizations and fatalities.  While men have consistently driven the statistics, young women are driving the numbers up.

 

Many are crossing the bridge from normal drinking to problematic drinking.  What are the signs?  The rock bottom aha moments?

 

Sobriety isn’t easy, but Odette is no longer living a double life.  Odette wants to do more to help those who are struggling with alcohol addiction.

 

[8:27]  Odette introduces Lauren

 

 

Lauren took her last drink on December 19, 2018 (sobriety date 12/20/2018).  She has been sober for 750 days (as of this recording).  She has several friends she has met through 12-step programs that are going through the same things.

 

Lauren is from Ontario, Canada and is 37 years old.  She lives with her partner and they co-parent his children.  They have a cat and are adopting a dog.  Lauren is a housing work and helps homeless people in her community which is even more challenging due to COVID.  Lauren enjoys running, hiking, reading, art, painting, and travel.  Her reading comprehension has improved with sobriety.

 

[14:19] Tell us about your history with drinking?

 

Lauren had a normal childhood and started drinking in high school.  She remembers in her last year of high school a friend saying he had never seen her sober outside of school.  At the end of University, she knew she had a problem, because she was happier staying at home and drinking the way she wanted to in her room.  After school, she moved to a big city and leveraged alcohol as a social lubricant.

 

[16:04]   Did you attempt to change aspects of your relationship with alcohol?

 

Lauren knew her drinking was a problem, but thought she was too young to deal with it.  She was regularly drunk, hung over and had no money.  She did reach out and went to three rebabs, several detoxes and the psych ward.

 

[17:07] What wasn’t working during those multiple attempts to quit?

 

When it finally clicked, Lauren realized she had used alcohol to manage her emotions.

 

On December 19, 2018, Lauren said she stopped digging.  She called in sick to work for the third day in a row at work.  She realized she had three options:  1). Keep going knowing things wouldn’t get better; 2) End it all (Lauren had multiple suicide attempts);  3) Stop drinking and give sobriety and honest chance.  Once she made that decision, she stopped.  It took her six years of trying before it finally clicked.  She says, ‘don’t give up.’  She is learning what she is capable of with sobriety.  The first month was difficult due to the wreckage of her past, but she now sees it is worth it.

 

[23:06] What worked for you that first month?

 

Lauren said acceptance – it was a miracle.  Deep acceptance that she can’t drink and letting go of the resentment about not being a ‘normal drinker’ helped.

 

[24:16] How did you reconcile that feeling?

 

Lauren said for six years the feelings of anger and resentment was insurmountable which is why she kept relapsing.  She felt her life was hard and if she couldn’t drink in public, she’s just drink in private.  She likened her relationship to alcohol with a severe peanut allergy.  She will die if she drinks.

 

[26:12] What support did you have in the early stages?

 

Lauren said she has been in 12-step recovery on and off.  She goes to meetings regularly and has a home group.  Her employer is very supportive as well.  Her family has also been great.

 

[27:28] How was telling your employer?  Many people don’t because of the stigma.

 

Lauren said it came up as part of a performance review.  She was asked about her future goals and she opened up about her struggle with addiction and her desire to help others with addiction.  Her supervisors were surprised, but incredibly supportive.  Sobriety became “part of her”.

 

[29:22]  When did you reconcile the acceptance with shame?

 

Lauren said after the first few shaky months, she realized recovery was a superpower and part of who she is.  It is very motivating.  She carries shame from the past, including drinking dreams and regret about past behavior.  She knows it will take a long time to let go of that shame.

 

Value Bomb – you get a chance to repair and live differently or live an amends through this journey.  Repair is underestimated, let the guilt propel you to become the person you want to be. 

 

Lauren’s family has some residual memory and trauma because of prior behavior.  She is giving them space and  trying to live her life as a living amends.    Her family is incredibly proud as is her partner.

 

Processing some of her drinking behavior with family and friends is difficult to hear and hard to process.  She put her family, friends, and therapist through some scary times.  All she can do now is be sober.  She is hopeful that others can overcome the fear that when she calls, it isn’t a crisis or  bad news.

 

Odette acknowledged that it could take families time to adjust to us changing and we need to realize they have a timeline to ad as well.

 

[37:19] Do you still get cravings?

 

Lauren said, no.  During her first attempts they were horrible.  She rarely has cravings now and when she does, they are mild.  The more time she gets away from alcohol, the more in tune she is with her body.  She is better prepared to identify her needs and the most common need is sleep.

 

[39:15]  Tell me about the differences between Year 1 and Year 2.

 

Lauren said year one was about making it to the first year; she was amazed every day.  The second year was her “what now” time.  She is working to make her life the best it can be including things she put on the back burner, doing things that are good for her mind and body.  She is also reaching out to women who are early in their recovery.  It reminds her of how difficult it is when you are starting, and she doesn’t want to go back there.

 

Through her recovery network, Lauren realizes that the mind is powerful and switching back to old behavior won’t make anything better.  She must remain committed to her recovery, so her mind doesn’t let her forget.

 

[43:43] Have you noticed that FOMO (fear or missing out) has dissipated over time?

 

Lauren said, 100%.  She believes the FOMO kept her drinking.  Now that she accepts that she can’t drink, she has less FOMO and participates in life more.  She doesn’t miss family events because she is drinking alone or hung over.

 

[45:01] How have you maintained connections with your recovery community during the pandemic?

 

Lauren said her 12-step community has zoom meetings which is not ideal, but she can stay connected to her people via Zoom.  She attends Café RE chats as well and even when she isn’t sharing, she feels connected.

 

She feels less isolated during a pandemic than she does when drinking.

 

Lauren’s partner reminded her that her relapses and attempts at sobriety.   were “just more information.”

 

[48:45] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What is a lightbulb moment for you during this journey?

Acceptance that I can’t ever drink.

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Rum and raising

 

  1. What has recovery made possible for you?

Everything, every one of the promises in the Big Book have come true.

 

  1. What advice would you give to listeners who are thinking about ditching the booze?

Don’t give up and keep trying even though you think that it isn’t working and that it will never click.  It will click!

 

You may have to ditch the booze if …

You buy a magnum bottle of wine and drink it an hour after you have left your third rehab center.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette challenges us to think of a positive affirmation about you that you can say about you to you.  Practice saying it once a day.  Affirmations help Odette get her though when she is in a fear-based place.

 

You are not alone, together is always better!  Odette is grateful for you!

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021). This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • 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!

 

Resources:

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

Recovery Elevator YouTubeSubscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light – I love you guys”

 

RE 322: A Safe Container

RE 322: A Safe Container

Episode 322 – the hardest part is relaxing into this idea that you can have the most incredibly beautiful moment followed by an incredibly dark moment and that’s just the path of life.

 

Marcella took her last drink on September 6, 2018.  She lives in San Diego.  Marcella lives in the arena and she shares her journey with the world on sobriety, parenting, and authentic Mexican food.  She leads from the front in a transparent way that is very inspiring.  This is her journey of living alcohol free (AF).

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message.

 

Odette reflected on her recent comments about judgement.  When we feel judgement creeping up, we need to remind ourselves that person we are judging is a flawed human trying their best … just like me.  When we bring

judgment into recovery space because someone is doing it differently than we are we invite shame. If we want to help others recover, we need to detach from our shame.  We need to manage our own path.  Odette referenced an Instagram post from Lara Fraser saying, “nobody gets to define your recovery but you.  You don’t get to have an opinion on someone else’s recovery – that’s control.  Control brings us closer to our ego and further from our soul’s expansion.

 

Odette referenced Demi Lovato who is being criticized for her actions in her path to recovery.  The reality is we are meant to stumble, to fall and to have a messy path.  When you are in the spotlight – everyone is watching your falls and judging them.   Let’s give ourselves and each other permission to have our own messy journey and don’t explain ourselves to others or worry about judgment.

 

Odette referenced a concept from Brene Brown’s book, Dare to Lead.  Brene says, the biggest barrier to a safe container is shame. Everybody needs a small, safe place to act and talk about doing hard work.  A place where you don’t have to be awesome or cool.  You need to be un-cool, awkward, and goofy.  We should strive to create safe containers where people can ask questions and be heard.    Leading by fear and perfectionist cultures does not allow us to create safe containers.  Perfection has no room in a safe container.

 

 

At Recovery Elevator, our goal is to provide a safe container for you.  You matter, and we are here for you.

 

[7:33]  Odette introduces Marcella

 

This episode was recorded in March which is Women’s Month and Odette is excited to have a fellow Mexicana share who is standing in her truth and unapologetically owning her power.

 

Marcella said she is flawed like others and recognizes age helps you realize you only get one shot at this life and you need to live it authentically because if you don’t and you continue pleasing others hiding your truth, you get sick and you die.  Everything is on the table.

 

Marcella made it clear she is sharing from her own path, perspective and journey.  She knows some of her views are unpopular.  She comes from a long line of alcoholics and her personal journey to healing is forgetting about labels and boxes while relaxing into the idea that she can forge her own path to what it means to be happy and addiction free.  She is living a happy and fulfilled life.  She reminds us we are always working on the path of life – often avoiding pain, causes more pain.

 

[12:41] Do you remember the last time you took a drink?

 

Marcella had to look up an event to remember when she took her last drink.  A family member she had never seen drunk was inebriated and Marcella had an incredibly negative reaction.  She recognized the only way she could control this for herself was to eliminate the external element.  Alcohol became an enemy.  She didn’t tell anyone for weeks or months, not even her husband.

 

Her last drink was on September 6, 2018.  She didn’t count days until she went back to look at the date which was a family party.  She doesn’t have any cravings.  She was a heavy drinker starting at age fourteen and once she stopped, that was it; the craving was gone.  It became easy because not drinking eliminated the anxiety, drama, micro aggressions, and major aggressions from her life.

 

[20:21] What does your day-to-day life look like?

 

Marcella said she doesn’t have time to bullsh!t anymore; it takes away time from her goals.  She tried AA, but it didn’t work for her.  She had so many things she wanted to focus on, so alcohol had no place in her life.  She was able to identify what made her want to take the edge off with alcohol.  It was an association with power and coolness.  Facing the darkness, she tried to diminish with alcohol gave her power: the ultimate control of her body and her emotions.  It takes a lot of courage to face what is making you want to take that drink.  She stopped promoting alcohol in her cooking classes because she didn’t want to be part of the marketing machine that tells people they need alcohol to survive.  She doesn’t want to be a woman selling alcohol to other women.

 

Marcella spoke about being and Adult Child(ren) of an Alcoholic and is proud she has conquered alcohol.  The horrible addiction that has been in her family forever stops with her.  The massive trophy has taught her to be kind and compassionate with herself.

 

[30:29] How did you shift to finding a soft entry point to yourself?

 

Marcella said it has been a journey.  In moments when she has hated herself, or she is obsessing, Carina (Marcella’s sister) reminds her of who she is and that gift she is to others.  They are truly soulmates.

 

[32:18] Did you find the root of your addiction?

 

Marcella reads lots of Gabor Mate and the question he poses is: don’t ask why the addiction, ask why the pain?  She identified childhood abuse, abandonment and living with alcoholism on both sides of her family.  Another reason AA didn’t work for her is because she equated anonymity with shame.  She has spoken “the sh!t” out of her problems very publicly.  The gems, gifts and knowledge that have come from her openness have been immeasurable.  Marcella believes that none of us escape trauma.  It’s a broad umbrella and part of the human experience.  We all experience some form (along the spectrum) of trauma.  It is impossible to escape.   Marcella needed to face the loneliness that comes with shame.  She no longer feels like an alien.  She finds healing in acknowledging her common trauma without shame and then her soul rested.

 

Marcella said the fear of appearing ungrateful or disloyal to our parents (particularly for Latinas) often inhibits us from sharing the trauma that came with our upbringing.  You can love, be grateful and loyal to your parents and still heal.  They can coexist in a space of love.

 

Marcella’s children are the center of her universe and her biggest teachers.  When you research childhood development the magnitude of your responsibility becomes clear.  One of her biggest flaws is feeling like she is a bad mother.  Her children are her greatest gift.  The anxiety that comes with motherhood and her thoughts and expectations of herself can be overwhelming.  The role of mother is her biggest anxiety.  Conquering alcohol is helpful to managing that anxiety.  Marcella doesn’t believe that the more you suffer, the better a matriarch you are.  La familia doesn’t require you sacrifice yourself and your authenticity.  Latina women don’t need to diminish their lives to become matriarchs.  The journey is so important and diminishing yourself is not a good message for your kids.

 

Marcella said, you must do the work to put yourself in the company of people who can support you.  It took so much work for Marcella to separate herself from certain relationships and put herself in the relationship she is in now.  It took A LOT of courage, humility, re-programming and breaking down her walls to be in an authentic partnership.  She emphasized, you have to do the work to attract the people who have the strength, courage, and values to support you.  The universe will continue to throw the same problems at you until you figure it out.

 

[51:34] What does work mean to you?  What tools have helped you?

 

Marcella did therapy early in her life, but it was cyclical and did not help.  She is studious and finds a lot of her solutions in books.  The philosophy of Yoga has been a massive support to her, and she has taken courses in Yoga that have aided her healing.

 

Marcella’s relationship with her sister is very significant and her sister often acts as her therapist.  In the past ten years they dove deep into their childhood issues and verbalizing them has helped her to heal.

 

Marcella reminds herself of the rewards that have come because of her sobriety and she says them out loud as a reminder.  Her ability to teach cooking classes and be herself are a reward of being sober.

 

She said if AA (or another modality) doesn’t work for you it doesn’t make you a failure.  AA has served hundreds of millions of people, and some people are resistant to AA, it’s simply not their path.  There are multiple other paths – just don’t give up.  Recovery isn’t black and white.  Be a scholar of your F’ups.  Have the courage to review them and you will become what you are meant to become.

 

[1:04] Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What would you say to your younger self?

Everything is going to be all right

 

  1. What is an unexpected perk of sobriety?

You get your health back.

 

  1. What advice would you give to listeners who are thinking about ditching the booze?

There is more than one path, and it might take you a minute to get there.  Just be patient and kind to yourself.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette reminds us we are doing a great job.  Be empowered to take the steps you need to stay on this path, but also to seek out and create your safe container.  You deserve it.

 

You are not alone, together is always better!  Stay weird, stay goofy, stay you.

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021). This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • 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!

 

Resources:

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

Recovery Elevator YouTubeSubscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light – I love you guys”

RE 321: Alcoholism is a Family Disease

RE 321: Alcoholism is a Family Disease

Episode 321 – Be kind to yourself. It’s ok to give yourself as much love as you are giving to someone in active addiction.  Give yourself love and grace. It’s ok not to be ok. It’s ok not to have all the answers.

 

Today’s podcast will be a slight departure from our traditional format.  Today we will hear from Aimee, who is the wife of one of our members.  Aimee will share from the perspective of what it’s like to live with someone struggling with alcohol addiction.

 

Aimee is the wife of Kris, one of the members of Café RE.   Kris shared his message on episodes 175 and 278.   He also does a lot of work for Café RE. Take a listen.  Kris stands out by helping others and being of service.

 

https://www.recoveryelevator.com/re-175-anxiety-and-alcohol/

https://www.recoveryelevator.com/re-278-day-one-emotions/

 

Registration for the Bozeman retreat is open for Café RE members today and will be available for non-members tomorrow.  For details, go to:

www.recoveryelevator.com/bozeman .

 

Odette’s Weekly Message – Finding your better you.

 

Odette is focusing on loved ones.  She is an adult child of an alcoholic.  She has experienced her own struggles with addiction and married someone who struggles with addiction.

 

When Odette’s Dad went into treatment, she was advised by the counselor that the whole family would be impacted.  While only one family member has the disease, everyone gets infected at some level.

 

Being a part of the solution for her Dad was a tough spill to swallow.  Odette attended Al-Anon to learn how to take care of herself while her Dad was treating his addiction.  Odette remembers how scary some of the meetings were because of the number of broken relationships.  Her inclination was to try to fix the problem, but she quickly learned she had to get out of the way and learn to take care of herself.  She is still learning to detach with love by setting boundaries.

 

[10:33]  Odette introduces Aimee.

 

Aimee is 37 and lives in North Dakota with Kris and their two kids.  She is a teacher, loves playing piano, singing, and leading worship at her church.

 

 

[13:45]  Tell us about your journey and how you experienced life with Kris.

 

Aimee met Kris her freshman year of college and fell in love right away.  She was so enthralled with him; everything seemed normal.

Kris was deployed overseas in the military.  He would call Aimee and was always drinking when he called home to deal with the stress of deployment.  Aimee knew there was a problem.  They got married, and when Kris came back from deployment,  Aimee got pregnant right away.  Kris was deployed again, and Aimee didn’t drink because she was pregnant.  Kris came home ten days before Ava was born, and they were two different people because of the time apart. Kris’s drinking continued to escalate.    They went through ups and downs, and Aimee thought things were getting better.

 

Their marriage has been a wild adventure because of moves, career changes, etc.  Aimee had a mix of resentment and shame about Kris’ drinking.  At the height of his drinking, he would turn things around on her to avoid being attacked.  As a couple, they tore each other apart.  Aimee tried to protect Kris.  She would set the alarm so she could pick up the beer cans before the kids got up in the morning.  She lied to her pastor about Kris’ absences and recognized she was compromising her values.

 

Kris’ emotions were intense and amplified when he was hungover.

 

[10:15]  Did you start second-guessing yourself?

 

Aimee said she was constantly questioning if she was enough.  She took her marriage vows very seriously and started to become a doormat.  There was a lot of manipulation.  Kris would gaslight Aimee about his drinking, the bank account, and other things.  Engaging in church and prayer was instrumental for Aimee.  She began to realize that being a martyr or savior wasn’t a safe place to be.  She couldn’t compromise her safety.  They went on a road trip, and Kris drove drunk for five hours, and Aimee was overwhelmed and exhausted.  Prayer helped her resolve that she couldn’t live that way anymore.

 

[22:57]  What did you do when you realized you couldn’t do it anymore?

 

Aimee said after the road trip, the conversation between them shifted.  She begged Kris to get help.  He asked her who her lawyer was and said he would never love her enough to quit drinking.  It took Aimee a long time to start to forgive him.  She didn’t believe him anymore, and it took a long time to rebuild trust.

 

[24:13]  Was church a source of support for you?

 

Aimee said she couldn’t do it on her own.  Her church community never told her what she wanted to hear; they told her what she needed to hear.  The church encouraged her to focus on herself and her next steps.  It was the first time Aimee looked inside and didn’t focus on Kris.

 

[26:44]  How did you shift from feeling like a victim to looking within?

 

Aimee said the church worked with both of them separately and helped keep them on the same page.  Aimee prayed and meditated a lot.  Kris surrendered.  They both surrendered at different times.  Aimee had to let go of the bitterness.  She said she was drinking poison and expecting Kris to get sick.  She told Kris she loved him and didn’t know what to do.  It was a shift and became a point of empowerment for her to trust others and do work on herself.  They went to marriage counseling, and Aimee went to counseling on her own.  Aimee did EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) to deal with trauma from her marriage and her past.  Aimee has done a lot of work learning how to build relationships, and the experience has been life-changing.

 

Aimee still has some flashbacks, particularly on road trips.  All of their positive interactions slowly replace the negative ones of the past.  While it may be a cliché, time does heal

 

[33:02]  Tell me about the dynamics at home?  How have the kids responded?

 

Aimee said they have been very open about their story with the kids.  Dinner time is their favorite time now, and it was the worst when Kris was drinking.  Their son wrote a book about the adventures of his sober Dad.  He even quoted Paul Churchill’s book, “Alcohol is Shit!”.  Their son looks forward to hugging his wife now that Kris is demonstrating new behaviors with the family.

 

Aimee shared that she and Kris have learned emotional and spiritual intimacy as well as physical intimacy.  Their conversations are more vulnerable than the physical connection.  It has been a lot of hard work, but so worth the effort.

 

[38:27]  How is your experience with Kris in Café RE and other people in sobriety?

 

Aimee said Kris joined Café Re when they were separated.  She said it was hard at first because Kris was being celebrated for all of his sobriety milestones.  She was envious of his coins – where was her medal?  Aimee has been to a Café RE meet up in Minneapolis, and she prays for all of the people she met.  She supports Kris’s model of “leave nobody behind”.  She doesn’t mind the interruptions, and she supports his efforts with prayer.  Aimee loves how Café RE retreats benefit Kris’ recovery.  She always notices a positive difference when she comes home, and she knows that helps their family.

 

Café RE feels Aimee’s support through the videos she posts when Kris reaches a milestone.  Aimee said five years ago, she never would have believed they would be where they are today.  She is excited and believes the best is yet to come.

 

[43:14]  Do you drink?  Are you a normie?

 

Aimee hasn’t had a drink in 7-8 years, and she doesn’t miss it at all.  She likes tea and doesn’t favor the LaCroix as Kris, and the rest of us do.

 

[44:06] How were you able to separate that it was not about you?

 

Aimee said, when she figures it out, she will let us know.  Recovery is like peeling back the layers of an onion.  She encourages all spouses to be kind to themselves. It’s ok not to be ok. It’s ok not to have all of the answers. Lean in on your Faith, regardless of what you call your Higher Power.  You will need it to move through recovery as well.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Odette encourages all family members to check out recommended Al-Anon, Melody Beattie, Smart Recovery for Friends and Family, Pia Melody, and traditional therapy.

 

Resource Links:

https://al-anon.org/

https://www.smartrecovery.org/family/

https://melodybeattie.com/

http://www.piamellody.com/

 

By helping yourself, you are better at supporting your loved one.

 

You are not alone, together is always better!

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021). This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • 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!

 

Resources:

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

Recovery Elevator YouTubeSubscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light – I love you guys”

 

 

 

 

 

RE 320: Post COVID Planning

RE 320: Post COVID Planning

Episode 320 –  Keep an open mind and see what happens. Reach out to people, make sober friends, and you are going to find your way.  Just let go.

 

Cassie took her last drink on August 29, 2019. She is from Colorado and is 30 years old.  This is her story of being Alcohol-Free (AF).

 

Café RE Merch

https://www.recoveryelevator.com/merch/

Discount code:  PANDA

 

Finding Your Better You – Odette’s weekly message

 

Odette has been speaking with many people who got sober and stayed sober during the pandemic.  She is amazed and impressed with these folks making major life choices to ditch the booze during a global crisis.

 

Odette wants to remind you …. you can do hard things.

 

As Covid begins to recede, Odette can’t help but wonder what post-Covid sobriety will look like?  As we return to normal or the new normal, how do we prepare for what’s next?  Odette likened this to her rehab experience and working with her rehab team to develop a treatment plan when she left rehab.  Many people fear leaving rehab because you are going back into the real world without the safety of a controlled, safe space.

 

What does your treatment plan or sobriety toolbox look like for the “new normal” after COVID restrictions have subsided?  What boundaries and guidelines do you need to set up for yourself?

 

Proper preparation prevents poor performance – thank you, Odette’s Dad, Carlos.

 

Develop a plan to protect your sobriety.

 

[07:53] Odette introduces Cassie

 

Cassie’s last drink was August 29, 2019.  She is celebrating18 months and switching up some of her tools to maintain sobriety.  Cassie leads Café RE’s “young people” chat.

 

Odette was recently contacted by a 19-year-old trying to find his place in sobriety.  Cassie said it’s incredible for someone so young to start a recovery journey.  She encouraged all young listeners to keep an open mind, reach out, find sober friends, let go, and you will find your people and your way!

 

[11:12] Tell us a bit of your background.

 

Cassie is 29 years old, living in Denver, and is a receptionist for a urology clinic while pursuing her Bachelor’s in nursing.  She is doing pre-requisites now.  She lives with her boyfriend, recently bought a house, and has two dogs.  She loves snowboarding during the winter, paddle boarding, hiking, and rock climbing during the summer and hopes to explore dirt biking soon.

 

[13:14] Tell us about your history with drinking.

 

Cassie had her first drink at thirteen.  One of her first memories is stealing peppermint schnapps with a neighbor at her parent’s house.  She got alcohol poisoning, and her mom sent her to middle school the following day with a hangover.  She had to clean up her mess after school.

 

By freshman year of high school, she continued to drink with friends and consumed on the school bus on the way to school. She was suspended for drinking.

 

Before eighteen, she was in legal trouble for drinking and quickly building a party girl’s reputation.  She was all-in with alcohol; she never drank one or two drinks.  She drank to fit in and did not fit in with the nerds or the popular crowd.  She would hang out with the skaters, smoke pot, and throw parties at friend’s parents’ houses when they were out of town.

 

She got into the music scene, particularly raves, and traveled across the US to music festivals to catch different artists.  She doesn’t remember many of the concerts because she was wasted.

 

[16:28] Were you aware that your drinking was becoming a problem?

 

Cassie said she was not self-aware.  She knew she was a troublemaker, but her friends drank like she did.  During her formative years, she didn’t go to class much.  She dropped out of college because partying was her priority.

 

[17:58] How long did that chapter last?

 

Cassie said awhile, probably ten years.  She still enjoys music but can now enjoy music sober.

 

[18: 33 ]  Did you have to transition into adulting?

 

Cassie was always working during that chapter, and she changed jobs a lot because of the seasons.  She started working in the medical field in 2015, and she relaxed her drinking a bit.

 

[19:48] Did anything happen in your life that forced you to grow up a bit?

 

Cassie said getting into the medical field was a real transition.  She had to deal with patients and knew she had to be responsible.  She was living with friends and wanted to take care of herself and maintain independence.

 

[21:14]   How did your relationship with alcohol evolve?

 

Cassie said during the music festival chapter she was binge drinking because there were no rules.  She transitioned from being a binge drinker to having beers after work and being a weekend warrior.  Her drinking eventually got out of hand.  She was only drinking on the weekends, and she tried to moderate.  She leveraged the gym to keep her AF during the week.  Moderation didn’t work for Cassie.

 

One of her roommates, a dear friend, passed away in a kayaking accident.  She believes it may have been alcohol-related.  It became a big turning point for Cassie.  Her other roommates drank heavily to cope with the shock and grief.  Cassie became a pillar of strength for them.  She binged occasionally but started to see that drinking wasn’t what she wanted for herself.  She moved back home, and her parents were also heavy drinkers.

Her drinking escalated, and within a year, things completely fell apart.  Cassie lost herself.  Going to brunch to drink in the morning or pre-gaming a baby shower with alcohol felt normal.  She started sneaking beers in her room, so if she woke up in the middle of the night, she would have alcohol close at hand.  Cassie is still working through feelings and learning to stop blocking her emotions.

 

[29:44]  How did this progress into you deciding to quit?

 

Cassie said she wasn’t working at the beginning of 2019.  She was drinking beer in her bedroom, taking tequila shots and not eating regularly, taking showers, or going to work.  She lost her will to live.

 

One day her Dad came into her room and asked, “what do we need to do?” Cassie was afraid of the withdrawal.  She went to the ER, then to medical detox for a day.  She stayed home for three days, got rid of most of her belongings, and moved to Phoenix to live with her mom.  She had some starts and stops in Phoenix. Then her mom moved to Texas.  Cassie moved back to Colorado and told herself, “I’ve got this.” Her drinking advanced rapidly.  She had a four-day bender and told her step-mom she needed to go through detox again.  She did, and she hasn’t had a drink since!  Cassie said the second time, she knew it was time to own up to it and take some action.  She didn’t want to die.

 

[35:48] What was your plan after leaving detox to start stacking days?

 

Cassie moved in with her sister’s Dad.  She wanted to move to a sober environment.  Her Dad and step-mom continued to drink, and she didn’t want to ask them to stop.  Her step-mom referred her to Recovery Elevator and offered to pay for her first month if she wanted to check it out.  The Facebook group helped her stay accountable, and she went to her first sober meetup within 30 days.  Making connections helped a lot.  She also saw a therapist for the first six months.  She began getting more involved in  Café RE.  At about a year, she started hosting webinars.   Now she is doing a lot in the recovery community because it keeps her focused on her sobriety.  At six to eight months, she felt a shift.  After a year, she had experienced several FFT’s (F*ing first times) – first concert, first wedding, etc.  Now she is exploring past traumas and learning what caused her drinking.  She is going to AA meetings, looking for a sponsor and reading, “Recovery” by Russell Brand.  She enjoys the structure of AA.  Cassie has big plans for the future and hopes to eliminate the stigma of addiction and let people her age know that sobriety is fun!  She is excited about the future.  She wants to build a family, re-write her family’s sobriety trajectory, and inspire others along the way.

 

[46:16]  Do you still get cravings?

 

Cassie said yes, but the cravings are seasonal depending on what’s happening in her life.  Cravings are more of a fleeting thought now, and her sober circle helps her stay accountable.  She is aware that cravings often come with change and external factors.  If she lightens up on the self-care, the cravings creep up.  She knows what tools work and can anticipate what’s coming and how to manage it.

 

[50:11]  Rapid Fire Round

 

  1. What would you tell your younger self?

 

You are worth it.  Have faith, and everything will work out the way it is supposed to.

 

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

 

It’s currently Snicker’s ice cream bars.

 

  1. What has been a lightbulb moment for you on this journey?

 

The more you connect, the less you think about alcohol.

 

  1. What is an unexpected perk of being sober?

 

Being able to do what I want at any time of day because I don’t have to worry about drinking.

 

  1. Are sober concerts better?

 

100% yes! It’s one of the best experiences.

 

You might need to say Adios to booze if …

 

You wear a hoodie to sneak alcohol anywhere, including your room.

 

Odette’s Summary

 

Make time this week to create your post-Covid plan.  Plant a seed, create steps of action to set yourself up for success.  Write it down, share it with a friend, have your own back.

 

You are not alone, together is always better.  Sobriety is our super-power!

 

Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:

  • Bozeman 2021 (August 18-22, 2021). This is our flagship annual retreat held in the pristine forests of Big Sky Country, 10 miles south of Bozeman, Montana. During this 5-day event, you’ll discover how to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
  • 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!

 

Resources:

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

Recovery Elevator YouTubeSubscribe here!

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 

 

 

“Recovery Elevator – Without the darkness you would never

know the light – I love you guys”

 

 

 

 

 

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