RE 144: Gratitude is Key in Sobriety

Play

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick

What is gratitude, and how can this help us get and stay sober? Service and Gratitude go hand in hand.

Here’s Paul’s Holiday challenge:

Write 10 things you are grateful for 10 days in a row.  Be thankful for something you totally have taken for granted your entire life.  After 10 days when you have 100 items listed, review the list, and look for reoccurring themes.  Email your completed lists to Paul@recoveryelevator.com

Dan, with 66 days since his last drink, shares his story

SHOW NOTES

[8:10] Paul Introduces Dan.  I live a town called Guildford, about 30 minutes outside of London, I have 2 boys named Sebastian and Felix who are 4 and 7 years old, I live with my girlfriend, together we have 4 kids under the age of 9.  For fun I enjoy working out, going to the gym, swimming, and desperately trying to learn to play guitar.  I work in primary schools, and I deliver health and fitness workshops.

[15:58] Paul- 66 days ago, was this your first attempt at quitting drinking?

Dan- In all honesty, this is my very first attempt at stopping drinking.  One time 10 years ago, I quit drinking for January and February.  I don’t want to spend the money; I don’t want to feel crap.  I want to set the example for my children growing up. 

[23:00] Paul- Earlier you said you look at sobriety like a challenge, are you looking at this as an incredible opportunity?

Dan- Yeah, I am.  After reading Alan Carr’s book, and Annie Grace’s book, it just puts things in perspective.  You never used to have to have to have a bottle wine or beer to have fun, or enjoy yourself.  The way I sleep the past couple of months.  You feel so much better the way you start your day. 

[28:02] Paul-  What’s on your bucket list in sobriety?

Dan-  At this point in time I really want to focus on my business, and my work.  I would really love to do something on YouTube, or something that is focused on the positive of giving up alcohol. 

 

[33:43] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Waking up on Christmas morning and clearing up the mess I made outside from getting sick on the way home on Christmas Eve. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment?  I had 1 beer after playing golf.  My cousin asked me if I wanted another, and that moment where I realized I was driving, and knew 1 more beer would put me over the limit.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I enjoy reading, and listening to podcasts.
  2. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Alcohol is shit, that’s it. 
  3. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  From day 1 start to focus on it as a challenge, and the benefits of it.  Don’t focus on what you are giving up.  Don’t focus on how hard anything is going to be.  Focus on the benefits of giving it up, and how it’s going to make your life better.
  4. You might be an alcoholic if… you drink for absolutely no reason whatsoever.  Not a celebration, not a sporting event, not a birth, not a wedding, if you sit there and drink at night watching crap TV, and you’re drinking a bottle of red wine.  You might need to have a little think.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

“This Naked Mind” – Annie Grace

Allen Carr’s Easy Way

Sober Grid

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code Opportunity to waive set up Fee

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

 

RE 143: The Reverse Intervention

Play

Paul discusses reverse interventions.  They, “normal drinkers” don’t get it.  How can we expect normal drinkers to understand what we are going through?  What do you need to cover in a reverse intervention?  Let them know this isn’t easy for you.  Having the real conversation and being vulnerable.  Lay out your game plan.  Accountability is key.

Amy, with 11 years since her last drink, shares her story

SHOW NOTES

[11:40] Paul Introduces Amy.  I’m 54, a Midwestern housewife.  I have two grown sons, and husband of 34 years.  What I do for fun has changed quite a bit over the years.  I enjoy recovery, and spending time with my 4 dogs.

[23:35] Paul- You said when you finally discovered you had alcoholism, you started to recover.  What is your definition of alcoholism?

Amy-  My last drunk I ended up hospitalized.  I didn’t believe you could drink enough to kill yourself.  But I came real close.   My husband found me, and got me to the hospital, or I would have died from alcohol poisoning.  My doctor told me I had alcoholism.  They handed me a meeting list, and I immediately started going to 12 step meetings.  I finally felt like I landed on the planet I belonged in that I was seeking for 43 years. 

[27:02] Paul-  What did it feel like when you finally found your herd, you found your tribe?

Amy-  It so radically changed my life.  My husband calls me his second wife without the paperwork.  I didn’t interact with society.  I now seek out social situations.  I have more friends than I can handle.

[33:25] Paul-  Amy you mentioned something earlier you said “Give up the mind fight.”  Tell us more what it meant for you to give up the mind fight. 

Amy-  When I heard a man say two things.  I knew it was true.  I can drink; I can drink with the best of them.  I can’t say I can drink safely.  The other one I heard was once I take the first drink; I have no control over my decisions, or where it will take me next.

 

[43:33] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Driving my children and neighbor kids to Great America and home in a blackout.  It is over an hour on major highways from our home.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Second pregnancy, the day I brought him home, I wanted one glass of wine.  I got really drunk, and when I woke up, there was a newborn in the house.

 

  1. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  12 step meetings, personal relationships, and doing things like this out of my comfort zone.
  2. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Just try; cause you can always go back to hell.  Hell doesn’t close its door.
  3. What’s your plan in sobriety moving forward?  I don’t have a plan.  That’s one of the best things about sobriety. I wake up and go OKAY.
  4. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  The only thing I can say, is come join us.  It’s a wonderful thing.  Everything I was trying to get from alcohol I have gotten 10 fold in sobriety.  All is 10 times better in sobriety.
  5. You might be an alcoholic if… you wake up five years married thinking, “Did I really do that?”

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Brenaim1@yahoo.com  (Amy’s email)

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

 

RE 142: We Are Powerless Over Alcohol

Play

Paul discusses Step One: “ We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.” from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

David, with 46 days since his last drink, shares his story

SHOW NOTES

[10:20] Paul Introduces David.  I’m a dad of 2 great boys aged 11, and 7.  We live in Atlanta.  I work at a software firm.  I have been there for quite some time.  I’m 42, and divorced.   For fun there is a lot of baseball, I help coach basketball.  Both my boys are in scouts.  I love to play and collect guitars.

[12:52] Paul- When did you realize that perhaps you didn’t drink normal?

David-  I have several memories of self-questioning my drinking habits going back a decade.  I have milestones in my life I questioned my drinking. 

[29:02] Paul- You are identifying yourself as a non-drinker.  Have you experienced a different case of the F-its like I have 3 years of sobriety, F-it, I might as well keep moving forward?

David-  I love this concept, I have not felt this feeling of you have come this far, you might as well keep going.  I feel like that day is going to come.  You have to be hopeful for the future.  I am doing this.  You have to balance that with healthy caution around relapse.  I can be proud, I can be hopeful, but I have to be cautious.

[34:28] Paul- I know from the retreat you met a lot of people who have the same life goal, how has that affected you moving forward?

David-  I described it when I started this journey.  I didn’t have any tools.  I had no institutional knowledge of what I was getting myself into.  It was through your podcast I was introduced to AA in a meaningful way.  What I learned from the retreat is that this is something where community helps.

[39:23] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? You can insert any viscous hangover here.  Missing a flight out of Vegas after a night of tearing it up.  Head throbbing, and having to rearrange flights and childcare back in Atlanta while my head was throbbing.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? When I figured out that the unit of measure was no longer 2 beers, it was a six-pack.  No longer 3 glasses of wine, it was the entire bottle. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? My number one internal dialogue is that I am no longer like that.  I am no longer that person.  It is almost a chant I give myself daily.  I’m plugging back in with my therapist.
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? While you’re working on your sobriety, your addiction is doing pushups.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Your litmus test is if you have you every asked yourself if you have a problem with alcohol, that is the test.  I know I did that hundreds of times over a decade.  Sick and tired of being sick and tired.  The management of chaos we all endure as we introduce chaos into our evening routine. 
  6. You might be an alcoholic if your favorite drink is “lots of it”

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Alcoholics Anonymous- Big Book

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

Re 141: Alcohol and “Hanxiety”

Play

Anxiety as it relates to drinking is discussed.  Alcohol suppresses the nervous system.  It is a depressant.  If we depress the nerves for long periods through binge drinking, our body reacts once the alcohol is gone by releasing adrenaline to compensate.  This gives us severe anxiety in return.  Which totally unbearable, and creates a fear that grabs you right in the chest.

Aaron, with 16 days since his last drink, shares his story

SHOW NOTES

[11:12] Paul Introduces Aaron.  I’m 38; I live in Albuquerque NM, I work at a print shop.  I’m separated, I used to like to fish, and want to get back into that.  I like to be out in nature.  I have a miniature pincher named Packer. 

[13:29] Paul- How is it different this time?   Explain that feeling that something clicked.

Aaron-  My body was telling me with the anxiety and the insomnia.  It wasn’t fun anymore.  I was drinking miniatures while I was at work, and tried to hide all the time.  Tired of being tired.  I’m 38 years old, the party is over already.

[26:13] Paul- Talk about your experience with Opioids. 

Aaron- I started off with the pills.  Hydrocodone etc.  Then I started doing oxy, and for a few years I was doing that.  I was going through withdrawals because I couldn’t get them.  I started going to the clinic and got on methadone. 

[30:28] Paul- 16 days ago you were sick and tired of being sick and tired.  What happened, and how did you do it?

Aaron- I started downloading and listening to podcasts.  I was trying to figure out what this was, and how to stop.  I jumped into it with both feet.   I went through the tough first few days of detox.  I stopped doing things that were triggering me.

[37:00] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? Waking up in a Virginia jail, and couldn’t bond out because I was considered a flight risk. 
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? The time I was in San Diego and hit that show and ended up in jail in another state.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? I’m going to hit the podcast circuit.  I’m going to create a program that will work for me.

 

  1. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  Stop beating yourself up.  Don’t try to think ahead too far.

 

  1. You might be an alcoholic if get pulled over in your work car going the wrong direction down a one way road and you didn’t know until you read the police report the next day.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Anatomy of an Epidemic- By Robert Whitaker

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

 

RE 140: Those Uncomfortable Feelings Serve a Purpose

Play

Paul discusses anxiety and depression as interpreted through an episode of the Dharmapunx Podcast.

Heather, with 269 days since her last drink, shares her story

SHOW NOTES

[10:50] Paul Introduces Heather.  I’m 37; I live in Los Angeles, CA.  I’ve been here for about 7 years.  I grew up in south Texas.  I work for a small cable network.  I love yoga, hiking, going to the movies.  I have an identical twin sister. 

[16:04] Paul- When did you realize perhaps that you don’t drink normally? 

Heather- I think its been varying stages of that.  Moving from Texas to New York was an adjustment.  I got a job in a bar, and that was my life. 

[25:54] Paul- What was the impetus that really forced you to make that jump into sobriety?

Heather- I had been reading “A Happier Hour” and the light bulb went off when I was reading that book.  I was also reading a blog from tired of thinking about drinking.  I started a 100-day challenge.

[35:02] Paul- When did AA come into the picture?

Heather- I am still going.  I am kind of afraid of the steps.  Around day 60 or 70 I was feeling lonely about talking about it, and I was afraid to go.  I put it out there, and things happened. 

[40:28] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? One of my best friends husbands passed away.  Her father didn’t want any of us to be drinking, and I drank anyway.  I should have not drank, but I had to.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? One of the last conversations I had with my boyfriend when he said it will be okay and we will both stop.  But if we break up, I’m fine, and I can continue to drink.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? When I started the 100-day challenge, I want to keep clarity.  I’m going to work the steps, and go to more meetings, and build more of a sober community here.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Recovery Elevator, and a speaker meeting I attend in LA.
  5. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  What you gain is so much more than you are giving up.
  6. You might be an alcoholic if you know your boyfriend is, and you decided to move in with him after 9 months, and you still don’t think you have a problem.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode was brought to you by RXBAR. Visit RXBAR.com/recovery for 25% off your first order.

Dharmapunx Podcast Link

Tired of Thinking About Drinking

A Happier Hour- By Rebecca Weller

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code Elevator for your first month free

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”

 

Get the latest news from Recovery Elevator

Get the latest news from Recovery Elevator

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from team Recovery Elevator.

You have Successfully Subscribed!