RE 252: Pulling the Mind out of the Future

RE 252: Pulling the Mind out of the Future

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Wendy took her last drink on June 4, 2017.  This is her story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

On January 1st, 2020 the 4th Café RE group will open.

There will be 2 in-person meetups in Australia this December.  If you would like more info or would like to RSVP please email info@recoveryelevator.com.

On today’s episode Paul talks about incessantly thinking in the future, why we do that, what that leads to, and how to put that thinking beast back into the cage.

When we are living in the future, we start to feel stress.  Once we recognize, and become aware of how often we are future tripping, we can no longer ignore it and the deprograming has already begun.  We deprogram first, then we reprogram.

 

[13:45] Paul introduces Wendy. 

 

Wendy is 57 years old, married and lives in Sun City Center, Florida.  She has two sons and one grandson.  She works as a critical care nurse which she loves.  For fun Wendy loves to be out in nature, exercise, walk, and do yoga.  She also has a corgi and participates in dog shows.

 

[21:45] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Wendy took her first drink at the age of 13.  After her parents split up, she became her dad’s drinking buddy.  She went from using food to stuff down her feelings, to using beer.  This continued through her teens, twenties and into her thirties.  But it was escalating and she was needing more and more to catch that buzz.

 

[24:20] Was there a moment that you recognized it was ramping up?

 

Wendy says she definitely knew that it was getting problematic and that she was having side effects from it.  She says that although she didn’t get anything like a DUI, alcohol was taking up too much real estate in her mind.

 

[25:55] When did you realize it was ramping up?

 

Wendy says it was in her early 50s.  She didn’t really have a rock bottom moment but says she woke up one day and said, “I am done.”  She says it was almost like she flipped a switch in her head.

 

[39:00] What techniques work for you when you are feeling anxiety?    

 

When Wendy first quit drinking she started going to a phycologist, who really helped her in the beginning.  One of the things she taught her was HALT, and to never let herself get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.  Wendy says she still follows that to this day.

 

[42:20] How did you get through the first few months?

 

Wendy says she read a whole lot of quit lit.  She joined a support group on Facebook.  She has a sobriety tool box and she keeps full.

 

[47:00] What are the differences between year one and year two?

 

Wendy says that year one really felt like survival, in a lot of ways, and how to be this new person.  Learning how to deal with things without alcohol as a buffer.

 

Wendy says that the cool thing about year two is that so many of those triggers start to fall away.  She says she doesn’t have the voices whispering to her, telling her how great it would be to drink.

 

[51:15] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

That there is an entire world that doesn’t revolve around alcohol.

 

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

 

The sunrises, being up with the sun and making that connection that life can be a beautiful thing without alcohol.

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

LaCroix sparkling water.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?

 

Journaling as I mentioned before, I like coloring, artwork and gardening.  Having that tool box available in my mind.

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

Definitely more traveling.

 

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

 

If you think you have a problem, you probably do.

 

You might need to ditch the booze if…

 

You pee down your leg, at a gala, at a fancy hotel, because you’re so drunk you can’t wait to get up to the room, and you just act like nothing is wrong.

Upcoming Events and Retreats.

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

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

You can find more information about our events here.

 

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

This episode is brought to you by the smart shopping assistant Honey. Get Honey for free at www.joinhoney.com/elevator . Honey, the smart shopping assistant that saves you time and money when you’re shopping online

 

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It All Starts From the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

RE 251: When a Spouse Quits Drinking

RE 251: When a Spouse Quits Drinking

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Torey took his last drink on October 9, 2017.  This is his story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

On January 1st, 2020 the 4th Café RE group will open.

There will be 2 in-person meetups in Australia this December.  If you would like more info or would like to RSVP please email info@recoveryelevator.com.

On today’s episode Paul talks about what happens when a loved one quits drinking.  First off, relationships are tricky even when not exposed to addiction turmoil.

It is important to remember that both parties need healing.  Here is some advice for the problem drinker in the relationship; remember communication is key and ask for help.  Here is some advice for the normal drinker in the relationship; first off, you can’t change the problem drinker, make sure you protect yourself and your energies, set boundaries.

 

[13:30] Paul introduces Torey. 

 

Torey is 47 years old and lives in Bainbridge, WA and has 2 kids.  He has been married since 2000.   For fun Torey like fabricating and has been spending time finishing a lot of projects.  He enjoys spending time with his family and going to school functions.

 

[18:00] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Torey grew up in a small Wisconsin town and in high school drank on the weekends because that’s what kids did.   After high school Torey continued binge drinking during his Coast Guard years.   After the Coast Guard, Torey went to work in the maritime field and his drinking continued.

 

Through the mid-nineties to 2010 the daily drinking continued and progressed.

 

[22:40] What happened when you realized there wasn’t another kind of alcohol to switch to, to feel better?

 

Torey says his drinking was starting to be noticed and talked about.  He realized that his kids had probably never seen him without a drink in his hands.  When he started to hide his alcohol, he realized he might have a problem.  He tried to moderate, which never worked.  In 2015 things really ramped up.  Torey was depressed, waking up so hungover that he was calling in sick, avoiding things at work, and the connection with his family was dwindling.

 

[25:40] When you realized you weren’t going to be able to make yourself stop did you seek outside sources? 

 

Torey says he knew he couldn’t fix things himself and that he needed to start listening to people around him.  On October 9, 2017, Torey’s wife made an appointment for them to see a counselor that knew about addiction.

 

[28:20] Talk to us about that day. 

 

Torey says he knew where he could get the outside support, that he knew about AA, but didn’t go to a meeting for a couple days.  He started listening to podcasts.  He read Annie Grace’s book, This Naked Mind, and said that’s where it all came together for him.

 

[32:30] When did you reach the moment when you thought, “I might be able to do this.”?

 

Torey says it was around day 14, he was out of town for work and looking for an AA meeting.  The feeling that he had something in common with the 8-10 people at the meeting made it all click.

 

[35:50] What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced and resources you’ve implemented along your journey?

 

Torey said his first hurdle was avoiding people that he worked with that still drank heavily, and when he couldn’t avoid them, he had a plan in place.  He made sure he had things to do in the evening.  He found an AA home group and was going weekly.  When he would have a craving, he would follow the drink, knowing that it would never end with just that one drink.

 

[44:48] How did it feel when you reached the conclusion that alcohol no longer defines you?

 

Torey says he felt like he could be himself again.  He feels like he can be his true self.

 

[47:35] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

When after having a panic attack he had to be honest with the doctor about how much he drank.

 

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

 

Anytime I can go on vacation with the family.

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Definitely LaCroix, but I’ll drink any sparkling water.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?

 

Café RE, this group has been awesome, the AA community where I live, and reading more and more.

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

Finishing some major yard art I have started.

 

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

 

Dig deep.  If you are thinking you might have a problem, you probably do.  Listen to those around you, ask for guidance and help.

 

You might need to ditch the booze if…

 

A friend had given me a bottle of vodka with a bunch of peppercorns in it, and it was the last alcohol in the house and it wasn’t going to go down the drain.

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

RE LIVE in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 Skillshare  – for two free months of instruction, go to www.skillshare.com/elevator

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It All Starts From the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

RE 250: Is Sobriety all Unicorns and Rainbows?

RE 250: Is Sobriety all Unicorns and Rainbows?

Play

Dee took her last drink on January 17, 2019.  This is her story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

On January 1st, 2020 the 4th Café RE group will open.

There will be 2 in-person meetups in Australia this December.  If you would like more info or would like to RSVP please email info@recoveryelevator.com.

On today’s episode Paul talks about PAWS, or what he refers to as ‘healing symptoms.  You can find a YouTube video on these healing symptoms, or PAWS, here.  This period of experiencing these healing symptoms usually lasts anywhere from 3 – 6 months, but could last a little longer.

You have 2 choices.  The 1st choice is to keep drinking.  With this choice there will be a painful progression and whatever emotions and physical repercussions you’re experiencing now will only be enhanced in time.

The 2nd choice is to quit drinking and embark on the most heroic journey.  This choice gives you options, and you don’t have to decide today.

 

[14:50] Paul introduces Dee. 

 

Dee is 50 years old and recently moved to Albuquerque, NM.  She works as a purchaser for the Federal Government.  For fun Dee enjoys walking, hiking, biking, and meeting up with her fellow sober peeps.

 

[17:20] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Dee was first introduced to alcohol by her parents as a child during the holidays.  With high school came beer.  Between high school and the age of 21 Dee really didn’t do much drinking.  21 years old rolls around and Dee got really good at drinking and socializing.  Alcohol seemed to fix her feelings of not being enough.  Always a tomboy Dee felt the guys didn’t really take an interest in her so the alcohol helped her become more flirtatious.

At the age of 25 Dee became, what she called, a pro at drinking.  Dee’s dad got sick and passed, this prompted her to switch from drinking beer to hard liquor, thinking this would stop her from becoming an alcoholic.  A month later Dee’s husband died.  Dee says she dove into the booze at this time and continued to drink heavily for years.

 

[23:15] Do you feel that you properly grieved?

 

Dee says she did not, that she didn’t know how to properly grieve.  Alcohol helped her get through this time in her life, when she was in so much pain she didn’t want to live.  It allowed her to sleep and it allowed her to manage getting up every day.

 

[25:25] What role did alcohol play in your 30s and 40s? 

 

Dee was living in Florida and back to drinking “normal”.  At 33 Dee moved to Atlanta and decided she needed to quit drinking, so she did.  She quit for 7 months.  She started going to AA, and although she didn’t feel it was for her she continued to go because that is what she knew to do at the time.

 

After an offer of some free Dom Pérignon, Dee began drinking again.  Fast forward to when Dee first joined Café RE.  This was when her drinking really started to escalate, in 2018.  Dee was in an unhappy marriage and although she didn’t want to drink, she couldn’t stop.  Dee first joined Café RE in June 2018 and then thought she had her drinking under control and could moderate.  She quit RE and drank for another 4 months before rejoining in January 2019.

 

[31:50] Was there an emotional rock bottom?

 

Dee says she fought with God, her higher power, over this for 25+ years.  She says it was exhausting having one foot in church and one foot doing the drinking thing.  So, Dee made the decision to face life without the alcohol.

 

[38:15] You’re entering the scary and uncomfortable area in life, called the unknown, how is this going?

 

Dee says it is going well and she is not afraid.

 

[39:40] Has there been cravings?

 

Having the mindset that drinking is not an option has helped Dee.  Dee has a lot of options to reach out to people when she needs to, and she uses them.  Connection and community are key.  Dee is slowly building connections locally, in a healthy way.

 

[41:50] What is something that you learned at the RE Bozeman Retreat that you can implement in your journey?

 

Dee says the meditation and the breathwork were the two big things for her, they have helped her slow down and stay in the present.

 

[45:00] What are your thoughts on relapse? 

 

Dee says she hates that word.  That is breaks her heart when she sees people posting that they have relapsed, and not because she thinks less of them, but because she knows how hard it is to pick yourself back up and stack days.

 

[47:15] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

You can do it.

 

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

 

Nashville and Bozeman.

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Waterloo Sparkling Water, Mango flavored.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?

 

Well, the number one is Café RE.

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

Writing a book.

 

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

 

Believe in yourself.

 

You might need to ditch the booze if…

 

You are in Ireland, flying solo, and you walk into a bar in Dublin, and there’s all guys.  One of the guys proposes to you, puts his ring on your finger, you go to the restroom and the ring falls off in the toilet, you have to fish it out, and you have to break up with him.

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

RE LIVE in Colorado – June 11-14th, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Honey

This episode is brought to you by the smart shopping assistant Honey. Get Honey for free at www.joinhoney.com/elevator . Honey, the smart shopping assistant that saves you time and money when you’re shopping online

 

Hello Fresh

Get 9 free meals at www.hellofresh.com/recoveryfresh9 and use the promo code recoveryfresh9

 

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It All Starts From the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

RE 249: Don’t Worry About How to Quit Drinking

RE 249: Don’t Worry About How to Quit Drinking

Play

Lauren took her last drink on November 17, 2018.  This is her story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

On today’s episode Paul talks about the ‘how’, and says not to worry about the how you are going to quit drinking.  Once you know the ‘why’ you want to quit drinking the how always solves itself.

If you need help coming up with the why, most likely you have an encyclopedia of evidence behind you.  It could be the intense emotional dips, depression, anxiety, letting yourself or those you love down.  Put that why to work in your favor.

 

[13:30] Paul introduces Lauren. 

 

Lauren is 38 years old.  She lives in Sharon, Mass, and is adjunct faculty at a university in Boston in their School of Social Work.  Lauren is married and has 3 children.  For fun Lauren enjoys spending time outside, listening to LIVE music and hanging out with friends.

 

[15:47] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Lauren says alcohol set up shop in her life while she was attending the University of Mass.  In 2007 while she was finishing up her Masters in Social Work, she came across a binge drinking scale and realized that she had surpassed all female scales and was binge drinking like a man.  This was the first time the Lauren felt, in her gut, that something might be wrong.

 

Instead of listening to this bodily cue Lauren pushed it away and ignored it.

 

In 2009 Lauren met her wife and saw a life she wanted and made some changes in terms of her drinking.

 

[19:00] Talk to me about those changes that you made?

 

Lauren says she just naturally toned it down a little bit.  Her partner had children so they started doing more family things.  In 2011 they were married.  Lauren says that, at this time, her drinking was progressing and taking up more and more space in her life.

 

In 2013 there was a hard stoop in Lauren’s drinking, during her pregnancy, and she gave birth to their daughter.  Even though there was this break in her drinking things picked up right where she left off.

 

[20:25] What happens next? 

 

Lauren is a stay at home mom and her drinking escalates.  She wasn’t isolating, she joined a mom’s group, and really didn’t think she had a drinking problem because she wasn’t drinking during the day.  Lauren says that she started using drinking as a reward.  She was blacking out more frequently, her relationships started suffering and Lauren says that, clearly, her addiction had the upper hand.

 

[21:40] When did you start to realize there was a problem?

 

November 20, 2018, they got a phone call, one that you never hope to receive.  Lauren’s stepson exited his car on a busy roadway and was struck by an oncoming vehicle.  They soon learned that his injuries were far too significant for treatment and had to prepare to say goodbye.  All the emotions and feelings she had been dousing in alcohol over the years came to the surface.

 

[23:40] What happened on November 20th?

 

Lauren says she somehow allowed all those emotions in fully and was unexplainably present in that hospital room.  As the hours passed, she began to notice that along with all the pain and sadness in that hospital room there was something beautiful happening.  Lauren says she felt gratitude, and felt it in every fiber of her body.

 

[30:50] What happened after that first AA meeting?

 

Lauren say she stuck it out with AA and is still working the steps and feels that there is great value to the steps.

 

[31:30] What was life like after that?

 

Lauren says the first weeks were really hard, but that all her relationships improved.

 

[37:38] Talk to us about your experience with the breathwork session we had at the RE Bozeman Retreat.

 

Lauren says she is glad she didn’t know anything about breathwork prior to the session so she just followed directions and was breathing like they said to.  Lauren experienced her stepson, Michael, visiting and talking to her during the session.

 

[48:00] What’s on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life? 

 

Travel and showing our daughter the world.

 

[49:00] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

That it’s not about alcohol anymore.

 

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

 

The fact that I have memories.  Everyday with my family is memorable.

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Pamplemousse LaCroix

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?

 

Podcasts…Recovery Elevator, Recovery Happy Hour, and I do a lot of reading on The Temper.

 

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

 

You’re worth it.  You can do it.

 

You might need to ditch the booze if…

 

You add Tito’s to your spiked seltzer.

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It All Starts From the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

RE 248: Your Story

RE 248: Your Story

Play

Patrick took his last drink on January 1, 2019.  This is his story.

Update on the Alcohol is Sh!t book!  The book is out!  Pick up your paperback copy on Amazon here!  You can get the Audible version here!

A new Café RE group will be launching January 1, 2020!  Also, Recovery Elevator Meet-ups in Australia have been scheduled for December!  Be sure to check the events calendar or the weekly email.

Paul is currently working on a meditation course, that he hopes to have out by early next year…warning, you may just might fall in love with yourself.

On today’s episode Paul talks about sharing and owning our story.   This can be therapeutic, but also, if done too many times, dangerous.  Why?  Your story becomes your future.  How do we stop this?  We learn to protect us from our thoughts.  When you take your energies and thoughts off your past addictions and traumas they can disappear.  One way to do this is through meditation.

 

[11:15] Paul introduces Patrick. 

 

Patrick was born and raised in Boston.  He is a high school teacher and teaches religion and history.  He is married and has a 6-year-old daughter.  For fun Patrick likes long distance hiking, car camping and road trips.

 

[14:20] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Patrick says he accepted that he was an alcoholic at the age of 18 when he entered the seminary.  He got a fake ID at the age of 16 and was going into liquor stores at 16 and buying his own liquor.  At the age of 18 Patrick started going to AA meetings.  Patrick started drinking again, about the age of 29, and only beer.

 

The next couple of years the beer became scotch, then vodka.  After about 2 weeks of consuming vodka for 2 weeks Patrick contemplated suicide.  When his baby was only 2 weeks old Patrick went to the hospital.  He is 45 years old.  He is checked into the hospital for 9 days to detox.  A year later…picking up his 1-year chip at an AA meeting, he had already had a couple drinks before the meeting.

 

 

[19:35] What happened next?

 

Patrick and his wife decided they were going to have a baby.  Wasn’t what he planned…but he started hitting the bottle hard.  He started hiding bottles all over.  Patrick wrapped bottles in his hospital bag to get through the birth of his child.

 

[33:50] What was different this time? 

 

Patrick says he reached a turning point, he could stay on the couch drinking scotch and vodka and have his wife leave him, or live the life he knew he wanted.

 

[39:45] How’d you do it??

 

Like a bird…worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.  Be fully present in every moment.

 

[43:50] What are some of the lessons you have learned about yourself along the way?

 

Patrick says he is discovering who he’s always been.

 

[45:30] Were there cravings?

 

Patrick says he has had cravings in the past but not the past 9 months.

 

[47:05] How has your life changed without alcohol?

 

Patrick says he is fully present with his wife and with his daughter…and fully present with himself.

 

[47:50] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

Honesty.  I lied mostly to myself, and then when I stopped it got better.

 

  1. What is a gift that sobriety has given you?

 

Camping on the river with my daughter.

 

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Polar Mango Cherry Bliss.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources on this journey?

 

Podcasts…Recovery Elevator, This Naked Mind, Recovery Revolution, I go to AA and volunteer at a detox center.

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in an alcohol-free life?

 

A cross country trip with my 6-year-old.

 

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

 

Brutal honesty with self.

 

You might need to ditch the booze if…

 

You shoot vodka nips on your way to your 1-year AA anniversary.

 

Upcoming retreats:

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about this event here

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

 

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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

 

“Recovery Elevator – It All Starts From the Inside Out.  We can do this.”

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