RE 267: When Facing Crisis

Lucas took his last drink November 13, 2018.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about crisis.  In some languages the word ‘crisis’ is coupled with the word ‘opportunity’.  Everyone experiences crisis’ in life, but we are the fortunate ones that are forced to reach out for help.  We are then in this together…think the movie, The Breakfast Club.

 

[11:15] Paul introduces Lucas. 

 

Lucas is 32 years old, was born and raised in the DC metro area.  He is married, no kids yet.  Lucas is a UPS driver.  He has a dog that they rescued from a shelter.  For fun Lucas likes to work out, go to sporting events, and concerts.

 

[17:00] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Lucas started drinking when he was 13 years old.  By the time he was 15/16 he says he would routinely blackout from drinking.  It was at that time he started to realize that it was something he perhaps should look at.  Even though he was aware that he may have a problem at this young age his drinking continued to progress through his 20s and college.

 

Lucas said he really started to see the effect that his behavior had on his life in his late 20s, early 30s.

 

[28:44] How powerful was it to bring your wife along with you on your journey? 

 

Lucas said that it has been vital to his sobriety, that it was so critical because it (sobriety) has been such a hard, and courageous, thing to do.

 

[33:33] Talk to us about what you meant when you said, “moderation in all in my mind”.      

 

Lucas says that moderation is not an attainable thing for him, that it is a word that was made up to make him feel better and convince himself that he could continue to have alcohol in his life.  Once he realized that moderation wasn’t a thing it was freeing.

 

[39:55] Talk to us about quitting Adderall?

 

Lucas said that Adderall was something he started taking in college and not because he really needed it, but because he liked its mood-altering qualities.  Once he quit taking it, he realized that it actually was making him less productive and less organized.

 

[44:10] Walk us through a sample day in a life without alcohol.

 

Lucas said he is a creature of habit.  He wakes up, lets the dog out, reads meditation passages, goes to the gym, goes to work, goes home, sometimes reads, cooks dinner, visits with his wife when she gets home from work and is in bed by 10/11 PM.

 

[51:00] What is an excuse that you used to tell yourself for why you couldn’t quit drinking?

 

Lucas would tell himself that he didn’t have a problem.

 

[51:35] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

When I realized how much time I was spending pursuing the feeling that I was never going to obtain again.

 

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Lime flavored seltzer water.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

AA, my meditation books, and “In the Rooms”, which is online AA meetings.

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

 

I need to travel the world.

 

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

 

To remind yourself how vulnerable, dangerous, and susceptible we all are when we live in unreality.

 

You might need to ditch the booze if…

 

You find yourself asking if you have a drinking problem.

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats.

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

You can find more information about our event here.

 

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

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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 – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”

 

 

 

RE 266: Rule 22

RE 266: Rule 22

Renee took her last drink January 2, 2020.  This is her story.

If you have ever wanted to attend a Recovery Elevator event you should get yourself to Denver in June for the Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind – June 11-14th, 2020.  This event will be, essentially, the closeout event for Recovery Elevator.  You can find more information about our event here.

On today’s episode Paul talks about Rule 22.  What it is.  Why it is important to make this rule a part of your life ASAP.

Rule 22 = Lighten up.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Laughter really is the best medicine.  Life is never as serious as the mind wants us to believe.

 

[12:00] Paul introduces Renee. 

 

Renee is 40 years old and live in Greendale, WI.  She is a hair stylist and is currently working at a children’s hair salon.  She is married and they have 2 kids, a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old.  Renee also has a 20-year-old son from a previous relationship.  For fun Renee likes to hike, camp, go on vacations, paddleboard and jigsaw puzzles.

 

[17:25] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Renee started drinking as a teenager, around the age of 15.  She says she did it to fit in and have fun.  She met her husband, in a bar, in her early 20s and they pretty much drank together every weekend.  It wasn’t until 2007 that Renee started drinking more than just on the weekends.  After getting married they were drinking 3-4 days out of the week.  Renee got pregnant early on and while she couldn’t drink due to being pregnant, her husband continued to drink.  That made Renee mad because she wanted to drink.  Renee did start drinking again, in the hospital, after giving birth to her children.

 

 

[20:30] Was drinking again, as soon as you had your baby, something that you had pre-planned? 

 

Renee said she could not wait to drink after her baby was born.    She did the same exact thing during and after her 2nd pregnancy a few years later.

 

[24:18] Why do you think your husband came clean about his drinking?    

 

Renee said he told her because he couldn’t do it anymore.

 

[24:40] What was your response?

 

Renee was pissed off when he first told her.

 

[28:35] When did you both recognize that alcohol was almost the driving divider?

 

Renee says it was in October of 2019 when her husband told her about his drinking.  They started to put all the pieces together and realized that everything bad that had happened between them was caused by alcohol, in some way, or somehow.    

 

[30:40] Has there been a moment when one of you was about to drink and you had that conversation where you lean on each other, and you both made it through?

 

Renee said yes, that there had been a couple of those moments.

 

[30:05] Was January 2 a planned date?

 

Renee said yes, it was a planned date.  She went to work that day and was cutting hair with shaky hands.

 

[35:40] How did you get through the last 45 days? 

 

Renee says that they bought a new treadmill, have been binge watching Netflix, just finding things to keep their minds off of it.  But that it was really hard at first.

 

[38:53] How has working with a counselor helped with your anxiety and depression?

 

Renee says it helped a lot.  She didn’t have any anxiety after the first couple weeks.  It just started to get a little better and better until now, when she says she has none.   

 

[40:40] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

I realized that alcohol has basically affected everything in my life.

 

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

 

Recently we got a lot of snow here and we took the kids sledding.

 

  1. What is some advice you’d give to your younger self?

 

To try and surround myself with people who aren’t party people.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

Well definitely your podcast, lots of reading.

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

 

We want to do a lot more traveling.

 

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

 

If you are thinking about drinking, or if you are thinking that you drink too much, you probably do.

 

You might need to ditch the booze if…

 

You do a drunken cartwheel and wake up in the morning to find your whole hand is black and blue because you broke your middle finger.

 

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats.

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

You can find more information about our event here.

 

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

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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 – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”

 

RE 265: The Strategy of the Comfort Zone

RE 265: The Strategy of the Comfort Zone

Janine took her last drink October 6, 2019.  This is her story.

If you have ever wanted to attend a Recovery Elevator event you should get yourself to Denver in June for the Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind – June 11-14th, 2020.  This event will be, essentially, the closeout event for Recovery Elevator.  You can find more information about our event here.

On today’s episode Paul talks about your comfort zone, why it’s important to have one, why it is so important to get outside of it, and how it is possible to get too far out of it.  The true authentic you doesn’t exist in your comfort zone.  Stepping outside your comfort zone even once, makes it easier that you’ll do it again.

As for ditching the booze, here are some strategies in regards to the comfort zone.  Instead of quitting forever, aim for one day, or 50% of the days in a month.  Burning the ships?  Go at your own pace.  90 meetings in 90 days too much, aim for 1 a week, then 2 a week.

 

[20:00] Paul introduces Janine. 

 

Janine is 32 years old and is from Pensacola, FL.  She is married and has a 9-month-old daughter.  Janine is a former kindergarten teacher.  For fun she likes to go to the beach with her family, walking her dog and spending time with her daughter.

 

[24:00] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Janine took her first drink when she was 17-years-old and she immediately loved the feeling it gave her.  Through college she feels she drank like every other college student.  Janine says her drinking didn’t take off until she started her teaching career, and that gradually over the years she was drinking more and more.

 

When she met her husband, and knew that it was something serious, she says she knew that she was going to have to do something about her drinking.

 

 

[26:45] Talk to us about the methods you used to try and control your drinking. 

 

Janine said she tried them all.  Switched from liquor to wine/beer.  Still getting backout drunk after switching to wine she tried drinking a glass of water after every glass of wine.  Not drinking during the week, but even when that worked, she was still getting blackout drunk all weekend.

 

[28:15] Was there a time when fear came in and you didn’t think you could stop? 

 

Janine said yes, that that is exactly what happened.

 

[30:30] Can you tell us a little about postpartum depression?

 

Janine said for her she felt like she lost some of her identity, her whole life now revolved around another human being.  She had days when she would look in the mirror and not even recognize herself.  Her emotions were all over the place.  Janine ended up going to her doctor and getting on antidepressants, but was still drinking.

 

[35:00] Tell us what happened next. 

 

After trying to modify, by having no alcohol in the house, Janine said she went and bought 2 bottles of wine and drank them one night after the baby was in bed.  She got blackout drunk, sent strange texts, and spent the next day crying and filled with anxiety.  She couldn’t deny it anymore, she knew she had a problem and couldn’t control it.

 

Later that day her dad, a recovering alcoholic himself, called Janine.  She says his first words were, “I just felt I needed to call and hear your voice.”.  Janine said she just lost it and opened up to him for the first time.

 

[40:30] What was that first AA meeting like and what happened after that?

 

Janine said she was terrified to go that first meeting, but that after the meeting people came up and were very friendly.  She said she was also comforted by the fact that there were other teachers there.  She was still feeling like her life was over that first week.

 

[44:14] Was there a challenging moment when you wanted to drink, and how did you get past it?

 

Janine said she had several in the beginning.  She said when those times came up, she would call a friend, or call her sponsor.

 

[45:25] How has the relationship with your husband changed? 

 

Janine says her husband fully supports her and has also quit drinking.  She feels like their relationship has gotten a lot deeper.    

 

[54:30] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

I would say when I made that last attempt to control my drinking by not having alcohol in my house

 

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

 

Spending my daughter’s 1st Christmas completely sober.

 

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

I am a big fan of water.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

I enjoy this podcast; I don’t get to attend AA meetings as much as I would like but I also enjoy reading.

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

 

I am actually thinking about taking up blogging.

 

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

 

If you know in your heart that you can’t control your drinking anymore, don’t listen to the lies that your mind is telling you.

 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if…

 

You get blackout drunk while watching Dateline.

 

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats.

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

You can find more information about our event here.

 

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

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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 264: Broken and Whole

RE 264: Broken and Whole

Aaron took his last drink October 6, 2019.  This is his story.

If you have ever wanted to attend a Recovery Elevator event you should get yourself to Denver in June for the Recovery Elevator LIVE: Dancing with the Mind – June 11-14th, 2020.  This event will be, essentially, the closeout event for Recovery Elevator.  You can find more information about our event here.

On today’s episode Paul talks about it being possible for things to coexist in your life, you can feel calm and accomplished while you still have things to do.  It is important to recognize both parts equally.  When you are in the middle of a tough emotion you can chose to ride it out on the surface, which would be the mind, or deep down, which would be the belly area of the body.  Do you best to get out of the mind and stay in the belly, preferably with belly breaths.

 

[13:00] Paul introduces Aaron. 

 

Aaron is 54 years old and lives in Pittsburgh, PA.    He is a chiropractor and loves health, fitness and exercise.  Aaron has a 65-acre farm and plays rugby.

 

[17:50] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Aaron didn’t drink until his dad passed away from heart failure when Aaron was a junior in college.  His friend left some wine coolers at his house and he decided to give them a try and he liked the way they made him feel.  He continued to drink through college and alcohol made him the life of the party.

 

Aaron moved to Florida after graduation, he was 21 years old and had a teaching degree.  He was only drinking on the weekends at this time and started playing rugby.  He says drinking and rugby go hand in hand.

 

Aaron graduated from chiropractor school and continued to only drink on the weekends.  This was his drinking pattern through his 30s and 40s.  It was in his late 40s that he realized that he hadn’t gone a week without drinking, even if it was only on the weekends.  He thought he might have an issue with alcohol but he didn’t think it was a big deal.

 

[29:55] Talk to us about how you tried to hide it before you fully got on board on stopping. 

 

Aaron says that this went on for years.  He was hiding beers in cereal boxes.  He was waking up in the middle of the night with pounding headaches.  Aaron said his wife started to notice what he was doing and started to call him out.  He started getting sick and having headaches after just 2 beers.

 

[33:33] Get us up to speed to before your sobriety date. 

 

Aaron says in 2018 he stopped drinking for 6 months, but then at a bar one night said, “I got this.”, and had an IPA.   That started another year of drinking for Aaron.  In October of 2019 he said he has got to stop (drinking) and that time he meant it.

 

[39:22] What has been working for you these last few months?

 

Aaron said he listened to the Recovery Elevator podcast.  He told his wife and kids.  Aaron has started to tell other people that he just isn’t drinking anymore.

 

[42:05] What has been the biggest thing you have learned about yourself along the way?

 

Aaron says he thinks he saw himself as being compulsive and having a problem and then thinking he can break the problem.

 

[47:40] What got you through your brother’s death without taking a drink? 

 

Aaron said he had no desire to drink at all, he knew that his brother’s death was caused by alcohol.  He no longer has a mental or physical desire for alcohol.

 

[51:30] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

When I saw my kids drinking and having problems that I had.

 

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

 

When we go out to restaurants and I order water with lemon.

 

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

Seltzer water.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

I only have one, I listen to Recovery Elevator over and over and over.

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

 

I just want to have family functions without beer.

 

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

 

Just keep listening.

 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if…

 

When you are having drinks out at the restaurant and you go to the bathroom and your pee is clear and you say to yourself, yes…it’s kicking in, because you know now that the beer is kicking in.

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats.

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

You can find more information about our event here.

 

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

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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 263: Top Ten Benefits of Quitting Drinking

RE 263: Top Ten Benefits of Quitting Drinking

Tara took her last drink February 4, 2019.  This is her story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about the top 10 reasons for quitting drinking.  Number one; your authentic self will begin to emerge.  Number two; you don’t have a headache due to lack of aspirin in your system.  Number three; you’ll begin to find out who you aren’t.  Number four; you’re open to signs from the universe.  Number five; you can start to see the insanity of the mind.  Number six; your brain will start to produce regular amounts of melatonin.  Number seven; welcome back oxytocin.  Number eight; you’re part of something much bigger.  Number nine; you stop hoping.  Number ten; you have a chance to start working on the one big lesson you’ve signed up for in this lifetime.

 

[19:15] Paul introduces Tara. 

 

Tara is 46 years old and lives in Seattle, WA.    She is a preschool teacher, founded her own preschool 25 years ago.  She is married to her high school sweetheart and has 2 adult children.  For fun Tara loves to dance.

 

[22:30] Give us a background on your drinking.

 

Tara says there were 3 scary moments that caused her to pause and think that alcohol could be a problem.  The first was when she was 15 years old and she was at a wedding and the bar was opened up to her.  This was a formal wedding and Tara jumped into the pool.  She was the only one in the pool.

 

Tara’s second scary moment was also in high school.  She was at a party drinking hard alcohol and decided to get into the hot tub.  Tara says she got so sick that she threw up blood.

 

Tara’s third scary moment came when she was in her forties and was on an annual girl’s trip to Palm Springs.  She drank like she normally did, with no off switch, and she fell and hit her head.  All Tara could think about when that happened is that that was how her dad died.

 

[38:25] Talk to us about right before you quit drinking. 

 

 

Tara says she went to a party and started drinking, and instead of calming her anxiety like she felt alcohol usually did, her anxiety amped up.  It made her question how much she was going to have to drink to feel that ‘warm blanket’.

 

[42:50] Your Dad is listening right now, what do you have to say to him?

 

Tara said she just wants to let her Dad know that she loves him, and she’s proud of him.

 

[45:20] How did your relationship with your husband change after you quit drinking?

 

Tara says that her bond with her husband is even stronger and deeper now.

 

[49:00] What has been your biggest challenge this last year?

 

Tara says is the ones that kind or catch you out of nowhere.

 

[50:40] What’s an excuse you used to tell yourself of why you couldn’t quit drinking? 

 

Tara said it was telling herself that she didn’t drink every day or that she didn’t drink by herself.

 

[51:20] What are your thoughts on relapse? 

 

Tara says that on a personal level she doesn’t see it happening to herself.

 

 

[54:40] Rapid Fire Round

 

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

 

I’m happier without alcohol.

 

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

 

A trip to Costa Rica and no drinking whatsoever.

 

  1. What’s your favorite alcohol-free drink?

 

I like iced tea or Bubly water with a little mint in it.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite resources?

 

I love to listen to your podcast, and many others.

 

  1. What is on your bucket list in a life without alcohol?

 

A lot more travel, and I hope to go to Thailand.

 

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

 

Just stick with it.

 

 

You might need to ditch the booze if…

 

You put a bikini on at a formal wedding and jump into the pool when nobody else is in the pool.

 

 

 

Upcoming Events and Retreats.

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

You can find more information about our event here.

 

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

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Connect with Cafe RE– Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY 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 262: Do the Work

RE 262: Do the Work

Vinny took his last drink 9 ½ years ago.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about change.  Whether you like it, or not, you are always changing.  You’re either building new circuits or adding new blockages to your energy field.  With an addiction it’s either gaining momentum or you’re lessening the energetic bonds of the addiction.  You must make time to always do the work.

[15:45] Paul introduces Vinny. 

Vinny is 61 years old and lives in Bangkok.  For fun Vinny like to read, watch a good TV series, going to meetings and helping people.

[19:20] Give us a background on your drinking.

Vinny discovered alcohol in his late teens and continued to use it for 10 years. The next 10 years involved alcohol and smoking marijuana.  He added crack to the mix and became a crack addict for the following 5 years.  He went to 2 treatment centers and didn’t get clean until 2004.  He hit his bottom while living (homeless) in Las Vegas.  He managed to get sober after that and it lasted 3 years.

[22:45] What in your message you want to get out?

Vinny says that recovery can be simple.  Simple means it’s not complicated.

[27:13] How can thinking get us into more trouble?

Vinny says that most of us do not think, or see, very clearly.  He says we act based on the false evidence we see in front of us, so obviously if we are not relating to reality, we are always going to make the wrong choices.

[30:05] What do you see is the biggest challenge that someone on this journey will face?

Vinny says he thinks that people have the illusion that they have to do it all themselves.

[38:05] What do you think addiction is and where do you think it comes from?

Vinny says he doesn’t know where addiction comes from, and that it doesn’t matter.

[44:00] Talk to us a little bit about self-loathing. 

Vinny says self-loathing is shame.

[46:35] Talk to us about burning the ships and being honest with others. 

Vinny says that sometimes we are not even aware that we aren’t honest with ourselves.

[52:30] Do you think that someone can become recovered?

Vinny says if you want to use the word recovered in the present moment, yes.  If recovered means you are cured, then no.

[54:50] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?

Pepsi-Cola

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

The energy here at my job, on a Saturday afternoon, seeing 30 recovering people connect with each other.

  1. What’s some of the best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t take yourself too seriously.

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

Take responsibility for yourself.

You might need to ditch the booze if…

You are a healthcare provider and you are taking care of somebody that needs you, and you have ran out of booze at 3 o’clock in the morning, and you abandon him and go and get booze.

Upcoming Events and Retreats.

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

Recovery Elevator in Costa Rica: From Jungle to the Beach – October 8 – 18th, 2020

You can find more information about our events here.

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

Resources mentioned in this episode:

ZipRecruiter

This episode is brought to you in support by ZipRecruiter. Right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Visit Ziprecruiter.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.”

 

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