RE 217: 10 Ways to Ground Yourself in Sobriety


Brad, with a sobriety date of August 31, 2018, shares his story.

Paul talks about the ‘now’ and ways we can ground ourselves while we find ourselves taking this thing one day at a time.  At some period in our journey we will find ourselves logging our days in our tracker like it ‘ain’t no thing’.  Then there are other days when we wake up and keeping the mind in check can be a constant struggle.   Paul shares some of his own favorite personal techniques that he uses to ground himself.

  • Acknowledge what is really happening.
  • Think in terms of “we” rather than “I”
  • Take your shoes off and walk barefooted outside.
  • You are nature…take time to go out in your natural setting, nature.
  • Slow down.
  • Do not multitask
  • Pay close attention to the body
  • Go from saying, “I can get through this’, to saying, “I AM getting through this”.
  • Go with the gut.
  • Last one is I tell myself “Dude, Paul…this isn’t you!”

If you have a grounding technique that you use, that isn’t listed here, email it to Paul and put “Grounding Techniques” in the subject line.





[12:10]  Paul introduces Brad


Brad is 31 years old and is from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He is a traveling salesperson and sells health care products to providers.  He is married and has a daughter.  For fun he likes to golf and recently has joined a kick boxing gym.


[14:15] Give us a little background about your drinking. 


Brad was a good kid all through high school.  At 17 he had a job as a barback where he learned a lot about alcohol.  He was pretty much alcohol free all through college.  When he was 20 years old he went to England and that is when he started to drink, not having too many sober days while there.


Later, at 21 years old, he is back in the states working as a resident assistant and is spending as much time as he can at the bar.  Later he moved back home into his parent’s basement and was sneaking off to the bars, rather than spending time with them, as much as he could.  This is where he met his wife.


They got married and, on their honeymoon, because he had had so much to drink, he almost drowned himself.  He continued to drink the duration of the honeymoon.  Fast forward to his wife being pregnant with their daughter, a lot of changes taking place in their relationship and he is no longer the focus of it.


After his daughter was born, he was laid off from his job.  He spent a lot of his nights, while helping care for his daughter, drinking heavily.  In January of 2018 his grandfather committed suicide.  Brad found another job and then there was a spiral from June to August, 2018.  August 31, 2018, he got pulled over for drunk driving.  He hit his bottom in a jail cell.  The next day his dad took him to his first AA meeting.  After appearing in front of a judge he his charges where dropped.


[19:40] Talk to us about a couple moments where the writing was on the wall (before your sobriety date).


He missed a flight home because he was drinking in the airport bar.  Spending too much time drinking after golf.


[23:15] Did you ever try and quit before your sobriety date?


He tried to moderate, but never felt that the problem was great enough to quit.


[26:25] Walk us through the 3 options you gave yourself after your DUI.


Laying on the cot in jail, after just calling his wife who was driving all over Fort Wayne looking for him, he realized he had 3 options.  He could run, he could figure out his life was meaningless, or he could get help.  So he picked getting help.  Getting to a meeting the next day and, if his wife didn’t divorce him, he could live in his parent’s guest bedroom until they figure it out.  For 2 months after that he was going to AA meetings every day, making living amends to his wife every day, and going to work.  On day 4 he found the Recovery Elevator podcast.


[31:25] Talk to us about burning the ships with your mom, dad, and wife. 


His wife was pissed, his parents were in shock.  He told them how he missed flights because of drinking, and how he needed to have a drink to help him sleep.  His parents were in tears, but supportive.  His wife told him that if he ever drank again, she was taking their daughter and would be gone.


[33:37] How did it feel when you let your parents and your wife know what’s going on with you?    


A small weight was lifted, but there was an extreme sense of guilt.  It felt freeing but he also knew he had a lot of work to do.


[34:45] Talk to us how the charges were dropped and then the bomb you got about the charges on January 31, 2019. 


He appeared in court, expecting the worst, and was told ‘case dismissed’.  That was not one of the options he was prepared for.  His attorney told him to go live his life.  His new life was to not touch alcohol, continue with his sobriety and his meetings, and that’s what he did.  Sometime later he got a call from a friend, who is an attorney, that infored him that his case was back up.  His case had been refiled.  He was booked, back in and out of jail, sober this time.  He was ready to accept responsibility.  He called his employer and told them that he may need something to ‘blow into’ so he can drive.  He realized that he may lose his job over this.  He was fighting and was doing it sober.


[39:26] I feel like this is going to be a good thing for you Brad, how do feel about it?


Brad agrees.  It has made him live day to day.  It has made him mad at alcohol.  He has stopped focusing on himself and more on his wife.  It has helped him get through his 4th and 5th step.


[41:45] How did you get and stay sober?


He did a lot of candy eating.  He did his best at doing the 90 AA meetings in 90 days.  He tried not to put any pressure on his wife to forgive him.  He tried to show what he wanted through his actions and not his words.  He goes to a therapist/marriage counselor.


[43:47] What do you feel you were using alcohol to cover up?


He says he’s awkward and that there was some abuse growing up.  Possibly some depression.  Mostly it was just to find connections with other people.


[47:50] Rapid Fire Round



  1. When was your ah-ha moment?


When I was in an airport boozing with a pilot.


  1. What have you learned about yourself on this journey?


That it is OK to ask for help and OK to be vulnerable.


  1. What is you plan in sobriety moving forward?


I want to be a resource to help people.


  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?


Stop kicking your own butt.


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


Never be afraid to reach out, you are never alone.

  1. You might be an alcoholic if…


If you switch from Maker’s Mark to vodka on the back nine because you think you play better with vodka in your system than whiskey.


Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:


This episode is brought to you by the language learning app Babbel and right now, my listeners can try Babbel for free. Download the app, or text Elevator to 48-48-48

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


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

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“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 216: The Unfu*ck Yourself Movement


Libby, with 112 days of sobriety, shares her story.

Paul talks about a trend he noticed in the airport bookstore.  Amongst the ’20 best sellers’ there were several books with clear, unambiguous titles.  Our society is collectively starting to wake up and are looking for ways to unf*ck ourselves.  He says that all of these books, including the one he is currently writing, are not fulfilling a trend or a niche, but that it’s a movement.

Paul recently read an article titled the Age of Anxiety in the New Republic,

According to studies by the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 20 percent of Americans experience an anxiety disorder in a given year; over 30 percent experience an anxiety disorder over the course of their lifetimes. And the rate is rising: The American Psychiatric Association, in a May study drawing from a survey of 1,000 American adults, diagnosed a statistically significant increase in national anxiety since 2017.

But listeners listen closely, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with you.  Never has been, never will be. This anxiety is a good thing. This collective state of unrest will eventually show us the way.

This jittery national mood has given rise to what Rebecca Jennings at Vox has dubbed “anxiety consumerism”—the rise of a plethora of products, from fidget spinners to essential-oil sprays, to weighted blankets.  Perhaps the most well-known product to fall into this anxiety consumerism category is alcohol.

Those who struggle with addiction are the trailblazers in the collective unf*ck yourself movement. Not just for those who grapple with addiction to alcohol, but for everyone.


[7:15] Libby how long have you been sober?   

She has been sober since October 23, 2018, giving her 112 days of sobriety.

[7:40] In these last 112 days what is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered? 

She says that the cravings and the obsession to drink in the first couple months was definitely the toughest time.

[9:00] Paul Introduces Libby.

Libby is 32 years old and lives in Louisville, Kentucky.  She is an interior designer and is currently waiting tables at night.  She has been married for 5 years, has no kids, has a dog named Boomerang, and a cat named Brice.  For fun she works out, does crafts, is decorating her house, and enjoys hiking when the weather is nice.

[11:05] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

Libby had her first drink at 15 and throughout high school she drank on the weekends.  By early 20s she was drinking daily, but still highly functional, holding two jobs.  She was coasting by until 2017 when she got fired from a job.  Libby says this is when her drinking ‘got wheels’.

[12:30] What led you to seeking out alcohol to alleviate the pain?

She was fired suddenly, in a hateful way, and she had never gone through anything like that.  She was devastated and started drinking all day.  After a couple of weeks, she was experiencing morning tremors, or shakes, which she had never experienced before.  By the end of 2017 she was drinking in the mornings just to function.  During this time, she tried out AA a couple times and decided she just wasn’t ready.

[14:50] What was it like when you went to the AA meeting?

Before going into her first AA meeting Libby had the shakes so bad that she had to have a shot of alcohol.  She didn’t really have any intention to stop drinking, she just wanted control over it.  She wanted to stop drinking during the day and get control of her life again and just be a functional drinker.  Fast forward to 2018 and she had managed to cut back on her drinking, only drinking at night.  That lasted a couple months.  In April 2018 she found herself drunk at work and went home and told her husband that she needed to get into a treatment program, that drinking had taken control again.

The next day, after drinking, she tried to get into an inpatient treatment program.  The first place turned her away because they didn’t take her insurance, the second place allowed her to stay for 3 days for ‘medical detox’ and then released her due to her insurance as well.  After being dry for 3 days she thought she had things under control, but she picked up right where she left off.

[21:40] Take us through the next steps in your journey.

Not having a day job Libby was able to drink all day.  After about 2 weeks her husband, tired of coming home and finding her drunk on the couch, packed his bags and left.  He called her best friend and told her that Libby was in trouble, but that he didn’t know how to help her.  Her best friend made some phone calls and found a free center, The Healing Place, that would take Libby.  She stayed there for 4 days while she detoxed and went home.  Back at home she stayed sober for 11 days and then again was right back to where she left off.  After showing up at work drunk and hitting what Libby calls her first bottom, she went back to The Healing Place and stayed for 30 days.

[26:35] Take us from when you got out after your 30 days up to your sobriety date. 

After about 74 days of sobriety, meeting with her sponsor and going to 3 AA meetings a day Libby found herself at the liquor store buying a bottle without giving it any thought.  Looking at this as a ‘slip’ she got right back on the wagon and back to her meetings.  Sober for another 46 days she then relapsed, drinking for 6 days straight.  This was her 2nd bottom, this binder ended on October 22, 2018 and she has been sober ever since.

[28:40] How do you look at those ‘relapses’?    

As lessons, she learned that they start in her head first.  Now when her thoughts start going in that direction, she recognizes it and has a new method to deal with it.

[33:15] Why do you think you drank?

She said that in the beginning it was just because she enjoyed it.  During her 20s she had a lot of trauma and it helped her feel better.  Drinking became a habit, then she physically depended on it.

[34:40] Paul and Libby discuss what steps she can take to protect her sobriety while her husband continues to drink. 

[40:55] I’ve seen where sobriety thing is contagious, what are your thoughts on that?

Libby agrees, attraction rather than promotion.

[42:50] What have you learned about yourself in this journey?

She has learned she is a lot stronger than she thought she was.

[43:30] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your absolute worst memory from drinking?

Libby describes her last couple days of drinking.

  1. What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?

I am going to continue working the AA program and working with my sponsor and I want to eventually help other people stay sober.

  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t believe the lies.

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

Give AA a shot.

  1. You might be an alcoholic if…

You drink mouthwash in the morning to try and get rid of the shakes before work.

A pint of beer takes 15 minutes off your life

For someone in their 40’s every glass of alcohol above the suggested weekly threshold of 5 shortens their life by 15 minutes. Alcohol is shit.

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by Robinhood. Right now, Robinhood is giving my listeners free stock such as Apple, Ford or Sprint to help build your portfolio. Signup at


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

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Sober Selfies! – Send your Sober Selfie and your Success Story to


“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 215: Alcohol is Shit, but it’s also the Invitation


Ashley, with 192 days of sobriety, shares her story.

Paul talks about how alcohol is the invitation.  What is this invitation?  It’s called addiction.  Depending on how you RSVP you could have a life filled with infinite joy.  The fact that you are listening to this podcast right now is a good clue as to how you’re going to RSVP.  At first the invitations may not show up with enough frequency to connect the dots.  But, sooner or later, these invitations will start to show up more frequently, once a year, once every 6 months, once a week, once a day in every aspect of our lives.  For many that struggle with addiction they ignore this invitation their entire lives and it is not pretty.  If we stick to this long enough it will become clear that our addiction is the best thing that has happened for us.

For those of you listening, you have earned your invitation.  Keep in mind the pain and suffering required to initiate this positive change in behind you.  This thing called life, if it hasn’t already, is about to get good.  So how will you RSVP to this invitation?





[12:30] Paul Introduces Ashley.


Ashley lives in Chicago, IL with her sister and their 2 dogs.  She is single and is 31 years old.  She recently finished cosmetology school and is currently an apprentice to become a hair stylist at a salon in the city.   For fun Ashley likes to cook, enjoys music and going to concerts, power lifting, meditation, and is back playing soccer.


[14:30] Give us a little background about your drinking. 


She was 13/14 years old the first time she got drunk, in her neighbors’ basement.  She remembers going home and telling her mom that she had been drinking, and that she got sick.  During high school she hung out with a lot of different crowds so went to, and drank at, a lot of parties.  She says she knew right away that she had a problem.  From the moment she would start drinking she would fixate on how she could drink more.


When she got into college, she hit the ground running with partying.  She did a lot of partying and blacking out, had a lot of fun and didn’t get into any sever trouble, which she says, she thinks is why she continued to drink like she did.  In the back of her mind she was telling herself that once she was done with college things would change and she would grow up.


After college she moved to Chicago and continued to drink on the weekends (Thursday-Sunday), which felt normal to her.  When she was 25, she woke up one morning, grabbed her phone, and Googled “what is an alcoholic?”.


At 27, after a relationship that ended badly, she found herself in a super dark place.  She was depressed, having panic attacks, eating disorder flair ups, drinking, and drugging.  She managed to pull herself out of that dark place, and to prove to herself that she didn’t have a problem she didn’t drink for 30 days.


[22:15] What was it like when you did prove it to yourself and not drink for 30 days?    


She felt she had it under control, although she continued to do drugs.  Then she slowly started drinking again until she was drinking more than she was before the 30 days.  She started blacking out every time she drank.


After a really bad incident with her ex she walked into AA.  She made it 65 days before she went back out for another year and ½.  That year and ½ it got even worse, she was drinking hard and using a lot of drugs.


On July 23, 2018 she came clean with her doctor and walked back into AA where she found an amazing group of women and her home group.


[28:37] Comment a little more about honesty. 


Because of her issues with depression and anxiety her whole life she had been in/out of going to therapists.  She said she always lied to them about her alcohol/drug use.  After also being diagnosed bi-polar she knew she had to come clean with her doctors.


[32:15] Why do you think you drank?


She said that to begin with, alcoholism runs in her family.  She wanted to escape from the feeling of having to micromanage her up/down feelings all the time and that unfortunately she thinks she was just made for it.


[36:00] How did you do it?  You talked about AA, what else did you do to get sober?     


She stopped going to the places where she always drank, like concerts and bars.  She sought out a higher power.  She started running.  She made sure she got to her AA meetings and listened to the podcast, of course.


[38:00] Tell us how you got through your week-long family reunion during the early days of your sobriety.


With about a week of sobriety she tried to look at the trip as a way to take advantage of the beautiful nature, instead of a big party.  She listened to podcasts and hiked.  With only a week of sobriety she wasn’t comfortable telling her family yet, and she was terrified of failing if she did.


[42:15] After burning the ships on FB you mentioned you got reactions you didn’t expect, what kind of reactions did you expect??


She thought that people really wouldn’t care, or that they would think that it would change who she is.  She didn’t expect all the positive response.


[43:30] Talk to us about some wins in sobriety. 


She can fly with out hitting the airport bar first.  She can go to concerts and remember everything.  She can go out with friends and have fun without drinking.


[44:50] What is something you learned about yourself during this journey? 


She is super sensitive and can feel others emotions which used to be scary, but now that she is sober, she has learned how to use it to help other people.



[46:38] Rapid Fire Round



  1. What was your absolute worst memory from drinking?


My mom had surgery one time and we were in the recovery room and I was so hungover, and probably still drunk, from the night before that I threw up all over the hospital room.


  1. What was your ‘oh-shit’ moment, indicating that alcohol had to go?


The morning I woke up and just knew I couldn’t keep doing this.


  1. What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?


To keep building a network.  Keep working the steps and stay in AA.  To keep on doing what I’m doing, one day at a time.


  1. In regards to sobriety what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?


To take everything one day at a time.


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


Avoid things that are triggering to you and strive to do things that are healthy and look for self-care.


  1. You might be an alcoholic if…


You constantly find yourself keeping tabs on other peoples’ drinking.


Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events 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


“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 214: What You Seek is Also Seeking You


On today’s podcast we’ve got Dr. Sue Morter, and she’s going to talk to us about how our bodies and minds have the capacity to heal themselves if we allow it.

Registration is now live for the Recovery Elevator retreat in Bozeman, Montana this upcoming August.  You can find more information about this event here

Paul discusses addiction and how there are hundreds of definitions for what addiction is.   He has covered several of them on this podcast already, and covers many more in the book that he is currently writing. Some definitions are scientific. Some are psychological. Some explain the disease theory.

He brings up another definition that, in his opinion, may be the simplest and most accurate. Paul suggests that addiction(s) are nothing more than signposts in life. Addictions are nudges from the body, your internal and external environments, that signify that a change needs to occur.

Many people struggling with addiction ignore these internal and external cues their entire lives, and this gets ugly. There are signposts everywhere in life.  Paul’s advice? Get out of the way and let life happen.

The content that Dr. Sue Morter writes about in her book, The Energy Codes, which was released about a week ago, is profound.  (You can find the link here .)  She explains through quantum science how we can use our own energies to heal ourselves if we let it happen. Be prepared to have your mind blown.





[7:44] Paul Introduces Dr. Sue.


Dr. Sue is an international speaker, master of bioenergetic medicine, and a quantum field visionary. She explains how quantum science and spirituality are speaking the same language. Dr. Sue redirects the flow of energy patterns in the body to activate full human potential. Through her presentations, seminars, retreats, which Paul attended one this past February in Colorado, and her book The Energy Codes, Dr. Sue illuminates the relationship of quantum science and energy medicine, as well as the elevation of human consciousness and life mastery.  In the book The Energy Codes, and at her retreats and conferences, she teaches individuals how to clear subconscious memory blockages.


[9:45] What is addiction? What causes it, and can it be overcome Dr. Sue? 


Dr. Sue is about the flow of energy in the body. If the energy is flowing in the body then the body is healing itself.  What happens with addiction is that there are sets of circuits that are supposed to be connecting our enteric system, meaning our digestive, hormonal, and chemical balance system, with our heart, with our mind. We’re supposed to be one big communication system, everything having a check and balance on everything else.


What happens is we have a tendency to kind of land and splat when we get here. We land in this life and our mind goes one way, our body goes another way, and our breath goes another way, and we’re kind of not operating on all of our cylinders because of that.


Addiction happens when we bypass certain aspects of our own personal power, and we reach outwardly for some kind of reassurance, whether it’s an addiction to an emotion, an addiction to needing to know the future, or to control things, an addiction then later turns into chemical addiction, substance abuse, those kinds of things.


[13:08] What do you feel about addictions, and can we overcome them?


She says we can absolutely overcome them. In fact, she feels that they are in place to reveal to us where we are here to evolve. We come into this life for a reason, and the addiction itself shows up in a certain pattern.  Dr. Sue says it’s an avenue to our wholeness, not a problem. It’s just a very intense solution.


[14:37] Earlier I talked about addiction being a signpost, almost an invitation of where to go next in life, and that many of us miss this. Can you comment on that a little bit?


We miss the lamp post, the light house, because we’re so consumed in guilt, and shame, and fear because we start to observe our addictive patterns, and we start to try to outrun them even faster because we are afraid that something is inherently wrong. That whole sensation is generated because the mind is not connected to the rest of who we are.


When we do see the light post, the sign post, everything shifts. When we don’t see it it’s because we haven’t created enough of a vibrational frequency to get the mind’s attention yet.


[17:16] Talk to us about how disconnection can lead to addiction.  


When we land and we splat, we come up from the splat attached to the mind. We are attached to the mind. It’s important to realize that we are not the mind. We have a mind, but we are so infused and inter-meshed with it that we think it’s who we are.  Bear in mind that the mind is based in duality, and the mind’s job is to separate things, to see the differences, to make distinctions.  If we’re attached to the mind, we inherently feel different and distinct from other things. When we’re attached to the heart, or to the soul, or to the truth of who we are, our true essential selves, we are connected, vibrationally speaking, to nature, and to everyone else, and to all that exists.


When we are disconnected to our heart, and our deep wisdom, we don’t experience ourselves as wise, loving, brilliant, smart, and enough to meet the bill. What happens instead is we divert, we deflect, and the energy moves around this area.  The next thing you know we’re looking for an imitation. We’re looking for some other sense of self that gets hidden in our activities, or our substances.


[21:40] Talk to us about the trap door.


This energy that’s rising up through the body that either does or does not pass through our own personal identity on its way through to love, and to manifesting the life that we would choose to have, it’s rising up through the primitive brain and it hits a trap door that’s either open or closed. That trap door is closed if we’ve experienced too many things in our past that we couldn’t really resolve.


[25:00] What advice, or what do you have to say to people who, the first month of sobriety, first six months of sobriety, they feel these uncomfortable emotions? (PAWS) Do they run away from them? Do they go towards them? What are these emotions, and what do you recommend they do when they experience them?


It’s not that the body generates those emotions when you stop drinking. Those emotions were always there. You just couldn’t sense them or perceive them, because you were either running from them, or you were numbing them out. They are your power. Your power is inside of those emotions that currently might feel a little intense, or a lot intense. And we can learn how to grab ahold of those energies and get them back into the flow, breathe them into the flow that’s trying to happen in our system that keeps us connected.


 [29:10] If we feel a meltdown coming do we squash it? What do we do? What are they?


Dr. Sue 100% suggests that we lean into it. The body is trying to get us to implode back into the soul.  Just by allowing ourselves to sit in presence with what is rising is a victory beyond what we were able to do before.


[35:48] Can you talk a little bit about how everything that happens, even on a day to day basis, is there for our advantage?


All of it is ultimately serving you. You are made of the entire cosmos, and you are packed into a body. And more of it is arriving every second, and it’s 100% in support of your awakening to this truth, to your greatness, to your magnificence. Everything that happens in your life is guiding you, and steering you toward a great shakedown that will make you let go of being attached to the mind and this idea that you’re a separate self, and accept, and receive, and perceive this amazing support that is constantly here supporting you toward you realizing a different version of life altogether.


[38:50] You did an incredible job of explaining how science, quantum physics, is blending with spirituality, with a higher power. Talk more about this.


What’s happening is science and spirituality are kind of meeting on the same page and recognizing that there is a great unifying presence, and each of us has the opportunity to allow that to guide us in particular ways.

[42:06] Dr. Sue walks listeners through exercises so they can build circuits and create new connections, inside the body, on their own. 


[55:13] Listeners, Dr. Sue’s book The Energy Codes was just released about a week ago and you can find it here.   


She also has incredible retreats, taking people to sacred sites all over the world, along with teaching all kinds of coursework across the country.   For more information you can go to


Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events 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

“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 213: The Most Controversial Word in Recovery


Mina, with a sobriety date of May 30, 2017, shares his story.

You can sign up for a FREE 5-day Recovery Elevator video course here.

Paul discusses the most controversial word he has encountered in AA.  The word is recovered, as in your addiction to alcohol is behind you.  Although recovered is mentioned in the books of AA, after Paul said the word in an AA meeting, he noticed a shift in the energy in the room.  Ty (who has been editing the podcasts for over 150 episodes straight…Thank you Ty!), found the word recovered mentioned over 20 times in The Big Book and the Twelve and Twelve.

So why is the word recovered so controversial?  Is recovered even such a thing?





[10:30] Paul Introduces Mina.


Mina with a sobriety date of May 30, 2017, is 37 years old and is from Stockholm, Sweden.  He is single and has no children.  He is a software engineer.  For fun Mina likes to read, visit museums and exhibitions, and spend time in libraries.


[12:20] Give us a little background about your drinking. 


Mina had his first real drink at the age of 17, it was his first high school party and the first time he blacked out.  From 17 to 25 he was drinking hard.  He was drinking on his own, drinking Friday to Monday.  During those years he didn’t really mix drinks, he would have a couple beers and go straight to vodka or tequila.  After a couple years it was just bottles of vodka or tequila, and he was drinking alone.  After a humiliating experience in 2003 he tried to regulate his drinking for the next 3 years, which did not go well.


In 2007 he decided to move back to South Africa, where his parents were living.  Before leaving his friends threw him a going away party, which ended with Mina waking up in a hospital emergency room and not knowing how he got there.  For the first time he realized he had a drinking problem.  The next 11 years he says he was a textbook dry drunk.


On May 29, 2017 Mina had his last drink.  The following day he walked into an AA meeting, was done fighting, and introduced himself as an alcoholic.



[28:22] How did it feel when you said you were an alcoholic?    


The word itself wasn’t that difficult.  But saying it in front of a group of people, who then clapped, gave him a sense of relief and he started crying.


[32:45] You mentioned that you had the shakes for two weeks after your last day of drinking, what is your take on that?


He says he doesn’t even remember those first two weeks.  He knows he called his AA sponsor a couple times, he took a couple days off work, and that he was doing things to take care of himself.


[35:20] What kept you going during those first two miserable weeks?   


He knew he was going to die if he drank again.


[36:30] What are some of the lessons you learned in the first 30 to 60 days?     


In the first 30 days he had to learn how to be honest about everything. In the first 60 days he had to learn how to trust other people.  Both of these were incredibly hard to do.


[39:48] Share with me how important it is to bring other people on in your recovery.


Mina started telling his closest friends during the time he started to do his amends (AA step 9).  Most of his friends were in shock because he was so good a lying that they had no idea he had a drinking problem.  The friendships became closer after he told them.


[41:30] Why do you think you drank?


There are several reasons.  He drank to feel normal and it helped him to socialize.  When he drank alone drinking was the elixir for everything that was wrong.  He drank because he wanted to die.


[43:50] Is there anything you would have done differently when getting sober?


Mina says he would have listened to his sponsor regarding dating.



[46:00] Rapid Fire Round



  1. What is your plan in sobriety moving forward?


More spirituality, more service, and working on myself in terms of projects I never did because I was drunk.


  1. What are some of your favorite resources in recovery?


The practice of meditation I one.  Music is another resource.  The third resource is to really work on some deeper issues.


  1. In regards to sobriety, what is the best advice you’ve ever received?


Do you want to be right, or do you want to be at peace?


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


Choose yourself today.


  1. You might be an alcoholic if…


You wake up in your own piss and shit after a hard night drinking.







Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:


This episode is brought to you in support by Blinkist. Right now, my listeners can try Blinkist for free. Visit for your seven-day free trial.


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


“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside-out.”

RE 212: The Body Tells us Where to go Next


Tricia, with a sobriety date of November 14, 2016, shares her story.

Sometimes we reach a moment in our journey where we say, “what’s next?”.  Paul discusses what he would recommend when you reach this moment.   Do not go ‘seeking’, that reinforces a mind state that we are lacking something.   Instead, listen to the body.  The body is going to tell you where to go next.



[7:30] Paul Introduces Tricia.

Tricia with a sobriety date of November 14, 2016, is 37 years old and lives in Dallas, TX.  Tricia is a chef by trade, a business owner, and has a few side hustles.  She is divorced and does not have kids, but has a ‘manfriend’.  For fun Tricia likes to do crafts and puzzles, and enjoys live music.

[8:40] Give us a little background about your drinking. 

Tricia grew up around alcoholism and addiction.  She had her first drink at 16 years old, getting drunk at a party to get back at a boy who had hurt her.  She says she always drank to get drunk.  Blackouts started in her early twenties and she started to try to moderate by her mid-twenties.   Tricia was always a high achiever and she soon became a high achieving, high functioning, alcoholic.   The hard part was coming to terms with the fact that she had a problem when she was sure everything looked fine from the outside.

[15:10] Did you have a rock bottom moment, or was it an accumulation of many moments?    

Her drinking took a turn for the worse when she got divorced at the age of 34.  She was blacking out every time she drank, waking up with injuries and didn’t know where they came from.  Tricia says at a certain point you can no longer negotiate with alcohol.  After a 3-day physical detox she decided to keep the dry spell going.

[20:22] Why do you think it’s so hard to quit drinking?    

We love to get in our own way.  Alcohol is highly addictive.  Our egos get in the way.

[26:16] What got you from the beginning of your sobriety to where you are now?   

First and foremost, she had an open mind.  Tricia stopped doing what she wanted to do and started doing what other people told her she should do…and she tried everything.  She started attending AA regularly.  She was open and honest, and she started doing the things that were uncomfortable.

[30:20] Is RECOVERED a thing?     

She says it depends.  In Tricia’s opinion, alcoholism isn’t about the alcohol it is about the stuff you are drinking over.  She says you (she) can be recovered from the alcoholism while at the same time not be recovered from the stuff you (she) drank over.

[34:00] With 2 years and 3 months, what are you working on in your recovery now? 

She says she’s in some transition right now.  Being patient with the things that are out of her control is something she is working on, on a personal level.  She is also trying to bring more sober events to the forefront, such as the Sober by Southwest event she is bringing to Austin, TX on March 16th.

[40:00] Paul and Tricia talk about the RE events and her podcast, Recovery Happy Hour. 

[46:00] What are some themes you are seeing in your podcasts?

Grey area drinking is a big one.  People are over the label ‘alcoholic’.  Sober dating is another one.

[53:00] Paul and Tricia talk about how things have changed since the beginning of their sobriety to now. 

[56:20] Rapid Fire Round

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

You do not need to be an alcoholic to decide to change your relationship with alcohol.

  1. You might be an alcoholic if…

You wake up and you plan your entire day around accommodating your drinking or your hangover.

Upcoming retreats:

Bozeman Retreat – August 14-18, 2019

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

You can find more information about these events here

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This episode is brought to you in support by Robinhood. Right now, Robinhood is giving my listeners free stock such as Apple, Ford or Sprint to help build your portfolio. Signup at

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


“Recovery Elevator – It all starts from the inside.”

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