Paul summarizes the book “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron. 

How can we live our lives when everything seems to fall apart—when we are continually overcome by fear, anxiety, and pain? The answer, Pema Chödrön suggests, might be just the opposite of what you expect. Here, in her most beloved and acclaimed work, Pema shows that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined. Drawing from traditional Buddhist wisdom, she offers life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into habitual ease and boundless joy.


Tyler, with 137 days since his last drink, shares his story




[7:45] Paul Introduces Tyler.  I’m 33, live in Austin, Texas.  I am an editor for a national magazine, and I am an HIV pharmacy rep in Texas.  I have 2 standard Poodles named Jones and Indy (Counting Crowes reference, not the movies).



[12:57] Paul- When did you realize that maybe your drinking is not normal?

Tyler- I started about 3 years ago evaluating my own behavior.   I wanted to look into my own behaviors and recognize that I’m 33, and I am binge drinking 3 nights a week.  I took a 30-day sober challenge, and then I was wasted on day 31.


[17:06] Paul- Was it a question in your mind that you were getting worse?

Tyler- I still question whether I was or not (having a problem with alcohol).  Let’s just go ahead and say I have a problem with it.  My balance is none at all.  If I weren’t so exposed to alcoholism, it wouldn’t have showed me what it could do to a person.


[21:21] Paul- It sounds like you woke up one day and said “I have a drinking disorder.”  How did that feel when you reached that conclusion?

Tyler- It was terrifying, I was going slowly in the process.  I did go to an AA meeting my first month.  It is a wonderful program, and I will never close my door to that program.  It was organizing my thoughts around what I am, and what I’m not.


[29:19] Paul- Walk us through a typical day for Tyler.

Tyler- I am still figuring out how I do it.  I went to a wedding in Mexico at a resort, which had, it struggles.  I volunteer a whole bunch; I volunteer at an animal shelter, and at a local clinic.  I do meditate quite a bit for 20-30 minutes a day.  I am on a kickball team here in Austin.  The hardest part about my journey is navigating my same social circles sober.


[32:47] Paul- What have you learned most about yourself in recovery?

Tyler- I’m honestly a very intense person.  Alcohol used to water down my intensity.  I have to find other ways of chilling out. 




[35:23] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? The memory that I lost.  The worst memory is having zero memories.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? It boils down to that one last night.  It turned into an all night party. 
  3. What’s your plan moving forward? To stay sober.  We are getting married, and working on adoption.  Talking about it publicly, and being an open book for others helps me keep my head on straight.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery?  A Recovery podcast episode- RE 74: 50 Ways to Stay Sober This Summer.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Alcohol is literally shit, and why are you putting it in your body?
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  If you are thinking about getting sober, do it.  Lean to the side that says you have a problem, don’t run the other way.
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you wake up with a wig on, and you don’t know how it happened.


Resources mentioned in this episode:

RE 74: 50 Ways to Stay Sober This Summer

Gay, Fabulous, and Drinking Myself to Death

“When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron

Recovery Elevator Retreat

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

Sobriety Tracker iTunes

Sobriety Tracker Android

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



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


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