This week’s topic is PAWS- Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms/Syndrome.  Paul explains what PAWS is, how to deal with it, and some of the signs to look for.

Josh, with 15 months since his last drink, shares his story


[8:13] Paul Introduces Josh.  I am from Phoenix originally, now living in LA; I am a digital content producer.  I am 36 years old.  I like hiking and exploring with my miniature golden retriever Diego.

[10:30] Paul- You left AA in recovery determined to find a way to drink normally.  How did that go?

Josh- Once you’ve been introduced to recovery and then you go back out, it’s tough because you can’t enjoy drinking the way that you were.  I just wanted to learn to drink responsibly.  To me it felt like there were people with more serious problems than me. 

[19:35] Paul- Why did things start to change after you adopted Diego?

Josh-  It took me out of myself.  Talking to others about their dogs.  Going to the dog park, and meeting other people.  I kept myself busy in early sobriety.  Having Diego at home with me really helped me more than I can explain. 

[27:49] Paul- Talk to me about outpatient treatment, what was that like?

Josh- I didn’t feel connected to the group, it wasn’t a good experience because I wasn’t’ putting the work into it.  When I was finally ready in 2016, it was a really good experience.  I went 6 days a week for the first month. 

[35:07] Paul- Where are you at these days with 12 step programs?  Do you go to AA meetings?

Josh- I do.  I was anti- AA for a long time.  I don’t embrace everything about it.  What I admire is that it is organized so well.  There is a core connection of people there if you want it.  I was going to 5-6 meetings a week the first year.  I definitely get something out of it.  It is not everything to me.  I am working the steps.

[38:31] Rapid Fire Round

  1. What was your worst memory from drinking? I blacked out in the middle of trying to go to Jack in the Box and moved my roommate’s car out to the street where it got towed.  We had to go to the tow yard and get his car.
  2. Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Too many to mention.  One being at my friend’s house and drinking his entire liquor collection.  Another one would have been when I almost been fired from my work.  I told myself I wouldn’t drink at work anymore, and 6 weeks later I was.
  3. What’s your plan moving forward?  My plan is to keep doing what works and stay connected.  I count my day’s everyday.  I take pride in each day as a separate milestone.
  4. What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Diego, my dog.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)?  “It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be.  I hope you live a life that you are proud of, and if you find you are not, I hope you have the strength to start over.”
  6. What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking?  This has to be the most important thing in your life. 
  7. You might be an alcoholic if you are out with friends at a bar, and you go to the bathroom, but you stop at the bar to have a shot by yourself, and then return to the table to resume to drinking.


Resources mentioned in this episode:

Post-Acute Withdrawal (PAWS)

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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