Val took her last drink on June 26, 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.

2020’ Recovery Elevator LIVE event, Dancing with the Mind, will take place June 11-14 in Denver, CO.  You can find more information about our events here.

On today’s episode Paul talks about some recent events that he has gone through and why he ended up in Oaxaca, Mexico.

While meditating this past June, Oaxaca; the name, the city, just showed up.  Shortly after that, Oaxaca started showing up in film, tv, Netflix episodes, the Internet, and a gift he received from his mom was from Oaxaca.  Paul says he then knew he had to travel to Oaxaca.

Sobriety is your superpower, and an offshoot of that superpower is putting the body and mind in a state of calm.


[12:00] Paul introduces Val. 


Val is 30 years old and is from Fort Collins, CO.  She works from home for a software company.  Val is married and is one of 5 children, and also has 4 step siblings.  For fun Val likes to golf, walk her dog, do crafty things, cook and enjoys the outdoors.


[16:00] Give us a background on your drinking.


Val started drinking around the age 14/15 in high school, usually just on the weekends.  In college her drinking became almost a daily activity, which was also the time she was prescribed Adderall.   During college Val worked at different bars, and continued working in the restaurant industry after college.  In a way, working at these places, validated Val’s drinking because she didn’t see herself as bad off as those she was serving alcohol to.

Once out of college her drinking habit changed and she was drinking more at home, with her husband.  This, at the age of 24/25, is also when she started using her Adderall more than it was prescribed.  Adderall kept her productive even with a hangover.


Around this same time Val says she started to realize that she (and her husband) might have a problem with alcohol and they started trying to moderate.


[21:48] Half way through this year you both stopped drinking for a couple weeks, and then both relapsed, fill us in from there. 


Val says she was out of town when they relapsed, and that when she came back her husband was ready to be sober.  She said she would do the same, but it was because she was abusing her Adderall and it was keeping her high.  When she would run out of her Adderall she would start drinking again.


[22:55] What was the tipping point for you?


Both Val and her husband started going to AA.  Val was going to meetings and meeting with her sponsor, but still drinking.  Her tipping point came one night while throwing out all the bottles she had been hiding.


[25:45] Talk to us about what happened after that moment of clarity?    


Val says she stayed up all night and waited for her husband to wake up because she had to tell him she had been drinking.  It was a very emotional moment, he had known she was drinking, but he wanted her to make the decision to stop.  A couple hours later she emailed her doctor and told her what was going on and to stop prescribing her any medication.  Later that same day she also shared with family member and her sponsor.


[27:40] What happened after you burned the ships?


Val says it created the accountability she needed, and she could no longer go back.


[30:43] How has it been for you off the ADD meds?


Val says she doesn’t get her house as clean as she used to, but that she is a more whole person without them.


[31:56] Talk to us about the last few months, has there been challenges, have you had cravings?


Val has had cravings, but says she doesn’t get them as often anymore.  Working from home can be triggering, and that is when Val plays the tape forward.


[32:34] Walk us through a typical day.


AA is still a bog part of Val’s journey and she goes to 2-3 meetings a week.  She has worked all the 12 steps with her sponsor and just recently started to sponsor someone herself.


Val tries to get up at the same time every day, take a walk, do a daily reflection, and then jump right into work.  Keeping a routine is really important to Val.


[42:10] Rapid Fire Round


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


That connection with other people is so important.


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


Every single day has been a memorable moment.


  1. What is your favorite alcohol-free drink?


LaCroix, any sparkling water, and my bad habit drink is the Redbull Pear Sugar-free.


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


Any, and all, podcasts I listen to.  I have read Annie Grace’s book, and your book Paul.  And I am an avid believer in AA.


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


Right now, my focus is on my job, and hopefully in the near future starting a family.


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


If you are on the fence if you should stop drinking, then you should stop drinking.


You might need to ditch the booze if…


You are literally drinking in your closet before you attend an AA meeting.


Upcoming Events and Retreats.

Asia Adventure – January 20-31, 2020

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.


Resources mentioned in this episode:

Hello Fresh

Get 9 free meals at 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


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

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