Derek took his last drink August 22, 2019.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul talks about what a Nolo drink is, non-alcoholic beers, and kombucha…and whether, or not, we should stay away from them if they have trace amounts of alcohol.  He also talks about the roll, if any, that cannabis and plant medicine play in recovery.

Paul also explains about some of the changes taking place with Café RE.  Sone of the changes is, starting on May 1st, 15% of the membership fees will dedicated towards a partnership with a non-profit organization that is geared towards helping those affected by addiction.

The link to the article where Paul gets his information from can be found here.


[15:35] Paul introduces Derek. 


Derek is 35-year-old and is from New York City, currently living in Philadelphia, and is a real estate agent.  Derek loves riding his bike and playing ping pong.


[18:42] Give us a background on your drinking.


Derek started drinking when he was 13 years old, drinking on the streets of New York.  Derek realized that he loved the feeling of being out of control. When Derek was 17 years old his father was killed in the World Trade Center and he used alcohol to cover up those feelings.  Alcohol helped him get through those brutal moments and became like his best friend.  He says he continued to drink like that up until 6 months ago (his sobriety date) and those feelings are all coming back up.


[21:00] When did you start to realize that alcohol was not working for you? 


Derek said it was about 3 years ago.  The negative started to outweigh the positive.


[23:14] What happened when you realized this?     

Derek said he started keeping track on a calendar of his drinking days, verses his non-drinking days.  He tried to slow down.  He started making negotiations with himself, like not drinking during the week, only drinking beer.  One very drunk night he realized that he just had to stop, that moderation did not work for him.


[27:35] Why do you think willpower flew out the window when you were drinking?


Derek said that when he took that first sip he was no longer in control.  He said it was like a monster that lived inside of him and every time he let it out, he was no longer in control.


[32:33] Talk to us about that moment you stopped drinking, and how you did it. 


Derek said the first couple days were easy because he had such a bad hangover, but the first weekend was tough because he didn’t know what to do, that he had not gone a weekend without drinking in years and years.  He said what he started to do was start to do the things he enjoyed again.  He started to play the piano and guitar again, started to workout again.


[35:30] How did you do it after the first week?


Derek says he started watching YouTube videos of people that had gotten sober.  He found the Recovery Elevator app…and then the podcast.


[37:20] What are some of the emotions you are facing now that you are no longer drinking?


Derek said that in a way he had never dealt with losing his dad in the way he had.  He recently got married and could not share that with his father.


[38:10] What is important to you in life?


Derek says his health is one of the most important things to him.  He said that also that just who he is, is important to him.  Drinking made him a liar and selfish, and that has changed a lot.  He now tries to be a better person overall.


[38:50] What are some strategies you use now, instead of drinking?


Derek says that exercise is big, he wakes up early to exercise.  He has started using a steam sauna, ping pong, biking, outdoor activities.  Derek also said that talking to other people that have similar stories, that he had just attended his first meeting.


[39:40] What roll has your wife played in this?


Derek said that his wife stopped drinking with him and that she has been his biggest supporter.


[43:30] Rapid Fire Round


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


That I am stronger than I thought I was.


  1. What’s an excuse that you used to tell yourself for why you couldn’t quit drinking?


My friends, my social circle…what would I do, I wouldn’t have anyone.


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


Coffee or seltzer.


  1. What are some of your favorite resources?


Your podcast, I’m not just trying to blow smoke, it’s really helped me a lot.


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


To stay alcohol free is the number one thing, and I would like to travel again.



  1. What are your thoughts on relapse?


It’s never going to happen to me.


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


Just do it.


You might need to ditch the booze if…


You think you might need to ditch the booze.



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


“Recovery Elevator – You took the elevator down, you have to take the stairs back up.  You can do this.”




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