Tom took his last drink February 16, 2019.  This is his story.

On today’s episode Paul shares stories from listeners, and Café RE members, sharing their experiences during this Covid-19 pandemic.   We’d love to hear how you are doing through this as well.  Email your story to

Paul also reminds us to cut ourselves a break, practice self-love and compassion.  He asks that you love yourself, regardless of where you are on this journey.  For some free guided meditations, go here.


[18:55] Paul introduces Tom. 


Tom is 64 years old and lives along the shore of Lake Erie, near Cleveland, OH.  He is married and has 2 adult children, a son and a daughter.  For work Tom is a graphic artist, and for fun Tom loves to cook, which led him to vegetable gardening, which is also a loved pastime of his.  Tom is also a big history buff.


[26:55] Give us a background on your drinking.


Tom started drinking in high school and found it helped him overcome his shyness.  He continued to drink regularly for about 18 years.  He didn’t drink every day, was more of a binge drinker.  Drinking made outgoing and he liked it.


In 1991 Tom got a DUI while driving home from a wedding.  Up until that point Tom had never thought about quitting drinking.  After getting the DUI he just stopped.  He stopped for about 14 years.


[28:25] What happened after 14 years?


Tom said after 14 years he just started easing back into it, drinking occasionally.  That continued from about 2005 to 2017.  In 2017 Tom realized that his drinking was causing more anxiety than it was solving, and he became sober-curious.


[34:00] Was there a time during those 5 months of day 1s that you just wanted to give up?     


Tom said it was more a frustration because it was ridiculously consistent and he couldn’t seem to break the habit.  In February of 2019 Tom got the flu and missed a couple days of work, during which he drank, while trying to hide it.  Tom’s wife called him out on it and on February 17, 2019, Tom joined Café RE and hasn’t had a drink since.


[39:00] What was it like when you reached out for additional accountability?


Tom said he thought, why should he do this alone, so after listening to the Recovery Elevator podcast he joined Café RE.  He started getting posting videos and connecting with other members.  The connections led to in-person meetups which are one of the biggest parts of Tom’s sobriety and life.


[47:47] What can you say to people out there that are struggling and can’t make it past day 1? 


Tom says that when you are getting started you have to change everything that you are doing.  He also suggests going for a walk until the cravings go away.


[55:22] What excuse did you used to tell yourself as to why you couldn’t quit drinking?


Tom said it was more of the excuse, why should he, rather than why he couldn’t.


[56:20] Rapid Fire Round


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


That drinking wasn’t a solution for anxiety, it was more of a cause for anxiety.


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

Meetups, absolutely meetups.


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


Virgin Canadian Whiskey and Diet Coke.


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


Meeting more people from Café RE.


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


Really connect, connect, connect on a personal level.


You might need to ditch the booze if…


You order a cello while drinking and you don’t play a musical instrument.



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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