Episode 425 – What Recovery Pathway is Right for Me?


Today we have Doug. He is 59, from Buena Vista, CO and he took his last drink on July 28, 1982.


Join Recovery Elevator in Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend for a fun conference style meet up at the Marriott in Alpharetta.  This event is all about getting your connect on and it will be a fun time.  Spouses or loved ones are encouraged to attend the Sunday night event and Silent Disco afterwards!


[2:30] Thoughts from Paul:


When building your recovery portfolio, a good goal is 50% external and 50% internal. At first, the internal work may be too big of an ask, but as your nervous system settles down, you want to aim for a balanced split. Here are some quick examples of what I mean when I say external vs internal:


Driving to an AA meeting, or hopping on a Café RE zoom chat
Phoning a sober friend
Working with a sponsor


Reading Quit-Lit


When building out your recovery I recommend this 5-tiered approach:

  1. Community – AA, SMART, Café RE, therapy, sober friends. Burn the Ships!
  2. Action/Movement – Chemicals of wellbeing, endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin are released when we move.


  1. Inner Peace – Meditation, breathwork, creative ventures, writing, time in nature.
  2. Knowledge – Podcasts, Quit-Lit, learning about new things in and out of recovery.
  3. Universe – This is not religion, but it is the spiritual component of recovery.


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[11:55] Paul introduces Doug:


Doug had his last drink on July 28th, 1982, when he was 19 years old. He lives in Buena Vista, CO and is married and they have two adult children. He has worked in upholstery, cabinet building and installations, and has built some houses with his son. He enjoys the mountains, biking and riding his motorcycle.


Doug grew up in a normal family and wasn’t exposed to heavy drinking. His first experience with alcohol was when he was 4 years old when he remembers having a few sips of his mother’s drink. He felt the warm glow and really liked it. Later when he was 12, a friend of his stole a bottle of liquor from his parents and while his friends were mixing it with soft drinks, Doug drank straight from the bottle. He felt something click – suddenly, he felt normal, and like everyone else.


When Doug was 16 his mother passed away and the drinking escalated and continued to be excessive after graduation. Some friends invited him to Alateen meetings, and he started attending weekly. Once a month AA members would come in and share their stories. He started identifying with some of the stories which got him to start question his drinking. He realized that he was becoming less like the person that he wanted to be.


When one of his former drinking friends disappeared from the meetings, he found out that they were working on sobriety with AA. That friend was a speaker at one of the meetings, and Doug noticed that they looked healthy and at peace. He chose to speak to him afterwards and expressed an interest in possibly attending AA but wasn’t quite ready for it.


Doug finally accepted the invitations to attend and was planning to go to a meeting on July 29th. The night before he found himself drinking and when he saw himself in a mirror started asking himself why he was drinking. He didn’t have a good answer for that.


AA has been a big tool for Doug, along with volunteer work. He knows that if he had continued drinking, he would not have had the life he has. He believes in counting blessings, finding things to be grateful for and putting sobriety before everything else.


Cafe RE  Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.

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