Episode 471 – Progress and Perfection


Today we have Carl. He is 52 years old and lives in California. He took his last drink on August 22nd, 2014.


Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.


[03:08] Thoughts from Paul:


Arriving at a perfect balance with progress and perfection is ungodly hard, and we all struggle with it.


No one is perfect and if you’re telling yourself, you should be doing more of ABC and less of XYZ, welcome to the party, welcome to the human condition. There is progress though, you are self-aware which is more than 1/2 the battle.


We have to have dualities, for example, tall to know short, you need silence to know sound. You have to have imperfection to know perfection. They are both equally important and you can’t have one without the other.


So, with progress not perfection, most of us are using someone else’s version of perfection to define ourselves. While your soul is remarkably perfect, this is no perfection in this perfectly imperfect world. Go do you, and remember we are all just walking each other home.


Athletic Greens


[09:52] Paul introduces Carl:


Carl is 52 years old, and he is a graphic artist. Carl admits he didn’t have a lot of fun before recovery but now enjoys writing, painting, drawing, and podcasting. He is the creator of Sober Pod Recovery Podcast.


Carl had been in treatment as early as 15 years old and says that even while doing programs, he was essentially a dry drunk. He had other addictions and was able to get sober for five years before a relapse.


Carl married his childhood sweetheart who had a child from a previous relationship. Together they had three more children. He says he drank alcoholically and while he was functional, he pushed the limits and was mixing copious amounts of alcohol with other drugs. He would take the online tests and the conclusions would all lead to treatment.


Health consequences were happening for Carl, but he resigned myself to being the guy who drinks himself to death.  Towards the end he was able to string a few days together here and there, and since he had been able to quit a heavy meth addiction years earlier in life, he considered himself lucky to just be an alcoholic.

After two years of trying to quit drinking with little success, he joined a Reddit Quit Drinking page and shared some of his story. The feedback he found the next day after posing shared that he was likely doing damage to his family and that stung a little bit. Another person shared with him that he deserved to be happy, and Carl had never felt that way before.


Carl had gained 60 days of sobriety and then attended some AA meetings. It wasn’t a new scene for him but this time it was different, and he started going back. He was frustrated, acknowledging that in order to stay sober he was going to have to keep going. He didn’t want to be one of those people, but he decided to give it a try and work on the steps with sponsors.


Over time he was starting to feel more connected to the community and doing more service work. Reading became important to Carl, learning more and more about the path he wanted to go on. His creativity suffered initially in sobriety but says it has come back 100-fold. He reflects that AA should be used as a launching pad.


Carl’s perspective on the point of life: the meaning of life is to find what you’re good at, the purpose of life is to give it away to others.



Recovery Elevator YouTube

Sobriety Tracker iTunes 



Recovery Elevator

We took the elevator down, we got to take the stairs back up.

I love you guys.

Get the latest news from Recovery Elevator

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from team Recovery Elevator.

You have Successfully Subscribed!