my freedom is back

No seriously, I felt completely liberated

 

Only one year earlier, I barely made it. My lungs burned, my thoughts were sedated, my head was in such a fog, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate and comprehend the moment.

I was on a free trip as a chaperone for a high school field trip to Machu Picchu with one of my best friends. Of course I tried to get my butt in gear by quitting drinking months/weeks/days before the trip, but I drank the entire way to Cusco, Peru.

Fast forward 10 days with no alcohol, I had survived the 38 mile trek, and was ready to start my new life of sobriety. When I said good bye to the students and forged ahead in what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime traveling South America, I was dumbfounded to find a drink in my hand only a few hours later.

That six week journey ended up being one of the most exhausting, dangerous, and miserable parts of my life.

 

collage of Paul Churchill traveling in Peru at Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and home in Montana with his dog

The following year, I was fortunate to chaperone the same trip only this time things were different. I arrived in Cusco, Peru at 6:05 am with a distance of almost 8 months from my last drink.

I was eager to get off the plane and start the trek. The taxi driver dropped me off at the hotel where the students were staying and my mind was clear. The previous year, I was drinking only hours before I met the students. This year, I made an effort to get to know the students; and I found I was enjoying myself.

On the trek, without the affects of withdrawing from alcohol at 13,000 ft, I was a completely different hiker. I would arrive at camp first, drop my bags off, return down the trail and carry bags for the slower hikers. This year I noticed the glaciers on the 15,000 ft peaks across the valley. Were they there last year I wondered? The smell of the Andes was crisp and clean which I didn’t notice the year before.  Did I have a stopped up nose last year?

When the students departed, I continued traveling for another 5 weeks and had the experience of a lifetime traveling Peru, Brazil and Argentina.

What is Café RE?

 

Imagine a place where you can hear from people who have been in recovery for months, even years. A place where you can safely post your questions, struggles and victories to be met with support, advice and celebration. This is what Café RE is.  A community of people seeking the same goal, sobriety! Open your smart phone or computer daily and find inspiration, accountability and connection with other people on the same journey as you. Check in when you are struggling or needing support and accountability. Have people cheering you on, celebrating your victories and pulling for you every step of the way!

Why Should You Join?

First off, take look at yourself in the mirror. In the summer of 2014 before I quit drinking, that alone was extremely difficult. I didn’t recognize the face staring back at me. There I was staring at a person that used to be my best friend, my strongest source of support , my best ally, and I realized I no longer was able to look at myself in the mirror. I asked myself what I wanted more than anything in life at that moment and that was to get my life back and to do that, I knew I had to stop drinking. If this resonates with you, the question should be why shouldn’t you join, but here are a few reasons why the Recovery Elevator private community is a way to get your life back on track and return to a time when happiness was attainable without alcohol.

 

Experienced Members

We have members who have been sober for a long period of time. They’ve been where you are. They have a tremendous amount of experience to share, but so do you! We have chosen to grow this group slowly, paying attention to who may be a good fit and who may not be. This group may not be for everyone, and that’s okay. Those who realize it’s not about what you GET from the community, but what you can GIVE are the ones we see being the most successful. Those who ask questions, share with others, attend webinars, and get out of their comfort zones are the ones who benefit the most from this private online community.

 

A Thriving Community Focused on Sobriety

This community is open to more than just a 12 step program. You will find that this group is thriving and full of conversations and discussion on what is working for those who are staying sober. Some members have used 12 step programs and others have never stepped foot into a meeting, but they all have one thing in common: they are all serious about quitting drinking and leading a better life.  RE members are also smart, funny, interesting and just plain awesome people that you will enjoy getting to know! New members often express how friendly, open and welcoming the community feels, even more than they expected. We achieve this by fostering a community built on trust and fairness. We have policies in place for a reason, and enforce a “no jerks allowed” policy. We are not afraid of removing people from the community who don’t bring a positive vibe to the community or are downright no fun to have around. We will make a point of getting you plugged in and connected with the community, and all this with the understanding that you want to be here and the expectation that you will put in effort. We know the relationships developed in Café RE go deep and has prompted local and national meet ups so you will have the opportunity to connect with other members in person. Another great resource you may want to try is the free accountability forum.

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