383 episodes

Here’s an idea. When you’re a closet alcoholic who’s quit drinking more times than you can count, start a podcast to hold yourself accountable as publicly as possible. Share your struggles, your triumphs, and every lesson you’re learning along the way. While you’re at it, invite others to share their stories of addiction and recovery so that you can learn from them and be reminded: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Getting sober is just the beginning. Staying sober, and then becoming the person I know I’m meant to be is the real adventure. Join me?

Recovery Elevator Paul Churchill

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.7 • 78 Ratings

Here’s an idea. When you’re a closet alcoholic who’s quit drinking more times than you can count, start a podcast to hold yourself accountable as publicly as possible. Share your struggles, your triumphs, and every lesson you’re learning along the way. While you’re at it, invite others to share their stories of addiction and recovery so that you can learn from them and be reminded: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Getting sober is just the beginning. Staying sober, and then becoming the person I know I’m meant to be is the real adventure. Join me?

    RE 379: Doing Your Part

    RE 379: Doing Your Part

    Episode 379 – Service
     
    Today we have Aaron. He is 40, from South Carolina, and took his last drink on September 15, 2021.
     
    Jeff was interviewed for the podcast on episodes 104 and 377, has a book out, and is now leading sober travel trips. See links below.
     
    Finding Bishop Castle: A Road Trip to Recovery -- https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Bishop-Castle-Road-Recovery/dp/0578882612/ref=sr_1_1?crid=350FVMX9SZBRI&keywords=finding+bishop+castle+jeff+bowersox&qid=1649339640&sprefix=Finding+Bishop+%2Caps%2C213&sr=8-1#customerReviews
     
    Afterglow Recovery -  https://ourafterglow.com
     
    Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20
     
    Highlights from Paul
     
    Paul talks about the benefits of service and climate change in recovery. Service gets you out of your head and out of your story. Dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin are released when we help others.
     
    Climate change could save us as a species by forcing us to work together and develop a collective strategy. Alcoholics can help because there’s one thing we can do that others can’t, and that’s meeting as a group, putting all our differences aside, and talking about healing, recovery, and LOVE.
     
    Paul wants climate change to unite us instead of dividing us. He is encouraging Recovery Elevator listeners to plant a tree, take a picture and tag us on Instagram @recoveryelevator.
     
    “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under the shade you don’t expect to sit.” Nelson Henderson
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month
                                                                                 
    [15:06]  Aaron has been sober for seven months and is married with two kids. He has an athletic household. He loves cooking, sports, and power yoga. 
     
    Alcohol wasn’t part of his life until his senior year of high school.   When he went to college, binge drinking was the norm. Alcohol came with comradery for Aaron. All his memories with his friends involved alcohol. At 23, he totaled a car after drinking to excess. He quit for a month after the accident. When he started working, he got an outside sales job involving entertaining customers. Both his work and his social life revolved around drinking. At times it felt like an obligation. His tolerance built up, and it never occurred to him to stop.
     
    His wife noticed and began to comment on his drinking. Aaron said to drink as he wanted meant being drunk. He saw a therapist specializing in addiction who helped him see several things. 
     
    Aaron’s 40th birthday was enough of a nudge to get him to address his drinking. His wife bought him a ten pack of hot yoga classes, and he went to his first one on his birthday. 
     
    Odette and Aaron discussed the dynamics of alcoholism running in the family and how to talk to children, siblings, and cousins about being mindful of the patterns that can develop.
     
    Accountability has been a big part of Aaron’s sober journey. His cousin has become his accountability partner, and they talk about the ups and downs of sobriety with each other.
     
    Odette and Aaron talk about the differences in sobriety that are new. Managing customers has worked well in sobriety. Aaron remembers his deliverables more readily and has found that as many customers want to be home with family as they want to party. Grieving your old life is allowed and makes sense.   Ditching the booze makes room for new experiences. 
     
    Odette’s Summary
     
    Odette reminds listeners that you keep us going. We want to hear from you about what you would like to hear from us in the podcast, social media, and newsletters. You can reach Odette at info@recoveryelevator.com.
     
    Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.
     
    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:
    You can find more information about our events  
    Resources
    Connect with Cafe RE - Use

    • 1 hr 5 min
    RE 378: Finding Grace

    RE 378: Finding Grace

    Episode 378 – Finding Grace
     
    Today we have Susan. She is 46, from Ohio, and took her last drink on June 14, 2019.
     
    Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20
     
    Highlights from Odette
     
    "Whatever courage got you here is going to take you far." You are brave, and you have courage. Learn to trust yourself. Define far for yourself. The unfolding of healing takes time, have patience with yourself. Odette has two sentences of a poem on her forearm: "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." Those words are a reminder of her strength, courage, and perseverance. 
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month
                                                                                 
    [09:20]  Susan has been sober for nearly three years. She is speaking on the podcast to get out of her comfort zone and overcome some complacency in her sobriety.
     
    Susan is married and lives in Ohio with a stepson and two dogs. She works for an investment company and loves the outdoors, the beach, paddle boarding, running, and Jeopardy.
     
    Susan grew up in a house of addiction and described it as WWIII. Her father was an abusive alcoholic. Her parents tended to numb out and not deal with anything. She realizes now many of her behaviors result from a trauma response. 
     
    Susan was often the caretaker for her mom, so the roles were reversed. She partied a fair amount in her twenties. Her mom died, and her sister was diagnosed with lung cancer. Her sister and brother-in-law died within seven months of one another. Susan retreated into her addiction. All the grief and pain from losing her sister was overwhelming. 
     
    Addiction was like a cocoon for Susan. It became so uncomfortable, and she had to stop. Susan tried naltrexone, but she wasn't ready to quit. Shame kept her drinking for some time, and in retrospect, Susan regrets that she didn't ask for help.
    Alan Carr's book podcasts and terror helped her to quit for good. Two months into sobriety, she attended Recovery Elevator's Bozeman retreat.    At Bozeman, Susan learned that community is essential. Susan struggled to share her recovery with her drinking friends.   She often said she was "on a cleanse." 
     
    Susan describes recovery as a radical act of self-love. Her progress in the last 3-years eclipses her progress in the previous ten. She is learning to get uncomfortable with being uncomfortable.    Meditation, gratitude practice, and Women for Sobriety zoom meetings are essential sobriety tools for Susan.    She suggests getting clear on your "why" to reinforce your commitment to recovery.   Susan believes you are worth it and deserve to be happy and have some peace.
     
    Kris' Summary
     
    Kris encourages you to share your story. Contact Kris:  Kris@recoveryelevator.com. 
     
    Kris describes his daughter's work to win a photography merit award. Even with life's ups and downs, her consistency reminds him of the consistency needed to maintain sobriety. Managing struggles, triumphs, and learning to grow through challenges is how you stack days and keep your commitment.    Sometimes our plans work out perfectly, while others kick us in the face. We don't know what's around the corner. Meet every challenge with love, patience, and grace. 
     
    You are the only one who can do this, but you don't have to do it alone. 
     
    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:
    You can find more information about our events  
    Resources
    Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
    Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!
    Sobriety Tracker iTunes 
     
    Recovery Elevator –It all starts from the inside out.
    I love you guys.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    RE 377: Your Favorites

    RE 377: Your Favorites

    Episode 377 – Your favorites
     
    Today we have Jeff. He is 47, from the Dominican Republic, and took his last drink on December 4, 2016.
     
    Bozeman Retreat:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/bozeman/
     
    Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20
     
    Highlights from Paul
     
    Listeners provided highlights of some of their favorite episodes of the Recovery Elevator podcast.
     
    330 – Learn to love yourself as your dog (or cat) loves you. You have a certain amount of energy and days in your life, and it is your choice on what to spend it on.
     
    207 and 220 – Tom Topp inspired a listener to see social anxiety as a similarity. Another listener helped her learn that the body does heal from elevated liver enzymes without alcohol.
     
    Another listener couldn't name one episode but instead said, sharing your story and recovering out loud helps shred the shame of addiction. It made me realize that I'm not alone, and together we can fight and overcome this!
     
    370 Stephanie – a listener, learned to put the same energy into her recovery that she did into drinking.
     
    Odette speaking about her relapse was also powerful
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month
                                                                                 
    [15:21]  Jeff feels great, thanks to five years of sobriety. He is married and splits time between Colorado and the Dominican Republic. He has a concierge service for people in recovery to enjoy a beach vacation without the triggers of alcohol. Jeff's services help sober experience sober fun.
     
    Jeff experimented with alcohol as a teenager and described alcohol as a warm hug. He married at 18 and put alcohol on the sidelines to become a provider. In his mid-thirties, Jeff spiraled into self-pity. After DUI's and jail time, it took him several years to embrace recovery. He remarried and was a grey area drinker, until his drinking was problematic again. 
     
    Codependency caused Jeff to take on identities for other people. In sobriety, he started to get to know himself. When triggered, he asks his wife for help. Jeff listened to ninety episodes of the Recovery Elevator podcast in thirty days. Stubbornness helped to make sobriety stick. Writing is a great tool for Jeff and posting in Café Re provides him with great feedback.
     
    Collecting the sober moments retrains the synapses in your brain to have different responses to triggering events.
     
    Odette's Summary
     
    You can handle this. Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.
     
    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:
    You can find more information about our events  
    Resources
    Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
    Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!
    Sobriety Tracker iTunes 
     
    Recovery Elevator –It all starts from the inside out.
    I love you guys.

    • 56 min
    RE 376: You Can be Right or You Can Have Peace Part II

    RE 376: You Can be Right or You Can Have Peace Part II

    Episode 376 – You can be right, or you can have peace – Part 2
     
    Today we have Ronda. She is 56, from New Orleans, and sober for 2.5 years.
     
    Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20
     
    Highlights from Paul
     
    We are all human, with faulty machines in the dome. It's okay to be right or want to be right, especially in the moment. Sobriety teaches us that we must choose peace. We don't have to choose peace immediately, but eventually, we must, or we develop resentments. Resentments, for many of us, can kill us. Why?   Resentments separate us. Disconnect us. And what's the opposite of addiction—connection.
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month
                                                                                 
    [10:23]  Ronda and Odette discussed the sobriety journey and celebrating the decision to quit vs. the date of your last drink. Ronda is from New Orleans and recently moved to Colorado. She has three grown children, and she is an anesthesiologist. She loves sailing, hiking, and traveling.
     
    Ronda's first addiction was an eating disorder. She coped with stress and shame with food. She recovered from the eating disorder at age 30, and alcohol became a problem. She got a DWI in her mid-forties. Ronda said she ignored all the signs. She didn't want to have a drinking problem. The culture in New Orleans portrays day drinking and excessive drinking as the norm, so it made denial easier.
     
    Ronda was more of a binge drinker than a daily drinker. Her kids started noticing her drinking. Her middle daughter was vocal about her concerns early on. So, Ronda began to hide her drinking. Ronda and the kids evacuated to Phoenix during Hurricane Katrina. Her problem with drinking started then, and it took her ten years to get help.
     
    After getting a DUI, Ronda had to go through a program to align with the recommendations of the medical board. Even her colleagues said, "it could have been me."
     
    When visiting her daughter in sober living, Ronda got sloshed at the airport and faced her daughter's disappointment when she landed. When her daughter stopped protecting Ronda, it was another AHA moment that she had a problem. After her daughter went to rehab, Ronda started moderating when her kids were with her. 
     
    There are multiple ways to get sober, and Ronda tried everything and found a mix of programs that worked. Ronda leveraged AA, The Tempest Sobriety School (run by Holly Whittaker), Recovery Elevator, and Café RE in early recovery. With a heavy emphasis on self-care, Ronda was able to find her true soul, her wounded inner child, and the ego that were all within herself. Learning to take care of herself allowed Ronda to stack days and helped her to deal with shame. Plant-based medicine was a pivotal moment in her recovery journey.
     
    Ronda was molested as a young child, and it was one of many childhood traumas that contributed to her addiction. Shortly after confronting her abuser, she took her last drink. It was a burden off her shoulders that she didn't have to hide anymore.
     
    Joy has permeated Ronda's life. She has learned new skills, confronted her past, and found many ways to have fun, including mediation, music, dancing, nature, bubble baths, community, and board games (particularly Bananagrams). Morning routines are critical to Ronda's sobriety routine. She removed herself from social media other than her recovery groups.
     
    Odette's Summary
     
    Odette talks about shame, day counts, and restarting. Committing to sobriety should add value, not shame, to your recovery. It's not about the date. It's about staying on the journey. Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.
     
    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:
    You can find more information about our events  
    Resources
    Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive th

    • 59 min
    RE 375: Decoupling

    RE 375: Decoupling

    Episode 375 – Decoupling
     
    Today we have Amanda. She is 40, from Florida, and took her last drink on March 25, 2019.
     
    The Bozeman Retreat has openings for men:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/bozeman/
     
    Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20
     
    Highlights from Paul
     
    Paul discusses anxiety and decoupling. Paul’s tipping point was in 2017 when his anxiety or hangxiety was so bad that he thought he was having a heart attack. As he sobered up, the anxiety temporarily worsened, then improved dramatically. 85-90% of Paul’s anxiety is gone today. Anxiety no longer controls him.
     
    Decoupling is untangling the thoughts, actions, and behaviors no longer serving you. Decoupling is a muscle. Start small and watch the momentum build. 
     
    You are the Placebo:  https://amzn.to/3M3ChKJ
     
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month
                                                                                 
    [10:20]  Amanda is married to a military husband and has two children. She works as a mental health provider. She loves time with her kids, baking, working out, and spending time with other sober people. 
     
    Amanda grew up in an alcoholic home. She grew up with verbal and emotional abuse and struggled with anxiety for most of her childhood. She was an athlete but quit. She began hanging out with an older crowd, and illicit drugs entered her life. She quickly reigned in the drug use. Going to school in New Orleans, her drinking escalated. Eventually, she discovered prescription drugs. She mixed them with alcohol. 
     
    She observed her mental obsession with alcohol during her second pregnancy. After having her first baby, she used alcohol to cope with the stress of motherhood and having a military husband who was gone a lot. At a birthday party, she drank a bottle of wine and still wanted more. She hoped her tolerance would reset, but it didn’t work that way.
     
    Amanda was highly functioning, working full time, eating well, exercising, and caring for her children. Amanda described herself as arrogant because she knew the ins and outs of addiction because of her career but continued to drink.
     
    After relocating from one part of the country to another, Amanda thought it was time to reign in her drinking. She started a fitness plan that included some aggressive nutritional goals that excluded alcohol to be more present. She felt great, but her drinking resumed. At her grandfather’s funeral, her husband noticed she drank an entire bottle of wine at 9 AM. Shortly after that, she knew she was “done” and told her husband she had a problem and needed help. 
     
    Amanda discovered Recovery Elevator and Café Re during her first two years. She has found the resources she needs to maintain her sobriety. She was initially active in AA. Community is now the core of her recovery. Feeling understood and accepted for all her parts is amazing. Amanda is learning to create distance from her thoughts, accept them and have compassion for herself and others.
     
    Odette’s Summary
     
    Odette thanks listeners for all the support and kind words she received during her last introduction to the podcast.   Remember that you are not alone and together is always better.
     
    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:
    You can find more information about our events  
    Resources
    Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
    Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!
    Sobriety Tracker iTunes 
     
    Recovery Elevator –Every time we say no to booze, we say yes to ourselves.
    I love you guys.

    • 59 min
    RE 374: Then Go Back Again

    RE 374: Then Go Back Again

    Episode 374 – Then go back again
     
    Today we have Meegan. She is 37, from Georgia, and took her last drink on April 21, 2019.
     
    Exact Nature:  https://exactnature.com/RE 20
     
    Highlights from Paul
     
    Addiction has the propensity to crack you open. We fight and dig our heels in, but eventually, the Addiction wins. This doesn’t mean you are destined to drink forever, but the Addiction cracks you open. Paul encourages listeners to use their energy to find what recovery method works for them. When you find it, go back again to the beginning. You will find that the messages you heard early in recovery have different lessons for you later in recovery. Go back again. Listen to those podcasts again, read the quit lit again or recovery books again, and do the steps again. You are a different person with a new set of skills,  experiences, and tools.    Revisiting those messages often provides a new value bomb. 
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month
                                                                                 
    [11:24] Meegan is a Family Nurse Practitioner and is married with three children. She loves running, snowboarding, and writing. Meegan describes a happy childhood until her parents had a tumultuous divorce, and it broke her heart. Life felt out of control. Meegan developed an eating disorder. She experimented with drinking in high school and described it as a rite of passage. Meegan made a few geographic moves for school.
     
    After a few moves, Meegan landed in Georgia, got married, and immediately had a baby. She was part of the Mommy wine culture. That was a lightbulb moment. She recognized that drinking with the baby at age 24 wasn’t good. Wine calmed her down after dealing with the stress of night shifts. Meegan started having extreme panic attacks. 
     
    Training for a 100-mile ultra-marathon made her drinking take a back burner. Her panic attacks subsided. At 30, she got pregnant with twins. Her father died around the same time, and it broke her. The stress of twins and her father’s death caused her drinking to escalate. 
     
    Value Bomb:  You can be the best version of yourself or be hungover, but you can’t be both. 
     
    As her drinking progressed, her hangovers became more debilitating. During a trip to Europe, her solution to hangovers was to continue drinking. While in Capri, she started having bad withdrawal symptoms. As a nurse, she knew what that meant.
     
    After returning home, she knew moderation wouldn’t work. Shortly after an embarrassing time with her family, she had a moment of clarity. She fell to her knees and asked God for help. The moment of clarity was a combination of spirituality, physical health, and mental health. She called her two best friends and promised her daughter she would never drink again. Her sister encouraged her to get a therapist.
     
    Meegan acknowledged that she didn’t learn healthy coping mechanisms. In recovery, Meegan is learning to feel her feelings. Perfectionism was a theme in her early years. Telling her story is a way for Meegan to let others know that failure is okay.
     
    Meegan “loves the quote, “Addiction is an experience, not an identity. “
     
    Kris and Meegan encourage listeners to find the recovery that works for you.
     
    Kris’s Summary
     
    Friendships in recovery are invaluable. You experience people who are present, listen with their hearts, and never shame you. Kris encourages listeners to lean in to discomfort. Share your experience. 
     
    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:
    You can find more information about our events  
    Resources
    Connect with Cafe RE - Use the promo code OPPORTUNITY to waive the set-up fee.
    Recovery Elevator YouTube - Subscribe here!
    Sobriety Tracker iTunes 
     
    Recovery Elevator –You are the only one who can do this, but you don’t have to do it alone.

    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
78 Ratings

78 Ratings

Robin2013/1984 ,

Just life changing!!!

I listen every night almost and keep re-listening . I’m so glad I discovered this, the interviews give hope and great advice with the open intros. I so glad it didn’t end and nice to have the other hosts on now too.

Keep doing what you’re doing!!! I can’t wait to see more sober bars. It’s going to help so many and this podcast it’s getting people inspired. 😸

Clarey8787 ,

Latest episode

I usually love your episodes but the latest one I just couldn’t connect with Lane who was interviewed - I don’t know why. I just had to share - she made it seem so easy. I really didn’t feel good after listening to it. I won’t stop listening though.

StrongBitch ,

Daily medicine

I’m so grateful that I only discovered this podcast at episode 300-something. I have made listening daily a major part of my recovery toolbox and love that I have the back-catalogue I can access whenever I need to get connected with the sober community. I can’t tell you how much it has helped hearing all the stories. I am no longer alone. Don’t stop recording, we need you.

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