359 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 • 1.3K 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 355: The Uno Reverse Card

    RE 355: The Uno Reverse Card

    Episode 355 – the Uno reverse card.
     
    Today we have Rocio.  She is 42, from Washington state, and took her last drink on August 31, 2020.
     
    Registration is now open for Restore which begins January 1,2022.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/restore/
     
    Highlights from Paul
     
    Paul reminds you if you drank over Thanksgiving or your sobriety plans aren’t going so hot, don’t kick the bucket to January or to the next holiday season. 
     
    This week’s tips from Paul include:  1) rest, 2) Uno reverse card – remember that most criticisms and judgments have nothing to do with you, 3) remind yourself that you are physically safe.  Much of our addiction is tied to an overactive nervous system that prevents us from departing from the fight or flight emotions.
     
    When we’re drinking, there is no time left to create, to explore, to discover, to get to know, or reflect upon. Instead, we are picking up the pieces, sometimes trying to put the pieces together from the night before. Much of this behavior is the body seeking safety and refuge from situations that may have occurred decades ago. Relax and let your inner guidance take over.   https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/
     
    Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20
                                                                                 
    [11:29] Rocio took her last drink August 31, 2020.  Rocio is married with three sons and lives in Edmonds, WA.  Rocio had an abusive marriage and had the courage to leave her marriage.  Her drinking wasn’t a huge issue until the last 6 years.  As her kids started to grow, she became part of the mommy wine culture and alcohol was part of everything from sports events to PTA meetings and family gatherings. 
     
    She noticed she was starting to plan around events.   Her husband was concerned, and always approached her with an attitude of help.  Rocio didn’t have a turn-off switch and she had some self-sabotaging characteristics.  She described that hamster wheel of parenthood, work, and fun.  Alcohol helped her numb. 
     
    Breaking her hip at a bike race became a turning point.  She didn’t stop drinking but had to learn to walk again and the recovery took a year.  Rocio was sober curious and did several dry January’s.  During a family vacation, she had some great insights about the role alcohol played in her family including some questions from her son.  About six months into sobriety, she started to get real clarity on her relationships and how she thinks.  Connection, accountability, quit lit, boundaries and self-care were great tools.  Her marriage is amazing, and she has great support. 
     
    Odette’s Summary
    Odette reminds us to protect our energy during the holiday season.  Give yourself permission to take care of you. 
     
    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20
     
    Holiday 2021 AF Survival Guide
      Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat. Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy. Develop a detailed craving game plan. FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out. Select a Holiday Theme Song. Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy One minute of intense mindfulness Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you’ll see it each day Have a fun escape plan Offer to do the dishes Study your why’s Rest Uno reverse card Remind yourself you are safe  
    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 
     

    • 59 min
    RE 354: Holiday Survival Kit

    RE 354: Holiday Survival Kit

    Episode 354
     
    Today we have Cordell.  He is 38, from North Dakota, and took his last drink on December 6, 2017.
     
    Highlights from Odette
     
    Odette has some helpful hints to contribute to Paul’s Holiday Survival Guide.  Odette suggests 1) have a fun escape plan, 2) offer to do the dishes, 3) dig into your arsenal of why’s.
     
    Beyond tips, Odette suggests really focusing on effective communications.  Set expectations in advance, particularly with those closest to you so they understand you are committed to staying sober, even if it means leaving early.  You don’t have to burn the ships either, you can reference plans early the next day.  Odette says having a puppy is a great reason to leave a party early. 
     
    Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20
     
    [6:05] Cordell took his last drink December 6, 2017.  He is 38 and has a wife and 3 kids.  He spends lots of time chasing kids and he works in a coal mine.  Sobriety is the best choice he ever made.
     
    Cordell was raised in a Christian family with lots of family gatherings in a small town with lots of alcohol.  Taking a sip of his parents’ drink was common.  In high school, alcohol was a given, part of the norm.  Cordell didn’t drink to have fun; he drank to get wasted.  He started working as a welder and drinking was part of the routine.
     
    At 22 he decided he needed help.  He smoked pot and took other drugs, and it had a spiraling effect.  He went to a 30-day Intensive Outpatient program.  He was sober for almost a year and decided he had it under control.  He would drink 1-2 beers at a party and “drink responsibly”. 
     
    At 24, his girlfriend was pregnant.  He wasn’t ready to be a father and his drinking really took off.   He lost his job, his friends, his car and was at rock bottom.  He met his son for the first time when he was 3 months old.  Meeting his son encouraged him to clean up his act a bit.  He quit taking drugs but continued to drink.  He moved in with his girlfriend, got a job and maintained as a functioning alcoholic.  His daughter was born two years later.  Almost immediately after his daughter was born, his girlfriend was pregnant again.   
     
    Cordell was often put in jail for fighting with his girlfriend.  He eventually got a job at the coal mine.  He and his girlfriend got married.  His drinking slowed, but extra income became an opportunity to start taking drugs again.  He was fired after a random drug screen.  His drinking and using escalated and his wife kicked him out.  He moved in with a buddy who was also drinking and drugging. 
     
    Ultimately, he went to rehab.  The withdrawal was hell, but he found new tools to have fun, and started to surround himself with healthy people.  Now he coaches wrestling, volleyball and is actively engaged with his kids.  He talks to his sponsor daily and he has learned how to apologize. 
     
    Kris’s Summary
    Kris reminds us our path isn’t linear.  He speaks about binging on feelings and emotions.  He is physically and emotionally exhausted.  Kris encourages us to shift our thinking an reframe recovery as a gift.  We learn how to feel and sit with our feelings, know they aren’t permanent and move forward.  Stick with it!
     
    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20
     
    Holiday 2021 AF Survival Guide
      Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat. Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy. Develop a detailed craving game plan. FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out. Select a Holiday Theme Song. Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy One minute of intense MINDFULNESS Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you’ll see it each day Have a fun escape plan Offer to do the dishes Study your why’s  
    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:
    You can find more information about our events  
    Resources
    Connect wi

    • 1 hr 4 min
    RE 353: It's a Week to be Thankful

    RE 353: It's a Week to be Thankful

    Episode 353 – It’s a Week to be Thankful
     
    Today we have Jan.  She is from Connecticut and took her last drink on February 1, 2021.
     
    Restore – intensive on-online dry January 15 session course. Registration opens 12/1/21. Costa Rica starts January 15. Email kate@recoveryelevator.com to get on waiting list. AF Sober Ukulele (8 week) course starts 2/5/2022. Registration opens January 7th. Denver Retreat (3/31 – 4/2) Register: https://www.recoveryelevator.com/denver/  
    Café RE donated $15,094.73 to organizations and non-profits geared towards helping those affected by addiction.
     
    Highlights from Paul
     
    Paul is encouraging listeners to develop a game plan for the holidays.  Last week he encouraged us to: 1) create a detailed craving plan, 2) turn FOMO into JOMO by saying no and, 3) pick a holiday theme song.
     
    Paul shares that when we make the decision to not drink, an unbelievable amount of energy is released. This is less about staying away from alcohol and more about creating a life that doesn’t require alcohol. When we’re drinking there is no space mentally for this new life.
     
    This week Paul encourages us to:  1) select a Thanksgiving AF beverage, 2) schedule one minute of intense mindfulness and, 3) sticky note – write a reminder, goal or affirmation and put it somewhere you can see it.   
     
    Remember what the holiday is all about, being grateful for all the gifts we have including the adversity that inspired us to go alcohol free.  Paul’s pep talks can be found here:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/
     
    Exact Nature exactnature.com Code:  RE20
     
    [14:34] Jan took her last drink 2/1/2021.  She is 71 years old and has a son.  She is a massage therapist, health coach, dog sitter and loves hiking, audiobooks, and photography.
     
    Jan started drinking went she went to school overseas in Italy.  It was part of the culture. She drank and experimented with drugs through college.  She had serious health consequences because of her drinking.  She worked at several resorts and met her husband who loved to drink.    Jan went to AA and stayed sober for four years.  She returned to drinking for twenty years.
     
    She struggled with mental health issues, anxiety, and panic attacks.   She spent a lot of time in psychiatric hospitals and was encouraged not to drink.  Jan went to 4 or 5 different treatment centers.  The tipping point came when her son pushed her to quit.  Jan pretended to take Antabuse in front of her son and maintaining the facade was exhausting.  A friend of her son’s recommended Café RE; the connection she found within Café RE was very helpful. 
     
    Jan loves “We are the Luckiest” by Laura McKowen and recalls hearing, “find a room that works and stick with it,” and that resonated for her.  She steers clear of situations where people are drinking alcohol.  The obsession has lifted. 
     
    Odette’s Summary
    Odette reflects on Café Re’s recent regionals event.  The theme was acceptance.  Odette reads a beautiful passage from Melody Beattie about acceptance.  https://melodybeattie.com/acceptance-2/ 
     
     
    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20
     
    Holiday 2021 AF Strategy Guide
      Stock up on your favorite AF beverages or another type of treat. Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy. Develop a detailed craving game plan. FOMO to JOMO - Pick an upcoming event and sit it out. Select a Holiday Theme Song. Pick your Thanksgiving beverage of choice and enjoy One minute of intense MINDFULNESS Sticky Note - Write a reminder, affirmation, or goal on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you’ll see it each day  
    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 
     

    • 57 min
    RE 352: Allow the Deeper You To Emerge

    RE 352: Allow the Deeper You To Emerge

    Episode 352 – Allow the deeper you to emerge
     
    Today we have Kendall.  He is 30, from Texas, and took his last drink on March 13, 2021.
     
    Paul shares some personal insights on the growth of Recovery Elevator.
     
    Highlights from Paul
     
    Paul resumes the discussion about having a game plan for the holidays.  He reminds us that alcohol can have catastrophic effects.
     
    A recap from last week:  1) Accountability, 2) Stock up on AF beverages, 3) Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy.  Paul introduces three additional concepts: 1) Develop a cravings plan and get specific, 2) JOMO – find something this holiday season to say “no” to and savor the new boundary, 3) Pick your holiday theme song. 
     
    When you begin the journey in a life without alcohol, an incredible thing begins to take place.  You get to experience a transformation that allows the deeper you to emerge.  You get to know yourself, your true and authentic self, your needs, wants, desires and more. Paul encourages us to listen to the inner voice and the guidance it provides to tell us what we need, when we need it and how to get it.  Our inner voice will help us to fully live a human life with all its ups and downs.  When we are true to our authentic selves, we get to embrace the full palette of human emotions, we learn to stand up for ourselves and learn to create a life that no longer involves alcohol. 
     
    Listen to the pep talk segment  here:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/
      
    Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20
     
    [10:11] Kendall took his last drink 3/13/2021.  He is 30 years old and has a young daughter and enjoys skate boarding.  Kendall started drinking at age 14.  He smoked, drank, and hung out with his friends.  He didn’t drink frequently, but every time he did, he got very drunk. 
     
    Kendall’s sober journey began NYE 2019 when he was going through his divorce.  He didn’t want to be “that guy” who drowned himself in alcohol.  He thought he was healed at 50 days.  He was out of control.  His drinking escalated dramatically.   He would quit for a day, but he was having fun.  At some point he reflected on his behavior.  His ex-wife sent him pictures of empty bottles she found in the house.  Kendall realized he was resentful at his wife for not letting him drink the way he wanted to.  Kendall hid his drinking.  He used it as an outlet to escape his depression. 
     
    Odette found Kendall through his participation in the Café RE roll call.  She watched him start to count days.  In April 2020, Kendall found RE.  He was in lockdown and still drinking daily.  Kendall connected with Paul’s energy on the RE podcast.  He tricked himself through several day ones and eventually he hit a day 3, then a day 7, then a day 27.  He used the term, “field research” as a pass to drink.  Publicly posting on his social media helped him gain accountability and receive love.
     
    Kendall’s skating friends are incredibly supportive of his sobriety.  They have come to his house when he was having cravings.    Now Kendall is more emotionally aware.  Kendall’s cravings are nostalgia cravings.  His slip-ups have created a strong foundation for him to stay sober.  Dating is hard because everybody wants to meet for a drink.  He was falling apart one day, and he got support from his community and they helped him through.
     
    Odette’s Summary
    If you are on the struggle bus right now, hold on!  Bad days and low emotions are part of the journey.  Just when you are completely overwhelmed and spiraling, you will have a normal day.   Emotions do level out and the intensity dissipates.  Hold on!  Know that you will turn a corner soon.  Reach out for help.  Slow and steady wins the race.
     
    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20
     
    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:
    You can find more information about our events Emo  
    Resources
    Connect with

    • 52 min
    RE 351: Strength and Courage

    RE 351: Strength and Courage

    Episode 351 – Strength and Courage
     
    Today we have Tom.  He is 47, from Bozeman, MT, and took his last drink on September 24, 2019.
     
    Café RE’s annual on-line conference called Regionals starts Friday 11/12-13/2021.  This is a Café RE members’ only free event.  This will include yoga, sound healing, meditations, and breakout rooms.  Go to:
    www.recoveryelevator.com promo code: opportunity for more info.
     
    Highlights from Paul
     
    Paul shares some helpful hints from listeners to develop a game plan for the holidays.   There are 54 days left in 2021 and Paul is encouraging you to start now with your plan to ditch the booze. 
     
    1)  Accountability – get an accountability partner.  Café RE members’ email: info@recoveryelevator.com with your name, age, location, male or female, and date of last drink and KMac will get you paired.  If you are going somewhere for a holiday gathering, let the host know you won’t be drinking and ask them not to offer you any alcohol. 2) Stock up and treat yourself to AF beverages (+chocolate +ice cream). 3) Begin a new healthy practice that you enjoy, so your focus isn’t on what you are giving up, but on doing more of something you enjoy.
     
    Paul reminds us to practice new habits including listening to music when you get triggered. Listen to some of Paul’s favorites here:  https://www.recoveryelevator.com/meditations/
     
    If you find yourself overwhelmed with getting or staying sober, remind yourself that up until this moment, everything has worked out just fine. You don’t have to have it all figured out. Nobody does. Your job is to keep moving forward and making progress. But not aimlessly. When we remove alcohol, we also remove the veil of illusion. At first this is lonely and scary. This allows us to be more authentic. Give this life reboot some time. Trust me. Trust yourself.
     
    Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20
     
    [11:52] Tom took his last drink on September 24, 2019.  He is 47, a surgical nurse and is married with two kids.  He loves fly fishing, snowboarding, running, live music, hiking cooking, playing guitar and yo yo’s.
     
    Tom came from a long history of drinkers. Tom was a victim of sexual assault and bullying.  He didn’t drink regularly until late high school/early college.  He described never feeling comfortable in his own skin.  Drinking helped him overcome that discomfort.  Tom’s drinking ramped up in college.  He also smoked pot and was never a normal drinker. 
     
    At age 30, Tom made a career change and went to nursing school with the goal of being a family man.  He became a surgical nurse and has been in the field ever since.  After moving to Bozeman, the effects of years of drinking started to take their toll.  He drank to black out, drank and drove and hid his drinking.  He quit once on his own for two months, then drank for another five years.  After a difficult conversation with his wife, he quit drinking the next day. 
     
    Tom described living a double life because his behavior at work and at home were completely different. 
     
    Tom leveraged AA to help him quit drinking for good.  He went to meetings daily, got a sponsor, embraced spirituality, worked the steps, and did what he was told. 
     
    Tom can be himself now.  He loves his job; has become a leader and he is no longer depressed.  His marriage and his relationship with his children is better.  He is making new friends and repairing old relationships. 
     
    Odette’s Summary
    Odette discusses moving toward your values to give you a new framework to evaluate your life and your sobriety.
     
    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20
     
    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 
     

    • 46 min
    RE 350: What's up Holidays

    RE 350: What's up Holidays

    Episode 350 – What’s up holidays?
     
    Today we have Blazik.  He is 28, from Kansas, and took his last drink on July 25,2021.
     
    Café RE’s annual on-line conference called Regionals starts 11/12-13/2021.  This is a Café RE members’ only free event.  This will include yoga, sound healing, meditations, and breakout rooms.  Go to  www. Recoveryelevator.com promo code: opportunity for more info.
     
    Café RE just made a $5149 donation to the McShin Foundation.  10% of all Café RE monthly memberships go towards a nonprofit geared towards helping those affected by addiction. The McShin Foundation  helps those struggling with addiction get access to detox facilities, sober living, transitional recovery houses and more. https://mcshin.org/
     
    Highlights from Paul
     
    Paul addresses the gauntlet of challenges coming up in the next sixty days, specifically Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.  The holidays often spike anxiety.  Paul suggests it’s time to create a game plan to enjoy your first of many AF holidays. 
     
    Challenges create opportunities.  There is an opportunity to rewrite the script and create a new norm for the holidays.    There are opportunities for self-love, self-reflection, self-care and putting the self aside.  There are also opportunities for connection.  Building deeper human connections requires us to exercise our vulnerability muscles.  This is an opportunity to be less reactive, go with the flow and practice mindfulness.  It is also a great time to be of service and give without expecting anything in return.  It is an opportunity to set boundaries with yourself, your loved ones, and people in the supermarket.  There is also an opportunity of the unknown, a time of repose and perhaps a chance to address loneliness.
     
    Paul believes you can do this.  It starts with how you view it.  Simply reframing challenges to opportunities is a great start.  Lean in on this podcast, Café RE or whatever it takes so you do not go through this alone.  Willpower is not enough to stay sober.  Paul will provide more tools to help you build a game plan. This year is your opportunity to enjoy sober holidays. 
     
    Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20
     
    [9:47] Blazik took his last drink on July 25, 2021.  He is 28, single and has his own podcast.  He makes videos, music and is learning the guitar.  He spends a lot of time burning energy with his dog so he can enjoy down time. 
     
    Blazik experienced anxiety through his childhood.  He was high performing as an athlete and homecoming king.  He acted like the person he wanted to be but was filled with anxiety.  He drank to overcome anxiety and drinking made the feeling go away temporarily.  Alcohol made him feel and act the way he wanted to.  From age 17-27 he drank daily. 
     
    The effects of alcohol began to take their toll on him physically.   He woke up regularly at 2-3AM with heart palpitations or anxiety attacks.  He couldn’t overcome the fatigue without drinking again. He listened to several episodes of the RE podcast and decided to explore not drinking.  He went 38 days on his first attempt to get sober.  He drank again and found himself drinking when he didn’t want to, but he had to feel like himself.  He loved the instant fix.
     
    Blazik says that concerts, vibing and dancing are still fun AF, and you can remember the event!  He is really enjoying learning to be present.  He loves looking and stars and listening to music.  He has learned that he doesn’t need alcohol to be creative or to make music. 
     
    Kris’s Summary
     
    Kris talks about control and rejection.  If he lives for the approval of others, he will die from their rejection, and exhausted from the chase.  He is working on being authentically himself and that he is enough. 
     
    Sponsor: Exact Nature exactnature.com  Code:  RE20
     
    Upcoming events, retreats, and courses:
    You can find more information about our e

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

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1.3K Ratings

1.3K Ratings

melliebelle ,

Thank you

I decided I had enough last Saturday (10/9). This is not my first sober journey but I’m determined to make it my last. In the last 13 years I’ve been sober more than I’ve been drinking, but during the drinking times, I’ve consumed mass quantities! I love being sober! I love the knowledge I am present. I am there to enjoy my husband and children. This podcast, along with a blog I started, has given me more hope than I’ve ever had before! I can do this. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

smtapp ,

Shannon

I’m an alcoholic I’ve had 2 duis In 4 months I have a son graduating in dec early from newberry and 2 Twins starting Clemson in aug

GoodDayAF ,

Neuroscience

Great episode and interview. I watched the whole YouTube interview referenced. Very helpful. Thank you for all you do. I appreciate you and this community. One concern: I ordered from Exact Nature. While it may be too soon to know if the product is helping, I had a bad ordering experience. The process is confusing and not transparent. I didn’t receive confirmation and shipping options changed once ordered. Just want to let listeners know to be careful.

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