475 episodes

It isn't a NO to alcohol, but a YES to a better life! Best selling author Paul Churchill, along with Kristopher Oyen interview people who have stepped away from alcohol in their own lives. Each week this podcast does a deep dive into an exploration of what a booze free life might look like from various perspectives and opinions. 

If you are sick and tired of alcohol making you sick and tired, we invite you to listen to Recovery Elevator. Check out what an alcohol free life can look like as others share their own stories of sobriety. If you are sober curious, newly sober, supporting a loved one or living your best life already in recovery, then you are in the right place.

This podcast addresses what to do if you’re addicted to alcohol, or if you think you’re an alcoholic. Other topics include, does moderate drinking work, does addiction serve a purpose, what happens to the brain when we quit drinking, should you track sobriety time, is A.A. right for you, spirituality, and more.

Similar to other recovery podcasts like This Naked Mind, the Shair Podcast, and the Recovered Podcast, Paul and Kris discuss a topic and then interview someone who has ditched the booze.

Recovery Elevator �‪�‬ Paul Churchill

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.7 • 1.5K Ratings

It isn't a NO to alcohol, but a YES to a better life! Best selling author Paul Churchill, along with Kristopher Oyen interview people who have stepped away from alcohol in their own lives. Each week this podcast does a deep dive into an exploration of what a booze free life might look like from various perspectives and opinions. 

If you are sick and tired of alcohol making you sick and tired, we invite you to listen to Recovery Elevator. Check out what an alcohol free life can look like as others share their own stories of sobriety. If you are sober curious, newly sober, supporting a loved one or living your best life already in recovery, then you are in the right place.

This podcast addresses what to do if you’re addicted to alcohol, or if you think you’re an alcoholic. Other topics include, does moderate drinking work, does addiction serve a purpose, what happens to the brain when we quit drinking, should you track sobriety time, is A.A. right for you, spirituality, and more.

Similar to other recovery podcasts like This Naked Mind, the Shair Podcast, and the Recovered Podcast, Paul and Kris discuss a topic and then interview someone who has ditched the booze.

    RE 470: Why Alcoholics Don’t Get Hangovers…?

    RE 470: Why Alcoholics Don’t Get Hangovers…?

    Episode 470 – Why Alcoholics Don’t Get Hangovers…?
     
    Today we have Lara. She is 40 years old and lives in Northwest Arkansas. She took her last drink on August 8th, 2019.
     
    We are putting a call out for early sobriety interviews. We want to hear from you guys. Please email info@recoveryelevator.com.
     
    Upcoming events: We start our six-week Ditching the Booze course, the what, the why and the how. This course is for Café RE members only and use the promo code “OPPORTUNITY” to waive the set-up fee if you are interested in joining us.
     
    Registration for our 6th annual retreat in Bozeman, Montana opens Monday April 1st. We come together as a group and we laugh, we heal, we eat blueberry pancakes, play kickball, and have a great time.
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored
     
    [04:12] Thoughts from Paul:
     
    There was a great question during our Dry January class that asked “Why don’t alcoholics get hangovers?” Paul did a YouTube video about this but wanted to share more here.
     
    Truth is, they do get hangovers, but they usually begin drinking before the full amount of alcohol can be metabolized in their system that they drank the day or night before. As tolerance develops with alcohol, the hangover gets pushed back later in the day the next day. A chronic drinker who drinks 10-15 drinks daily, won’t begin the hangover cycle at 8am the next morning, but more likely, they will experience the worst of the withdrawal effects later that day or evening.
     
    Chronic drinkers are almost always experiencing a low to mid-grade hangover. In other words, they feel like shit all the time. First alcohol takes you to a place where you are no longer drinking to feel good, but to simply feel normal. They you are drinking to simply not feel like death. And then the worst place is when you are simply drinking not to die.
     
    *HUGE ASTERISK* Alcohol is the most dangerous substance to detox from. If you have been drinking 5-8 drinks daily, for months or years, then it’s a very good idea to seek medical attention when detoxing.
     
    Go Brewing. Use the code ELEVATOR for 15% off.
     
    [09:26] Kris introduces Lara:
     
    Lara is married and they have two dogs. After teaching preschool for 12-13 years she now teaches Pilates. She enjoys going to concerts and spending time outdoors.
    Lara had limited exposure to alcohol until she went to college. While there, she found friends, and they drank regularly. What started out as being fun soon became a way for Lara to ignore her mental health issues that were creating a dark depression. After graduating and the issues getting worse, she ended up going to a psych ward for a few weeks and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She moved back home to live with her parents while she figured out what life was going to look like with the new diagnosis. She continued to drink in spite of the medications.
     
    Lara went to grad school in Colorado and was surrounded by friends and the drinking felt normal. She wasn’t having major consequences until after getting married and she realized the drinking was happening all the time. Her husband ended up quitting drinking and while Lara supported him by quitting too, she didn’t feel that she had a problem.
     
    Lara found herself reaching out to others to help support her as the spouse of someone quitting drinking. Over time she started realizing that recovery was her path as well.
    Lara says that she has learned that she knows how to ask for help if she needs it now. She and her husband share a sobriety date and their life has done a 180. Alcohol is no longer an issue, and they just enjoy living life.
     
    Lara’s favorite resource in recovery: Holly Whitaker’s book Quit Like a Woman.
     
    Lara’s parting piece of guidance: Just find one person who you can talk to.
     
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    • 57 min
    RE 469: 10 Facts About Americans and Alcohol

    RE 469: 10 Facts About Americans and Alcohol

    Episode 469 - 10 Facts About Americans and Alcohol
     
    Today we have Lisa. She is 66 years old and lives in Atlanta, GA. She took her last drink on November 16th, 2022.
     
    Café RE – use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the setup fee.
     
    [02:51] Thoughts from Paul:
     
    Paul shares with us ten facts about Americans and their drinking habits that he found in an article from the Pew Research Center.
     
    The article shares with us statistics regarding what people are drinking and where alcohol consumption is the highest, along with statistics about age and income ranges.
     
    The biggest takeaway from this article is the first stat that says, “Only 62% of U.S. adults say they drink” while 38% abstain completely. Not everyone is kung fu fighting. There is a voice inside the head that says, “Everybody drinks”, but right there we just debunked that myth. A lot of people don’t drink because they don’t want to. Many people don’t drink because their forced to. Whatever the reason is, about 40% of Americans don’t drink.
     
    And although alcohol consumption is rising, we’re seeing the younger generations say no, like no previous generation has done so.
     
    Check out Sober Link.  You can find some tips and can sign up for a $50 off promo code.
     
     
    [10:00] Paul introduces Lisa:
     
    Lisa is a repeat guest from episode 411. She took her last drink on November 16th, 2022. She is 66 and lives outside of Atlanta. She has been married for 37 years and they have two adult children. Lisa enjoys working out, traveling, reading, and listening to podcasts.
     
    Lisa grew up in a close family, but her parents had a miserable marriage. Her mother drank to deal with it and the drinking increased when Lisa was in middle school. Upon trying her first drink in high school, she didn’t have the “wow” moment at first but quickly found it gave her confidence and she felt accepted and less insecure with her friends.
     
    After graduating college and entering the booming computer software industry, Lisa found herself drinking at a lot of parties, conferences, and sales meetings. She says her husband didn’t drink much. Aside from when she was pregnant, Lisa drank in a way that she considered normal.
     
    In her 40’s, Lisa and her husband left the corporate world and started their own business. It was successful but very stressful. She says her drinking ramped up and she was beginning to try and hide the wine bottles from her husband.
     
    After a fall Lisa had during a blackout, her doctor referred her to a counselor. She discovered AA and was able to stay sober for a year without doing the work. Soon after the year mark, Lisa thought she could moderate and started drinking again. She was successful with moderation at first, but after retiring, finding herself as the sole caretaker for her elderly mother, the drinking increased again.
     
    One night Lisa found herself pouring a glass of wine that she really didn’t want and it was then she decided enough was enough. This time Lisa decided to get help. She went to AA and didn’t feel it was working for her. She discovered a Facebook group called SoberSis as well as Café RE. After her last interview, she was connected with a lot of other ladies that she is still connected with today.
     
    Last year found Lisa tending to several health scares, several surgeries, and the unexpected loss of her parents eight weeks apart. Lisa says that gratitude, using the tools she has learned in the sober community as well as her faith and family has helped her remain sober through it all.
     
    Lisa’s favorite ways to relax deep breathing and exercise.
     
    Lisa’s advice for somebody struggling with life and alcohol: find a way to connect no matter how uncomfortable it is, we have to have connections.
     
    Café RE – use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the setup fee.
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    • 52 min
    RE 468: A Day in the Life

    RE 468: A Day in the Life

    Episode 468 – A Day in the Life
     
    Today we have Amber. She is 41 years old and lives in San Luis Obispo. She took her last drink on May 26th, 2020.
     
    “First it is an intention; then a behavior; then a practice; then a habit; then second nature; then it is simply who you are".
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored
     
    [03:04] Thoughts from Paul:
     
    Paul shares with us what a typical day in sobriety looks like for him.
     
    He starts his days with hydration, breathwork and/or stretching, reading and coffee. He takes time to connect with the universe and asks for guidance throughout the day.
     
    Paul likes to reflect on what he is thankful for either in a journal or he sits in a comfortable location outside facing the sun while he closes his eyes and gives thanks. Even on shit days, he makes a point to thank the universe.
     
    Reminding himself that the present moment is all that matters, spending time in nature, doing things that he enjoys, connecting with fellow sober peeps, and being creative are also very important to Paul.
     
    Go Brewing use the code elevator at checkout for 15% off.
     
    [12:13] Kris introduces Amber:
     
    Amber is 41 years old; she has two boys and a partner in crime. She works as a 2nd grade teacher, in addition to being a running and sobriety coach. They live in San Luis Obispo, CA and enjoys hiking, mountain biking, running, and swimming.
     
    Growing up, Amber says she was always shy and preferred to be in the background. She was introduced to alcohol in high school and discovered it helped her feel confident and have fun. She didn’t really enjoy the taste, but she loved the way it made her feel and she and her friends drank every weekend.
     
    After going to college, Amber says her drinking only increased. She was recruited to be on the softball team with a full scholarship. The practice and academic schedule was challenging and her drinking increased from every weekend to nearly every day. She gained weight, she wasn’t studying, and her grades were suffering. Her performance on the team found her on the bench often and eventually she was cut from the team and lost everything.
     
    Amber moved to San Diego and finished college there while working in restaurants. She says her drinking increased even more and she got a DUI a few years later. Shortly after that experience, Amber decided to join a teaching career and the stress of it found her relying on alcohol at the end of the day.
     
    Amber says a turning point came after getting married and having two children back-to-back. She had many roles to fill but was still drinking two bottles of wine a night. Finally figuring out that she wanted more for her life, Amber filed for divorce and started taking better care of herself. She started running as an outlet for her emotions and found herself meditating, which she feels helped her make decisions. She looked at her sobriety as a fresh start.
     
    Initially Amber was quiet about her recovery and felt she could figure it out on her own. Once she realized that wasn’t working, she found Celebrate Recovery, got a sponsor, and started doing the work. Once she started meeting more and more people in recovery she stopped feeling alone.
     
    Amber left her teaching job and started her own business as a sober running coach. She started a sober running group Recovery Road Runners and they do a lot of fun things together and help other people stay sober.
     
    Amber encourages people to find physical activities that they enjoy doing, maybe things they did when they were kids. She also suggests vision boards to think about where you want to be in the future and goals you may have.
     
    Amber’s biggest fear when she quit drinking: “That I would never have any fun again, total lie. I have way more fun now.”
     
     
    Café RE – use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the setup fee.
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    • 59 min
    RE 467: A Good Cry

    RE 467: A Good Cry

    Episode 467 – A Good Cry
     
     
    Today we have Andrea. She is 47 years old and lives in Phoenix, AZ. She took her last drink on November 9th, 2021.
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored
     
    [02:12] Thoughts from Paul:
     
    Paul shares a quote with us that says, “decide what life you want to live and say no to everything else”.  This same quote can be applied to your thoughts. 
     
    What comes to mind after reading this quote is the word “purge”. Saying no and letting go of things that don’t fit the life we want to live isn’t easy, but it is healthy and so is crying.
     
    Emotional tears have many health benefits. They contain stress hormones and other toxins. Researchers have theorized that crying flushes these toxins out of your system.
    A good cry also activates the parasympathetic nervous system which sends signals of calm and restoration to the body. In addition to this, crying dulls pain and releases oxytocin and endorphins. It is a way for the body to find a new emotional balance. A much better way than using alcohol.
     
    If you're finding emotions hard to deal with in sobriety then give the body permission to purge them out in the form of tears. Go ahead and lean into the millions of years of universal intelligence the body possesses and have a good cry.
     
    Café RE – use the code OPPORTUNITY to waive the setup fee.
     
    [09:28] Paul introduces Andrea:
     
    Andrea is 47 years old and lives near Phoenix. She has four children, two grandchildren and a Great Pyrenees. She works with people with substance abuse disorders and is working on a master’s in social work. For fun she enjoys jogging, hiking, DIY projects and documentaries.
     
    Andrea and her family moved around a lot when she was going up which made it hard for her to keep friends. She had her first drink shortly after she discovered that her father was cheating on her mother. She felt the calming effects the first time and drank every change she could get during her teens.
     
    Andrea started bartending when she was 19. This found her drinking a lot after work which was creating some issues in her marriage. She was able to abstain from alcohol during all of her pregnancies but would drink as soon as she could after.
     
    The alcohol was creating issues in the marriage and when Andrea was 22, she went to rehab but didn’t stay quit after leaving. A few years later she lost her mother to cancer and Andrea says that’s the first time she drank to numb pain rather than just a socialization tool.
     
    The first consequence Andrea had was losing her nursing license after an arrest. When they were about to extend her probationary period where she could not drink without hiding it, she decided she didn’t want to do it and turned in her license. Her heavy drinking would continue throughout her 20’s and 30’s.
     
    After her divorce when she was 41, Andrea did start exploring whether or not she had a drinking problem. She was beginning to see the consequences to her health and was realizing she didn’t want this to be her legacy. She was gradually able to stack days together and eventually reached 90 days where she kept on going. The first year found Andrea continuing to read quit lit, listen to podcasts and attend a few AA meetings.
     
    Her decision to work on her relationships after year one was cut short when she lost a daughter to a drunk driving accident. Instantly she reached out to some sober friends to help her keep from drinking. Andrea feels that her sobriety has been a gift throughout this and helped her be there for her other children and grandchildren.
     
    Andrea has been attending AA, going to school, and making new friends in social situations she would have avoided in the past. Giving back is important to Andrea as she pursues her master’s in social work.
     
    Andrea’s favorite sobriety resources: podcasts, quit lit, The Phoenix
     
    Andrea’s parting piece of guidan

    • 51 min
    RE 466: What Should I Do Now?

    RE 466: What Should I Do Now?

    Episode 466 – What Should I Do Now?
     
     
    Today we have Rick. He is 46 years old and lives in New Hampshire. He took his last drink on September 9th, 2023.
     
    This Saturday, January 27th we start our six-week alcohol-free ukulele course. We meet for six weeks with a group of rock stars exploring life without alcohol, and who want to learn a new hobby in recovery.
     
    This course is brought to you by Kala Brand. If you need to pick up a ukulele, click the link and use the promo code ELEVATOR24 for a discount.
     
    The collaboration between Go Brewing and Recovery Elevator is here! Pick up your limited edition RE Sunbeam Pils, using the code elevator at checkout for 15% off and free shipping on orders overt $40.
     
    [02:45] Ponderings from Kris:
     
    For many of us on this journey, we start in a survival state of mind. The early days are filled with some basic life skills. How do I not drink when I get home from work? How do I handle conflict with people in my life? What do I do when I’m bored, stressed, sad, angry, or how am I supposed to celebrate? Kris reminds us that it is normal to focus on these things.
     
    After a while there is a shift to “what’s next?”. Recovering people before us have figured out that in order to keep what we have found in recovery; we have to give it away.
     
    We have had our struggles, and some of us have been through some really challenging situations that led up to, or as a result of our alcohol usage, but we don’t have to let that keep us down! Who is better equipped to talk to someone struggling with substance abuse than a peer that has been through the same thing?
     
    Kris feels that there is something beautiful about taking the dark parts of our lives and using it to bring light to someone in need. You are more than your story. You are more than the dark times. You are a walking example of hope. You are proof that the courage to change exists.
     
    Athletic Greens: https://www.athleticgreens.com/recovery
     
    [11:07] Kris introduces Rick:
     
    Rick is 46 and lives in New Hampshire. He has been married to his wife for 19 years and they have three daughters. He works for a family car business. He enjoys cooking, spending time with his kids, and playing games.
     
    Rick says his first experience drinking alcohol was when he was in France on a singing tour in high school. He recalls feeling very sick on the 7-hour bus ride across Europe the next day. Beyond a few other times at parties, Rick didn’t really drink much after that until college.
     
    Having his first taste of freedom his freshman year, the focus was on partying and drinking. Rick says that after that it was the traditional drinking that is often part of the college experience.
     
    When Rick started working in the family business, that’s when he says his drinking went from being on the weekends to drinking daily after work. Over time it progressed, and his wife would occasionally mention that it seemed like he was having a little too much. He would back off for a bit but never had the intention of quitting forever. He tried a lot of moderation techniques that didn’t work, and he would end up feeling bad about himself.
     
    Over the last few years Rick has been listening to podcasts, quit lit and joined sobriety support pages online. He feels that listening to other people’s stories has helped him a lot. After a comment from his wife that made him look differently at his drinking, he decided to try and quit again. Changing his perspective and sharing his recovery with his wife gave him a sense of relief. Finding connections in recovery communities and with a local friend that is in recovery as well, has solidified his resolve.
     
    Rick’s plan for sobriety moving forward: Stay engaged in community, join Café RE chats and check in daily on the Stop Drinking subreddit. Maybe host  a chat to give back.
     
    Rick’s favorite resources in recovery: podcasts, audiobooks
     
     
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    • 59 min
    RE 465: Drink Responsibly?

    RE 465: Drink Responsibly?

    Episode 465 – Drink Responsibly?
     
     
    Today we have Kevin. He is 44 years old and lives in Cleveland, OH. He took his last drink on April 28th, 2018.
     
    I want to give a shout out to our DRY January REstore cohort. We’re 1/2 way there, you all are doing a fantastic job, I’ll see you all tonight.
     
    On January 27th we start our six-week alcohol-free ukelele course. This course is brought to you by Kala Brand.
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored
     
    [03:09] Thoughts from Paul:
     
    One of the main goals at Recovery Elevator is to soften the stigma surrounding alcohol addiction and recovery. Another goal is to give listeners permission to shred the shame and recover our authentic selves along the way.
     
    The phrase “Drink Responsibly” is such a cop out and doesn’t do anything but place blame on the drinker. Alcohol is the most addictive drug on the planet, and you won’t see other drugs proclaiming that you use the substance responsibly. We can do the “Drink Responsibly” thing way better and at the same time bring more people together in community from both sides of the aisle to heal.
     
    A favorite NA beverage company of Paul’s, GO Brewing and Recovery Elevator have partnered up to release 180 six packs of their award-winning Sunbeam Pilsner. GO Brewing was started by a fellow member in the recovery space, Joe Chura. This is two companies who have a similar goal, uniting, in attempts to shred the shame around alcohol addiction.
     
    Pick up your limited edition RE Sunbeam Pils, use the code elevator at checkout for 15% off and free shipping on orders over $40.
     
    Andrew Huberman – What Alcohol Does to Your Body, Brain & Health
     
    Exact Nature: https://exactnature.com/RE20
     
    [10:20] Paul introduces Kevin:
     
    Kevin is 44 years old and lives in Cleveland area, he is the head of coaching for the Reframe app and a former accountant. Kevin is married and for fun he enjoys attending his daughter’s sporting events, reading and just relaxing when he isn’t working.
     
    Kevin says his drinking began in college where he was in a fraternity and played sports. His drinking transferred into his career where there was a lot of stress, happy hours, and deadline parties where binge drinking was a way to socialize.
     
    Kevin and his wife got married when he was 23 and had their daughter when he was 27. His drinking increased as a way to cope with the high stress of his career. After some blood work found him diagnosed with fatty liver, he tried moderation and different attempts at taking breaks from alcohol.
     
    Without much success at controlling his drinking on his own, Kevin eventually decided to look into therapy with his wife’s support. He developed a journaling practice and would talk with his therapist while working on quitting and made it 60 days. 
     
    Several work and life events found Kevin trying to moderate the drinking again. He made the decision to commit to 61 days and then continued to extend the timeline. Kevin was reading a lot and listening to podcasts. His therapist helped him a lot as well. He started an Instagram page for himself, but after some time decided to go public and share more. He got a lot of positive feedback which fueled him to try and start recovery coaching. He became involved with Reframe app soon after.
     
    Kevin’s best sober moment: his first sober concert with his daughter.
     
    Kevin’s parting piece of guidance: practice. Find a platform that resonates with you and keep practicing.
     
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    Go big, because eventually we all go home.
    I love you guys.

    • 1 hr 3 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
1.5K Ratings

1.5K Ratings

Surfer Susan ,

Lisa episode 469

I was so grateful to listen to your podcast with Lisa. I am also in my mid sixties. I retired at 60, and my drinking spiraled out of control. I knew it, but I had lost control. I listen to a sobriety podcast almost nightly, including Recovery Elevator, one of my favorites! They help a lot, but still I hadn’t heard a story similar to mine. So I thank you for featuring an older person. I’m not alone out there! I knew there had to be more who were struggling like me, at my age. I am a life-long drinker, starting in my teens. I am currently 6 weeks sober and this time I just know it’s my time!

MAK1088 ,

My biggest Tool!

Love this podcast. Was my first tool to sobriety. Listened to ever episode and now listen weekly. I will say for a while Paul was getting kinda depersonalized and robotic in his interviews but this recent one he seems back to his old interview style self!!! Keep up the amazing work you all do.

Garyolaf ,

Andrea

Powerful episode

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