313 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

    • Mental Health
    • 4.7 • 1.1K 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 310: Positive Relationships

    RE 310: Positive Relationships

    Sasha took her last drink on May 19th, 2019. This is her story of living alcohol free (AF).
     
    Check out the free meditations on the Recovery Elevator page here!
     
    Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding Your Better You
     
    When Odette doesn’t want to forget something, she sends herself an email. Recently she found one to herself with the subject line: Positive Relationships. The body of the email said simply: “The biggest factor for cultivating resilience” (Season 17, Grey’s Anatomy)
     
    We need resilience when embarking on this journey. Not just for this, but for everything life throws at us. Our journey is far from perfect, when we fall we need the courage to get back up and that’s why we need community. This is why together is better. Having one person in your corner can make a huge difference for you.
     
    How many positive relationships to you have and are you fostering them?
     
    [7:19] Odette introduces Sasha.
     
    Sasha is from New Jersey and works in IT. She lives with her fiancé and their dog. For fun she likes to read, do jigsaw puzzles, meditate and collecting old books from estate sales.
     
    [10:37] Can you give listeners some background on your story?
     
    Sasha said she started drinking around the age of 18. It wasn’t anything that was intense, but she knew from the first drink it would make her be “her true self.” She got a DUI at the 20. Around 21 was when she started drinking alone. When she was 23/24 she was crying and falling apart every time she drank. Her thoughts were preoccupied with drinking all the time.
     
    [13:48] Did the DUI make you question your drinking, or did you think that this was just something young people did?
     
    Sasha said it was both. She knew she drank in a way that wasn’t normal but felt because she was so young it was also ok. Looking back she knew it should have been a big warning sign.
     
    [15:36] Did you have any rock bottom moments?
     
    Sasha said rock bottom was when she was drinking alone and miserable. She had the realization she was miserable but didn’t know how to get out of it.
     
    [16:13] How did you get yourself out of the cycle?
     
    Sasha said she was listening to the RE podcast and reading Eckart Tolle and doing the Sam Harris ‘Wake Up’ course and this gave her the realization she had a drinking problem. Her end goal when drinking was always to be drunk, so the solution was to have none.
     
    [18:09] Was the podcast your first exposure to other stories of people’s drinking?
     
    Sasha said after her DUI there was court mandated AA meetings and that was her first exposure. She loved hearing what people were going through because she could identify with them.
     
    [21:20] What Tolle book were you reading?
     
    The Power of Now
    She was also reading In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts which covers many of the same themes.
     
    [24:54] Were you having conversations with your fiancé about your drinking prior to May 20th?
     
    Sasha said she always minimized it, so they never had direct conversations about her drinking. When she told him, he was very supportive and zero judgement. They continue to have conversations about her drinking.
     
    [26:27] Did you feel relief when you told him?
     
    Sasha said yes, a tremendous amount of relief. She was so lonely in her drinking and to have him be so accepting was what she needed.
     
    [32:05] How was it for you right after you made the decision to stop drinking?
     
    Sasha said for her it was like a switch flipped. She was so happy to be free from alcohol that her “pink cloud” lasted about 6 months. It helped that so many other things fell into place in that time as well. Sasha received a promotion at work, they got a dog, she was connecting with herself, reconnected with old friends and all the small things put themselves in place. It was hard for her to imagine going back to drinking.

    • 51 min
    RE 309: Curious VS Douchey

    RE 309: Curious VS Douchey

    Stephen took his last drink on January 24th, 2020. This is his story of living alcohol free (AF).
     
     
    Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding Your Better You
     
     
    “The pleasures of connecting with people are much greater than the pleasures of judging people.”- Johann Hari
     
    If we show up genuinely, we can connect with someone. If we are pretending to listen, we will not connect. Only with actual connection can we truly see each other. In a little departure from talking about quitting drinking Odette is asking us to explore being a better listener. What would that mean? What would that look like? Listening to each other has the power to heal, however it’s also very hard to do. Can we be more curious and see how this can impact relationships?
     
     
     
    [6:01] Odette introduces Stephen.
     
     
    Stephen is 33 years old and lives in Austin, TX. He enjoys exercise, teaching tennis and using his Peloton. He’s planning to return to school in the near future.
     
     
    [7:30] Can you give listeners some background on your story?
     
     
    Stephen said he took his first drink at the age of 15. He was curious about it and remembers finding something that made him feel relaxed. Being so focused on tennis, alcohol was mostly a secondary thing. In 2008 he joined the military to be an Airborne Ranger, which is also where he noticed his drinking changed. He left the military in 2015 and the drinking followed him. With nothing to wake up for at 5am anymore, he was able to drink differently. After a few years he walked into an AA meeting and went all in for 7 months’ time. He began drinking again for 5 months which led him to January 2020.
     
     
    [14:59] Tell me more about your being in the military and the binge drinking. Did you question your relationship with alcohol?
     
    Stephen said he only questioned his drinking in the midst of a bad hangover. He was surrounded by so many others that drank the same way, so it was very normalized. Alcohol was a temporarily release from the stressors.
     
     
    [19:07] Have you shifted your thinking from that of learning to endure to finding joy?
     
    Stephen said he is still working on this. Coming from his sports and military background he was taught to do whatever it takes to get through something. He’s learned that only works in the short term, but the emotional impact last longer. In recovery Stephen has taught himself that it’s ok when things are easy and to go with the flow. He had to allow himself to surrender to the fact that he cannot live with alcohol in his life at all.
     
     
    [22:45] What has been different this time?
     
    Stephen said this time he had to adjust his all-in mentality. He’s more tied into recovery communities with actual people and listening to their struggles and stories. He gave up the idea of being perfect but at the same time accepted that he can’t be the best version of himself while drinking alcohol.
     
     
    [25:06] Have you found anything in sobriety that makes you feel relaxed and free?
     
    Stephen said running helps him and it’s when his body feels good and his mind is at peace. He’s working on trying to be ok with his own thoughts in his own head. Having real conversations with real people makes him feel free.
     
     
    [25:57] What do you do when you have a craving?
     
    Stephen said he eats. It’s simple and it works for him. He didn’t eat when drinking because he didn’t want to ruin his buzz. Now it’s the opposite. If that doesn’t work, he reaches out.
     
     
    [26:57] Tell me about this year.
     
    Stephen said at the beginning of COVID he was still able to be collecting a paycheck. He also went through a big breakup, which was different being sober.
     
     
    [29:30] What’s your everyday routine look like?
     
    Stephen said on a daily basis about connecting with people about his life and their life. Addressing m

    • 46 min
    RE 308: Recovery is Awkward

    RE 308: Recovery is Awkward

    Niel took his last drink on January 9th, 2020. This is his story of living alcohol free (AF).
     
     
    Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding Your Better You
     
     
    A few weeks ago, Odette heard a phrase that she hadn’t heard before and it struck a chord with her. It was different from the usual catch phrases that people use.
     
    “Awkwardness is an indicator of learning”
     
    Do we talk enough about the uncomfortable moments while on this journey? Are we allowing those moments to happen and normalizing them? When the decision to quit drinking is made, awkward moments arise, because we are feeling everything now. When we feel awkward, we feel vulnerable and feeling vulnerable makes most people want to run and hide. Odette phrases this into if/then questions to find a new path. Choosing yourself and living AF is often awkward and that’s ok! Let it feel weird until it doesn’t anymore.
     
     
     
    [6:59] Odette introduces Niel.
     
     
    Niel is 56 and lives in rural North Eastern California. He is a forester. He is married and has two children. For fun he likes to be outdoors. He misses swimming. He plays and builds guitars, any type of woodworking. Biking and hiking he also enjoys.
     
     
    [10:08] Can you give listeners some background on your story?
     
     
    Niel said he grew up in family where drinking was part of the culture. He started drinking irresponsibly / binge way in high school. He joined a fraternity in college and drank there as well. After he passed the bar exam in 2004 his drinking began to be problematic. In 2016 he stopped for a year, but then began drinking again in 2017.
     
     
    [12:27] Tell me more about your year in 2016.
     
    Niel said he talked to friends who were AF before this. He began exploring the idea that he might have a problem. Although he went back to drinking in 2017, he needed to experiment and decide is maybe this time it would be different.
     
     
    [15:00] Given your level of drinking, how was your day to day?
     
    Niel said he characterized himself as high functioning. However, he did have the repercussions of drinking that much. He found himself waking up feeling “thick” and he was irritable, unable to sleep, his weight was up, his heart was always racing, there were all kinds of manifestations.
     
     
    [16:39] How were your relationships at home?
     
    Niel said he was more on the irritable side. Emotionally until you pause and look in the mirror you don’t realize how bad you can be. Your actions are all reflections of your wellness.
     
     
    [20:08] What’s one of your worst drinking memories?
     
    Niel said there’s a highlight tape of horrors in his head. His worst memories are those about missing out on memorable moments in his life. Raising his kids, being around them for their successes. Those memories are foggy and not sharp.
     
     
    [21:57] Tell me about the beginning of this year.
     
    Niel said the first 3-4 days the cravings were strong towards the end of the day. He kept those at bay by distracting himself. Usually he would go outside and exercise. He replaced the liquid with soda water and lime. His cravings were more nuances. It was more about figuring out the trigger and dealing with those emotions. He’s felt so much better in the past months that it drives him to keep going. Emotionally the peaks and valleys are more manageable. Thinking through his actions and distractions are what works for him.
     
     
    [26:29] Do you get any push back along the journey?
     
    Niel said he’s received a lot of support from friends and family. There’s a few that don’t understand. It’s a matter of understanding any challenge from a friend, it’s from a place of not understanding or challenging their own drinking.
     
     
    [28:02] What are a few things you do daily that keep you grounded?
     
    Niel said he’s a very driven person. He wakes early and st

    • 50 min
    RE 307: 2021-The Year We Say F--- You Booze

    RE 307: 2021-The Year We Say F--- You Booze

    Chris took his last drink about 6 years ago. This is his story of living alcohol free (AF).
     
     
    Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding Your Better You
     
     
    A few weeks ago, Elle published an article titled “The Year of Drinking Dangerously” which explored how alcohol in 2020 was front and center. Alcohol effects everything in our society and it’s time we got serious and brought these issues to light. Alcohol is a drug that has been glamorized.  2020 taught Odette that she has grit, that she can speak up about things that matter to her, that she doesn’t have to be a people pleaser, to name a few. She is pledging to make 2021 the year where Recovery Elevator changes even more lives through unmasking alcohol. As more and more people are questioning their relationship with alcohol… LETS KEEP GOING.
     
     
     
    [7:10] Odette introduces Chris.
     
     
    Chris is 33 years old, originally from New Jersey and right now lives in Savannah, GA. His career began in finance, as he quit drinking, he transitioned to being a personal trainer. He also began a blog, writing the articles he wished he could have read when questioning his own drinking. This became his website and he now is a alcohol recovery coach and has a podcast related to sobriety. He likes to be physically active. Chris also has two dogs he rescued in 2020.
     
     
    [16:57] Can you give listeners some background on your story?
     
     
    Chris started drinking in high school but wasn’t really a partier. He was mostly into swimming and studying. However, when he did go out, he realized he could out drink all his friends. As he moved into an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, he felt like he was living a double life. Alcohol was the opposite of everything he stood for. Looking back he can see that he would have withdrawal symptoms at the age of 20 when he didn’t drink. When he left college and began working, the drinking was now just martinis and more expensive. When he did finally quit, he had to go to detox. Through his research he learned that he had been out of balance with his nutrients which alcohol only exacerbated.
     
     
    [25:21] How aware were you that alcohol was the problem?
     
    Chris said he was in deep denial, with outbursts of honesty. A story he tells is standing outside a liquor store one morning waiting for it to open while drinking from a bottle of water he had filled with vodka. He thought to himself “this isn’t normal.” Chris felt he was special because of that he needed to drink to deal with people and jobs. Alcohol to him was a performance enhancing drug.
     
     
    [30:47] Tell me about those first couple months.
     
    Chris said once he admitted to others that alcohol was a problem, he felt some inner peace and relief. He also felt the tug of war in his brain, would this be purgatory and him having to be a saint the rest of his life? Chris took the leap of faith that he would figure out what needed to be done. In rehab he began doing meditation and that opened his eyes to the fact that you can have a fulfilled life away from alcohol. Fueling his body helped him see the world in full color.
     
     
    [39:35] What are simple tips help you restore your body balance?
     
    Chris said there are two main factors: Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and deficiencies in neurotransmitters. Start with a daily multivitamin and look into amino acid therapy. L Glutamine can be helpful in repairing muscles and gut health. It also turned into glucose in the brain without a spike in blood sugar.
    * always speak to your doctor before beginning any regiment.
     
     
    [44:52] Sleep
     
    Chris said he’s recently read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. Chris had always had trouble sleeping and he’s now trying to optimize his sleep. He tracks his sleep and tries to get to the bottom of why his sleep pattern might have changed. Chris recommends the

    • 55 min
    RE 306: Who are you Becoming?

    RE 306: Who are you Becoming?

    Robyn took her last drink on June 30, 2020. With 63 days away from alcohol (at the time of this recording), this is her story of living alcohol free (AF).
     
    Recovery Elevator RESTORE January 2021 Course. We will be offering this starting 1/1/2021. We’re meeting 13 times in January via Zoom to give you the tools and accountability needed for an alcohol-free January… and hopefully more!
    We’ll be focusing more on creating a life where alcohol is no longer needed. We’ve found that when we have healthy altruistic relationships with fellow human beings, the need for alcohol or any external substance drastically reduces. For more information and to sign up, use this link.
     
    Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding Your Better You
     
    The last Monday of the year! “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals” – Zig Ziglar
    This journey isn’t about arriving, it’s about becoming. How much we are willing to put in is what we should celebrate. Your hard work and new habits are what is to be celebrated. No one can take that away from you. What have you noticed about your journey this year? Who did you become this year?
     
     
    [6:35] Odette introduces Robyn.
     
    Robyn is from Columbia, South Carolina. She lives with her partner and he has two kids they see often. She likes jigsaw puzzles, reading, journaling and meditating. Pre-covid she liked vacations to the mountains.
     
     
    [9:33] Can you give listeners some background on your story?
     
    Robyn said she started drinking around her senior year of high school. She was shy. When she moved to NC it was a fresh start and to fit in, she drank. It helped her open up and have fun. After some life trials and moving to Columbia she made friends with bartenders and it was still fun drinking. During a relationship with another alcoholic, she noticed her drinking really ramped up. There were lots of times she talked herself out of being an alcoholic. In 2011 Robyn got a DUI. She did quit for a little, but it didn’t stick. After her mother passed away was when Robyn actually noticed it was a problem. She dealt with so much during that time. Robyn’s getting to her last drink came in ebbs and flows over years. There was a definite mental decline that she noticed.
     
     
    [26:10] How was your emotional state during these times of drinking and then returning to drinking?
     
    Robyn said she stopped beating herself up. It took a while for that overall to stop, but the more she met people and gained community it’s been easier for her to be easier on herself. She’s learned there’s no point in beating yourself up, it won’t help.
     
     
    [31:06] What do you do when you get a craving?
     
    Robyn said she reaches out. Her partner helps her with the rational side of her thinking. If he’s not available, she will reach out to Café RE or her little DTB group.


     
     
    [32:43] How has this decision affected other relationships?
     
    Robyn said her boss is also in recovery and he’s a big supporter of her recovery. Her best friend still drinks but is supportive of her choice.
     
     
    [35:21] Have you been able to identify any triggers?
     
    Robyn said some of her triggers are good things. If she’s having a good day, yard work, outside activities. Her triggers aren’t emotional anymore.
     
     
    [38:06] Do you have a daily routine?
     
    Robyn said journaling. She’s journaled most of her life and she’s really focused on it during her sobriety. Robyn even noticed that if she takes a break, within a week she’s had a drink. Even when she doesn’t have anything “great” to say, she writes anyway. She tries to include gratitude and she’s begun meditating.
     
     
     [47:18] Rapid Fire Round 
     
    If you could talk to day 1 Robyn, what would you say? Keep trying, you’re making the right decision,

    • 52 min
    RE 305: Heal Your Mood

    RE 305: Heal Your Mood

    Sarah took her last drink on April 22, 2019. With over a year away from alcohol (at the time of this recording), this is her story of living alcohol free (AF).
     
    Recovery Elevator RESTORE January 2021 Course. We will be offering this starting 1/1/2021. We’re meeting 13 times in January via Zoom to give you the tools and accountability needed for an alcohol-free January… and hopefully more!
    We’ll be focusing more on creating a life where alcohol is no longer needed. We’ve found that when we have healthy altruistic relationships with fellow human beings, the need for alcohol or any external substance drastically reduces. For more information and to sign up, use this link.
     
    Odette’s weekly installment of: Finding Your Better You
     
    Odette recently received the book Homebody by Rupi Kaur. As Odette looks at her own sobriety as a return to self, this book is very fitting for where she is in her own journey right now. Here’s your permission slip this week: take care of yourself. This time of year can be overwhelming for many. When we are overwhelmed, we may also open the door to fear. Using our tools, we can make life manageable and hold space for everything we are feeling.
     
    list of things to heal your mood:
    cry it out. walk it. write it. scream it. dance it out of your body. If after all that
    you are still
    spiraling out of control
    ask yourself if sinking into the mud is worth it the answer is no the answer is breathe sip tea and feel your nervous system settle you are the hero of your life this feeling doesn’t have power over you the universe has prepared you to handle this no matter how dark it get
    the light is always on its way you are the light walk yourself back to where the love lives  
     
    [6:42] Odette introduces Sarah.
     
    Sarah lives in Wisconsin with her husband and her son and their dog. She is 30 years old and works in marketing. For fun she likes running, reading and crafting. She loves live music as well.
     
     
    [8:52] Can you give listeners some background on your story?
     
    Sarah said she had her first drink around 14 or 15 years old. Form there she drank almost every weekend and became a party girl. The lifestyle continued into college. She transferred her sophomore year and focused on her health. When she turned 21 it ramped up again. Being in WI the drinking culture is strong. After college she kept partying on the weekend, but the culture of drinking kept her in it. At the age of 26 Sarah had a moment that changed it, she woke up feeling shame. In 2017 she told herself she was only going to drink on special occasions, she made it 60 days without alcohol. At a friends 30th birthday was when she drank again, and it was like old times, up until 4 am drinking. She also found out she was pregnant at the end of March 2017. While pregnant she missed drinking and was ready to get back to it. She found herself turning to alcohol as a reward. Sarah began to see that she wasn’t someone who could just have one, she always went overboard.
     
     
    [21:30] Has it been cool finding different ways to unwind at the end of the day?
     
    Sarah said she turned her beer fridge into a NA fridge. Her and her husband make mocktails. She turns to something that’s relaxing rather than alcohol to unwind.
     
     
    [22:59] Talk to me about when you started this journey and being in a relationship?
     
    Sarah said her partner was really supportive. He never said anything about her drinking, but it caused problems when she was drinking. She was worried about their relationship however because they met through partying. He however is someone who supports her no matter what.


     
    [27:31] Did you start using social media as a way to find other sober people?
     
    Sarah said when she was on her moderation journey, she found some accounts that were about being sober. When she got serious, she went b

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
1.1K Ratings

1.1K Ratings

CipherLion ,

Inspiring Vibes

Thanks so much for this show! It has been an essential part of my journey! I discovered this show right around the time Odette took over (also around the time I quit drinking) and I can’t say enough good things about her as a host. Her conversation style and listening skills really drew me in, making this one of my favorite podcasts to listen to for good vibes in general. And really good insights and inspiration too.

AshleyBOrlando ,

Always a great message to start the week

This is how I start my Monday mornings on the way to work. I can always take something from each guest :)

Chefemory ,

Leaving your own podcast...

Not a good look when you leave your own podcast. I really don’t get the move. Maybe it’s just me, But I feel like Paul kinda ditched his audience and put it all on this random ladies shoulders. Hard to listen to now, full of ads and just feels like a money grab. disingenuous. Sad cause I used to listen to this every Monday.

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