Paul Churchill, the founder of Recovery Elevator, believes that willpower is “finite” and a “very limited resource”.
Mr. Churchill was a successful bar owner living the good life in Granada, Spain. At least it would have seemed to be the good life except for the fact that he spent the next three years completely dependent on alcohol.
Nightly blackouts and a keen sense of self-awareness led Mr. Churchill to leave Spain and bar ownership in 2009. He knew he had to get sober. More importantly than that he knew he had to STAY sober.
He discovered that an important tool in recovery from alcohol dependence is accountability. As such, he decided to launch a weekly podcast. If nothing else he felt that even if nobody but his family heard it, at least he would stay accountable to himself. He attended recovery meetings (and still does) but knew he had to do more.
At first, he did not care who listened to the Recovery Elevator podcast. He was doing it for himself and that was good enough to keep his sobriety on track. Those first few podcasts had a very small audience. Often just Mr. Churchill’s friends and family. Today, as of this writing, the podcast is approaching 1 million downloads.
Recovery Elevator has grown far beyond just podcasting. It’s now a website (www.recoveryelevator.com), app, meetups, video challenges and a private non-searchable Facebook group. The website’s byline simply says “Quit drinking your way”. Members who join the website community are encouraged to learn from others who have more experience and time in sobriety.
As Mr. Churchill says “Getting sober and recovery are two different things.”
The site features blogs written by both Recovery Elevator staff and community members. Blog writers honestly and openly share their stories of alcoholism, recovery, and sobriety. There are many well-written blogs on the site. Subject matters range from advice about nutrition and dealing with emotions to deeply personal stories of their writers’ journey to sobriety.
While the blogs are informative and beautifully written, the website’s strong focus in on community. Mr. Churchill himself says that “Recovery Elevator is not a program.” It’s first and foremost a community. Their core belief is that like – minded individuals in search of sobriety are greatly helped by support and accountability. Members are not asked nor required to follow any type of protocol.
Recovery Elevator’s online community is called Cafe RE. Cafe RE is described as a “private community of like – minded individuals who are working together to achieve a new life”. It’s a forum where members can freely post questions, share their difficulties and give advice. Members can check in when they are struggling. Inspiration, support, and accountability are offered at all times.
Cafe RE can be accessed 24/7 via computer or Smartphone. A recent adjunct to Cafe Re is its new Accountability Program. Members can be paired with an accountability partner to help them stay on track with their recovery. The Cafe assigns partners based on age, sobriety time and geographic location. Members are not stuck with the partner that is chosen for them. If partners are incompatible then a new one can be chosen.
As of this writing membership in Cafe RE costs $12.00 per month. After registration, the member’s price is locked in for the duration. Even in the case of future price increases, the initial registration cost remains the same. Subscriptions can be canceled at any time.
There have been some who balk at paying for membership while pointing out that some recovery meetings are free. Recovery Elevator is honest in their assertion that the community is incredibly helpful and $12.00 a month costs much less than one night of drinking.
In the spirit of community Recovery Elevator plans to offer a retreat in Bozeman, Montana. The retreat will be from August 24 -27, 2017. This retreat offers the opportunity to connect in person with other sobriety seeking individuals. Those who join the retreat will be offered many different workshops and activities. For more information click on RETREATS in the top corner at www.recoveryelevator.com. If the Montana retreat is successful then a future retreat is planned in Peru.
Paul Churchill started Recovery Elevator primarily to hold himself accountable in his own recovery journey. His belief that the stigma of alcoholism can be even more dangerous than the alcohol itself fueled his passion to help others in their own sobriety maintenance. He wants members to know that they are not alone. The Recovery Elevator community is always available and members are never without the assistance of their fellow sobriety seekers.