119: Paul Churchill | Recovery Elevator
Paul Churchill (@RecoveryElevator) is the Founder/Host of Recovery Elevator, an alcohol recovery and sobriety podcast and online community. Since launching the podcast in 2015, Recovery Elevator has amassed over 3-million downloads and is in the 95-percentile of all podcasts on iTunes.
What We Discuss with Paul Churchill:
- How Paul’s entrepreneurial spirit put him in a position to develop alcohol dependence.
- Using a podcast to create accountability and grow a community that values real human connection in sobriety.
- Why relapses can actually a good thing when someone is dealing with alcohol problems.
- Thinking about addiction as a byproduct of an increasingly disconnected society.
- And much more...
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From the omni-channel marketing and multi-million dollar sponsorships to major sporting events and happy hour, modern society would have you think that alcohol is a harmless beverage that leads to good times, deep connections, and career advancement. Yet, for tens of millions of Americans, and hundreds of millions globally, alcohol has a much darker, life-altering side.
In this episode, we talk to Recovery Elevator host Paul Churchill about his path to sobriety and how his personal accountability method created an online recovery community that has since helped thousands of alcoholics across the globe gain the upper-hand on their addiction, get their lives back, find meaning and joy, and much more. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
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More About the Show
A lot has changed since Paul Churchill got sober and published the first episode of the Recovery Elevator podcast.
“When I was in Spain I started DJ-ing clubs, and those were mega clubs,” says Paul. “I was DJ-ing until 7-8am. I’d close my bar at 3am, then go DJ at a club until 7 or 8am.”
“It was the best and worst time of my life. It’s what propelled me forward on what I’m doing now [Recovery Elevator]. Basically what happened is I became addicted to alcohol – I was blacking out 5-7 nights per week. But at the time I was telling myself it was normal. I was 25, 26 years old – that’s what people my age do.”
“Eventually, I ended up walking away from the bar in Spain. My body was physically shutting down – mentally, physically the signs were there – it got kind of scary there at the end.”
Shortly thereafter, Paul decided to sell his bar and move back home with his parents, thinking he'd be able to leave the drinking behind him in Spain. He saved up some money, got into grad school, but found the drinking continued to follow him. On January 1, 2010, Paul decided to get sober. Long story short, it only lasted 2.5 years before he was back "field testing" (i.e. relapsed).
During this time, Paul was DJ-ing weddings, parties, and school events. By happenstance, he got into operating arcade games at bars and business was booming. "All these businesses just fell into my lap," says Paul, "there were opportunities that if you just walk around life with your eyes open, they will just show up."
In mid-late 2014, Paul had gotten sober again, but wasn't interested in joining AA. Instead, he had the idea of starting a podcast focused on sobriety and recovery to help him with his accountability.
"I knew if I didn't create accountability, it was going to be rough."
On February 12, 2015, Paul uploaded his first podcast to iTunes, where he revealed his struggle with alcohol on the world wide web. In that first show, Paul explains that his motive is selfish–it was his way of creating accountability for himself–and that if he were to relapse, he'd make it known.
Thankfully, as of this recording, Paul has uploaded a new episode every week without fail, maintained his sobriety. In the process, he's built a community of people seeking the means to address their issues with alcohol and addiction, culminating in a 700+ member online recovery community and has hosted more than 10 sober travel retreats, with more planned and in the works.
Thanks, Paul Churchill!
If you enjoyed this show with sobriety advocate and Recovery Elevator podcast Host (and Founder) Paul Churchill, let him know by clicking on the links below and sending him a quick shout out on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.