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We are Sheri and Matt Salis, and our marriage survived active alcoholism. We were shocked to find our relationship in even more trouble in recovery because of the pain, lack of trust and years of resentment that sobriety exposed. But we are making it work, and we are sharing our painful story with the millions of alcoholic couples dealing with both active alcoholism, and also the challenges of recovery.

  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep74 – Arrogance to Sobbing Puddle: The Attraction of the HFA

Everyone knows childhood trauma or major tragedy often leads to alcoholism. But that was not part of Matt's story. Matt's dependence on external validation from career and financial success drove his dependence on alcohol. And Matt's particular brand of alcoholism led to arrogant highs and slobbery lows of depleted self-esteem and depression. And who was left to deal with the disgusting ups and the pathetic downs? Sheri, of course. In this episode, they talk about how much damage the need for external validation creates, especially once we stop medicating it with alcohol. They also talk about trying to catch javelinas in the Arizona desert and the private banking industry in Chicago, so there's something for everyone. If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep73 – Running into the Solution with Amber Graziano

She was an award winning and highly recruited high school athlete. She received a full-ride division one scholarship to Baylor University for her skills on the softball diamond. And she drank it all away. After a disastrous and drunken freshman season, Amber Graziano was cut from the team. But even drinking two decades of work and dedication down the drain wasn't the wake-up call Amber needed. Sobriety would have to wait. But now, Amber is making an impactful comeback! On this episode, Sheri and Matt talk to Amber about how alcohol destroyed her marriage (not in the typical way you are probably imagining), and how she stays sober for her two young sons even while the rest of her family tries to sabotage her recovery. And now, Amber is helping others find freedom and discovery through a running practice in sobriety. To make sure you don't miss any information about the free Untoxicated virtual 5K/10K run Amber is helping us host, please keep listening to our podcast or subscribe to our Sober and Unashamed blog. To contact Amber directly, check our her Recovery Road Runners facebook group, or go to her Recovery Road Warriors website.
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep72 – Another Day Closer to Forever with Dana and Frank

Sheri and Matt welcome Dana and Frank to the pocast. This is the first time they have interviewed a couple working to recover their marriage. Frank has over a year of sobriety, and they feel like they are going to make it. But it hasn't been easy, and they know they are among the rare few who save their marriages in recovery. Frank has a very realistic perspective on the patience required to get there. "The only way I was going to convince Dana this was a long-term fix was by doing it long term," he explains. Dana tells Sheri and Matt why it has been worth the work to save the marriage. "At the end of the day, regardless of all the things, I love him." If you have hope, this one deserves as listen. If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep71 – What Goes Down Must Come Up

The progression into alcoholism is always the same. Sure, some of the details are different, and the ultimate rock-bottom destination - The Pit, as Matt likes to call it - varies from story to story. But the slide downward into addiction is always the same. And the consistency of the story applies to the drinkers and the loved ones alike. In this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss the diabolical nature of recovery for the alcoholic, and the fact that the story of climbing back up is as unique and different as are the alcoholics who make the journey. But on the loved-ones side, the same consistency is there on the climb out as was present on the descent. If you love an alcoholic, your healing requires detachment and boundaries, processing the resentments, rebuilding trust and intimacy, and a whole lot of patience - every single time. Coming back up is as consistent as was the slide down as a second-hand victim of the disease of addiction. If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep70 – Barbara’s Recovery from Sacrificing Herself

Doctor's take an oath to do no harm. When the surgeons operated on Barbara, she was an exception. They knew they risked harming her. Barbara knew it, too, but she sacrificed herself to save the husband she loved. In the end, her sacrifice wasn't enough to save the marriage. In this painful episode with a hopeful ending, Sheri and Matt are honored to talk to Barbara about her experience with end stage alcoholism, and letting go so she could survive. Barbara's advice to anyone in a similar situation is powerful. "Hope doesn't always look like staying together." If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep69 – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

This is the question we hear most often from our listeners, so on this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss how she processed this painful decision in their alcoholic marriage. Matt asks Sheri about how the influences of parenting, finances and career, family and friends, community, home life, sex, love and hope impacted her decision to stay. There are no easy answers, but separating instincts from insecurities is a necessity. And while Sheri shocks Matt by not correctly identifying The Clash as the artists who sang, "Should I Stay or Should I Go," she does correctly identify them as the same group who sang, "Rock the Casbah." If you love an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep68 – Can Anyone Hear Me? Communication Challenges in Sheri’s Recovery

Family communication is fraught with pitfalls whether alcoholism is a factor or not. But with sobriety, we can make progress in our discovery. In this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss a family communication issue made worse by Matt's dismissal of Sheri's concerns and challenges. Ultimately, it was triggering for both of them and reminiscent of behavior from their alcoholic marriage. But Sheri's instincts persevered, and this story is emblematic of the couple's progress. In this episode, Sheri and Matt get excited about Jane's suggestion to replace the word, "recovery," with the word, "discovery." To hear more insights from Jane, please listen to Ep54. If you love an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep67 – Saved by Sobriety: The House Fire Cheryl Survived

Have you ever cheated death? Have you ever had too much to drink, and put yourself in a dangerous situation? Have you ever passed out unable to protect yourself should the need arise? Have you ever left your children in the care of a spouse so drunk he couldn't possibly answer the call should they need him? Have you gotten away with it despite flirting with disaster so many times? Cheryl Kuechler had flirted with drunken disaster. And had she not chosen sobriety two years ago, she would surely have died in early December 2020. Please listen to her story, and consider donating to the fund to help her put her life back together. Click here to Donate to Cheryl's Restoration Fund
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Relationship
  • Sex

Ep66 – Be the Hero and Save Yourself

Low self esteem, insecurity and negative self talk - these issues plague so many of us, and they are particularly detrimental to people who love alcoholics and are trying to recover from trauma and codependency. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss how women learn to say yes to gain approval and get what they want. Often, strength and real boundaries come when the spouse feels the kids are threatened or neglected. When the wife of an alcoholic prioritizes herself and is her own hero, she does so to the benefit of everyone in her life. Sheri and Matt cover a lot of ground in this important episode, including the toxic lessons girls learn about sex and alcohol before they are even adults. If you love an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep65 – Karen Explains that You can have a Life on the Other Side

Karen's life did not go as planned. She married the man she loved, and they had four kids together. So far, so good. But when the progression of her husband's drinking spiraled out of control, she realized she was living through a, "slow-motion car wreck." To protect her kids, to protect herself, Karen filed for divorce. She reluctantly chose, "the nuclear option," as she describes it. But here's the good news, and such an important message for anyone in the same situation. Karen shares that, "the worst happened, and it was survivable." On this episode, Karen shares her story of resilience and healing. Sheri and Matt thank her for explaining that even when marriage is sacred, important and religiously unbreakable, it still ends in divorce sometimes. Karen explains her dog therapy technique, and she shows us all what strength to rebuilt looks like. If you love an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program. Echoes of Recovery
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