Untoxicated Podcasts

Exploring the questions of alcoholic relationship recovery.

From taking the family to see ice skating princesses, to venturing into the wooded mountains to cut down a Christmas Tree, Matt was all about spending time with his family. They were his first priority, after all. At least that’s how it looked to anyone outside his immediate household. But Sheri knew the truth: that alcohol was always his first priority, until sobriety replaced it atop the priority list. In both cases, Sheri and the family remained second to the consumption and aftermath of alcohol. In this episode, Sheri and Matt talk about how the truth felt to both of them, and how long a slog it is to get Sheri where she belongs as the most important person in Matt’s life.

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

Universalisms: Things we believe to be virtually universal as we grow in our understanding of how alcohol impacts brains and relationships. Here are five really important ones. Do these apply to you or your alcoholic loved one?

On this episode, Sheri and Matt talk about childhood trauma (even in idyllic childhoods), work success justification, alcohol as a coping tool, elusiveness of purpose, and the value of therapy.

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

As the daughter of an alcoholic, Jessica had plenty of experience with codependence. When her husband’s drinking was spiralling out of control, she had to make unimaginably difficult decisions with her family’s survival hanging in the balance. Alcohol abuse and a compulsive need to control are such a common story, but one we don’t talk enough about.

Jessica joins Sheri and Matt to talk about the trauma her family suffered, and the progress they are all making in recovery. And now Jessica is using her experiences and her passion to save lives. Here is a link to information about the safe gun storage Jessica emphasizes.

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

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line for free from anywhere in the U.S.

Early sobriety is full of shame for high-functioning alcoholics. Often, the spouse has a very hard time understanding the depths of the shame. In this episode, Sheri and Matt talk about gender roles, societal influences, piles of resentment, and Matt’s various identity crises from his red shoes to his topless Jeep in the winter. Things that might be hard for the loved ones of alcoholics to understand are very real in early sobriety. And they are a real threat to the viability of the marriage.

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

Sheri and Matt agree that the single greatest barrier to loving recovery that most couples face when trying to yank their alcoholic marriages out of the ditch is communication. On this episode, they discuss the seven mistakes they consistently made when trying to communicate. See if you can hear the one of the seven that still plagues them over four years into Matt’s sobriety. Here’s a hint: It’s the one where they stop laughing and sound unsure of themselves. Then, Sheri and Matt offer the most impactful tool they’ve adopted to improve their communication and move them down the path of discovery.

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

Catherine Craig (LSCSW, 1000YT) joins Sheri and Matt to talk about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE Study), attachment theory and the trauma of experiencing an alcoholic marriage. They discuss that trauma doesn’t have to be severe enough to make a good Law and Order: SVU episode in order for it to do us massive harm, and we have to stop downplaying the impact trauma and stress have on our health, not just our mental health. Catherine points to high ACE scores and chronic stress as causes of shortened life spans, and talks to Sheri and Matt about the seven easy things we can do – that go far beyond talk therapy – to heal our bodies and minds without pharmaceuticals. They are easy, but until we make the connection to the impact they will have on our health, we struggle to stay dedicated to them (they are kind of a silver bullet, hiding in plain sight). And the scientific community has backed all of this up.

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

The third section of our book, soberevolution: Evolve into Sobriety and Recovery Your Alcoholic Marriage, is all about saving your marriage from the destruction of alcoholism. Today we announce our new interactive program based on the marriage recovery section of soberevolution. Introducing: Marriagevolution.

In this episode, Sheri and Matt layout the format for the 90 minute sessions to be held once per month. They talk about the five parts of the marriage recovery cycle. They also share the universalisms they have come to believe about alcohol addiction and recovery, and the impact on marriages. This episode is heavy. The Marriagevolution program is not about encouragement and attaboys. It is about the harsh truth of relationship recovery.

Mitchell is a gratefully recovering addict of everything (and more of everything), and Anna is the wife of an addict in recovery who is recovering from codependency herself. Together, they publish their “We Are Recovery” facebook page full of videos and other resources for those suffering from addiction – either as the drinker/user, or as the loved one. On this episode, Anna, Mitchell, Sheri and Matt discuss shame, the power of boundaries, processing resentments, trauma triggers, mourning the living, lost trust, rebuilding intimacy, and much more. The four speak a common language, and they sound like dogs just wagging their tails to be spending time talking about discovery 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

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

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.