In this episode, I share a speech I gave to a community of people recovering from alcoholism through the twelve steps. It was not an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, though many of the people in the audience were AA participants. In the speech I make the argument that alcoholism is not a spiritual problem for me, so a spiritual solution is no solution at all. The speech led to a lively, yet open-minded discussion. Now I want to know what you think. I hope you’ll listen, share a comment or send me an email at matt@SoberAndUnashamed.com.
Exploring the questions of addiction recovery.
Jolene Park and her friends were like the cast of Sex in the City with their nights on the town and affinity for classy wines while complaining about their relationship struggles. The dots where there, but Jolene couldn’t connect them. Until she stopped drinking.
Now Jolene is a leading voice talking about the benefits of going alcohol free, no matter where you are on the spectrum from casual drinker to falling-down drunk. Learn more about her nutrition and freedom from drinking coaching at grayareadrinkers.com and healthydiscoveries.com.
This is a great conversation with a health care professional and sobriety badass doing great work to destroy the stigma and help people become their best selves when they leave drinking behind.
When I was trying to gain my permanent sobriety, I needed my wife’s support more than ever. I thought her cautions attitude and reserved enthusiasm was selfish on her part. I didn’t understand that she needed to protect herself, and she had no control over my commitment to never drink again. I was the one who was selfish by crushing her soul, then expecting her to celebrate my recovery.
We discuss this topic, and also our new ebook written from Sheri’s perspective called: He’s Sober. Now What? A Spouse’s Guide to Alcoholism Recovery. We hope you download it now for free!
Christy Wynne didn’t have a spectacular, catastrophic, up-in-flames relationship with alcohol. Sure, she partied for many years, but she decided to leave the booze behind because she just didn’t feel right, and she could deny the cause of her health just being off no longer. Now she has taken her sobriety to new levels by coaching other gray area drinkers and speaking out about the damage caused to women by the mommy wine culture. In this episode, we debate the use of the label, “alcoholic,” and talk about Christy’s one-day-at-a-time approach to sobriety versus Matt’s commitment to permanent sobriety. The bottom line is that there is a wide spectrum of people who are questioning their relationship with alcohol, and Christy shares what she has learned about treating each person individually to help them feel better and reach full potential.
Christy is @danceyourselfcleancoaching on facebook and Instagram, and you can check out her website and email below:
Here’s an article published in Urban Life Wash Park in January of 2019 where Christy discusses gray area drinking:
The damage done to our marriage by my active alcoholism was massive. We are still trying to deal with the resentment, and repair trust and our intimate relationship. But now, we face an unexpected challenge. Sheri’s occasional, social drinking is having a toxic effect on our marriage. I’m not proud of the impact, but I do think it is important that we talk about it.
Please let us know what you think. Comment on the episode, or contact us directly:
Almost 15 million Americans have cancer, but there are more than 15 million American alcoholics. Addiction to alcoholism touches all of our lives. In this speech designed to inform and destigmatize, I talk about how victims of cancer are treated with love and care while victim of alcoholism are treated with scorn and shame. The cure for alcoholism is available to us in changed attitudes and in the voices of those of us willing to tell our stories – willing to wear the label alcoholic without fear. It is a speech about misperception and bravery. It is about societal influence and rejecting the stigma. Most of all, it is about the cure.
Listen to this speech I wrote for the students at a large, racially and economically diverse high school after they experienced a series of brazen and dangerous incidents of alcohol abuse. We can’t convince all adolescents to abstain from alcohol, but we can convince them to make drinking a choice with two acceptable answers. Let’s reduce peer pressure and increase mutual respect. Maybe we should give our teens the chance to make the right choice when drinking alcohol isn’t an expectation.
Sheri and I are stuck. We have made tremendous progress in the recovery of our relationship, now in the third year of my sobriety, but resentments from the past continue to haunt us. We have unpacked, dealt with, explored, rehashed, discussed and worked through all of the issues. We have apologized – me for my drunken behavior, and Sheri for her angry responses – sincerely and endlessly. But it isn’t enough to free Sheri of the burdens of resentment.
Good news – Jason is back. Untoxicated Podcast co-founder and licensed addiction counselor and couples therapist Jason Polk is our guest, and he is joined by his friend Lana Isaacson, also a licenced couples therapist and addiction counselor. They offer suggestions about releasing resentments and getting unstuck, as well as tips on a host of other topics faced by relationships in recovery.
We are proud to recommend the workshop Lana and Jason are hosting for couples in recovery. They call it, “Have Each Other’s Backs Again,” and it will be held November 10th in suburban Denver. What a great way to get your marriage back on track after dealing with trauma from alcoholism or anything else that has you stuck. For more information, or to register, go to Lana’s website or Jason’s website.
In part two of a three part series about how Matt’s alcoholism has damaged our marriage, Sheri talks about the process of recovering our marriage from the depths of distrust and deceit. While we’ve made good progress, learning to love again is ongoing and requires patience and massive effort. The raw emotion in this episode tells the whole story.
God has an important place in my life. He always has. I am a very spiritual person, and I pray constantly both now and back when I was in active alcoholism. That’s why I don’t believe God wants us to let go and let God. For me, God has given direction to my life, but he expects me to do the work to get sober. I don’t believe alcoholism is a spiritual problem. I believe it is a brain disease. My faith helps me, but it is not required for permanent sobriety. That’s why we leave God mostly out of our SHOUT Sobriety program. We want you to feel welcomed regardless of you spirituality or beliefs.
On this episode, we are talking about preparing to send a coming out letter to announce your alcoholism to the world. That’s what I did a year into my sobriety, and the day I sent that email was the best day of my life. You don’t need to send it today in week six of this program, but it is important to begin crafting the letter and prepare to announce your enlightenment to the world.