Untoxicated Podcasts

Exploring the questions of alcoholic relationship 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.

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

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

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

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

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