Untoxicated Podcasts

Exploring the questions of alcoholic relationship recovery.

One of the most widely accepted misperceptions about alcohol addiction is that the drinkers are the only people facing enormous challenges in recovery. The fact is that the loved ones of alcoholics have just as much work to do to heal, and the stigma associated with codependency makes the work just as challenging.

In this episode, Sheri and Matt introduce our new Echoes of Recovery program for the loved ones of alcoholics. We discuss what we offer to the millions of effected loved ones, and we talk about what we hope to gain in our recoveries by facilitating this program. We hope you’ll listen. If you’d like to read more about Echoes of Recovery, or if you’d like to enroll, please check out Echoes of Recovery.

On our first remotely recorded episode due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Matt and Debbie Scheer discuss the public policy decision that threw Denver into chaos. The mayor announced that liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries were not essential, and would close the following day. That order lasted about an hour due to the chaos it caused. Lines wrapped around blocks as people scrambled to get their booze before their access was cut off. It would be funny if not so damn sad, for a number of reasons that Debbie and Matt discuss.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is nothing like the terrorist attack on America we suffered during 9/11, it does isolate and confine us in a similar way. Back then, 19 years ago, I sat on the couch, watched cable news, drank massive amounts of vodka and sulked. I can’t help but imagine that millions of drinkers will have the impulse to do the same thing now as we hunker down and watch the news about the spread of the disease and associated closings and cancelations. On this episode of the Untoxicated Podcast, that’s what Sheri and I talk about. Avoid the temptation, it will only make you feel worse.

Was your middle school sex ed experience as shrouded in shameful secrecy and as incomplete as ours? In this episode, Matt and Debbie talk about the lasting negative impact of our society’s refusal to talk openly and honestly about one the most potentially beautiful and totally natural human acts. It isn’t just about fumbling awkwardness. When we don’t talk about sex, fulfilment, satisfaction, pride, love and intimacy are nearly impossible. Doing it in sobriety creates a whole new set of challenges that we avoided for years by drinking through our inhibitions.

Sheri and Matt dive deeper than ever before into the intimate details of our alcoholic marriage. Our relationship started in a very typical manner – we mixed booze and romance and lowered all inhibitions. As life pressure built from work stress and raising children, our intimacy morphed from typical to tragic, and love was squeezed out of our physical connection. Now, in recovery from alcoholism, we are trying to pick up the pieces and restore trust and intimacy from the rubble of our alcoholic marriage.

Looking back is hard. Moving forward is harder still.

The damage done by alcohol is no laughing matter, but if we lighten up and loosen up, honest, healing conversation often follows. No one knows more about using humor as the ultimate icebreaker when discussing difficult subjects than my friend Debbie Scheer. Debbie is a professional speaker, she is the mother of two young boys and she is living her best life alcohol free. She uses humor to delve into the issues no one is otherwise willing to talk about.

This is the first of (hopefully) many times Debbie joins me on the Untoxicated Podcast, because it is time to take the conversation to the next level. We are trying to discuss such difficult issues, and I’m eager to welcome Debbie’s magnificent skills to talk about the untalkable.

Check out Debbie’s website, and please let me know if you’d like to hear more from Debbie Scheer!

To blame my alcoholism on Doritos is a bold statement, but the more we learn about neurochemistry and the way our brains process inputs, the more obvious the link between my adolescent snack patterns and my addiction to alcohol becomes.

I am often asked how I knew I was an alcoholic when my high-functioning life hid it so well. I am also often asked how I became an alcoholic while others with similar drinking patterns seem immune to the disease. In this episode, I answer those questions, and talk about the power of claiming the alcoholic label in defeating the associated stigma.

Emily Schrader has always been a risk taker. Drinking alcohol and doing drugs was a natural fit for a woman living life on the edge. Now, with 15 years of sobriety, she is taking a different kind of risk putting everything she’s got into her non-profit mission called Bar Zero. Starting as a catering company that offers an exotic dry bar experience, Bar Zero will eventually grow into a full brick and mortar restaurant and bar here in Denver. With the “sober curious” movement proving to be more than a passing trend, I’m not sure her vision is much of a risk at all. After hearing her story of redemption, compassion, dedication and proven experience, I’m excited to see what the future holds for those of us who want a place where we fit, with a wide variety of mixed drinks, hold the poison. Visionaries like Emily are making the dream happen in cities all over the United States. Only listen if you want to get excited about it, too.

For more information about Bar Zero, to contact Emily Schrader or to get involved with their mission, please checkout their website.

I’m supposed to feel rested coming off the holidays, right? So why do I feel so bad – worthless and sinking? Some people drink to avoid processing trauma, abuse or neglect. High-functioning alcoholics like me drink as a reprieve from the relentless pursuit of accomplishment.

This episode isn’t specifically about alcoholism or addiction in general. It is about dealing with the human condition in a society that pushes us into an endless loop of self-dissatisfaction.

This is our third consecutive sober holiday season, and it is monumentally better for both my wife and me. In this episode, Sheri and I discuss the differences in Christmas number three on our quest for recovery. The stress and excitement are still there, but we’ve finally shed the pressure from both keeping up appearances, and the dreadful anticipation of alcoholic antics. It’s really much, much better, but it didn’t come easily nor quickly.