Untoxicated Podcast

Untoxicated Podcast

Sheri and Matt Salis just wanted a normal life – normal marriage, normal careers, a normal house and happy kids. Instead, they lived a life of lies and terror as they struggled with Matt’s alcoholism. While their experience sounds rare, with over 15 millions problem drinkers in America, their alcoholic marriage was all too normal. Matt has been writing about their experiences in alcoholism and recovery for years. On the Untoxicated Podcast, Sheri and Matt talk about it, too. No subjects are off limits as the couple discusses the trauma of active addiction, the pain of early recovery, the destruction and rebuilding of trust, and the impact on their intimate relationship. If you love an alcoholic, the disease will terrorize your relationship. We hope you’ll listen and find healing in our shared stories. For more support from Sheri and Matt, check out their Echoes of Recovery program providing connection and healing for the loved ones of alcoholics.... Show More

Episodes

March 1, 2021 62 min
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...
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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 powe...
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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...
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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 ...
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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 g...
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January 25, 2021 63 min
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, a...
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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 lettin...
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January 11, 2021 66 min
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...
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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 ...
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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 disas...
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December 14, 2020 63 min
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 ...
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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 goo...
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Our book, soberevolution: Evolve into Sobriety and Recover Your Alcoholic Marriage, isn't for everybody. It is for high-functioning alcoholics who are considering sobriety, are sober, or should be sober. It is also for the loved ones of alcoholics who need to better understand the disease in order to heal and recover the relationship. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss why this book is important for people impacted by alco...
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It's a Wonderful Life or White Christmas - who has experienced a holiday season that lives up to those perfect pictures of love, family and humanity? Norman Rockwell sets the bar pretty high, yet we still try to measure-up year after year. Add the trauma alcohol brings when mixed with unavoidable holiday stress, and it's the most terrifying time of the year. In this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss the holiday seasons of hi...
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The shame of alcoholism is not reserved only for the drinkers. The loved ones of drinkers feel an enormous amount of shame - for letting it get so bad and for being unable to fix the problems in the relationship. And when the gaslighting of the drinker makes the loved one question her own sanity, the shame mounts to debilitating levels. But there is hope. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss the shame they both felt in their al...
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The anger and resentment from her husband's drinking was building inside our friend, Traci. If he kept drinking, she faced a selfless and dreadful decision. "I loved him too much to stay and punish him." Then, she learned of the damage his drinking was having on her. The episode title is not a metaphor. The stress and trauma of Traci's alcoholic marriage almost killed her. On this episode, Sheri and Matt welcome the...
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November 2, 2020 60 min
If you've ever looked for the root cause of your anger, you've probably read or heard that anger is the outward manifestation of fear. There's wisdom there, but it goes deeper. In this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss the concept of considering what their anger means about themselves. We can't change other people. To alleviate our own anger, we can leave the situation or we can make changes to ourselves. They talk ab...
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October 19, 2020 47 min
Alcoholism is so insidious because of how it creeps into relationships and destroys us from the inside. When did my husband turn from a sweet, loving man into such a repulsive tyrant? When did my wife become so nasty and nagging, and why isn't she interested in me anymore? Even in early sobriety, both parties in an alcoholic relationship are trying to assess blame. Sure, he is an alcoholic, but I am not exactly easy to live wit...
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October 12, 2020 68 min
Sheri and Matt are joined on this episode by a fellow survivor of an alcoholic marriage, their good friend and Denver neighbor, Kate. Just like Sheri, Kate endured years of gaslighting, denial and progressively deteriorating behavior. The three discuss the impact on the kids even when they think they are doing their best to protect the little ones from the trauma. Kate shares her feelings of being stuck without options, and she tal...
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Sheri and Matt tell the story of the trauma of their wedding. Devastating and heartbreaking? Yes. Unusual? Sadly, no. It was such a shameful event that this is only the second time the couple has shared the story publicly, the first being in their new book, soberevolution: Evolve into Sobriety and Recover Your Alcoholic Marriage. This episode is emotional. The tears come from the sadness of lost potential, and also how ridiculousl...
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