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.

Episodes

August 8, 2022 64 min
The official cause of death was, "Complications of chronic ethanolism." We all knew Suzy's husband Matt was struggling and relapsing, but no one is ever really ready for death by alcohol. Suzy Jahn joins Sheri and Matt on this episode, and she tells her story of hope lost, and of hope regained by her work in recovery, and through the love of her family. Suzy is exceptionally strong as she navigates the mourning and rebu...
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To celebrate our 150th podcast episode, we gathered in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains for our first ever Echoes of Recovery retreat. We took a break from hiking and hot springs to record this very special podcast episode together - fourteen people around the same microphone sharing the same story with their own individual details and perspectives. If you think you are alone as the spouse of someone suffering from alcohol addi...
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Why do we give so much power to the mantras that surround us (at least some of us do (Sheri's looking at you, Matt))? There are gross and glorified mantras that are pillars of the recovery community, slogans and sayings that drive a fledgling little alcoholic-in-training deep into addiction, and buzz phrases and quotes from movies and pop culture that have become ingrained in our daily lives. Even our most basic and popular wed...
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There is a flow to the process of recovering a marriage from alcoholism. In this episode, Sheri and Matt talk about the universalisms found in the eight phases of relationship recovery. This is time consuming and emotionally draining work, and a lot of what Sheri and Matt have learned is counterintuitive and daunting. From boundaries and detachment, to coming back together as two strong and self-sufficient individuals, these overla...
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July 11, 2022 59 min
Anyone who has experienced an alcoholic relationship is familiar with the traumatic events when the drinking and the aftermath spins wildly out of control. But for most high-functioning alcoholics, there are plenty of times when nothing traumatic happens, but the family lives in a consistent state of chaos. There is no chance to relax - no opportunity to drop from high alert. That's the damage to the nervous system that Sheri a...
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July 4, 2022 54 min
As a drinker, Matt's goal for the marriage was for Sheri to agree with him on morals, politics, religion, finances, parenting, etc. Only now in sobriety, Matt is realizing that with the exception of morals, they are dramatically different people with different opinions, beliefs and motivators. Acceptance - consistent acceptance - of those differences is required for the marriage to thrive. And falling back into old habits of cr...
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Leah suffered from denial for years while living with someone whose drinking became a progressively more significant problem. She describes it like living in the middle of a tornado and refusing to acknowledge the storm. From early days of dating, though her wedding day, and even when her husband decided he needed to stop drinking, Leah ignored all of the red flags because alcoholism couldn't possibly happen to her. And when he...
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June 20, 2022 60 min
Pride, self-esteem, ego and confidence often get a bad rap in the traditional recovery community as leading to relapse. We believe the opposite is true, and that self-esteem is the single most important component to long-term sobriety. But that's not what this episode is about. Sheri and Matt talk about the critical importance of self-esteem to the healing and recovery of the spouses and other loved ones of alcoholic. At the en...
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We are thrilled to announce the "Evolution Series" as part of our Sober and Unashamed website and blog. Writing our stories of the impact of alcohol on our lives and families is very therapeutic, and we invite you to write and submit your story for the potential publication to our audience of readers. Not only will you feel the power of vulnerability rewarded, but you will help so many others who will relate to your story a...
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Everyone understands the consequences associated cigarette smoking (lung cancer) or a poor diet heavy on added sugar and fat (diabetes and obesity). Those consequences are directly correlated and societally accepted. When it comes to alcohol, in our culture, we ignore the inevitable consequences. Who better to welcome to a conversation like this than the self-described "queen of consequences?" Allison joins Sheri and Matt o...
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Nothing is more important to healthful, sustained recovery than staying in tune with the traumas of active alcoholism. It isn't a good idea to wallow in misery, but as the seasons change and summer drinking is surrounding us, it is a great idea to remind ourselves of why sobriety is the best choice for us personally, and for our families. On this episode, Sheri and Matt recall Matt's summer drinking experiences including a ...
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What are the most impactful steps we can take to decrease the massive amount of abusive drinking that is condoned in our culture? Prohibition didn't work, but are there other legal, taxation, media/marketing or educational tactics we can employ to remove boozing from it's place as the national pastime? Sheri and Matt discuss all of the tactics, as well as the underlying causes that really deserve our attention. And there is...
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May 16, 2022 59 min
The decision to stay or to go when in an alcoholic relationship seems to rely on the ability of the drinker to find sobriety. Because humans can't change other people, it feels like the spouse has no power. But Lori is here to explain a third option to staying in misery, or divorcing. Lori explains that she learned how to "stay well" in her formerly destructive marriage. She explains the concepts she learned from author...
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Bridget stayed with her husband as his drinking destroyed his health and their marriage. The lies, the hiding and the gaslighting is something with which so many loved ones of alcoholics are familiar. She made the impossibly hard but healthy decision to move on and live the life they had planned to live together, alone. Bridget describes in emotional detail how she loved her husband, the man she married. But the man alcohol transfo...
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The indicators of the increase in bad behavior are everywhere. The airline industry, big city crime statistics, and alcohol industry consumption numbers all correlate to paint a concerning picture of the aftermath of COVID isolation. No matter how much we try to compartmentalize and ignore, the truth is staring us in the face. In this episode, Sheri and Matt talk about the increase in unacceptable behavior, and what we can do when ...
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Julie Sanford hosts the Married to Addiction podcast, and she joins Sheri and Matt to discuss the similarities and differences in both their recovery stories, and also their outreach to the loved ones of alcoholics. On this episode, they discuss the signs that indicate that the loved ones need recovery, getting your needs met as the wife of an alcoholic, the mantras associated with codependency, self-care for someone who is deep in...
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Matt spent ten years working himself through the cycle of active alcoholism into permanent sobriety. What could have been accomplished in a year, took Matt a decade to process. Why the delay? Denial. Both Sheri and Matt were in denial about the demon they faced. In this episode, they discuss their denial in detail in the hopes that others can move through the process of finding recovery faster than they did. The episode ends with a...
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April 11, 2022 66 min
The loved ones of alcoholic are often compelled to keep the trauma of addiction a secret because the drinker has a lot to hide. By stifling their stories, the loved ones remain stuck in unprocessed pain. Deb is our guest on this episode, and she has chosen to talk about her story as the partner of someone suffering from addiction to alcohol. Her decision has brought relief and a level of peace to Deb, and it has led to progress for...
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During his active addiction and early sobriety, Matt never had an idea that Sheri was interested in hearing about. Whether it was his arrogance, his gaslighting or his mistakes, new ideas just meant challenges and heartache for Sheri. But things are different now. Sheri welcomes Matt's suggestions, and the couple discusses their plans and ideas as a true partnership focused on their mutual best interest. They also enjoy euchre ...
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March 28, 2022 60 min
If you are the loved one of an alcoholic, it may be hard to be truthful and authentic with your partner who is dealing with or recovering from addiction. You're vulnerability has probably been used against you in the past, you might think your spouse has too much on his plate to be burdened by your problems, and he might have the habit of offering quick fixes to brush you aside. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss how impor...
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